The SEC is in control of the College Football Playoff poll, with Georgia number one and Alabama number two for the second straight week. The Auburn Tigers will try to have a big impact this weekend as they host the Georgia Bulldogs as a 2.5 point underdog on their home field. While Georgia tries to remain unbeaten, Alabama may be stepping into a trap as they play at Mississippi State in Starkville. By the way, Butch Jones is still Tennessee's head coach.
Alabama at Mississippi State
The Crimson Tide is a 14-point favorite over the Bulldogs on Saturday night, and while the Bulldogs would like nothing more than to upend Alabama, I'm not sure they have enough firepower to get the job done.
State is 7-2 and ranked 16th in the latest polls, and they have arguably the second best coach in the SEC in Dan Mullen. As well as Mississippi State has been playing, Alabama must play poorly and turn the ball over several times for the Bulldogs to have a chance. Alabama has not been tested much at all this season, but they will get a huge test on Saturday.
Alabama 30 Mississippi State 20
Arkansas at LSU
The only way Arkansas has a chance in this game in Baton Rouge is if the Bengal Tigers are looking ahead to facing Tennessee next week. The Razorbacks barely escaped Coastal Carolina last week while LSU was losing at Alabama. LSU has won enough this year to take some of the heat off head coach Ed Orgeron but the Tigers will be expected to really compete in the SEC West next fall.
LSU 38 Arkansas 21
Georgia at Auburn
This could be the game of the year in the SEC, at least until the SEC Championship Game in December. Georgia has dominated the series with the Tigers recently but the South's oldest rivalry has been a great one for a long time. Auburn played a great complete game in winning big at Texas A&M last week, and Coach Gus Malzahn has his team playing its best football of the year at the right time. Georgia has played great all season long for Coach Kirby Smart and, if the Bulldogs can stay unbeaten until the SEC Championship Game and if Alabama can do the same thing, the 2017 match up will be the most anticipated ever. While Georgia is a slight favorite in the game a win by the Tigers wouldn't be that much of an upset.....or would it? This week's upset special........
Auburn 24 Georgia 23
Florida at South Carolina
I really thought the Gators would play better for interim Coach Randy Shannon last week against Missouri but the Tigers embarrassed Florida 45-16 and the Gamecocks are favored to win pretty handily this weekend in Columbia. While the Gators are struggling to keep their heads above water, South Carolina is having a banner year under Coach Will Muschamp. That banner year will continue.
South Carolina 27 Florida 13
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
This game has historically been to determine the SEC East basement dweller and could still be if Kentucky wins. That 59-0 loss to Alabama sent Vandy into a downspin they have been unable to snap out of. They were able to snap a five-game losing streak last week with a win over Western Kentucky, but the Wildcats are much better than the Hilltoppers even though they lost a heart-breaker last week at home to Ole Miss. This game will be close and quite competitive but the Wildcats will prevail.
Kentucky 31 Vanderbilt 27
Louisiana at Ole Miss
The Johnny Rebs won a close one last week as they edged Kentucky in Lexington. Ole Miss is on probation so a bowl game is out of the question in 2017 but interim Coach Matt Luke is trying to land the Ole Miss job permamently so every win the Rebs can get is important. They should have no trouble this week.
Ole Miss 37 Louisiana 24
New Mexico at Texas A&M
The Aggies were throttled last week at home by Auburn, so the heat has been turned up once again on Coach Kevin Sumlin. It's better than 50-50 that Sumlin will not be retained as head coach of the Aggies next year; one of several schools who are expected to make coaching changes in the SEC by the end of the season. This week however belongs to the Aggies.
Texas A&M 37 New Mexico 17
Tennessee at Missouri
The snake bit Volunteers are two wins away from bowl eligibility with three games remaining and, with LSU looming next week at Neyland Stadium, the game with the Tigers this week is awfully important. Mizzou is an 11-point favorite over the Big Orange which is really hard to believe, even though the Tigers looked unbeatable last week in beating Florida. Tennessee did get a bit of good news this week as redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is expected to play. The Vols should be able to move the football at least a little bit and, if the defense continues to play well, Tennessee at least has a chance, This whole season has been one to forget for UT. From the tough losses, to the injuries, to the loss of key recruits from what was once a top five recruiting class for 2018, to the weekly negative news reports coming out of Knoxville, it's been a tough, tough year. The Vols snapped their losing streak with a 24-10 win over Southern Miss last week and, if they can get it done at Missouri, things will look a bit better on Sunday morning. Here's to another upset.
Tennessee 28 Missouri 24
Last Week: 6-3
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.