Predicting every SEC team's regular-season record after Week 3
The pre-conference schedule is winding down, and we’re starting to feel almost like we’ve got a handle on this league. Here’s our weekly estimate of how your favorite team ends up finishing in the SEC race.
We’re not confident enough in an Alabama regular-season loss to name it. But the team that survived in The Swamp looked significantly less invincible than we thought coming in. The West has a ton of teams with potent offenses and the potential to get ‘Bama in a close game. For the moment, we think one of them might just pull it off.
Frankly, this Arkansas team might be as good as their ranking will suggest, but it’s still going to be a brutal slog over the next 4 games. Playing A&M on a neutral field in Arlington, traveling to Georgia and Ole Miss, and then hosting Auburn will help us see the real Hogs in a hurry. We’re optimistic, but it’ll still be a grind.
See above comments on Arkansas. Auburn really didn’t do badly at Penn State, but it’s hard to see them beating Bama, Georgia, and winning at A&M and at Arkansas. Somebody will have to emerge from the meat-grinder that is the West, but we’re not real sure who.
And once again …. Road trips to Mississippi State, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Alabama are all imposing. Even if LSU can go 2-2 in those games, they still have to play Auburn, Florida, Arkansas and A&M at home. Getting to 9 wins in the West is probably going to be good enough to nab second place.
Mississippi State: 6-6
The next 2 weeks will tell much of the tale for the 2-1 Bulldogs. State can’t lose at home vs. LSU and at A&M and expect to be a factor in the West. We still see 6 solid wins in this schedule, but more than that might be pushing it.
Ole Miss: 9-3
The month of October will define the Rebels. Going to Bama will be rough, but the remainder of the month is up for grabs — home vs. Arkansas, at UT, home vs. LSU, and at Auburn. Go 3-1 or 4-0 in those and the Rebels will be right in the hunt for 2nd in the West and a New Year’s Day bowl.
Texas A&M: 9-3
Until they drop a game, we’d have to give a slight edge to the Aggies for 2nd in the West, though. Getting cross-division games against Missouri and South Carolina isn’t a bad draw. Survive next week against Arkansas and the Aggies will see October in pretty good shape.
A good loss? Actually, yes. Florida more than held its own against Bama and only Georgia looks dangerous down the rest of the schedule. Kentucky could prove dangerous in 2 weeks, but only if the Cats play much tighter. Until we see if that happens, the Gators are looking pretty nice.
JT Daniels is back, the Cocktail Party looms as the East Division game of the year, but outside of that, there’s not a ton of challenge left for Georgia on the regular-season schedule. As it stands, UGA has a better shot at getting through the SEC unscathed than Alabama does. Doesn’t mean UGA is better, just that their schedule stacks up better.
A week ago, we nearly put UK at 9-3. This week, we nearly put them at 7-5. But we’ll stay the course. If that was the real Kentucky on Saturday against Chattanooga, it’ll be more like 6-6. If it wasn’t, they might still get 9 or 10 wins. Florida looks like a significant proving ground — but after Saturday, so does a road game at South Carolina first.
Love the offense, but the defense doesn’t stop the run well at all. In the SEC, that can get ugly in a hurry. Missouri is fine, but not the kind of team that’s built to win a bunch of shootouts all year. That at Boston College game next week is a random one — but it’s one Missouri needs to prove themselves an upper-echelon SEC squad.
South Carolina: 4-8
Kentucky on Saturday is a key. If Carolina can win, they could still end up in the hunt for a bowl bid. If they lose, there’s not a ton of games left that look very good. The next 4 games (Kentucky, Troy, at UT, Vandy) are USC’s best chance to build a decent season. They need to go 3-1 against that group to do it.
After a likely impending loss at Florida this coming Saturday, UT’s season will largely be shaped by the following 2 games — at Mizzou and home against South Carolina. Win those, and you can probably put together 6 or maybe even 7 wins. Split them and it gets tight. Lose both, and you can keep Vandy company in the SEC cellar.
Thank goodness for UConn.