Let’s start this week with a little trivia before we dive into the Week Five SEC preview. Which SEC team has the best out-of-conference win? You won’t find the answer in the once-oppressive force, the SEC West. Alabama, LSU, and Texas A&M all dropped their prominent non-conference games. It’s also not the defending back-t0-back national champions. Georgia is the top-ranked team in the nation but has played the 110th-strongest schedule and has battled complacency all season. The correct answer is undefeated Missouri. Eli Drinkwitz‘s Tigers are undefeated and are holding the conference flag with their Week three win over Kansas State. Conference play kicks off this week, and the race to the SEC Championship in Atlanta is on. Each of the top teams has left the door open for a possible challenger to take their place. The following eight weeks will separate the contenders from the pretenders.
Week 5 SEC Slate
All times are EST. The visiting team is listed first. Lines are current as of the time of publishing. Week three picks against the spread are in bold.
|🗓️ Date||⏰ Time||Television||Matchup||💰 Line||💵 O/U|
|9/30||Noon||ESPN||No. 22 Florida vs. Kentucky||UK -1||44|
|9/30||Noon||SECN||Texas A&M vs. Arkansas||TA&M -6.5||54|
|9/30||3:30 p.m.||CBS||No. 1 Georgia vs. Auburn||UGA -14.5||47|
|9/30||4:00 p.m.||SECN||No. 23 Missouri vs. Vanderbilt||Miz -13.5||54.5|
|9/30||6:00 p.m.||ESPN||No. 13 LSU vs. No. 23 Ole Miss||LSU -2.5||67|
|9/30||7:30 p.m.||SECN||South Carolina vs. No. 21 Tennessee||TENN -12.5||63.5|
|9/30||9:00 p.m.||ESPN||No. 12 Alabama vs. Mississippi State||ALA -14.5||47|
Week 5 SEC Preview
SEC Preview #1 No. 22 Florida vs. Kentucky
Three is the magic number in Lexington. Kentucky looks to make it three straight as they welcome Florida to kick off Week Five in the SEC. Kroger Field can be one of the most challenging places to play. Florida found on its last visit when Kentucky knocked them off at night to snap a 31-game losing streak to the Gators. Mark Stoops believed that a noon kick would help the Wildcat faithful. “I have great confidence in the people of Kentucky that can get up very early and pound some beers.” Look for a lubricated Kentucky crowd and a revitalized Liam Coen offense to find a way to make it three straight.
Prediction: Kentucky 33, Florida 30
SEC Preview #2 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas
Some of the biggest questions in the SEC revolve around College Station. Jimbo Fisher made changes this season and brought in Bobby Petrino to help fix the Aggie’s offense. While the offense has looked good, the defense let Texas A&M down in week three against Miami. The Aggies received more bad news this week. Billy Liucci of TexAgs reported Wednesday morning that quarterback Connor Weigman will miss the rest of the season with a foot injury. All eyes will shift to Max Johnson, who will try to help the Aggies capitalize on a weakened SEC West. They face a tall task this weekend in Fayetteville. The Hogs put on a big fight Saturday night against Death Valley, giving the Tigers all they could handle.
Prediction: Texas A&M 31 Arkansas 28
SEC Preview #3 No. 1 Georgia vs. Auburn
The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is the SEC on CBS game of the week. Hugh Freeze may need a history lesson before chatting with Kirby Smart before the game. During Monday’s press conference, Freeze attempted to compare Auburn’s slow rebuild to how long it took Georgia head coach Kirby Smart to play for the national title.“I don’t know how long it took him. I don’t know what it takes him, three years? Or so to get there. Or four years? I don’t know,” said Freeze. “Some of ya’ll do the research.” Freeze still refused to believe the “research” after a reporter pointed out it took Smart just two years.
We’re sure Smart kept receipts on that comment and will look to capitalize on Saturday. Look for Georgia to also capitalize on Auburn’s poor quarterback play. The Tigers passed for only 56 yards last week against A&M. Auburn has failed to throw for over 100 yards in five straight games against P5 opponents.
Prediction: Georgia 38 Auburn 10
SEC Preview #4 No. 23 Missouri vs. Vanderbilt
The red-hot Tigers travel to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt on Saturday. Luther Burden III stepped up big last week in Missouri’s 34-27 win over Memphis. The sophomore put on a show in their first collegiate game in front of his hometown St. Louis crowd. The wins have not been pretty this year for Missouri, but they have found a way to remain undefeated each week. Four Vanderbilt turnovers, including two pick-sixes, spelled doom for the Commodores last week against Kentucky. AJ Swann will have to improve after being pulled after finishing the day 16 of 40 with three interceptions and no touchdowns.
Prediction: Missouri 24, Vanderbilt 21
SEC Preview #5 No. 13 LSU vs. No. 23 Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin burnt his popcorn again in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s defense stifled Ole Miss’s offense in a 24-10 victory. The Rebels return this week to host LSU in the first part of an SEC Saturday Night doubleheader on ESPN. Both teams will be looking to keep their eyes on Atlanta and avoid seeing their seasons fall off. LSU outlasted Arkansas in a 38-31 barnburner at Tiger Stadium. Jayden Daniels continues to put up video game numbers for the Tigers, but LSU’s success hinges on its defense. The Tigers have been porous on defense, stopping opposing offenses on 53.1% of their drives, which is good for 107th overall.
Prediction: Ole Miss 45, LSU 42
SEC Preview #6 South Carolina vs. No. 21 Tennessee
Taylor Swift made plenty of headlines in the NFL last week. This week, she may be singing about the Bad Blood between South Carolina and Tennessee. The Gamecocks knocked Hendon Hooker out for the season and ended the Volunteer’s chances at earning a College Football Playoff bid in its 63-38 thrashing last season. Shane Beamer remarked this week on the win’s positive impact the Tennessee win had on South Carolina. “I think certainly the confidence that we took out of that game led right into the next week against Clemson and then just the expectations we had going into this season, that was a tremendous team in Tennessee that we played last year here at home, and we played obviously really, really well that night.” While Josh Heupel dismissed that last year’s game would have an impact, something tells us this one will have plenty of Bad Blood.
Prediction: Tennessee 43, South Carolina 38
SEC Preview #7 No. 12 Alabama vs. Mississippi State
Alabama has their quarterback situation figured out, at least for this week. Jalen Milroe played well last week in Alabama’s 24-10 win over Ole Miss. Milroe was 17 of 21 last week and threw for a touchdown and an interception. Interceptions and turnovers have hurt Milroe throughout his tenure as Alabama’s quarterback. His first-half red zone interception sent the “here we go again” tweets from the Alabama faithful, but Milroe did an excellent job in the second half of not making a similar mistake and leading the Tide to victory. He’ll face a Mississippi State team going through their growing pains. After changing from the Air Raid in the off-season, Mississippi State has struggled to find an identity. A strong Tide defense will lead to further questions and doubt.
Prediction: Alabama 38, Mississippi State 3