Last week was a really good week. I picked 11 of 12 games correctly and I went 7-5 picking against the spread. On the year, I'm 33-5 (92%). Maybe taking a year off due to COVID will turn out to be a wise move. Once again this week there are some pretty good games on the docket around the SEC.
Ole Miss has this week off.
Southern Miss at Alabama
The Crimson Tide barely escaped "The Swamp" last week with a 31-29 win over the Gators in a game that exposed a few things. First of all, Alabama's usually powerful running game can be stopped or at least slowed down. The Gators held 'Bama to a mere 91 yards rushing. Alabama fans are saying, "Well, it was enough to win the game." But that could pose real danger for the Tide down the road.
Alabama scored 21 points in the first quarter last week, but only 10 points in the game's final three periods. This week, they host Southern Mississippi in Tuscaloosa and gaining more than 100 yards on the ground will be a piece of cake.
Alabama 55 Southern Miss 13
Texas A&M at Arkansas
This is likely to be the best game of the day in the SEC this week. While A&M has struggled to put up points on the board, the Razorbacks have been a big surprise around the league thus far. Arkansas is 3-0 and among those three wins was an upset rout of then 15th ranked Texas. The Aggies are a six point favorite in the game and they will be very fortunate to get out of Fayetteville with a win. In fact, I'm going out on a limb and picking the Hogs to do it again against a nationally ranked team from the Lone Star state In an upset......
Arkansas 28 Texas A&M 23
Georgia State at Auburn
The Tigers played pretty well in losing at Penn State 28-20 last week. They're still ranked in the Top 25 (23rd this week) as they host Georgia State on the plains. The Panthers are 1-2 on the year so far and that lone victory came against Will Healy's Charlotte 49ers last week. Auburn is a 27 point favorite against Georgia State and, unless something drastic happens in southern Alabama this weekend, the Tigers will cover.
Auburn 38 Georgia State 10
Georgia at Vanderbilt
Vandy is 1-2 on the year so far with both losses coming at home and the Commodores are a heavy underdog this weekend against second ranked Georgia. The Bulldogs are a 35 point betting favorite this week and, if they continue to click on all cylinders, it will be much worse than that. The only chance Vandy has this week is if Georgia is looking ahead to next week's home match up with 16th ranked Arkansas, but I don't look for that to happen. As I've mentioned before, this could be Georgia's year.
Georgia 52 Vanderbilt 10
Kentucky at South Carolina
Last week our own Chattanooga Mocs gave Kentucky all the Wildcats wanted and more in a thrilling 28-23 loss in Lexington. Folks, the Mocs actually led in the fourth quarter before the "Cats pulled out the win. Kentucky was exposed on both sides of the football by the Mocs last week and don't think for one minute that the Gamecocks weren't watching. South Carolina was throttled last week by Georgia and, as head coach Shane Beamer continues to move through his first year in Columbia, this would be a great win. But.......
Kentucky 20 South Carolina 17
LSU at Mississippi State
This is a really interesting match up because you don't know which version of either team will show up to play in Starkville this week. The Bulldogs were upended by a pretty good Memphis team last week, while LSU has apparently rebounded well from that opening loss at UCLA. Both teams are 2-1 on the year thus far and, while neither team is ranked right now, the winner could slip into the Top 25 with a win. This is a tough one but I'm sticking with the home team to win. In a close one......
Mississippi State 31 LSU 30
Missouri at Boston College
The unbeaten Eagles of Boston College are only a two point underdog this week as they host the Missouri Tigers in Boston. Boston College has scored some impressive wins in the past few seasons and this one could be another one. Missouri has been hard to figure out so far in 2021 even though the offense put 59 points on the board last week against Southeast Missouri State. The Eagles are no Southeast Missouri and the Tigers could be in for a lot of trouble. In an upset.......
Boston College 27 Missouri 24
Tennessee at Florida
It's been a few years since this game was really relevant in the SEC. Remember when the winner of this game would get the upper hand in the SEC East standings? I do, but that's simply not the case anymore. The Vols will be playing their first road game in the Josh Heupel era and I can't really see any scenario where Tennessee gets the win. Florida is a very good team as they proved last week in a two point loss to Alabama. Tennessee just hasn't gotten any consistent play at all at the quarterback position and, if you have a chance to beat a good SEC team on the road, you must have it. I believe the Vols' defense will put up a valiant fight in the game but in the end, the Gators will prevail.
Florida 38 Tennessee 17
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Randy Smith can be reached at email@example.com