Pat's Picks: Coach Dye's SEC Predictions

Coach Pat Dye predicts the winners in this week's SEC football matchups and other games around the country.

This week's Southeastern Conference football schedule features interesting intersectional games plus early divisional tests in the SEC West and East plus an East vs. West matchup in the state of Texas.

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The week two schedule includes three conference games, including Auburn's road trip to Mississippi State. The league's two newcomers have challenging matchups in their first SEC games with Florida visiting College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies and Missouri making its league debut at home vs. Georgia.

Two games against teams outside the league will be worth watching as Washington makes the long trip to LSU and Vanderbilt makes a road trip to face Northwestern of the Big 10. Here are this week's picks starting with the SEC games:

Florida (1-0) at Texas A&M (0-0)--I am going to pick Florida, but this one is a bit of a guess. Texas A&M didn't play last week because its opener was postponed due to the weather. I think Florida is capable of being a really good defensive team. Texas A&M?is playing a true freshman quarterback and I expect him to make enough mistakes to be the difference, but look for the home team to put up a strong fight. This is a much-anticipated first SEC game for the Aggies, but I am going with the Gators.

Georgia (1-0) at Missouri (1-0)--The way Georgia played in the opener the Bulldogs didn't look like the best team in the SEC East. With four starters out, Georgia is going to have a difficult time in Columbia unless the Bulldogs play much better than they did vs. Buffalo. Missouri has a good offense so I am going with the home team to win its SEC debut.

Western Kentucky (1-0) at Alabama (1-0)--I am not sure how good Michigan is after its disappointing performance vs. the Tide last week, but it is obvious Alabama still has a lot of good players this year. This should be an easy win for Alabama.

Louisiana-Monroe (0-0) at Arkansas (Little Rock) (1-0)--Arkansas shouldn't have a lot of trouble improving to 2-0 at the Razorbacks' home away from home, War Memorial Stadium, against a team that did not play last week. <

UTEP (0-1) at Ole Miss (1-0)--The Miners almost shocked Oklahoma last week. It won't be a big surprise to me if Ole Miss loses to UTEP this week, but I will pick the Rebels to win at home.

East Carolina (1-0) at South Carolina (1-0)--The Gamecocks didn't look quite as good on defense as I expected last week, but should be good enough to beat the visiting Pirates as long as quarterback Connor Shaw is ready to go. If his injury is a deep bruise, like they said it is, it will be a couple weeks before Shaw is back to normal. If it is a separation you are talking about a different type of deal as far as throwing the football. Shaw showed a lot of courage coming back in that game last week vs. Vandy to help his team win.

Georgia State (0-1) at Tennessee (1-0)--With Tyler Bray playing well at quarterback, the Vols were one of the more impressive looking SEC teams in week one. He is a playmaker and with him on the field the entire team looks more confident. Bray's new receiver, Patterson, looks impressive. This will be an easy win for Tennessee.

Vanderbilt (0-1) at Northwestern (1-0)--This should be a good football game. Both teams had down-to-the-wire finishes in week one. Vanderbilt played hard in the opener and I was a little surprised the Commodores played South Carolina as close as they did. This should be a tight game, but I am picking the SEC team to win on the road because I like the toughness Vandy showed last week.

Washington (1-0) at LSU (1-0)--This should be a good test for LSU, which looked okay in its tune-up last week vs. North Texas. This will be a much tougher test, but with LSU's talent and homefield advantage the Tigers shouldn't have too much trouble with the Pac-12 visitor.

Kent State (1-0) at Kentucky (0-1)--Kent State has never beaten an SEC team, but this looks like a real opportunity to make that happen. However, I am going to pick the Wildcats to win their home opener.

Auburn (0-1) at Mississippi State (1-0)--I think the outcome depends on how Auburn plays. I expect Mississippi State to be as good as it can be for this game. If Auburn doesn't get some of its problems from week one fixed this will be a difficult game and the Bulldogs will have a good chance to win. However, I can't believe that Mississippi State has more good football players than Auburn so if the Tigers play to their potential I think they will win.

In other games around the country:

Miami (Fla.) at Kansas State--Miami

Maryland at Temple--Temple

North Carolina at Wake Forest--North Carolina

Air Force at Michigan--Michigan

Purdue at Notre Dame--Notre Dame

Wisconsin at Oregon State--Wisconsin

Nebraska at UCLA--Nebraska

Oklahoma State at Arizona--Oklahoma State

Editor's Note: Coach Dye was 10-1 on Southeastern Conference games and 16-3 overall on his week one picks.


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