Original Article Published on SEC Sports Report
ATLANTA,Ga—We’re moving into Week Two at a fast pace. It’s a short week but I’m dead on for my picks. I went 11-1 in the first week (92%); picking the South Carolina upset and the continued Alabama dominance of the ACC by beating Virginia Tech.
Week Two could be as much fun because we get a better look at the three new coaches to see what kind of teams they have created at Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State.
We know that at least one of them will lose this week because Auburn and Miss State have to play each other; so at least one new coach will be undefeated and one will be 1-1. Arkansas, Kentucky and Ole Miss all have the week off so they can get healthier from the Flu.
Here are my picks going into Week Two:
SEC East Game of the Week: South Carolina vs Georgia in Athens. This game will be a War. Nothing is easy about picking the winner of this game. I could make the case for a win by either team as I did on the radio earlier this week.
I like Georgia because they are real hungry for a win. The Bulldogs don’t lose back to back very often, and they are at home which will help build confidence for this team.
The Gamecocks have a shot at winning if they can keep the score low and they win the turnover game. I believe the USC offense will be better than last week which guarantees a close game. Georgia has more to prove and more to lose which gives them the edge.
Georgia 24 South Carolina 21.
SEC West Game of the Week: Miss State vs Auburn at Jordan Hare Stadium. Two new coaches, Auburn Coach Gene Chizik and at Miss State Dan Mullen. High expectations for both programs.
Last year, this game was a 3-2 Auburn win. Nobody was happy. Last week, both teams got to evaluate their programs against lesser opponents. Easy games can build false confidence so don’t put too much stock in the scores.
This week is for real. Everybody knows the winner moves up; the loser moves down. The odds makers have Auburn a two touchdown favorite. I don’t see it. I see a hard hitting game with a bunch of touchdowns being scored.
The big question is will Auburn’s Gus Mulzahn offensive schemes work in the SEC? I’ll take Auburn in a close one 31-28.
SEC East-West Game: Vandy vs LSU in Baton Rouge. Coach Les Miles has taken a lot of heat this week for his team’s lackluster performance against Washington. Vandy rolled over Western Carolina. LSU will return to normal game day performance. Vandy will continue to be scrappy. LSU wins 31-21.
SEC vs PAC 10: Tennessee vs UCLA in Knoxville. Coach Lane Kiffin started the season on a bang with a high scoring victory over a much less talented Western Kentucky. Kiffin is jacked up to beat some of his old California buddies. It would be a feather in his cap to whip UCLA.
UCLA brings a young team to Knoxville. The Bruins have eight true freshman and nine redshirt freshman who will all be playing on game day. We always pick the SEC over the PAC 10. We like the Vols in this one 28-14.
SEC vs SunBelt: Florida vs Troy in the Swamp. Look for another Florida blowout. Coach Meyer will build his depth by playing lots of younger athletes. Gators 45-10. Next up: Tennessee Volunteers in Gainesville.
SEC vs SunBelt: Alabama vs Florida International in Tuscaloosa. Coach Saban smells blood in the water now that his team is in the top five. Look for a high scoring game. Bama wins 56-7. Roll Tide.
This should be a great weekend for SEC football. The SEC East game of the week and the SEC West game of the week are both at 7:00 pm on Saturday night so you will have to do the split screen to catch them both. I will see you the ball field.
Jay Holgate is an SEC sports analyst, freelance writer and editor of SEC Sports Report. He can be heard on sports radio around the South. He can be reached at editor (at) SECsportsReport (dot) com
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