A quick visit to the BIG 10 to discuss if Harbaugh or Dantonio is the better coach? Plus Georgia’s bad slip up for being the best in SEC East.
Welcome to the 100th installment of Nick Saban vs. Former Assistant.
OK, so it’s actually the 15th. But it feels like a lot, especially when Saban is 14-0 in those games.
This week we get Nick Saban vs. Jeremy Pruitt, a slightly fresh take on the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry, which has become pretty routine due to the programs trending in opposite directions.
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Let’s take a closer look at that matchup, as well as some of the other interesting games from the conference:
Progress vs. Process
Tennessee’s upset of Auburn last week showed the Volunteers are improving. Alabama’s rout of Missouri showed that, well, the Crimson Tide is very good and very likely to dominate Tennessee. In fact, Pruitt said this might be the best Alabama team of Saban’s tenure.
The Tide will test Tennessee’s defensive progress in all areas, especially pass defense. We’ll also see if Tennessee’s receivers can replicate their performance against Auburn. Last year, the Vols passed for just 44 yards against Alabama.
Butch Jones: Tide want former UT coach to celebrate with cigar
Sizing up LSU, Mississippi State
Mississippi State’s defense has been strong on season, and the Bulldogs get another test this week. LSU is the only SEC team with two tailbacks in top 10 in rushing. QB Joe Burrow has also showed he can run when needed.
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop speaks on LSU’s offense and the Tigers’ will to win.
Tyler Horka, Clarion Ledger
LSU offensive balance:Tigers have exact same number of passing and rushing yards
Mississippi State: Penalties could be a problem in Tiger Stadium
Mississippi State boasts the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation. Will it be enough to slow down the Tigers?
Kentucky’s chance to rebound
The Wildcats are having a great season and looking to rebound from a loss to Texas A&M earlier this month. Vanderbilt is, once again, a week removed from a near-upset it couldn’t quite complete.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops says he’s not looking at the standings yet. But we are, and here’s the deal: a win over the Commodores Saturday and Missouri next week makes the Wildcats’ Nov. 3 matchup with Georgia absolutely huge.
As for Vanderbilt? The Commodores need an SEC road win to become bowl eligible. They’re 2-15 in SEC road games in four-plus seasons.
Kentucky football: TE C.J. Conrad’s UK Children’s Hospital visits ‘bigger than football’
Ke’Shawn Vaughn: Injured Vandy RB expected to play at Kentucky
SEC on tape
Coaches aren’t the only ones who take a deep dive into game film during the week. Reporters from across the USA Today Network are also breaking down tape. Here’s what they noticed this week:
Jordan Ta’amu: How Ole Miss used draw plays to gash Arkansas
Jarrett Guarantano: Examining QB’s big game against Auburn
Auburn offense: Three tweaks the Tigers could make against Ole Miss
Schedule (All times central)
Tulsa at Arkansas, 11 a.m.
Auburn at Ole Miss, 11 a.m.
No. 1 Alabama at Tennessee, 2:30 p.m.
Memphis at Missouri, 3 p.m.
Mississippi State at No. 5 LSU, 6 p.m.
Vanderbilt at No. 17 Kentucky, 6:30 p.m.
Coaches Poll:Complete look at the Top 25 ahead of Week 8
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Voices of the SEC is compiled each week by Nicole Saavedra and Nick Gray.