In & around SEC football


Auburn Week 1 Review

The Tigers nearly suffered the worst loss in school history last Saturday (Sept. 12) against Jackson-ville State. Auburn snuck out of Jordan-Hare Stadium with a 27-20 overtime victory, but the Tigers have some major questions to answer moving forward. Jeremy Johnson struggled once again, throwing two more interceptions. Johnson did throw a touchdown pass to Melvin Ray to force overtime, but unless he improves drastically before this weekend, the Tigers could be in trouble. Auburn improved to 2-0 overall and travel to Baton Rouge this Saturday (Sept. 19) to take on LSU. 

Alabama Week 1 Review 

Alabama defeated Middle Tennessee State, 37-10, last Saturday, and the Crimson Tide now turns its attention to a major showdown this week against Ole Miss. Alabama’s performance against the Blue Raiders wasn’t as crisp as Nick Saban would’ve liked, but the Tide did make some improvements on both sides of the ball. The kicking game is still a major concern, and this weekend’s matchup against the Rebels should be one of the best in college football. Alabama im-proved to 2-0 overall on the year. 

SEC Rankings

1. Alabama (2-0)

2. Texas A&M (2-0)

3. LSU (1-0, 1-0)

4. Ole Miss (2-0)

5. Georgia (2-0, 1-0)

6. Kentucky (2-0, 1-0)

7. Tennessee (1-1)

8. Missouri (2-0)

9. Miss. State (1-1, 0-1)

10. Auburn (2-0)

11. Florida (2-0)

12. Arkansas (1-1)

13. South Car. (1-1, 0-1)

14. Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-1)

Week 2 Previews and Predictions 

Week 2: 8-3; Season: 20-4

Game of the Week

Ole Miss at Alabama (-6.5). Ole Miss knocked off Alabama a year ago in one of the biggest upsets of the season. The Rebels enter Tuscaloosa on Saturday trying to duplicate last year’s magical performance, and they might be catching the Tide at the right time. Alabama’s quarterback situation is still questionable, and the Tide’s young defensive backs will be challenged all night by Ole Miss’s receiving corps, which might be the best in the country. Both teams have dominant defensive lines, and each team’s offensive lines will be challenged. If Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil remains suspended due to a lingering eligibility concern, it would be very pro-blematic for the Rebels. This should be a defensive battle, and Alabama’s defense will create turnovers down the stretch to win the game. Prediction: Alabama 23, Ole Miss 13.

Nevada at Texas A&M (-34). Texas A&M gets one more tune-up before conference play begins next week against Arkansas. Prediction: Texas A&M 63, Nevada 20. 

South Carolina at Georgia (-17). Georgia defeated Vanderbilt a week ago, but the Dawgs still have some questions to answer before they get to the middle of their schedule. The quarterback position remains a major concern, but the running game looked great behind a dominant performance from Nick Chubb. South Carolina dropped a home game to Kentucky and lost quarterback Connor Mitch for a few weeks with a separated shoulder. The Gamecocks looked sluggish for most of the game and need a drastic improvement if they’re going to upset Georgia. Prediction: Georgia 31, South Carolina 20. 

Auburn at LSU (-7.5). Auburn’s struggles against Jacksonville State might be forgiven if the Tigers win in Baton Rouge for the first time in 16 years. LSU knocked off Mississippi State on the road, and Leonard Fournette lived up to the hype against the Bulldogs. Auburn’s offense still isn’t clicking, but LSU’s offense had difficulty on Saturday as well. Expect a low-scoring game, and don’t be surprised if Auburn pulls off the upset on the road. Prediction: Auburn 20, LSU 17. 

Texas Tech at Arkansas (-11). Arkansas’s loss to Toledo was embarrassing for both the Razorbacks and the SEC. The Hogs were supposed to be one of the most improved teams in the country, and they looked the part during the first week of the season. Toledo isn’t a bad team, but if Arkansas wishes to contend for the SEC West title, it can’t lose to teams like the Rockets. Beating Texas Tech at home would be a nice bounce-back win for the Hogs. Prediction: Arkansas 41, Texas Tech 28. 

Connecticut at Missouri (-21.5). The Tigers looked sluggish in their win at Arkansas State, but a win is a win at this point in the season. Mizzou should have another win this weekend against the Huskies. Prediction: Missouri 41, UConn 17. 

Florida at Kentucky (+3). Kentucky has made gradual improvements each year under Mark Stoops. After the Wildcats’ impressive road win at South Carolina, are they ready to become a factor in the SEC East? Kentucky hasn’t beaten Florida in 28 years, but this might be the best chance they’ve ever had. Florida is still finding its identity under Jim Mc-Elwain, and the Wildcats finally knock off the Gators this year in Lexington. Prediction: Kentucky 31, Florida 27. 

Western Carolina at Tennessee (-37). The Vols lost in heartbreaking fashion in overtime against Oklahoma, a game they had numerous chances to win. Tennessee led the game 17-0 at one point but failed to put the Sooners away several times in the second half. OU stormed back in the fourth quarter to force overtime and the Vols dropped their first game of the season. Saturday’s game against Western Carolina should give Tennessee a chance to recover before a big road game at Florida in two weeks. Prediction: Tennessee 52, Western Carolina 3. 

Austin Peay at Vanderbilt (-41). The Commodores looked improved in their loss against Georgia and should get their first win this weekend over Austin Peay. Prediction: Vanderbilt 38, Austin Peay 6. 

Northwestern State at Mississippi State (-38). Dak Prescott nearly led an impressive comeback at home against LSU last week, but the Bulldogs missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired. Mississippi State gets an easy win this Saturday before traveling to Auburn next weekend. Prediction: Mississippi State 55, Northwestern State 10. 

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