SEC Week Three Preview

Last week pretty much every game went the way most people expected it to. Alabama throttled Texas A&M and Georgia handled Auburn. What most people didn’t expect to happen is the Air Raid offense crashing and crumbling against Arkansas. This week appears to be a pretty chalk weekend as well.

Florida squares off against a beaten Texas A&M in a top 25 matchup, but after last weeks bad showing on defense for the Aggies, the Gators should walk away with a W. Florida’s offense seems to be humming at a different level than most other teams two weeks into the season, but their defense might be the reason that they fail to beat Georgia, or make it all the way through the SEC and into the playoff. Only time will tell if the Gators defense can sharpen up and give Dan Mullen the huge wins that he seems to never get.

The other ranked matchup is a top 15 game between Tennessee and Georgia. Tennessee has been good this year, but they also haven’t played particularly great teams yet. Georgia has arguably the best defense in the nation, and an offense that seems to be clicking a bit more with some stability at the quarterback position. Does Tennessee find a way to knock off the Bulldogs and finally surge as another contender to win the SEC East? I doubt it. Tennessee is a year or two away from being a top team in the East, but I’ve been proven wrong before.

Missouri and LSU play each other this weekend, but that doesn’t move the needle for me. Missouri is the team in the SEC that I repeatedly forget is in the SEC. They’re the third tiger team, and they will never surpass the other two tiger teams in the SEC. LSU should win this game fairly easy.

South Carolina versus Vanderbilt is most likely the biggest dud of the week, but there are bound to be duds throughout the duration of the season when there are only conference games. South Carolina has looked decent, but not great. Will Muschamp’s job is dangling by a thread this year, so it’s a must win for the Gamecocks in Nashville.

After last week, Arkansas seems to be a defensive team that could potentially upset even more SEC teams this season. They matchup against Auburn on the plains this weekend, and I have a strong inkling that Bo Nix is going to struggle against the Razorbacks. We’ve made fun of Arkansas for the last few seasons because they hadn’t won an SEC game in over 1,000 games, but here they are on their way to Auburn to maybe win their second SEC game in two weeks. It should be a fun game to watch, but don’t let this game take over your center TV on Saturday.

Alabama has had trouble with Ole Miss over the last seven years, but this won’t be one of those years. Ole Miss walked away from Lexington with a victory last week, but their defense will not even come close to stopping the Tide. The Rebels might score well over 21 points, but will they be able to prevent Mac Jones and company from hanging a 50 burger on them? Probably not, look for the Tide to keep on rolling this week.

Lastly, Mississippi State and Mike Leach’s Air Raid ran out of air last week and dropped a winnable game against Arkansas in Starkville last week. I’d expect the offense to pick back up and be able to dissect the zone defenses more throughout the season. The Bulldogs will never see man-to-man defense again this season, so it’s up to Leach and K.J. Costello to be able to find holes in the defense and score a bunch of points again. Kentucky lost an overtime thriller against Ole Miss last week, and it looks like their defense is going to struggle again against a high powered offense like the Air Raid. Mississippi State’s defense is light years ahead of Ole Miss’ so that could bring lots of trouble to the Wildcats.

This week in the SEC should be eventful, but I don’t expect many thrilling games where the national media is going bananas like they were in week one. Tennessee could make some noise, and maybe the Aggies bounce back and prove that they’re the team that everyone thought they might be in the preseason. Saturday will answer all of these questions for us.

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