Memphis, averaging 52 points per game, rolls into 2-2 Ole Miss undefeated today. I don’t believe the Tigers will head back to Memphis the same way.

The Rebels are a 16-point favorite, probably because the Tigers have rolled to their victories over the likes of Southeast Missouri State, Kansas and Bowling Green. The Tigers haven’t played anybody like Florida State or Alabama, who have both beaten Ole Miss, or Georgia, who was clobbered by the Rebels.

Ole Miss has more talent on both sides of the ball than Memphis and should still sting from what happened last year when the two teams played at Memphis. We’ll call it Ole Miss 45, Memphis 24.

I would never have guessed Rice leads its all-time series with Southern Miss 4-2 until I looked it up. But Rice has had USM’s number in  recent years. That changed last season when the Golden Eagles trounced the Owls 65-10 at Houston. Tonight’s game in Hattiesburg won’t be that lopsided, but USM should win comfortably. The point spread (20) sounds about right. Southern Miss 42, Rice 21.

Tennessee is a 4-point pick at Georgia, which was clobbered at Oxford last week. If the Vols play as they did in the second half last week, they will cover that point spread between the hedges. Kirby Smart has a lot of work to do at Georgia. Tennessee 30, Georgia 20.

Coach Orgeron makes his interim head coaching debut against the Missouri Tigers. Don’t know how he possibly can change LSU’s offense in a week’s time but I do think he’ll have LSU ready to play. LSU 24, Missouri 13.

The big game nationally today is from the ACC. Louisville is a two-point favorite over Clemson in a matchup of dynamic quarterbacks. Lamar Jackson is the better quarterback, and that’s why I probably would have picked the Cardinals anyway. But Lee Corso just picked Clemson and that sealed the deal. Louisville 41, Clemson 38.

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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.