The final week of the college football season is here. The SEC Championship game is set. Most teams are aware of their bowl eligibility. Some need one more win to earn the postseason.
Best of all, all 14 SEC teams will take on their rival this week. We’ll breakdown each rivalry and who’s got the best chance to win.
(Thursday), 7:30pm ESPN: Ole Miss 4-7 (2-5) @ Mississippi State 5-6 (2-5)
All Time Series: Ole Miss (62 – 45)
Current Streak: (1) Mississippi State
Last Meeting: Mississippi State 35, Ole Miss 3
Certainly not the most interesting game this year on Thanksgiving. At least one team has been ranked in three of the last five games and it’s just the second time both teams held a losing record this decade.
This year is reminiscent of the old Egg Bowl days of one team trying to keep the other from making the Independence Bowl, or whatever the 6-6 SEC bowl is nowadays. The casual spectator looking for a fight or two among two teams that tend to be bottom feeders in the SEC West. They might not be disappointed after last year’s scrum.
The biggest difference will come down to coaching and of course who wants it more. Mississippi State has looked checked out as of late. The fans want Joe Moorhead gone and the players haven’t looked in sync all year. Compare that to an Ole Miss team who’s players have played their hearts out all season and have been so close to big wins, and the edge leans towards Ole Miss.
Prediction: Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 38
(Friday), 2:30pm CBS: Missouri 5-6 (2-5) @ Arkansas 2-9 (0-7)
All Time Series: Missouri (7 – 3)
Current Streak: Missouri (3)
Last Meeting: Missouri 38, Arkansas 0
In what might be the least exciting game of the weekend The Battle Line Rivalry will see it’s sixth game since the rivalry was initiated after Missouri joined the SEC in 2012. Missouri holds a commanding 4-1 lead since a trophy has been tied to the game.
Unfortunately for viewers, both teams are in the midst of disastrous losing streaks. Arkansas, of course, hasn’t won a game since mid-September against Colorado State. The Razorbacks have dropped eight straight. Missouri likewise is on a five-game losing streak of their own.
At this point, this game might be a toss-up. Missouri initially looked like a sure victor. Stable coach, better record, by far more talent. But the losing bowl eligibility after the NCAA announcement certainly takes a little motivation out of it for the Tigers. Missouri also has yet to win a road game this season. Sprinkle in a nice Fayetteville thunderstorm and this thing could be ugly.
Prediction: Missouri 19, Arkansas 15
12pm ESPN: No.3 Clemson 11-0 (8-0) @ South Carolina 4-7 (3-5)
All-Time Series: Clemson (70 – 42)
Current Streak: Clemson (5)
Last Meeting: Clemson 56, South Carolina 35
What had been a wildly entertaining rivalry has quickly turned dull and predictable. Dabo Swinney began his career 1-5 against the Gamecocks; unable to best Steve Spurrier. Since that last loss Swinney is 5-0 in what have mostly been blowouts.
The last time South Carolina came within 21 points was 2015. Clemson is once again destined for the College Football Playoff after an undefeated start to the season. South Carolina meanwhile is losers of 4 of their last 5.
Anything can happen in a rivalry game and of course the Gamecock faithful would love nothing more than to ruin their in-state rival’s season. Toss in the fact that South Carolina has proven they can beat a top 5 team and it can make things interesting. But Clemson should have this easily in pocket.
Prediction: Clemson 45, South Carolina 17
12pm ABC: No.4 Georgia 10-1 (7-1) @ Georgia Tech 3-8 (2-6)
All Time Series: Georgia (67 – 41)
Current Streak: Georgia (2)
Last Meeting: Georgia 45, Georgia Tech 21
David vs Goliath heads to Atlanta in another SEC/ACC showdown. The Bulldogs have dominated the series for a long time, not allowing Georgia Tech to amass more than a three-game winning streak since the 1950s. Meanwhile, Georgia has put together a 4+ winning streak six different times since then.
Kirby Smart is 2-1 against Georgia Tech, his only loss coming in his first season. He has his team focused and with their eyes on the CFP after the upset to the hands of South Carolina. Georgia Tech has had a horrendous season, going 3-8 including a loss to FCS opponent The Citadel at home.
Georgia will sleepwalk through this one. There’s no chance Georgia Tech will be able to do anything on offense against that stout Georgia defense. 1,000+ yard rusher D’Andre Swift should have himself a day against a Yellow Jacket defense that allows over 200 yards on the ground per game.
Prediction: Georgia 35, Georgia Tech 10
12pm SECN: Louisville 7-4 (5-3) @ Kentucky 6-5 (3-5)
All Time Series: Kentucky (16 – 15)
Current Streak: Kentucky (1)
Last Meeting: Kentucky, 56, Louisville 10
The Governor’s Cup is destined to be a good one this year. Neither team has put together a spectacular year but both teams are very evenly matched and are sure to produce an entertaining game.
Kentucky had one of it’s best years last year and dominated Louisville in one of their worst seasons. Scott Satterfield has the Cardinals looking great in year one of the rebuild campaign. Mark Stoops, on the other hand, is seeing a dip after last year, but has held things together after seeing injuries to the first and second string quarterbacks.
Both teams have had respectable seasons all things considered. This game could go either way. Louisville is not strong on defense against the pass or the run which may give Stoops some creative options with Lynn Bowden Jr. at quarterback. At a coin flip, we’ll stick with Mark Stoops coaching and Lexington’s home-field advantage.
Prediction: Louisville 24, Kentucky 26
3:30pm CBS: No.5 Alabama 10-1 (6-1) @ No.15 Auburn 8-3 (4-3)
All-Time Series: Alabama (46 – 36)
Current Streak: Alabama (1)
Last Meeting: Alabama 52, Auburn 21
Once again the Iron Bowl is a must-watch matchup. Auburn has slipped up this year against three really good SEC teams, giving them an 8-3 record. The losses to top 10 teams Florida, LSU and Georgia (two of which were on the road) are certainly no reason to assume they can’t put together a win against the Tide.
The Alabama defense is not as dominant this year as in year’s past. It is arguably one of the worst in a long time under the Saban era. Fortunately for Auburn, the rushing defense appears to be the weak spot. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Tua Tagovailoa won’t be able to play.
The Auburn defense is much better against the run than the offense which will favor the Tigers. If Auburn can manage to be productive on offense, they could manage to be too much against an Alabama offense that has given up an average of 33.5 points against ranked teams this season.
Prediction: Alabama 31, Auburn 34
4pm SECN: Vanderbilt 3-8 (1-6) @ Tennessee 6-5 (4-3)
All-Time Series: Tennessee (75 – 33)
Current Streak: Vanderbilt (3)
Last Meeting: Vanderbilt 38, Tennessee 13
Vanderbilt is having a horrific season. Derek Mason is having his worst season at Vanderbilt since he took over in 2014. The lone highlight of the season is a 21-14 win against then No.22 Missouri at home earlier this season.
Tennessee has put together a four-game winning streak and has won five of their last six after a surprising 1-4 start. Their momentum has propelled them into bowl season and are looking to defeat in-state rival Vanderbilt for the first time in three years.
The Vols have already ended the coaching careers of Derek Dooley and Butch Jones at Tennessee. If ever there was a year for Tennessee to stop the Vanderbilt winning streak it’s this year. The Vols have all the momentum they could wish for entering the final week of the season. Hosting the Commodores in Knoxville certainly doesn’t hurt.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 10, Tennessee 31
7pm ESPN: Texas A&M 7-4 (4-3) @ No.2 LSU 11-0 (7-0)
All-Time Series: LSU (33 – 21)
Current Streak: Texas A&M (1)
Last Meeting: Texas A&M 74, LSU 72
Last year’s historic seven overtime game was the first Aggie win eight meetings. They’ve played one of the toughest schedules this year as they face their fifth top 10 team this season. They’ve been competitive in each game but are still 0-4 in those games.
LSU is powering through their tough schedule. They’ve played four top 10 teams this year and won four close ones. The Tigers’ eyes are on an SEC Championship game as well as the CFP.
Death Valley under the lights will once again give the Tigers a big advantage in this game. They’re also angry about last year’s shocking loss to the Aggies. The Tigers are looking to take care of business and face Georgia in Atlanta in the SEC Championship game.
Prediction: Texas A&M 24, LSU 38
7:30pm SECN: Florida State 6-5 (4-4) @ No.11 Florida 9-2 (6-2)
All-Time Series: Florida (35 – 26)
Current Streak: Florida (1)
Last Meeting: Florida 41, Florida State 14
Florida State is having another rocky year. The Seminoles have won three of their last four but not against excellent teams. They’ve locked up bowl eligibility after missing last year.
Florida is aiming for their first 11 win game since 2012. The Gators have played an excellent season despite some quarterback injuries. Their lone losses have come against top 10 teams Auburn and Georgia.
The Gators should win this with ease. Despite a 5 game losing streak against their in-state rival before last year, the Gators have quickly become the more dominant team in the rivalry.
Prediction: Florida State 14, Florida 27
*All times listed are Eastern Standard Time
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