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SEC Statement Saturday

PHOTO: John David Mercer/USA Today Sports

The first College Football Playoff rankings came out this week on Tuesday.  The SEC was well represented with seven teams in the CFP rankings.  Four of those seven teams will play on Saturday and decide who will meet in the SEC Championship game next month.

Here are my best SEC games of Week 10:

Georgia vs Kentucky: The winner clinches a spot in the SEC championship and avoids playoff elimination. While Georgia has made six SEC championship appearances and was given a 75 percent chance to win the East in August, Kentucky is one of four teams that hasn’t played for the SEC title since the championship game was added in 1992.

Georgia is a nine-point favorite in this game. However, this is going to be a bit of a road test for the Bulldogs in Lexington.   Both teams are ranked nationally in the top 10 for defensive efficiency.  It will be key how Georgia QB Jake Fromm plays against an aggressive Kentucky defense.

Kentucky brings pressure on opposing quarterbacks 43 percent of dropbacks, which is behind Alabama and Clemson.

Defensively, the Kentucky run defense has been an absolute killer, allowing fewer than 100 yards in three of the last five games and only giving up more than 130 yards once – the loss to Texas A&M.

The Bulldogs will need to stop the run game of Benny Snell and force Kentucky QB Terry Wilson to throw the ball.  Wilson has been inconsistent at times and the Wildcats have struggled to score.

Georgia will need to score fast, early and keep it going.  Kentucky has a way of slowing down games and hanging around late and finding ways to win.

Prediction: Georgia

Alabama vs LSU:  The winner of this game clinches the SEC West and meets Georgia or Kentucky in the SEC championship.  This is the fifth top-five matchup between these two teams and the seventh time in the past 10 meetings that they have played as top-10 teams.

The Crimson Tide are favored once again and have an 88 percent to win the SEC West.  If Alabama beats LSU on Saturday, then Bama is headed to Atlanta.

Alabama has been dominant in their games so far with QB Tua Tagovailoa and leads the nation in scoring offense, averaging 54.1 points.  The Crimson Tide have not faced an opposing defense this season to stop them from rolling.

The questions: Does LSU defense have an enough to slow the Tide down?  Can the Tigers score enough to win?

LSU ranks sixth in FBS in defensive efficiency and seventh in FBS in scoring defense (15.1 points per game).

The Tigers’ defense is the best defense Bama this season so far.  However, LSU will be without LB Devin White for the first half of this game to bring pressure.

Can QB Joe Burrow throw for touchdowns? As a 54% passer, he didn’t throw a touchdown pass in all of October, but that’s not the real issue and concern. Can he and the Tiger offense move the chains?

LSU just isn’t good enough on third downs, and it doesn’t have the passing game to kick in when needed. The two go together, and that should be more than enough for the Tide to pull this off.

Prediction: Alabama

The rest of SEC Slate for Week 10:

Texas A&M at Auburn- 12:00pm, ESPN

Prediction: Texas A&M

South Carolina at Ole Miss- 12:00 pm, SEC Network

Prediction: South Carolina

Missouri at Florida- 4:00 pm, SEC Network

Prediction: Florida

Charlotte at Tennessee- 4:00 pm, SEC Network

Prediction:  Tennessee

Louisiana Tech at Mississippi- 7:30 pm, SEC Network

Prediction:  Mississippi State

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