A less impressive week for the league as a whole (Alabama squeaking past Texas, A&M falling to a Sun Belt team), but the likes of Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Arkansas all looked good.
By Steve Wright
Week Results: 14-1
Closest Pick: Kentucky 27, Florida 23. Actual was Kentucky 26, Florida 16. Just eight points out in picking an underdog victory seems like a win.
Worst Pick: Texas A&M 41, Appalachian State 10. Actual was (of course) Appy State 17, A&M 14. Just a brutal loss that should get the fan base asking questions about the Jimbo Fisher regime.
Season Results: 24-3 (88.9%). Last week was 93.3%.
(1) Georgia @ South Carolina – South Carolina just gave up 44 points to Arkansas so that Georgia will score on them. Despite very little quarterback pressure, Georgia isn’t giving points to anyone, and Spencer Rattler isn’t the guy to take this defense apart. Georgia 38, South Carolina 7.
Youngstown State @ (9) Kentucky – Don’t mess this up, Kentucky. The Wildcats’ win over Florida was huge and sets up their game against Tennessee as a straight shot for No. 2 in the SEC East. Kentucky will control tempo here, and the defense that shut down Anthony Richardson is the real deal. Kentucky’s style is excellent against good teams and a worry against bad ones, but they will do enough. Kentucky 35, Youngstown State 14.
Abilene Christian @ Mizzou – It was a little under the radar thanks to Texas A&M and Alabama’s struggles, but the 40-12 romp that K State had over Mizzou was a bad result for the SEC. Six turnovers in two games and just 222 yards of total offense show that this is an offense that just isn’t working properly. This will be closer than you think. Mizzou 28, ACU 20.
(20) Ole Miss @ Georgia Tech – Ole Miss and their complete disregard for clock control will win another one here against a Georgia Tech squad far removed from being a threat. Ole Miss 41, Georgia Tech 17.
(22) Penn State @ Auburn – This will be close, and it will be low scoring. The Nittany Lions are good at everything – their offense has great balance – while Auburn will look to run all over their visitors. I think the noise at Jordan Hare will be worth a touchdown in a tight win for Auburn. Auburn 26, Penn State 23.
Vanderbilt @ Northern Illinois – Through three games, Vandy is allowing less than 4.0 yards per carry on defense. If the ‘Dores can keep their turnovers to a minimum and run the ball better than they did against Wake Forest, they win. Vandy 31, Northern Illinois 21.
UL Monroe @ (2) Alabama – Alabama slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 after their escape against Texas last weekend. Bryce Young is still the best player in the country, but he needed help from a wide receiver group that isn’t getting open effectively. They will be better here. Alabama 42, ULM 10.
Mississippi State @ LSU – Best game of the weekend. Brain Kelly can’t afford to start 1-2 at LSU, while Mike Leach has the Bulldogs playing the best ball in the SEC this side of Georgia. Will Rogers is a star and will make enough plays to outside Jayden Daniels (another star) in a low-key classic. Mississippi State 38, LSU 31.
Missouri State @ (10) Arkansas – The Bobby Petrino bowl. Petrino has turned Missouri State into a legit contender in the FCS, but the Arkansas lines will be too big and too strong here. Expect Arkansas to keep it simple and lean on the run in another impressively simple win. Arkansas 38, Missouri State 14.
Akron @ (15) Tennessee – Tennessee is a 47.5-point favorite. Nothing to see here as the Vols offense gets nasty on the Zips. Tennessee 55, Akron 10.
South Florida @ (18) Florida – Kentucky stoned Anthony Richardson last week, but USF will not have the same success here. I expect Florida to go run-heavy – something they should have done against the Wildcats – and to pen up lanes for Richardson. Florida 31, USF 14.
(13) Miami @ (24) Texas A&M – This is a very awkward game on the back of the worst loss of the Jimbo Fisher era. The 186 total yards against Appalachian State is a huge worry, while Miami has rolled with over 500 yards of offense per game so far. It feels like A&M has a fine window to win until the offense gets going, and that won’t happen here. Miami 31, Texas A&M 24.