For Auburn, the end of a season of misery is at hand. The Tigers go to Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday to play Alabama in a game almost no one gives them a chance to win. Alabama is an unprecedented five-touchdown favorite.
Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder/Robin Conn photo
For Auburn to have a chance, freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace must play beyond his years. Tailback Tre Mason must find some room to run. Most of all, Brian VanGorder's defense must play better play has all season to slow down running backs Eddie Lacey and T.J. Yeldon and quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Senior Writer Bryan Matthews, with a 162-64 record, has locked up the Fearless Forecasters championship. Senior editor Phillip Marshall is lagging far behind at 151-75.
For the final time this season, go below to get Phillip's and Bryan's takes on games in the Southeastern Conference and beyond.
Auburn (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at No. 2 Alabama (10-1, 6-1)
Phillip's take: My gut tells me Auburn players are ready for a big effort against Alabama. Of course, my gut told me the same thing two weeks ago when they were getting ready to play Georgia. And two weeks before that when they were getting ready to play Texas A&M. I believe Auburn players will come out playing with passion and energy. Will they keep edge when things go badly? From what we've seen this season, not likely.
Alabama 35, Auburn 6
Bryan's take: Auburn players are saying the right things this week but I haven't seen this team play with a lot of passion and toughness this season and I don't see that suddenly changing Saturday. It's sad this storied rivalry has come to this. This should be a 60-minute brawl with tons of emotion, key plays and swings of momentum. Instead, it will probably look like another Homecoming opponent to Alabama
Alabama 45, Auburn 14
No. 8 LSU (9-2, 5-2) at Arkansas (4-7, 2-5)
Bryan's take: This is usually a very entertaining game and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Hawgs make a game of it. But LSU is a better team and playing for another 10-win season.
LSU 48, Arkansas 31
Phillip's take: LSU isn't as strong as it was a year ago, but it's a whole lot stronger than Arkansas. Playing at home, the Hogs will give a good account of themselves for a while, but not for long enough.
LSU 34, Arkansas 17
Georgia Tech (6-5) at No. 3 Georgia (10-1, 7-1)
Phillip's take: Georgia is still in the hunt to get into the BCS Championship Game. Georgia Tech lost to Middle Tennessee State.
Georgia 42, Georgia Tech 14
Bryan's take: The Yellow Jackets can score some points, but I don't think their defense will slow down Georgia enough to stay in the game. I like how the Bulldogs have played since the win over Florida.
Georgia 41, Georgia Tech 28
Kentucky (2-9, 0-7) at Tennessee (4-7, 0-7)
Bryan's take: One of these teams will be winning its first SEC game of the season. Joker Phillips will coach his last game at Kentucky while Derek Dooley finished his Tennessee career last week with a blowout loss to Vanderbilt. I just have a hunch Joker will go out a winner.
Kentucky 23, Tennessee 20
Phillip's take: I don't know that I've ever seen a team fold like Tennessee did against Vanderbilt last Saturday. Now Derek Dooley is gone and the Vols surely just want to get this season over with. Kentucky is looking for its first conference win and will try to seen popular but unsuccessful head coach Joker Phillips out as a winner. I'm going with the home team.
Tennessee 31, Kentucky 28
Vanderbilt (7-4, 5-3) at Wake Forest (5-6)
Phillip's take: Vanderbilt is on a roll, but it has not exactly beaten any powerhouses. In fact, the Commodores' most impressive win is over Ole Miss. Call it a hunch.
Wake Forest 24, Vanderbilt 21
Bryan's take: Show Your Gold. What else needs to be said.
Vanderbilt 31, Wake Forest 10
No. 6 Florida (10-1, 7-1) at No. 10 Florida State (10-1)
Bryan's take: Florida State is not happy being ranked No. 10 in the BCS with only one loss. They'll pick up loss No. 2 Saturday and what I expect to be an ugly, defensive struggle.
Florida 9, Florida State 6
Phillip's take: Florida has had a remarkable season, winning 10 of 11 games with a terrific defense and a bad offense. Florida State is even better on defense and a whole lot better on offense. Plus, the Seminoles are playing at home.
Florida State 23, Florida 14
Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3) at Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5)
Phillip's take: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen continues his juvenile refusal to call Ole Miss by name. That makes the Rebels angry, but they won't be angry enough. Mississippi State has better players.
Mississippi State 37, Ole Miss 31
Bryan's take: The Rebels have a lot to play for. A win gets them in a bowl game and breaks the Bulldogs' 3-game winning streak. Hotty Toddy.
Ole Miss 27, Mississippi State 20
Missouri (5-6, 2-5) at No. 9 Texas A&M (9-2, 5-2)
Bryan's take: The Aggies continue a great first season in the SEC.
Texas A&M 41, Missouri 21
Phillip's take: There's a large difference between the SEC's two newest members.
Texas A&M 52, Missouri 14
No. 13 South Carolina (9-2, 6-2) at No. 12 Clemson (10-1)
Clemson 28, South Carolina 24
Bryan's take: I'm expecting big plays from the Gamecock defense. Could be a rough game for Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.
South Carolina 27, Clemson 16
Phillip's take: Washington 31, Washington State 7; Arizona State 41, Arizona 31; Rutgers 20, Pitt 17; Michigan 31, Ohio State 28; Virginia 28, Virginia Tech 27; Oregon 49, Oregon State 34; Oklahoma State 35, Oklahoma 31; Wisconsin 27, Penn State 20; Stanford 24, UCLA 14; USC 21, Notre Dame 20.
Bryan's take: Washington 20, Washington State 7; Arizona State 33, Arizona 28; Pitt 18, Rutgers 16; Ohio State 24, Michigan 21; Virginia Tech 30, Virginia 21; Oregon 31, Oregon State 21; Oklahoma 45, Oklahoma State 38; Penn State 23, Wisconsin 21; Stanford 23, UCLA 17; Notre Dame 26, USC 17.
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