With the college football regular season halfway over, the haves are starting to separate themselves from the have nots.
This weekend in the SEC is devoid of showdowns, but it will tell us a lot about the moxy of many of the league’s elite as they face trap games ahead of the stretch run. (RELATED: SEC Week 7 Preview And Predictions: Showdown Saturday)
So, without further ado, here are the best games from the best conference for week eight.
Florida vs. South Carolina: This was already going to be a trap game for the Gators, coming off of brutal games against Auburn and LSU, with Georgia coming up next. However, the Gamecocks’ giant upset of Georgia changed the dynamics. This game now has major implications in the SEC East, and the Gamecocks ability to pull off another upset and become a factor in the division will largely hinge on the health of star freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski. If Hilinski is healthy, than this will be another close game. The Gamecocks should have a nice home ground following their upset in Athens, but this Gators team has shown grit. Dan Mullen’s team will pull of a close one and keep their title homes alive heading into Jacksonville.
Prediction: Florida 23 South Carolina 17
LSU vs. Mississippi State: On paper, the Tigers should have their way in Starkville, but things often get weird between these two schools. As bad as Mississippi State has looked this year, they should be able to get fired up for this rivalry game and potentially give LSU fits. Nonetheless, this Tigers team looks different. Quarterback Joe Burrow has emerged as a Heisman Trophy contender, leading LSU’s greatest offense in who knows how long. Expect Burrow to have another fantastic day, and expect the Tigers to continue to roll as a showdown with Alabama awaits Nov. 9.
Prediction: LSU 45 Mississippi State 21
Tennessee vs. Alabama: The rivalry known as “The Third Saturday in October,” used to be one of the nation’s best. Tennessee and Alabama are two of the most storied programs in college football history, but that’s ancient history for the Vols’ at this point. The Crimson Tide have won a series record 12 straight against Tennessee, with 10 of those victories coming by double digits. Barring a miracle, that streak will extend to 13 games Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. That miracle won’t happen as Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, and the rest of the Alabama offense will continue to roll, while the defense will show signs of improvement. This game will be nothing more than a glorified scrimmage.
Prediction: Alabama 49 Tennessee 7