Last Week’s Record (9-2), Overall (9-2)
Week one of our weakly predictions proved to be well above weakly. Only two predictions were
a little way off when the season started on Thursday, but by halftime of the Tennessee-Utah State game on Sunday night it was apparent the predictions were well on their way to perfection for Saturday and Sunday’s action.
To be fair, I had originally predicted Florida and Idaho would be a washout with lightning striking within eight miles of the stadium, but I changed my mind at the last minute and went with the standard prediction of a score with one team winning and one team losing after playing four quarters and 60 minutes. Lesson learned, kids. Always go with your first instinct. Always.
No matter how you look at it, Week 1 was the best week I’ve ever had at predicting SEC games at FBSchedules.com. That’s something no one can take away from us Weaklies.
Week 1’s Weakly Comparison
1. Texas A&M 52, South Carolina 28 (Predicted SC 27-10)
2. Temple 37, Vanderbilt 7 (Predicted Vandy 45-13)
1. Ole Miss 35 Boise State 14 (Predicted Ole Miss 44 Boise State 14)
2. LSU 28 Wisconsin 24 (Predicted LSU 14-13)
Week 2 Predictions
Week 2 is upon us and unfortunately this is one of the two worst weekends of the 2014 SEC football schedule. Last week gave us some great opening-weekend matchups and there will be better weekends to come, so let’s just hold hands and sing Kumbaya in front of this dumpster fire of awful games. If we don’t focus on the negative, I think we can all agree that this slew of games sure beats the college football games available three weeks ago. With that being said, let’s look at the second week of action and see where we may get a 2007 Appalachian State-Michigan — which could turn this weekend from awful to historic.
All Times Eastern | Utilizing AP Poll until College Football Playoff Selection Committee poll is released on October 28.
Saturday, September 6
Florida Atlantic (0-1) at #2 Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
12:00 PM | SEC Network
Alabama fans are beside themselves after the 10-point win over West Virginia. The defensive backfield was torched after allowing Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett to throw for 365 yards and a touchdown on 29-of-45 passing. Although the defense seemed vulnerable, the dependable running game was dominant and made ‘Bama fans feel much better. Lane Kiffin’s ability to call plays that put the ball in the hands of playmakers in space eased the Tuscaloosa tension as well. T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry proved to be dominant.
The home opener for the ‘Tide will be much easier this week and the nation will more than likely get a better look at both Blake Sims and Jake Coker under center at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The fans may also get a look at three or four other quarterbacks as well as anyone wearing a jersey and pads. ‘Bama fans just hope and pray for zero season-changing injuries in games like this. Look for a blowout before halftime.
FINAL SCORE: Alabama 42, Florida Atlantic 3
#24 Missouri (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Toledo (1-0)
12:00 PM ET | ESPN
If we are going to do this prediction thing right, we have to go against the grain and look for upsets that no one else sees coming.
This would be a much easier upset to call if the game were at night, but it’s at Noon ET which will actually be a small advantage to the Tigers of Mizzou. For Missouri, their internal clock will be all the way over in the Central Time Zone. This will feel like an 11am kickoff for the Tigers, so I’m going to utilize the much-maligned and very rarely correct formula of assuming that 11am is much too early for a college kid to play a road game. Therefore, Missouri will be standing on the field yawning for the first three quarters while Toledo’s players will feel fresh because they will feel like the game kicked off at the actual time of noon.
We are really close to making our second Back to the Future reference in Weakly’s short history.
Taking all the above into full consideration, I conclude that Toledo will take advantage of this local morning kickoff and pull the unthinkable.
FINAL SCORE: Toledo 21, Missouri 18
Arkansas State (1-0) at Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
12:00 PM | SEC Network
Tennessee fans are giddy following the 38-7 drubbing of Utah State in a game that saw the Vols play an astounding 21 true freshmen.
Arkansas State is not a bad team and this game will be very interesting from the beginning. I’m going out on yet another limb and assuming Arkansas State gets on the board first in Knoxville. Tennessee’s lot of true freshman will not yet understand how to effectively play from behind and will get caught in the ol’ trap game.
Sorry, Vols fan, but the young’uns will get caught looking ahead and it will be a little too late once they realize what happened.
FINAL SCORE: Arkansas State 28, Tennessee 24
UAB (1-0) at Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
2:00 PM | FSN/ESPN3/ESPN GamePlan
UAB at Mississippi State is not exactly the type of matchup that will have its game program displayed in the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, but it’s a game that could be interesting for a half so.
This game is only available on a few FSN affiliates, ESPN3 and ESPN GamePlan. I knew there had to be a catch to the “No more pay-per-view games produced by the schools.” Now we just have pay-per-view games produced by ESPN. This game will only be watched by the diehard fans of UAB or Mississippi State. This would be a good place to say something like, “You mean all six fans?” but that would be lame.
Games like this can do more good for the underdog than the heavy favorite. A respectable showing by UAB and they can produce a DVD about nearly beating Mississippi State. Any win short of 42-0 by the Bulldogs will have the fans chewing their fingernails down to a nub. Add to that the constant fear of losing a major contributor to injury in a game that lacks any visible magnitude.
Dak and the gang will get it done again this week, but the win to get to 2-0 might be filled with more questions than answers.
FINAL SCORE: Mississippi State 24, UAB 10
Ohio (1-0) at Kentucky (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
3:30 PM ET | ESPNU
Kentucky proved in last week’s 59-14 win over UT-Martin that they could easily be a top 5 team in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Wildcats looked really good in their opener versus UT-Martin, but this is The Ohio University. The MAC is back! The Bobcats are ready to pounce because they are on the prowl.
If I’m Kentucky, I just hand the ball to Nebraska transfer running back Braylon Heard until someone on an opposing defense proves they can tackle. Don’t expect Ohio to be able to start a new trend of slowing down Heard. Kentucky gets some guarded optimism about its run game after the win late Saturday evening.
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 34, Ohio 21
Eastern Michigan (1-0) at Florida (0-0, 0-0 SEC)
4:00 PM ET | SEC Network
Last week, Eastern Michigan entered the field by taking sledgehammers to a cinder block wall. This week in Gainesville, the Eagles are rumored to be drawing up a blueprint for a big demo of an entire 1980’s inspired kitchen in need of a way overdue renovation.
Florida just hopes to enter the field of play without wading through four feet of water and dangerously close lightning. Florida showed us nothing versus Idaho last week. Not because they played vanilla offense or were terribly conservative with Jeff Driskel. They only played about 10 seconds of football before the game was called for weather.
The biggest storyline for the Gators this week has been whether they will make up the Idaho game before season’s end. It will not be a distraction for Florida as they get the first win of the season.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 55, Eastern Michigan 3
Nicholls State (0-1) at Arkansas (0-1, 0-1 SEC)
4:00 PM ET | SEC Network
Arkansas might be getting a deal to bring Nicholls State to come to Fayetteville. In 2013, the Oregon Ducks paid Nicholls State only $450,000 to travel all the way to Autzen Stadium in Eugene. I’m not sure what the 2014 rate for a trip to the Ozarks runs, but if it’s anywhere close to that $450,000 figure, it’s a steal for the Razorbacks athletics department budget.
However, if you read this very interesting piece by fellow contributor Amy Daughters, you already understand that decreasing ticket sales are making these games a hindrance to more than just the strength of schedule. Unsold tickets in a game versus a team you are paying mid-to-high six figures to come to your campus is a bad combination.
Regardless, Arkansas will get one for the win column this week to pull themselves off the mat after falling flat at Auburn in the second half of a game they were tied 21-21 at halftime. I expect Bret Bielema to trash talk Nick Saban as well as a few Wisconsin staffers following this win because mistimed trash talk is what Bret does best.
FINAL SCORE: Arkansas 30, Nicholls State 13
#15 Ole Miss (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at Vanderbilt (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
4:30 PM ET | ESPN | LP Field | Nashville, TN
Not quite Alabama-Auburn or Florida-Tennessee, but it is a rematch of one of the top five games played in the conference in 2013. That’s honestly all this matchup has going for it.
The Vanderbilt carriage turned back into a pumpkin right in front of everyone’s sleep-deprived eyes Thursday night/Friday morning following that terrible showing versus Temple. Don’t expect anything better this week. Ole Miss seems to be one of a handful of SEC teams to have its defense running at 100 percent. The offense was a little slow firing, but they seemed to get it together in the latter stages of the win versus Boise State.
Be prepared for Ole Miss to repair any ailments in this destruction of the Commodores in front of a few fans at LP Field.
Vandy has a hard time selling out their 41,000-seat stadium, so why put this game at LP Field? Bonus prediction — the game will have less than 35,000 fans in the stands. Announced attendance may hit 45,000-50,000, but actual butts in seats will be much lower.
Derek Mason will need to get creative to justify comments that this team may be better than any of James Franklin’s bowl teams.
FINAL SCORE: Ole Miss 45, Vanderbilt 3
#21 South Carolina (0-1, 0-1 SEC) vs. East Carolina (1-0)
7:00 PM ET | ESPNU
Sheesh. The Gamecocks defense was apparently advised by the NCAA before kickoff versus Texas A&M that they were ineligible to cover any passes toward the middle of the field. A&M quarterback Kenny Hill. That’s all. Kenny Hill. Take snap. Throw. Celebrate touchdown. Rinse. Repeat.
The Gamecocks will not let one game send the season down the drain and will put last Thursday’s loss behind them with a win Saturday in the — as Brian Wilmer puts it — The Battle of the ‘kerlina Supremacy.
FINAL SCORE: South Carolina 28, East Carolina 7
San Jose State (1-0) at #5 Auburn (1-0, 1-0 SEC)
7:00 PM ET | ESPN2
Okay. Quick show of hands. Who didn’t think Auburn’s defense was would improve and Arkansas’ offense would fall flat on their face when Nick Marshall returned from suspension as quarterback for Auburn to begin the second half? It had to be all Marshall, right?
Really looking forward to this one because it’s finally an MWC team taking on one of the best of the SEC. The MWC can finally show these SEC homers who’s boss in this world of college football. If anyone is going to do it, it might just be the team out of San Jose.
Taking all the above into consideration, this could be the week’s biggest surprise. Or not.
FINAL SCORE: Auburn 41, San Jose State 21
Sam Houston State (1-1) at #12 LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
7:30 PM ET | SEC Network
When I see what LSU did to Wisconsin on Saturday, I feel sad for other teams that schedule LSU on purpose. The SEC Western Division has to play LSU. Wisconsin doesn’t and neither does Sam Houston State, yet they still do it. The Bengal Tigers even took a page out of Muhammad Ali’s book by badgering Wisconsin with the rope-a-dope method.
There will be no roping of any dope needed for this Sam Houston State game. Sam Houston does have a record of 1-1, which may provide the most conversation among fans. You may want to impress your friends when they see that record and say, “Hey! How did they play two games already?” Your reply need only be, “On August 23rd, the Bearkats went over to Cheney, Washington, and played defending FCS Champion, Eastern Washington, on that red field of theirs. The Bearkats were mauled, 56-36.”
Be ready for a final score that will probably match the halftime score after LSU gets everyone on the field for some playing time.
FINAL SCORE: LSU 42, Sam Houston State 7
Lamar (1-0) at #9 Texas A&M (1-0, 1-0 SEC)
7:30 PM ET | SEC Network
Kenny Hill hype scene, take one.
The question that must be answered is how will Hill react the first game he doesn’t complete every pass that leaves his hands? Everyone enjoys the spoils of success, but it’s the few that can carry the weighty burden of success with balance and poise that earn long-term benefits and rewards.
Lucky for A&M, the next game is against a Lamar team that is expected to provide the level of competition that a team named Lamar is expected to offer. Therefore, don’t go jumping off the Aggies bandwagon when you see that Hill threw for 200 yards and no touchdowns in this boring win. Even Superman has to land once in awhile and walk with us normal folks down here on the ground. You can’t fly sky-high every hour of the day.
FINAL SCORE: Texas A&M 34, Lamar 16
Eric Taylor is a contributor to FBSchedules.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricFromSpfld or contact him via email at Eric.Taylor –at– stadiumjourney –dot– com.