Predicting every SEC team's record after Week 8
The ups and downs of Week 8 are behind us, and maybe we’ve finally got a handle on how the SEC race will shake out. Here’s where we see each SEC squad finishing their regular season:
Yes, we went there. Until we are comfortable with the continued health of Alabama’s heart and soul, Tua Tagovailoa, the LSU Tigers look like more of a sure thing. The good news is, as we’ve said for weeks, the loser of the Alabama/LSU game might be in better CFP shape than the winner.
With Garrett Shrader running the Mississippi State offense, it looks more like the Razorbacks’ best shot at a win will be against WKU on Nov. 9. Four wins would be impressive, honestly.
This would factor for a home win against either Georgia or Alabama, which feels more reasonable the closer we get to those games. Ole Miss and Samford are the only certain wins left on the schedule.
That game in Tuscaloosa is by far the biggest challenge left, and the injury to Tagovailoa made us swap horses in mid-SEC stream. LSU has struggled in small patches, but the improved passing game has given them another level of play.
Mississippi State: 6-6
It still feels like this season will come down to the Egg Bowl. That’s in Starkville, and that might be the difference between 5 wins and a bowl. On the other hand, the Bulldogs could win at A&M next week and feel a lot more secure on their postseason status.
Ole Miss: 4-8
The loss to A&M all but ended the Rebels’ chances at a bowl season. They’ll beat New Mexico State, but their odds at Auburn or against LSU just aren’t very good. At this point, we’d assume that a Mississippi State team with something to play for would beat them in the Egg Bowl in Starkville, too.
Texas A&M: 7-5
With Mississippi State and Texas-San Antonio coming up at home, the Aggies will get bowl eligible. But those last 3 — at home against South Carolina, at Georgia and at LSU—look tough. They can probably nab 1 of them.
We’ll stay on this one. Vandy and Florida State wouldn’t present much danger, and at Missouri looks a lot easier than it did a week ago. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Gators not losing 1 of these remaining games.
It’s not an easy run for the Bulldogs, and even if they can survive Florida, their offense could give them hiccups against Mizzou, Auburn or even A&M. We’ll stand our ground at 10-2.
Kentucky seems certain to win against UT-Martin, and then needs 2 of 3 at home against Mizzou, Tennessee, or Louisville, or at Vandy. Those all feel like something approaching coin flips, so 50/50 logic gets UK to 6-6.
We just can’t pick a team that lost to Vandy and Wyoming to beat Georgia or Florida … although the Tigers could. They could also lose at Kentucky or to Tennessee. The safest path is the predictable one: 8 wins.
South Carolina: 6-6
We’ll hold our ground on this one. Home games against Vandy and No. 24 Appalachian State won’t be easy, but both are pretty winnable. It’s not hard to imagine Carolina winning at UT or A&M — maybe both. They won’t beat Clemson, but we feel like the Gamecocks round up 6 wins.
South Carolina in Knoxville next Saturday could be a swing game to get the Vols to 6 wins — and possibly keep Carolina from the same goal. If not, UT will be 2-6 and while they could well sweep all 4 November games, it’s hard to see that happening with road games in Lexington and Columbia.
Vandy will beat East Tennessee and could nab a win at home over Kentucky or at Tennessee. Despite the shocking upset against Missouri this week, there are limits to our optimism.