The SEC still rules the roost.
The first College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday, and it was topped by Georgia and Alabama, a pair of unbeatens seemingly on a crash course to meet in the SEC Championship in Atlanta on Dec. 2.
How in the world did the Bulldogs leap past the team ranked No. 1 in every conceivable poll? Strength of schedule made a difference.
In particular, it was Georgia’s 20-19 victory at Notre Dame on Sept. 9 that is proving to be the difference-maker.
Alabama had a marquee non-conference win, too -- at least it was one at the time. The Tide were outgained but still defeated No. 3 Florida State 24-7 in their opener. A season-ending injury suffered by Seminoles QB Deondre Francois that night turned out to be a big blow to Alabama’s strength of schedule (FSU is just 2-5 on the season).
Georgia and Alabama each have tough roads to secure an unbeaten record going into the SEC title game. For one, each team still plays at Auburn.
Georgia (5-0 SEC) can all but wrap up the East Division with a win over second-place South Carolina (4-2)
Alabama (5-0) hosts a surging LSU team (3-1) that has won three straight. A Tigers win puts them in control of their own destiny in the West Division.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulated college football games 10,000 times and came up with final scores and projected player statistics.
Below are the matchups for Week 10 of the SEC, with projected final scores and statistics. Projections are updated every 10 minutes.
Saturday, Nov. 4
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Auburn 30, Texas A&M 22
Vegas line: The Tigers are a 15-point favorite at home, from 12.5 to open (O/U 54.5)
Projected Statistics: Jarrett Stidham throws for 203 yards and 1.33 TDs, while Kerryon Johnson goes for 99 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Kellen Mond passes for 163 yards to lead the Aggies.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Mississippi State 37, Massachusetts 19
Vegas line: The Bulldogs are favored by 28 at home (O/U 58)
Projected Statistics: Nick Fitzgerald throws for 209 yards and runs for 88 more for the Bulldogs. Andrew Ford goes for 289 yards, 1.45 TDs and 1.20 INTs for UMass.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Vanderbilt 26, Western Kentucky 24
Vegas line: Vandy is an 11.5-point home favorite (O/U 53)
Projected Statistics: Kyle Shurmur throws for 198 yards and 1.52 TDs and Ralph Webb runs for 81 yards for the Commodores. Mike White passes for 274 yards for the Hilltoppers.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Missouri 27, Florida 25
Vegas line: The Tigers are favored by 3.5 points at home (O/U 59)
Projected Statistics: Drew Lock passes for 288 yards, 2.07 TDs and 2.04 INTs with J’Mon Moore catching 3.5 passes for 56 yards for the Tigers. Malik Zaire throws for 223 yards for the Gators.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Georgia 32, South Carolina 16
Vegas line: The Bulldogs are at -24 (O/U 46)
Projected Statistics: Jake Fromm throws for 210 yards and 1.64 TDs with Nick Chubb running 18.4 times for 89 yards for Georgia. Jake Bentley goes for 189 yards passing for the Gamecocks.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Kentucky 32, Ole Miss 27
Vegas line: The Wildcats are laying 3.5 points at home (O/U 60.5)
Projected Statistics: Stephen Johnson throws for 190 yards and 1.77 TDs and Benny Snell runs for 129 yards and 1.18 TDs for UK. Jordan Ta’amu passes for 333 yards with A.J. Brown catching 5.1 passes for 94 yards for the Rebels.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Arkansas 43, Coastal Carolina 20
Vegas line: The Razorbacks are favored by 24 (O/U 59.5)
Projected Statistics: Jonathan Nance catches 5.4 balls for 106 yards and a touchdown for Arkansas, while Devwah Whaley leads the way on the ground with 64 yards. Tyler Keane passes for 180 yards for Carolina.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Tennessee 29, Southern Miss 22
Vegas line: The Volunteers are at -5, from -7.5 to open (O/U 53.5)
Projected Statistics: Jarrett Guarantano throws for 215 yards, 1.54 TDs and 1.19 INTs and John Kelly runs 14.9 times for 80 yards for Tennessee. Kwadra Griggs goes for 233 yards and Ito Smith runs for 87 yards to lead USM.
SportsLine Projection Model’s score: Alabama 38, LSU 8
Vegas line: The Crimson Tide is a 21-point favorite (O/U 49.5)
Projected Statistics: Jalen Hurts throws for 160 yards and 1.43 TDs and runs for 70 more for the Tide, while Bo Scarbrough runs for 102 yards. Danny Etling passes for 144 yards for the Tigers.
So who should you pick in every Week 10 college football game? Join SportsLine now to get every pick from the model that had double-digit profitable weeks last season, plus find out which Top-25 teams' playoff hopes end this weekend.