Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week 7

Thursday, October 10, 2019 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
After a couple of lackluster weeks in the SEC, there are some dandy match-ups in week seven. A couple of unbeatens face off in Baton Rouge, while Alabama faces its toughest challenge of the season so far at College Station.

South Carolina at Georgia
The Bulldogs survived a surprising first half last weekend in Knoxville, when they actually trailed Tennessee 14-10 in the second quarter. Th ey never seemed to be worried however as they trounced the Volunteers 43-14. Jake Fromm is the real deal as the Bulldogs signal caller.
He's cool, calm and collected and while there may be a few more talented quarterbacks in the country than he is, he could be the best all around field leader anywhere. Georgia is very good and they are most definitely a solid playoff contender. While this game has always been dangerous for the 'Dawgs, this time it's all Georgia.
Georgia 47  South Carolina 10

UNLV at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt finally found a team they could beat a couple of weeks ago when they defeated Northern Illinois. They were trounced by Ole Miss last week 31-6 and they bring a 1-4 overall record into their game this week against the Runnin' Rebels. UNLV is not very good at all and neither is Vandy. But while this game is a match-up between a pair of bad teams, UNLV is a little worse than the Commodores. Vandy should get the win on Saturday in Nashville.
Vanderbilt 38 UNLV 14

Ole Miss at Missouri
The Rebels bring an SEC mark of 2-1 into the game this weekend at Missouri. Those two league wins however are over Arkansas and Vanderbilt and the Rebs only loss in league play was to Alabama. Missouri isn't on the level with 'Bama but the Tigers are a good solid SEC squad. After dropping the season opener to Wyoming, the Tigers have won four in a row including a 42-10 win over Troy last weekend. Their only SEC win came in a rout of South Carolina and while this will likely be a close contest, I believe the Tigers will be too much for Ole Miss this week.
Missouri 40  Ole Miss 33

Arkansas at Kentucky
The Razorbacks have already equaled their entire win total from 2018, when they were 2-10. Chad Morris has improved the Hogs quite a bit but they are till a less than mediocre SEC squad. Kentucky is always tough to beat at home, but the Wildcats are 0-3 so far in league play, with their most recent defeat coming at the hands of South Carolina 24-7. The Wildcats haven't been the same since quarterback Terry Wilson went down with a season ending injury almost a month ago. They still have a pretty good defense but they have really struggled on offense lately. Playing at home will be the straw that breaks Arkansas' back.
Kentucky 27  Arkansas 24

Florida at LSU
This game is really intriguing. The Gators are off to a 6-0 start and are easily the biggest challengers to Georgia in the SEC East. They're coming off a stunning win over Auburn last weekend in " The Swamp " and while Felipe Franks is no longer the quarterback due to a serious leg injury, Kyle Trask has been more than effective in leading the Florida offense. On defense, the Gators have been very impressive, especially last week when they completely throttled Bo Nix and the Auburn offense. LSU is scoring points at a record clip led by quarterback Joe Burrow, who has turned into a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. While LSU is favored in the game Florida is more than capable of pulling the upset. No matter how this one turns out, the loser will likely have their playoff hopes dashed .
LSU 34  Florida 28

Alabama at Texas A&M
For the first time this season, Alabama will be tested on the football field. The 24th ranked Aggies are always tough to beat in College Station and while Alabama hasn't been tested at all yet, Texas A&M certainly has. The Aggies lost at top-ranked Clemson 24-10, and lost at home to then 8th ranked Auburn 28-20. Alabama has really struggled on defense this season, in fact defense could prove to be the Crimson Tide's Achilles heel. They surrendered 31 points in beating Ole Miss and gave up 23 in a win over South Carolina. The offense has more than made up for it against the easy early schedule, but this game could be very tough for the Tide. A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is more than capable of putting up points on the board and if Alabama isn't careful this game could be a lot closer than Nick Saban would like. I'm almost tempted to pick an upset here, but I'll play it safe.
Alabama 31  Texas A&M 23

Mississippi State at Tennessee
The Volunteers are a better team at 1-4 than they were at 1-3. If that doesn't make any sense to you, just consider this. At 1-3 the Volunteers had just lost to Florida in " The Swamp " 30-3 and quarterback Jarrett Guarantano was taking the team nowhere. Fast forward a couple of weeks and Brian Maurer gets the start and passes for 259 yards and a couple of touchdown passes. All of a sudden, Tennessee is standing toe to toe with the third ranked Bulldogs and actually led the game 14-10 in the second quarter. Georgia would win the game 43-14 but that doesn't take anything away from an improved Tennessee football team. The Volunteers are still not very good but believe it nor not, they still have a chance for six wins and a bowl game. You may be saying, " that guy needs his head examined " and you would be right. But If the Volunteers could upset a team or two and just win the games they should win they could reach six victories. Mississippi State is a pretty solid SEC team and will be favored over Tennessee. The Bulldogs however are coming off a 56-23 loss to Auburn two weeks ago in a game that exposed some real weaknesses.  If Tennessee can take advantage of those weaknesses and play the way they did in the first half of the Georgia game, they can get the upset. 
Tennessee 27  Mississippi State 24

Last week: 4-1
Year to Date: 46-11 (81%)

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com

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