This weekend should be a rather mild one for SEC teams, though after last week’s shocker you really never know, with only one match-up of ranked teams and a handful of intriguing games. Here’s what I will be watching in week three of the SEC.
Western Kentucky vs. Kentucky
This is my upset pick of the week. Everyone is looking past the Hill Toppers and giving Kentucky a much needed win. Western Kentucky is one of the better teams in the Sun Belt and a very well coached unit. Last year, the Hill Toppers gave LSU all they could handle, going into the half only down seven, and gave a blueprint on how to make things tough for the Tigers (see all the motion used my Alabama in the BCS Championship game). This year, they cause similar problems for the Tide. Kentucky is an improved team with the stability of quarterback Maxwell Smith, but I think Western Kentucky causes enough problems to steal a win.
24-21 Western Kentucky
ULM vs Auburn
Last week, ULM shocked the world by upsetting then ranked Arkansas in Little Rock. Now they get to face a dreadful Auburn team coming off an embarrassing thumping at the hands of Mississippi State. ULM rolled up 550 yards, with 412 of that through the air, against Arkansas. Auburn has given up lots of yards, but they are a better defensive team than Arkansas. The Tigers also have something to prove and won’t be surprised by ULM. The Warhawks may make this a game for a while, but Auburn will get their first win of the season.
Arizona State vs Missouri
It’s another Pac-12/SEC match-up. Normally I would tout how the Pac-12 can’t match up with the SEC defense, but this is Missouri. While they are in the SEC, we learned last week that they aren’t quite yet up to the level of elite SEC defenses. They welcome in Arizona State who is currently ranked 7th in points scored and 10th in points allowed, but has only played Northern Arizona and Illinois. This will be a shootout, but Missouri will pull it out in the “Zou” (seriously, Missouri, you’re a journalism school, you have to come up with something better than that).
Texas vs. Ole Miss
The Longhorns are coming down to the Grove. Ole Miss has opened the season and been a very competent team, especially on offense. We haven’t seen anything this cohesive in a few years from the Rebel Bears. Texas comes in finally settling on David Ash as their quarterback. While the Rebel Bears have improved, Texas is the better team. If Ole Miss can keep it close, they may give them a little momentum heading into SEC play.
Alabama vs Arkansas
We were supposed to find out all we needed about Arkansas and if they could make a SEC Championship run. Instead, against the University of Louisiana-Monroe, we found out that Arkansas is a shell of its former self. They were outgained in every statistical category and were pushed around along the lines. There is nothing but trouble coming for the Hogs as the top ranked Tide rolls into Fayetteville. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas’s only hope on offense may not play with an “injury above the shoulders,” and Arkansas still has loopy coach John L. Smith on the sidelines, the very guy that called Alabama a bunch of “suckers” on his radio show this weekend. This will get real ugly, real quick.
Florida vs. Tennessee
For the first time in a long time there is some heat to this game. Tennessee’s offense has been awesome, while Florida has picked up a gritty road win. It is also a case of strength-on-strength as the fierce Florida D has to try and stop Tennessee’s dynamic O. This is a game both coaches need and neither can afford to lose. Rocky Top has been restless with Derek Dooley after two dismal seasons, and the offensive minded Gator Nation is less than thrilled with what has been a putrid product under Muschamp. A win will go a long way to win over fans on either side. Plus, the winner of this game will come out as a legitimate contender in the SEC East. In the end, it will come down to the best player on either sideline making plays. Tyler Bray will win the day for the Vols.
What do you think of our predictions? If you disagree with any of them, let us know in the comments!