Tennessee slayed the Alabama dragon last year, snapping a 15-game losing streak to the Tide, and now comes the Alligators in The Swamp.
Third-year Vols coach Josh Heupel isn’t putting any added pressure on his players to end the program’s nine-game losing streak in Gainesville, which dates back to 2003, but he concedes they are aware of it.
Tennessee is a touchdown favorite to beat a Florida program that’s desperate to turn things around under second-year coach Billy Napier.
“Our entire program is excited about this one,” Heupel said. “Huge test for us, but one we are looking forward to, great opportunity at night, prime time.”
Heupel said the No. 11-ranked Vols “certainly are aware of that streak,” but the focus has been on the preparation.
“We talk about being able to reset and play the next play,” Heupel said. “So what happened last year let alone a decade ago, (and) what happens during the course of a game on the previous play has nothing to do with what happens next.”
The Vols are 2-16 in Gainesville since 1971, with Casey Clausen the only Tennessee quarterback to win in The Swamp in the past 50 years
Clausen, who was from California, was not intimidated by once-feared Swamp, referring to it as “100-yard patch of grass.”
The Pick: Tennessee 30, Florida 27
Georgia Tech at Ole Miss -19 (7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
The Rebels look to carry the SEC flag this week against Georgia Tech — SEC teams have lost six non-conference games this season (they lost seven all of last year) and are 1-4 against the ACC.
The Pick: Ole Miss 37, Georgia Tech 21
South Carolina at Georgia -27.5 (3:30 p.m., CBS)
The Bulldogs dominated South Carolina in Columbia last year, 48-7. The Gamecocks don’t look any better this season.
The Pick: Georgia 48, South Carolina 10
Alabama -32 at South Florida (3:30 p.m., ABC)
It’s the Tide’s first true road game against a non-Power 5 opponent since trips to Hawaii in 2002-03 were used to cushion the blow of a bowl ban.
The Pick: Alabama 56, South Florida 7
Kansas State - 4.5 at Missouri (noon, SEC Network)
The Wildcats hammered the Tigers in Manhattan last year, 40-12, so the revenge element is in play. Kansas State, however, is loaded.
The Pick: Kansas State 24, Missouri 17
LSU -9.5 at Mississippi State (noon, ESPN)
Coach Brian Kelly and the Bayou Bengals are expected to pose the biggest threat to Alabama in the West Division, but the Bullies have enough momentum to keep it close.
The Pick: LSU 27, Mississippi State 21
Akron at Kentucky -25 (7:30 p.m., ESPNU)
Liam Coen is back with the team and the Wildcats are ready to make a statement under the lights.
The Pick: Kentucky 42, Akron 13
ULM at Texas A&M -36.5 (4 p.m. ,SEC Network)
The Aggies need to regain some momentum, can’t score enough points to make fans happy.
The Pick: Texas A&M 63, ULM 16
Vanderbilt -4.5 at UNLV (7 p.m., CBS Sports Net)
The Commodores suffered a tough loss at Wake Forest last week, need to rebound in Las Vegas.
The Pick: Vanderbilt 29, UNLV 26
BYU at Arkansas -8 (7:30 p.m., ESPN2)
The Razorbacks will be without tailback Rocket Sanders but has a home crowd ready to road.
The Pick: Arkansas 45, BYU 31
Samford at Auburn (7 p.m., SEC Network-plus)
The Tigers come home for a breather after a knock-down, drag out West Coast win at Cal last week.
The Pick: Auburn 30, Samford 14
Oklahoma -27.5 at Tulsa (3:30 p.m., ESPN2)
Oklahoma plays a road game against a Tulsa team that suffered a tough road loss at Washington earlier this season.
The Pick: Oklahoma 34, Tulsa 24
Wyoming at Texas -28.5 (8 p.m., Longhorn Network)
The Longhorns are coming off their biggest win since winning the national championship game over USC, 41-38, in 2006.
The Pick: Texas 30, Wyoming 17
Last week: 9-2 (Straight-up), 6-4 (vs. Spread)
Season: 23-2 (Straight-up), 15-7 (vs. Spread)