This college football season came out of nowhere. When you turn on the TV and you are greeted by a team featuring a pair of BAD Big Ten teams playing Dublin, Ireland, you know something is a bit off.
By Steve Wright
Either way, we are back for another round of SEC picks this year which is actually one of my favorite things to do each week.
Week Results: N/A
Closest Pick: N/A
Season Results: I went 88-26 last year for a total of 77.2%. That is the new benchmark after going 55-22 (71.4%) in the pandemic year of 2020.
Vandy @ Hawai’i – Already played. I would have taken Vandy here (Hawai’i has had a wild turnover of players), but I would never have seen 63-10 coming. I’m counting it. Sue me.
Ball State @ Tennessee – Tennessee loves a MAC opponent on opening night. Ball State was thumped 51-20 by Georgia State in their Bowl Game last season, and this Tennessee team behind quarterback Hendon Hooker and All-SEC level wide receiver Cedric Tillman will have way too much. Tennessee 58, Ball State 14.
Louisiana Tech @ Mizzou – A couple of teams with new quarterbacks (and a new running back for Mizzou) makes the -20.5 the Tigers are laying seem excessive. Mizzou 28, Louisiana Tech 17.
Sam Houston @ (6) Texas A&M – This has to be the year for the Aggies. They return 11 starters and have a monster recruiting class on campus. Sam Houston State is not your normal FCS cupcake after going 11-1 last season, but if Texas A&M wants to be taken seriously, this has to be a beatdown. A&M 31, Sam Houston State 10.
(11) Oregon @ (3) Georgia (in Atlanta) – Great game on paper, but the Bulldogs have gone out to 17-point favorites. They will have to be perfect offensively to win, but their offensive line and four-pronged rushing attack will move the ball. Oregon upset Ohio State last year, but they don’t quite get over the line here. Georgia 31, Oregon 24.
(23) Cincinnati @ (19) Arkansas – Interesting matchup. Lots of good things came from the 2021 Arkansas season, and they start against a team that was in the CFP last fall. A healthy KJ Jefferson at quarterback tilts this in the Hog’s favor. Arkansas 28, Cincinnati 17.
Troy @ (21) Ole Miss – Jaxson Dart is a USC transfer at the quarterback position who has to replace the incredibly effective Matt Corral for Ole Miss. He won’t be Corral immediately, but he will be impressive first time out. Ole Miss 42, Troy 10.
(7) Utah @ Florida – Upset alert. Utah does great in the Pac-12, but crossing the country to play in The Swamp will be tough for them. This isn’t a team that does well against winning teams. The deciding factor will be Anthony Richardson and his play at the quarterback position for a Florida team that it is hard to know what to expect from. Florida 35, Utah 28.
Miami OH @ (20) Kentucky – Expectations are high at Kentucky with the job Mike Stoops has done. Will Levis at quarterback will start off strong as a dark horse Heisman candidate but losing Chris Rodriguez at running back hurts. Kentucky wins, but not in a blowout. Kentucky 35, Miami OH 24.
Mercer @ Auburn – Auburn started 2021 by winning the first two games 122-10. They are 12-0 all-time against Mercer. The Bears have something about them (they won 63-13 over Morehead State last Saturday), and this will be closer than Auburn would like. Auburn 49, Mercer 28.
Elon @ Vanderbilt – It would be very Vandy to thump Hawai’i then turn around and lose to Elon. Not going to happen here, as the Mike Wright-led option will do some actual damage in the SEC this year. Vandy 38, Elon 7.
Utah State @ (1) Alabama – Nothing to see here. ‘Bama re -41.5 to win this. They cover comfortably and move on. Alabama 58, Utah State 3.
Memphis @ Mississippi State – Revenge game of sorts after a controversial Memphis win last fall. Don’t sleep on the Bulldogs’ defensive front, and in Will Rogers, MSU has a returning quarterback to pilot an offense that should be way more efficient this fall. Mississippi State 41, Memphis 20.
Georgia State @ South Carolina – GSU won seven of eight to finish last year on a tear. USC won its first bowl since 2017 and has a former Big 12 starter in Spencer Rattler (Oklahoma) at the quarterback position. Tough one to start, but the Gamecocks sneak it out. South Carolina 28, Georgia State 24.
Florida State @ LSU (in New Orleans) – A game that would have been much more interesting five years ago. The Biran Kelly era begins against a team that took down Duquesne 47-7 last weekend. Expect Jayden Daniels to start at quarterback as Kelly wills the Tigers to a win here. LSU 28, Florida State 24.