SEC Pubs' Predictions & Comments

Predictions and Comments from the SEC for the first week of college action. See who they think wins across the conference, and their commentary added a little twist to the predictions.

Alabama 27, Virginia Tech 10 — Alabama should get a big lift from the announcement that star wide receiver Julio Jones and starting tailback Mark Ingram have been cleared to play.

Julio Jones
Arkansas 42, Missouri State 7 — With transfer Ryan Mallett at quarterback, Arkansas may be a surprise team in the SEC West. Missouri State isn't bad, but will be no match for Razorbacks.

Auburn 17, Louisiana Tech 10 — Some expect an upset here, but even in a rebuilding state against a veteran Louisiana Tech team, Auburn gets a win for new coach Gene Chizik.

Florida 49, Charleston Southern 0 — Every SEC team plays some dogs, but is a travesty for the nation's best football team to have a game like this on its schedule.

Georgia 24, Oklahoma State 21 — Georgia has a long history of under-achieving, but the Bulldogs have too many good players not to handle the Cowboys, even in Stillwater.

Kentucky 24, Miami (Ohio) 13 — Coach Rich Brooks has built a solid program and has key performers back this year.

LSU 31, Washington 7 — This game in Seattle sounds better than it will be. Washington is a long way from being competitive and LSU is close to being excellent.

Ole Miss 27, Memphis 7 — Houston Nutt has put good players around an outstanding quarterback in Jevan Snead and has a very solid defense with Greg Hardy returning.

Nick Saban
Mississippi State 21, Jackson State 7 — New Coach Dan Mullen doesn't have a lot to work with, but the Bulldogs should win this interesting intrastate game.

South Carolina 24, North Carolina State 10 Many are writing off Steve Spurrier, but the Gamecocks will be better than a middling ACC team.

Tennessee 17, Western Kentucky 7 — New coach Lane Kiffin will have to keep the Vols' minds on the game, not looking ahead to UCLA (and particularly not to Florida the following week).

Vanderbilt 21, Western Carolina 10 — The patsies on Vanderbilt's schedule are sometimes stronger than the Commodores, but most starters return from last season's Music City Bowl championship team.

South Carolina 21, NC State 14 - The Gamecocks go and grab the league's first road win in impressive fashion.

Ryan Mallett
Arkansas 52, Missouri State 14 - The Razorbacks unveil the Ryan Mallett era with a plethora of points against the overmatched Bears.

Oklahoma State 45, Georgia 42 - Expecting a big-time shootout even if the Bulldogs are taking in a new starting quarterback.

Kentucky 35, Miami Ohio 20 - The Wildcats get a quality win against a program that has produced quality teams in the past.

Auburn 31, Louisiana Tech 17 - Gus Malzahn's offense will be enough to win this one, but one wonders what the season holds for Gene Chizak.

Alabama 24, Virginia Tech 17 - The best match-up of the opening weekend will be decided by the Crimson Tide.

LSU 24, Washington 10 - The Tigers go out West and win. Can't wait to see how Les Miles pronouces Washington.

Tennnessee 42, Western Kentucky 10 - The Kiffin playing era finally takes the place of the Kiffin talking one. About time.

Bobby Petrino
Ole Miss 38, Memphis 21 - Houston Nutt and his team win their seventh straight game as expectations for the Rebels run wild.

Florida 73, Charleston Southern 0 - Wonder how many Charleston Southern players will ask for Tim Tebow's autograph? He should be free to sign after the first quarter.

Mississippi State 31, Jackson State 10 - It's a nice opportunity for the in-state school, but the Bulldogs should roll.

Vanderbilt 35, Western Carolina 14 - The Commodores should be able to handle a team that was just 3-9 a year ago.

Ala. vs. Va. Tech (Ga. Dome)--This has the potential to be a good matchup. Alabama 24-21

Antonio Coleman
Ark. vs. Mo. State--Tune-up time for Bobby Petrino's club. The schedule will soon get much tougher. Arkansas 35-14

Auburn vs. La. Tech--The Gene Chizik Era begins with a victory for the home team. Auburn 31-20

LSU at Washington--It's been a while since the Huskies were much of a threat on the gridrion. LSU 42, Washington 14

Miss. State vs. Jackson State--If the Bulldogs struggle in the opener it is going to be a looong season. Miss. State 38-14

Ole Miss @ Memphis--Jevan Snead and the Rebs should cruise in this one even though Memphis often makes this a backyard brawl. Ole Miss 35, Memphis 14

Florida vs. Charleston Southern--The mother of all mismatches. Florida 63-0

UGA at Oklahoma State--Playing this year's Cowboys in Stillwater is tough opener for anybody. The Bulldogs are not expected to return home a winner. Oklahoma State 31, Georgia 24

Kentucky @ Miami (Ohio)--The Wildcats won't have to be world-beaters to win this one. Kentucky 28-13

Gene Chizik
South Carolina @ NC State--Home field advantage could be the edge the Wolfpack needs to win a close one. N.C. State 31-28

Tennessee @ Western Kentucky--Another tune-up game, the UT offense that struggled to get enough points last season should keep the scoreboard operator busier in this one. Tennessee 38, Western Kentucky 10

Vanderbilt @ Western Carolina--The Catamounts won just three games last year for first-year head coach Dennis Wagner. He's not likely to get another one this week in Nashville. Vandy 28-7

South Carolina (+4.5) at NC State
Straight Up: NC State
Against the Spread: South Carolina
Comment: It is possible Carolina is better than we think? Doubt it.

Alabama (-7) vs. Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome
Straight Up: Alabama
Against the Spread: Virginia Tech
Comment: This one will be much closer than last year's SEC-ACC showdown…

Joe Cox
Missouri State (NL) at Arkansas
Straight Up: Arkansas
Against the Spread: NA
Comment: Weak…

La. Tech (+13.5) at Auburn
Straight Up: Auburn
Against the Spread: Auburn
Comment: Gene Chizik wins: South Dakota State, Kent State, Iowa, Kansas State, Colorado... and now La. Tech (I hope for Chizik's case at least)…

Charleston Southern (NL) Florida
Straight Up: Florida
Against the Spread: NA
Comment: Gators, having already won the National title, score 100… Tebow walks on water at half…

Georgia (+5.5) at Oklahoma State
Straight Up: Georgia
Against the Spread: Georgia
Comment: Strange line; I think Georgia wins, so take the points (but something is not right here… what am I missing?)

LSU (-16.5) at Washington
Straight Up: LSU
Against the Spread: Washington
Comment: LSU wins easy… and then the Tigers allow a late TD…

Jackson State (NL) at Mississippi State
Straight Up: Mississippi State
Against the Spread: NL
Comment: Boring; at least with Sly Croom running the show this was a possible loss…

UGA's Mark Richt
Western Kentucky (NL) at Tennessee
Straight Up: Tennessee
Against the Spread: NL
Comment: SEC Network = Excitement!

Western Carolina (NL) at Vanderbilt
Straight Up: Vandy
Against the Spread: NL
Comment: This one on the Ocho?

Kentucky (-15) at Miami (OH)
Straight Up: Kentucky
Against the Spread: Kentucky
Comment: Cats win at Paul Brown Stadium…

Ole Miss (-16.5) at Memphis
Straight Up: Ole Miss
Against the Spread: Ole Miss
Comment: Rebels to show they are the best… at least in that part of the South.

Washington officials are dubbing Saturday's matchup with LSU as the beginning of the ‘Sark Era' as first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian will coach his first game in Husky Stadium as a Dawg.

While Husky fans are elated to kick off the ‘Sark Era', LSU fans will be signing their own rendition of "Hail to the Chief" as the Tigers will look to erase the nightmare that still clouds their minds – last season.

Expunging those memories from last year's 8-5 finish begins on the defensive side of the ball and the man responsible for that assignment is new defensive coordinator John "the Chief" Chavis.

The trip to Washington is all about regaining the respect that LSU had prior to 2008, and that goes for everyone associated with the team – from the players all the way up the food chain to the staff.

Charles Scott
Fans and everyone outside the state of Washington fully expect LSU to hand the Huskies their 15th straight loss dating back to 2007, and it all starts with stopping UW's triggerman.

LSU 40, Washington 13
South Carolina 13, NC State 10
Kentucky 23, Miami Ohio 6
Tennessee 23, Western Kentucky 9
Miss State 17, Jackson State 3
Arkansas 33 Missouri State 9
Auburn 14 La Tech 11
Florida 51 Charleston 6
Va Tech 13 Alabama 10
Ole Miss 29 Memphis 6

Alabama-Virginia Tech: Alabama will have a new quarterback at the helm, but they will have too much firepower for Frank Beamer's crew. The Tide defense will dominate after they get their bearings. Alabama 27, Tech 10.

Jevan Snead
Arkansas-Missouri State: Does Missouri State have a football team? Hmmmm. Hogs 44, MoState 13.

Auburn-Louisiana Tech: Gene Chizik's debut will be successful, but no cakewalk. LaTech will probably throw the ball 50-60 times and will make a game of it. Auburn 30, LaTech 17.

LSU-Washington: Cakewalk for the Tiguhs. The Huskies will not know what hit them, but they will know it resembles a yellow school bus. LSU 45, Washington 7.

Mississippi State-Jackson State: Jackson State will be fired up beyond their wildest imagination, but that will last about five minutes and the balloon will pop. MSU 30, JSU 3.

Ole Miss-Memphis: Tiger Coach Tommy West will try to shorten the game and get it into the fourth quarter with trick plays and misdirections. That ploy will work for a little while, but in the end the Rebels will be too strong to contain. Ole Miss 35, Memphis 17.

Florida-Charleston: See Arkansas-MoState. Gators romp. Florida 55, Charleston 0.

Georgia-Oklahoma State: The most intriguing match of the opening week, by a long shot. Georgia will be trotting out a new QB in a hostile arena. The Cowboys have a lot of talent coming back. Oklahoma State 24, Georgia 21.

Dexter McCluster
Kentucky-Miami (Ohio): Kentucky will struggle, but will get off on the right foot and will come away with a hard-fought win. Kentucky 27, W. Kentucky 17.

South Carolina-North Carolina State: Steve Spurrier's defense is going to surprise some folks this year, but it won't be in the opener. NC State 31, SC 24.

Tennessee-Western Kentucky: Go back home, Hilltoppers. Wasted trip. UT 38, WKY 13.

Vanderbilt-Western Carolina: This may be the most boring match of the week. There will be about as much excitement in this game as in a freshman algebra class. Vandy 28, W. Carolina 0.

South Carolina 27 - NC State 24
This one will be entertaining from the get-go, with both offenses finding success. However, South Carolina's defense has more playmakers than NC State, and the Gamecocks will come up with some timely stops in the fourth quarter. That will be the difference in this hard fought week one battle.

Kentucky - 26 - Miami (OH) 13
The fighting Wally Szczerbiaks will keep it close for a half, but Kentucky will pull away late and then enjoy a hard earned bye week in week two.

Eric Norwood
Tennessee 33 - Western Kentucky 3
Don't let this one fool you. The Lane Kiffin "I should've kept my mouth shut" tour is just around the corner and coming to a city near you.

Miss. State 20 - Jackson State 10
Dan Mullen was the best offseason hire of any SEC team, but the pieces aren't in place to click just yet.

Georgia 31 - Oklahoma State 27
Chalk another one up for the SEC. Georgia may be the underdog, but it doesn't mean they're not the better team. The Dawgs' defense will do just enough to slow down the high-powered Oklahoma State attack.

Arkansas 41 - Missouri State 13
Welcome to year two of the Bobby Petrino era. The offense will come out guns a blazin' in the much anticipated Razorback debut of Ryan Mallett.

Auburn 24 - La. Tech 9
Gene Chizik's debut on the plains won't be overwhelming, but it will get the job done.

Florida 59 - Charleston Southern 3

Steve Spurrier
The Gators are favored by 73 points. I'm taking the under with the assumption that Urban Meyer has some class. Then again, on second thought…

Ole Miss 41 - Memphis 20
Not much of a test in week one for Jevan Snead and the gang. At least they'll get some good barbeque out of it.

Vanderbilt 37 - Western Carolina 6
I think I fell asleep just thinking about this one.

Alabama 20 - Virginia Tech 17
In the headliner matchup of week one, ‘Bama edges out VT in an old school, smash mouth rumble in Atlanta.

LSU 38 - Washington 20
This one will be entertaining for a while. Then the jet-lag will wear off for LSU.

South Carolina 31, N.C. State 14: The Ol' Ball Coach launches the Stephen Garcia error ... uh ... era.

Eric Berry
Alabama 24, Virginia Tech 17: Did John Parker Wilson guide the Tide for eight years or did it just seem like it?

Arkansas 45, Missouri State 7: The Sisters of the Poor must've been busy this weekend.

Auburn 34, Louisiana Tech 10: Wonder if the folks at Iowa State miss Gene Chizik yet?

Florida 56, Charleston Southern 0: A best-against-the-rest scrimmage would be more entertaining.

Oklahoma State 38, Georgia 31: Bulldog defensive coordinator Willie Martinez had better buy some fire-proof underwear.

Kentucky 31, Miami of Ohio 14: This would be an interesting game if the opponent were Miami of Florida.

Lane Kiffin
LSU 41, Washington 17: Steve Sarkisian may wish he was back on staff at USC by halftime.

Mississippi State 35, Jackson State 7: Dan Mullen no longer has a Tim Tebow at his disposal, but he won't need one to win this game.

Tennessee 38, Western Kentucky 14: Did the Vols score 38 points all of last season combined?

Vanderbilt 27, Western Carolina 10: Off their first bowl win since 1983, the Commodores are cruising.

Ole Miss 34, Memphis 17: Jevan Snead launches his Heisman Trophy bid on national TV.

Larry Smith
Alabama 17 Virgina Tech 14-
Tide won't have it as easy as last year versus Clemson.
Arkansas 38 Missouri State 10
Easy cupcake game for Razors.

Auburn 31 Louisiana Tech 27
Louisiana Tech, a solid good football team, gives Tigers a tough game.

LSU 42 Washington 7
Washington, and their new coach, have a long way to go.

Miss. State 21 Jackson State 10
FCS opponents equals opening win for Bulldogs.

Ole Miss 31 Memphis 13
Rebs get four scoring throws from Spurrier's All-SEC QB.

Bobby Johnson
Florida 77 Charleston Southern 0
This will get ugly, very ugly, quickly.

Oklahoma State 33 Georgia 27
Mark Richt on the hot seat after one game.

Kentucky 41 Miami (Ohio) 13
Wildcats get season off to good start.

North Carolina State 24 South Carolina 17
Wolf Pack gets revenge for last year's shutout loss to USC.

Tennessee 35 Western Kentucky 7
Easy win for Vols and Berry.

Vanderbilt 51 Western Carolina 9-
Vanderbilt overwhelms FCS opponent to pick up a win in their opener for the third year in the row. That hasn't happened since 1973-75. In his eighth season as head coach, Bobby Johnson moves his Vandy record to 28-56 (.333). By contrast he was just 6-29 (.171) after his first three season at VU.

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