Week 1 is in the books for the SEC as we look ahead to week 2 of this 10-game season. This week features two huge games with playoff implications. We’ll take a look at each game as well as the rankings and standings.
With just one week under the belt there isn’t much to dissect from the standings. The most notable surprise is Mississippi State out to a 1-0 start and the defending National Champs in LSU starting 0-1.
The SEC West won three of the five cross divisional games from last weekend. Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M were all victorious while Florida and Georgia knocked off their lesser West opponents.
- No.2 Alabama (1-0)
- No.3 Florida (1-0) +2
- No.4 Georgia (1-0)
- No.7 Auburn (1-0) +1
- No.13 Texas A&M (1-0) -3
- No.16 Mississippi State (1-0) NR
- No.20 LSU (0-1) -14
- No.21 Tennessee (1-0) -5
The AP Top 25 has never looked stranger as this week they decided to put the rest of the conferences in that intend on playing. Although they won’t be playing for at least another month, the B1G and Pac12 have added teams to the list.
Regardless, the SEC has an impressive three teams in the top four. Mississippi State made the biggest jump after their huge win against LSU. Whereas the Tigers dropped all the way to No.20.
Texas A&M had two teams from the B1G added in front of them but still would have dropped a spot after a worrisome performance against Vanderbilt. Tennessee meanwhile dropped five spots due to five teams formerly missing from the poll being added.
Week 2 Predictions
12pm ESPN: South Carolina (0-1) @ No.3 Florida (1-0)
South Carolina heads to Gainesville where they have failed to pick up a win since Steve Spurrier was head coach. Last year’s match was closer than expected as the Gamecocks gave the Gators all they could handle.
The last seven meetings between the two teams has been decided by two possessions or less. It looks to shape up as a high scoring affair. The Gamecocks will need to find a way to slow the air raid from a Florida offense that torched Ole Miss last week with six passing touchdowns.
Florida meanwhile might also be a little concerned about their defense. They allowed 35 points and 613 total yards to a young Ole Miss offense. There’s a little to be said of having to defend new schemes with no tape to review, but Gator fans will be hopeful for a better performance this week.
Prediction: South Carolina 20, Florida 35
12:00 SECN: Missouri (0-1) @ No.21 Tennessee (1-0)
Eliah Drinkwitz’s offense struggled mightily last week as they were unable to find the endzone until the 4th quarter against the Crimson Tide backups. Still, TCU transfer Shawn Robinson was efficient in his SEC debut, completing 76 percent of his passes though he did fumble in the game.
Jarrett Guarantano had a monster game last year against Missouri and played very well last week against South Carolina. The Tennessee defense held the Tigers under 50 points in that game for the first time since 2016. Tennessee is much improved this year and should be able to get the win at home.
Prediction: Missouri 23, Tennessee 34
2:30 CBS: No.13 Texas A&M (1-0) @ No.2 Alabama (1-0)
One of two huge matchups in the SEC this week takes the Aggies to Tuscaloosa. Alabama dominated in their game against Missouri and showed no signs of trouble. Texas A&M however had a disastrous first game back.
The Aggies were thwarted all night by a Vanderbilt defense that gave up the second most yards and points in the SEC a year ago. Kellen Mond fumbled two of the team’s three lost fumbles, and the special teams also got caught for a safety.
The Aggie defense did enough to win but will have a much more formidable opponent in the Crimson Tide. The lack of ability to consistently move the ball is concerning for Texas A&M. Alabama should be able to win this with ease.
Prediction: Texas A&M 16, Alabama 45
4:00 SECN: Ole Miss (0-1) @ Kentucky (0-1)
Ole Miss versus Kentucky provides an interesting matchup. Kentucky played Auburn very well last week, keeping it a 15-13 game until the fourth quarter. The Wildcat defense held Auburn to just 324 total yards and was very effective in stopping the run game, allowing just three yards per carry.
The Rebels saw tremendous success on the offensive side of the ball last week against a good Florida defense. They ran various formations and schemes that kept the Gators on their toes all day. The Rebel defense however was non existent as they allowed 642 total yards to Florida.
Kentucky struggled against the pass and allowed Bo Nix to throw for three scores on them. They should be able to find plenty of success against a less than stellar Ole Miss defense, but it will come down to stopping Matt Corral who looked like a different player from a season ago.
Prediction: Ole Miss 42, Kentucky 34
7:30 ESPN: No.7 Auburn (1-0) @ No.4 Georgia (1-0)
The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry meets for the 125th time on Saturday night. Georgia has won the last three matches, including the 2017 SEC Championship game. They lead the all-time series 60-56.
Auburn fought a tough one against Kentucky last week but were able to come out on top. Bo Nix was the heart of an offense that struggled greatly in the run game. His 34 yards on the ground led the tea to go along with his 233 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
It took Georgia 39 minutes to get a lead against Arkansas last week. Once they did the offense finally got rolling and steamrolled the Razorbacks. Still, there was a lot of cause for concern and leaves this week in question against Auburn. The addition of JT Daniels on Saturday could be the difference in the game for the Bulldogs.
Prediction: Auburn 13, Georgia 20
7:30 SECN ALT: Arkansas (0-1) @ No.16 Mississippi State (1-0)
Arkansas proved to be a formidable opponent against Georgia last week. They held strong for about two and a half quarters before Georgia was able to put them away. The main concern came offensively as the Razorbacks were able to get little to nothing going.
Mississippi State absolutely torched LSU through the air. The Tigers were able to force to interceptions but otherwise could not slow down Mike Leach’s air raid.
Arkansas did very well against the run, allowing just 2.9 yards per carry. Unfortunately Mississippi State will be looking to run the ball very little. Unless the Razorbacks are able to defend the pass a little better this week, the Bulldogs should be able to steamroll them to victory.
Prediction: Arkansas 24, Mississippi State 45
7:30 SECN: No.20 LSU (0-1) @ Vanderbilt (0-1)
This game should be very intriguing for fans as LSU looked very underwhelming in their season opener. Vanderbilt meanwhile gave Texas A&M a big scare and nearly escaped College Station with a victory.
The good news for LSU is that the Commodore offense isn’t going to be nearly the challenge Mississippi State was. Vanderbilt mustered just 150 yards through the air last week to go along with two interceptions. LSU should be able to hold their struggling offense.
Vanderbilt’s defense meanwhile harassed Kellen Mond all night. Mond threw for just 189 yards to go with two fumbles. LSU’s Myles Brennan did not look good in his debut. His completion percentage of 59% and two interceptions left a lot of fans grumbling last week. If Vanderbilt’s defense can keep them in the game, this one might get interesting later in the night.
Prediction: LSU 26, Vanderbilt 20