Not a very big week for the SEC, no real marquee matchups other than Mississippi State at Auburn, you can find my preview of that game here Mississippi State at Auburn Preview. There are 3 more SEC matchups this weekend, I will give my thoughts and predictions on each of those games along with Florida’s matchup against mighty Towson and Vanderbilt’s game vs Northern Illinois. Before I get to that, here are my SEC power rankings heading into this weekend, since I did not have enough time to write about them on Sunday.
JC’s SEC Power Rankings Entering Week 5
I have 6 Tiers when it comes to this week’s rankings. First tier will be teams ranked 1-3, second tier will be teams ranked 4-6, third tier will be 7-8, fourth tier will be 9-11, fifth tier will be teams ranked 12-13, while Arkansas gets their very own tier.
- Alabama – Tua + Jeudy + Ruggs = a lot of Alabama touchdowns. The Crimson Tide defense has been better than the LSU defense has been so far, giving the Tide the edge for the number one spot.
- LSU – Joe Brady’s ability to turn Joe Burrow into a real Heisman contender has been nothing short of magnificent. All the Tigers need now is for their defense to be the defense everyone is used to them having.
- Georgia – Even with a win over Notre Dame, I had to drop the Bulldogs this week. Kirby’s team played well enough to win but not good enough for people to think they’re a title contender. Right now, it’s hard for me to say they’re better than LSU and Alabama.
- Auburn – Best defensive line in the country, led by Derrick Brown, and the ability to run the ball down team’s throats Auburn has an old school feel to them so far. If Bo Nix can start hitting passes down field, Auburn could turn into a title contender.
- Florida – No Feleipe Franks, no problem for the Gators. Kyle Trask actually makes the Florida offense look better than it did with Franks at QB. Real test for Trask will come next week when Auburn visits the Swamp.
- Texas A&M – Aggies looked completely overmatched last Saturday at home against Auburn. They’ve had their chances to show they’re a better team than a year ago, but they’ve failed in both of those games. A game against Arkansas this weekend will get the Aggies back on the winning track.
- Mississippi State – Truly believe the Bulldogs are the most average team in the country. Really the only thing they do better than most teams in the conference is running the ball, other than that they’re just meh. Last week’s win over Kentucky without Tommy Stevens gave people a glimpse of a bright future for Mississippi State.
- Missouri – The loss to Wyoming on the road keeps the Tigers behind Mississippi State. Kelly Bryant has been good enough for Missouri, while their defense continues to get better after the embarrassing week 1 loss in Wyoming.
- Kentucky – At least they have Kash Daniel, right? Kentucky’s looked better than South Carolina so far, but they Wildcats travel to SC this weekend so we’ll see who’s better than who.
- South Carolina – Woof. The loss of Jake Bentley hasn’t really hurt the Gamecocks, but it hasn’t helped them either. Hilinski continues to improve, this week’s home game vs Kentucky is a must win for Muschamp or it could be the final nail in his coffin.
- Ole Miss – Ole Miss is lucky Arkansas and Tennessee are complete dumpster fires. Corral isn’t the guy for this Ole Miss offense, but it’s fun to watch Jerrion Ealy and Scottie Phillips play.
- Vanderbilt – Usually when you give up 66 points to a conference opponent on your home field, you’re the worst team in said conference. Luckily for Vandy, Tennessee and Arkansas are somehow worse.
- Tennessee – Go look at Tennessee’s schedule and tell me where there’s a guaranteed win, I’ll wait. Unless the Vols beat UAB or Vandy, they may not win another game. Jeremy Pruitt has to go.
- Arkansas – Think about this, Chad Morris is likely going 0-16 in conference games in 2 years as the Arkansas HC. Do you understand how hard that is to do? Bring back Bobby Petrino.
Preview and Predictions for Week 5
- Texas A&M vs Arkansas (Game played in Dallas, TX) – If this isn’t a 4 touchdown win for the Aggies, then I greatly overhyped them during the offseason. Former A&M QB Nick Starkel will get to face his former team, so there’s a good chance he can still throw touchdown passes for the Aggies. Prediction: Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 10
- Northern Illinois at Vanderbilt – Game plan for Vandy should be centered around running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. There’s really no reason why Vandy should lose this game, but I think it’ll be a competitive game resulting in a Commodore win. Prediction: Vanderbilt 34, Northern Illinois 17
- Ole Miss at Alabama – An Ole Miss defense that can’t defend the pass is unusual because their problem in recent years has been stopping the run. Unfortunately for the Rebels, they’re playing 2019 Heisman winner this weekend and he’s been really good. The spread for this game is higher than the spread between Florida and Towson, if that gives you any idea how Vegas views this game. It should be noted that Alabama has scored 60 or more points against Ole Miss the last 2 years. They’ll get close to making it 3 straight. Tua will throw for nearly 400 yards as Jeudy, Ruggs, and Smith all score touchdowns in a rout of the Rebels. Prediction: Alabama 59, Ole Miss 13
- Towson at Florida – Trask will continue to get more comfortable as the starting QB, in what should be a blowout before they host Auburn next week. Prediction: Florida 62, Towson 10
- Kentucky at South Carolina – It will be the battle of the backup QBs in Columbia, SC this Saturday. In what is a must win for Will Muschamp and company, the Gamecocks should be able to score enough to win this game. Prediction: South Carolina 24, Kentucky 13
This Sunday, I promise, I will have the recap to all the SEC games this weekend with updated power rankings. Enjoy this weekend’s games across the SEC!
For more SEC news, follow JC on Twitter at @dickinsonjc. #ItJustMeansMore