Rebel Walk Roundtable: Our Week 1 SEC Picks
College football is back, and that means it’s time to get going with our weekly SEC picks on The Rebel Walk Roundtable!
The Ole Miss season begins this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. in Memphis, and Rebels fans will finally get a look at new offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez’ scheme led by redshirt freshman Matt Corral in his collegiate debut as a starter. The defense, under the direction of new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre, will sport the change to the 3-4 defense and a new and improved physicality.
While we are definitely focused on the game with Mike Norvell’s Tigers, there are plenty of other great SEC matchups on tap, beginning with A&M, who starts things off Thursday night.
SEC….it just means more!
Thursday, 7:30 P.M. Texas State vs #12 Texas A&M
Spread: A&M -33.5
Jake: Kellen Mond looks to take another step this year with Jimbo Fisher, and tonight is his first chance. He shows out, and A&M cruises past Texas State easily at Kyle Field.
Evie: Former Aggie offensive coordinator Jake Spavital — he who ran off Kyler Murray — is the head coach of Texas State. His air raid offense is going to get destroyed by the A&M defense. Look for sack city and pick-six avenue.
Land: Jimbo starts his second year in Aggieland with a comfortable win.
Hays: Texas State was awful last year, and there is no reason to think they will put up a fight tonight. A&M wins by 35.
Saturday 11 A.M. Toledo vs Kentucky
Spread: UK -11.5
Jake: UK lost Benny Snell Jr, but there isn’t a chance that they slip up to a MAC team at home. The Wildcats are still figuring out all their position battles, so I see them getting up early, and lots of backups seeing time. UK by a couple scores.
Evie: It remains to see what the Wildcats offense will be like without Benny Snell, Jr., but the defense will shine for Kentucky. I think this could be a trap bet–but I do believe UK prevails. They just don’t cover.
Land: No Snell, no problem. Rocky start for the Cats, but they get it together and pull away.
Hays: Kentucky had offensive issues last year even with Benny Snell Jr, and I expect it to be worse this year. However, Kentucky pulls it out in a low scoring game.
Saturday 11 A.M. Ole Miss vs Memphis
Spread: MEM -5.5
Jake: This game is a toss up to me. I think Memphis wins if Ole Miss comes out flat. But if the Rebs get rolling early on and don’t give Norvell’s Tigers a chance, this one could end up like Ole Miss/Texas Tech last year. I see Corral stepping up, and Scottie Phillips bashing Memphis’ defense. Rebs in a close one.
Evie: I think the Rebels come out and impose their will, offensively, on the Tigers. I also look for the new defensive scheme to work in the Rebels’ favor and help them put pressure on Brady White. Mike MacIntyre’s defensive unit has waited a long time to prove they are no longer pushovers. They’ll do that in this game. Rebels win.
Land: As much as I want to say that Ole Miss wins in a shootout, I gotta go with my gut. Memphis shuts the run game down and forces Corral to beat them. Late interception seals it Memphis wins.
Hays: Matt Corral can sling the football, and that Memphis secondary is awful. I think Ole Miss have enough weapons offensively to outlast the Tigers.
Saturday 11:00 A.M. . Mississippi State vs Louisiana Lafayette
Spread: MSU -19.5
Jake: Kills me to pick State, but they’ll handle ULL easily, plain and simple.
Evie: I’m in the minority here. I think the Ragin’ Cajuns will cover the spread. They’ll lose the game, but they cover at home.
Land: State wins…Boo state.
Hays: I think there is some turmoil in the State locker room with the NCAA violations and the fact that Thompson was not named the starting quarterback. It won’t matter Saturday though.
Saturday 2:30 P.M. Duke vs #2 Alabama
Jake: If only Zion played football for Duke…but sadly not. Poor Duke. Bama wins this game by a whole bunch
Evie: Alabama will be starting two true freshman linebackers–but it won’t matter. The Tide will win this game, but Duke will hang on for dear life and cover the spread..
Land: As much as I want this to be close…I just don’t see it… Duke hangs around for a bit maybe makes you think but then the Tide take over.
Hays: Alabama rolls, and it will not be close. The Tide want redemption after the loss to Clesmon in the National Championship.
Saturday 2:30 P.M. South Carolina vs North Carolina
Spread: USC -10.5
Jake: Jake Bentley is only getting better, and I don’t see the Gamecocks tripping up at UNC. South Carolina couldn’t touch Phil Longo’s offense last year in Oxford, but USC will win a close, high-scoring game.
Evie: South Carolina’s quarterback Jake Bentley is very good. This marks former Texas head coach Mack Brown’s return to college coaching, but the Gamecocks should have the Tar Heels outmanned. I think South Carolina wins and covers this one.
Land: This one could be fun. Mack Brown’s return will be a sour one. I think the CFB world is about to see just how ugly this coaching staff combo is going to be.
Hays: Phil Longo’s offense is a sham, and the South Carolina returns Jake Bentley once again. The Tar Heels are in trouble.
Saturday 2:30 P.M. Georgia State vs Tennessee
Spread: UT -26
Jake: Seems like UT always makes these types of home games close, for no reason. However, I see Ty Chandler having a career day, and the Vols putting Georgia State away by a couple TDs.
Evie: Georgia State has lost 7 in a row going back to last season and 10 of their last 11. This loss will add to those numbers. They haven’t covered a game in six straight contests–and pushed on the seventh. Look for UT to win this one easily.
Land: Tennessee struggles early but Pruitt rallies the troops and they take over.
Hays: Tennessee is going to smash Georgia State.
Saturday 3:00 P.M. Portland State vs Arkansas
Spread: ARK -28.5
Jake: I don’t think Arkansas is very good at all, but they’re still going to handle Portland State at home. I see the Hogs running all over PSU, and ending this one early.
Evie: While Arkansas is picked at the bottom of the SEC West this year, they won’t have any trouble beating Portland State. The Hogs are looking to start fast this year and they’ve got the perfect opponent to make that happen. The Hogs will cover easily.
Land: Boy wouldn’t it be great if Portland State won??? They won’t.
Hays: Arkansas has quarterback problems, but they will not struggle enough for it to make a difference.
Saturday 6:30 P.M. #3 Georgia vs Vanderbilt
Spread: UGA -22
Jake: Vandy has some weapons in RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, WR Kalija Lipscomb, and TE Jared Pinkney that will keep this game close for a bit. However, UGA is just better across the board. They’re replacing a bunch of talent from last season, so I expect it to take a minute to click. However, when it does, Georgia will run away with this game in Nashville.
Evie: UGA wins this game, but I think Vandy will play some defense and cover the spread.
Land: Kirby is Smart enough (see what I did there?) to shut Vaughn down and his Dawgs show how good they can be.
Hays: Georgia will roll the Doors even though Fromm has lost his top 5 receivers from last season. The Dawgs will pound the ball.
Saturday 6:30 P.M. Georgia Southern vs #6 LSU
Spread: LSU -27.5
Jake: A night game in Death Valley to start the season for the 6th best team in the country is NOT what Georgia Southern wants. Unfortunately, they’ve got to deal with it. Orgeron and Company will throttle GSU at home, and prove once again that Death Valley at night is a recipe for disaster for opponents.
Evie: Georgia Southern runs the triple option out of the shotgun. They are disciplined and could keep LSU’s offense off the field. It won’t be enough, however, as the Tigers win. I do see Georgia Southern covering this one.
Land: Coach O will rumble and bumble and his Tigers win.
Hays: LSU will be all liquored up now that they are selling alcohol in their stadium. Georgia Southern does not have a chance with the Cajuns behind the Tigers.
Saturday 6:30 P.M. #11 Oregon vs #16 Auburn
Spread: AUB -3.5
Jake: College Gameday, and by far the best game in the country this week. I see a back and forth game, as Auburn QB Bo Nix figures it all out for the first time. In Cowboy Stadium, in front of 100,000 people, we’ll get a great game to start the season. Back and forth, but I see Auburn squeezing it out at the end.
Evie: It will be fun to watch Auburn’s true freshman QB Bo Nix in his collegiate debut. He may have a bit of a learning curve, but he will be helped out by the Tigers’ defense. Auburn wins this one, but doesn’t cover.
Land: Man, this one is a thinker. I’m not going to lie I want Oregon to win…can’t say I’m too fond of Auburn and the Ducks have some weapons like Justin Herbert but for whatever reason the Gus Bus always finds a way to win these types of games.
Hays: True freshman Bo Nix vs. Senior Justin Herbert? Give me the veteran quarterback with the veteran offensive line. Oregon wins by 3 in a low scoring game.
Saturday 6:30 P.M. Missouri vs Wyoming
Spread: MIZZ -18
Jake: Kinda weird that an SEC team is going to Wyoming, but if it’s going to happen, it’ll be Mizzou. Mizzou will handle this game by a couple scores, and almost nobody will know it even happened.
Evie: Former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant looks to prove why he’s a legit starter. His Tigers win the game and cover.
Land: HOT TAKE: Kelly Bryant disappoints but still leads the ZOU to a W.
Hays: Kelly Bryant cannot throw the football, but that will not affect the outcome.
|Texas St vs #12 A&M||Toledo vs UK||Ole Miss vs Memphis||MSU vs Lafayette||Duke vs #2 Bama||SCAR vs UNC|
|Jake||A&M 45-10||UK 38-10||OM 38-34||MSU 42-6||BAMA 56-6||SCAR 38-30|
|Evie||A&M 45-17||UK 31-21||OM 38-35||MSU 35-24||BAMA 42-14||SCAR 38-24|
|Land||A&M 48-17||UK 34-10||MEM 41-34||MSU 40-20||BAMA 35-10||SCAR 31-23|
|Hays||A&M 45-14||UK 24-0||OM 41-35||MSU 45-14||BAMA 56-10||SCAR 49-28|
|GSU vs Tenn||Port St. vs ARK||#3 UGA vs Vandy||GSU vs #6 LSU||#11 Oregon vs #16 AUB||Mizzou vs Wyoming|
|Jake||UT 42-14||ARK 34-14||UGA 41-17||LSU 42-6||AUB 27-23||MIZZ 34-20|
|Evie||UT 49-7||ARK 42-6||UGA 31-14||LSU 35-10||AUB 24-21||MIZZ 41-14|
|Land||UT 45-21||ARK 38-17||UGA 49-20||LSU 49-10||AUB 31-21||MIZZ 35-13|
|Hays||UT 45-14||ARK 38-14||UGA 41-17||LSU 42-10||O 31-28||MIZZ 31-17|
Jake, a 2021 graduate of Ole Miss with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications, is from Nashville, TN. Along with his work at The Rebel Walk, Jake hosts “The Flagship Football Show” podcast. He’s also a huge fan of the Rebels, Titans, Predators, and Braves.