Predicting the 2013 SEC West

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I’m headed to Las Vegas this weekend to make my yearly over/under and BCS title bets for college football.

I’ll update you with my decisions in all these bets once I make them, but in the meantime I’ve been looking at the SEC schedule and trying to think probabilistically about what I believe will happen this season. So it’s time for OKTC to dive into each SEC school and predict what I see for the season.

This year we start with the SEC West.

I’ve broken down each team’s schedule using five different categories: definite wins, likely wins, definite losses, likely losses, and toss-ups.

So how do I define those games. 

Definite wins are games that should have spreads of 17+. It’s possible that a team could lose these games, but it’s incredibly unlikely. If teams lose these games you’re probably heading for a Gene Chizik like implosion.

Likely wins are those games that a team should win, but it’s not a slam dunk. You’re somewhere around a 8-14 point favorite in the game.

Toss ups are games I’m forecasting to have a spread of a touchdown or less. These are basically games where a play or two here or there has a decent chance of determining the outcome. I’ve also put a few games that will likely have a margin of more than seven points in the toss-up category. For instance, LSU at Alabama will probably see Bama as a touchdown or more favorite, but given LSU and Alabama’s history of late, would it really shock anyone if LSU went into Tuscaloosa and found a way to win? I don’t think so, hence some of my toss-ups are a function of history, coaching, and my own feelings about the match-ups.

Figure that a toss-up is close to a 65-35 outcome at worst. That is, if the game was played 100 times the underdog would win around 35 of the games. Many of these toss-ups are much closer to 50-50 splits, where one team or the other will be a field goal or less of a favorite.   

Likely losses are the reverse of the likely wins, the team that is likely to lose will be 8-14 point underdog.

Definite losses are games where a team will be a three score or more underdog.  

As a preliminary, no matter how many times I look at these SEC West schedules it’s hard for me to see the loser of Bama at A&M on September 14th winning the SEC West. If Bama beats A&M there is zero doubt the Tide will roll into Atlanta. If A&M beats Bama it’s hard for me to see the Aggies losing at Ole Miss and at LSU, the only two games on the Aggie schedule I think they could lose with a healthy Johnny Manziel. At worst I think the Aggies would split those games and head to Atlanta with the tiebreak over the Tide. 

I”m not picking who I think will win this game yet — who knows what could happen in the remaining offseason — which is why my top two teams in the SEC West have the same 11-1 record right now. 

By the way, it’s early, but don’t discount the possibility of a rematch between A&M and Alabama in the BCS title game. Seriously. You’d need top teams like Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Clemson, whoever emerges in the Big 12, and Florida State to lose, but is that really unbelievable? With the exception of Ohio State all of these teams play several tough games. 

It’s very possible that the only game either Alabama or A&M loses all season is this September 14th contest. With a long time to recover from that loss, it’s very possible they could end up playing twice. Especially if it’s a tight game decided late.   

You’ll also see that teams like LSU, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State have the most potential swings. LSU is the wildest, with a potential high end of 12-0 or a potential low end of 6-6. I’ve split the baby there and figured the Tigers will finish 9-3. 

Okay, now that everyone will agree with every bit of my hypotheses we go:


Alabama: 11-1


Definite wins (8):

Colorado State, Georgia State, at Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, at Mississippi State, Chattanooga, at Auburn

Likely wins (2):

Virginia Tech (neutral), Ole Miss

Definite losses (0):


Likely losses (0):


Toss-ups (2):

at Texas A&M, LSU


Texas A&M 11-1


Definite Wins (7):

Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU, at Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, UTEP

Likely wins:

Vandy, at Missouri

Definite losses (0)


Likely losses (0)



Alabama, at Ole Miss, at LSU


LSU 9-3


Definite Wins (5):

UAB, Kent State, Auburn, Furman, Arkansas

Likely wins (1):

Mississippi State

Definite losses (0):


Likely losses (0): 


Toss-ups (6):

TCU, at Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss, at Alabama, Texas A&M


Ole Miss: 7-5


Definite wins (3): 

Southeast Missouri, Idaho, Troy

Likely wins (3):

at Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri

Definite losses (0):


Likely losses (2):

at Texas, at Alabama

Toss-ups (4):

at Vandy, Texas A&M, LSU, at Mississippi State   


Auburn: 6-6


Definite Wins (2):

Western Carolina, Florida Atlantic

Likely Wins (1):

Washington State 

Definite losses (4):

at LSU, at Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama

Likely losses (1):

Ole Miss

Toss-ups (4):

Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Arkansas, at Tennessee


Mississippi State 6-6


Definite wins:

Alcorn State, Troy, Bowling Green

Likely wins:


Definite losses:

at South Carolina, at Texas A&M, Alabama,

Likely losses:

Oklahoma State, LSU


at Auburn, at Arkansas, Ole Miss 


Arkansas: 4-8


Definite wins (1):


Likely wins (2):

Louisiana-Lafayette, Southern Miss

Definite losses (5):

Texas A&M, at Florida, South Carolina, at Alabama, at LSU

Likely losses (1): 

Ole Miss

Toss-ups (3):

 Rutgers, Auburn, Mississippi State

I’ll have my SEC East predictions later this week. 

In the meantime, dive in and react. 

I’m 100% correct, right?

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.