No. 1 Alabama pretty much imposed their will on the Arkansas Razorbacks last Saturday Night in Fayetteville and quieted the Hogs faithful very quickly with what I'd call a blowout victory, 49-30.
Jalen Hurts continues to impress as he completed 13 of 17 passes for 253 yards and a pair of 7's, Damian Harris ran for 122 yards. The running game looked stellar. The defense may not have put on their best performance yardage wise, but they scored two touchdowns, one a Da'Shawn Hand sack and strip of Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen that Tim Williams picked up and ran in from 23 yards, the other a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception in the Crimson Tide end zone which he returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. It was beautiful. Minkah had three interceptions for the game. Wow.
The defense gave up 473 total yards, 400 of them passing, but sacked Allen 6 times for a loss of 49 yards. Tim Williams had one, Ryan Anderson had one, Shaun Dion Hamilton had one, Hand had his, Da'Ron Payne had one, Rashaan Evans had a 1/2 sack and Christian Miller had a 1/2 sack. The defense is epic. Any defense that goes against a good quarterback and a good offense is going to struggle a little bit. But if you can sack the quarterback, prevent the other team from running the ball, and get turnovers, turning two into touchdowns, that's outstanding defense. This is an impressive group.
Now it's onto Tennessee. Auburn is off this weekend after an impressive performance at State last Saturday, a 38-14 Tigers victory. Auburn has now gotten relevant in the SEC. Gus has turned the offensive play calling duties over to Rhett Lashlee and it's worked out tremendously. The defense has been excellent all season. Kamryn Pettway came in for an injured Kerryon Johnson last Saturday and rushed for 169 yards and three TDs. Impressive. He's an excellent running back, and if Johnson can get back from his ankle injury next week against Arkansas at home, the AU running game looks very formidable going forward with a real one-two punch. Sean White was 14 of 18 for 204 yards and a seven against State. Carl Lawson looks like he's back to his usual All American form as he had two sacks last Saturday. Marlon Davidson is already a star as a freshman. He had a sack last Saturday. It was complete domination by the Tigers. Both Lawson and Davidson forced fumbles and Montravius Adams recovered both of them. Montravius is stout again. Stephen Roberts had an interception. Auburn has become a good football team. Next Saturday, Arkansas comes to the Plains in what looks like a very winnable game, and then the Tigers travel to Ole Miss, Oct.22, in what should be a classic. Expecting quite a game in two weeks at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Here's a look at week 7 action with the Tide traveling to Rocky Top, another key SEC matchup, and some other interesting conference games, along with some pretty good national tilts.
Last week: 13-5
Overall: 89-40, 69%
No.1 Alabama @ No.9 Tennessee
2:30 PM CT/3:30 PM ET, CBS
Bama by 13
The Tide looks almost unbeatable at this point, but Tennessee at Neyland Stadium and their 107,000 fans will present a challenge. But I love the way Jalen Hurts is playing and the running game looks like it's getting cranking. Bo Scarbrough had a nice 21 yard TD run, so if he can get it going with Damian Harris, the Tide will have a really fine one-two punch, along with stellar freshman Josh Jacobs, who makes three.
Joshua Dobbs is having a really good year, and former Alabama running back Alvin Kamara is a stud. Jalen Hurd will be back for this game after returning from injury, but I like Kamara better. He almost single handedly beat A&M last Saturday in College Station running for 127 yards and catching 8 passes for 161 yards. He looks unstoppable. Tennessee has some injuries on defense, but they've been better this year under first year coordinator Bob Shoop, who came down to Knoxville from Penn State, and is familiar with the SEC having been a defensive coordinator under James Franklin at Vanderbilt from 2011-14.
But I don't see Tennessee as having enough to stop the Crimson Tide. Like the Tide to keep on rolling in Knoxville Saturday afternoon.
Bama 45, Tennessee 24
No.12 Ole Miss @ No. 22 Arkansas
6 PM CT/7 PM ET, ESPN
Ole Miss by 7
Honestly, I don't know how Austin Allen kept getting back up last Saturday night after the beating he took. He's a tough one. I like this Ole Miss team. To me they're the closest team to Alabama in the SEC. They're not as good as the Crimson Tide, but they're close. Like the Rebs to get it done over the Hogs.
Ole Miss 42, Arkansas 34
Other SEC scores
LSU 51, Southern Miss 14
Coach O making an impact and turning this program around with the cupboard full of talent.
6:30 PM CT/7:30 PM ET, SEC Network
Georgia 38, Vanderbilt 14
Nick Chubb looked like the Nick Chubb from two years ago last Sunday in Columbia running for 124 yards and a pair of 7's. Sony Michel added 135 yards in a 28-14 Dawgs victory over South Carolina. Brian Herrien, a freshman, is a third option for the Dawgs and looks like the next great RB in Athens. He ran for 82 yards. This one-two punch of Chubb and Michel is the best in the country if they can both stay healthy. They'll have their way Saturday against the reeling Commodores.
11 AM CT/Noon ET, SEC Network
No.18 Florida 34, Missouri 17
The Gators welcome back quarterback Luke Del Rio, who has been out the last three weeks with a knee injury. He will make a huge difference for them in the Swamp. It's huge to have him back because if the Gators can take care of business Saturday, they'll be primed for a huge one in Jacksonville in two weeks against the Dawgs. The Gators are off next Saturday as are the Dawgs. One thing the Gators need to do is play LSU on Nov.19th, when both teams are scheduled to play out of conference games, the Gators hosting Presbyterian, and the Tigers hosting South Alabama. I believe in Joey Jones and what he's doing in Mobile, but this game needs to be played. LSU needs to toughen up and play this game. It's too important to the conference to play this game. The conference winner is determined by winning percentage, not by how many wins a team has. So if Florida finished 6-1 and Tennessee finished 6-2, Florida would get the nod for the SEC Championship Game even though UT had beaten them. Same with LSU if they won out and finished 6-1, but their road will be a lot tougher than Florida's with games against Ole Miss, Alabama and Arkansas still left. This game needs to be played.
3 PM CT/4 PM ET, SEC Network
BYU 31, Mississippi State 28
Like the Bulldogs to keep it close, but for BYU to get it done at the end.
9:15 PM CT/10:15 PM ET, ESPN
Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 20
Like Urb, J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes to keep their playoff hopes going with a victory over a pretty good Whisky team, that has beaten LSU in Green Bay, and Michigan State soundly on the road. The Badgers lost to Michigan two weeks ago, 14-7, at the Big House but gave Jim and the Wolverines everything they wanted. But Ohio State's more prolific on offense than Michigan.
7 PM CT/8 PM ET, ABC
Stanford 30, Notre Dame 28
Going with the Cardinal in an upset here. Not liking this Notre Dame team at all. Brian Kelly is reeling as head coach of the Fighting Irish. See Christian McCaffrey having a big game against a swiss cheese Irish defense.
6:30 PM CT/7:30 PM ET, NBC
No.3 Clemson 45, NC State 28
11 AM CT/Noon ET, ABC
Along with Alabama, Ohio State and Louisville, Clemson looks like a playoff team.
No.7 Louisville 56, Duke 20
6 PM CT/7PM ET, ESPN
Troy 45, Georgia State 14
The Trojans are a really good football team. Love what second year coach Neil Brown is doing at Troy. Brown came to Troy from Kentucky where he was offensive coordinator. The Trojans are 4-1 with their only loss coming to Clemson 30-24, in which they gave Clemson everything they wanted at Death Valley on September 10th. See Troy having an excellent season and making a real solid bowl game.
2:30 PM CT, ESPN3
South Alabama 42, Arkansas State 35
Really like what Joey Jones is doing in Mobile. The Jags are 3-2 and claim victories over Mississippi State on the road to open the season, 21-20, and an upset at home over then 19th ranked San Diego State, 42-24. This is another team that has a bright future this season as far as postseason aspirations. The Jaguars are the underdog here, but I like them to pull off the upset on the road.
6 PM CT, ESPN3
No. 14 Florida State 38, Wake Forest 21
After a hard fought victory over MIami at the Canes last Saturday, like the Noles to do well this week.
2:30 PM CT/3:30 PM ET, ESPN
No.13 Houston 48, Tulsa 35
6 PM CT/7 PM ET, ESPN2
Northwestern 28, Michigan State 27
Like the Wildcats to pull it off at East Lansing.
No. 16 Miami 38, North Carolina 30
Like the Canes to bounce back from their difficult loss to FSU last Saturday when they had their extra point blocked with 1:38 left in the game, after it looked like they had tied the game. They lost 21-20. Like them to bounce back this week against Gene Chizik's defense.
No. 11 Baylor 48, Kansas 10
2:30 PM CT/3:30 PM ET, Fox Sports 1
Virginia 31, Pittsburgh 30
UVA pulls off the slight upset here.
11:30 AM CT/12:30 PM ET, ACC Network
Texas Tech 52, West Virginia 48
This should be a fun game to watch. A lot of fireworks on offense.
11 AM CT/Noon ET, Fox Sports 1
No. 19 Oklahoma 42, Kansas State 38
You never know what you're going to get with a Bob Stoops coached team week to week. Kansas State will give the Sooners everything they want, but I'll give Bob and his team the victory.
11 AM CT/Noon ET, ESPN
No. 24 Western Michigan 38, Akron 28
P. J. Fleck is doing a superb work for Western Michigan. They're like Troy and South Alabama. High bowl aspirations this season.
2:30 PM CT/3:30 PM ET, CBS Sports Network
No. 15 Boise State 45, Colorado State 21
Like the job Bryan Harson is doing at Boise. They're 5-0.
9:15 PM CT/10:15 PM ET, ESPN2
Colorado 48, Arizona State 35
Really like what Mike MacIntyre is doing in Boulder. He's got a bright future in coaching. They're 4-2 and beat Oregon three weeks ago on the road, 41-38.
7 PM CT/8PM ET, PAC-12 Network
Washington State 45, UCLA 31
Mike Leach has really turned the Cougars program around this season, after going 9-4 last year. After losing their first two to Eastern Washington (inexplicable) and Boise State, they've crushed Oregon, 51-33, at home, and crushed Stanford, 42-16 on the road. On the other side, Jim Mora Jr, and his team are really struggling.
9:30 PM CT/10:30 PM ET, ESPN
Oregon State 31, Utah 28
Like the Beavers to get it done at home In an upset over duh Utes. They upset Cal last week, 47-44 in overtime, and I see them doing it again.
3 PM CT/4 PM ET, PAC-12 Network
USC 38, Arizona 35
Trojans getting better. Not elite by any means, but getting pretty good with redshirt freshman Sam Darnold now entrenched at quarterback. Since getting the starting nod in game 4, Darnold has completed 80-of-118 passes, 68%, for 1,099 yards, 8 TDs and just two ints. He's made a difference for the men of Troy.
2:30 PM CT/3:30 PM ET, FOX
Off this week in the SEC
Auburn, A&M, South Carolina and Kentucky
No. 4 Michigan, Jim having a slumber party with various recruits
No. 25 Navy, after a colossal 46-40 upset of then No. 6 Houston, gets the week off as their game with East Carolina was postponed because of the effects of Hurricane Matthew in Greenville, N.C.