Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:
1. Can Georgia handle a little bit of praise? Last week’s win over Auburn doesn’t erase all of the of the problems that Georgia has had with this football team. Those problems are still considerable. But Georgia has not won two straight conference games since it beat South Carolina and Arkansas way back in September. Can the Bulldogs, who got a little love this week, handle it and take care of business against Kentucky? Can they build on it and actually play well for two weeks in a row?
2. Can LSU get excited, or even interested, enough to win at Ole Miss? If LSU beats Ole Miss on Saturday and Arkansas on Nov. 28, the Tigers will finish 10-2 and punch their ticket to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on New Year’s Day. But LSU is not going to a BCS game because No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama are both virtual locks to be there (and one conference cannot have more than two teams in the BCS). LSU had a serious Alabama hangover last week before finally beating Louisiana Tech. Last season the Tigers stumbled at the end, losing to Ole Miss and Arkansas to finish 7-5. Ole Miss showed some life last week in totally destroying Tennessee 42-17. LSU fans won’t be happy with another lackluster finish.
3. Will Clemson take care of business against Virginia? I remember two years ago when all Clemson had to do was beat Boston College to clinch the ACC Atlantic. But the Eagles and Matt Ryan had other ideas, winning 20-17. This Clemson team appears to be different. The Tigers and C.J. Spiller have scored 38 or more points in each of their last five games. Spiller has become a human highlight reel and shows no sign of slowing down against a Virginia team (3-7) that packed it in a long time ago.
4. Why is Alabama playing Chattanooga? Why is Florida playing FIU? I understand why Alabama is playing the Division I-AA Mocs (6-4). Auburn, its next opponent, has this Saturday off and the Alabama-Auburn game is on Friday, Nov. 27, instead of Saturday. So if Alabama can’t have a week off like its state rival, then it needs to have a pretty stress-free game. Florida also has its big rivalry game on Nov. 28 against Florida State followed by the SEC championship game on Dec. 5. Remember that a few years ago the SEC changed the rules and now REQUIRES schools to play on the last Saturday in November instead of taking the week off before the SEC championship game.
5. Is Tennessee going to bounce back against Vanderbilt? Tennessee was on a nice little roll when the Vols got on the plane last Friday and headed to Ole Miss. They had trounced Georgia. Lost a 12-10 heartbreaker to Alabama and then crushed South Carolina and Memphis. The energy around the program was high. Then three players get arrested for armed robbery and the Vols get trounced (42-17) in Oxford. Then this week the story broke that a player was cited for shoplifting earlier this month. Coach Lane Kiffin needs to get this thing out of the ditch and beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky to finish 7-5.
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