Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week 9

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
More bad news this week for Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. After Baylor stand out Brendan Harris decommitted from Tennessee and committed to Vanderbilt, starting running back John Kelly was suspended for misdemeanor drug charges and will not play at Kentucky on Saturday

Alabama, Auburn and LSU are idle this week.

Arkansas at Ole Miss
The seat under Bret Bielema's behind gets warmer and warmer with each passing week and if the Hogs can't get a win this week at Ole Miss it could spell the end for his tenure in Fayetteville.
The Johnny Rebs are without starting quarterback Shea Patterson who will miss the rest of the season, so the chances of an Arkansas victory went up a bit. This is a battle between two of the worst teams in the SEC, but this week Ole Miss is a little worse than Arkansas.
Arkansas 38 Ole Miss 28

Florida vs Georgia at Jacksonville
Both teams were off last week to prepare for the other, and for the first time in years there is a big difference in the two border rivals. Georgia is unbeaten and ranked third in the country, while the Gators are 3-3 and have lost two in a row at the "Swamp". This has been a tough week for Florida coach Jim McElwain who announced at his Monday press conference that several players, coaches and their families had received death threats. When questioned by UF officials, McElwain refused to give further details saying he will tell them more when things became "unmanageable". Some good news for the Gators as they get a few of their weapons back who have missed the last few games with injuries. This game belongs to Georgia.
Georgia 30 Florida 18

Mississippi State at Texas A&M
The Bulldogs are 5-2 and one win away from being bowl eligible for an eighth straight year. This week's game at Texas A&M will be a tough test for Coach Dan Mullen's squad so the Bullies may have to postpone their bowl clinching victory a week or so. State is coming off their most complete game of the season thus far, a 45-7 pummeling of Kentucky last week. The Aggies were off last week after their big win at Florida two weeks ago and Coach Kevin Sumlin has his team playing very well. This game should be the best SEC game this week, certainly the most competitive. No surprise here if either team gets the win.
Texas A&M 31 Mississippi State 28

UConn at Missouri
The Tigers step outside the SEC this week to face the UConn Huskies in Columbia. Mizzou is a 12-point favorite in the game but they have been very unpredictable this season. Missouri has a great offense but they would find it hard defending a good high school team, which is very un-Mizzou like. They should have enough to get past the Huskies this week.
Missouri 48 UConn 24

Vanderbilt at South Carolina
This has been a good year for South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 5-2 and a touchdown favorite over the slumping Commodores this weekend. On the other hand, Vandy has lost four in a row and, after giving up just 13 points in winning their first three games of the year, Vandy has given up 199 points in losing the last four. The only way Vanderbilt can get a win on Saturday is to find that really good defense from the beginning of the year. That's not very likely. The Gamecocks will be bowl eligible when the final horn sounds. 
South Carolina 35 Vanderbilt 17

Tennessee at Kentucky
Freezing rain and possibly snow Saturday night in Lexington. Wait....this isn't late November when these two border rivals normally play, it's late October and the weather is the same. Kentucky has been up and down like a yo-yo all season and, after last week's 45-7 thrashing at Mississippi State, it's time for the Wildcats to be up again. Kentucky is a 5-point favorite in the game despite that loss and also despite the fact the 'Cats have lost 31 of the last 32 times they faced the Big Orange. Heck, Kentucky has just one win over the Volunteers this century. If Coach Butch Jones of Tennessee didn't have bad luck he'd have no luck at all (see first paragraph). Tennessee must get a lot better in a short period of time to get a much-needed win. The Vols have lost four of their last five but can salvage what has so far been a miserable season with a win this weekend. I have faith in Tennessee, but no faith at all in the coaching staff. Toss a coin.....that's what I just did.
Tennessee 20 Kentucky 17

Last week: 5-0
Year to Date: 56-14


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