The end of the season approaches as the SEC conference is taking shape. For several teams, a postseason is becoming more and more unlikely. For others, a playoff is in sight. Eleven of the conference’s 14 teams are in action this weekend.
12pm ESPN: Vanderbilt 2-6 (1-4) @ No.10 Florida 7-2 (4-2)
Vanderbilt travels to the Swamp to take on the Gators. The last Commodore win in the series was 2013 at Florida, breaking a Florida winning streak that went back to 1989. Vanderbilt showed some fight against South Carolina in a 24-7 loss last week, but couldn’t generate enough offense to get the win.
Florida has now lost two of their last three games. Both losses have come at the hands of top 10 teams. Against Georgia the Gators’s run game was shut down and were unable to overcome a 16-3 4th quarter deficit. With the loss the Gators are likely looking at a second-place finish in the East.
Those are the stories of last week. Florida gets an easy win against Vanderbilt this week. They’ll dominate Vanderbilt this week and get back on track for a strong finish.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 3, Florida 42
12pm SECN: Western Kentucky 5-4 (4-2) @ Arkansas 2-7 (0-6)
Tyson Helton has the Hilltoppers at 5-4 in his first season as a head coach. They’ve dropped their last two games against Marshall and FAU after being undefeated in conference play. Senior quarterback and former Arkansas Razorback Ty Storey looks to go into Fayetville and steal a win from his old team.
Arkansas spent it’s third consecutive week being absolutely dominated by an SEC West foe. Mississippi State walked all over the Razorbacks and took a 45-10 lead early in the second half before taking their foot off the gas.
Arkansas’s season is officially over at seven losses. Ty Storey comes in looking for his signature win at Western Kentucky. It’s a perfect storm for another disastrous game for Arkansas. How much longer can Chad Morris last if this should be another loss? Who knows.
Prediction: Western Kentucky 27, Arkansas 20
3:30pm CBS: No.1 LSU 8-0 (4-0) @ No.2 Alabama 8-0 (5-0)
College Gameday, No.1 vs No.2, President Trump, CBS Primetime… this game has it all. LSU and Alabama have both dominated their regular season schedules. They have solidified their place atop the college football rankings.
The last time LSU defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa was also the last time LSU beat the Tide, over eight years ago. On that forgettable day it was the story of Alabama kicker missing field goals that allowed LSU to get the 9-6 victory.
Expect a lot more offense than that early November day in 2011. Even if Tua Tagovailoa isn’t ready to go, the Alabama offense is lethal enough to put up a lot of points. Joe Burrow and the Tigers offense might prove too much for an Alabama defense that hasn’t been as dominant as in year’s past under the Saban era.
Prediction: LSU 45, Alabama 42
4pm SECN: New Mexico State 0-8 @ Ole Miss 3-6 (2-4)
New Mexico State has seen better years. The historically bad program is looking at potentially their fourth winless season in program history.
Ole Miss struggled mightily on the offensive side once again last week. The defense has performed admirably under first-year defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre but has had no help whatsoever from the offensive side.
The Rebels might actually be able to win one this week. Three brutal, close losses has the fan base pretty much checked out, and bowl eligibility is entirely out of the question. Still, the Rebels should be able to manage to win this one.
Prediction: New Mexico State: 10, Ole Miss 38
7pm ESPN: Missouri 5-3 (2-2) @ No.6 Georgia 7-1 (4-1)
Just a few short weeks ago Missouri was making an excellent case for winning the SEC East. Two absolutely horrendous performances at Vanderbilt and Kentucky have turned that dream upsidedown. Missouri has proven again and again this season they can’t play on the road.
Georgia on the other hand is coming off a solid performance against Florida. The Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat on route to what should be an SEC Championship rematch with Alabama.
Until Missouri proves they can play on the road, it’ll be hard to take them even in games they’re favored in. Georgia shouldn’t be too overwhelmed with the Tigers as long as they can stay focused and aren’t looking ahead to next week.
Prediction: Missouri 17, Georgia 34
7pm ESPN2: Appalachian State 7-1 (4-1) @ South Carolina 4-5 (3-4)
Appalachian State was having a season for the record books before the shocker last Thursday night. They mounted quite the comeback in the fourth quarter but came up just short. South Carolina is arguably the hardest game remaining on the schedule for the Mountaineers.
South Carolina has been on a roller coaster this season. The highs of beating Georgia has been matched by the disappointing loss against Florida as well as the disaster in Knoxville. The Gamecocks are still in need of two more wins to make a bowl game this season.
This game has the makings of being a close matchup. Appalachian State hasn’t had the chance to take on their foes to the South since 1988. Appalachian State has already knocked off North Carolina this season and has had a history for getting signature upsets.
Prediction: Appalachian State 24, South Carolina 21
7:30pm SECN: Tennessee 4-5 (2-3) @ Kentucky 4-4 (2-4)
Tennessee has been gaining momentum after a disastrous start. They’ve won three of their last four, all by convincing margins. The one loss was against Alabama in a game they were competitive in for most of the game.
Kentucky’s defense has continued to play very well. Before the bye week last week they held Missouri’s high powered offense to 7 points and also held Georgia to 21 points that weren’t scored until later in the game. The offense seems to be figuring it out with wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. under center.
Tennessee has won all but two of the last 34 games in the rivalry. They’ve gained some serious momentum and are just two games away from bowl eligibility. This game will be one of those coin toss games and should be a tight contest to the end.
Prediction: Tennessee 24, Kentucky 20
*All times listed are Eastern Standard Time
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