Predicting the Outcome of Every SEC Game in 2012
Predicting every SEC Game in 2012 is a lot like dressing in the dark.
With five teams placed in the Top 10 of the Preseason AP Poll, who knows if the predictions will match once they hit the lights?
Alabama, LSU and Georgia are the favorites to win the conference, but it would be foolish to overlook South Carolina and Arkansas. And where will the newbies, Texas A&M and Missouri, finish in the conference?
Take a peek inside to find week-by-week predictions of every SEC contest this season.
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South Carolina @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt is no longer a pushover. They'll give the Gamecocks a game, but Jadeveon Clowney, Devin Taylor and the rest of the boys on that defensive line force Jordan Rodgers into game-altering mistakes.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 30-20
Texas A&M @ Louisiana Tech
Many presume Louisiana Tech to be a potential BCS bust and for that, Texas A&M is on upset alert. The Bulldogs nearly beat a Kevin Sumlin-led Houston team last year, and like last season, Sumlin escapes Ruston, La. with a close victory.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 38-27
Tennessee vs. NC State
Tyler Bray, Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter go off in a big way. In fact, Rogers and Hunter might obtain 100 yards each.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 34-17
Buffalo @ Georgia
Buffalo doesn't stand a chance against Georgia. Aaron Murray has a field day through the air.
Prediction: Georgia wins 45-10
Bowling Green @ Florida
This one's closer than most people think. Florida doesn't exactly have a dynamic offense that will blow Bowling Green out, but deeper into the game, the Gators defense forces its will and creates opportunities for the offense.
Prediction: Florida wins 31-14
Southeastern Louisiana @ Missouri
James Franklin runs, passes and leads his Missouri Tigers past Southeastern.
Prediction: Missouri wins 38-3
Central Arkansas @ Ole Miss
Ole Miss will win very few football games in 2012, but lucky for them they'll start out the season with a victory against Central Arkansas. Jeff Scott and Donte Moncrief both turn in big days.
Prediction: Ole Miss wins 33-13
Jackson State @ Mississippi State
No Vick Ballard, no problem. LaDarius Perkins turns in a huge performance as the Bulldogs steamroll Jackson State.
Prediction: Mississippi State wins 37-13
Clemson vs. Auburn
This should be a good one. Corey Lemonier will get his hands on Tajh Boyd and ruffle his feathers. Though the Tigers will be without their star wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, the rest of the team rallies and withstands a potential upset.
Prediction: Clemson wins 27-20
Jacksonville State @ Arkansas
Too much Tyler Wilson.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 43-13
North Texas @ LSU
The Tigers run past North Texas without breaking a sweat.
Michigan vs. Alabama
Michigan puts up a fight against the Crimson Tide, but Nick Saban devises a scheme to keep ol' Shoelace in check. Alabama wins by two touchdowns.
Prediction: Alabama 27-13
Kentucky @ Louisville
Kentucky gives a valid effort but falls to Louisville in a tight contest.
Prediction: Louisville wins 20-17
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Auburn @ Mississippi State
Expect a repeat of last season's game. Auburn and Mississippi State battle it out tooth and nail, but Auburn escapes after their defense stops Mississippi State from mounting a game-winning drive.
Prediction: Auburn wins 27-23
East Carolina @ South Carolina
East Carolina is a scrappy club, but they're no match for the Gamecocks this year. Steve Spurrier's club is too good and too experienced to have any troubles with the Pirates this season.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 38-14
Florida @ Texas A&M
The Aggies' inexperience at quarterback allows players like Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd and Jonathan Bostic to swing the momentum to Florida's advantage.
Prediction: Florida wins 24-20
Western Kentucky @ Alabama
Roll Tide. This one's academic.
Prediction: Alabama wins 52-3
Georgia State @ Tennessee
Bray, Rogers and Hunter dominate again. After two impressive back-to-back games, Bray starts to emerge as a Heisman hopeful.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 41-7
UTEP @ Ole Miss
Being the worst team in the best conference in football isn't always a bad thing, especially when you play non-conference games against lesser schools. Ole Miss goes 2-0.
Prediction: Ole Miss wins 27-10
Arkansas @ Louisiana-Monroe
ULM will serve as another cupcake for Wilson and the Arkansas offense, while Tenarius Wright has his way on the defensive side of the ball.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 38-10
Washington @ LSU
Washington could give LSU fits with the absence of Tyrann Mathieu, but LSU's defensive line anchors down and forces Keith Price into costly mistakes.
Prediction: LSU wins 41-17
Kent State @ Kentucky
Kentucky gets its first win of the year as Max Smith, not Morgan Newton, leads the Wildcat offense.
Prediction: Kentucky wins 31-16
Georgia @ Missouri
Franklin becomes acquainted with Jarvis Jones often in this SEC East showdown. Jones leads the Bulldogs to an impressive win against the new guys in the SEC East.
Prediction: Georgia wins 27-13
Vanderbilt @ Northwestern
Vanderbilt anchors down, and Zac Stacy shows why he's one of the best running backs in the SEC with an impressive game against Northwestern.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 21-17
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Louisiana-Monroe @ Auburn
ULM has the misfortune of playing two SEC teams back-to-back. Tre Mason takes one to the house in this blowout victory.
Prediction: Auburn wins 49-13
Presbyterian @ Vanderbilt
Jordan Matthews has a big day receiving while Rodgers throws for over 300 yards. Vanderbilt wins by a landslide.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 41-0
Texas A&M @ Southern Methodist
Johnny Manziel shines, while Ryan Swope catches two touchdown passes. Sean Porter asserts his dominance on defense, as well.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 48-12
Alabama @ Arkansas
Alabama is too complete to lose to Arkansas. Furthermore, the Crimson Tide have Nick Saban while the Hogs have John L. Smith. 'Bama schemes for Wilson intelligently.
Prediction: Alabama wins 30-24
Florida @ Tennessee
Tennessee and Florida engage in another classic. Bray throws two interceptions, and it allows the Gators to edge the Vols.
Prediction: Florida wins 23-20
Western Kentucky @ Kentucky
The Hilltoppers give the Wildcats another close game, but Kentucky emerges victorious again after a stellar performance from La'Rod King.
Prediction: Kentucky wins 21-10
Arizona State @ Missouri
Arizona State has to replace Brock Osweiler and Missouri returns Franklin. Sweet revenge for the Tigers.
Prediction: Missouri wins 33-17
Mississippi State @ Troy
The Bulldogs ride the arm of Tyler Russell and avoid the upset against Troy.
Prediction: Mississippi State wins 31-10
UAB @ South Carolina
South Carolina cruises and Marcus Lattimore pads the stats for his Heisman race.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 40-3
Florida Atlantic @ Georgia
Georgia comes out sluggish following its bout with Missouri, but pulls away in the second half.
Prediction: Georgia wins 34-7
Idaho @ LSU
LSU unleashes a beatdown after they force multiple turnovers.
Prediction: LSU wins 49-10
Texas @ Ole Miss
Ole Miss falls to Texas because of poor quarterback play. The Longhorns defense capitalizes on Barry Brunetti's interceptions.
Prediction: Texas wins 38-16
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South Carolina State @ Texas A&M
Aggies make Sumlin proud with a calculated aerial attack. South Carolina State fails to put up much resistance.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 42-13
Akron @ Tennessee
Tennessee's bomb squad takes control of this game. Bray turns in another big day.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 56-3
Ole Miss @ Tulane
Ole Miss doesn't mess around. They take control early and never forfeit a lead.
Prediction: Ole Miss wins 37-12
Kentucky @ Florida
By Week 4, the Gators will have found their starting quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. Brissett plays well against Kentucky and leads the Gators to a convincing win against the Wildcats.
Prediction: Florida wins 27-6
Rutgers @ Arkansas
Wilson, Cobi Hamilton and Knile Davis go bonkers in the Razorbacks' victory against Rutgers.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 44-9
Missouri @ South Carolina
South Carolina and Missouri turns out to be an intriguing battle between two of the best scrambling quarterbacks in the conference. The difference-maker in this contest lies in South Carolina's defense. Clowney collects a couple sacks en route to another Gamecock victory.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 34-20
Vanderbilt @ Georgia
Though Vanderbilt won't win the SEC East, they'll contend for it by having close games with elite teams in the conference. Georgia rides their freshmen running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley in a close-margin contest.
Prediction: Georgia wins 28-16
LSU @ Auburn
LSU and Auburn turns out to be much different than their encounter in 2011. Auburn gives LSU a strong test, but LSU pulls away with brilliant special teams play.
Prediction: LSU wins 30-13
Florida Atlantic @ Alabama
Florida Atlantic poses no problems for the Tide.
Prediction: Alabama wins 51-6
South Alabama @ Mississippi State
Mississippi State handles its business against the much lesser non-conference foe.
Prediction Mississippi State wins 38-14
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Missouri @ UCF
T.J. Moe has a record day for the Tigers as he reels in 130 yards receiving in Missouri's decisive victory against UCF.
Prediction: Missouri wins 35-3
Arkansas @ Texas A&M
Unlike last season, Arkansas and Texas A&M flex their offensive muscles early in the game and clamp down defensively toward the end. The Razorbacks get the better of the Aggies through the air.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 34-24
South Carolina @ Kentucky
Kentucky can't match athlete for athlete with South Carolina. The Gamecocks' depth eventually crumbles the Wildcats and has Kentucky fans looking ahead to basketball season.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 30-7
Tennessee @ Georgia
Though Georgia will be favored, Tennessee will pounce on the Bulldogs early and lead them at the half. Murray leads Georgia in the second half to overcome the deficit.
Prediction: Georgia wins 30-21
Ole Miss @ Alabama
It's going to take Hugh Freeze a little while longer to transform the Rebels into a contender in the SEC West. Alabama reminds them of that with a lopsided affair.
Prediction: Alabama wins 38-5
Towson @ LSU
Towson, really? LSU has their second string in before the second half begins.
Prediction: LSU wins 56-0
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Mississippi State @ Kentucky
Kentucky comes on strong against the Bulldogs and after two Russell interceptions, the Wildcats find themselves in the driver's seat. Dan Mullen rallies his troops at halftime and restores order to the college football world.
Prediction: Mississippi State wins 23-17
Vanderbilt @ Missouri
Vanderbilt and Missouri's tango turns out to be one of the more exciting games of the year. Back-and-forth these two teams swing momentum until James Franklin ends it. And by James Franklin, I mean Vanderbilt's head coach. The Commodores pull off the upset. Anchor down.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 31-28
Texas A&M @ Ole Miss
Texas A&M unleashes its frustrations on Ole Miss. The Aggies prove that they can win in the conference, even if their victory does come against the worst team in the conference.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 32-13
Arkansas @ Auburn
Wilson turns in the worst game he has all year when he faces Auburn. The Tigers force him into making mistakes, and it allows them to pull off the impressive upset.
Prediction: Auburn wins 27-24
Georgia @ South Carolina
The battle of the two best teams in the SEC East lives up to the hype. With the Bulldogs transfixed on stopping Lattimore, Shaw turns in one of his best performances of the year. Freshman Shaq Roland busts onto the scene in the SEC in a big way as he helps his team prevail against the Bulldogs.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 27-20
LSU @ Florida
Though the game is played in The Swamp, LSU still controls this game from start to finish. LSU's Spencer Ware, Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue all turn in inspiring efforts on the ground.
Prediction: LSU wins 34-13
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Auburn @ Ole Miss
Poor Ole Miss falls yet again to another SEC opponent.
Tennessee @ Mississippi State
Tennessee and Mississippi State engage in an intriguing matchup simply because Jonathan Banks will be matched up with Da'Rick Rogers and/or Justin Hunter. Though the Bulldogs pose one of the best secondaries in the conference, Bray and his excellent receiving corps will win the battle.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 27-23
Florida @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt gives Florida nearly all it can take, but the Gators survive with excellent special teams play. Caleb Sturgis serves as the difference-maker in this one.
Prediction: Florida wins 26-20
Kentucky @ Arkansas
Arkansas gives Kentucky its worst beating of the season. Wilson and the Hogs feast on the Wildcats' secondary.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 44-7
South Carolina @ LSU
South Carolina brings it to the Tigers and backs LSU into a corner. Zach Mettenberger proves that he's clutch with a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: LSU wins 24-20
Alabama @ Missouri
Missouri is able to put points on the board against Alabama, but they're unable to stop Eddie Lacy and the Tide's rushing attack. Roll Tide.
Prediction: Alabama wins 38-21
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Auburn @ Vanderbilt
Auburn's defense clamps down on Rodgers and the Commodores' offense, but the Tigers' offense fails to get going as well. And thus we have a defensive struggle. Emory Blake makes key plays late to give Auburn a lead they never relinquish.
Prediction: Auburn wins 17-10
Middle Tennessee @ Mississippi State
Mississippi State beats Middle Tennessee like a drum with its rushing attack and suffocating defense.
Prediction: Mississippi State wins 41-10
South Carolina @ Florida
D.J. Swearinger picks off Brissett, DeVonte Holloman shuts down Mike Gillislie and Lattimore does his thing on offense in the Gamecocks' victory.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 28-17
Georgia @ Kentucky
Georgia has this tendency to play at the same level as their opponent, and because of that they allow Kentucky to hang around. Bulldogs pull away at the end, though.
Prediction: Georgia wins 21-14
LSU @ Texas A&M
The rebirth of LSU's and Texas A&M's rivalry has many fans excited, but it'll take a few years before the Aggies reach the Tigers' level. LSU beats the Aggies like they beat 'em in the 2010 Cotton Bowl.
Prediction: LSU wins 34-17
Alabama @ Tennessee
Bray surprises many by hanging in the pocket and delivering precise passes to his wide receivers, so Alabama will rely on its offense rather than its defense to win this game. AJ McCarron and company are up to the task.
Prediction: Alabama wins 40-31
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Texas A&M @ Auburn
The Aggies' underrated offensive line creates holes for Christine Michael as Michael breaks a few long runs against the Tigers' defense. Frazier struggles on offense and the Aggies escape Jordan-Hare Stadium with a W.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 28-17
Kentucky @ Missouri
Missouri handles the Wildcats with ease.
Prediction: Missouri wins 30-14
Massachusetts @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt's game against Massachusetts is just another day at the office for Stacy, as he turns in another All-SEC performance.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 37-3
Tennessee @ South Carolina
South Carolina is the better overall team, and furthermore Steve Spurrier is a better coach than Derek Dooley. As a result, the Gamecocks defeat the Vols. It's as simple as that.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 34-24
Mississippi State @ Alabama
Mississippi State gives Alabama a test for the first 30 minutes, but Alabama's talent takes over in the second half. After the Bulldogs score 10 in the first half, C.J. Moseley and Nico Johnson make their presence known in the third and fourth quarters.
Prediction: Alabama wins 24-10
Ole Miss @ Arkansas
Ole Miss struggles again. Brace yourselves Rebel fans, it's going to be a year full of moral victories.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 42-15
Florida vs. Georgia
Will Muschamp has his defense prepared and looking swift against the Bulldogs early. Mark Richt and Murray eventually figure them out and Tavarres King has a big day receiving.
Prediction: Georgia wins 30-17
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New Mexico State @ Auburn
New Mexico State brings it, but Auburn's too talented and too well coached to fall. Frazier has an impressive game running and throwing.
Prediction: Auburn wins 37-14
Vanderbilt @ Kentucky
Kentucky desperately tries to beat Vanderbilt and reclaim its spot as the next-to-worst team in the SEC East. They fall short, as Trey Wilson picks off freshman quarterback Patrick Towles twice.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 30-10
Texas A&M @ Mississippi State
Mississippi State limps into its bout against Texas A&M after playing Alabama and it shows. The Aggies edge the Bulldogs out in an entertaining contest.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 24-20
Troy @ Tennessee
Tennessee dominates Troy. No shocking result in this one.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 31-10
Missouri @ Florida
Florida and Missouri change leads back-and-forth up until the fourth quarter. Franklin makes a crucial mistake late in the game by throwing an interception, and that's all the Gators need to secure the victory.
Prediction: Florida wins 27-23
Tulsa @ Arkansas
Arkansas and Tulsa turns into an offensive showcase. Lucky for Arkansas, they have the better quarterback and receiving corps. Advantage Hogs.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 40-27
Ole Miss @ Georgia
Same story, Ole Miss. Bulldogs win with their running game.
Prediction: Georgia wins 28-7
Alabama @ LSU
Alabama and LSU is what Alabama and LSU always seems to be—a defensive struggle. Both defenses assert their dominance. However, the bright lights in Tiger Stadium at night give LSU a slight advantage in the contest.
Prediction: LSU wins 20-17
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Vanderbilt @ Ole Miss
Surely Ole Miss can beat Vanderbilt, right? Wrong. Ole Miss fans stay depressed.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 20-7
Missouri @ Tennessee
Missouri and Tennessee becomes a great offensive showcase. For those that complain about the lack of offense in the SEC, here's your brand of football. Hunter and Rogers both go over 100 yards receiving in this clash.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 45-38
Louisiana-Lafayette @ Florida
Flordia's talent level is too much for ULL, especially after the Ragin' Cajuns lost Ladarius Green and Dwight Bentley.
Prediction: Florida wins 31-7
Arkansas @ South Carolina
On paper, this is a fantastic matchup. In reality, well, it's just as good. The two best running backs in the league going up against two underrated defenses should be a lot of fun, but Wilson's experience will prove to be the difference-maker.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 30-24
Georgia @ Auburn
Entering the game, the media play up the angle that Georgia is overlooking Auburn and therefore will be upset by the Tigers. Because of that, the Bulldogs remain focused and avoid a potential upset. Oh sweet irony.
Prediction: Georgia wins 23-20
Mississippi State @ LSU
LSU has an emotional hangover following its epic battle with Alabama, and therefore will have a close game with a hungry, desperate Mississippi State club. The Tigers' special teams save them in this one.
Prediction: LSU wins 27-13
Texas A&M @ Alabama
Like LSU, Alabama will sleepwalk their way into this game. But the Crimson Tide will have a fire lit underneath them after losing to LSU. Saban has his club clicking by the time the second quarter rolls around.
Prediction: Alabama wins 35-13
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Alabama A&M @ Auburn
Auburn gets some much-needed rest before the Iron Bowl as they breeze past Alabama A&M.
Prediction: Auburn wins 43-12
Samford @ Kentucky
Kentucky flirts with the possibility of making this a game, but after they get their act together in the second half, the Wildcats put the hurt on Samford.
Prediction: Kentucky wins 30-10
Syracuse @ Missouri
Syracuse goes up on Missouri early, but the Tigers rally behind Franklin and pull off the victory.
Prediction: Missouri wins 27-17
Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
For Derek Dooley's sake, Tennessee better beat Vanderbilt in 2012. The game is competitive and hard-fought, but Tennessee's offensive power sees them through.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 31-17
Sam Houston State @ Texas A&M
No struggles for the Aggies against Sam Houston State.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins 32-9
Jacksonville State @ Florida
Jacksonville State makes Brissett and Jeff Driskel look like stars.
Prediction: Florida wins 45-20
Arkansas @ Mississippi State
Dan Mullen needs a significant win in 2012. It just doesn't come against the Hogs. Too much talent on both sides of the ball for the Razorbacks.
Prediction: Arkansas wins 35-24
Wofford @ South Carolina
Oh Wofford, we appreciate the effort.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 51-10
Georgia Southern @ Georgia
Baccari Rambo collects two interceptions in Georgia's thrashing of Georgia Southern.
Prediction: Georgia wins 38-7
Ole Miss @ LSU
Still no luck Ole Miss. Maybe the Egg Bowl?
Prediction: LSU wins 38-6
Western Carolina @ Alabama
Thanks for showing up Western Carolina. Alabama could start its third string and still beat the mess out of these chumps.
Prediction: Alabama wins 45-3
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LSU @ Arkansas
More often than not, LSU and Arkansas turns out to be a wildly entertaining event. Their encounter in 2012 proves to be another instant classic The Tigers' defense clamps down late on Wilson and stops him from mounting a game-winning drive.
Prediction: LSU wins 31-27
Mississippi State @ Ole Miss
Because Mississippi State has been through a gauntlet the past couple of weeks, Ole Miss jumps out on the Bulldogs. Unfortunately for Rebel fans, Ole Miss finds a way to lose it.
Prediction: Mississippi State wins 28-24
Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest
Vanderbilt anchors down and closes out the season with another victory. Franklin's message at Vanderbilt continues to grow.
Prediction: Vanderbilt wins 27-14
Missouri @ Texas A&M
The battle of the newbies showcases what the Big 12 is all about—offense. Texas A&M might have more offensive firepower, but Missouri has the better quarterback. In a game that's becoming more and more about the quarterback, that makes all the difference.
Prediction: Missouri wins 32-29
Kentucky @ Tennessee
Tennessee's playmakers on the outside get the better of the Wildcats' defensive backfield. Another long afternoon for the Wildcats ensues.
Prediction: Tennessee wins 48-14
South Carolina @ Clemson
Many presume this to be an excellent game, but South Carolina flexes its muscle. Shaw has an incredible game and leads the Gamecocks to a surprisingly large-margin win.
Prediction: South Carolina wins 34-17
Florida @ Florida State
Florida doesn't pose enough threats offensively to fully compete with Florida State in 2012. E.J. Manuel has a strong showing for the Seminoles and leads his team toward an ACC title.
Prediction: Florida State wins 30-20
Georgia Tech @ Georgia
Marshall gets national attention for his rushing performance against the Yellow Jackets. Shawn Williams and Rambo load the box to stop Georgia Tech's rushing attack, and the Bulldogs prevail.
Prediction: Georgia wins 31-17
Auburn @ Alabama
The Iron Bowl is much more competitive, but the end result is much of the same. Alabama wins for the second year in a row after McCarron picks Auburn's secondary apart.
Prediction: Alabama wins 35-13
SEC Championship Game: LSU vs. Georgia
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No Tyrann Mathieu, no problem.
LSU still goes undefeated on the season because of its overall depth and schedule. Georgia reaches the game for similar reasons.
The Bulldogs lose to South Carolina, but after the Gamecocks lose to both Arkansas and LSU, Georgia wins the SEC East with only one loss. So therefore, we have a rematch.
Georgia plays better than they did a year ago, but LSU manages to win due to its real passing threat in Mettenberger.
Prediction: LSU wins 28-20