(#1) Alabama at (#19) Ole Miss
Why Alabama will win: Following the National Championship last season, it was evident that the Crimson Tide had one game especially circled on their schedule. Last season, the Rebels upset the Crimson Tide 43-37. Alabama played by far their worst game of the year as they turned the ball over 5 times. This year is revenge for the Crimson Tide. Freshman Jalen Hurts has been very impressive, passing for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. His favorite target has by far been wide receiver ArDarius Stewart who has caught three touchdowns over 203 yards. The Crimson Tide have dominated both USC and WKU through the first two weeks and will be playing with a major chip on their shoulder.
Why Ole Miss will win: The Rebels bounced back from an embarrassing week one performance by defeating Wofford. Chad Kelly has passed for over 500 yards and 7 touchdowns in the first two weeks. He will need to have a good game for the Rebels to have a shot at the upset. The defense will be tested against a powerful Alabama offense, but the sheer speed that the Rebels posses should help them in the long run.
Gorm’s Guess: Alabama 31 Ole Miss 24: Nick Saban has lost to Ole Miss back-to-back years. I just can’t see that happening for a third straight year. The Crimson Tide have been impressive in both wins this year and will do the same this week.
Texas State at (#24) Arkansas
Why Texas State will win: The Bobcats won a thrilling 3OT game against Ohio in week one. Quarterback Tyler Jones passed for 418 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jones is one of the better quarterbacks in the group of 5 conferences. He can cause a lot of issues with his legs. As shown last week, the Razorbacks can struggle with a dual threat quarterback. If Texas State can use this to their advantage, they could make this one interesting.
Why Arkansas will win: After a scare week one, the Razorbacks rebounded with an upset over TCU. So far, Austin Allen has played well as he has passed for 414 yards and 5 touchdowns. Rawliegh Williams has also rushed for 233 yards through his first two games. The matchup that Austin Allen has against the Bobcat secondary is favorable. Texas State graduated three of their four starters and that defense gave up almost 400 yards passing to Ohio.
Gorm’s Guess: Arkansas 48 Texas State 13: The Texas State defense STRUGGLED week one against Ohio. Austin Allen and Rawleigh Williams are poised for big games and a big win for the Razorbacks.
(#17) Texas A&M at Auburn
Why Texas A&M will win: Oklahoma transfer Trevor Knight has been one of the more pleasant surprises in the SEC so far this season. He has passed for 583 yards and rushed for 109 for a combined 7 touchdowns. He will be going up against the best defense he has faced all season in Auburn. In his first road game as an Aggie, Trevor Knight will HAVE to find a way to handle to the Auburn defense. Defensively, the Aggies will prepare primarily for Sean White, but could also see a rotation of Tiger quarterbacks. This lack of confidence will play into the hands of the Aggies.
Why Auburn will win: The quarterback position has been a worry for Auburn, but after a good performance from Sean White last week, the Tigers may have finally found their man. White will still lean on running back Kerryon Johnson to have a big game. The offensive line has a big test in trying to slow down arguably the best defensive player in the nation in Myles Garrett. If Johnson and White can get the ball past the Texas A&M front line and into the second level, the Tigers could have a lot of success.
Gorm’s Guess: Texas A&M 35 Auburn 28: The play of Trevor Knight so far this year has me leaning toward the Aggies in this game. The Auburn offense just has too many question marks at this point in the season.
North Texas at (#23) Florida
Why North Texas will win: The Mean Green were awful last season. They finished 1-11 highlighted by a 66-7 defeat to Portland State. They cleaned house and brought in Mike Leach disciple Seth Litrell to take the helm. Litrell is having to experiment with different offensive schemes. He has played two quarterbacks and has 6 players with at least 5 carries. This could cause issues for Florida as they will have to game plan for a variety of different players.
Why Florida will win: Florida has had two easy wins to start the year and this shouldn’t be any different. North Texas has an extremely young team who has yet to play a road game this season. As Kentucky fans learned last week, Luke Del Rio is extremely talented as he has passed for 576 yards and 6 touchdowns though two games. His favorite target is Antonio Callaway who has 201 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
Gorm’s Guess: Florida 34 North Texas 6: The Gators will move to 3-0 before a massive showdown in Knoxville next week. Seth Litrell’s team is just too young to keep up in a hostile environment like the Swamp.
(#16) Georgia at Missouri
Why Georgia will win: After an impressive victory week one, Georgia looked like a completely different team against Nicholls. They struggled mightily on offense in their two point win. After a huge game against North Carolina, Nick Chubb struggled against the Colonels. Chubb will have an even harder challenge this week going up against the Mizzou front seven. Chubb is the key on whether Georgia can move to 3-0 before a massive game against Ole Miss.
Why Missouri will win: In a surprise to most, Drew Lock currently ranks 6th in the nation in passing yards with 730. Lock has been very impressive throwing 6 touchdowns without an interception. Accuracy continues to be a worry for Lock as he is completing just over 50% of his passes. That percentage may work against Eastern Michigan, but the Bulldogs have only given up 267 passing yards through the first two weeks. If Lock can pass for at least 400 yards, the Tigers very well could pull off the upset.
Gorm’s Guess: Georgia 27 Mizzou 21: I think this game will be a lot closer than people realize. Missouri’s offense has shown spurts of positivity and if they can cash in on their opportunities, they could upset the Bulldogs. With that being said, Nick Chubb is an explosive back that can change the game with one run.
Mississippi State at (#20) LSU
Why Mississippi State will win: Mississippi State bounced back in a big way with a win over South Carolina last week. Nick Fitzgerald made the start at quarterback and broke the Mississippi State record for rushing yards by a quarterback, by rushing for 206 yards while also passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldog defense will have their hands full as they will face Leonard Fournette. If the defensive line can slow down Fournette and Fitzgerald can grow off his performance last week, Mississippi State could have a HUGE win.
Why LSU will win: Leonard Fournette is expected to return this week after missing last weeks game against JSU. Brandon Harris’ time as starter looks like it is coming to end as Danny Etling looks to be Les Miles’ new starter. LSU has to find consistency among the quarterback position if they want any success this season. Overall, the Tigers should have success against the Mississippi State defense as Leonard Fournette is poised for a big game.
Gorm’s Guess: LSU 31 Mississippi State 17: The fact that this game is played in Baton Rouge will definitely help the Tigers. I think Fournette will rush for at least 150 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Ohio at (#15) Tennessee
Why Ohio will win: The tale of two games. Week One the Bobcats were upset by Texas State and then Week Two they defeated Kansas. The Bobcats are going to score points. They are headlined by dual threat quarterback, Greg Windham, who has passed for 560 yards and rushed for an additional 160. He will provide a challenge for the Vol defense. Speaking of defense, Ohio doesn’t really have one. In fact, any team that gives up 75 points combined to Texas State and Kansas is going to have to score a lot. If the Bobcats can do that, they will win, but they will have to score almost every time they have the ball.
Why Tennessee will win: Joshua Dobbs has not really lived up to the preseason hype. He has only passed for 283 yards. With that being said, the Vols have turned to Jalen Hurd who has rushed for 209 yards in two games. The Bobcats will not be able to stop this offense. The key for Tennessee to win is simply to stop the Bobcat offense. Ohio will not be able to win a defensive game.
Gorm’s Guess: Tennessee 49 Ohio 31: Ohio should be able to put up points against Tennessee, but it won’t be nearly enough. Joshua Dobbs will have a big game and will prove why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC.
Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech
Why Vanderbilt will win: Ralph Webb had a MONSTER game last week against Middle Tennessee State. So far this year he is averaging 154 yards per game and will need to come up big again this week against Georgia Tech. This is a huge game for the ‘Dores as they need a win before another tough road game next week against Western Kentucky.
Why Georgia Tech will win: The option attack led by Justin Thomas could give Vanderbilt issues. The Vanderbilt defense will force Thomas to pass. He will have to find a way to get the ball to targets Ricky Jeune and Brad Stewart. Defensively, the Yellow Jackets have had success in slowing down the run through their first two games.
Gorm’s Guess: Vanderbilt 24 Georgia Tech 21: In my upset of the week, Vanderbilt will take down Georgia Tech. These two teams are going to run the football a lot. This plays more into the hands of Vanderbilt as their defense is stronger. Although, if Justin Thomas can have success passing the ball then the Yellow Jackets will survive.
East Carolina at South Carolina
Why East Carolina will win: East Carolina can score. Quarterback Phillip Nelson has passed for 695 yards and 6 touchdowns. His favorite target is Zay Jones who has accounted for 253 yards and a touchdown. South Carolina struggled massively last week against the run, but was able to slow the passing attack down. ECU will have to score at least 30 points to have a shot at the win.
Why South Carolina will win: The main concern going in to this game for the Gamecocks is offense. They have not been able to move the ball against either Vanderbilt or Mississippi State. On the other hand, their defense has been pretty good, especially against the pass. The dual threat option gave them fits last week, but the Pirates offense is not as complex. This is a game that South Carolina very well could lose. Perry Orth HAS to play well.
Gorm’s Guess: South Carolina 28 East Carolina 27: South Carolina will escape. Over his career, Phillip Nelson has been turnover prone and will make a mistake in the fourth quarter.
(#2) Florida State at (#10) Louisville
Why Florida State will win: The key for Florida State will be to stay in the game. Louisville will be rocking for one of the biggest home games in their program’s history. To have success, the Seminoles will want to let Dalvin Cook run the game. The easiest way to slow down Lamar Jackson is to keep him off the field and Cook will be the key to that. The defense is tasked with slowing down one of the more explosive players in College Football. Jackson can beat you both with his legs and his arm. Luckily for the Seminoles, Jackson has yet to play a team anywhere near the caliber of Florida State. If they can pressure him and get him to stay in the pocket, the ‘Noles could rain on the Cardinals parade.
Why Louisville will win: College GameDay heads to Louisville for the first time and the Cards look to take down Florida State. No one in college football has been as good as Lamar Jackson has been. Jackson has passed for 697 yards and rushed for 318 while accounting for 13 total touchdowns. Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will be an environment that hasn’t been seen there in a long time. Fans feel the buzz around the program and as much as I hate to say it, it is for good reason.
Gorm’s Guess: Louisville 31 Florida State 30: . Lamar Jackson is REALLY good and will have a good game. Dalvin Cook will have success running the ball, but in the end the atmosphere will lead the Cards to victory.
(#12) Michigan State at (#18) Notre Dame
Why Michigan State will win: The Spartans will be on 15 days of rest as they head into South Bend. They turn to a new starter in Tyler O’Connor. O’Connor of course came in for Connor Cook and led the Spartans to the upset of Ohio State last season. Defensively, the Spartans have some outstanding players. Defensive tackle Malik McDowell, Linebacker Riley Bullough and Safety Montae Nicholson will be tasked with attempting to slow down Notre Dame.
Why Notre Dame will win: DeShone Kizer has been extremely impressive for the Irish. He has passed for 371 yards and 7 touchdowns to only one interception. The Irish also have 3 players who have rushed for over 100 yards. Kizer will have to find a way to get the ball into the hands of top receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Notre Dame’s defense has to play better than they have so far this year.
Gorm’s Guess: Notre Dame 31 Michigan State 21: The Spartans haven’t played a game in 15 days and will face a really good Notre Dame team that really cannot afford a loss.
(#3) Ohio State at (#14) Oklahoma
Why Ohio State will win: Ohio State has dominated their first two opponents this year, outscoring them 125-13. J.T Barrett has passed for 498 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Sooners already struggled against a dual threat quarterback this year. The Buckeyes are having to replace a lot from last season that saw 12 players get drafted in the first four rounds. For many of these players it is their first true road game. The Buckeyes will be competitive this game and will want to try and force Oklahoma to play like they did in the second half of the Houston game.
Why Oklahoma will win: The Sooners enter the game 1-1. They were embarrassed on the road at Houston. They looked extremely undisciplined at times and that led them to multiple costly mistakes. Baker Mayfield is still one of the better quarterbacks in the nation as he has passed for 567 yards and 5 touchdowns. Oklahoma will have to incorporate Samaje Perrine and Joe Mixon into their rushing attack. Oklahoma’s defense has to play better against J.T Barrett than they did against Greg Ward. If they don’t, the Buckeyes could come in and make this game ugly.
Gorms Guess: Oklahoma 34 Ohio State 28: If this game was played in Columbus, I would take the Buckeyes. This game just means more to the Sooners. If they want a shot at the CFP, they HAVE to win tomorrow.