Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Wally Hall's weekend predictions
The SEC already has eight bowl-eligible teams and Arkansas and Florida could make the list Saturday.
Texas A&M, Auburn and Vanderbilt — all 3-6 — are one loss away from not being able to get the required six wins to play in the postseason.
A lot of national attention will be focused on Tuscaloosa, Ala. The only time Nick Saban has lost back-to-back conference games was in 2007, his first year coaching the Crimson Tide.
Didn’t do well last week, but it could have been worse. Went 4-3 to bring the season total to 70-21.
LSU AT ARKANSAS
Since those days of playing the day after Thanksgiving, this has become a little more of a rivalry, one that has its own trophy — The Golden Boot. At this time a year ago, the Razorbacks had won one trophy game (Texas A&M) on their way to an unprecedented four. It has been said that you can’t compare scores, and Razorback fans don’t want to. Of the three common opponents, LSU is 3-0 and Arkansas 1-2. The strange thing about this game is the oddsmakers currently have the Tigers as a 3 1/2-point favorite. KJ Jefferson appears to be a question mark for the game. Without him, the Hogs lose; with him, they have a shot at the upset. Cam Little may be the difference. Arkansas 23-21
UMASS AT ARKANSAS STATE
The Minutemen began playing football in 1879, making them the fourth oldest FBS program in college football, and they play like it. They are 1-8, and their only win was over Stony Brook, an FCS team. The Red Wolves have lost four in a row and this one is about not quitting and having pride. They should score a lot as the Minutemen average giving up 30 points per game and scoring only 11. Arkansas State 38-7
OLE MISS AT ALABAMA
It is unthinkable to believe that the Crimson Tide could lose three conference games in one season. Right? This Tide team is not the king of the hill it has been the last 15 seasons. Don’t know if Saban is slowing down — and I can write that since I’m older than him — or this is as close to a rebuilding year he will have. This is not an Ole Miss team we expect from Lane Kiffin. The Rebels are running the ball with success and playing tough defense. Alabama 31-28
TEXAS A&M AT AUBURN
This is the battle of dumpster fires, as both teams are trying to get out of the cellar. The Tigers have already fired their coach, and the Aggies just wish they could afford to. Both have lost five consecutive games, but someone has to win. Auburn 31-28
SOUTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA
The Gators could join the Gamecocks on the bowl-eligible list with a win at what was once known as The Swamp and for good reason. Lately it has been more like a creek, but the Gators are coming off a decent win at A&M and the Gamecocks off a win over hapless Vanderbilt. If it wasn’t in Gainesville, an upset is very possible. Billy Napier has a lot of work to get the Gators back on track. Florida 28-17
VANDERBILT AT KENTUCKY
The Wildcats are already bowl eligible and might come out a little flat against the Commodores, but it is Vanderbilt, which it should be noted, plays very hard and doesn’t quit. Kentucky 38-21
GEORGIA AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
The Bulldogs win — the ones from Athens, not the home team. It might be a good first half, but Georgia is coming off its most impressive performance of the season, a 27-13 win over Tennessee. Georgia 42-27
MISSOURI AT TENNESSEE
The Vols will bounce back at home and get back on course. They are a legitimate shot to make the College Football Playoff if they win out. A one-loss Vols team is probably more attractive to the selection committee than an undefeated TCU. Tennessee 38-17
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