5 Biggest Questions Facing the SEC

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Will Auburn go undefeated and run the table into the National Championship Game?

Brandon: No. I feel that Alabama is still the team to beat in the SEC, I think the Cam Newton train comes crashing to a halt during the Iron Bowl, specifically if Auburn ever gets down by more than 10-14 Points. 

Chris: Right now it's hard to bet against the Tigers. I am probably one of the last people not COMPLETELY sold on them, but I still recognize that they are an elite team. However, I will pick Alabama to knock them off in the Iron Bowl. I know that since South Carolina beat the Tide, there has been a game-plan established for how to beat them. It's not that teams haven't tried to replicate it, it's just that they haven't been able to. The Tigers will be tasked with shutting down the Tide's backfield duo, something that nobody except the Gamecocks did. I don't expect lightning to strike twice, therefore, I see the Tide coming out on top and ruining Auburn's shot at the NC game.

J Martin: I'd like to be wrong, but my gut feeling is yes. Cam Newton is playing like one of those quarterbacks I used to create to cheat in NCAA Football when I was kid. You know, Speed = 99, Acceleration = 99, Break Tackle = 99, Arm Strength = 99, etc. Just snap the ball to him and start running around. It was unstoppable. Well, life imitates art. I really don't see a scheme that can slow him down. Primarily because so much of what he does isn't based on scheme. He's at his most deadly whenever what's supposed to be happening on a given play breaks down and he just takes off. He gets into the open field and makes it a game of athlete vs. athlete, and the 6'6", 250 lb guy moving at 4.5 is going to win that more often than not. If you can stop him, you win. But the only team left on Auburn's schedule with the athletes to stop him is Alabama. And as the resident Bama expert, I have to admit I don't have a lot of faith in this bunch's ability to get the job done.

Kevin: It's taken me a long time to come around on Auburn and I still don't think I'm there yet. I just don't think they have the defense to get past Auburn. If you asked me last week I thought that if Georgia could get past Florida that they would have a good shot at Auburn. 2005 was the last time Auburn beat Georgia but I think Auburn beats the Dawgs 52 to 38 but then slips up against Bama.

Ross: No.  Auburn will lose to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but their consolation prize will be a trip to the Sugar Bowl, which isn't so bad.

Who will win the East?

Brandon: Florida.  I think each team will take the other out, and they will come out on top of this whole mess.

Chris: Nobody. That's a distinct possibility at this point, right?

J Martin: Barring a fluke Gator loss to Vanderbilt, it's coming down to South Carolina @ Florida.  If you asked me before this past Saturday, I would've said South Carolina without a second thought.  Now, I'm leaning towards Florida.  For whatever weaknesses they've shown this season, they reasserted their dominance over the SEC East by topping a Georgia team that smelled blood coming in to the game.  And just as the Bulldogs couldn't take advantage of a down year for the Gators, I'm thinking Spurrier & the precocious Gamecocks will find themselves subjugated to Urban Meyer, yet again.

Kevin: It's Florida. Time To Die South Carolina! Carolina has a chance because they have Lattimore and Alshon but they also have Stephen Garcia and Steve Spurrier and I really have no confidence in that duo to beat Florida.

Ross: Easy answer: whoever wins the South Carolina-Florida game.  But, seriously, even though Florida showed some offensive competence against Georgia, I still favor South Carolina slightly.  They're better defensively than Georgia and they have some very potent offensive weapons of their own (Alshon Jeffery, Marcus Lattimore, Stephen Garcia).  They've also already proven capable of winning a big game this year.

Can the winner of the East upset the West in the SEC Championship Game?

Brandon: This  is going to sound strange, so bear with me…IF the East Champion plays Alabama I think that they can upset them, as it happened earlier this year, but if the East Champion plays Auburn, then I don’t think they would have enough.

Chris: If that team believes in voodoo and puts a million hexes on the team from the West. Oh, and those hexes have to work.

J Martin: This is the tricky part.  If it's South Carolina, they can win it.  They've already proven they can beat Bama, and they came within a boneheaded Spurrier QB change of possibly beating Auburn.  Even if LSU were to sneak in to the title game, you'd have to like SC's odds.  But if it's Florida representing the East, I say no way.  We already know the Gators don't belong on the same field as Alabama right now.  And it's difficult to imagine Florida's scatter-shot offense keeping up with Cam Newton for 4 quarters.

Kevin: No they can't. If it's Florida they simply don't have the offensive firepower to keep up with Bama or Auburn and if it's South Carolina then Bama will be out for blood and Auburn already took their best shot and will adjust. 

Ross: Sure. Whoever wins the East will be a talented squad in their own right and in a winner-takes-all setting like the SEC Championship Game, anything can happen.  If South Carolina emerges from the East, they'd definitely have a realistic shot at winning the game, considering that they've already defeated Alabama and took Auburn to the limit.  If anyone else emerges, I'd like their chances slightly less.  That said... WILL they upset the SEC West champion?  No, I don't think so -- Auburn and Alabama are simply playing to too high a level right now.

Will Georgia become bowl eligible this year? 

Brandon: Yes.  I think they beat Idaho State and Georgia Tech.

Chris: Um...They'll beat Idaho State, get Auburn in a trap game, so an upset IS possible here for an unsung Georgia group, and a Georgia Tech team who has been too inconsistent to predict. They could go 3-0, they could go 2-1, or they could go 1-2 and miss out. I say they barely make the cut by beating Georgia Tech.

J Martin: Yes, but it'll be a nail biter.  It will take the Bulldogs all the way to the Georgia Tech game to pick up #6.  While they will probably be able to put some points on Auburn, Georgia is just 1-4 away from home this season, and Aaron Murray seemed to catch a case of stage-fright early in the Florida game that cost the Bulldogs some opportunities.  It's difficult for me to imagine them showing up to play (likely) a night game at Jordan-Hare Stadium, which has become one of the wildest environments in college football this season, and pulling out the win.  #6 is going to have to come at home vs. the Yellow Jackets.

Kevin: I like the confidence you guys have in the Dawgs to win 2 of their final 3. The saddest thing about Georgia's season is that their best victory is against Kentucky. They way Georgia Tech is playing the Dawgs could beat them and our best victory will still be against Kentucky. Like Chris said Georgia could go 3-0 (almost impossible) but they could also go 1-2. I think we will get bowl eligible. If we don't then it could get ugly around these parts. 

Ross: Yes.  They'll beat Idaho State and Georgia Tech.  They'll have a realistic shot at beating Auburn, given Auburn's defensive weaknesses and Georgia's offensive firepower, but ultimately I think Cam Newton will pull out a little more magic to get them by Georgia.  Georgia Tech looks eminently beatable, though.

Will Tennessee go winless in the SEC this year?

Brandon: No way.  Tennessee DOESN’T lose to Vandy under any circumstances, so I think they will spring an upset on them and salvage their SEC season with at least one win.

Chris: No, as much as I would like to see it happen, the Vols will not go winless in the SEC. The Vols SHOULD beat Mississippi, although the Rebs are playing somewhat inspired football right now (even in losing their last 3 games) against murderers row in the West (Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn with the first 2 of these 3 on the road) and putting up a fight. If the Vols somehow stumble on that opportunity, there is an absolute certainty (or as close as you can get) that the Vols will wear down the Commodores of Vandy with their superior athletes. Then they will finish out the season losing to Kentucky.

J Martin: No. Tennessee is bad, but Vanderbilt is worse.  The Commodores were just lucky to catch Ole Miss early enough in the development of the Jeremiah Masoli experiment to steal a win.  The Vols should at least be able to spare themselves the indignity of losing to their in-state "rival."  I wouldn't even count them out in their other two remaining conference games.  They should be competitive.  They'll be even more competitive the longer they can keep that 7th loss of their record and the bowl dream alive.

Kevin: Everybody thinks Tennessee wins one. I'm going to say they don't. Houston Nutt and his buddy Jeremiah Masoli will beat the Vols, Kentucky will beat the Vols so that leaves Vandy. Robbie Caldwell will use his expertise from working on a turkey farm and will somehow turn that into motivation for his team to beat Derek Dooley and his bunch of turkeys. Seriously, how do you not get suspended when you are in a bar fight and a dude got kicked off of the SAME team earlier this year for getting into a bar fight. 

Ross: No. They'll win one of them -- probably the game at Vanderbilt.