2016 SEC Football Predictions | Week 5

By Eric Taylor -

SEC Football Predictions | Week 5
Week 4 Record (4-5) | Overall Record (23-21)

Welcome to the Week 5 edition of  SEC Football Predictions. We are in an historic tailspin as predictors for the fine folks here at FBSchedules. There were months when people were emailing me who enjoyed watching college football for the fun of the wager. Now, I have school presidents and athletic directors threatening to harm my family and pets if I predict a win for their program. At any rate, I choose to walk on the silver lining of this black cloud. When my picks are wrong, it means that the games are entertaining and fun. Honestly, I’m having a blast at 23-21. I really don’t know how Dan Wolken at USA TODAY could possibly enjoy this season as much as I am. He’s something like 58-0 on the year predicting games. Yuck. How much fun could that be? Don’t ask me, because I have no idea.

Tennessee has proven you can be a second half team and have success so that’s what the plan is for Week 5 through the remainder of the season. Full throttle and all wins.

I haven’t received any calls from the FBSchedules front office, so I feel safe in preparing another set of SEC Football Predictions for Week 5. Besides, who would get fired in the middle of the year when the season is just now taking shape…. Oh… wait. Do what? Les Miles did? Wow. Okay. Well, I’ll have a box with my stuff in it just in case.

I think this is the week it all turns around. Let’s get to the Week 5 edition of SEC Football Predictions and observe the greatest turnaround in the history of the written prediction.

All Times Eastern | Utilizing AP Rankings until the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings are released in October.

SEC Football Predictions | Week 4  | Sept. 24, 2016

Alcorn State (1-2) at #20 Arkansas (3-1, 1-1 SEC)
Noon ET | SEC Network | Little Rock

Quick word of wisdom: The Hogs are coming off a tough loss to Texas A&M in a game many (including me) believed would be Arkansas’ announcement to the college football world that they are ready to challenge Alabama in the West. Instead, Arkansas needed a yard for a touchdown on fourth down that would have tied the game, but A&M’s defense held court. Trevor Knight hit Josh Reynolds two plays later for a 92-yard touchdown with 1:33 left in the third and just like that the Aggies were up by 14.

That drive where A&M stopped Arkansas on fourth down was a 19-play drive that covered 89 yards and 9:55 of game clock. Those are season-defining drives. The catch is they can define your season negatively when you come up with zero points resulting in a 14-point swing in less than a minute.

The Razorbacks get a great opportunity this week to exercise some demons against the alma mater of Steve McNair before welcoming No. 1 Alabama to Fayetteville in a game that can erase the stank that lingers from the A&M debacle. Arkansas lost by 21 to A&M, but they win at least five games if those two teams played ten times.

Long story short, Arkansas may have dropped off everyone’s radar for now, but they get a rare chance to make up for it in one week. Stay healthy Saturday and get ready for Alabama… as if that hasn’t been what you’ve been doing since your flight departed from Dallas.
PREDICTION: Arkansas 44, Alcorn State 10

#23 Florida (3-1, 1-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-1 SEC)
Noon ET | SEC Network

Big game word of wisdom: Vanderbilt ranks near the bottom of nearly every statistical category in the SEC for both offense and defense. Florida was ranked No.1 in nearly every defensive category until about five minutes into the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Tennessee.

Florida should be able to lick their wounds in Nashville this Saturday, but the Gators need to remember one important intangible that traps many an SEC team. The most underrated trap in the SEC is the 11:00 a.m. local time kickoff at Vanderbilt Stadium. Some teams don’t wake up until midway through the third quarter (when many Vandy fans begin arriving to the game) and find themselves trailing or clinging to a one-possession lead as a double-digit favorite. The Gators should be okay on Saturday, but they need to be ‘ware the Early Kickoff Angel of Death Trap.
PREDICTION: Florida 31, Vanderbilt 3

ULM (1-2) at Auburn (2-2, 1-1 SEC)
3:30pm ET | SEC Network

A few words of wisdom: Auburn lost to LSU last week until the play was overturned and they ended up winning. Then Les Miles was fired and Ed Orgeron became a head coach in the SEC again.

Thanks, Auburn.
PREDICTION: Auburn 24, ULM 7

#11 Tennessee (4-0, 1-0) at #25 Georgia (3-1, 1-1 SEC)
3:30 PM ET | CBS

Quick word of wisdom: Will former Tennessee State Representative Jeremy Durham be in attendance for this game? He’s been kicked out of the Tennessee Assembly, the Tennessee-Florida game at Neyland Stadium, and has an opportunity to add a road SEC stadium to his resume this weekend. Sorry, just a little inside joke for us Tennesseans out there.

This game has interesting written all over it. In August we were all pointing to the trip to College Station as the trap game for Tennessee, but Hurricane Trapgame has changed its itinerary and trajectory and will be making landfall a week early in Athens, Georgia. If last Saturday’s Georgia-Ole Miss game in Oxford is any indicator, this hurricane will be more like a stiff breeze in Athens. Georgia was beaten from one end of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to the other.

The Bulldogs are ranked 10th in scoring offense (25.2 ppg) and tied with Ole Miss for 12th in scoring defense (30.0 ppg). The Vols are a touchdown better on offense and eight points better on defense. The line for this game is 3.5 in favor of Tennessee. Other than a letdown from Tennessee and a big rebound from Georgia, this line doesn’t make much sense. I see Tennessee pulling away late in the game to win by double-digits.
PREDICTION: Tennessee 34, Georgia 21

#9 Texas A&M (4-0, 2-0 SEC) at South Carolina (2-2, 1-2 SEC)
4:00pm ET | SEC Network

Quick word of wisdom: I can think of just under one reason why South Carolina can make this a game. Texas A&M will score points and John Chavis is finding ways to feature his playmakers on defense. The Aggies are trying to make believers out of people (like me) who think A&M is nothing more than a September Shooting Star that looks great for a fleeting moment only to vanish into the October and November night.

Something is different about this team compared to the 2015 team. With a solid defense to go along with a quarterback who seems to get better and more comfortable in the system each week, A&M could be looking at a top-five matchup with Alabama on October 22 in Tuscaloosa.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 41, South Carolina 6

Kentucky (2-2, 1-1 SEC) at #1 Alabama (4-0, 1-0)
7:00 PM ET | ESPN

Quick word of wisdom: Alabama will use Saturday to officially introduce the nation to the ready-for-primetime players that will take the Tide through the October and November stretch of the season. These players will include true freshman running back Joshua Jacobs and freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts. Jacobs is more than likely not allowed to wear No. 22 for the simple reason that the NCAA would believe he was Mark Ingram and deem him ineligible from playing as a professional athlete.

Kentucky is coming off a win at home against South Carolina and hopes to put up a good fight against the No. 1 team in the country so they can finish the season playing like they were expected to play the first three weeks of the season.

As much as this game fits the description as well as any, Alabama cannot fall into the trap of treating the Wildcats as the final game before a five-week stretch of four games that include road trips to Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU as well as a home game against Texas A&M sprinkled in there. The last thing Alabama needs is to take Kentucky lightly and extend that four-game stretch into five nasty games.

Alabama may be flat early, but should put together a few efficient scoring drives to salt the game away by late in the third quarter.
PREDICTION: Alabama 34, Kentucky 7

Memphis (3-0) at #16 Ole Miss (2-2, 1-1 SEC)
7:00 PM ET | ESPN2

Quick word of wisdom: It looks like Ole Miss went ahead and got those two losses out of the way early so they can just look dominating the remainder of the season. That 45-14 beating of Georgia last Saturday in Oxford would have earned them a four year prison sentence and hefty fine in 25 states and U.S territory Puerto Rico.

The Rebels now get an opportunity to get retribution for last year’s embarrassing beat-down at the hands of Memphis. Although Memphis is undefeated and scored 77 against Bowling Green last week, I think Ole Miss is comfortable with who they are and should make haste with many teams remaining on the schedule.
PREDICTION: Ole Miss 49, Memphis 20

Missouri (2-2, 0-1 SEC) at LSU (2-2, 1-1 SEC)
7:30p.m. ET | SEC Network

Quick word of wisdom: Ed Orgeron, always the interim bridesmaid and never the head coach bride, is once again a “kinda” head coach. He stepped in for Lane Kiffin at USC and went 6-2 in 2013. Orgeron will rent the office of the head coach in Baton Rouge for the remainder of the 2016 season following the swift and shocking firing of Les Miles the day after beating Auburn on a touchdown play with no time remaining in the game losing to Auburn in what may be the wildest ending of any game this season.

I’m torn on this game because I think LSU can win with a pretty good effort, but asking for pretty good after what this team has endured over the last five days seems lofty. Missouri has played better in 2016. Barry Odom’s bunch is a few less turnovers away from being a headache for the SEC East again.

LSU is a bad offensive series away from detonating right in front of our own eyes. Based on Orgeron’s press conference on Monday, it sounds like it may take one offensive possession for the worst to occur. Orgeron promises to run a spread offense. The one way to send LSU fans into a higher level of hysterics is to run some form of a spread offense and take carries away from Leonard Fournette. Fournette, however, may secretly cheer a new offense that relies much less on him and decreases the tow on his body. Many players are required to prove themselves worthy of the NFL, but Fournette was ready at halftime of the opening game of 2015.

Marcus Lattimore is the most recent and publicized example of what can happen when a running back is forced to stay in college one more season. Rarely is any player ready for the NFL as a player drafted by an NFL team. Even rarer is the player that is ready to step on the NFL field as a college sophomore. Don’t be surprised if the Fournette train is slowed down for October and November. If that happens, LSU’s train will be completely derailed for 2016.
PREDICTION: Missouri 28, LSU 17

Teams With Open Date: Mississippi State 

Eric Taylor is a contributor to FBSchedules.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricFromSpfld or contact him via email at Eric–at– TaylorCreativeGroup–dot– net. Eric is also President and Founder of Taylor Creative Group. For more college football coverage from Eric, visit PuntOnThirdDown-dot-com for the POTD Blog and POTD Podcast. Be sure to Like the Facebook page Facebook.com/EricTaylorWritesStuff for the latest on the 2016 SEC Football Predictions and all POTD Blogs and Podcasts.

Comments (7)

I can’t believe Ed Orgeron is the interim head coach of LSU, this will not last. I think the reason they got rid of Les is if say he would’ve won the rest of his games, then LSU would’ve had to keep him. Fans & the University seem to be over it. Just not sure who they are going to replace him with plus what a bad time to get fired, middle of the season. I have Mizz in this one as well, LSU may spiral out of control this year.
I can believe how good Ole Miss really is but have lost two games.
I will take Georgia over Tennessee just because they are playing at home.

Whoever picked Georgia over Tennessee was a little mood altered after the embarrassing loss by Ole Miss and the inept performance that supposedly passed for a win against Nicholls State, a football program I believe I heard had a recent record of something like 8 wins and almost 50 losses against competition similar to pee-wee competition or junior high football on a good day. And to even consider Georgia to have a chance against a team that put up 35 successive points in just one half of football against perhaps the best defensive line in SEC football, and probably one of the top 5 defensive football teams in the nation. If you don’t believe me, just ask LSU, Alabama, and other top teams in the SEC outside of the best team in the SEC, Tennessee, that can testify to their athletic ability, power, strength, overall speed, and other intangibles that make Florida one of the best defensive teams in the nation in terms of trying to score points against. Oh, and I believe somebody forgot to tell you that Tennessee historically has the second most SEC titles in football, and if you need more stats to prove Tennessee’s dominance over Georgia in football; Tennessee is one of 10 teams in Division 1 football to have the most wins all-time, and Tennessee along with Alabama are the only two teams in Division 1 football to have come from the SEC to be in the top 10 of highest winning percentage of their games played including ties. Ties before extra time was put on the clock to decide a winner were decided in this manner as far as points given to each team in calculating points to determine the winning percentage as follows: In a tie, each time was given 0.5 points each so as not to penalize either team in a tie. Now that overtime is played, the final score is used. After a football season was played, and later NCAA sanctions determined that the team should forfeit all wins for the season in question, or the season in which NCAA sanctions were severe enough that the NCAA determined that all football games won by a football team in a season were so severe, and the NCAA determined those sanctions were done within sufficient time in order to allow all other football teams in this particular football conference knowledge of these violations, time not to recruit based on the knowledge of these violations was inhibited by the team receiving the sanctions, no football team outside of the team guilty of these severe sanctions was able to gain a significant advantage over other teams in the same aforementioned conference(meaning this knowledge would not allow another team to significantly recruit potentially better athletes, the knowledge would not allow a team to significantly hire better coaches due to this knowledge, and in fact, all other improprieties committed by the team guilty of the sanctions prevented competition at the amateur level due to actions by alumni that were not considered part of the university staff or profession, and they were not part of the coaching profession on a direct or indirect basis as this knowledge would inhibit the status of some athletes playing due to the extent that some athletes were receiving financial aid, money, or other forms of financial assistance for their services as players performing on a particular football team, which would then breach the status of playing football as an amateur, because once an athlete for a team takes financial assistance for his services as a football player, he has crossed the line into a paid professional football player being paid for his services as such. If the time limit is over more than one year before the NCAA realizes at least one severe sanction qualifies for a particular team in a conference to vacate a title it has won in a particular sport sanctioned by that conference as what happened in 1984 to Florida when supposedly Florida had won the regular season football title, but it was after one year before severe sanctions were found in the football program so the second place team could not take first place since the winner of the SEC at the time went to the Sugar Bowl, but what eventually happened is a notation on the record books of the NCAA by the year of 1984 that states ‘vacated.’ In 1984 there was no SEC East vs. SEC West as that did not occur until 1992. And may sound like I’m picking on Florida again, but to show a different result when the sanctions were discovered by the NCAA before the SEC 1990 football season began, and Florida as did all the other teams in the conference knew beforehand Florida could not participate for the conference title in football as this sanction may have had something similar to do when Charley Pell was head coach of the football program, and Florida was beginning to make some tremendous strides in the program when former UT football coach Doug Dickey was hired as athletic director, and his first hire after Charley Pell, was Steve Spurrier from East Tennessee. Folks from Tennessee often wondered why Steve did not go to Tennessee, but UT was still running the old single wing initiated by General Neyland, and despite Neyland’s success, it had become outdated plus Spurrier did not vision getting hit more as the back in the single wing had the responsibility of either running, passing, or kicking. And even though Spurrier could do all three, I don’t believe he looked forward to getting hit all the time in running the single wing so he took his talents to Florida, and eventually won the Heisman as well as going down as the greatest coach in Gators’ football history. As most know now, Florida went 5-1 in the SEC in 1990, but were prohibited from winning the conference title due to NCAA sanctions discovered just before the 1990 season began, and Tennessee went 4-1-1 as they beat Florida by the score of 45-3, but lost to Bama, and unfortunately, UT was tied by Auburn after being up by 16 at the half, and UT’s kicker received a barrage of cups of ice for missing a short field goal that would have sealed victory over Pat Dye and Auburn, but Johnny Majors and Smokey had to settle for an insufferable tie as the field goal went wide right. Despite finishing second to Florida on the field, Tennessee was awarded the SEC title in 1990 due to the infractions committed by the Gators that were reported on time so that everyone knew ahead of time that the Florida Gators could not compete legally for the SEC football title in 1990. If the infractions had been found out years later as in 1984 when the SEC title was vacated by the Gators, you can see that the time limit of when the infractions are reported makes a difference as to if the title is left vacated or if another team can have a chance to compete for the title the year the infractions have been committed. In the case of the year of 1990, Tennessee wins the SEC title despite finishing second on the field, because the infractions are reported sooner. And also, Tennessee represents the SEC as conference champion in the Sugar bowl as they defeat Virginia that year. But unfortunately,UT did not repeat as conference champions until 1997 amd 1998 as in 1998 Tennessee went back to where they belonged; which is national champions of the country, and the first BCBS champions at the Fiesta
Bowl under Coach Philip Fulmer, one year after Peyton Manning led UT to the SEC championship in 1997. And UT will continue their success after beating Georgia, Texas A&M, and Alabama, correct Nick Saban? He fears the Volunteers, because during the off-season he has been putting his team through drills working on team speed, but its hard to catch guys that run 4.2 or 4.3 40’s and are strong and powerful too, correct Nick? Recall when you were at the bar in Lansing watching a game and hoping one day you would be facing the team in orange? I do! because I was there, Nick. How do I know that? How do II know that Tennessee in your mind is Bama’s best and strongest rival and that includes Auburn? In fact, you consider Auburn as an inferior team, and not in the same class as Auburn, correct? You do know Bear Bryant never beat Neyland? Just like you never will? You will not beat butch anymore either Nick, and you know that too? Pressure has gotten to you so much that you take it out on your loved ones(wife, children, grandchildren, etc., ) that all you see when you wake up is BIG ORAMGE OR WHAT SPURRIER REFERRED TO AS A SYNONYM OF ORANGE, YELLOW. BET YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT. DO YOU HAVE ADVANCED MENTAL ATROPHY? concerned about your mental health? I believe you need to have a MRI to check if you have a meningioma to see if it is affecting your mental functioninjg Nick? ould be a sign of early onset possible Alzheimer’s, because my Grandfather had it and he died 5 years later after the diagnosis!!! Do you have emotional ups and downs Nick? Do you have depression in the morning? do you have trouble finishing tasks you started? What about differences in communication with friends or loved ones? All orsigns of advanced mental atrophy or signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s?

I was one of the people that thought Georgia would win & to my defense it came down to a HAIL MARY which in most cases does not work but congras on the Vols winning. As for magic Nick fearing the Vols. not sure about that since Bama has an 8 game winning streak against them as of right now. It is your opinion that Nick will never beat Tennessee again, not fact. There is a chance that the Vols could beat Bama & A&M but those games have not been played yet & I am not sure what your excuses is going to be if Tennessee losing to Bama. Tennessee is playing not that hot but getting the job done, they seem to be struggling with every team they play this year, that is not taking anything away from them, just saying. You can ask about Nick’s mental condition but he knows how to play the media, that may be what your seeing.