Who can stop them, or for that matter, even slow them down? Auburn? Clemson? The Kansas City Chiefs? The 101st Airborne? The X-Men?
Who knows at this point, after a dizzying two-week stretch in which No. 1 Alabama has outscored opponents 125-3. First the Crimson Tide went on the road and made Derek Mason’s best Vanderbilt team, which had the nation’s top defense and had just beaten a ranked opponent, look like Nashville Technical College. Then they came home and dropped 66 on poor, scandal-ridden Ole Miss in Alabama’s highest-scoring game since 1979.
You’re up, Texas A&M.
The Aggies have steadied themselves a bit since the collapse in the Rose Bowl, winning four straight to ease the pressure in College Station. But sacking South Carolina seven times last week isn’t exactly evidence that Texas A&M is prepared to slow the houndstooth-covered buzzsaw making its way toward Kyle Field. While it has to rankle in Birmingham that Bama is beating up on the SEC worse than it did the likes of Fresno State and Colorado State, the Tide can’t keep this up forever.
Or can they?
To be safe, this week take Alabama and the points. On to the predictions, with kickoffs in Eastern Daylight Time:
No. 1 Alabama at Texas A&M: Crimson Tide keeps pouring on the points
Kyle Field sways with the Aggie War Hymn, rocks with the enthusiasm of more than 100,000, and will ultimately grow quiet as Alabama drops one touchdown after another on the home team. Baby steps for the Aggies: try to score a touchdown (which no one’s done against Bama in two weeks), try to force a turnover (the Tide’s first since the Auburn game last season), and make sure the bathrooms at the stadium work this week.
Kickoff: Saturday, 7:15 p.m., ESPN
Line: Alabama by 26½
Prediction: Alabama 42, Texas A&M 14
Ole Miss at No. 12 Auburn: Rebels brace for another beating
Remember when Ole Miss was 2-0 and putting up dozens of points? Remember when Auburn was struggling to score against an FCS opponent? Yeah, those days are gone. The Tigers offense has clearly awakened in back-to-back thrashings of Missouri and Mississippi State, despite some ridiculous predictions to the contrary. The Rebels are rapidly being reminded that off-field scandals have on-field consequences. It won’t be 66-3. But it won’t be pretty, either.
Kickoff: Saturday, noon, SEC Network
Line: Auburn by 21½
Prediction: Auburn 52, Ole Miss 17
No. 5 Georgia at Vanderbilt: Bulldogs continue march through Tennessee
A sign things have changed in the Volunteer State: Georgia can likely expect a tougher game Saturday at Vanderbilt than it did last weekend in Knoxville, where the Bulldogs rocked Rocky Top 41-0. On paper, it’s so easy to become enamored with the pieces Commodores coach Derek Mason has assembled, on both sides of the ball. But the second half last week at Florida showed Vandy isn’t quite ready to take the next step. The Bulldogs certainly are.
Kickoff: Saturday, noon, ESPN
Line: Georgia by 17½
Prediction: Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 14
LSU at No. 21 Florida: Tigers’ troubles continue in Gainesville
On the ever-expanding list of beleaguered/embattled/hot-seat coaches in the SEC, LSU’s Ed Orgeron moves immediately to the front. A loss to Troy, the first nonconference opponent to win in Death Valley since 2000, will do that. And we thought Florida was in disarray? The Gators have more quarterback troubles with Luke Del Rio injured again, but at least the head coach and offensive coordinator aren’t at odds. LSU is suddenly punchless and scrambling. Oh, and there might be a hurricane off the coast of Florida by the weekend. Of course.
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Line: Florida by 3
Prediction: Florida 24, LSU 17
Arkansas at South Carolina: Gamecocks show needed creativity on offense
After struggling to score for three games behind a battered and inefficient offensive line, South Carolina needs to get creative. Long downfield routes and behind-the-tackles runs only work when the line buys time and space, two things quarterback Jake Bentley hasn’t had enough of. Against an Arkansas pass rush that’s among the worst in the SEC, watch for the Gamecocks to look more short and underneath, letting their playmakers at receiver and tight end get the offense back on track.
Kickoff: Saturday, 4 p.m., SEC Network
Line: Arkansas by 2
Prediction: South Carolina 28, Arkansas 27
Missouri at Kentucky: Wildcats make it closer than it needs to be
The Tigers are 1-3 and they haven’t even left home yet, and they might win two more games all season (assuming they can pull one out at UConn). But take heart, Mizzou fans: Against lesser opponents at home, Kentucky has a penchant for playing just poorly enough to keep games close. We saw that against FCS Eastern Kentucky (which led in the second half) and again last weekend against Eastern Michigan. Kentucky is great at recording wins that don’t exactly inspire confidence, and it adds another this week.
READ MORE: Offensive lineman leaves Kentucky program
Kickoff: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network
Line: Kentucky by 10
Prediction: Kentucky 38, Missouri 31