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SoCon Weekend Primer

By Jim Johnson
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Chattanooga can finish the season undefeated in conference play with a victory over Furman on Saturday.

Mercer at Wofford

As we reach the end of the 2014 regular season, Mercer and Wofford face off in a conference matchup, each looking to finish the year on a high note. Mercer comes into the game fresh off of a 56-0 beatdown of Warner. Wofford, conversely, is still stinging after a poor showing against a Furman team that has really struggled this year. This should be a closely contested game, but look for the Terriers to bounce back and finish the season with a win.

Prediction: 28-20 Wofford

Citadel at VMI

The Citadel and VMI have each sort of stumbled through this season, although VMI has done so to a much greater degree. Now they find themselves staring each other down as a last shot at redemption before nine dark months without football. It may not carry much weight in the standings or postseason, but military schools always want to beat each other and this is no exception. VMI will make things interesting in the first half, but ultimately the Bulldogs will grind away until the Keydets run out of steam.

Prediction: 31-17 Citadel

Chattanooga at Furman

This was not the Furman team that everyone expected to see this year. Sure the Paladins lost their starting quarterback in week one, but even then, this sort of implosion seemed impossible. They finally ended their eight-game skid last week against Wofford, but now they find themselves faced up against the mighty Chattanooga Mocs. Chattanooga has already clinched the SoCon title and looks to be the only team from the conference that will make any postseason appearance. This game will go about like each of these teams' seasons. Furman will struggle and Chattanooga will take advantage of every mistake.

Prediction: 38-10

Samford at Auburn & Western Carolina at Alabama

Unfortunately for two of the best teams in the SoCon, aside from Chattanooga, their seasons will end in losses. Such is the nature of FCS football, but it seems like a cruel fate for two teams that really made it a great season. Western Carolina was the most pleasant surprise of the SoCon and was a dark horse contender all year, but Alabama is arguably the best team in the country. Samford was a machine, churning out good performances one after the other, but Auburn will be looking to beat up on someone after getting smacked by Georgia last week. At least they're being paid well. Hopefully both of these teams will make good use of those fat checks and continue to improve their programs so everyone can continue to enjoy their respective growth.

Predictions: 56-10 Auburn; 49-6 Alabama

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP