It’s a lighter schedule in the Southeastern Conference this week, with only eight games. Of course, that includes perhaps the national game of the year with Alabama-Texas A&M. I’m 20-5 through two weeks, so I’ll try to best that this time.
Alabama 37, Texas A&M 28: I have a feeling that two weeks of practice has cured what ailed the Crimson Tide offense a couple of weeks ago. The ‘Bama defense is stout as always, and Johnny Football and company will put up some points. But the A&M defense won’t be able to stop Alabama’s power running game, which Nick Saban will use to control the clock and eventually win the game.
Oregon 48, Tennessee 21: It’s been a nice start for coach Butch Jones, but the Vols’ defense is still severely undermanned in the secondary and Justin Worley’s not a difference-making quarterback. Using the Las Vegas over-under of 72 and the pointspread of 28, that gives you a score of Oregon 50, Tennessee 22. I’m not straying far from that.
South Carolina 31, Vanderbilt 24: I thought the Commodores might actually have a shot to pull this one off, given the way they play the Gamecocks tough and what I thought was the imminent return of star receiver Chris Boyd. But the Boyd case threw everyone a curveball and he won’t be playing today, and I have to wonder how much toll this took on Vandy this week. The Commodores will still be able to put up points and move the ball through the air because of quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, but Carolina will also give VU fits in the running game between Connor Shaw and Mike Davis.
Auburn 30, Mississippi State 24: Auburn’s 2-0 start has been somewhat impressive, and I wasn’t blown away with Mississippi State in Week 1. The Bulldogs get Tyler Russell back and that’ll help, but I think Auburn just has more firepower in the tank.
Louisville 38, Kentucky 24: Louisville hasn’t played anyone yet, and Kentucky lost its one challenging game. The Wildcats did, though, make some progress last week. It’s a rivalry game and that might help the ‘Cats hang tough for a while, but Louisville has too much talent to lose on Saturday.
Arkansas 40, Southern Miss 17: The Razorbacks aren’t a Top 25 club yet, and won’t be one this year, but Bret Bielema seems to have things headed in the right direction. Southern Miss has lost 14 in a row, and won’t be able to stop the SEC’s leading rushing attack.
LSU 50, Kent St. 10: Bowling Green rolled up 576 yards on Kent last week, which begs the question: what will LSU’s suddenly-resurgent passing attack do?
Ole Miss 40, Texas 31: It’s never good to be changing defensive coordinators between weeks 2 and 3. It’s really not good if you’re playing a Hugh Freeze offense in that first transition week. Some will think I’m crazy for this pick, but I feel very confident in the Rebels right now and it might even be worse.