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Staff Predictions - College Football Week Four

It’s a surprisingly solid slate in the SEC, so what’s going to happen?

NCAA Football: Southern California at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

SEC play ramps up this week, and we’ve got several games that’ll be required tailgate viewing on Saturday. We pick most of them along with the big game out West!

MISSOURI vs GEORGIA (-15) - 11:00 am CST (O/U 64)

Drew Lock is here to drop bombs all over you’re pretty little defense. Sure, the Tigers defense just gave up 37 to Purdue, but who cares. Sure, UGA is still gonna win the East, but they aren’t going to get sweep the division. Give me M-I-Z! Z-O-U! 45-42, another underdog winning with the over! Let chaos reign!” - Ryan Sterritt

There are gonna be some moments when this Mizzou offense shreds this UGA defense. They won’t happen consistently or often enough for the Tigers to win but we will cling to these moments as proof for why Auburn is totally gonna end their undefeated season again later this fall. Dawgs dominate 2nd half on way to 41-23 victory.” - AU Nerd

“Poor Missouri, They are cruising at 3-0 after beating the B1G T4N’s Purdon’t and now they get to come home to play Georgia and are being touted as the next team that could give them trouble. SPOILER ALERT, they won’t. Georgia is way to much for the Northern Tigers and will dominate. Drew’s STONE COLD LOCK OF THE CENTURY of the week is Georgia, BIG. 52-17.” - Drew McCracken

“It’s gotta be the Dwags, right? I mean, Mizzou couldn’t possibly pull this off, right? (I really need someone to convince me it could happen.) Ah well, I figure despite the cross country trip, the Barking Adults will be able to hold off the Way-Too-Big-12 Tigers. Bulldogs win 52-28.” - AU Chief

“Mash the over. I think Mizzou does just enough to make this shootout close, and maybe even squeak a win. Mizzou SEC EAST CHAMPS?! Tigers 48 - DWAGZ 45.” - Son of Crow

“To me, Missouri is the team that could beat Georgia or Alabama on the road, but also lose to Memphis at home. I won’t pick them to win, but I do think Lock helps them keep it close. 15 is a huge number to cover on the road against a competent quarterback, even for Georgia. Georgia 38, Missouri 28.” - James Jones

“This game could be really interesting. It’s an 11 am kick, and Missouri’s offense can air it out with the best of them (thank goodness Auburn doesn’t play Mizzou this year). But the biggest question is can Missouri’s defense hold Georgia’s offense down? They gave up 37 to an 0-3 Purdue team last week and I just don’t think they can. I think this will be the game we thought we were getting 2 weeks ago when Georgia played South Carolina where the home team keeps it close for awhile but in the end, Georgia eventually pulls away. Georgia 49-31.” - Will McLaughlin

“Is there any way that Georgia goes into this one flat? I don’t think Missouri’s the same sort of team that can roll you over like Arkansas used to do to Auburn on fall mornings, but you never know. The Tigers get a couple long touchdowns and probably have a lead at some point, but Georgia gets a pick six (or two) and makes Drew Lock pay. Dawgs 41, Missouri 20.” - Jack Condon

ALABAMA (-27) vs TEXAS A&M - 2:30 pm CST (O/U 61)

“45-14 Bama. Cover and under. I won’t watch any of this. Yes, I’ll be at a wedding, what’s it to you?” - Ryan Sterritt

“I’ve been told we should just cancel the football season & give the trophy to Bama. Oh and throw a Nobel Peace Prize Tua’s way too... Aggies stood much taller vs Clemson than I expected. I think they give Bama a fight early but don’t have the horses to last all game. Tide win 42-20.” - AU Nerd

“A&M acquitted themselves very well a few weeks back against Clemson but I don’t think they are quite ready for this kind of prime time among the unwashed masses. Saban has his storm troopers ready and this is another bludgeoning. Bama 48-17.” - Drew McCracken

“This has weird game feel to me. It’ll be the one Jimbo circled on the schedule as he was hauling his Christmas tree to the corner in Tallahassee. There’s absolutely no reason Bama shouldn’t utterly destroy the Aggies here, yet I have a weird feeling they won’t, and it will make people believe Jimbo is maybe worth all the stupid guaranteed money the Aggies are going to owe if/when the inevitable trash fire is kindled (he’s not). It’ll be close until the 4th quarter, heck the Aggies might even be winning late-ish, at which point Bama will pull away as they are wont to do. Alabama wins 38-17.” - AU Chief

“Over. Bama covers and everything is horrible.” - Son of Crow

“I’m at full on “Bama minus whatever” until Tua ascends to heaven and every trailer park in Alabama converts to Islam because Jesus stole their quarterback. Alabama 44, A&M 14.” - James Jones

“This hurts to say but if we are being honest with ourselves, the best team in college football over the first 3 weeks has been Alabama and it really hasn’t been close. Yes, the Tide have not played the competition Auburn or many other schools have but their offense is clicking on all cylinders right now. The only weakness for Alabama is kicking. This won’t matter much until they get into a close game. The Aggies will be a step up for them as far as competition and while A&M nearly knocked off Clemson a few weeks ago, this games in Tuscaloosa. Alabama 48-14.” - Will McLaughlin

“Everyone’s looking back at A&M’s close loss to Clemson, and using that as the reason why this line is too high. What does Vegas actually know? Have they just watched Alabama torch hapless sacrificial lambs through the first three weeks and can’t think for themselves? Or is Alabama that good? We’ll find out Saturday, because I think A&M is a top twenty team, they’ve just got a September schedule from hell. Kellen Mond threw for 430 yards on Clemson with no interceptions, but he’ll give a couple back to the Tide this weekend. Still closer than the experts think, but a Bama win nonetheless. 35-17.” - Jack Condon

VANDERBILT vs SOUTH CAROLINA (-2.5) - 3:00 pm CST (O/U 54)

“Bentley and Shurmur go to battle in this one to claim the title of the most underrated-but-still-not-*that*-good quarterback in the SEC. I don’t know what to make of Vanderbilt, seeing as they played Notre Dame tight (but EVERYONE has played Notre Dame tight). If they win this one, they’ll be 3-1 and could very likely be 8-1 by the end of October. I’m actually interested to see how the Vandy defense handles the SC offense; Vanderbilt has been one of the top ten defense in terms of limiting big play ability/explosiveness, but the Gamecocks are one of the more efficient offenses in football so far. Give me Vandy in this one, 35-27 for another underdog winning outright with the over.” - Ryan Sterritt

“Vandy ALMOST pulled it off in South Bend last weekend. I think this is a very winnable game for the Dores but it’s hard to trust a Vanderbilt squad to actually pull the upset. I’m gonna stick with the Cocks 28-24 with some heartbreaking moment that ends Vandy’s chances.” - AU Nerd

“The Dores almost got the job done at Notre Dame but came up just short. I think Carolina has licked its multiple wounds after Georgia left a few weeks back and will be ready to go against Coach Mason, but it will be close. 24-21 Gamecocks.” - Drew McCracken

“Boom ain’t losin’ this one. It’ll be boring as hell to watch. Cocks 24-9.” - AU Chief

“After the cocks made me look a fool by losing to Georgia, I hope they lose every game going forward. ANCHOR DOWN Y’ALL. 15-9 Vandy wins a weird one.” - Son of Crow

“I’d like to personally thank Derek Mason and the ‘Dores for keeping things close against the Irish last weekend. If only Maryland hadn’t face-planted against Temple. Vanderbilt has given the Gamecocks fits recently, but I think they’re too talented in this one. Line seems about right though. South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 20.” - James Jones

“The Commodores put up a valiant effort in South Bend last week falling 5 points short to the Irish. South Carolina had an extra week off due to Hurricane Florence and are chomping at the bit to get back on the field after the debacle against Georgia. Vandy will keep it close but in the end, I think I’ll take the Roosters at home. South Carolina 27-24.” - Will McLaughlin

“I’m still not sure how good Notre Dame is because I’m not sure how good Michigan is, therefore, I don’t know how good Vanderbilt is. All I do know is that the Commodores won the games they were supposed to so far. South Carolina will be rested up after the Hurricane bye, and I think they come out hot on Saturday. 27-13 Gamecocks.” - Jack Condon

TENNESSEE vs FLORIDA (-4.5) - 6:00 pm CST (O/U 47)

“Wait... Somebody thinks these teams are going to score 47 points? Good luck with that one. I think Franks will have a decent game in this one and the Gators win 24-7, but this is going to be U.G.L.Y. football. Gators cover, and they’re wayyyy under.” - Ryan Sterritt

“These are two very not good teams. This will be a very not good game. I would lean Gators get the W at home but heck they somehow just blew their streak over UK at home. Pruitt gets his first meaningful win for the Vols in a game that is an abomination to all of football. Vols 20, Gators 14.” - AU Nerd

“It’s so sad to think how far this game has fallen from the lofty perch it once had in the 90s. I think Pruitt and Mullen will do fine at their school but...not this year. This will be a fun pillow fight to watch once the Auburn game gets out of hand. And seeing as how the Vols have won once since I was a Junior at Auburn, gimme the Gators, 23-16.” - Drew McCracken

“Oh how the mighty have fallen. These are the two powers from the SEC East of my childhood before it became the SEC Least. I honestly have no clue who might win this one after UK beat UF this year, I have a hard time betting on them to win anything. On the other hand, the Vols are not good. I’m gonna go with the Gators to get their stuff together this week and win this one. Florida wins, 34-13 Bonus: My man Evan McPherson, is going to nail a 50+ yard field goal.” - AU Chief

“Florida wins this one in a blowout and everyone thinks Mullen has it figured out down there. (He doesn’t) 35-10 GATA.” - Son of Crow

“As if this game wouldn’t be ugly enough, there’s a chance of thunderstorms. I’m glad this is the same time as Auburn-Arkansas, otherwise I’d be tempted to watch it. In a battle of which head coach I detest more, I’ll at least take the former Hoover guy over a damned Yankee. Tennessee 16, Florida 10.” - James Jones

“This will NOT be a pretty football game to watch (at least it’s in the same timeslot as Auburn). Tennessee finally broke a long losing streak to Florida the last time these teams played in Knoxville but the Gators are a little further along than Tennessee right now. Florida 17-9.” - Will McLaughlin

“I remember watching the 2004 Tennessee-Florida game on a battery-powered handheld TV because my power was out from Hurricane Ivan. I had to keep popping the batteries out and rubbing them together to give a little extra juice, and the static crept in just as James Wilhoit made the 50-yard field goal to win at the horn. That was the last time this game was exciting. Tradition holds for another year in that regard. Sloppy 19-12 Gators.” - Jack Condon

OREGON vs STANFORD (-2) - 7:00 pm CST (O/U 58)

“This is the game I’d be watching Saturday night, and I’m hoping I catch the end after the wedding. Whichever team wins this game is in prime position for a Pac-12 title run, with Washington looking strong-but-beatable and the South looking like a wasteland. I think Stanford is the better team, but something tells me Oregon is going to steal this one in a 4th quarter shootout. 35-31 DUCKS, with an outright win for the road team and the over.” - Ryan Sterritt

“Very interesting game to see who might be the real challenger to Washington in the PAC-12. With the Ducks expected to play AU next season, I am all aboard that hype train as no one can see a program on the rise like Jay Jacobs. Ducks 23, Cardinal 20.” - AU Nerd

“Cristobal has really impressed me (playing no one mind you) by going 3-0, but they are getting a huge step up in competition. Bryce Love is set to play in this one after taking a week off. Gimme the Trees as they cruise to show down in South Bend next weekend (AND I WILL BE THERE LIVE AND IN TECHINCOLOR!).” - Drew McCracken

“I don’t know anything about either of these teams this year. I’ll go Stanford. 27-24.” - AU Chief

“I dunno man. This game seems like something I would have loved to watch about 6 years ago, like Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Oregon wins because of their cool jerseys. Under.” - Son of Crow

“This is the first real test for the Ducks under Cristobal. I know Love is supposed to be healthy for Stanford, but I’m iffy about taking them on the road. Give me the Ducks and the points. Oregon 23, Stanford 21.” - James Jones

“This should be a really interesting game Saturday night in Autzen Stadium to determine who Washington’s biggest challenger in the Pac-12 will be. Bryce Love has not started off the year the way we all expected but I think this is his breakthrough performance and the Cardinal get a big road win. Stanford 27-21.” - Will McLaughlin

“Stanford is the quietest top ten team around right now. They put up 31 and 30 on San Diego State and UC-Davis, and only 17 against a bad USC team. I know Bryce Love has been hampered, but if Oregon scores some points I don’t see any way they keep up. I’m going with the Ducks at home in a kind of blowout. Oregon 34-10.” - Jack Condon


AND SPECIAL BONUS PICK! (just because Will wanted to talk about this game)

While it’s not listed here, I am going out on a limb and picking one upset in the SEC this week: Kentucky over Mississippi State. Why? This is a MASSIVE trap game for Mississippi State, as I would imagine they are probably looking ahead to Dan Mullen’s return to Starkville next weekend. Kentucky, led by running back Benny Snell, is playing well on both sides of the ball. They have a ton of confidence right now getting the Florida monkey off of their back a few weeks ago so I’m going against the grain and picking Kentucky. I could look like an idiot but it won’t be the first time and definitely not the last.”