SEC week 1 predictions


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Game day is tomorrow, and we’re going to start this season out right. If you don’t wake up tomorrow with a different hop in your step or a different thud in your chest, you need to check your pulse.

This is what we’ve waited for the entire offseason, and it’s officially here to take over our lives once more.

Kevin and I are going to make our weekly picks against the spread, and just so he knows – and everyone else knows – I’m going 13-0 in the first week. (Right!)

On to week one we go…

North Carolina at No. 6 South Carolina (-12)

Jon: I love South Carolina’s matchup against UNC’s O-line. You’ll hear OT James Hurst’s name called multiple times in the first half for all the wrong reasons because of one, Jadeveon Clowney. Gamecocks cover. South Carolina 28, UNC 13.

Kevin: A common view here is that South Carolina will struggle and win ugly as they’ve done previously in Thursday season openers, but I think this team and this crowd will be ready for primetime. South Carolina will out physical this team. I look for the Gamecocks’ defense to get exposed on a few plays, but overall, they will pound the rock and win handily. South Carolina 31, UNC 14.

Ole Miss (-3.5) at Vanderbilt

Jon: I love this matchup for several reasons I’ve mentioned before. Historically, spread offenses start faster than others, and this is a must-win game for the Rebels seeing their upcoming schedule. The Rebels cover on the road. Ole Miss 31, Vanderbilt 24.

Kevin: I am with Jon on this one. I think Ole Miss is the more complete team, though Franklin will have his team ready to compete. In the end, the Rebs put another TD on the board to secure the win. Ole Miss 28, Vanderbilt 24.

Toledo at Florida (-24)

Jon: Florida isn’t on upset watch, but Gator fans won’t leave The Swamp happy because of the offense. Expect Toledo to keep it close, but Florida makes a few plays down the stretch. Florida wins but doesn’t cover the spread. Florida 26, Toledo 13

Kevin: I think Florida exceeds expectations in this game which means they win without scaring the Florida fans. The Florida offensive line and run game will be strong. Driskel will make some plays especially with his legs. I like Florida to win 38-13. Yep, Florida covers.

Mississippi State vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State (-13)

Jon: OSU is fired up to play the SEC and MSU, and they are already talking trash. Tyler Russell and company will cover the spread, but OSU wins. Oklahoma State 38, Mississippi State 28

Kevin: I think Oklahoma State covers this game. The Cowboys have a good squad this year and a decent defense for once. I think Mullen and Co. struggle this year. Oklahoma State 35, Mississippi State 18.

LA-Lafayette at Arkansas (-10.5)

Jon: Arkansas can’t sleep on ULL, but Bret Bielema’s debut will turn into a win for the Hogs. It’ll be close enough to cover, but not close enough for the win. Arkansas 29, ULL 20

Kevin: I think Arkansas barely covers this game simply as a result of this team being jacked to debut for their new coach Bret Bielema. Arkansas has a long way to go, but they get it done on Saturday. Akransas 31, ULL 18.

No. 1 Alabama (-20) vs. Virginia Tech

Jon: Virginia Tech has the right ingredients to pull the upset, right? Dual-threat QB Logan Thomas…No shot. This game will be over by halftime, with the Tide running it down their throats in the second half. Alabama 38, VT 10

Kevin: Alabama crushes Beamer Ball. Virginia Tech is extremely overmatched. I’ll be very surprised if Alabama doesn’t cover the 20-point spread. Alabama 41, VTech 10.

Washington State at Auburn (-16)

Jon: Sixteen is a big number with a team that won just three games. But I love Gus’ offense and can’t wait to see Nick Marshall throw up some serious yardage. Tigers cover. Auburn 33, Washington State 17

Kevin: I’m pretty excited to watch Auburn this week and see the team under new coach Malzahn. I like them to surprise some folks this year and it starts with visiting Mike Leach. Auburn 38, Washington State 21.

Kentucky (-4.5) vs Western Kentucky

Jon: The Mark Stoops era gets underway with a victory, but Western and Bobby Petrino cover. Who will the Cats’ quarterback be? Kentucky 24, WKU 20

Kevin: I have no idea what to expect out of either team, so I’m going to go with the home team covering the spread. Kentucky 18, Western Kentucky 16.

No. 5 Georgia (-2) at No. 8 Clemson

Jon: Can Clemson win back-to-back games against ranked SEC teams? Has that ever been done before? It isn’t happening Saturday. A track meet will be an understatement, and take the over (+72). Georgia 38, Clemson 35

Kevin: I like Georgia to win this game handily late. Clemson can’t hang with the Georgia run game, and Clemson is too one-dimensional offensively – though they’re excellent on offense. I like Georgia by ten points on the road against Clemson. Georgia 41, Clemson 31.

No. 12 LSU (-4.5) vs No. 20 TCU

Jon: I love LSU in big non-conference openers. They’ve won 10 straight season openers against six BCS teams, including three ranked opponents headlined by Oregon. LSU wins but TCU covers. LSU 24, TCU 21

Kevin: Les Miles loves this type of game and atmosphere. I don’t care what kind of talent they lost last year, this team will dominate this game in my opinion and beat TCU easily. LSU 31, TCU 17.

Austin Peay at Tennessee

Jon: Tennessee wins big, and the Butch Jones era gets under way. Tennessee 31, Austin Peay 10

Kevin: Butch Jones better beat a school called Austin Peay. Tennessee by three touchdowns.

Murray State at Missouri

Jon: Missouri will make this ugly. The return of Henry Josey will be beautiful, and the Tigers get off to a 1-0 start, creating optimism for an improved season. Missouri 38, Murray State 13

Kevin: Again, Missouri needs to win and win big in this game if they hope to have a respecfable season. Mizzou by three touchdowns.

Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M

Jon: Johnny Manziel is going to go off, even in the second half. Texas A&M 44, Rice 13

Kevin: Oh yeah, baby, Manziel is going to crush it and remind the world that he’s the best player on the planet. Aggies win huge. Texas A&M 51, Rice 17.

Photo Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I would never bet on a college football game, but: North Carolina is only 12 games removed from having it’s celebrated offense severely slapped down by Missouri, how are they going to be within 12 points of SC

    TCU looked ok in the Big 12 last year ONLY because the league was the worst it has been in 100 years.

    There is no way Peay holds Tennessee to less than 40, NO WAY

    This is the one where the points are the farthest off. Missouri will score more against Murray State than Florida State did last year and they will do it in half the time. Murray State might score against Missouri’s 3rd team. Missouri will suddenly have 4 Heisman like stats after this game: qb total yardage, receiver total yardage, running back yards per carry, and kick/punt return breaks + total yardage. Please write this down and remind me if I am wrong about this game.

    I don’t think Florida can score 24 points in their first 2013 try, I hope they will grow an offense at some point in the year? Toledo on the other hand might score 21. Will Florida fans show up to see another sub-SEC performance?

    This is not the same Okkie State that played in the big bowl 2011. Go MissSt.

    Clemson beat LSU because of an LSU offense that quit running well before they got to the finish line. Is Georgia going to do that? No, the opposite. Georgia by 27

    • Totally agree with Wolfman about MU. I will be terrified if I only see them rack up 38 points or only win by 21 against an fcs team. Murray State was mediocre (5-6) last season. Any margin under 40 would be surprising to me. Also look for Maty Mauk to (hopefully) make a strong debut come 2nd half.

      • I, too, am looking forward to seeing Mr. Mauk in action.

      • This is going to scare a lot of people but once Mauk gets about 2 games under his belt. It is a strategy, not quality, decision about who starts for Missouri or plays what series. Because James Franklin is Heisman trophy candidate if he runs and just an average team member (on a good team) if he stays in the pocket. Franklin can’t run if Mauk can’t replace him win for win. I hope the Missouri coaching staff chooses to play courageously, because even Berkstresser can go .500 and get to a bowl this year.

  • in reality,
    MSU > OSU defensively
    OSU > MSU offensively
    OSU >= MSU QB
    MSU > OSU RB
    OSU > MSU WR

    If MSU can keep up with the torrid offense pace and the ball being tossed 60 times from sideline to sideline, they have a shot. Also, I don’t see OSU gaining more than 50 yards
    on the ground, but 400+ passing yards could also happen. I am usually not good with predictions but I say 42-35 OSU or 35-28 MSU. Either way it should be a good day for the gun slingers.

  • I would love to see Clemson spank Georgia so the Gamecocks coming in to Athens the following Saturday could continue the humiliation, but I am afraid the spanking is gonna be to Clemson. Folks can talk all they want about how Clemson beat LSU in last year’s bowl game, but you almost have to live in South Carolina to know how much of a non-coach Dabo Swinney is….I mean, come on, I’m being real nice here, Dabo is an idiot and many of his bonehead coaching decisions and proclamations would not have survived had he been in the SEC…..but he is not in the SEC, is he? While Georgia QB Murray has had a difficult time in “big” games, this game is only big because of the preseason inflated rankings. Georgia wins…..period.

  • South Carolina vs North Carolina: Personally, I feel this war between borders is being highly overrated, mainly due to the fact that UNC is overrated this season. They will finish third in the ACC this year, but most people are cracking this game up like it is battle between the two best teams from their respective conferences. At the end of the day, North Carolina might show life, but it will be a blowout in favor of the cocks. USCe 38 – UNC 17
    Ole Miss vs Vanderbilt: This is the game I am actually excited to watch tonight. Both teams are on the rise, and it should be a fun match between two head coaches that are on everyone’s watch list. Unfortunately I think the ‘Dores lost to much last year, while Rebs gained to much. I expect the Rebs to win this in a game that won’t be as close as the score suggests. Rebs 31 – Dores 24
    Florida vs Toledo: Oddly enough, I have heard several fans claim this as their upset pick of the week. I don’t see it. Overall, Florida is just vastly the better team. While I think the game is low scoring and “close” again, the score won’t reflect how far apart this two teams actually are. Florida 24 – Toledo 10
    Oklahoma State vs Mississippi State: At least no one is going to be buying into the Miss State hype this season. I don’t think this one will be pretty at all, and at the end of the day people will be talking about how overrated the SEC is due to this one game. Sigh…Ok State 42 – Miss State 17.
    Arkansas vs UL Layfette: Arkansas’ players will remember the last time they lost to a Sun Belt team, and take their frustration out on these Cajuns. I don’t know if I will buy Brett Bielema’s hire, but his era will start off in the win column. Arkansas 35 – Cajuns 3.
    Alabama vs VA Tech: People seem to forget Logan Thomas was an Heisman Hopeful before last year. And Frank Beamer is 216-102-2 with the Hokies. He even had a stretch between 2004-2011 of winning 10 or more games a season each season (going to the Orange Bowl 3 times, and Sugar Bowl 2 times). But the past is the past. And this shouldn’t be close. Alabama 35 – VA Tech 10
    Auburn vs Washington State: I’m hearing a lot of people talk about his being one of the undderrated game of the week…I don’t see it. I think both teams are awful, and don’t expect anything but some boring football. Auburn 17 – Wazzu 13
    Kentucky vs Western Kentucky: Please Kentucky…don’t pull a Kentucky. Please just win. Kentucky 3 – Western Kentucky 2
    Georgia vs Clemson: Game of the week. We have heard enough about it. Georgia 42 – Clemson 28.
    LSU vs TCU: This is my upset of the week. I’ll take the Frogs because…I honestly think they are a good team and will win the Big 10. TCU 21 – LSU 17.
    The finally three games will all be blowouts in the ball park of 41-10.

  • Ok I’ll bite. I’ll take SC by 13, TCU makes it close (no prediction) as I think they’re more dangerous than people might think. TN kicks it and so does Mizzou. Florida is a blowout. Arkansas wins by 17.

    • I could be convinced of everything except gator blow out. Missouri’s 2nd and 3rd teams will play half the game. No slam to Murray, football has divisions and conferences and each one is different, they had a respectable record in their conf. last year.

  • You can never bet on State they win when their not supposed to and loose when their not supposed to. I have been a fan for 40 years so nothing suprises me anymore. But I do think they are better this year than given credit. I also think LSU is going to be better than people think. In the East ,South Carolina takes the tater this year.

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