Three Games: East is clearer; West not so much - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Three Games: East is clearer; West not so much

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(RNN) – The line of separation between the Haves and Have-Nots got clearer in the SEC East and a little blurry in the SEC West.

Below is a look at three games from Week 4 and what they mean going forward followed by a look at three big games from next week and the impact they will have.

Week 4 recap:

LSU 12, Auburn 10

Knowing nothing other than the score, you would think either the pitching was bad or there was a strong breeze blowing out to left field.

If you can put your finger on whatever the issue was in this game that made it turn so different than everyone expected, please inform the rest of the world. Auburn was not supposed to be competitive with LSU. It wasn't supposed to be close.

This game threw a whole shroud of doubt over the entire SEC West. Does this mean Auburn (1-3, 0-2) can be a legitimate contender? Did LSU (4-0, 1-0) just have a bad game? Is it Alabama and the six dwarves? Is Mississippi State now the only team able to take the Tide down?

This is why we love football. Auburn fans will stand and say that the (Auburn) Tigers have put their problems behind them and now they will be a force for the rest of the year. LSU fans can say the (LSU) Tigers just struggled on the road in a tough conference game and thank the deity they turn to in such times that Alabama is a home game.

Those who are neutral can write off both teams as terrible and erase the circle around Nov. 3 and wait to see who comes out of the East to challenge Alabama for the SEC championship.

Or we can consider this: Crazy stuff happens. That's why we watch.

South Carolina 31, Missouri 10

This game was just the opposite. It was supposed to be good and turned out to be a snoozer.

It started out simple enough. Both teams had some hiccups early, but Missouri (2-2, 0-2) had a catastrophic turn of events similar to the end of its game with Georgia earlier in the season that swung the game in favor of the Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0) and the Tigers never recovered.

James Franklin played most of the game at quarterback for Missouri, but Corbin Berkstresser played late and threw for Missouri's only touchdown. That might mean something for the future, or it might not.

South Carolina's quarterback problem is over. Connor Shaw was brilliant, completing 20 consecutive throws after an incompletion on his first attempt. Marcus Lattimore also appeared to be over his injury woes as he rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

Florida 38, Kentucky 0

This wasn't one of the three games featured last week to watch, but because Georgia crushed Vanderbilt in such a dominating style, this one deserves a little more attention.

Florida was so complete that 10 players got a reception and six got carries in an offense that was balanced almost down to the yardage. The Gators (4-0, 3-0) rushed for 200 yards and threw for 203. Kentucky (1-3, 0-1) was able to do nothing against Gator defense, which intercepted quarterback Morgan Newton three times.

Florida gets better with every game it plays and it gets a week to rest before taking on LSU. With two weeks to prepare for a team that Florida looks like a perfect antidote for, things could get very interesting very soon.

What to watch for in Week 5 (all times Eastern)

Arkansas at Texas A&M, 12:21 p.m., SEC Network

The Aggies (2-1, 0-1) have faced a couple of cupcakes since losing to Florida 20-17 to start the season and get reintroduced to SEC play with Arkansas, followed by Ole Miss. This will be an interesting game for both teams.

For Arkansas, it now has Tyler Wilson back but still has question marks everywhere. The defense will be tested by do-it-all quarterback Johnny Manziel, who has been torching lesser opponents and had an excellent first half against Florida.

A&M still has to try to figure out where they are. The Aggies were one or two plays away from beating Florida and have cruised over Southern Methodist and South Carolina State. But offensively, A&M lives and dies by Manziel. He has thrown for 641 yards and seven touchdowns in three games and led the team in rushing with 262 yards and five touchdowns.

Arkansas (1-3, 0-1) may not be up to the challenge of stopping him, but other teams the Aggies will face later on certainly are. At the risk of laying a hex on College Station, should Manziel suffer an injury, the Aggie offense may grind to a halt much the same way Arkansas' did without Wilson.

Tennessee at Georgia, 3:30 p.m., CBS

It seems like every week we're talking about Derek Dooley needing a win, but we mean it this time – honest.

Georgia (4-0, 2-0) is on a roll, but this game means a lot more to Tennessee (3-1, 0-1). If the Vols take a second SEC loss this early – and they're sure to get more with Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina coming in consecutive weeks – their chances of a decent bowl game are shot. In fact, Tennessee is staring down the barrel of needing wins over Vanderbilt and Kentucky at the end of the season just to qualify for a bowl.

Georgia needs to maintain its consistency and keep the Mark Richt detractors quiet heading into a likely Top 10 showdown with South Carolina.

Ole Miss at Alabama, 9:15 p.m., ESPN

Ole Miss is in a spot like A&M. The Rebels (3-1) have beaten up on some lesser opponents and lost – 66-31 against Texas – against their one tough foe. But finding out who you are against Alabama is not ideal, to say the least.

The point spread on this game is expected to be one of the highest in conference history. Ole Miss could cause some problems for Alabama's secondary if Bo Wallace gets time to throw and Donte Moncrief can get open. The Rebels' running game hasn't been too spectacular, and that can be a death sentence against a defense like the Tide's.

Alabama (4-0, 1-0) is hoping it can avoid any letdowns in the next month to prepare for clashes with Mississippi State and LSU.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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