Paschall: The SEC's forgotten showdown

Paschall: The SEC's forgotten showdown

November 3rd, 2011 by David Paschall in Sports

Arkansas players run onto the field led by offensive linemen Alvin Bailey (67), Travis Swanson (64) and Grant Cook (72) before the start of an NCAA college football game against Troy in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/April L. Brown)

Last week:



Pasquali is 180-45 overall (80.0 percent) this season.

Thanks to the titanic Alabama-LSU clash in Tuscaloosa, the Arkansas-South Carolina game Saturday night in Fayetteville might be the most overlooked matchup of top-10 Southeastern Conference teams in league history.

"We know that LSU and Alabama are 8-0 and 1-2 in the country," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday, "and we know we're both 7-1 and haven't looked terribly impressive getting there, but we are 7-1. We're trying to win the Eastern Division, and Arkansas still has a chance to win the West, so we've both got a lot to play for."

The No. 8 Razorbacks and No. 10 Gamecocks have assembled solid seasons despite an inability to start strong. Arkansas has fallen behind by a touchdown or more in five straight games, while South Carolina has yet to score first this season.


Miss. State 48, UT-Martin 3

FSU 31, Boston College 6

Southern Cal 42, Colorado 19

UNC 27, N.C. State 25

Virginia 19, Maryland 14

Miami 35, Duke 12

Michigan St. 46, Minnesota 7

Nebraska 33, Northwestern 18

Ohio State 40, Indiana 10

Oklahoma 44, Texas A&M 21

Boise State 52, UNLV 9

Oklahoma St. 55, Kansas St. 28

Stanford 49 Oregon State 20

Texas 34, Texas Tech 31

Wisconsin 40, Purdue 17

Houston 41, UAB 13

Oregon 38, Washington 24

"I don't know what it means," Spurrier said. "We haven't gotten way behind, usually just a field goal; then we're sort of back in it."

South Carolina does possess the impressive stat of not allowing a 40-yard play from scrimmage all season. Tennessee receiver Da'Rick Rogers helped keep that intact last week with a dropped ball.

"They do a nice job of keeping everything in front of them," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "They're very fast in the secondary, and a lot of times when your safeties tackle well, you don't give up a lot of big plays."

Said Spurrier: "We're third in the conference behind Alabama and LSU, and hopefully we won't give up any big ones this week, or the next week either."

Pasquali's Pix:

Vanderbilt at Florida: The Commodores could erase heartbreaking losses to Georgia and Arkansas by winning in Gainesville for the first time since 1945. Gators 27, Commodores 10.

UTC at Samford: Who would have thought the former ESPN broadcast team of Ron Franklin and Mike Gottfried would resurface here? Mocs 24, Bulldogs 19.

New Mexico State at Georgia: Whether end-zone celebrations, choke-hold gestures or player suspensions, the Bulldogs have a knack for lingering headlines following the Florida game. Bulldogs 38, Aggies 9.

Ole Miss at Kentucky: For a second straight week, the Wildcats are in a pairing of teams winless in SEC play. Could it happen again later this month when Tennessee visits? Rebels 20, Wildcats 17.

MTSU at Tennessee: CBS has taken a huge gamble moving the Alabama-LSU game opposite this ratings beast on Fox Sports South. Vols 31, Blue Raiders 14.

South Carolina at Arkansas: A Gamecocks loss puts Georgia in control of the East in November for the first time since 2005. Razorbacks 23, Gamecocks 16.

Notre Dame at Wake Forest: After 123 years of playing football, the Irish have decided to challenge the mighty Demon Deacons. Irish 35, Deacons 21.

LSU at Alabama: Alabama is more disciplined. LSU is more explosive. Alabama is at home. Should be worth the hype. Crimson Tide 16, Tigers 13.