Which SEC teams will score the most points in Week 10?
For the first time since Week 2, all 14 SEC teams will be in action on Saturday. In Week 10, there are five conference games, while four other teams are stepping out of conference.
But which SEC team will score the most points in Week 10? Here is how I rank the teams 1-14, in terms of best chance of scoring the most points.
1. Arkansas (vs. Coastal Carolina)
The Razorbacks are just middle of the pack in the conference in scoring (28.8 PPG, 8th in SEC). But they are coming off a 38-point effort in a wild comeback win over Ole Miss. And they are facing a Coastal Carolina team that ranks 10th in scoring defense in the 12-team Sun Belt Conference and has allowed at least 50 points three times this season.
2. Mississippi State (vs. Massachusetts)
The Bulldogs return home after putting 35 on the scoreboard in a 21-point win at Texas A&M. And this team loves to play in Starkville. Mississippi State is averaging 41.5 points in four home games this season.
Now, UMass isn’t exactly a pushover. After all, the Minutemen gave up just 17 points to Tennessee in a four-point loss earlier this season. Of course, the next week they hosted Ohio and allowed the Bobcats to score 58.
3. Kentucky (vs. Ole Miss)
On the surface, it may seem too high to predict Kentucky will score the third-most points on Saturday.
The Wildcats only rank 11th in the SEC in scoring at 25.1 points per game and have topped the 30-point mark only once all season. But…
Awaiting Kentucky on Saturday is Ole Miss. And here are the points the Rebels have allowed in their last five games:
66 at Alabama
44 at Auburn
35 vs. Vanderbilt
40 vs. LSU
38 vs. Arkansas
That’s 44.6 PPG allowed by Ole Miss over its last five games. And now it has to travel to Lexington.
4. Auburn (vs. Texas A&M)
The Auburn offense is clicking again. The Tigers have scored at least 40 points in four of their last five games, and in their most recent game two weeks ago they scored a season-high 52 in a win at Arkansas.
Now they head to College Station to take on Texas A&M. This will be Auburn’s third straight road game, so there is always the chance for a letdown. However, the Tigers did have a bye last week, so the ability to sustain their offensive dominance shouldn’t go away.
The Aggies are improved defensively, but only slightly. They are 10th in the SEC in scoring defense (27.4 PPG), but over their last four games they have allowed 24.0 PPG.
5. Georgia (vs. South Carolina)
This could be an interesting game, because while Georgia is clearly one of the best teams in the nation, the Bulldogs are facing a South Carolina team playing its best football of the season.
Georgia is second in the SEC in scoring (38.1 PPG) and has scored at least 40 points in four straight, all against conference opponents. However, its last four opponents haven’t exactly been a Murderers’ Row of SEC competition, as Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Florida are a combined 3-17 in league play.
South Carolina is clearly, at the very least, the second-best team in the SEC East. The Gamecocks are allowing just 20.3 PPG (6th in SEC) and have not allowed an opponent to score more than 28 points in a game this season. But they are coming off a win over Vanderbilt in which the Commodores scored 27 points.
So if Vanderbilt can score 27 points at South Carolina, shouldn’t Georgia be able to reach the 30-point mark against the Gamecocks playing in Athens?
6. Florida (vs. Missouri)
Under normal circumstances, a team playing Missouri’s defense would rank much higher on this list. The Tigers rank 12th in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing 35.8 PPG, and in SEC play that number gets even worse (43.8).
But a couple of factors keep the Gators from being placed in the top 5 of this list. One, Missouri has held its last two opponents to 21 or fewer points (yes, I know, the teams were Idaho and Connecticut, but it’s a step in the right direction).
And the Gators not only have the second-lowest scoring average in the SEC (21.3 PPG), but at the moment they take the award for Most Dysfunctional Program in the SEC after parting ways with former head coach Jim McElwain this week.
7. Missouri (vs. Florida)
Now, while the Gators are in the land of dysfunction, can the Tigers take advantage and come up with their first SEC win of the season? And, more importantly for this story, can they put up a big number on offense?
Missouri is one of four teams in the SEC that is averaging at least 35 points a game (35.5, 4th in SEC), and the Tigers have scored 120 points in their last two games.
But, as mentioned earlier, those opponents were Idaho and UConn. And despite the chaos in Gainesville, you have to believe the Florida players will be told that the program’s pride is on the line after three straight losses, including a crushing defeat against rival Georgia last Saturday.
8. Alabama (vs. LSU)
Seems silly to rank the highest-scoring team in the SEC so low on this list, especially against an opponent it has owned lately.
But despite winning six in a row over LSU, Alabama hasn’t exactly racked up the points against the Tigers. In fact, over their last 10 meetings with LSU, the Crimson Tide have topped the 30-point mark just twice.
The good news for Alabama fans: those two 30-point games against LSU have come the last two times these teams met in Tuscaloosa.
9. Ole Miss (vs. Kentucky)
Obviously, the Rebels are still capable of putting up a big number, as evidenced by the 37 points they scored against Arkansas in last week’s loss.
But when Ole Miss has taken its act on the road, the results have not been pretty, especially on offense. The Rebels are 0-3 on the road, averaging just 14 points a game, and have scored a total of four offensive touchdowns in those three games, all on passes from quarterback Shea Patterson.
But Patterson is now out for the season, and while backup Jordan Ta’amu performed well in his absence last week (368 pass yards), the Rebels failed to throw a TD pass.
One factor to consider in the Rebels’ favor, they rushed for 200 yards and four TDs against Arkansas. And over its last three games, Kentucky’s rush defense has allowed 213, 282 and 203 yards.
10. Texas A&M (vs. Auburn)
Texas A&M is hosting Auburn.
That’s about where the Aggies’ offensive advantages end.
This is arguably the worst offensive team Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has had since taking over in 2012. And in their last four games, the Aggies are averaging just 19 points a game.
Now they face an Auburn team that is third in the SEC in scoring defense (15.6 PPG), held defending national champion Clemson to 14 points earlier this season, and hasn’t allowed an opponent to score 30 points in any game this season.
11. South Carolina (vs. Georgia)
The Gamecocks have the potential to put a big number on the scoreboard each week. They have one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC in Jake Bentley and have scored at least 34 points in two of their last three games.
However, overall South Carolina ranks just 10th in the SEC in scoring offense (26.3 PPG), and in four of its last six games it has failed to score 20 points.
Now the Gamecocks go on the road to face a Georgia team that is third in the FBS in scoring defense (11.9 PPG) and has allowed one opponent all season to reach the 20-point mark (Missouri, 28 points).
12. Vanderbilt (vs. Western Kentucky)
Facing a non-SEC opponent normally would get you way higher on this list.
Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, it is a team that has struggled offensively too often this season, ranking 103rd in the FBS in scoring (23.0 PPG).
And in Western Kentucky, the Commodores are facing a decent non-conference opponent, one that ranks third in Conference USA in scoring defense (22.7 PPG) and has held six of eight opponents under 25 points.
Two reasons why the Commodores could finish higher than 12th on this list this weekend:
Western Kentucky’s last two opponents — Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic — both scored 30+ points on the Hilltoppers, with FAU (coached by Lane Kiffin) coming up with 42 last week.
And even though Vanderbilt is averaging only 23 points a game, if you throw out its performances against two of the nation’s best teams — Alabama and Georgia — that average rises to nearly 30 points a game (28.3).
13. LSU (vs. Alabama)
Obviously, LSU does not rank as the second-worst scoring offense in the SEC. The Tigers are actually ninth in the conference in scoring at 27.3 PPG and are coming off a 40-point effort against Ole Miss.
So why is LSU being predicted to score the second-fewest points among SEC teams in Week 10?
In a word, Alabama.
Forget 30 points. LSU has not even reached the 20-point mark in any of its last seven games against the Crimson Tide. The last time the Tigers scored 30 or more points on Alabama was 2007.
That was the season of LSU’s last national championship and Nick Saban’s worst (and first) season as the Alabama head coach.
14. Tennessee (vs. Southern Miss)
Again, a non-conference opponent usually gets you higher on this list.
But the Volunteers rank dead last in the SEC (116th in FBS) in scoring at 20.3 PPG. It gets even worse for the Volunteers when you consider that they scored 84 points in their first two games, but over their last six they have scored just 79 points (13.2 per game).
Southern Miss isn’t the toughest defense of all time by any means, ranking third in Conference USA (21.3 PPG). But this season, it doesn’t take a dominating defense to keep Tennessee off the scoreboard.