Alabama at South Carolina: Well, this is it for USC -- their chance to prove they belong with the SEC's best, their shot at an SEC title game (in a weakened SEC East), their moment to reward all their fans for all that suffering over the years. If they played 100 times, Alabama might win 75. But it's one game, in Columbia, with so much at stake. This time, the stars align. USC, 16-10.
Alabama at South Carolina: Mr. Tomlinson, whose brainwaves have been scrambled by Georgia's sudden return to generational mediocrity, is like a husband trapped on the wrong end of an argument. The facts, his friends and everything else lines up with the wife, but he sticks to his guns like a polyster-clad bulldog clings to his ice bags under the Athens sun.
Mr. Tomlinson, you see, still believes Alabama will lose three games this year. As such, the Gamecocks must win Saturday for his prophecy to come true.
Carolina has a puncher's chance. They are very good. They dare to be better. And they don't want this to be the last big game they play under Steve Spurrier. That said, South Carolina can't win on its own. It still needs more help than Alabama is likely to give. One last thing to mull: If Alabama is to lose three, it will have to play as badly as Georgia. Like I said, Tide, 28-18.
Tennessee at Georgia: Dooley the Younger's Baker's Dozen Road Show stops in Athens for another brunch-time kickoff. Georgia has played in the midday slot so often that it's about to announce a longterm endorsement deal with Mrs. Butterworth. Bigger news: Mark Richt will be leading his team onto the field for the first time. A naked Herschel Walker(check out ESPN) would make for a better entrance. Georgia by a big wet nose: 21-18.
LSU at Florida: Has there ever been an undefeated coach more maligned than Les Miles? After Saturday night, all that earlier abuse will seem like polite chit-chat between inlaws at a Baptist wedding reception. We hope you like the cheese straws, Mr. Miles. Florida, 24-13.
Auburn at Kentucky: Only on The Plains is roadtrip considered a dirty word. At home, Auburn has emerged as one of the country's most dynamic teams. But qb Cameron Newton must show that he travels well, even if the opponent is the perpetually lackluster Kentucky. Still, it's an interesting measuring stick for Auburn. Tigers, 35-24
Eastern Michigan at Vandy: Wow, we thought only Ohio State played MAC teams. Vandy, I think, 24-21
Arkansas at Texas A&M: The Hog defenders better make some stops or Ryan Mallett's arm will fall off. This one has upset written all over it, except the Big 12 is so bad it should have broken up just to save everybody the embarrassment. Hogs, 44-35
Miss. State at Houston: Big, big game for the Mullen regime, and the Bulldog defense gets them through. Bullies: 24-21.