College Football Week 4: Predicting the Fate of Every SEC Team
The SEC is in full swing going into Week 4. This weekend's schedule will decide the fate for several teams as they try to stay afloat within the conference.
All seven games from this weekend involving SEC teams will help clarify the pecking order for just how good each team is. We know that the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers are great teams with stout defenses.
What we do not know is how good are the Florida Gators or South Carolina Gamecocks as they play in pivotal games. Other schools will try to simply win and keep their hopes alive for a decent bowl game.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Texas A&M Aggies
A preview of what's to come in the near future takes place in Dallas, Texas this weekend as the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies face the No. 18 Arkansas Razorbacks. This historic rivalry will soon become an exclusive part of the SEC when the Aggies join the most dominant conference in the country.
Nothing could help heal the wounds of a defeated Arkansas team like beating Texas A&M in the Southwest classic inside Cowboys Stadium. Arkansas faces a good defense but nothing compared to what they faced in Tuscaloosa last week.
The Aggies are coming off a tough loss as well to the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys in a second half collapse after being up 20-3 at halftime. They let the Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden throw for a school-record 438 yards passing last week.
The Razorbacks bring a robust offensive machine into Dallas looking to get back to full speed. Aside from their Week 3 performance, Arkansas put up over 450 yards in their first three games.
Arkansas' offensive fire power will be too much for the Aggies to handle on Saturday. Arkansas wins by double digits.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Georgia Bulldogs
Mississippi State Bulldogs travel to Athens, Georgia this weekend to set the stage for two middle of the pack teams to face off. It's the battle of the Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium at high noon on Saturday.
The Georgia Bulldogs got off to a rough start this season losing their first two games. They have gotten back on track putting together two wins in a row and look to keep the momentum moving forward.
Mississippi State has also been through a lackluster start to the season. The Bulldogs have lost both of their SEC games thus far, despite playing the LSU Tigers close at home.
Originally, I had pegged Mississippi State to win this game in the preseason but seeing how they've played collectively in their games, my pick has changed.
The Georgia Bulldogs will win their third game in a row on Saturday narrowly beating Mississippi State by one score or less.
One thing that I can predict with certainty is that the Bulldogs will win this game. You can take that to the bank.
Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers
The Kentucky Wildcats make their way down to Death Valley to play the No.1 team in the country, the LSU Tigers. The matchup certainly does not bode well for the Wildcats as they face on of the toughest defenses in all of college football.
Some may be worried that the Tigers may be overlooking the Wildcats or that the No. 1 ranking could affect the team's psyche. Les Miles extinguished that notion this week.
"We take it as a compliment to our program and a compliment to our team. Being No. 1 is no burden. There is no extra target on our back. Every time LSU goes to play, the other team is trying to beat us. We want to achieve."
I fully expect LSU to fine tune their style of play versus one of the weaker SEC opponents in the conference. Tigers will win big and further cement their place as the No. 1 team in the country.
Buffalo Bulls at Tennessee Volunteers
The Buffalo Bulls get to taste a piece of the SEC pie this week when they go into Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday. Boy, will they be in for a shock playing outside of the MAC.
The Tennessee Volunteers put up a fair fight versus the Florida Gators last week in Gainesville, but Florida was simply too much for the Vols to swallow. This week presents a chance for the Volunteers to get back on track before plunging head first into the SEC gauntlet.
There really is no story with this game on the behalf of the Bulls. Tennessee will win, and will win handily. I fully expect them to beat Buffalo by at least three scores.
Auburn Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks
The No. 10 South Carolina Gamecocks host the defending national champion Auburn Tigers in Columbia Saturday afternoon. South Carolina has already won two games in the conference placing them atop the SEC East.
Auburn comes into the game 3-1 on the season losing their only game to the Clemson Tigers two weeks ago. The Gamecocks are off to a great start on the season, but they certainly have not been impressive by any means.
Alshon Jeffery has been remarkably inconsistent and Stephen Garcia has been nothing short of aggravating for head coach Steve Spurrier. Thankfully for South Carolina, Marcus Lattimore has produced quite nicely.
The Tigers on the other hand, have a horrible defense coming into Saturday's game. Their defense is ranked 110th in the nation, which sounds even worse when you realize they're only better than 10 other teams.
I expect the Gamecocks to right the ship on offense with a solid win versus the Tigers. It will be a close one but South Carolina will prevail as the victor.
Vindicating their loss in the SEC Championship game from last season wouldn't hurt either.
Ole Miss Rebels at Fresno State Bulldogs
The Fresno State Bulldogs host the SEC's weakest link, the Ole Miss Rebels. The second game of the two MAC-SEC matchups this week takes place in Fresno, California.
Ole Miss are a putrid 1-3 and 0-1 in conference play. They are ranked 103rd or higher in passing yards, rushing yards, and points for. Pretty pitiful for any team, but a SEC team should never be ranked that low in more than one category.
Fresno State come in 2-2, they suffered their two losses to the Cal Bears and Nebraska Huskers. I expect the Bulldogs to win a tight one on Saturday, knocking Ole Miss to 1-4 on the season.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida Gators
The SEC's other vaunted defense rolls into Gainesville Saturday hoping to put the Florida Gators back in their place. Nick Saban has his Alabama Crimson Tide team rolling after dominating the Arkansas Razorbacks in all three phases.
Florida has quietly climbed over 10 spots in the rankings to the No. 12 spot and they want to keep moving on up, to the East side. The Gators offense is led by Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps in the ground game.
The key to this game is the ground game. Both offenses depend on their horses rather than their quarterbacks for offensive production. Whomever can run the ball and stop the other team's running backs will come out victorious in this tantalizing matchup.
I will be at the game Saturday night to witness the clash of SEC titans. Speaking from experience, The Swamp is a rough place for teams to come into, especially with a young quarterback.
I'm sticking with my preseason prediction and calling the upset here. Florida's defense will force AJ McCarron into unimaginable mistakes Saturday night.
Florida wins a very, very close one. More than likely the Gators win it on the last possession of the game.