The chaos that went around college football in Week 8 basically went right around the SEC. Some of the week’s underdogs made some noise, but at the end of the day, there weren’t really any surprises. Does that mean we’re standing pat on our season predictions after week 8? Time to dive in.


Alabama: 11-1

Kind of a meh effort by the Tide for the first 3 1/3 quarters, in a game much closer than the final score indicates. But with 3 home games and a trip to Auburn left, we didn’t see anything to change our projection for ‘Bama. The Iron Bowl will be easily the most difficult game left, and barring a sleepwalking performance, Alabama should be able to write their ticket for Georgia in Atlanta.

Arkansas: 8-4

We’ll stick with 8-4 for the Hogs, with only Alabama remaining as a loss. State isn’t bad at all, but in Arkansas, we’ll take the home team. Arkansas at LSU could be tough, but the Tigers seemed more than a little flat this week after the resolution of Ed Oregeron’s situation on the Bayou. It’s been a solid run for Arkansas, and if the Hogs can stay focused, an impressive season is still very much within their grasp.

Auburn: 7-5

Nothing against Auburn here, and they could easily go 9-3, but home against Ole Miss and at A&M will both be challenging, and each team looks slightly better than Auburn. Of course, the Tigers have been hard to figure, so watch them win both. But for the moment, we’ll go 7-5 for the Tigers.

LSU: 5-7

Given the firing of Ed Orgeron, it’s hard to imagine LSU putting together complete games against Arkansas or A&M. At least for the moment, we’ll call both losses, which would end the year on a losing mark for LSU. The Tigers are entirely capable of winning both games, especially at home, but given all of the players hurt or out of action, depth figures to take a toll on the Tigers.

Mississippi State: 5-7

Mississippi State’s season will largely rest on their home game next week against Kentucky. Upset the Wildcats and a bowl is all but certain, with a winning season still very much in the cards. But lose that one, and the next week’s matchup against Arkansas becomes something near a must-win. Having to go to Arkansas and Auburn are a tough couple of matchups coming up in Weeks 10 and 11.

Ole Miss: 10-2

Ole Miss took care of business, and could very well go 11-1. Next week’s trip to Auburn feels pretty pivotal on that path. Win there, and State is a solid favorite for the rest of the season. Lose there, and the home game 2 weeks later with Texas A&M could define 2nd place in the West. We’re not ready to call 11-1, but it’s there for the taking.

Texas A&M: 9-3

The next 2 games tell the tale. A&M opens November by hosting Auburn and then travels to Ole Miss. Win both and 2nd in the West is theirs. Lose both, and the Aggies have to beat LSU to avoid falling to 7-5. We’ll hedge our bets for the moment, but given A&M’s continually improving running game, they could well win the next two and claim 2nd place in the West.


Florida: 8-4

No shift on our Florida projection. Georgia still looks like a beatdown, but otherwise, life should be pretty good for the Gators. Or as good as it can be in an 8-4 season that began with much higher expectations.

Georgia: 12-0

Forget Florida. Tennessee’s offense has about as good of a chance of scoring on Georgia as anybody, which could make that game in Knoxville unexpectedly interesting. But for every second of considering intrigue, remember how good this Georgia team has been. Nobody in their right mind expects them to lose a regular-season game.

Kentucky: 11-1

Kentucky was off this week, but the next 2 weeks will be pivotal. At Mississippi State and home against Tennessee will present challenges against 2 of the SEC’s better passing offenses. The defense has been fairly stout, but the offense will have to keep up in those games. If they can do that, Kentucky can go 11-1. The best season in UK history is there for the claiming.

Missouri: 5-7

If Missouri’s defense can show up, they’ll have a shot at a 6th win against Florida or at Arkansas to end the season. At this point, there’s no real reason to think Mizzou will even slow either offense, and on that basis, we’ll stay at 5-7 for the Tigers.

South Carolina: 5-7

The Gamecocks don’t look like they’ll win another game. That said, neither Missouri nor (gasp) Clemson is entirely out of the picture. But Carolina doesn’t have much to hang its hat on, and even struggling Mizzou and Clemson teams will be favored. But we’ll take Carolina to upset one or the other.

Tennessee: 6-6

After an off-week, UT’s game with Kentucky could be very, very interesting. We don’t see UT knocking off Georgia, but with a bowl basically in the bag, the Vols have a shot at a statement game in Lexington. That said, we’d give Kentucky a slight edge at home … but it’s a game that’s worth watching for the potential to bounce the SEC East standings around a bit.

Vanderbilt: 2-10

No more wins for Vandy.