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SEC Banter: Conference roundup from Alabama to Vandy
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It’s been a while since we toured the conference from Alabama to Vanderbilt and, with no marquee matchups teed up for Saturday, let’s do just that. Here’s a rundown of this week’s action, SEC Banter style.

Kentucky is idle. Why start with Kentucky? Because of the unintentional humor surrounding Kentucky’s canning of coach Joker Phillips. In the letter announcing the firing, Kentucky’s athletic director wrote, “Kentucky Football needs to be and will be a championship contender in the SEC.” And I need a lifetime supply of good red wine, porterhouse steaks and time to work on my golf game, but some things just aren’t in the cards.

Missouri at Tennessee: A battle of the top defenses in the conference. Kidding, of course. This could very well be the highest-scoring contest in SEC history. An imitation Pac-12 game. I’ll take the Fighting Dooleys at home.

Texas A&M at Alabama: After the Tide’s miraculous win in Baton Rouge, might they be caught sleeping at home against the Aggies? A&M quarterback sensation Johnny Manziel, a.k.a. Johnny Football, brings his play-making show to T-town but Bama clinches the SEC West with a win.

Mississippi State at LSU: After the Tigers’ miraculous loss in Baton Rouge, might they be caught sleeping at home against the Puppies? MSU is more than capable of the upset but LSU won’t drop two Saturday night games in a row. Unless Les Miles acts too much like himself.

Arkansas at South Carolina: The Gamecocks are the nation’s least-discussed two-loss team. As Steve Spurrier said last week, “We’ve had a good year. Not a great year, but not a bad year, just sort of a good year right now.” Look for that sort-of-a-good-year to continue against the Hogs on Saturday …

Vanderbilt at Ole Miss: Historically a snoozer, this game carries bowl implications as Vanderbilt and Ole Miss fight for bowl eligibility. Meh, still a snoozer …

Georgia at Auburn: The South’s oldest rivalry would be the South’s newest embarrassment if the Dawgs don’t take care of business on the plains. Auburn might put up a fight for at least a few minutes, but Georgia punches its ticket to Atlanta.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Florida: The only non-conference matchup of the week pits the University of Louisiana-Lafayette at Florida. If you go out of your way to watch this one, you’re (a) a die-hard Gator fan, (b) a die-hardRagin’ Cajun fan, or (c) incredibly bored at home. Cajuns often dine on gators but not this Saturday, as some things just aren’t in the cards.

Best of luck to your SEC team this weekend, enjoy some football in the nation’s finest football conference, and we’ll engage in more SEC Banter next week.

Ben Prevost is a contributing columnist for The Times. Follow him on Twitter @SECbanter or contact him at