A bold prediction for each SEC Week 4 matchup
Good news: We’re set for some barn-burners in Week 4. As these words are written, all five games are within a point spread of -6. Many of the opening games of this season had bold predictions like “Team A will beat Team B, but not by the massive spread that everybody expects.” And some of those turned out well — like we called Auburn/Arkansas being competitive last week. And LSU having some trouble in CoMo. But with 5 up-for-grabs games, it’ll be a bold week here at the Bold Prediction department. Here’s our shot at what’s on tap for SEC Week 4.
Tennessee holds serve, thanks to Guarantano
If you missed it, we noted that Jarrett Guarantano might as well throw as “S” on his chest against Kentucky. Considering that the heat on his seat as the QB1 for the Vols was getting a bit high, it’s a good time for this game. Kentucky will miss running back Kavosiey Smoke again, who is out with a rib injury. Guarantano will be too much to handle, with another day of nearly 300 passing yards and three scores, and the Vols win 28-20.
Kevin Harris leads a Carolina upset
Yes, that feels odd to even type. But when South Carolina and Auburn get together, somebody has to actually win the game … and given Auburn’s struggles this season, South Carolina has to feel somewhat optimistic. It also has to feel optimistic because Kevin Harris has done a great job running the football. His 326 yards and 4 touchdowns are big — but his 5.8 yards per carry is even bigger. Says here that Harris helps the Gamecocks grind out a surprising win against Auburn.
Arkansas by 2 scores
No idea how the Razorbacks are a home underdog against Ole Miss. Yes, nobody expected much out of them. But this Ole Miss team hasn’t shown that it can stop anybody. Meanwhile, Arkansas gave fits to 3 reasonably good offensive football teams. Is Ole Miss’s passing game better than Mississippi State’s or Georgia’s? Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean Arkansas can’t get the occasional stop. This looks like a 41-28 kind of game for the Razorbacks.
A&M struggles early, but rallies late against Miss. State
A&M has all the ingredients for some trouble here — they go to Starkville fresh off a big win against Florida, and take on a fired-up Mississippi State team that will have something to prove. No, we’re not saying the Bulldogs get the win. But with a bounce-back game from KJ Costello, look for Mississippi State to have the lead at the half, and Kellen Mond has to get it going late to pull this one out of the fire, which he does by a 38-31 count.
Sark’s Big Day
So Nick Saban is on the COVID injured reserve list, and at last indication, recognized that while he could yell at everyone via a Zoom call, that actually conducting the intracacies of the game might be a task best left to … Steve Sarkisian. Enter Vegas, as the point spread on the game has dropped by around a field goal. The attractive pick is going to be Georgia, with the assumption that getting Saban out of the way will end his Alabama streak of never losing to one of his assistants.
It’s a great narrative, but here’s the rub. It’s Jimmys and Joes as much or more than it’s Xs and Os. Georgia is one of the few teams that can boast a roster of talent somewhere near Alabama’s. But at the end of the day, Georgia is still building its team and its identity, which is why it has had some truly ugly halves of football — first half against Arkansas and against Tennessee jump to mind. Alabama wasn’t razor-sharp defensively for Ole Miss, but that kind of offense not what they’re facing in the Georgia game.
Georgia will have another bad half. They will play even or even slightly ahead of the Tide the rest of the way, but Sarkisian is certainly going to be motivated to prove the doubters wrong, and he’ll make Alabama’s edge hold up. Tide 35-21.