All 14 SEC teams will be active this weekend in week 8 of the college football season. This week does not feature any ranked vs ranked matchups. Each game except for one will feature a ranked team which would normally make things much more exciting for a big upset. However, as the predictions will show, the unranked teams are all facing a tough test to try and overcome a ranked opponent.
12pm ESPN: No.9 Florida 6-1 (3-1) @ South Carolina 3-3 (2-2)
South Carolina is coming off a huge game after the major upset between the hedges last week. The Gamecocks were able to win an ugly one at then No.3 Georgia. Though they were mostly dominated on paper, the turnover bug was key to the win.
Florida meanwhile just had a major hiccup in their playoff plans. The loss to LSU last week doesn’t take them out of the hunt, but it does make the road a lot harder. There’s no room for error now if they want to run the table.
Ultimately Florida is going to be too much for South Carolina. South Carolina is pesky but Dan Mullen will have his Gators focused and make sure they get the win.
Prediction: Florida 31, South Carolina 17
12pm SECN: No.11 Auburn 5-1 (2-1) @ Arkansas 2-4 (0-3)
Auburn is coming off a bye week after the abysmal showing in Gainesville two weeks ago. Even facing the third-string quarterback couldn’t yield the Tigers a win. Florida’s defensive front was just too much for true freshman Bo Nix to handle.
Arkansas has come so close in their last two games, losing both by just four points. If you squint enough you can call that progress but so far this season has been a disaster. Facing a Kentucky team playing a wide receiver at quarterback the Razorbacks gave up a boatload of yards on the ground at 330.
Gus Malzahn has dominated Arkansas each year since he’s been at Auburn except in 2015. The average margin of victory has been 31.6. Arkansas is already having trouble figuring out who is quarterback, but whoever it is will be seeing a lot of Auburn in the backfield.
Prediction: Auburn 52, Arkansas 7
3:30pm CBS: No.2 LSU 6-0 (2-0) @ Mississippi State 3-3 (1-2)
SEC Nation is heading to Starkville this week to see the Tigers and the Dawgs. This one might get ugly early. LSU has one of the best offenses in the country led by Heisman candidate Joe Burrow. The senior has the highest completion percentage in the nation at an astounding 79.6% to go along with his 25 touchdowns versus just three interceptions.
Mississippi State’s offense was dominated by Tennessee’s defense last week. They were able to scrape just 267 total yards and turned the ball over three times. The Vols kept them off balance and sloppy and made sure they never got anything going.
LSU’s defense is much, much better than the Volunteers. Mississippi State wasn’t able to throw the ball at all against Tennessee and will certainly be struggling more with LSU’s secondary. LSU should have a cakewalk this week.
Prediction: LSU 55, Mississippi State: 13
4pm SECN: No.22 Missouri 5-1 (2-0) @ Vanderbilt 1-5 (0-3)
Missouri is smooth sailing through the SEC schedule taking care of business against South Carolina and now Ole Miss last week. Kelly Bryant has commanded a respectable offense averaging 38.8 points per contest.
Vanderbilt is completely lost. The Commodores have been competitive in one game this season – a narrow win against Northern Illinois. They were dominated by a 1-4 UNLV team, and still have a quarterback crisis.
Missouri will dominate this game. Vanderbilt is staring a 2-10 winless SEC slate in the face at this point.
Prediction: Missouri 59, Vanderbilt 6
6pm ESPN: Kentucky 3-3 (1-3) @ No.10 Georgia 5-1 (2-1)
Kentucky got a scrappy win against Arkansas last week giving hope that Lynn Bowden Jr. can be workable at the quarterback position. Kentucky went on a 24-7 run to secure the win in the 4th quarter.
Georgia, of course, got beat on their own field to rival South Carolina last week. The offense moved well but the four turnovers were too much to overcome. Georgia will need to win out now to be in the playoff.
Georgia shouldn’t be tripped up again. Kentucky’s unorthodox offense might make things interesting at first but it’ll be the Bulldogs with the win.
Prediction: 45, Kentucky 17
7:30pm SECN: Texas A&M 3-3 (1-2) @ Ole Miss 3-4 (2-2)
In what will probably be the most competitive game of the day Ole Miss hopes to steal a win away from the Aggies in pursuit of bowl eligibility. Ole Miss played well in a loss to Missouri last week as they attempt to make the duel quarterback offense work.
Texas A&M has now lost to a number one team twice this year, and depending on how the season plays out may lose a third time at the end of the season. The Aggies kept it close enough against Alabama in the first half but eventually were unable to keep up.
Ole Miss’s defense won’t be up to the task to get the win. The Aggies throw 10-20 yard routes on 45% of their passing plays, a remarkably high percentage. The Ole Miss defense ranks 130th out of 130 teams in defending 10-20 yard passes.
Prediction: Texas A&M 42, Ole Miss 31
9pm ESPN: Tennessee 2-4 (1-2) @ No.1 Alabama 6-0 (3-0)
The nightcap has Tennessee on the road against Alabama and frankly, it won’t be much of a game. Tennessee was able to get the win last week against Mississippi State thanks to a dominant defensive performance. The quarterback situation is a little unclear against Alabama but probably won’t make much of a difference regardless.
Alabama put Texas A&M away in the second half last week after the Aggies were able to stick around for the first 30 minutes. Tua Tagovailoa is once again in the Heisman conversation boosted by an impressive 27 touchdowns to just one interception.
This game won’t be close. Nick Saban has never lost to Tennessee in his time at Alabama and it won’t be tomorrow that that changes.
Prediction: Tennessee 7, Alabama 56
*All times listed are Eastern Standard Time
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