SEC Top 25 vs. Top 25 Week 8 Showdowns: Outlooks and Predictions

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For the first time this season, six SEC teams ranked inside the top 25 of the AP Poll will battle other SEC teams ranked inside the top 25 of the AP Poll.

So far this season when I write in-depth articles about some of the top college football games each week, my picks have been way off. In fact, despite correctly picking the winners of 106 of the 133 games involving top 25 teams so far this season, only one of the eight games which I have predicted with an in-depth article like this has been correct. Hopefully the law of averages starts to pan out and all three of my predictions for this week’s best games are correct.

Without further do, here are the matchups, an outlook of each, and a predicted final score for each.

 

TEXAM #6 Texas A&M Aggies (6-0) @ BAMA #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) 

Game Setting: Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, 3:30 PM EDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Outlook: Alabama’s convincing road wins over fellow ranked SEC teams Arkansas and Tennessee proved that they are the best team in the country and do not only beat up on cupcake teams to score easy victories. That said, facing the #6 team in the country with a Heisman hopeful quarterback will be their toughest task yet this season, despite playing this week’s game against the Aggies at home. Alabama has simply been no match for any of their opponents this season, and they look well on their way to another SEC championship and potentially a national championship. However, I do not think that Texas A&M is overhyped. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and a solid team all around him, and in a game that will effectively determine who the SEC West representative in the SEC championship will be barring any late season meltdowns by the winner, the Aggies will not be an easy out by any means. Still, the Aggies will be no match for the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Prediction: BAMA #1 Alabama Crimson Tide, 41, TEXAM #6 Texas A&M Aggies, 30  

 

 

ARK #17 Arkansas Razorbacks (5-2) @ aub #21 Auburn Tigers (4-2)

Game Setting: Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, 6:00 PM EDT at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama

Outlook: Arkansas and Auburn are two quality SEC teams that have fallen victim to what many SEC teams fall victim to each: being beat up on by other and more superior SEC teams. The four losses combined by these teams, three of which at the hands of other SEC opponents, come from teams whose combined records are 26-0, with the only loss from a non-SEC opponent being Auburn’s loss to the Clemson Tigers, who are now 7-0. Granted, both teams lost to the Texas A&M Aggies, who are now 6-0, so their record counts for 12 wins in the 26-0. Arkansas’ two losses to now #6 Texas A&M and #1 Alabama came by a 40-point combined margin. However, Auburn’s two losses to now #4 Clemson and #6 Texas A&M came by an only 19-point combined margin. With Auburn having played more competitively than Arkansas against some of the top teams in the country, I think the Tigers will pull out this win, especially playing at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Prediction: aub #21 Auburn Tigers, 34, ARK #17 Arkansas Razorbacks, 28

 

 

MISS #23 Mississippi Rebels (3-3) @ lsu #25 Louisiana State Tigers (4-2)

Game Setting: Saturday, October 22nd, 2016, 9:00 PM EDT at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Outlook: This is a battle between overrated and underrated teams. The Mississippi Rebels have lost three games out of six so far, and still somehow find themselves in the top 25 in the AP Poll. Only one of their losses was to a team that is currently in the top 12 of the AP Poll, yet sitting at .500 overall with a 1-2 conference record, here they are at #23. Meanwhile, the Louisiana State Tigers lost a heartbreaking game at Lambeau Field to the Wisconsin Badgers and another one at Jordan-Hare Stadium against the Auburn Tigers after a last second touchdown call was overturned. They could very easily be unbeaten even without a clear top quarterback and without their Heisman hopeful running back Leonard Fournette. Let’s not forget that this was a team that began the season at #5 in the AP poll and many people thought could make a run at this season’s College Football Playoff. The Tigers are still one of the most talented teams in the country, and playing in Death Valley under the lights will be to their advantage against the Rebels.

Prediction: lsu #25 Louisiana State Tigers, 27, MISS #23 Mississippi Rebels, 20

 

-Asher Fair