ATLANTA (AP) - Brandon Cox did what he had to do to regain the starting quarterback job at Auburn. Accomplishing that feat against outmanned New Mexico State last week doesn't approach the task ahead this week - a visit to The Swamp to take on No. 4 Florida.
Florida's national ranking and 4-0 record could be a blessing for the Tigers, who take a 2-2 record to Gainesville.
Auburn has knocked off the Gators four of the last five times they met with the Gators ranked No. 4 or better. The Tigers don't figure to be much of a challenge in the eyes of the oddsmakers, having been made an 18-point underdog against the defending national champions.
Florida's only loss in that championship season came at Auburn 27-17.
The Gators have won five of the last six meetings, including the last three played at Florida Field.
"It's going to be a tough assignment," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. "They've got as many athletes on the field as we'll see all year. They haven't changed a lot since last year. I don't think any of our players have been down there. It's going to be new to them. We have our hands full."
Tim Tebow, Florida's sophomore quarterback, knows the Tigers have lost a couple of games they probably should have won. He also knows a little about what Auburn puts on the field, telling his teammates the Tigers will be a difficult assignment.
"Everybody is pretty focused on Auburn," Tebow said. "It is a huge game and a game we looked forward to before the season. They are going to play hard."
Auburn will play better than it has so far this season, but it won't be enough to overcome Florida's gifted and speedy offense. Florida 31-14.
Elsewhere around the SEC this week, with Tennessee having an open date:
No. 22 Alabama (plus 2½) vs. Florida State at Jacksonville: This is Alabama's first regular season game on a neutral field since beating Ohio State 16-10 in the Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. in 1986. It's only the fourth meeting between to two traditional Southern powers, with 'Bama holding a 2-0-1 lead. Alabama 21-17.
North Texas State (plus 35½) at Arkansas: The Hogs have never lost to the Mean Green, sweeping the previous eight games in the series. Darren McFadden will turn in another excellent performance as the Razorbacks make it nine in a row. Arkansas 35-7.
Mississippi (plus 15) at No. 15 Georgia: The Rebels gave Florida a test at home last week with the passing of Seth Adams and a solid defense anchored by LB Ashlee Palmer and DB Jamarca Sanford, both averaging 10 or more tackles per game. Their road show hasn't been
as impressive, but Georgia's home show, for the most part, hasn't been impressive either. The Bulldogs have won seven in a row in the series. Georgia 21-14.
Florida Atlantic (plus 23) at No. 14 Kentucky: Howard Schnellenberger's Owls are in for a long afternoon trying to curtail Andre Woodson, who has thrown 296 consecutive passes without an interception - the NCAA record. Kentucky 42-10.
No. 2 LSU (minus 39½) at Tulane: The Fighting Tigers have dominated the series 66-22-7. They will dominate this game, too. LSU 49-3.
Mississippi State (plus 13½) at No. 16 South Carolina: Sylvester Croom says his Bulldogs have a lot of work to do if they hope to stretch their winning streak to four games. The Gamecocks are coming off their first loss, but gave No. 2 LSU its closest game yet. South Carolina 24-14.
Eastern Michigan (plus 20) at Vanderbilt: The Eagles secondary will have a busy day trying to chase down Earl Bennett. Vanderbilt 31-10.
Last week's totals: 5-2 straight, 1-5 vs. spread. For year: 28-7 straight, 14-14 vs. spread
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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