Predicting every SEC team's final record after Week 4
SEC football (for the most part) is here! Which means of course that we have a much better idea of how the league shapes up than we ever did a month ago. Want proof? Well, after watching Week 4, we’ve updated our projections of how the SEC regular-season winds up.
We can’t say as we learned much about the Tide in Week 4. Sure, they’re miles and miles ahead of Southern Miss. What we might have learned is exactly what a crapshoot the SEC West is. Is it crazy if Arkansas might be the No. 2 team in the West? They are for now, and while Alabama has looked vulnerable (and Arkansas has been sharp), we’ll go back to calling for a perfect run for the Tide.
Why not? That may not sound great, but this schedule is still horrifying. The Hogs get rewarded for starting 4-0 by going to Georgia and Ole Miss in the next 2 weeks. They also go to Bama. Those might be 3 losses, or they might survive Ole Miss, but they do also play Auburn, Mississippi State and LSU. Right now, it’s Arkansas and Ole Miss for 2nd in the West, and if a 9-3 year wouldn’t get Sam Pittman the SEC Coach of the Year, well, it would be sheer insanity.
Surviving against Georgia State wasn’t a banner day … and the West only got more competitive. Georgia, at Arkansas, home against Ole Miss, and Bama highlight the rest of the schedule. Auburn is falling back in the West … and it’s not really clear how many teams they’ll stay ahead of.
The game with Mississippi State was one the Tigers had to win. They still have to go to Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Bama, and host Florida, Arkansas and A&M. Honestly, 7-5 might be optimistic, but because they took care of business this week, we’ll stay with this prediction.
Mississippi State: 6-6
Two straight close losses for the Bulldogs, and now they will go to Texas A&M and then play Bama. Vandy and Tennessee State are the only 2 games left we’re certain about for State, but they’ll probably find a couple of more victories in the more uncertain games of the SEC. Their home game with Kentucky on Oct. 30 looks like it could be pretty pivotal.
Ole Miss: 9-3
The Rebels were off Saturday, and their games in the next 2 weeks at Bama and at home against Arkansas will probably determine whether the Rebels can finish 2nd in the West. Nobody is exactly looking forward to playing them, and the Rebels remain the SEC’s version of Must-Watch TV.
Texas A&M: 9-3
Not a good week for A&M, but its schedule is still pretty favorable. Home vs. Bama and at Ole Miss both look pretty challenging, but otherwise, there are some wins to be had. Home vs. Mississippi State, at Mizzou, home against South Carolina and Auburn and at LSU are all winnable. A&M could be a 7-5 or 8-4 team, but we think enough of their long-term potential to leave them at 9-3.
October could be pretty brutal for the Gators. Playing at Kentucky (then a breather at home against Vandy), at LSU and vs. Georgia is likely to be a tough run. Of course, Georgia looks like a loss, but if the Gators can avoid any others, November is a month that could build a 10-2 season.
Look, we’d pick Georgia to go 13-0 in a 12-game season the way Saturday went. The only real concern we have is Kirby Smart’s tendency to favor grinders like the win over Clemson, instead of opening things up. But he has the talent to win however he wants with this group.
October will tell the tale. Home games with Florida and LSU, at Georgia and at Mississippi State. If Kentucky can go 2-2 in that group, they could well put a 9-3 or 10-2 season together. Given the struggles of LSU and State, that seems pretty viable. But things could change in a hurry.
The defense — particularly the run defense — just isn’t going to let the Tigers climb much higher. They still have to play at Georgia, at home against Florida, and at Arkansas. Let’s be honest, next week’s game against Tennessee could mark the point where Mizzou struggles to manage a .500 season.
South Carolina: 5-7
Despite losing to Kentucky, Carolina’s schedule is full of teams that aren’t exactly looking overwhelming. Shane Beamer’s energy will keep Carolina engaged all year — and while that won’t necessarily translate into wins and losses, it will translate into momentum for 2022.
Tennessee went into The Swamp and didn’t embarrass itself. Meanwhile, those next 2 games — at Mizzou and at home against South Carolina — are looking pretty winnable. If UT can pull those off, there’s no reason they can’t get back to bowl play.
Next week’s game with UConn is fairly fascinating, just because I’m getting reports that both teams can’t actually lose the game. Not entirely sure about that, but if it proves true, maybe the ‘Dores can claim that second win.