These games should be so tight, I'd be happy getting one of them right. I'll take Florida and Georgia to survive the weekend.
The Gators have gotten better every week, with Jeff Driskel validating coach Will Muschamp's drawn-out process for picking a starting quarterback. Meanwhile, LSU players are publicly talking about a lack of leadership on the team. Maybe there's also a hangover effect from getting clocked in the BCS title game.
Georgia's defense has been surprisingly porous, but the offensive attack has been surprisingly diverse. This is not just the Aaron Murray show. Freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are running with so much force, they might combine to trump the great Marcus Lattimore.
LSU looks to continue its recent dominance over the Gators. The Tigers have struggled with sloppy performances against Auburn and Towson, while Florida has steadily improved. Jeff Driskel has grown by leaps and bounds as the Gators starting quarterback, and I expect him to be the difference as Florida pulls off the upset in the Swamp.
South Carolina plays host to Georgia in a battle of teams looking to gain a foothold in the SEC East division race. The Gamecocks are one of the stingiest teams when it comes to defense this season but will get a huge test against an explosive Bulldogs offense. Aaron Murray's play is part of the reason Georgia is ranked fifth in the nation and why the Dawgs win this matchup.
Florida, South Carolina
Los Angeles Times
The Gators have settled on a quarterback, Jeff Driskel, and the win at Texas A&M looks better by the week. The Gators crushed the same Kentucky team that led South Carolina at the half. A home win over a struggling LSU team puts Florida on a fast track toward a possible title bid. So Florida is catching LSU at the right time.
Georgia's defense looked questionable in allowing 44 points at home last week to Tennessee and the Bulldogs' potent offense suffered a blow this week with the loss of receiver Michael Bennett. South Carolina will use the legs of quarterback Connor Shaw and tailback Marcus Lattimore to control the ball against Georgia with the hope its top-notch defense can help keep the total score under 50 points.
The SEC East is back. Well, almost. The glory days passed them by long ago, but the top end of the division is making noise again. That said, Florida isn't quite ready for LSU. The Tigers should snap out of it this weekend and reassert the West muscle. The Gators were 4-0 this time last year, but the 38-10 beating from Alabama started the tailspin.
The real game is in Columbia. South Carolina is right there on the verge, but Georgia will sneak out with the inside track in the division. South Carolina struggled with Kentucky a week ago. The Gamecocks are close, but the visor will wind up with grass stains Saturday night.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times