Predicting the SEC/BIG 12 Challenge
This challenge is always important for the SEC but it is crucial for the conference this season. The league has been viewed as being down this year and the Challenge is a chance to change that perception a bit. The SEC desperately needs to come out on the winning side. Here is a our prediction of each game.
#1 Baylor at Florida- This is the most important game for the league over all. The Gators have underachieved so far this season but this is a chance for them to knock off the top team in the nation. Prediction: Florida win.
Iowa State at #16 Auburn- The Tigers have faltered a bit lately but Iowa State is not good and the game is at Auburn. Prediction: Auburn win.
Tennessee at #3 Kansas- The Jayhawks are coming off the brawl game against Kansas St and they will be down a couple players. That may help the Vols a small amount, but I doubt it is nearly enough for them to close the talent gap on the road. Prediction: Kansas win.
Kansas State at Alabama- The Tide is playing very well lately and K St will be missing a couple players due to the brawl with Kansas. Prediction: Alabama win.
Mississippi State at Oklahoma- This should be a very close game that could go either way. That makes it an important swing game in terms of winning the over all challenge. Prediction: Oklahoma win.
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M- Both teams are pretty terrible this year, but it is being played on the Aggies court. Prediction: Texas A&M win.
TCU at Arkansas- The Razorbacks have dropped 2 in a row and TCU is playing well. Homecourt advantage will likely be the deciding factor in this one. Prediction: Arkansas win.
LSU at Texas- Shaka Smart is probably in his last season at Texas unless he pulls of an amazing turnaround late in the season. LSU is playing as well as any team in the SEC. Prediction: LSU win.
Missouri at #14 West Virginia- This one could get ugly fast. Prediction: West Virginia win.
#15 Kentucky at #18 Texas Tech- The Red Raiders went to the championship game last year and Chris Beard is one of the best young coaches in the nation. Their fans are already camping out for the game and they will be serving free beer to students. It can’t be a much more rowdy atmosphere than Fayetteville was last weekend but it will not be an easy place to win at. Tech is an extremely guard heavy team and could struggle with the length of Kentucky. They are a defensive oriented team that will look to turn the game into a grinder. Tyrese Maxey will play his first collegiate game in his home state and I have a feeling he puts on a show. It will be an extremely close game that will be decided in the closing minutes. Prediction: Kentucky win.
If my predictions hold up it would give the SEC a 7-3 win in the challenge. I feel pretty confident that the league will come out on the winning side of the challenge even if I missed on a couple of these.