This is the fourth week we’ve done college football pick’em stories, and we’ve finally gotten to the point where our sports desk is burnt out (not really, but just go with it). So, a few of the editors at the DM have decided to help them out and boy, there are some pretty interesting predictions for this weekend’s college football slate. Will they turn out to be accurate? Hey, you never know. After all, it is college football. The possibilities are endless.
Tulsa at No. 16 Ole Miss: Violet Jira, Managing Editor
Final Score Prediction: Ole Miss 107, Tulsa 4
The Rebels have been on absolute fire the past three weekends, dominating Troy in Week 1, Central Arkansas the following week and Georgia Tech in Atlanta last week. Moving into Week 4 against our last non-conference matchup, we can all look forward to watching this team — that seems to get stronger with every week — play with even more skill and precision.
The Rebels will win — but it won’t be a shutout. It cannot be ignored that the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes are coming off of an impressive win against Jacksonville State, breaking the Gamecocks’ win streak 54-17 on Saturday Sept. 17.
Against a team with the number one passing attack in the country, it will be interesting to see how the Rebel defense holds up. Offensively, if the team plays as they have for the past three weeks — especially against a team with just okay defense like the Golden Hurricanes, then it’s safe to say that the Rebels are gearing up for a win.
You can take my prediction with a grain of salt. I mean, until very recently I thought the line of scrimmage was painted on the field before every play. But if I know nothing else, I’m certain the Rebels will weather the Golden Hurricanes with ease.
No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee: Justice Rose, Opinion Editor
Final Score Prediction: Tennessee 32, Florida 21
Tennessee’s 3-0 record may have an asterisk next to it, as do many teams this early in the season. They scorched the earth against two flawed teams in Ball State and Akron.. Their win against Pitt is particularly impressive, though. Playing away against a ranked squad that early is an easy way to slip up and fall out of College Football Playoff contention. They pulled out an overtime nailbiter after quarterback Hendon Hooker connected with senior receiver Cedric Tillman to win the game.
The Vols’ receiving core is talented and well fed. Junior Jalin Hyatt has much more opportunity and has emerged as a deep threat. He showed ridiculous breakaway speed that blew the roof off Akron last week. The aforementioned Tillman is building upon his stellar junior season. He possesses sharp route running and a large frame ideal for a primary target. Despite their game winning connection, Hooker and Tillman could be more consistent — more accurate passes and less drops. An efficiency increase would push the Tennessee offense past the upper echelon of college units and into a realm of its own. The Vols have a chance to do something special this year.
Florida has dealt with offensive woes to start the season. Quarterback Anthony Richardson has not thrown a touchdown through three games and has thrown four interceptions. Not the best ratio. At times, Richardson has made up for his passing struggles with exceptional ball-carrying ability. Their spread-the-wealth running attack is viable and has kept them in games so far.
The Gators had issues stopping the run last week against an average USF squad. Interestingly, linebacker Ventrell Miller could return this weekend. His presence would provide needed reinforcement in the secondary. A matchup to watch is the Volunteers’ fast, explosive play receivers and the Gators ailing Jalen Kimber. Despite his broken hand, Kimber caught an interception last week and has shown ball threat skills. Expect the Volunteers to try to exploit the uncertainties in Florida’s defense.
Tennessee expects to open up conference play strong. They’ll string together big plays in Knoxville after a contested first half.
No. 10 Arkansas at No. 23 Texas A&M: Zachary Spooner, Copy Chief
Final Score Prediction: Arkansas 24, Texas A&M 21
This year, it looks like Arkansas will win this matchup and not just because their number is higher. Texas A&M may have been decent last year, but they have already lost to teams much worse than Arkansas this year. Ideally for Ole Miss, both would lose, but since that can’t happen, I want Arkansas to win.
Every year that we are good and Arkansas is bad we lose, so if Arkansas is good, then Ole Miss actually has a chance of not throwing five interceptions. So go Arkansas, I guess.
Vanderbilt at No. 2 Alabama: Hal Fox, News Editor
Final Score Prediction: Alabama 69, Vanderbilt -1
Uh oh. We all know where this one is headed, folks. In a match between the most dominant football program of the past decade, and, well, Vanderbilt, this Saturday you can expect the No. 2 Crimson Tide to run red with the blood of head coach Nick Saban’s enemies. Bet on Vanderbilt if you hate money and love pain.
On a side note, the mascot for Vanderbilt is the Commodores, which is a type of naval officer and not a bird of prey as I had assumed. So in the imaginary world of mascot battles that we can conjure up for the Vandy vs. ‘Bama game, it’s a navy officer vs. an elephant. And Rebs, I gotta say, I just don’t see a dude in one of those little white hats with the anchors on them pulling out a win against an elephant.
Allow me to present you with three elephant facts.
Elephant Fact No. 1: With many elephant tusks growing up to six feet in length, it’s simply infeasible that the commodore would have adequate time to draw his ceremonial officer sword before being impaled upon hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of ivory.
Elephant Fact No. 2: Did you know that elephants have religion? They’ve been observed before waving branches at the waxing moon and taking ritual baths together as a herd under the light of the full moon. Moon religion. Some studies say the crime rate increases during the full moon as well. Human crime, not elephant crime.
Elephant Fact No. 3: Vanderbilt can’t take on 11 tons of enraged African mastodon (loxodonta africana), but your humble news editor has the strength of 10,000 men. I would win in a fight, against a real elephant and the Alabama football team, and that’s the official statement from The Daily Mississippian.
Northern Illinois at No. 8 Kentucky: Kharley Redmon, Arts and Culture Editor
Final Score Prediction: Kentucky 99, Northern Illinois 0