SEC previews and predictions: Week 2

By Jess Nicholas, TideFans.com Editor-In-Chief

Sept. 3, 2012

 

Last week’s record: 12-0 (100.0%)

Season record: 12-0 (100.0%)

 

The Predictions Dept. opened 2012 with a perfect record in Week 1, a good start to be sure, but just one step in “the process.” The process continues with a Week 2 slate of games highlighted by the conference openers for both Texas A&M and Missouri.

 

FLORIDA at TEXAS A&M

This was supposed to be Texas A&M’s second game of the year, but Hurricane Isaac forced a change in plans. As a result, Texas A&M is at a huge disadvantage here, playing for the first time while Florida already has a game under its belt. In Texas A&M’s favor is the fact that Florida still looks to be a bit of a mess, and slogged through its opener with Bowling Green without putting the Falcons away for good until late in the game. At least Florida has decided firmly on Jeff Driskel as its starting quarterback. The Aggies will be amped up for their first SEC conference game, but look for Florida to eke out a win on the road.

Florida 30

Texas A&M 27

 

WESTERN KENTUCKY at ALABAMA

See our extended preview!

 

GEORGIA at MISSOURI

Georgia sleepwalked through its opener against Buffalo, which was somewhat disturbing given the amount of talent the Bulldogs are supposed to have on defense. But that’s par for the course under Mark Richt. Missouri opened with a lower-division opponent, so there’s not much to be gleaned about the Tigers. Missouri figures to be emotionally charged for this game, but Georgia should still win it if the Bulldogs can avoid showing up overconfident. This game is the closest thing this week to an “upset special” in the SEC.

Georgia 34

Missouri 28

 

KENT STATE at KENTUCKY

After Kentucky’s miserable showing against Louisville, the Wildcats are glad to see Kent State come to town. Kentucky is hoping Kent State’s players run the wrong way again, but on more than just punt coverage, as it would give the Wildcats the chance they need to win the game. (Translation: Joker Phillips’ job is in serious jeopardy.)

Kentucky 31

Kent State 17

 

EAST CAROLINA at SOUTH CAROLINA

The Gamecocks are a bit beaten up after their SEC opener with Vanderbilt, but fortunately for South Carolina, the no-defense Pirates of East Carolina are rolling into town. South Carolina needs to get better in pass coverage, however, because the Pirates have good offensive talent and this game might not be comfortable for Steve Spurrier and company.

South Carolina 34

East Carolina 28

 

GEORGIA STATE at TENNESSEE

Tennessee figures to set several records in this game, including “Most Band Members Inserted Into The Game Before Halftime.”

Tennessee 62

Georgia State 0

 

VANDERBILT at NORTHWESTERN

The Commodores treated the opener against South Carolina as its Super Bowl, a strategy which carried a huge risk/reward element. Had Vandy won, it would have been the springboard to bigger things; now, Commodore coaches will have to reset expectations, as well as figure out how to stop a Northwestern team that can score plenty of points in short amounts of time. Northwestern won against an improving Syracuse program in Week 1, but its defense is suspect. The question is whether Vanderbilt’s offense can be potent enough to take advantage.

Northwestern 33

Vanderbilt 31

 

LOUISIANA-MONROE at ARKANSAS (in Little Rock, Ark.)

This is Louisiana-Monroe’s opener for the year, while Arkansas is coming off an unimpressive showing in John L. Smith’s Razorback coaching debut. The Razorbacks need to do more than win; they need to tune the engine, or the showdown with Alabama a week later won’t be so hotly contested.

Arkansas 41

La.-Monroe 17

 

AUBURN at MISSISSIPPI STATE

Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen has yet to win as a head coach against any other SEC West team other than Ole Miss. If he’s to change that, he’d better start here. Auburn’s offense looked inept in its opener against Clemson, but the big shocker was how porous the defense looked. Mississippi State waltzed by Jackson State, an opponent not good enough to give anyone a clear indication of how good the Bulldogs might be. Mullen has to avoid repeating his previous mistakes against Auburn, as he has consistently outcoached himself against the Tigers and spoiled his team’s chances at upset. Until he proves otherwise, we’ll bet on history.

Auburn 20

Mississippi St. 17

 

WASHINGTON at LOUISIANA STATE

Washington is slowly getting better with each passing season, but didn’t look sharp in its opener against San Diego State. LSU shouldn’t have much trouble with the Huskies despite looking a bit rusty against North Texas. If Washington makes a close game out of this one, it might be time to reevaluate LSU’s predicted finish in 2012.

LSU 30

Washington 17

 

TEXAS-EL PASO at MISSISSIPPI

Ole Miss fans were probably gleaming at the prospect of starting 2-0 on the season – until they saw UTEP nearly upset Oklahoma in the Miners’ season-opener. Ole Miss, meanwhile, had more trouble than it should have with Central Arkansas, not looking sharp at all on defense. If UTEP were to knock off Ole Miss, it would still be a huge surprise, not to mention an embarrassment for Rebel fans. But it is possible.

Ole Miss 31

UTEP 21

 

 

 

 

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