Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week Thirteen

  • Thursday, November 24, 2022
  • Randy Smith

I was 7-3 last week, which gives me a season total of 85-19 (82 percent). I have never hated a "miss" more than the Tennessee loss to South Carolina last week. The Vols were 22 point favorites....I picked them to win 41-17....they lost 63-38. It was absolutely the worst defensive performance I've ever seen. It also took the Volunteers out of any chance they had of making the College Football Playoffs.  This is the final week of the 2022 regular season, with league championships set for next weekend.

Mississippi State at Ole Miss (Thursday)
The "Egg Bowl" has provided SEC football fans with some exciting moments and this year's clash could be just as good as any. The Rebels who may be losing their head coach, played like there was something very wrong in their blow out loss to Arkansas last week. Both teams are going to bowl games and the winner could get the better post season trip. Two weeks ago when Ole Miss lost a squeaker to Alabama, Lane Kiffin actually thought he had a real chance to beat the Crimson Tide....however he came up just a bit short. Last week at Arkansas it wasn't even close.The Razorbacks had a healthy K.J. Jefferson and he led the way to a huge win. 
Mississippi State 38 Ole Miss 24

Arkansas at Missouri (Friday)
As mentioned above, K.J. Jefferson 'is healthy again and Arkansas is more dangerous when he's in the lineup. Missouri has been up and down like a yo-yo all year and they are still one win away from qualifying for a bowl game. 6-6 looks a lot better than 5-7, which is what the Tigers will have if they lose on Friday. Arkansas has also been very inconsistent this season as well but the Hogs' rout of Ole Miss last week, tells me they've righted the ship.
Arkansas 30 Missouri 23

Florida at Florida State (Friday)
In years past, this would be the game of the day and quite possibly the game of the year in college football. Things have certainly changed in the Sunshine State. Florida State is actually ranked 16th in the country at 8-3 going into this game. The Seminoles have seemingly turned things around as they're in second place in the ACC Atlantic Division. The Gators are 6-5 and likely headed to a bowl game under first year head coach Billy Napier. But getting a win in Tallahassee will be very tough.
Florida State 33 Florida State 30

Georgia Tech at Georgia
The Bulldogs struggled a bit in their 16-6 win at Kentucky last week. The Bulldogs' struggles were mainly on offense because they only scored one touchdown all day. They added three field goals and the 'Dawgs' defense was superb as always. It gets easier this week as the Yellowjackets invade Athens to face the Bulldogs. Georgia has won four in a row against Tech and unless there's a big meltdown on the Georgia sideline, win number five in a row comes this weekend.
Georgia 27 Georgia Tech 10

South Carolina at Clemson
The Gamecocks knocked Tennessee out of the playoff picture last week and they would love to do the same with Clemson this week. The Tigers are a long shot to make it but they're rated 8th in this week's rankings and they'll need some help to get in....as long as they take care of their own business. Clemson will finish 11-1 for the regular season. If they beat North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game, they'll be 12-1 and it will be extremely hard to keep them out. The Gamecocks had their way with Tennessee last week but Clemson's defense is a lot better than Tennessee's. This game hasn't really been that close for several years now but this one couold be a lot closer than the Tigers would like.
Clemson 40 South Carolina 24

Louisville at Kentucky
This rivalry has been pretty intense however it's not considered one of the biggest rivalries in the game. Kentucky has won three in a row in the series but Louisville comes in with a record of 7-4 and they're ranked 25th  in the top 25 poll. The Wildcats have struggled since starting the season 4-0. They've only won twice in the last seven games and they simply must play their best to get the win. I think The 'Cats get win number seven for coach Mark Stoops.
Kentucky 23 Louisville 16

LSU at Texas A&M
The LSU Tigers have put together a wonderful season since the opening loss to Florida State and the big loss to Tennessee in October. They are currently rated fifth in the College Football Playoff Poll and the Tigers have a real shot of getting in with a win over the Aggies and an upset win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Both of those wins are a real possibility for Coach Brian Kelly and his Bengals. If there was ever a season for an extended playoff system, 2022 would be it. LSU gets the Aggies this week to stay alive one more week.
LSU 29 Texas A&M 13

Auburn at Alabama
This is not your typical "Iron Bowl" clash. Auburn fired its coach several weeks ago and Alabama will need a miracle to get in the playoffs. 'Bama is heavily favored in the game          as Carnell "Cadillac" Williams finishes his tenure as Auburn's interim head coach. The Tigers have some talent but they can't really match up with Alabama. Since Ole Miss plays on Thursday in the "Egg Bowl" Lane Kiffin will get a chance to watch his next team play against the Crimson Tide. 'Bama should win this one handily.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt
This game has a lot less glamour surrounding it since the Volunteers implosion last week at South Carolina. In addition to the lopsided loss to the Gamecocks, Tennessee lost starting quarterback Hendon Hooker with a torn ACL. Things couldn't have been much worse. Tennessee is favored over the Commodores but with Hooker out, there are now some real questions about what happens when the Vols have the ball. To be totally honest, I think Joe Milton will do a good job at quarterback. He has a lot of ability and perhaps the strongest throwing arm in the country. Last year he had no touch on the ball but he could throw it more than seventy yards. However, this year when he got a chance to play he did a remarkable job. Milton is the heir apparent to Hooker for the 2023 season and these next two games will give him a real head start. Vandy has won two SEC games in a row after losing 26 straight. This will be no picnic but I feel the Vols will bounce back.
Tennessee 42 Vanderbilt 24   

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com

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