SEC Football Schedule: Week 1 Instant Predictions

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

SEC Football Schedule: Week 1 Instant Predictions


SEC Football Schedule: Week 1 Instant Predictions


Mississippi State at LSU

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: This is where all of the offseason bullspitting hits the fan – at least, my bullspitting. I’ve said from the start that Stanford transfer KJ Costello in the Mike Leach offense could be this year’s high-rising – not going to say this year’s Joe Burrow – NFL superstar prospect, and he gets to start against what might be the best secondary in college football.

The Bulldogs are better than you might think, but so are the Tigers. The Leach offense will have all of its fancy schmancy pyrotechnics, and then the Tiger O will go off in the second half on a huge day behind transfer QB Justin Fields – joking, sort of. MSU won’t let this get ugly, but the LSU secondary will be terrific when it has to be in the second half. LSU will crush the time of possession battle in the fourth.

First Thought Prediction: LSU 34, Mississippi State 17
First Thought Line Guess: LSU -15.5
Actual Initial Line: LSU -17.5
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Tennessee at South Carolina

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: OOOOOOOH, an elimination game right out of the gate. Okay, no, the loser isn’t totally out of the SEC East title chase, but it’s in big, big trouble – and so if the coach of the losing side, at least in terms of pressure going forward.

The Tennessee O line vs. the South Carolina D line will be one of the most interesting battles in Week 1, with the two sides playing to even. It’s not going to be a high-scoring thill show, but the Gamecocks pull out a desperately necessary early win for Will Muschamp thanks to a big overall defensive effort.

First Thought Prediction: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 17
First Thought Line Guess: South Carolina -2.5
Actual Initial Line: Tennessee -3
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Vanderbilt at Texas A&M

Knee-Jerk Instant Analysis: No one’s going to be happy.

It’s a home game for Texas A&M against Vanderbilt, so the home fans are going to want and ugly blowout that won’t come. The Commodore defense is good enough to keep this relatively in range throughout, but A&M will control the tempo with its style and with enough methodical scoring drives to take over early on.

It won’t be anything pretty, but the Aggies win and move on after Vandy struggles to score on empty drive after empty drive.

First Thought Prediction: Texas A&M 30, Vanderbilt 13
First Thought Line Guess: Texas A&M -24
Actual Initial Line: Texas A&M -29.5
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