Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week 8

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
It's the third Saturday in October, but the Tennessee-Alabama game is anything but a typical meeting in this great, storied rivalry. 'Bama is a 34-point favorite and, if I were a betting man, I would take the Crimson Tide and give the points. More on that later.

Florida and Georgia are off this week.

Auburn at Arkansas
The Tigers will be trying to bounce back from their second loss of the season; a loss that cost them a shot at the College Football Playoffs. That loss last week to LSU could sink Auburn into a funk that would be hard to shake, or the Tigers could stay focused on what's left to play for and get a win over the Razorbacks.
Arkansas is almost like a wounded animal; one that you wouldn't want to back into a corner. If Coach Bret Bielema is to save his job a win over Auburn this week is very important. I don't see that happening.
Auburn 38 Arkansas 17

Kentucky at Mississippi State
This is an interesting match up. The Wildcats have played well on the road with two big wins already.(Southern Miss and South Carolina) Coach Mark Stoops has placed his team in a position to contend for the SEC East title and this game is vital to get that done. Mississippi State has struggled offensively in the past few weeks and if Coach Dan Mullen can get those problems straightened out, the Bulldogs will be tough to handle. This game could be the best one of the day in the SEC.
Mississippi State 27 Kentucky 20

LSU at Ole Miss
Coach Ed Orgeron has guided the Bengal Tigers to two critical SEC wins in a row; at Florida and at home against Auburn. LSU is playing pretty well right now and this long time rivalry could live up to it's storied history. Ole Miss has struggled following a good start but I truly doubt the Johnny Rebs have enough to get the upset over the Bengals. A win over LSU would be a huge plus for Coach Matt Luke but it's not very likely to happen.
LSU 30 Ole Miss 21

Idaho at Missouri
There is little debate about which is the worst SEC team so far in 2017. It's Missouri. A writer this week wrote, "If wins over UConn and Idaho represent progress for Mizzou, it's time for a change."  Idaho from the Sun Belt Conference is not a bad football team, but it's a team that shouldn't be able to beat an SEC team. It will be a struggle but the Tigers should get a win at home.
Missouri 37 Idaho 24

Vanderbilt at South Carolina
The Gamecocks are coming home after a big win in Knoxville last week against Tennessee. Now the Gamecocks host Vanderbilt and if Coach Will Muschamp's crew can stay focused they will get the win and become bowl eligible. Vandy has hit a wall since they were soundly throttled by Alabama 59-0. That loss came when the Commodores were 3-0 and they have yet to win a game since. This game would be huge for Vandy in their quest for another bowl game.
South Carolina 31 Vanderbilt 20

Tennessee at Alabama
Some Tennessee fans are saying they don't plan to watch the game with Alabama because they can't stand to see the carnage on the field. 'Bama is a 34-point favorite in the game which is the largest point spread in the series history. The Crimson Tide has won 10 straight times over the Volunteers who stand 3-3 on the year and 0-3 in the SEC. It's still not too late for the Big Orange to regroup and have a decent season, but don't expect them to be able to regroup against the Tide. The only people who think they can compete with Alabama this week are wearing orange jerseys, which is as it should be. 
Alabama 48 Tennessee 14

Last Week: 5-2
Year to Date: 51-14   

* * *

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer.  His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for 30 years. He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga television for more than a quarter-century. In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith. They have five grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, Mattingly, DellaMae, and CoraLee.



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