Last Week’s Record: 6-0 (100.0%)
Season Record: 41-11 (78.9%)
The Predictions Dept. continues to make progress, scoring a perfect performance in Week 5. Now comes Week 6, the smallest slate of games so far and the first without Alabama playing in one of them. There’s only one game of note, Auburn at Florida, and the other two games being talked about (UT-UGA, VU-Ole Miss) are being done so out of morbid curiosity.
AUBURN at FLORIDA
Somehow, actual football people are picking Florida in this game. The Gators have racked up five wins, sure, but which one was the best? It’s either Miami in the opener, or Kentucky in Week 3, and neither win was convincing in any way. Auburn has a much better resume at this point, and the convincing win over Mississippi State is something Florida lacks. More importantly, the Gators don’t run the football well, while Auburn has one of the toughest front sevens in the country. If Florida can’t find some balance in its offense, Auburn will win handily. Even without that advantage, Auburn looks like the much better and much more complete team.
GEORGIA at TENNESSEE
The SEC’s second-best game of the week may be this one, and it’s going to be a one-sided blowout so convincing in nature that Tennessee will feel lucky to maintain conference affiliation afterwards. Tennessee has a lot of problems that aren’t going to be fixed by the end of the 2019 season. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt is squarely on the hot seat, and it seems like the Volunteers are using the Transfer Portal as some sort of student lounge. Georgia may not be as good as many people thought it would be prior to the start of the season, but the Bulldogs are more than good enough to scorch the Volunteers without mercy.
TROY at MISSOURI
Troy is 2-2 and has a new coach, but one thing hasn’t changed and that’s the Trojans’ ability to score points. Troy throws the ball well (9th nationally) and can burn up a scoreboard (15th in points produced), but losses to Southern Miss and Arkansas State really point to where the Trojans are at as a franchise. Missouri may have opened with an embarrassing loss to Wyoming, but since then recorded strong wins over West Virginia and South Carolina. This one may end up looking and sounding like a casino’s gaming floor after four quarters are done, but Missouri really should handle its business here. If it lets Troy hang around, shame on the Tigers.
VANDERBILT at MISSISSIPPI
Here’s the matchup the world has been crying out for. Ole Miss enters the game fresh off getting pummeled by Alabama, while Vanderbilt is a week removed from beating Northern Illinois by a single score. In the preseason, we liked the Commodores in this one, but no more. The game is in Oxford and Ole Miss has actually shown the ability to score sort of when it wants to – a key to modern winning football, to be sure. This is shaping up like one of those 3-9 seasons that gets a Vanderbilt coach in hot water. Meanwhile, the Rebels simply have to limit mistakes, and their superior team speed and offensive ingenuity should win the day.
Ole Miss 47
UTAH STATE at LOUISIANA STATE
Hold the phone here, because Utah State is actually a decent football team. After a tight loss to Wake Forest – a Wake Forest team, by the way, that currently sits 5-0 – Utah State peeled off three wins in a row and has put up the country’s 9th-ranked offense in the process. LSU, though, has yet to score less than 45 points in a game and has already cracked the 60-point barrier twice. Of all the teams in college football, it is the formerly-stodgy Bayou Bengals who find themselves leading the nation in scoring, and having the country’s No. 2 passing attack. None of those offensive numbers are expected to hit a wall this week, but LSU’s defense may very well get a test. It’s not a game LSU can sleep on, but they can be a little drowsy and still get away with it.
Utah State 25
IDLE: Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Texas A&M
Follow Jess Nicholas on Twitter at @TideFansJessN
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