The regular season in college football ends this week. It's been a fun ride to this point and believe me, the season is ending on a high note for Tennessee fans. The Vols are 6-5 heading into the season finale against Vanderbilt and even though I predicted in the pre-season that Tennessee would be 6-6, that was cautiously optimistic. Josh Heupel should be the SEC Coach of the Year because he has not only brought the Vols out of the SEC doldrums but also back to respectability in college football.
Last week, I was 9-1 which gives me a mark of 81-22 (79%) for the year so far. On Thursday night, Ole Miss defeated Mississippi State 31-21.
Alabama at Auburn
The Iron Bowl in 2021 is not going to be as exciting as we thought it was going to be a few weeks ago.
Auburn has lost three in a row and also lost starting quarterback Bo Nix for the year with an ankle injury. This past week on his weekly radio show 'Bama Coach Nick Saban railed on Crimson Tide fans by calling them, " blow-out hungry, self absorbed fans." He advised the Tide faithful to " Show some gratitude." There is no doubt Alabama has been struggling, especially on defense lately. However, Saban really has nothing to worry about this week. It's next week in the SEC Championship when 'Bama will go down.
Alabama 33 Auburn 17
Missouri at Arkansas
The Hogs are back in the top 25 polls coming in at number 25 this week. Coach Sam Pittman has done a fabulous job in directing the Razorbacks to a 7-4 record and a 3-4 mark in the SEC. If you had told most fans that Arkansas was looking at an eight win season and a 4-4 SEC record when the season began, they would have told you to have your head examined. Arkansas football is back and while Missouri is coming off an overtime win over Florida, the Tigers are no match for the Hogs.
Arkansas 48 Missouri 14
Georgia at Georgia Tech
The top ranked Bulldogs have been number one in the polls for more than two months now and show no signs of letting up. They clearly have the best team in college football and when the smoke clears on the 2021 season, Georgia should be hoisting that national championship trophy. There is nothing more unpredictable than picking a winner when natural, hated rivalries are involved. But like Alabama as the Tide goes into the Iron Bowl against Auburn, the cream will come to the top as Georgia takes down the Rambling Wreck.
Georgia 49 Georgia Tech 6
Kentucky at Louisville
The Wildcats have had a wonderful year as Mark Stoops has continued to work his magic in Lexington. The Wildcats are 8-3 heading into the final week of the regular season in their in-state rivalry with Louisville. The Cardinals are a pretty good football team as well and if the Wildcats are caught sleeping, this weekend they could have some severe problems picking up their ninth win. Louisville has always given Kentucky fits in this game and this season will be no exception. In a close one...
Louisville 38 Kentucky 34
Florida State at Florida
Coach Dan Mullen was fired after the Gators lost their fourth straight SEC contest last week in overtime at Missouri. Florida special teams coordinator Greg Knox will guide the Gators in their season finale this weekend in Gainesville and we really don't know what to expect from Florida. Knox has spent a lot of time this week warning his team that this is a big rivalry game and they better be ready. But I'm not sure how many Gators are willing to commit to a great effort. Mullen surprised everyone with the way he lost control of his team down the stretch and most of the Gators quit on him several weeks ago. It may be too much to overcome this week against the Seminoles.
Florida State 37 Florida 23
Texas A&M at LSU
This game marks the Swan Song for LSU Coach Ed Orgeron. A win would make the Tigers bowl eligible but I'm not so sure folks in Baton Rouge are all that excited about going bowling in the post-season. I would imagine they're more excited about who will be the next coach of the Bengal Tigers. In some circles Orgeron is pretty popular at LSU but not popular enough to keep his job, even though we're still just two years removed from that 15-0 national championship season in 2019. It's kinda like it was with Gene Chizik at Auburn. His Tigers won the national title in 2010 but he was fired a couple of years later. As for Texas A&M, the Aggies are on an upward spiral and should be able to handle the disinterested Bengals.
Texas A&M 33 LSU 24
Clemson at South Carolina
Shane Beamer has done a great job at South Carolina in 2021. The Gamecocks are coming into their big rivalry game with Clemson off a huge win over Auburn last week. Carolina is a tough place to play when the 'Cocks are playing well, and right now they are. Clemson has won four in a row since losing to Pittsburgh and it looks like Dabo Swinney has finally turned the corner with this team. For the first time in years, Clemson will not make the CFB Playoffs, even though they were ranked number one in some polls in the pre-season. It's been a tough year in Clemson and while Clemson has won six in a row in the series and could tie the longest streak in series history with a win, it's going to be a tough chore for the Tigers.
Clemson 27 South Carolina 21
Vanderbilt at Tennessee
General Robert Reese Neyland was hired at Tennessee and given the task of beating Vanderbilt almost 100 years ago. Tennessee leads the all time series 77-33-5 but Vandy has won three of the last five meetings between the two schools. The Volunteers are heavily favored to win their third straight game over the Commodores and I imagine that Coach Josh Heupel has his team fired up and ready to play. The fast paced Tennessee offense will prove to be too much for Clark Lea's Commodores and while the season will come to an end for Vandy, the Vols will be headed to a bowl game.
Tennessee 56 Vanderbilt 20