Predicting every SEC team's final record after Week 9
There weren’t any big shakeups in Week 9, but as bowl season approaches, so does win-counting time for a handful of SEC teams on the bowl bubble.
How will they end up? Here’s our revised thoughts on each team’s final record after Week 9.
They didn’t play, and our minds didn’t change. Those November games against LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn all are possible stumbling points. But not very likely ones.
Even with Coastal Carolina and Mizzou upcoming, Arkansas’s bowl hopes require a win at LSU or at home against Mississippi State. Those odds are about as good as beating Bret Bielema in a fast-talking contest.
Tough, tough November schedule, as our projection calls for home losses to UGA and Bama, but a win at Texas A&M.
Other than next week in Tuscaloosa, there’s plenty to like down the stretch for LSU. The Tigers’ relatively reasonable schedule (and drawing UT from the East) gives them an excellent shot at second in the West.
Ole Miss: 4-8
We thought the Rebels had a punchers’ shot at a non-losing season (no bowl, remember). But then they blew a 24-point advantage to Arkansas. Their hopes really center around a win next week at Kentucky, which is possible, but not exactly likely.
Mississippi State: 9-3
Looks like drawing Georgia out of the East will cost the Bulldogs second place in the West, but this is still a season which few expected for Dan Mullen’s team. And State will blast holes in a Power 5 team in a bowl game.
Texas A&M: 7-5
We see wins at Ole Miss and over New Mexico. Will seven wins save Kevin Sumlin’s job? That’s not as clear.
So who won’t be juiced about a win over a non-bowl Florida State team to get Florida into the Independence Bowl? Jim McElwain for one, wherever his next address is.
At Auburn and at Georgia Tech could be challenging, but until further notice, the Bulldogs are in Alabama zone. Hard to imagine forecasting a loss for this team.
Can the heart-failure inducing Wildcats win eight? If past history means anything, games at home against Ole Miss and at Vandy will go down to the final snap. Louisville also looks much less imposing than it did in 2016, when UK beat them in Louisville. So yes, somehow, eight wins are still in the picture, as is second in the SEC East.
If there were moral victories, we’d pick the Tigers to nab some. Honestly, with toothless teams in November (home vs UF and UT, road vs Vandy and Arkansas), a win or two could still be out there. Some believe a bowl berth is possible. But until Mizzou plays well in an SEC game, it’s hard to project.
South Carolina: 8-4
Even with losses to UGA and Clemson, the Gamecocks all but wrapped up at least a share of second in the East, which much like Mississippi State’s projected second-place finish in the West, is far above most expectations.
Can Tennessee string together wins over Southern Miss, Mizzou and Vandy? Well, probably. But 5-7 looks more likely than 7-5, and frankly, at this point, none of it would probably save Butch Jones’ job.
Vandy still needs a big November to get bowl eligible. WKU will be a tough out, and home games against UK and Missouri are “anything could happen” kind of games. If Vandy gets to the UT game at 5-6, that could be the finish they’d love to see.