SEC Predictions: Week 9


October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Lerentee McCray (34) reacts with fans after they beat the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 44-11. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

As the season begins taking its downhill stroll, the pieces to the postseason are beginning to take shape. Week 9 offers some interesting games in the SEC including a matchup of unbeatens as the Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. Also, the weekend offers us the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” as the Georgia Bulldogs take on the unbeaten Florida Gators in Jacksonville. There is also an important SEC East match-up as the Tennessee Volunteers face the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina. In the “overachievers versus the underachievers” game, you have the Ole Miss Rebels heading to Little Rock, Arkansas to play the Arkansas Razorbacks. Other games in the conference include the Texas A&M Aggies facing the Auburn Tigers, the Kentucky Wildcats playing the Missouri Tigers, and the Vanderbilt Commodores against the Massachusetts Minutemen. All in all, it is yet another good week of football in the SEC. Let us take a look at my predictions.

Excitement Level Legend:

1- Presidential Debate

2- Taylor Swift’s New CD

3- Donald Trump’s Offer to the POTUS

4- The Red Bull Stratos Jump! !


Kentucky Wildcats ( 1-7, 0-5 SEC) vs. Missouri Tigers ( 3-4, 0-4 SEC)

Time: 12:00 PM ET

Place: Columbia, Missouri


Excitement Level: 1

Analysis: Kentucky may be the worst team in the SEC. Well, Auburn is the worst team in the SEC. Hold on. Nevermind. That is still debatable. Either way, Kentucky is not playing good football this year. There is no question in the conference that this will be Joker Phillip’s last year. The majority of Kentucky’s statistics are in the 100’s out of 116 teams in the country. They are coming off their best showing of the year losing to the Bulldogs from Georgia 29-24. Missouri comes into the game looking for their first SEC win since joining the conference this year. Their last game was two weeks ago when they were formally welcomed  to the SEC as Alabama walked over them in a 42-10 beating. A win for Mizzou keeps bowl hopes alive, but a tough schedule with Florida, Tennessee, Syracuse, and Texas A&M remains for the Tigers. Kentucky had their one good game last week against Georgia, but they will not be able to pull off the same effort two weeks in a row..

Prediction: Kentucky-14 Missouri-27

Tennessee Volunteers ( 3-4, 0-4 SEC) vs. #13 South Carolina Gamecocks ( 6-2, 4-2 SEC)

Time: 12:00 PM ET

Place: Columbia, South Carolina


Excitement Level: 3

Analysis: In case you did not know, Derek Dooley’s seat is on fire at the moment. With rumblings of the Volunteer Nation already trying to reach out to Jon Gruden, the Tennessee football team is just trying to get bowl eligible before the end is over. The Volunteers sport one of the best quarterbacks in the conference in Tyler Bray, but their defense has been lackluster at best. In the way of their fifth win is a South Carolina Gamecock team that is pretty much out of the SEC title race. Anchored by one of the best defensive players in the conference, Jadeveon Clowney, the Gamecocks have had a pretty successful year losing only to the #9 (LSU) and #2 (Florida) teams in the nation. With the USC defense, quarterback Conner Shaw showing off his arm, and Marcus Lattimore carrying the rock, this has to be one of the better teams in Coach Steve Spurrier’s time at South Carolina. Watch out for the Old Ball Coach’s past to show in this game. He was at Florida too long to forget about his hatred of Tennessee. “You can’t spell Citrus without UT…”

Prediction: Tennessee-10 South Carolina-21

Ole Miss Rebels ( 4-3, 1-2 SEC) vs. Arkansas Razorbacks ( 3-4, 2-2 SEC)

Time: 12:21 PM ET

Place: Little Rock, Arkansas

TV: SEC Network/ESPN3

Excitement Level: 2

Analysis: As stated above, this is my “overachievers vs. underachievers” game of the week. The last time we saw the Rebels play, they were busy putting a 41-20 thumping on SEC West foe Auburn. Coach Hugh Freeze really have the Rebels playing like a completely different team from last year. Although they were beaten by Texas, Alabama, and Texas A&M, they were competitive in the majority of those defeats. Arkansas appeared to wake up last week by putting a beating on a really bad Kentucky team to a score of 49-7. Arkansas has the weapons to be competitive, but upon losing Petrino in the off-season, they lost the coaching. The Arkansas defense has not been satisfactory the past couple of years, but with weapons like Tyler Wilson and Knile Davis, the Razorback game plan is to just score more points than the opposition. I think they take yet another step in the right direction this week for a “Underachiever Upset”…

Prediction: Ole Miss-28 Arkansas-35

#2 Florida Gators ( 7-0, 6-0 SEC) vs. #10 Georgia Bulldogs ( 6-1, 4-1 SEC)

Time: 3:30 PM ET

Place: Jacksonville, Florida


Excitement Level: 5

Analysis: “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” never seems to disappoint, and this year’s game does not look like that trend will change. The #2 ranked Florida Gators come into the match-up leading the SEC East with 6 wins and eyeing to possibly reserve a spot in Atlanta with a victory on Saturday. The Gators’ last game consisted of them completely rolling over the South Carolina Gamecocks due to multiple turnovers, a stout defense, and clock control.  Standing in their way is SEC East rival the Georgia Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are coming off a tight battle with the Kentucky Wildcats that made many Bulldog faithful question the actual quality of their team. I believe they were looking ahead to the Jacksonville, FL meeting and will be more than ready to take on the Gators. This will be by far the best SEC game of the day. Upset brewing in cocktail land? I would not bet on it…

Prediction: Florida Gators-21 Georgia Bulldogs-17

#20 Texas A&M Aggies ( 5-2, 2-2 SEC) vs. Auburn Tigers ( 1-6, 0-5 SEC)

Time: 7:00 PM ET

Place: Auburn, Alabama


Excitement Level: 1

Analysis: The Aggies of Texas A&M come into Auburn, Alabama on Saturday looking to rebound after letting #6 LSU come from behind to beat them a week ago. Leading the Aggie no huddle attack is star quarterback Johnny Manziel who has thrown for 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. If those statistics are not enough for you, he has also added 703 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. The Auburn Tigers on the other hand are just looking for some flashes of consistency with their offense. The defense is giving up over 400 yards a game on average, and it seems like things on The Plains are just falling apart. The last time we saw the Tigers, they dropped a close game to the Vanderbilt Commodores by losing 17-13. Will this chapter of the Gene Chizik era at Auburn be one of the last ones we read? I believe so…

Prediction: Texas A&M-45 Auburn-14

Massachusetts Minutemen ( 0-7, 0-4 MAC) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores ( 3-4, 2-3 SEC)

Time: 7:00 PM ET

Place: Nashville, Tennessee

TV: Gameplan/ESPN 3

Excitement Level: 1

Analysis: This is not your father’s Vanderbilt. Sure, they have only won 3 games and lost 4, but James Franklin has the Commodores believing that they can win every game they play. With a win against this lowly MAC team, Vanderbilt inches closer to becoming bowl eligible. The Commodores’ schedule helps the cause with winnable games against Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Wake Forest to finish the year. Once they win this Saturday, and they will, Vanderbilt will control their own future, and the stock of James Franklin will continue to rise…

Prediction: Massachusetts-10 Vanderbilt-31

#11 Mississippi State Bulldogs ( 7-0, 3-0 SEC) vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide ( 7-0, 4-0 SEC)

Time: 8:30 PM ET

Place: Tuscaloosa, Alabama


Excitement Level: 4

Analysis: It is a meeting of the only 2 undefeated teams left in the SEC West. Mississippi comes into the game with a 7-0 record, and Coach Dan Mullen is trying his best to push the Bulldogs over the hump of mediocrity. Although the record is impressive, the best win on the schedule is against a Sun Belt team (Troy). In the way of the Bulldogs’ memorable season is the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide have been in cruise control the past few weeks, dominating every opponent they face. It seems like the Tide are just waiting for some competition. The competition may not come until a possible game against the Gators in Atlanta…

Prediction: Mississippi State-14 Alabama-35