Weekly ‘Weakly SEC Football Predictions’ | 2014, Week 3

By Eric Taylor -

Last Week’s Record (10-2), Overall (19-4)

Predicting the SEC football schedule on a weekend where most every team is a decided favorite can provide a predictor a great opportunity to go 12-0. This type of performance by said predictor can lead down a dangerous path of self-pride due to the vast number of random strangers patting you on the back as you order at Dunkin Donuts or the family members that talk about you to their co-workers and friends about how they are related to the Weakly Predictor (WP). Soon, quick trips to the grocery store become long and drawn-out autograph sessions where WP signs laptops, mobile devices, and copies of The Bear starring Gary Busey, but mostly just the devices on which people read the Week 2 picks. But how weakly is a Weakly Predictor when he or she is perfect? Not very. Far from it, actually. Thus, WP most certainly would have enjoyed being undefeated in Week 2 of these Weakly pics, but I’m just serving myself if I make the obvious correct pics.

Okay, I’ll admit it. The entire time I was writing about WP, I was writing about me. I can’t handle the amount of limelight that shines down on successful prediction makers. I have a family and I know my limits. I knew for a fact that a 14-0 Week 2 would have sent my life into an uncontrollable spiral of free coffee, donuts and maybe even copier toner at the office. See what I mean?

Picking Missouri and Tennessee to lose was not done in disrespect to the Vols or the Tigers, but to serve the weakly portion right there in the title.

As a side note, Florida picked up right where they left off in 2013 and were bitten by the injury bug in their opening game. Tight end Jake McGee broke his leg and it has already been announced that he is out for the season. McGee is a post-graduate senior transfer who had 395 yards receiving with Virginia in 2013. Will Muschamp has to be chewing through a nail at this point like it’s a stick of chewing gum. There’s not enough coach speak in the world to make you feel better after having a guy that just joined the team get bit by an injury bug that the Gators hoped to have exterminated.

Week 2′s Weakly Comparison
Weakest Two
1. Missouri 49, Toledo 24 (Predicted Toledo, 21-18)
2. Tennessee 34, Arkansas State 19 (Predicted Arkansas State, 28-24)
2a. Texas A&M 73, Lamar 3 (Predicted A&M to win, but only 34-16)

Best Two
1. Ole Miss 41, Vanderbilt 3 (Predicted Ole Miss, 45-3)
2. Alabama 41, Florida Atlantic 0 (Predicted Alabama, 42-3)
2a. Florida 65, Eastern Michigan 0 (Predicted Florida, 55-0)

Week 3 Predictions
Week 3 is here and its timing is impeccable. Most SEC fans secretly skipped most every game available in Week 2 in favor of Michigan-Notre Dame and Michigan State-Oregon. Unfortunately for those looking for something competitive, Notre Dame and Michigan looked more like one of the SEC mismatches than a matchup between the two winningest college football programs of all time.  

No more “Let’s pick a couple of upsets to keep it interesting.” I’m in this to win and show everyone clamoring to read an intriguing and fantastic prediction article that they’ve picked the right article to read.

Behold, Week 3’s picks.

All Times Eastern | Utilizing AP Poll until College Football Playoff Selection Committee poll is released on October 28.

Saturday, September 13
UCF (0-1) at #20 Missouri (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
12:00 PM | SEC Network

Missouri took my upset pick personally and successfully used it as bulletin board material all week. This week they face another opponent who plays well-above its non-traditional power name.

The Golden Knights may put up a small fight, but Missouri remains explosive on offense with Maty Mauk at QB for the Tigers. Missouri will break 40 again in Week 3.
FINAL SCORE: Missouri 45, UCF 24

UMass (0-2)  at Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-1 SEC)
12:00 PM | FSN

I thought about going against my better judgement here and picking an upset, but I think taking the guaranteed winner on this one makes much more sense.

Vanderbilt will make strides in Week 3 by scoring its first offensive touchdown of the season. There could also be double-digit points lighting up the home side of the scoreboard as well.

It’s the little things in life that count or that should at least be your philosophy in 2014 if you support the Black and Gold.

Despite this explosion of offense from the Commodores, they just can’t get by the Minutemen.

I hope Derek Mason has a pretty heavy anchor, because the Black and Gold negative storm will soon be rocking Mason’s ship after this debacle.
FINAL SCORE: UMass 34, Vanderbilt 13

Arkansas (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at Texas Tech (2-0)
3:30 PM | ABC

The biggest factor of this game will be Texas Tech’s ability or inability to stop the Arkansas running game. With Texas Tech allowing a little over 227 yards rushing per game in the first two games, that’s the only stat that really matters in this one because Arkansas would have the best backfield in any conference other than the SEC.

This one may actually be one of the more entertaining games of the day. It will be close, but expect Arkansas to sneak away from Lubbock with a win. Brett Bielema will also use this rare win to build a little momentum before they face Texas A&M in Arlington on September 27.
FINAL SCORE: Arkansas 33, Texas Tech 31

#6 Georgia (1-0, 0-1 SEC) at #24 South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC)
3:30 PM | CBS

Steve Spurrier comes into the game one win shy of tying legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley with 201 wins, which would move him into second in all-time wins as an SEC head coach.

Verne and Gary also make their SEC and CBS debut for 2014 after returning from Dublin after calling the UCF-Penn State game for the eyeball network’s all-sports channel on opening weekend. Verne may mispronounce a name or ten, but his voice booming from your television remains the best indicator of which of the weekend’s games is the biggest.

This just has uh-oh written all over it for the Bulldogs. There’s something about a Steve Spurrier team that appears to be down and a Georgia team that appears to be up. Running back Todd Gurley may even get 135 yards, but South Carolina’s ability to stop the big play and force UGA into field goal situations will be the difference.

It’s also important to note that angry Nick Saban has nothing on angry Mark Richt while talking to the media. Saban’s range really never changes. He always seems to be an oppressed human being when forced to speak to the media. Richt is a somewhat pleasant guy, so the shock factor is so high when he gets in jackass mode with the media.
FINAL SCORE: South Carolina 16, Georgia 13

UL-Lafayette (1-1) at #14 Ole Miss (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
4:00 PM ET | SEC Network

The biggest fight in this battle will be how to correctly pronounce “Lafayette.” Those around my neck of the woods in the Nashville area say, “Luh-Fay-Ett.” Folks that reside relatively close to where the name of the city actually derived pronounce it, “Laff-Fah-Yett.” How do you pronounce it? Call us now at 1-800-Say-Whaaaaaaaaat for a chance to win two free tickets to the this game if you pronounce correctly!

How about Ole Miss, though? They are really playing great football for the time being. Wins over a down Boise State and a very down Vanderbilt will may prove to be less impressive each week, but as it stands now, this Ole Miss team is a contender to make noise in the West. In other words, the Rebels would finish second at worst in the SEC East.

No surprises at The Grove.
FINAL SCORE: Ole Miss 37, UL-Lafayette 10

Mississippi State (2-0, 0-0 SEC) at South Alabama (1-0)
4:00 PM ET | ESPNews

I’ll say this for Mississippi State — they will play on the road at mid-major schools. The Bulldogs traveled to Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 2009 and beat MTSU 27-6. This week the Bulldogs travel to Mobile, Alabama to play a school that didn’t have organized football when MSU played that game in Murfreesboro.

South Alabama is in Mobile so they have access to some great talent. However, much of the time the Jaguars usually wave goodbye to those players after high school when they head off to Tuscaloosa or Auburn.

South Alabama is coming off a win on the road at Kent State. While a few peaks at the crawl of scores will raise a few eyebrows throughout the late afternoon and until about midway through the third quarter, the USA will still be on the losing end of this war.
FINAL SCORE: Mississippi State 44, USA 28

Southern Miss (1-1) at #3 Alabama (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
6:00 PM ET | ESPN2

I’m sure everyone is talking about the Golden Eagles’ huge 26-20 win over Steve McNair’s alma mater, Alcorn State Braves and why not? I mean, it’s the 14-time division champion Braves. So, this game is going to be really good.

The above paragraph was not real other than the part about Southern Miss beating Alcorn State. Weak, right?

All apologies to Alabama fans, but there’s nothing to write here other than FLORIDA WEEK because we all know Nick Saban is being a big ol’ fibber if he says he’s doing any game planning for Southern Miss above and beyond reviewing which color scheme the Golden Eagles will wear Saturday.

Lots of kids get to play again for the ‘Tide this week before the SEC schedule begins next Saturday in Tuscaloosa versus Florida (3:30pm, CBS) . That will be followed by open dates that bookend 3 out of 4 conference games on the road which include trips to Ole Miss and Arkansas, a home game versus Texas A&M and then back on the road at Tennessee.

This game will be as important for offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin and quarterback Blake Sims as it will be for anyone. Kiffin has done what everyone has expected thus far, getting the ball in the hands of playmakers like Amari Cooper, who had 12 catches in game one and 13 catches in game two. Kiffin has been a great for Blake Sims and the senior quarterback only seems to get better each week and solidify his role as the guy under center (or shotgun) for the ‘Tide.
FINAL SCORE: Alabama 42, Southern Miss 0

ULM (2-0) at #10 LSU (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
7:00PM | ESPNU

I assume the Duck Dynasty references will be flowing from everyone, but nowhere better than here. FBSchedules.com is your official home of Duck Dynasty references when LSU plays Monroe.

This will be a great game to get Leonard Fournette more and more carries as he adjusts to the speed of college football. It’s unfortunate for everyone outside of Baton Rouge that this guy will be hitting full stride in October and November as the game slows down and he only gets quicker.

This will also be a great game for Anthony Jennings to continue solidifying his role as the starting quarterback for the SEC portion of the schedule. Jennings doesn’t have the arm of Mettenberger, but he can — forgive me Anthony for doing this — manage the game and do what every LSU quarterback should do with the thoroughbreds standing behind him at running back.

Jennings throws a little bit in this game to stay warm, but the Bengal Tigers will overpower the weaker Warhawks and impose their will at any given point with the running game. Good luck to ULM in their future endeavors.

Kentucky (2-0, 0-0 SEC) at Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
7:30 PM | SEC Network

The Wildcats have come out running one half of the run and gun pretty well. Kentucky is rushing for 233 yards per game and has scored 7 touchdowns over in two wins over UT-Martin and Ohio. Those 7 touchdowns has Kentucky tied with Arkansas for third in SEC rushing touchdowns. To put perspective on that number of touchdowns after two wins, the Wildcats had 16 rushing touchdowns in all of 2013.

The question mark is still hovering over Will Muschamp in Gainesville. Kentucky has not beaten Florida since 1986, but this question mark hanging over campus might actually make this game at The Swamp an advantage for the Wildcats. Many fans are eager to see quick improvement from the team and they put the responsibility solely on the shoulders of Muschamp and the first mediocre series and Gator fans may turn on the team and the coaching staff.

This is a game to keep an eye on. If Kentucky were going to win one over Florida, this may be the year to do it. On the other hand, if the Gators defense plays as expected, Kentucky’s run game will be a non-story and Florida will just smother the new found run game.

As much as I’d like to pick Kentucky to break a nearly 30-year losing streak to Florida, I just can’t. Expect this one to be a close game, but Florida’s defensive talent will be the difference.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 21, Kentucky 12

Tennessee (2-0, 0-0) at #4 Oklahoma (2-0)
8:00 PM | ABC

Stand up and howl, ’cause Smoky is on the proowwwwwwwwl.

The Vols no longer do this cheer inside Neyland Stadium. Tennessee fans will do well to keep this in mind while watching this game from Norman because it’s the only silver lining visible at this point.

I know it’s Oklahama, but keep in mind this is the same Oklahoma offense that torched Alabama’s secondary and same Oklahoma defense that abused Alabama’s offensive line the entire night. So, that probably doesn’t put anyone’s orange mind at ease, eh?

Oklahoma will win this game, but for Tennessee, this game is more about how close are they to where they think they should be at this point. Tennessee will have an open date next week, then pickup the season by playing at Georgia and bringing in Florida the next.

Maybe Tennessee’s not better than Oklahoma, but a respectable showing will give the Vols some much-needed continuation of the positive energy and momentum built by Butch Jones.
FINAL SCORE: Oklahoma 49, Tennessee 31

Rice (2-0) at #7 Texas A&M (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
9:00 PM | ESPN2

They always say when these two in-state rivals get together that it’s best to throw out all the records. I’d say that’s really not true because there have only been two games played and a team’s record has never determined whether or not a team is better. It’s the Jimmys and the Joes and some of those X’s and O’s. High five! Nobody? Former Rice offensive coordinator, Major Applewhite, I know you’re with me. No? Chicken looking for a bed on which to lie? C’mon! Rice. Chicken on a bed of rice? Wow. Y’all are something else. You know that? Y’all are something else.

Kenny Hill will throw some passes and throw a few touchdowns before everyone gives one heck of an effort to refer to Hill by a nickname they think will stick and make them a viral sensation because they thought up the nickname. Right now it’s something like Trill Hill. I think there a better option out there. Maybe something like, “Kenny” Hill. Just thinking out loud. Try it on and see what you think.
FINAL SCORE: Texas A&M 63, Rice 14

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.

  1. Matt
    September 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Yeah right about Vandy-UMass. You do know just how bad UMass is, right? Vandy wins 24-13.

  2. Aaron
    September 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I love your articles and agree with your predictions. As a Arkansas fan I appreciate the confidence to pick us but I do have to correct a couple things. 1. We won our first game last week. Yes I know it was Nicholls but after a 10 game losing streak we’ll take what we can. 2. the A&M game is at Jerryworld in Arlington not at Fayetteville although I kinda wish it was.

  3. Eric Taylor
    September 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks, Aaron. I’ll take correction all day long. I completely forgot about the Jerryworld. I think I got confused because the Texas Tech game is at their stadium which is also named for AT&T so… Actually, I’m a Bama fan. My facts are always rooted in error and the past. Ha. Thanks for reading and send a correction at any time. Good luck to the Hogs Saturday.

    Matt, Vandy is lost. They may win, but I’m not sure they win a game this year.

    • Matt
      September 10, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Vanderbilt will definitely beat Charleston Southern (bad even by FCS standards) and should beat UMass and ODU, though ODU is not quite a gimme. A miracle finish would include improving enough to steal one against UK or UT. Preseason, I thought that this was another 9-4 team in Nashville, and it sucks to see what has happened the last two weeks, but I am not as down on the team as many are.

    • Eric Taylor
      September 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      You’re smart to do that. This team looked bad early last year as well. It only takes a couple of good weeks and Mason is suddenly a genius. I hope they get it together. It’s much more fun in Nashville when Vandy actually provides something besides a stage for other teams to come in and perform for their fans looking for a fun weekend.

    • Matt
      September 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I am a Vandy student, so I will admit that I am biased, but I think that there is no reason that we cannot regularly compete with the right coach and system. I’m not yet sure whether that’s Mason, but I do know that this offensive system is atrocious.

  4. Vols
    September 11, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I’m a big Tennessee Vols football fan. We Vols vans will want Tennessee to crush Oklahoma in week 3 on Saturday. But, however, don’t be too disappointed if we lose because Oklahoma is ranked in the top 5 and idk if we are even ranked in the top 25 even after these past 2 victories of week 1 & week 2, therefore we are predicted to loose. If you remember last year we won our first 2 games and then ended up loosing majority of the games after that because Justin Worley (QB) just looked awful after those games and then ended up getting hurt along with our other quarterbacks… Well, now we see a different Justin Worley and different TN team in general this 2014 season. We were expected to loose our first two games and then won them by a landslide! So what exactly did Peyton Manning teach Justin Worley during this summer of 2014? What did Butch Jones do with the rest of the team to make them play the way they been? It looked like the ole days when TN was unbeatable with a great coaching unit! J. Worley threw over 13 completions in a row which puts him one more completion above peyton manning having a record of 12 in college, therefore that puts J. Worley in the top 4 most completed passes in a row in college history. Our defense has improved unbelievably as well. TN defense so far hasn’t let a team score 20+ points on them yet! If Oklahoma doesn’t think they’ve had a tough game yet in week one or week two, then they are about to get one Saturday with the Vols traveling to their home field!

  5. Codie
    September 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Eric, nice job. However, IF Arkansas wins, it will still not be a conference victory. Texas Tech is in the Big 12 and Arkansas is in the SEC. Overall, good job.

  6. bamminer
    September 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    If Alabama’s Oline continues to play well, then they CAN beat anybody; if the K/P continues, then that becomes upgraded to LIKELY. If the Dline and LBs come along to the fray in addition, then Alabama could become one of the scariest–if not the scariest–football teams in history. UF will be a big test of whether Alabama is chomping on “carp” or whether the Oline can potentially carry Alabama to a championship. That UF game starts a huge block of games that lasts until season’s end and the postseason(with the exception of Western Carolina–penultimate game of the reg. season). Who says Alabama doesn’t have a schedule, huh? If Alabama does do it, then they’ll have to beat recent push overs: Ark. And UT(probably average this year). Then, they’ll have to go 5-1 against Texas A&M, UF, MSU, LSU, AU, and UM(with all of those possibly being good or better spread teams over the long haul). Then, USC, UF, UGA, or upset minded UT or Mizzou. Last, enter potential playoff teams: UO, Stan., FSU, UF, AU, UGA, BU, and OSU.