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Week 5 predictions in the SEC

Heading into the final weekend of September, here’s what my Top 10 would look like if I had a vote: Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Oklahoma, Washington, USC, Georgia, TCU, Michigan, Virginia Tech. Basically everybody but Alabama could be vulnerable on any given week, which should make the rest of the season a lot like this past Saturday—entirely unpredictable and highly entertaining.

Let’s get to the Week 5 picks.

Last week’s record: 4-0 (Season record: 11-5)

Saturday, September 30

Vanderbilt (3-1, 0-1) at Florida (2-1, 2-0)

The Gators finally found the solution last week to their offensive struggles—a defense that only plays ten guys and leaves an eligible receiver completely uncovered on the most important play of the game. Carve this in stone: Kentucky will never beat Florida. Ever.

After enduring 60 minutes of public flogging at the hands of Alabama, Vandy won’t beat Florida either—at least not this week.

The Pick: Florida 23 Vanderbilt 14

Georgia (4-0, 1-0) at Tennessee (3-1, 0-1)

Setting Alabama aside, you can divide the rest of the teams in the SEC into two distinct categories: Teams That Stink, and Teams That Don’t. Georgia most assuredly belongs in the latter group, while Tennessee is trending toward the former.

The Pick: Georgia 31 Tennessee 17

Mississippi State (3-1, 1-1) at Auburn (3-1, 1-0)

Any guesses as to which version of the Bulldogs will show up on The Plains? Saturday’s egg-laying in Athens made the previous week’s rout of LSU in Starkville look like a fluke. [Perhaps, given how they struggled to put away a bad Syracuse team, the Bayou Bengals simply aren’t very good.]

Auburn’s offense got well against Missouri, and Jarrett Stidham is now 45-for-54 since the Clemson debacle. Turns out it’s much easier to complete passes when you’re not peeling yourself off the turf every other play.

The Pick: Auburn 27 Mississippi State 20

Ole Miss (2-1, 0-0) at Alabama (4-0, 1-0)

There is no truth to the rumor that, upon witnessing the destruction Alabama brought down on Vanderbilt last week, the Rebels opted to take a second straight bye week rather than make the trip to Tuscaloosa. In all seriousness, Ole Miss runs the type of offense (up-tempo spread) and has the type of personnel (dynamic quarterback, explosive receivers) to test the Tide defense in ways most other teams can’t—particularly if A.J. Brown is healthy.

Unfortunately, college football isn’t make ‘em/take ‘em. Alabama’s ground game should have another monster day.

The Pick: Alabama 38 Ole Miss 14

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