Predicting every SEC team's final record after Week 6
SEC Week 6 definitely felt like a week where half of what we knew was wrong. Massive credit to Texas A&M for hanging right with Alabama, to South Carolina for out-Kentuckying Kentucky, and even to Vandy for showing some grit against Ole Miss.
And after a wild and woolly week, here is our revised prediction of how every SEC team will finish the regular season.
With every bullet that Alabama dodges, does it seem more or less likely that they’ll dodge the next one? Suddenly, at Tennessee — particularly if Bryce Young is out or limited — looks challenging. At Ole Miss could be a handful, too. At the same time, winners fight through close games … and Alabama might just keep doing that. At the moment, we’ll stay at 11-1.
Arkansas has turned into the West’s version of Kentucky — the team that once had all the momentum, but has watched it slip away quickly. After this week’s brutal match with Mississippi State, winning at BYU will be a massive uphill battle. The good news is that other than facing Ole Miss in November, the Hogs should be favored for the rest of the regular season.
At home against Arkansas is a reasonable shot for the Tigers, but other than that and a November visit from Western Kentucky, it’s going to be rough the rest of the way. Given the negative momentum, we’ll go the pessimistic route and predict 4-8.
How did the team that beat Mississippi State by two scores get boatraced so thoroughly by Tennessee? There’s definitely more than one version of LSU out there, and given the performances of A&M and Ole Miss, the good version of the Tigers needs to show up in the Swamp or the Tigers’ ceiling might fall to 6-6.
Mississippi State: 8-4
Ole Miss: 10-2
It wasn’t a brilliant week for Ole Miss, and the last third of their schedule got more complicated based on those teams’ improvement. State is likely to start 8-0, but at A&M certainly looks tougher this week than last. Alabama at home could be in play, after all. And the team from Starkville is pretty daunting. We’ll sit at 10-2, but an 8-0 Rebels team could make November pretty darn crazy.
Texas A&M: 9-3
Even before the impressive performance against Alabama, we had the Aggies finishing 9-3 simply because the second half of the schedule lightens up considerably. A home game with Ole Miss is the biggest challenge left, and right now, the Aggies might be a slight favorite in that game.
We thought above moving the Gators up a game because the home game with LSU isn’t quite as fearsome as it once was. On the other hand, Georgia and at A&M looks like a 2-game losing streak. In the end, we’ll stick with 7 wins, but an 8th one could still be out there.
Tennessee comes to Athens. Nothing else really entered our thinking here, although UGA’s trip to Starkville could get interesting. Still, until we see it, we’re giving the Bulldogs the edge.
Kentucky lost again, looked completely clueless without Will Levis, and will need to scrap to avoid a 4-game losing streak with Mississippi State and at Tennessee upcoming. If Levis isn’t back, even 7 wins looks pretty fanciful, but we’ll stay there for now.
Florida was another close loss for the Tigers. The home game with Kentucky on Nov. 5 might be the best chance to marshall the momentum for a bowl bid. That loss to Auburn could well end up being the difference on that front.
South Carolina: 6-6
Move the Gamecocks into the bowl picture off their win at Kentucky. While home against Mizzou and at Vandy should get them to 6 wins, it’s hard to pick the Gamecocks in any of their final 3 (at Florida, Tennessee, at Clemson). On the other hand, Kentucky beat the Gators in The Swamp, so it’s not impossible.
At this point, picking Tennessee to beat Alabama (at home) or Georgia (on the road) requires a leap of faith in the quality of this Vols team. UT has been great so far — and yet, they emerged against Pitt and Florida in one-score wins. Is there enough in the tank to beat Bama or Georgia? While the season to date says it’s a real possibility, calling for it would still be pretty audacious. So we’ll sit at 10-2 and see if the Vols make us believe.
At Mizzou? At Kentucky? There’s opportunity there, but we’ll stick at 3-9.