Heading into week 4 of the college football season, there are 3 teams in the SEC that seem to have really separated themselves from the rest of the conference. Georgia, Alabama, LSU look like the best teams in the SEC and it’s not all that surprising. How will they do this week and are any of the big 3 on upset alert? LSU heads to Vanderbilt, Alabama hosts C-USA opponent Southern Miss, and Georgia will look to make a statement vs a visiting Notre Dame team.
As for the remainder of the SEC, Auburn travels to Texas A&M while Tennessee goes on the road to Florida. The Battle of the Columbias will take place in Columbia, Missouri when South Carolina hits the road to play Kelly Bryant. The other SEC matchup this week is Kentucky at Mississippi State, I previewed that matchup here: Previewing Kentucky at Mississippi State
One of the more intriguing matchups of the week is taking place in Oxford, when the 23rd ranked Cal Bears take on Ole Miss. Arkansas will look to keep their momentum on offense as they host San Jose State.
Break Downs and Predictions
Tennessee at Florida – Tennessee finally got in the win column last week after dominating former Mississippi State QB Nick Tiano and UT-Chattanooga. Florida is coming off of a comeback win at Kentucky, after they lost Feleipe Franks for the year due to a dislocated ankle. Kyle Trask came in for Franks and actually looked better than Franks did before the injury. Even without Franks, Florida should dominate the Vols in The Swamp. Final Score: Florida 38, Tennessee 13
LSU at Vanderbilt – The only thing up in the air about this game is whether LSU will have more fans at Vandy than Georgia did. 11am kickoff makes it difficult but there’s a good chance the Tigers outdraw Georgia fans. As for what happens on the field, Joe Burrow and the LSU passing game should be able to keep doing what they’ve done all season. Jay Cutler, Jordan Rodgers, and Kyle Shurmur aren’t walking through that door, Vandy fans. Final Score: LSU 45, Vanderbilt 3
Cal at Ole Miss – On paper, this game looks like it will be a low scoring defensive battle. While Ole Miss’ defense has improved, when it comes to defending the run, they gave up 309 yards passing to Southeast Louisiana last week but they did force 3 interceptions. Something to keep an eye on will be how Cal comes out and plays in the first quarter, especially with kickoff being at 11am central time. All that being said, there shouldn’t be a world where Cal flies across country and beats an SEC team. This game just means more for Ole Miss than it does for Cal. Final Score: Ole Miss 24, Cal 23
Southern Miss at Alabama – The biggest headline for this game was the fact Alabama AD came out and said he was upset at how many day games Alabama has played since 2014. Poor Alabama, they just can’t catch a break… Frankly, there’s not much to say about this game on the field. Southern Miss has a solid enough offense to score a touchdown or two in Tuscaloosa, but their defense has no chance in stopping Tua and Jeudy. Tua will continue to make his case for the Heisman and to be the number one draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Final Score: Alabama 49, Southern Miss 10
Auburn at Texas A&M – Biggest conference game of the weekend will take place in College Station. Can freshman Bo Nix lead the Tigers to a huge win on the road or will Kellen Mond have enough big throws in him to beat Auburn? In all honesty this game will be decided up front. If Auburn’s defensive line forces Kellen Mond out of the pocket to make difficult throws on the run, the Tigers will leave with a win. Final Score: Auburn 24, Texas A&M 20
South Carolina at Missouri – South Carolina is coming off a home loss to Alabama, while Missouri is coming off a blowout win vs Southeast Missouri State. The Gamecocks need to win this game more now than they did in the preseason, especially after their season opening loss to North Carolina. Missouri has looked impressive since their season opening loss at Wyoming and so has Clemson transfer QB Kelly Bryant. With how well Mizzou’s defense has played and the fact South Carolina is relying on a freshman QB, it’s hard to see Will Muschamp and his team leaving CoMo with a win. Final Score: Missouri 38, South Carolina 21
San Jose State at Arkansas – Chad Morris and the Razorbacks finally found themselves a reliable QB in Nick Starkel, a Texas A&M transfer, following last week’s win vs Colorado State. That being said, there’s not a scenario playing out where they lose to San Jose State. Final Score: Arkansas 42, San Jose State 20
Notre Dame at Georgia – In what many call the game of the week, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that follows the SEC that believe this game will be close. Georgia has more talent, a better QB, better coaching, and of course home field advantage. This game shouldn’t be close, if Georgia is as good as everyone expects them to be. Final Score: Georgia 52, Notre Dame 13
On Sunday, there will be a recap of what happened in week 4 around the SEC along with new power rankings where there will be quite a bit of shakeup.
For more updates on what’s happening around the SEC, follow J.C. Dickinson on Twitter at @dickinsonjc.