Who you got?

We got undefeated Georgia, ranked No. 12, playing at twice-defeated Ole Miss, ranked No. 23. And, Ole Miss has been bet up to a 7-point favorite after opening at 2. Obviously, someone has been looking at the schedules. The Ole Miss losses are to Florida State and Alabama. Georgia’s last two victories have been by 2 over Nicholls State and 1 over Missouri. Georgia will start an 18-year-old quarterback, Ole Miss a 22-year-old. Ole Miss is at home.

So: Ole Miss 31, Georgia 27.

Mississippi State, 1-2 after a comeback fell short at LSU, plays 1-2 UMass at Foxboro. The Bulldogs are 22-point favorites on the road. To be honest, I’m not sure given the Bulldogs’ quarterback situation I’d make State a 22-point favorite over anybody currently, even a team called the Minutemen. I like State to win but I would not give the points. State 27, Massachusetts 14.

Southern Miss opens conference play at UTEP. It’s a long road trip, a tough place to play. The 2-1 Golden Eagles are an 11.5-point favorite over the 1-2 Miners, who rank last in the nation in turnover differential. It’s a game USM should win and possibly win handily, if they don’t let UTEP, which has created one turnover all season, create a bunch in this one. USM 34, UTEP 20.

Texas A & M, playing at home, is a 6-point pick over Arkansas in a battle of unbeaten SEC Western Division teams. This week’s upset special: Arkansas 28, Texas A & M 26.

LSU is a 3-point pick at Auburn. That seems about right. LSU 20, Auburn 17.

Rick Cleveland
Rick Cleveland Credit: Melanie Thortis

Tennessee, at home, is a 5-point choice over the Florida Gators. Both teams are unbeaten, yet neither has been particularly impressive. A shaky nod to the home team here: Tennessee 27, Florida 26.

Vanderbilt is a 7.5 point underdog at Western Kentucky, where Jeff Brohm is doing a fabulous coaching job. WKU’s lone loss is to Alabama. I like Western, 27-20.

Wait! Is this right? Kentucky is favored over South Carolina? Why? South Carolina 24-20.


Grambling 31, Alcorn 20.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 27, Jackson State 24.

Prairie View 27, MVSU 21.

Rick Cleveland is Mississippi Today’s sports columnist. Read his previous columns and his Sports Daily blog

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.