Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week 5

  • Thursday, September 28, 2023
  • Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Last week in week four I had a perfect week, picking winners in all nine SEC games. For the year I'm 41 of 48 for a percentage of 85%. This week, each team is playing another SEC squad.

#13 Alabama at Mississippi State
The Crimson Tide scored a big win over Ole Miss last week 24-10 with Jalen Milroe calling the shots at quarterback. 'Bama did just enough offensively to get the win but that could eventually cause problems. The Bulldogs played well in their loss at South Carolina but they're at home this weekend in Starkville where the fans can get rowdy and the cowbells can get really loud.
MSU will need to play at a very high level just to have a chance against an Alabama team that has no room for error the rest of the way.
Alabama 31 Mississippi State 21

Texas A&M at Arkansas
The Razorbacks played very well last week in a tough loss at LSU. In fact they played well enough to win before the Bengals pulled the game out at the end. Coach Sam Pittman has done a good job at Arkansas but he needs a marquee win and this could be the week he gets it. A&M is still a mysterious team because no one knows just how good or bad the Aggies are.
A&M is favored by a touchdown but I'm picking the upset.
Arkansas 34 Texas A&M 31

#1 Georgia at Auburn
Finally....the Bulldogs are playing a road game after playing three cupcakes and South Carolina in Athens to open the season. I'm not sure the 'Dawgs are a legitimate top ranked team just yet because of their weak schedule. They're ranked number one because of their back to back national titles and rightly so. Auburn is 3-1 and coached by Hugh Freeze who has never lost to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart. Granted they've only met once and that was when Kirby was just getting started in Athens and Coach Freeze was at Ole Miss. There is a first time for everything and this week Coach Smart will get the victory which will give him a win over every other active SEC coach he's faced.
Georgia 40 Auburn 26

#22 Florida at Kentucky
The Kentucky Wildcats have given the Gators fits for the past few years and Coach Billy Napier should expect nothing less this weekend. Even though Florida is ranked, Kentucky is a slight favorite (- 2.5.) After Florida's stunning upset of Tennessee two weeks ago, they looked more normal last week as they struggled to beat UNC Charlotte. Kentucky is unbeaten on the year but the 'Cats have played a weak schedule thus far. Their toughest game this season was last week's 45-28 win at Vanderbilt. This will be Kentucky's biggest test and I think the 'Cats get it done.
Kentucky 31 Florida 27

#13 LSU at #20 Ole Miss
This will likely be the best game in the SEC this weekend. While LSU held on last week for a win at home against Arkansas, Ole Miss lost to Alabama in Tuscaloosa and neither team looked good at all. Ole Miss will eventually pull out a signature win this season and this game could be the one. A lot of folks are beginning to think LSU is overrated and they might be right. When the Bengal Tigers are on, they're as good as any team in the country....but when they're not, they're very mediocre. Ole Miss isn't the offensive juggernaut the Rebs have been in the past under Lane Kiffin but they are good enough to beat a lot of people including LSU.
LSU 30 Ole Miss 28

#23 Missouri at Vanderbilt
This game is really a mystery to me. Missouri is now nationally ranked and a perfect 4-0 but all four wins have been at home.They did knock off 15th ranked Kansas State and they're going into this game in Nashville fresh off a win over Memphis. Vandy is, as I've mentioned before typically Vandy. They're probably good for one upset win this season but I don't think this is it. Missouri is a pleasant surprise so far in 2023 and the Tigers have relieved some of the heat on Coach Eli Drinkwitz whose seat was pretty hot when the season started....but we have a long way to go.
Missouri 27 Vanderbilt 17

South Carolina at #21 Tennessee
This a huge game for Tennessee. It's also a big one for South Carolina but the Gamecocks do not have as much to lose if the Vols beat them. The Volunteers still have their sights set on an SEC East title and a win this weekend would be a big step forward. There is still a cloud of sorts hanging over them. They still haven't performed like everyone thought they should be performing yet. The defense is playing better than last year but the offense is way off. A lot of people are continuing to put the blame on senior quarterback Joe Milton III but he hasn't played that poorly. His stats are good but the offense just isn't efficient. Of course the " Legion of the Miserable " as Coach Johnny Majors called them are calling for Nico Iamaleava, the Vols' five-star freshman to take over. That's not going to happen....unless Milton falters greatly or is injured. The Gamecocks present a big challenge with quarterback Spencer Rattler plus, the Vols remember last year when South Carolina put up 63 points on them in a 63-38 upset in Columbia. That loss knocked Tennessee out of the playoffs plus, Hendon Hooker suffered a season ending knee injury which cost him a shot at a Heisman Trophy. Revenge is sweet.
Tennessee 44 South Carolina 20

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com
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