Here are my SEC football predictions for Week 14 of the college football season.
Record last week: 6-2
Season total: 89-15 (86%)
Season Recap: 3 weeks with 0 losses; 8 weeks with 1 loss; 1 week with 2 losses; 1 week with 5 losses
Thursday, November 28
Ole Miss (7-4, 3-4 SEC) at Mississippi State (5-6, 2-5 SEC)
7:30 p.m. ET • ESPN
Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field (55,082)
Series: UM leads, 61-42-6
Last: UM, 41-24 (2012 at Oxford)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Ole Miss -4
Vinny’s Vibe: Mississippi State hasn't been getting consistent-enough play at quarterback with injuries to Russell and Prescott. The defense is playing pretty well, overall. I’m not fazed by the Rebels loss to Mizzou at home last week. Missouri is a great team. Too much speed and big-play ability gives Ole Miss the win.
Ole Miss 31 Mississippi State 17
Friday, November 29
Arkansas (3-8, 0-7 SEC) at LSU (8-3, 4-3 SEC)
2:30 p.m. ET • CBS
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (92,400)
Series: LSU leads, 36-20-2
Last: LSU, 20-13 (2012 in Little Rock)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: LSU -24 ½
Vinny’s Vibe: Arkansas has often given LSU trouble when it is the less-talented team. The gap between these two teams is far too big this season. Despite an impressive dismantling of Johnny Football and Texas A&M last week, a loss to the rival Razorbacks will bring-out the anti-Les contingent once again. Don’t see that happening.
LSU 38 Arkansas 10
Saturday, November 30
Florida State (11-0) at Florida (4-7, 3-5 SEC)
Noon ET • ESPN
Gainesville, Fla. • Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field (80,250)
Series: UF leads, 34-21-2
Last: UF, 37-26 (2012 in Tallahassee)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Florida State -27 ½
Vinny’s Vibe: It’s been a long time since we’ve seen this kind of mismatch between these hated in-state rivals. Florida’s injury list is ridiculous. A few guys may return for this one including QB Tyler Murphy. Will that even matter? No. Did the Gators give full effort in an inexplicable loss to FCS Georgia Southern at home last week? Will the Gators quit and seal the coaching future of Muschamp? FSU put-up 80 points in a win over Idaho last week. Florida State has not seemed fazed by the off-the-field issues of Jameis Winston. The Florida State players will be motivated to blast a down Florida program and stomp them in The Swamp.
Florida State 55 Florida 13
Wake Forest (4-7) at Vanderbilt (7-4, 4-4 SEC)
Series: VU leads, 9-6
12:21 p.m. ET • SEC TV
Nashville, Tenn. • Vanderbilt Stadium (40,350)
Last: VU, 55-21 (2012 at Winston-Salem)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Vanderbilt -14
Vinny’s Vibe: I saw Vanderbilt in-person last week. Vandy doesn’t wow you, but what this program has accomplished under James Franklin compared to the history of Vandy football prior is amazing. Under Franklin: Vanderbilt has won 8 straight games in November; is 9-2 in November in 3 years; reached 3 straight bowl games when it had only reached 4 bowl games in the prior 121 years of football; is one win away from a second-straight 9-win season when the program had previously not won 9 games since 1915. VU is strong late in games when it used to “go Vandy” and trip over itself. Wake has shown some fight at times, including versus Duke last week. The Demon Deacons won’t be a push over, but Vandy will win.
Vanderbilt 28 Wake Forest 16
Alabama (11-0, 7-0 SEC) at Auburn (10-1, 6-1 SEC)
Series: UA leads, 42-34-1
3:30 p.m. ET • CBS
Auburn, Ala. • Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
Last: UA, 49-0 (2012 in Tuscaloosa)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Alabama -10 ½
Vinny’s Vibe: Alabama’s dominant defense versus the spectacular rushing offense of Auburn is a great match-up with-in this week’s best game. If Nick Marshall can bust the middle runs off the power look in the read-option, that will give the Tigers some opportunities to get to the outside. Without that, I think it will be tough for Auburn to get to the sideline on Bama’s defense. It will be interesting to see if Alabama loads the box a lot and dare Auburn to throw. If Marshall gets opportunities in the passing game, he can’t miss them. Auburn will struggle in the 4th quarter to stop the Alabama offense, especially with the run game. These two teams are among the best in country on special teams. If Auburn can win big in that phase it can help the Tigers’ chances. Auburn is a threat, but Alabama is better and deeper.
Alabama 27 Auburn 20
Georgia (7-4, 5-3 SEC) at Georgia Tech (7-4)
3:30 p.m. ET • ABC
Atlanta, Ga. • Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)
Series: UGA leads, 63-37-5
Last: UGA, 42-10 (2012 in Athens)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Georgia -3
Vinny’s Vibe: Aaron Murray’s season-ending knee injury last week puts this game in question. The toughest thing for Georgia is the one-week preparation for the difficult triple-option offense of GT. The Yellow Jackets have been inconsistent. Georgia back-up QB Hutson Mason played well in relief of Murray last week vs. Kentucky. Georgia has too many athletics and speed for GT to handle, even at home.
Georgia 35 Georgia Tech 26
Tennessee (4-7, 1-6 SEC) at Kentucky (2-9, 0-7 SEC)
7 p.m. ET • ESPNU
Lexington, Ky. • Commonwealth Stadium (67,942)
Series: UT leads, 75-24-9
Last: UT, 37-17 (2012 in Knoxville)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Tennessee -4
Vinny’s Vibe: You have to wonder about the mindset of the Vols in this game. UT suffered a painful home loss to Vanderbilt, ending all hopes for a bowl game. Tennessee is one loss away from the worst season in school history. Butch Jones needs to avoid that to prevent more fans from turning on him. A few are already have, although most realize the depths of the rebuilding task and like the energetic coach. Freshman starting quarterback Joshua Dobbs struggled big-time last week. It was Dobbs’ worst performance. He was bothered by the cold weather. It will be even colder and windier this week. Dobbs has 0 TDs and 5 INTs so far this season. He hasn’t received much help from his receivers or coaching staff. Tennessee only threw the ball beyond 5 yards 5 times, including penalty plays, last week prior to their desperation drive at the end. Kentucky is coming off its worst performance in a long time vs. Georgia. Both QBs (Whitlow and Smith) are expected to be available to the Wildcats. Starting RB Raymond Sanders and WR/RS Demarco Robinson are suspended for Kentucky. It will be a cold, windy night with ugly football in Lexington.
Tennessee 20 Kentucky 16
Clemson (10-1) at South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC)
7 p.m. ET • ESPN2
Columbia, S.C. • Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Series: CU leads, 65-41-4
Last: SC, 27-17 (2012 in Clemson)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: South Carolina -5
Vinny’s Vibe: This game isn’t getting nearly the attention nationally that it deserves. If South Carolina was playing to get into the SEC Championship with a win in this game, and if Clemson was in better position in the BCS National Championship conversation, this game would get more attention. This is the first time both teams have been ranked in the Top 10 when they've played. South Carolina is the healthiest it has been all season. Clemson is explosive, but South Carolina’s defense will frustrate the Tigers some. If the Gamecocks can limit the explosive plays, I like SC to win it. Connor Shaw will play well in a win the HBC will cherish.
South Carolina 31 Clemson 28
Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) at Missouri (10-1, 6-1 SEC)
7:45 p.m. ET • ESPN
Columbia, Mo. • Memorial Stadium - Faurot Field (67,124)
Series: TAMU leads, 8-5
Last: TAMU, 59-29 (2012 in College Station)
VegasInsider.com Point Spread: Missouri -4 ½
Vinny’s Vibe: If you haven’t figured it out yet, Missouri is really good. I’ll still say that if the Tigers lose. I don’t see it happening though. Mizzou has the agile, fast, effort-based d-line to contain Johnny Manziel in the pocket enough to limit his effectiveness. Manziel will make some plays but not enough. I’d be surprised if James Franklin’s playing time doesn’t increase even more in this game. Missouri is more committed to the run game than Texas A&M. I like Missouri to win its way into the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta next week.
Missouri 30 Texas A&M 21
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