SEC Football Predictions | Week 2
Overall Record (12-2)
Welcome to 2017 SEC Football Predictions Week 2. Last week the SEC opened the 2017 college football season with a 12-2 record, including thee wins over everyone’s new darling conference, the ACC. There was also a complete collapse by Texas A&M in Pasadena as the Aggies led 44-10 in the 3rd quarter only to lose 45-44. That game will lead to the second SEC West coach that attended SEC Media Days in July to not be on the sidelines in November. Kevin Sumlin is still coach, but to say that situation is fluid is as big an understatement as “UCLA had a comeback over Texas A&M.”
Shameless plug for Punt On Third Down alert: You can get a graphic review of some of the Week 1 action across the Southeastern Conference.
Rather than dwell on the past, I feel it necessary to move forward and predict some big games for Week 2 in the SEC. There are six games that include an FCS opponent, but if it were not for a charitable conference like the SEC, these smaller programs would not have money to cover the athletics department budget.
All Times Eastern | Utilizing AP Rankings until the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings are released in October.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
EKU (0-1) at Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
NOON ET | SEC Network
Quick word of wisdom: This is Eastern Kentucky’s second intrastate game as they opened with a loss to Western Kentucky in Bowling Green last week. Kentucky traveled to Hattiesburg to redeem last year’s Week 1 collapse against Southern Miss. The Colonels from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky took the Wildcats to overtime in 2015, but lost 34-27. I think this Wildcats team is better and this Colonels teams is not. Kentucky will fill their shopping cart with a victory at newly renovated Kroger Stadium (the stadium formerly known as Commonwealth).
PREDICTION: Kentucky 34, EKU 14
Northern Colorado (1-0) at #23 Florida (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
Noon ET – Rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma | SEC Network
Quick word of wisdom: These games are never entertaining and this will be especially true for this Saturday’s game that is being played at noon ahead of Hurricane Irma. The game will be played in a hurry so that everyone can get home safely.
Florida will be a much better team than Northern Colorado, which should be a surprise to no one. The only thing we will know about Florida after this game before hosting Tennessee next week is that the Gators are not as bad as they looked last week against Michigan in Arlington (they better hope not) and they are not as good as they will look at times against Northern Colorado. The 2017 season starts over for the Gators after this one as they prepare for a payback game against the Vols next week at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
PREDICTION: Florida 34, Northern Colorado 0
UT Martin (1-0) at Ole Miss (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Noon ET | SEC Network
Quick word of wisdom: Although this is a University of Tennessee school, it is not the one in Knoxville. It is the school in Martin. Quarterback Shea Patterson will run circles around the Skyhawks and this game will be one where fans of the Rebels just pray that no one is injured by the end of the day
PREDICTION: Ole Miss 49, UT Martin 7
Fresno State (1-0) at #1 Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
3:30 PM ET | ESPN2
Big game word of wisdom: This is a game where the only people watching besides Alabama fans will be the people who took the Crimson Tide to cover the spread. At the time this was posted, Bama was a 43.5-point favorite over the Bulldogs of Fresno State. I would not recommend taking Alabama to cover, but I do have them winning 44-0 because the defense and/or special teams will score and cover up for a very vanilla offense.
The Tide may or may not cover the 43.5, so take the under (53) and buy yourselves something nice with those ill-gotten-gains.
PREDICTION: Alabama 44, Fresno State 0
#23 TCU (1-0) at Arkansas (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
3:30pm ET | CBS
Quick word of wisdom: The Hogs pulled the upset last year on the road against the Horned Frogs and they come into CBS’s opening broadcast of the college football season as a 3-point underdog. TCU is a good team and very well-coached, but Arkansas will run the ball well and Austin Allen has been a favorite of this predictions piece for two years. Allen will make what many call “football plays” and will lead his team to a big early-season win in Brad Nessler’s debut as the guy on CBS broadcasts. I must admit that losing Uncle Vern to retirement takes a little spark off of this game for me.
PREDICTION: Arkansas 28, TCU 24
Indiana State (0-1) at #25 Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
4:00 PM ET | SEC Network
Quick word of wisdom: This game should not require the effort put forth in the opening game winner over Georgia Tech at the newly minted Mercedes-Benz Stadium. No word yet on whether or not there are plans to replace this dinosaur of a stadium with a new one.
Jauan Jennings is just another key player for Tennessee to be added to the “out for the season” list. Even though he was out in the second half against Georgia Tech, the Vols seemed to adjust and find new playmakers. Quenten Dormandy, Jr. started and finished the night as quarterback and matured into a tough, winning quarterback right in front of our eyes in the second half. It didn’t take Dormandy long to find another big-play receiver once Jennings was no longer available. Sophomore wide receiver Marquez Callaway became an instant household name in the state of Tennessee as he caught balls for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win.
The score will not be the deciding factor for the Vols’ success in this week’s game leading up to their trip to Gainesville next week to take on the Gators. Keeping everyone healthy and getting the quarterbacks that are not on the field to stop acting like toddlers who didn’t get a toy they wanted at Wal-Mart will be the two main points of focus this Saturday for Lyle Butch and the boys in Knoxville.
No word yet on whether Larry Bird will be an honorary captain for the pregame coin toss.
PREDICTION: Tennessee 45, Indiana State 20
Alabama A&M (0-1) at Vanderbilt (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
4:00pm ET | SEC Network
Quick word of wisdom: Alabama A&M lost to the resurrected UAB Blazers last week, 38-7, at legendary Legion Field in Birmingham and Vanderbilt beat a pretty good Middle Tennessee team in Murfreesboro, 28-6. Kyle Shurmur could play quarterback in this one with two patches on his eyes and get the win. The Commodores welcome legendary coach Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats to Nashville next week. This week’s game will have the same focus as the other games featuring SEC football teams against FCS opponents — Get backups some playing time and DON’T GET HURT.
PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 42, Alabama A&M 3
#13 Auburn (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at #3 Clemson (0-0)
7:00pm ET | ESPN
PREDICTION: Clemson 31, Auburn 21
South Carolina (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Missouri (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
7:00pm ET | ESPN2
Quick word of wisdom: The Gamecocks are somehow a 2.5-point underdog in this game. Missouri can score a ton of points and almost do it on command, but the Tigers defense does not appear to be eligible to play defense. South Carolina is coming off a big win at a neutral site against a much-improved NC State team with high expectations for 2017. Missouri is coming off a 72-point effort to go along with 815 yards of total offense against Missouri State. The defense gave up 43 points, none of which came in garbage time. This game was a back-and-forth battle for 2.5 quarters before Missouri State ran out of gas. Take South Carolina to cover and win and be on their way to becoming the surprise team in the East for 2017.
PREDICTION: South Carolina 44, Missouri 35
Nicholls (1-0) at Texas A&M (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
7:00pm ET | ESPNU
Big game word of wisdom: Because we have a heart, we are just going to allow the Aggies to play this game all to themselves. They need a little time to move on after that UCLA debacle and we are going to honor the wishes of the family and give the Aggies privacy as they mourn the death of the 2017 season.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 31, Nicholls 10
Chattanooga (0-1) at #12 LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
7:00pm ET | SEC Network
Quick word of wisdom: LSU looks like the real deal for now. The Tigers shut out BYU in New Orleans in Week 1 and they will probably do the same against Chattanooga.
PREDICTION: LSU 42, Chattanooga 0
#15 Georgia (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at #24 Notre Dame (1-0)
7:30pm ET | NBC
Quick word of wisdom: The Catholics vs. The Southern Baptists. It’s Georgia’s first game ever in South Bend and it should be a great game. True freshman quarterback Jake Fromm lit a fire under the Georgia offense in last week’s win over Appalachian State and the question going into South Bend will be whether or not he keep that momentum going or if it will all come crashing down at Notre Dame. So long as Nick Chubb and Sony Michel stay healthy and can combine to carry the ball 40 times, the Bulldogs should be fine. If Fromm has to carry the team on his shoulders and rely on his arm to win, it could be a disappointing trip for the Dawgs.
PREDICTION: Georgia 27, Notre Dame 16
Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Louisiana Tech (1-0)
7:30pm ET | CBSSN
Quick word of wisdom: The Bulldogs of Mississippi State gave up 33 yards to College of Charleston in a 49-0 dominating win. This trip to Ruston should be win number two for Dan Mullen and the gang, but don’t be surprised if this games score gets a few elbow nudges and “Hey did you see that?” as it shows up in the Upset Alert warning as fans watch the Auburn-Clemson and Georgia-Notre Dame games.
PREDICTION: Louisiana Tech 28, Mississippi State 27
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.