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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Back at sea level, good time for a bye week

by Wally Hall | October 21, 2022 at 2:13 a.m.

The Arkansas Razorbacks are not the only ones dragging into this much-needed bye week.

Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky are also off, but the person welcoming this off weekend is yours truly.

Since there are no home games Little Rock, your trusty scribe just finished his seventh consecutive road trip, and it was hard.

Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, had very interesting scenery, but the elevation was difficult just as it was in 2018 when the Razorbacks traveled to Colorado.

Went 5-2 with picks last week, bringing the season total to 58-14.

Here's this week's predictions:

Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette

A must-win for the Red Wolves, who are just two losses away from being eliminated from the bowl picture. ASU is 0-4 on the road, and its defense has given up one less point than the offense has scored. That is not a winning formula. The Ragin' Cajuns snapped a three-game losing streak last Saturday with a win at Marshall. In that streak was a loss to Louisiana-Monroe, which the Red Wolves thumped 45-28. Arkansas State 31-28

Mississippi State at Alabama

Do not feel sorry for the Bulldogs because they are catching the Crimson Tide after a rare loss. Sure, Alabama has faced State after its past three losses and ran all over the Dogs, but Mike Leach doesn't want sympathy. Bama does not have the powerful defense usually associated with Nick Saban's teams, having given up 101 points in four SEC games, 52 of those to Tennessee last week. Bama is unfamiliar territory being tied for second in the SEC West with LSU, behind undefeated Ole Miss. The Tide will get back on course, but don't feel sorry for the Bulldogs -- they relish the challenge. Alabama 42-31

Ole Miss at LSU

The Magnolia Bowl doesn't stir up the national attention it once did, but for these two teams -- who have played 110 times -- it still means something. LSU leads the series 64-41-4 with one game vacated by the Rebels. Ole Miss has not faced the toughest competition in rolling to a 7-0, 3-0 record but the Tigers are more than a formidable opponent, especially in Death Valley. The Rebels have a balanced offense and solid defense. The Tigers are flying pretty high after a 45-35 win at Florida. Rebels caught a small break with an afternoon kickoff. Went back and forth on this one, finally flipped a coin. Ole Miss 31-30

Vanderbilt at Missouri

Both are winless in SEC play and if five SEC teams weren't off, this game might have been played on the Food Network. Only alums, like our man Bob Holt (Mizzou), really care about this cellar dweller showdown. Both teams are riding a three game losing streak. The Tigers appear to have the better offense and defense. This is likely the last game the Commodores have any chance of winning and the odds aren't good on the road. Tigers will run it up. Missouri 49-14

Texas A&M at South Carolina

At 3-3 overall and 1-2 in SEC play, the Aggies' Jimbo Fisher may be feeling a little heat, but not much because his buyout is somewhere between $75 million and $95 million. That's a ton, even for the seventh-richest school in America. The Gamecocks are riding a three-game winning steak, including a 24-14 win at Kentucky. The Aggies are riding a two-game losing streak and in SEC play have been outscored 87-67. Can't imagine how the fast-talking Fisher could explain a loss. Texas A&M 35-24

Tennessee-Martin at Tennessee

The Volunteers could be still be replaying last week's 52-49 win over Alabama and win this one easily. Tennessee 49-10

Print Headline: Back at sea level, good time for a bye week


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