And down the stretch they come.
The Journal is about to navigate the treacherous slope Pat Dye used to call "Amen Corner." The final weeks of the regular season. Lots of close games. Buckle up for safety.
Last week, we were 3-2 in the SEC, 6-3 overall. For the season, the Journal is 51-18 (74%) in the SEC, 73-27 (73%) overall.
Ole Miss (3-5) at Arkansas (3-5) - Since beating Alabama back in September, the Razorback have lost 4 straight in the SEC. That streak ends Saturday when the Hogs take down the Rebels on WSFA. Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 28
Vanderbilt (2-7) at Kentucky (1-8) - Fans who endure this dog should be rewarded with Kentucky basketball tickets. That would ensure a sellout. Picking Vandy to win an SEC road game is not very wise, but if you've seen the Cats play this year, you'll know why. Vanderbilt 24, Kentucky 20
South Carolina (6-3) at Florida (5-4) - The Gators are favored by a touchdown. Therefore picking South Carolina would vault this game into the category of "Upset Special #1." South Carolina 27, Florida 21
Alabama (6-3) at LSU (6-2) - The Bengal Tigers are favored by a touchdown. Therefore picking Alabama would vault this game into the category of "Upset Special #2." Something about the Bayou brings out Bama's best. Alabama 20, LSU 17
Georgia (8-1) at Auburn (9-0) - If you don't love this game, you don't love college football. How crazy will it be in Tuscaloosa next week if Auburn comes in 10-0? The Bulldogs have the best chance yet to end the Tigers' perfect season. But if anyone can slow down the Bulldogs' offense, it's Auburn's stingy defense. Auburn 27, Georgia 23
Troy (5-4) at Louisiana-Lafayette (4-5) - Lots of bowl talk in Troy this week. To make it a reality, the Trojans will need to win another Sun Belt road game. Troy 21, Louisiana-Lafayette 14
Mississippi Valley (3-7) at Alabama State (7-1) - Take away a last-second touchdown against Southern, and the Hornets would be undefeated. In a season of peaks and valleys, Bama State is the peak, Valley is the valley. Alabama State 42, Mississippi Valley 21
Huntingdon (4-5) at Maryville - It's on to Tennessee for the Hawks, who saw their 4-game win streak end last week at home. A victory here gets the Hawks back to .500. Huntingdon 31, Maryville 28
Benedict at Tuskegee (8-1) - This game was "Ivaned out" back in September. The Golden Tigers are on their way to another Pioneer Bowl. Tuskegee tunes up for Turkey Day with an easy win. Tuskegee 31, Benedict 14
Next week, it's Iron Bowl time. For football fans, does it get any better than this?
See you at the stadium!