Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week Four

Friday, September 23, 2022 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
This coming weekend will be a much better weekend of college football than last week. In picking SEC games in week three I was 13-13 which gives me a three week score of 36-3. That's a percentage of 92% which is my best start ever. Things will get tougher.

Vanderbilt at Alabama
This game has all the excitement of a middle school dance. Alabama is a huge favorite over Vandy and the only thing up in the air is just how bad it will be. Following that close win over Texas in week two, the Tide dropped a spot in the polls....just behind defending national champ Georgia. Unless somebody really tests or beats the Bulldogs, it will stay that way for a while. 
I think the biggest question being asked by folks about 'Bama so far is....Did we think they were a lot better than they actually are? Maybe but they're more than good enough this week to crush the Commodores.
Alabama 56 Vandy 14

Arkansas at Texas A&M
The tenth ranked Razorbacks are 3-0 but they haven't really had an easy opponent.
This week won't be easy either. Texas A&M dropped from the top ten to almost completely out of the poll altogether after that upset loss at home to Appalachian State two weeks ago. Changing quarterbacks may have helped but right now the Aggies are just not really good. They can be and this game with the Hogs could be the one that turns the corner for them.  Then again....it could also be more of the same old same old. This will be a close one.
Texas A&M 27 Arkansas 23

Missouri at Auburn
This game features two of the worst teams in the SEC....believe it or not. Auburn was embarrassed by Penn State last week, while Missouri was throttled by Kansas State two weeks ago. Both teams however are 2-1 but they each simply must play better. The fact that they are 2-1 is due to both teams having a weak schedule to start the season because they were each tabbed to finish pretty low in the pre-season polls. Despite all this, it could be a competitive game.
Auburn 27 Missouri 21

Kent State at Georgia
Another game....another cupcake win for the defending national champs.Granted, the Bulldogs opening win over Oregon was impressive but they haven't played anybody since and won't until they face Florida just before Halloween. There is no doubt the Bulldogs will get a chance to defend their national title in the playoffs because they are that good. Their defense may not be what it was a year ago but it's more than good enough to win big again....which is what they will do again this weekend.
Georgia 57 Kent State 10

Northern Illinois at Kentucky
The Wildcats are for real. They're good and it's a battle between them and Tennessee for second place in the SEC East. That's not to disparage any other team in the East but just stating facts. Mark Stoops is one of the best coaches in the SEC.....because if you can win consistently at  Kentucky you're pretty darned good. Stoops has already passed Bear Bryant in career wins at Kentucky and that total will increase by one this weekend.
Kentucky 34 Northern Illinois 12 

New Mexico at LSU
Coach Brian Kelly's team has run through two straight opponents since that opening loss to Florida State. That includes a 31-16 win over Mississippi State last weekend. LSU is headed to a bowl game but a challenge to the SEC West title is really far fetched. The New Mexico Lobos provide this week's competition and they're not a bad football team. They forced seven turnovers in a win last week and they're 2-1 on the year. They could give the Bayou Bengals fits this week, but the Tigers will prevail.
LSU 38 New Mexico 22   

Bowling Green at Mississippi State
The Bulldoggies suffered a loss in their SEC opener last week and Coach Mike Leach is hoping for a chance at redemption this week against Bowling Green. MSU will very likely never challenge for a national title but they have had some great teams in the past and will have again. Quarterback Will Rogers leads the league in passing and barring injury, he'll likely stay on top the rest of the way. Rogers could have a great game this week as State will improve to 3-1 on the year.
Mississippi State 48 Bowling Green 17 

Tulsa at Ole Miss
Lane Kiffin's Johnny Rebs are off to a 3-0 start and will likely be 4-0 as they host Kentucky next weekend. Ole Miss has enough talent to challenge Alabama in the SEC West, but challenge is about it. It will take talent and a lot of luck to beat 'Bama. It will take a lot less of both to handle the Golden Hurricane....even though they're 2-1 with their only loss being a three point decision to Wyoming in the season opener. An Ole Miss win sets up a huge SEC match up with Kentucky next week.
Ole Miss 37 Tulsa 14 

Charlotte at South Carolina
I want so much to pick Charlotte in this one as Chattanooga's own Will Healy brings his team to Columbia to face the Gamecocks. The 49ers have given up 171 points in their first four games of the year. They lost their first three games of the season before they edged Georgia State last week 42-41. The Gamecocks have not gotten off to the start they wanted either as they're 1-2 on the year. The two teams have a common opponent....Georgia State and they each picked up a win. If Charlotte can get a few stops and a few breaks, they certainly have a chance.
South Carolina 49 Charlotte 24  

Florida at Tennessee
For the first time in a decade the Tennessee-Florida game actually means something. The Gators have won five in a row and 16 of the last 17 in the series, which hardly counts as a rivalry. The Vols however are favored by 11 points on Saturday.....they're ranked 11th in the country....and College Game Day is in Knoxville. The scenario just doesn't get any better. It will be the best atmosphere in years at Neyland Stadium, maybe ever. Tickets are going for close to a thousand bucks each and the average cost is $554 each. This is big time college football at its best and I imagine it's safe to say Tennessee football is once again relevant. 
Tennessee 40 Florida 23 

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com

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