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SEC picks: Week 8

10/22/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Another solid week for me, if I say so myself.

I was 5-1 last week, missing only Kentucky’s upset of Auburn, and am now 45-10 (.818) on the season.

If we were shooting free throws, you’d love to have me at the line right now in the final minutes of a tight game.

Here are my picks for Week 8 in the SEC:

Kentucky 34, Louisiana-Monroe 14: Even with the injuries, Kentucky looks good to go for the stretch drive. Derrick Locke is banged up, but he’s been outstanding. And what can you say about Randall Cobb that hasn’t already been said? This is a team that persevered through the toughest part of its schedule and has a chance to take off from here.

South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 9: The mere sight of black and gold causes South Carolina fans to cringe. The Commodores are riding a two-game winning streak over the Gamecocks, which hasn’t gone over well in Columbia. But South Carolina is too good on defense this season and Vanderbilt is too bad on offense for that streak to continue. The Commodores haven’t scored more than 10 points in an SEC game.

LSU 31, Auburn 21: Given the way Auburn has struggled on defense the past few weeks, Gene Chizik’s club just might be what the doctor ordered for LSU’s struggling offense. This is one of those games you don’t want to miss in the SEC. There’s always some type of thrilling finish, controversial play or memorable performance. It won’t be very memorable for Auburn, which will see its losing streak extend to three games.

Ole Miss 28, Arkansas 24: Both teams really need this game, and the winner has a chance to go on and have a big season. The Hogs look like they’re starting to settle into a groove. The Rebels have yet to prove much of anything this season. Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead is due, though, and gets it done Hotty Toddy style on Saturday.

Florida 34, Mississippi State 17: The Urban Meyer vs. Dan Mullen matchup will get a lot of the billing, but the No. 1 Gators can’t get caught up in anything other than playing their game. The Mississippi State community is jacked for this game, and the environment should be electric. The Gators don’t need a history lesson about the last time they visited Starkville. They lost 38-31 in 2004, and Ron Zook was fired two days later.

Alabama 24, Tennessee 13: The Third Saturday in October is taking place on the fourth Saturday in October this year. This is one of the classic rivalries in college football and filled with so much history. Even in those years when one team is clearly better and has more to play for, it’s usually a fourth-quarter game. With the way these two defenses have played this season, Saturday’s game shouldn’t be any different. But Mark Ingram and the Crimson Tide will wear down the Vols and pull away for their third straight win in the series.