One bold prediction for each Week 10 SEC game
We’re back and bold again. The CFP rankings are out, and teams are scrambling to hold spots or catch up, and there are a ton of bowl berths to sort out over the next few weeks. So we’ll forge ahead boldly, giving you a shot in the dark for each SEC game this weekend.
Here’s one bold prediction for every Week 10 SEC game.
The Tide Rolls on LSU: This is a popular pick to be a close game, and it is an opponent that, on paper, seems to have a possible path to be competitive with No. 1 Alabama. But the Tigers won’t follow that path. Danny Etling isn’t Chad Kelly. And while Leonard Fournette is the best back in college football, wise fans haven’t forgotten what Alabama did to him in 2015.
The Tide win by 17, and again serve notice that not only are they the best team in the country, but the margin isn’t even close.
Arkansas will upset the Florida Gators: This is simply a game where — if you can take that horrible performance against Auburn out of the mix — Vegas has the wrong team favored. The Razorbacks are at home, have been solid in the running and passing game, and Florida resembles Auburn offensively about as much as they resemble Notre Dame and the Four Horsemen.
Arkansas won’t be able to thump the Gators into submission, but they will get ahead of Florida, and this Gator team doesn’t have the stuff to come back.
Kentucky will be first in the East on Sunday morning after beating Georgia: This is barely an upset, so I’ll make it extra interesting. Not only will the Wildcats — with the momentum and the home field advantage — beat the underachieving Bulldogs, but UK backs Stanley Williams and Benny Snell will outrush UGA’s talented but overhyped backfield.
And actually, that’s no discredit to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Somehow, Kentucky’s offensive line is light years better than Georgia’s, which will be the difference in this game.
A&M and Mississippi State will threaten 100 points: Nick Fitzgerald isn’t Dak Prescott, but he’s not exactly chopped liver either. Meanwhile, A&M’s dynamic offense and the Bulldogs’ rancid defense means that there will be plenty of scoring in this game. A&M will cruise, and there will be tons of offensive fireworks — let’s say the team combine for 85+ points.
South Carolina’s Jake Bentley outpasses Missouri’s Drew Lock: Not only with South Carolina handle Missouri easily, but the vaunted Mizzou passing attack will struggle deeply against South Carolina’s “bend but don’t break” defense. Few SEC quarterbacks have the patience to pick their way down the field against the Gamecocks, and Drew Lock isn’t one of those.
On the other side of things, Jake Bentley will make the plays needed to win — and a guy who should be in high school will outpass a guy who was threatening the SEC single season passing record at mid-season.
Auburn’s Sean White will pass for 300 yards against Vandy: Vanderilt isn’t pretty, but they do have a tough run defense. Gus Malzahn will figure out a way to get the ball to his big-play guys, and Sean White will be that way. He’s had a lot of games where he knows the ball very few times for a humble yardage total, but the hunch here is that Saturday is not one of those.
Ole Miss will not cover against Georgia Southern: I stuck with the narrative for much of the season that Ole Miss was tough, but just overscheduled. But down the stretch, I really just don’t think the Rebels are that good — and in fact, they’re putrid on defense. Don’t get me wrong, Chad Kelly will certainly put up enough points for Ole Miss to win easily. But Southern’s ground game will do enough damage to the Rebels to keep the game closer than expected — say 20-point final margin.
John Kelly will lead the SEC in rushing this week: After a horrible loss to South Carolina, Tennessee will go back to basics and emphasize their ground game this week. With Alvin Kamara hurt and Jalen Hurd exiled to a transfer, Butch Jones will make a statement with the run … and the statement will be that John Kelly is going for 200 yards.
Now, no clue about whether that will hold up for the Vols’ remaining three SEC games, but it’ll look effortless enough on Saturday against Tennessee Tech.