SEC Football: A few teams at a crossroads in Week 5

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 1: Sony Michel
ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 1: Sony Michel /

We are four weeks into the SEC football season, and we have a second straight week of intriguing conference showdowns.

Must Read: What we learned: Week 5

Through four weeks, Alabama and Georgia appear to be the most complete SEC football teams. They’re the only two undefeated teams remaining in the conference, and they’re both coming off statement wins last week.

Week 5 is sort of like a crossroads of the season. Arkansas, Kentucky, and LSU each have cupcake games this week, but every other SEC football team will have a big challenge. Each of the five conference games this week should teach us a lot about what some of these teams are made of. A win could turn around the fortunes of a struggling team, but a loss could send them into a downward spiral.

That’s why we love SEC football. It should be a lot of fun to watch. Here are my predictions for the week 5 action.

Luke Del Rio will get his first start of the season against Vanderbilt (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images).
Luke Del Rio will get his first start of the season against Vanderbilt (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images). /

Vanderbilt @ (21) Florida – 12:00 – ESPN

Vanderbilt had a hot start to the season, but Alabama brought the Commodores back to reality with their 59-0 beatdown last week. I expect Vandy’s defense to give Florida’s offense trouble. The Gators narrowly escaped Nashville with a 13-6 win last season. Luke Del Rio will get the start for the Gators after taking over in the third quarter of the last week’s 28-27 win over Kentucky. Florida has found ways to pull out wins in each of the last two weeks, when you could argue that they weren’t the better team in either game. That’s going to catch up to the Gators at some point, but I think the home crowd will be enough for them to pull out another close win.

  • Florida 17, Vanderbilt 13

(7) Georgia @ Tennessee – 3:30 CBS

These two teams played maybe the best SEC football game of the season last year, and you can bet Georgia has payback on their minds because of how it ended. The Bulldogs had arguably the best win in the country last week with their 31-3 domination of Mississippi State. Tennessee comes into this game with glaring problems, but because it’s Georgia, many people are waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think this year’s team is different. It’s been a long time since Georgia had a defense like this one. I expect Georgia to dominate on the ground, offensively and defensively.

  • Georgia 24, Tennessee 6

(24) Mississippi State @ (13) Auburn – 6:00 – ESPN

Mississippi State is not 30 points better than LSU, but they’re also not 28 points worse than Georgia. They’re most likely somewhere in the middle, but they’ll have another tough test against Auburn this week. The Tigers have one of the best defenses in the country, but they’ve struggled to take care of the ball, with the eight turnovers through four games. Dan Mullen is 2-14 against top 25 opponents since taking over at Mississippi State.

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  • Auburn 34, Mississippi State 28

South Carolina @ Texas A&M – 7:30 – SEC Network

South Carolina travels to College Station and I’m not sure what to expect from either of these teams. Texas A&M hasn’t looked great this season, but they’re coming off a big win over Arkansas. Meanwhile, South Carolina has not been able to find a replacement for Deebo Samuel, and without him their offense looks horrendous. I expect this game to get the Aggies season and Kevin Sumlin’s job back on track.

  • Texas A&M 31, South Carolina 17

Ole Miss @ (1) Alabama – 9:00 – ESPN

Say what you want about Hugh Freeze, but the guy knew something about playing the Crimson Tide. After beating Alabama in 2014 and 2015, the Rebels fell 48-43 last season. Well, Freeze is gone and I’m sure the Crimson Tide have heard all about how many points the Rebels have scored against them the last few years. Expect another statement from Alabama this week.

  • Alabama 45, Ole Miss 13