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 into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Wally Hall's weekend predictions
With five SEC conference games on the schedule, the TV networks can finally stop worrying about ratings.
A third of the way into this season it appears Georgia and Alabama are two blocks ahead of everyone else in a three-block race.
The toughest ticket to get in the country appears to be for the Alabama-Arkansas game that is being televised nationally on CBS. Just a warning to all who have tickets: Download them to your phone before getting on campus or you will be late for the show. Also, be prepared for traffic delays and very long concession lines.
The only losses last week were the in-state teams and both had chances to win. Went 9-2, bringing the season record to 42-8.
Here’s this week’s picks:
Alabama at Arkansas
Alabama’s Heisman Trophy quarterback set a new passing record for the Crimson Tide last season against Arkansas when he passed for 559 yards in the 42-35 win. He’s back and the Razorbacks’ pass coverage has been average so far. The Hogs will try to keep Bama’s offense off the field as it is their best shot at an upset. Speaking of which, the Razorbacks should be upset and ready to play their best after last week’s loss to Texas A&M. Still, it is Alabama and Nick Saban is 15-0 against the Hogs since arriving at Alabama. Guarantee it won’t be 52-0, even though the Tide have the No. 2-ranked defense in the nation, allowing only 201.2 yards per game. Alabama 42-32
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State
In their first four games, the Warhawks (2-2) have been outscored 139-73, but two of those losses were to Texas (52-10_ and Alabama (63-7). The Red Wolves are 1-3, but two of the losses — Memphis and Old Dominion — were winnable games. ASU quarterback James Blackman was pressured almost start to finish last week, and he did have to leave the game after a hit. He gives the Red Wolves a balanced attack. Since there are no ties in college football. Arkansas State 24-21 (OT)
LSU at Auburn
A couple of Tigers with more question marks than answers so far. LSU is 3-1, but the wins were not impressive and their 24-23 loss to Florida State remains to be seen if it was a quality game. The Auburn Tigers have not been impressive either and may be the worst 3-1 team in the country. This may be the game where the wheels come off for the home team. LSU 32-10
Eastern Washington at Florida
We have to wait until Sunday for this thrilla in the villa, also known as The Swamp. The game is so insignificant on the NFL’s shining day that it is 11 a.m. start on ESPN-Plus. The Gators are vastly improved but need to take this practice game and work on their passing attack if they is going to be competitive in the SEC East. Florida 49-0
Georgia at Missouri
The Tigers have a chance, about one in a million. They literally gave a game away last week to Auburn and no one is going to confuse that opponent with No. 1 Georgia. The Bulldogs are allowing only 257 yards per game and Missouri, one of the great journalism schools in America, lost to Kansas State — which lost to Tulane. It won’t be greatly attended and the stands may be down to a few thousand by the fourth quarter. Georgia 49-3
Kentucky at Ole Miss
Someone is getting their first loss of the season. The Wildcats will need to stop the Rebels’ running attack and move the ball on a defense that is vastly improved from last season. The Rebels will win the party. Kentucky 31-28
Texas A&M at Mississippi State
The Bulldogs haven’t played as well as expected and neither have the Aggies, who have been the luckiest team in the SEC. Mississippi State 35-17
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