Today's Paper Latest Story ideas Coronavirus The Article iPad Core Values Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive
ADVERTISEMENT

OPINION | WALLY HALL: SEC schedule packed from start to finish

by Wally Hall | October 1, 2021 at 2:30 a.m.

There are still five undefeated teams in the SEC, and that will change Saturday when 4-0 Arkansas takes on 4-0 Georgia and 3-0 Ole Miss plays 4-0 Alabama.

Before forgetting, Kirby Smart did win the SEC championship in his second season by beating Auburn in the championship game but lost the national championship to Alabama in overtime.

With six SEC conference games, this is the best weekend of football this season. Starting at 11 a.m. with the Hogs and Dawgs and ending after Auburn and LSU kick at 8 p.m., it is a marathon of quality games.

Last week's picks ended up 7-2, but should have been a little better if a certain team (Mississippi State) had played as good in the first half as it did in the second. Overall record now is 40-10.

Arkansas at Georgia

The Razorbacks' strength on offense is running. The Bulldogs' strength on defense is stopping the run. Only one can be successful Saturday. The Bulldogs are allowing only 69.5 yards on the ground through four games, and the Hogs are averaging 261 rushing. The Bulldogs allow just 115.8 through the air. This should be a low-scoring game. Any advantage the Razorbacks might have gotten from an 11 a.m. kickoff went out the window when ESPN announced it would bring "College GameDay" to Athens. The Bulldog fans would stay up all night rather than miss that show. First time to pick against the Razorbacks. Georgia 21-17

Arkansas State at Georgia Southern

Both teams opened the season with a win and have since lost three straight. The Red Wolves have struggled on defense. In their losses, they have given up 148 points. There is a debate over who should be quarterbacking, but there is no discussion in Butch Jones' office. He's sticking with transfer James Blackman over former Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Layne Hatcher. Arkansas State 28-27

Ole Miss at Alabama

For Ole Miss to get out of Tuscaloosa with a win its offense is going to have to be almost flawless. The Rebels' defense is untested but appears to be better than last season. Head coach Lane Kiffin is one of the great play-callers in the game. It appears he and Nick Saban have made up, at least a little, since Kiffin's departure from Alabama. Ole Miss had an extra week to prepare, so Saban won't be taking any chances. Alabama 49-38

Auburn at LSU

A night game in Death Valley probably has as much to do with LSU being favored as anything. LSU wasn't impressive last week as the Tigers held on for a win against Mississippi State. In fact, they have not been impressive all season. This time and place of this battle of Tigers is everything. LSU 24-21

Kentucky at Florida

The Wildcats are undefeated, 4-0 and 2-0 in SEC play, but virtually untested until Saturday. The Wildcats have a balanced offense but will need to take advantage of the Gators secondary, which ranks 13th in the SEC, allowing 241 yards per game. The Gators bounced back from a narrow loss to the Tide to handle Tennessee and appear back on course. Florida 35-24

Mississippi St. at Texas A&M

The Bulldogs are going to throw on almost every down. The Aggies have to shake off the loss to the Hogs and be as good on defense as possible. Texas A&M 28-24

Tennessee at Missouri

They have identical records, 2-2 overall and 0-1 in SEC play, and the Tigers are favored at home by a field goal. Seems low. Missouri 28-17

Troy at South Carolina

The Gamecocks celebrate with chicken wings. South Carolina 28-14

UConn at Vanderbilt

Two cellar dwellers. Huskies are winless and stay that way. Vanderbilt 31-17

Print Headline: SEC schedule packed from start to finish

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsor Content

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT