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Prediction: South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas Pull Upset Games for Thanksgiving

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 13:  Coach Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks calls instructions against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium October 13, 2007 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. South Carolina won 21-15.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Jay HolgateContributor IIINovember 25, 2009

Original Story Published on SEC Sports Report

ATLANTA, Ga —It’s rivalry weekend.  The final SEC games of the regular season don’t need any more hype but I see this as Upset Weekend . 

This Thanksgiving weekend there are five state championship games at stake which includes three SEC vs ACC match-ups.  Three games could be upsets so don’t get caught with a turkey bone in your mouth on Saturday night.

I was 5-1 in my SEC picks and picked the LSU upset and nailed the sleeper game with Kentucky upsetting the Dogs.  I’m 74-16 for the season which keeps me at 82 percent accuracy for the year.

 

Here are my Saturday predictions:

SEC Upset Game No. 1:  SEC vs ACC–South Carolina vs Clemson in Columbia

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier needs a big win as bad as anybody in the SEC. 

Spurrier has lived in the state long enough where he even hates Clemson now.  The Cocks have played games close but not brought home the wins.  Two weeks to prepare for this game was a much needed break.  South Carolina is hungry.

Clemson has dominated the series this decade.  This season, Clemson has won six games in a row.  Coach Swinney says he's not even thinking about the ACC Championship game until the rivalry game is over. 

I believe Clemson comes in with a chip on their shoulder.  South Carolina gets some huge turnovers and wins in a close one 24-21.

 

SEC Upset Game No. 2:  15 LSU vs Arkansas in Baton Rouge

The Tigers are favored by 3.5 points but this is an upset in the making. 

Coach Les Miles has been catching a ton of heat about the poorly managed Ole Miss upset.  He is a glass half-full guy and he lives for momentum.  There is too much mud on his face from last week to get focused enough for Arkansas.

Meanwhile, Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett is lighting up the skies.  Mallett is getting better every week and this Hawg team is starting to have some confidence again.  This game might get ugly.  Hawgs win 24-16.

 

Upset SEC Game No. 3: Tennessee vs Kentucky in Lexington

The odds makers like Tennessee by three.  The Vols have owned the Cats for 24 years in this series. 

I believe Coach Kiffin told the Knoxville Police department to expedite the investigation of starting safety Janzen Jackson because his dad needed more players on defense. 

It worked.  Amazingly, Jackson has been cleared of charges and available to play Saturday.  But the Vols are pretty banged up.

Kentucky has won five of their last six games this season and has enough momentum going to pull the upset on Saturday.  Kentucky’s Randall Cobb is a playmaker and as long as he is on the field, the Cats have a chance.  I believe the Cats pull the upset 21-20.

 

2 Alabama vs Auburn in the Plains

Coach Nick Saban knows what is at stake here.  Beating Auburn coach Gene Chizik in their first clash on the road would be another notch on his wall.  A big win against Auburn in the Plains helps recruiting significantly. 

Auburn has been hot and cold all year and who knows which team will show up Saturday.  If Auburn is hot, they may keep it close.  Either way, I don’t see any reason in which Bama loses this one.  Roll Tide 31-14.

 

1 Florida vs Florida State in the Swamp

The Gators have won five in a row against the Seminoles and this year will have the same result.  Tim Tebow will have another great game as his team finishes the regular season undefeated.  Gators romp 35-14.

 

Georgia vs Georgia Tech in Atlanta

I never thought I would see this.  Georgia Tech is favored to beat powerhouse Georgia by a touchdown.  This Georgia team seems like it never got on the tracks this season. 

The Dawgs have lived off big plays for a decade and for now those days are behind them.  It’s hard to pick an ACC team but I will close my eyes.  The Jackets will win 28-24.

 

25 Ole Miss vs Miss State in Starkville

The Rebels won a squeaker last week against LSU and it was big win for the program.  This week, Coach Nutt will have to travel and finish off with a win over the in-state rival to capture the Egg Bowl.  Look out for Dexter.  State will put up a good fight but not a win.  Rebels win 35-24.

 

I enjoyed my visit to Knoxville last weekend and will be traveling to western Tennessee for Thanksgiving.  I’m looking forward to the upset games and would love to see the SEC beat the ACC in all three games.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Until next time, I will see you on the ball field.

 

Jay Holgate is an SEC sports analyst, freelance writer and life coach based in Atlanta, Georgia.  He can be heard around the South on sports radio.

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