Tolly Predictions: What to Expect From the SEC West

Who is winning the West? What will the order of finish be? Who is making a bowl game?

These will be my record predictions for the SEC West. I will list every game for the predictions, but the primary takeaway should be the final record. We will also compare my predictions to the over/under win total for each team to see how the betting public feels about the SEC West.

*Odds listed refer to O/U’s taken from DraftKings at the time of writing

7th – Mississippi State – O/U win total: 6.5

Southeastern Louisiana – W

Arizona – W


At South Carolina – L

Alabama – L

Western Michigan – W


At Arkansas – L

At Auburn – L

Kentucky (HC) – L

At Texas A&M – L

Southern Miss – W

Ole Miss (Thursday) – W

Mississippi State is not a bad team. BUT, when you play in the SEC West, “not bad” is not good enough. I also think this team is still emotionally recovering from the sudden death of beloved HC Mike Leach. 

Unfortunately for them, I see this as a rough year for MS State. I do have them winning the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving, though. Gotta take the small victories.

Side Note – Advanced metrics (stuff like ESPN’s FPI) are actually kinda high on the Bulldogs. This team does have a lot of talent, it’s just unproven.

Record: 5-7 (1-7)

Pick: Don’t Bet

6th – Auburn – O/U win total: 6.5

UMass – W

At California – W

Samford (HC) – W

At Texas A&M – L

Georgia – L


At LSU – L

Ole Miss – L

Mississippi State – W

At Vanderbilt – L

At Arkansas – L

New Mexico State – W

Alabama – L

Auburn is very polarizing this year. Some pundits have Auburn as a sleeper team in the west. Most SEC fans are writing Auburn off as DOA. I think it’s clear which way I lean. There are a lot of L’s on that prediction above.

Auburn brought in Michigan State transfer, Payton Thorne, to be the fix at QB. He recently won the QB1 job in fall camp.  He’s a solid starter, but he has a very low ceiling.  

Auburn hit the portal as hard as anyone this offseason, so this is mostly a team that hasn’t played together much. They will have 16ish new starters this year. 

The Barn is not going bowling.

Record: 5-7 (1-7)

Pick: Under 6.5

5th – Texas A&M – O/U win total: 8

New Mexico – W

At Miami – W


Auburn – W

Vs Arkansas (Dallas) – L

Alabama – W

At Tennessee – L


South Carolina – W

At Ole Miss – L

Mississippi State – W

Abilene Christian – W

At LSU – L

Last year was hilarious. Texas A&M was a consensus top 10 team in the 2022 preseason. And they went 5-7. A letdown of epic proportions. The weird part is the Aggies have one of the most talented rosters in the country, they just can’t seem to put together a team.

Before 2022, the joke was that Texas A&M goes 8-4 every year and just can’t seem to break into the upper echelon of college football.

I see a return to form in 2023:

Record: 8-4 (4-4)

Pick: Push 8 – Don’t Bet

4th – Arkansas – O/U win total: 7

Western Carolina – W

Kent State – W


At LSU – L

Vs Texas A&M (Dallas) – W

At Ole Miss – L

At Alabama – L

Mississippi State – W


At Florida – L

Auburn – W


Missouri (Friday) – W

What Sam Pittman has done at Arkansas is incredible. This was a program that won 1 SEC game in 3 years from 2017 to 2019. Then they hired Pittman. His first year was the COVID season. He was doomed from the start, and they won 3 SEC games. It was a miracle.

Arkansas went 8-4 and 6-6 in the regular season in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Arkansas has become a respectable SEC team. Looking at the last 2 seasons makes it easier to understand the O/U being set at 7. I’m leaning over. The non-con is easy and other SEC programs have bigger problems than Arkansas.

Record: 8-4 (4-4)

Pick: Over 7

3rd – Ole Miss – O/U win total: 7.5

Mercer – W

At Tulane – L

Georgia Tech – W

At Alabama – L


Arkansas – W


At Auburn – W

Vanderbilt – W

Texas A&M – W

At Georgia – L


At Mississippi State (Thursday) – L

Ole Miss could be anything in 2023. 6-6, makes sense. 11-1, why not. 

Their coach is an offensive guru, and they have my SEC RB1, Quinshon Judkins. If their opponent can’t stop the run, Ole Miss will win the game. If they do stop the run, Ole Miss has little to no offense. It’s a double-edged sword being a one-trick pony when that trick is really really good (too many cliches).

Tulane turns out to be a crazy hard G5 non-con game. I have them winning after they return most of a team that beat USC in the Cotton Bowl.

Getting Georgia as the cross-division opponent is a bummer, but I think Ole Miss beats either Bama or LSU. I went with LSU.

Record: 8-4 (5-3)

Pick: Don’t Bet

2nd – Alabama – O/U win total: 10.5

Middle Tennessee – W

Texas – L

At USF – W

Ole Miss – W

At Mississippi State – W

At Texas A&M – L

Arkansas (HC) – W

Tennessee – W



At Kentucky – W

Chattanooga – W

At Auburn – W

Don’t bet against Alabama – Unless you are allergic to winning.

Hurts to Tagovailoa to Jones to Young to… we still don’t know. Alabama has a QB problem. There are 3 QBs competing for the starting job, and none are good enough to win the job.

Saban’s solution: turn back the clock to 2009. Alabama wants to play bully ball this year. Run the ball, play good defense, and win 14-6. That’s the current plan in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama also brings back the same receiving core from 2022. I don’t see that as a positive. Alabama doesn’t have the 1st round receivers they’ve had in recent years. 

All those negatives, and I’m still terrified of having Alabama below 10 wins. Alabama is 4th in the AP preseason poll, it’s the first time they weren’t in the top 3 since 2009 (they were 5th). They won the Natty that year.

Record: 9-3 (6-2)

Pick: Under 10.5

1st – LSU – O/U win total: 9.5

Vs Florida State (Sunday – Orlando) – W

Grambling State – W

At Mississippi State – W

Arkansas – W

At Ole Miss – L

At Missouri – W

Auburn – W

Army – W


At Alabama – W

Florida – W

Georgia State – W

Texas A&M – W

LSU went 10-2 in Brian Kelly’s first year. This year, I think they are even better.

Returning Heisman caliber QB ✅

Best DT in the SEC (Maason Smith) ✅

Best LB in the SEC (Herold Perkins) ✅

Great RB and WR core (better than Bama’s) ✅

LSU’s biggest weakness: CB

They are trying to fix their corner issue by transferring in a secondary. 

I think LSU beats Alabama, period. But, they likely drop a game early in the year. When they are a little beat up from FSU, Miss State, and Arkansas – I see a loss coming in week 5 at Ole Miss. After that, they go on a tear, all the way to the SEC Championship Game

Record: 11-1 (7-1)

Pick: Over 9.5

SEC West Winner: LSU

But who will they face out of the East? 

Check out our SEC East prediction we posted yesterday in this format.

Want more Walk On Fan? 

Check out last Saturday’s article where we predicted records for every team in the ACC.

This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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