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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week 2: SEC Predictions

The SEC went 1-1 in marquee games during the first week of play, while the rest of the conference took care of business against weaker opponents. This week, the competition steps up for a few of the contenders for the SEC title. Others, however, stick to their easy scheduling with a few more FCS schools and tune up games.
How will the SEC teams fair this week? Let's find out.

Alabama QB A.J. McCaron
Kentucky vs. Central Michigan
Prediction: Kentucky 17, C.M 24
Pretty grizzly matchup between two teams that just aren't very good. Kentucky took care of Western Kentucky last week, but it was hardly an impressive performance. Central Michigan took out South Carolina State, again in unimpressive fashion. This weekend they will meet for what should be a fairly even match up. Home field advantage could swing this for Kentucky, though I think Central Michigan should be able to thwart the pressure. In the end, the game is a toss up that will be decided by less than 10 points on either side.

#3 Alabama @ #25 Penn State
Prediction: Alabama 35, Penn State 21
One of the candidates for my game of the week this week, Penn State vs. Alabama. In reality, the score probably won't be close after the first half. A Penn State team headed by Joe Paterno is always dangerous, and especially at home. However, if Alabama plays like a true top flight SEC team they shouldn't have any trouble escaping a less talented Penn State team. If Alabama doesn't take this game seriously (look at the score last year) they may find themselves in a bit of trouble before the night is thru.

Tennessee vs. Cincinnati
Prediction: Tennessee 42, Cincinnati 14
Tennessee shouldn't have much trouble against this Big East opponent this year. A few years back Cincinnati was a force to be reckoned with in the Big East and in OOC play. Last year, however, they only managed 4 wins against some pretty mediocre opponents. With no real signs of improvement this year, expect Tennessee to handle them at home in front of their giant fanbase.

#12 South Carolina @ Georgia
Prediction: South Carolina 35, Georgia 17
Georgia managed to lose to Boise State last weekend, marking the start of what may be another disappointing year for the Bulldogs. Sadly for Georgia, thier second week opponent is no easier than their first. South Carolina comes into this season fresh off a birth in last year's SEC championship game, and ready for a repeat. Georgia will need to play a much better this week to even keep the game manageable in the second half. If the Bulldogs play anything like how they played against Boise State this will mark a 0-2 start to their season.

Ole Miss vs. Southern Illinois
Prediction: Ole Miss 17, Southern Illinois 7
Ole Miss had a heartbreaking loss last weekend against BYU. After losing a game that was in your hand's to take, will they be able to bounce back this week against Southern Illinois? No, not in the way they would like at least. Southern Illinois won't win this game, but they will manage to keep Ole Miss within a few touchdowns. Ole Miss will look unimpressive this week, but they will win the football game.

#13 Arkansas vs. New Mexico
Prediction: Arkansas 56, New Mexico 7
New Mexico has suffered through the last few football seasons. They were absolutely destroyed last year at Oregon. While I think they have improved slightly this season, Arkansas will simply be too much to handle. Arkansas knows how to score, and putting up points against what will likely be a 1-2 win New Mexico team will not be difficult.

Florida vs. UAB
 Prediction: Florida 24, UAB 10
Florida may expand this score margin a few times before the night is done, but ultimately I think the game will be closer than anticipated. UAB won't win, but keeping the score within two touchdowns on the road in SEC country is more than a job well done for an inexperienced UAB team. If Florida steps up to the challenege early this score may be skewed in their favor by at least a few more touchdowns.

Vanderbilt vs. Connecticut
Prediction: Vanderbilt 14, Connecticut 28
Connecticut pasted Vanderbilt last season, but this year the series moves to Vanderbilt for a second match up. The home field advantage may work in Vanderbilt's favor for a while, but in the end the better football team will prevail. Connecticut won the Big East last year and is looking for a repeat performance. Vanderbilt will not get in the way of their BCS hopes.

#1 LSU vs. Northwestern State

Prediction: LSU 63, Northwestern State 10
LSU had no trouble taking out Oregon last week at a neutral site game. In fact, they looked so impressive I raised them up to #1 in my poll. This week against Northwestern State...won't be nearly as exciting as last week vs. Oregon. Simply put, anything besides a 35+ point blowout can be considered a bit of a letdown. This is one game that won't even be close.

#17 Mississippi State @ #20 Auburn
Prediction: Mississippi State 28, Auburn 17
Auburn barely escaped from a WAC opponent at home last week, there's no reason to think they will be able to escape Mississippi State with the same kind of performance this week. Auburn has the luxury of playing this game at home (which saved them against Utah State, if you ask me), but they simply won't have the scoring ability to keep up with Mississippi State this time. Auburn did well to pull out the win last week, they wont be as lucky against the SEC.


  1. I'm in CT and a UConn season ticket holder and fan - and your game prediction makes no sense. UConn could be solid this year but there are tons of unknowns, from who runs the team (3 QB rotation is in place) to who runs the ball (#2 guy ran for 140 last week with #1 hurt). The defense will be a strength - but it's crazy to intimate a repeat Big East championship.

    Can they and should they beat Vanderbilt? Yes - but close. Both teams beat outclassed opponents last week. Scary for Vanderbilt is having Elon outgain them on offense and winning on turnovers. That's very unlikely against UConn.

    Go Huskies!

  2. I don't think UConn necessarily is better than Vanderbilt. They do have a habit of winning which means a lot. Key to game: can the Commodores stop UConn's running game? If so, VU comes out on top. If not, UConn is victorious.