Week one SEC football predictions: An undefeated weekend for the conference? – Sports Illustrated

Let's get it.
Week one of college football has finally arrived (week zero truthers, rise up).
The SEC will officially kick off the 2022 season with a handful of interesting non-conference matchups, including the only game that a Southeastern Conference team is not favored in this week (shoutout Florida).
Last year, I predicted the entire SEC season and picked 77.8% of the games correctly. It's 80% or bust this season.
Here are my predictions for week one.
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ESPN FPI Prediction: 95.1% (Tennessee)
Spread: -35.5
My Prediction: The Vols run away with a victory in week one against a Ball State squad that will be breaking in a new quarterback.
Tennessee 49, Ball State 17
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN FPI Prediction: 77.1% (Missouri)
Spread: -20.5
My Prediction: Unless Brady Cook completely falls apart, Missouri will win this game. Skip Holtz is out at LA Tech, and the expectations are low for a team that gave up 34 points per game a season ago.
Missouri 37, Louisiana Tech 20
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN FPI Prediction: 98.4% (A&M)
Spread: N/A
My Prediction: SHSU is one of the best FCS programs out there.
Texas A&M is (supposedly) one of the best FBS programs out there.
Aggies control the line of scrimmage and Haynes King does enough to get the victory.
Texas A&M 45, Sam Houston State 10
© Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK
ESPN FPI Prediction: 91.5% (Georgia)
Spread: -17
My Prediction: Auburn QB transfer Bo Nix is 0-3 against Georgia. There aren't enough elite skill position players on the Ducks' squad to get this win. Bulldogs cruise.
Georgia 30, Oregon 13
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN FPI Prediction: 59.6% (Arkansas)
Spread: -6.5
My Prediction: This is a well coached Cincinnati team that will lose by double digits to a Razorback squad that is hitting its stride.
Arkansas 34, Cincinatti 24
© Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
ESPN FPI Prediction: 88.9% (Ole Miss)
Spread: -21.5
My Prediction: Ole Miss covers regardless of who is starting at quarterback. Troy does not have enough offensive firepower to make this a competitive game.
Ole Miss 41, Troy 17
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN FPI Prediction: 52.1% (Florida)
Spread: +3
My Prediction: Utes do similar things to Florida that they did to Oregon twice last season: establish the line of scrimmage, move at their own pace, and win. Florida will find ways to keep it close, but the Utes get the victory.
Florida 22, Utah 27
Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN FPI Prediction: 93.3% (Kentucky)
Spread: -16
My Prediction: The Wildcats are without star running back Chris Rodriguez, but still rush for over 200 yards in a sound win.
Kentucky 38, Miami (OH) 13
AP Photo/Vasha Hunt
ESPN FPI Prediction: 99.2% (Auburn)
Spread: -31.5
My Prediction: Over/under 300 rushing yards?
Auburn compiled 680 during their first two games of the 2021 season. They should control the ground here.
Mercer compiled 63 points and over 600 yards of total offense, which may scare some. May everyone be reminded that the Bears scored 69 points in their season-opener a year ago and scored 14 against Alabama a week later.
Auburn *should* win and cover. Keep an eye on TJ Finley's performance.
Auburn 54, Mercer 13
© Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
ESPN FPI Prediction: 95.8% (Vanderbilt)
Spread: N/A
My Prediction: All aboard the Clark Lea train. After destroying Hawaii in week zero, things keep rolling vs Elon.
Vanderbilt 40, Elon, 17
ESPN FPI Prediction: 82.5% (South Carolina
Spread: -12.5
My Prediction: This is a really tough game for USC.
Georgia State is very well coached, returns a solid amount of production on both sides of the ball, and gave Auburn everything they had last season.
I think the Gamecocks win but State covers.
South Carolina 35, Georgia State 24
Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN FPI Prediction: 99.3% (Alabama)
Spread: -41.5
My Prediction: That's a dangerous spread. However, Utah State did not look particularly impressive in their week zero game, and Alabama is Alabama.
Watch the young Bama receivers in this matchup.
Alabama 61, Utah State 14
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
ESPN FPI Prediction: 77.3% (Mississippi State)
Spread: -16
My Prediction: This line opened at -8. Do not bet on this game. Mike Leach is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get (despite knowing exactly what the scheme is).
Mississippi State 30, Memphis 21
ESPN FPI Prediction: 72.5% (LSU)
Spread: -3 (LSU)
My Prediction: Year one of the Brian Kelly era starts off with a bang. LSU controls FSU in a lopsided victory.
LSU 42, Florida State 24
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