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SEC FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS: WEEK 13

 

This sort of article only works if there is some sense of accountability. With that said this is how we are doing so far in 2017:

  • Last week: 8-1
  • Misses: One last week as Florida played better than I expected against UAB and won.
  • Closest prediction: Two on the nose predictions. Auburn by 28 (42-14) over UL Monroe and Mississippi State by 7 (28-21) over Arkansas.
  • Worst prediction: I went with UAB by 3 and Florida destroyed the Blazers 36-7.
  • Season so far: 76-26

There are nine games on the slate this holiday weekend. Here are the predictions:

Thursday, November 23

(14) Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss – At 5-6 the Rebels are ineligible for a bowl, but a win over their arch rivals to achieve parity on the season would be a big step. The Bulldogs are looking for a win to reach a better bowl game and the way they will do that is by controlling the tempo and flow of the game through quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Prediction: Mississippi State by 14.

Friday, November 24

Arkansas vs. Missouri – Missouri is the team that every SEC squad that was mediocre over the first quarter of the season wants to be. The Tigers were left for dead, right before they found their high powered offense and started to blow opponents off of the field. Brett Bielema hasn’t done nearly enough with Arkansas and his tenure with the program will end under a Drew Lock passing barrage. Prediction: Missouri by 24.

Saturday, November 25

Georgia Tech vs. (7) Georgia – Georgia Tech needs this game to secure a bowl bid as they only play 11 games this season thanks to UCF basically denying every reasonable request to reschedule a hurricane-affected game. The Georgia ground game will be the difference in this one – ironic against a triple-option team – as they blast away on a Yellow Jackets front that just gave up 319 rushing yards to Duke. Prediction: Georgia by 17.

Florida vs. Florida State – This is a game that looked much more interesting before the season began. The Gators and their Seminoles both lost their starting quarterbacks for the year and both have defenses that can be either lights out or missing in action. Florida will not be going bowling after an 11 game season, while FSU needs a win here to keep its own bowl hopes alive. In a game with bad quarterback play, it could be first to 14 points wins. Prediction: Florida State by 6.

Kentucky vs. Louisville – A battle of 7-4 teams that will be worth watching because it is probably the last regular season game for Lamar Jackson before he jumps to the NFL. The Cardinals are as entertaining as they come, but their style of play does leave them open for Kentucky to win this, especially at home. The Wildcats though will need to get far more production from an offense that is probably too pedestrian to keep up with Jackson. Prediction: Louisville by 10.

(6) Auburn vs. (1) Alabama – Everything else this weekend is the undercard for the Iron Bowl. Every other Power Five school out there is rooting for an Alabama win, making sure the SEC picture stays clear in regard to the College Football Playoff. An Auburn win – and make no bones about this, Auburn can win – throws everything into chaos. This should be a battle of defense and running games, with whichever quarterback is able to make the most plays leading their team to victory. Don’t count out the importance here of Alabama punter J.K. Scott and his ability to dictate field position. Prediction: Alabama by 5.

Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt – A couple of schools that are winless in SEC play meet in a game that probably means more for one than the other. Tennessee could write off a loss here as nothing more than a final blow before rebuilding begins under a new coach, while Vanderbilt needs the win more after their season went off the rails after a promising start. Neither of these teams has been able to defend over the last two weeks – both can thank Missouri for that in part – and one magic figure to watch for is the ‘Dores ability to hit 150 yards on the ground. The Vols are 0-7 when allowing more than that number this season. Prediction: Vanderbilt by 3.

(24) South Carolina vs. (3) Clemson – This is not a game Clemson wants any part of in 2017. The Tigers are in a spot where a College Football Playoff bid looks like an almost certainty, but now they have to play against a huge rival on the road that would love to destroy their season. South Carolina has won five of six, has a bowl bid locked up, and things are looking bright for the Gamecocks. A win here would be a nice boost heading into bowl season. Prediction: Clemson by 10.

(18) LSU vs. Texas A&M – According to reports Kevin Sumlin is the ultimate lame duck head coach going into this contest with LSU. If Sumlin loses he is gone. If Sumlin wins, well, he is still gone. It seems kinda harsh given that a win would put Sumlin and the Aggies at 8-4 on the season with three losses coming to Auburn, Alabama, and Mississippi State. That is the life of a college football head coach at a program that is committed to paying whatever it costs to be a perennial fixture in the national top 10. Prediction: LSU by 5.

 

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