With Georgia and Alabama ranked number one and two in the first College Football Playoff Poll of the season, it has become evident the SEC is as strong as ever. Since last week, Florida has parted ways with Coach Jim McElwain and Tennessee still has Butch Jones - at least for a few more days.
LSU at Alabama
This game may have lost some of the luster it had a few seasons ago but it is still worthy of a CBS prime time telecast. It's going to take a supreme effort by the Bengal Tigers just to be able to compete with the Crimson Tide, and if LSU pulls the upset, Alabama has to play poorly. That could happen and then again I don't believe Alabama will lose a game to anyone until at least December.
'Bama may struggle but they will get the win on Saturday night.
Alabama 31 LSU 17
Coastal Carolina at Arkansas
The Razorbacks played well when they had to in last week's come from behind win over Ole Miss. They trailed 31-7 to the Johnny Rebs and rallied for the victory which may have cooled the seat under Coach Bret Bielema just a bit. Coastal Carolina will at least present a challenge to the Hogs but they should get the win.
Arkansas 45 Coastal Carolina 30
Auburn at Texas A&M
This is an interesting game, perhaps the best game of the day in the SEC. Auburn will be without running back Kamryn Pettway, who is out for an extended period of time with a fractured shoulder, and that will hurt the Tigers. The Aggies lost a game they feel they should have won last week at home to Mississippi State so it's really hard to figure out where this team is headed. Auburn is favored by 15 points which I feel is too much. Upset alert!!!! The Aggies get the huge upset.
Texas A&M 27 Auburn 24
Florida at Missouri
The Gators did last week what the Tennessee fans have wanted for months for their team. They sent head coach Jim McElwain packing and replaced him with defensive coordinator and former Miami head coach Randy Shannon. Shannon has already made numerous changes and would make a fine head coach for the Gators in my humble opinion. The Gators acted promptly which could save the remainder of the season, which begins this week against the Tigers; perhaps the worst team in the SEC.
Florida 30 Missouri 20
South Carolina at Georgia
This could be a trap game for the Bulldogs. They're still celebrating and barking about the first College Football Playoff Poll which saw the Bulldogs pass powerful Alabama as the number one team. They also have a huge SEC encounter at Auburn next week which gives them an excellent opportunity to overlook the Gamecocks. Will Muschamp always gets his team up to play against superior teams. If Coach Kirby Smart can keep his Bulldogs focused they will still be unbeaten when they travel to Auburn next week.
Georgia 34 South Carolina 13
Ole Miss at Kentucky
The Wildcats celebrated just their second win in 33 years over border rival Tennessee last weekend - a game they had to rally in the final minutes to win. The 'Cats are now bowl eligible with six wins and they face an up and down Ole Miss team. The Johnny Rebs still have an ability to score a lot of points and they face a mediocre Kentucky defense. This one will be tough but the Wildcats should get it done.
Kentucky 31 Ole Miss 28
UMass at Mississippi State
Coach Dan Mullen has his Bulldogs headed to a bowl game for the ninth straight year and that's why he is listed as a candidate for several open jobs - two of them in the SEC. Mullen is a great coach who has worked wonders in Starkville but it won't take a miracle to put this one in the win column. By the way, this is the same team that Tennessee struggled to beat 17-14 in September.
Mississippi State 42 UMass 10
Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Vandy's losing streak has now reached five in a row after three wins to start the season. The Commodores step outside the SEC to face Western Kentucky this week and they're favored to snap their losing streak, though stranger things have happened at Dudley Field.
Vanderbilt 33 Western Kentucky 24
Southern Miss at Tennessee
It's homecoming at UT this weekend, but it's anything but a happy time. One group of Vols' fans is calling for a boycott of the game, (#EmptyNeyland) while others are calling for fans to show up in support of the players. Either way there is no guarantee the Vols will win their homecoming contest. On Wednesday of this week, Coach Butch Jones was pressed into answering questions about playing lineman Brent Kirkland who had a concussion and doesn't remember the entire second half of the Kentucky game. Just one more negative story coming from the Tennessee camp which is now being investigated as to why Kirkland was put back in the game. Still the Volunteers have a game to play against a 5-3 Southern Miss squad; not your typical homecoming opponent. It will take a supreme effort for the Vols to snap their four-game losing skid.
Tennessee 23 Southern Miss 20
Last week: 4-2
Year to Date: 60-16
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.