Sam Khan Jr.Alex Scarborough 421d

SEC Week 8 picks: Can Tennessee score on Alabama?

To get you ready for Saturday's action, ESPN reporters Sam Khan Jr. and Alex Scarborough give their picks and analysis of Week 8 in the SEC. Visit our college football PickCenter page for additional information on these games and many more.

Scarborough: You ready, Sam? We've got to make up for our so-so picks last week. We both got Ole Miss-Vanderbilt and LSU-Auburn wrong, although you were right that South Carolina would go into Knoxville and beat the Vols. If my math is correct, you're at 43-14 overall and I'm maintaining a slim lead at 46-11.

It's a new week, though, and there's at least one game on the SEC slate that's going to be tough to call. But let's start with Tennessee-Alabama. Safe to say who wins, but is there anything Butch Jones and his staff can do to make this a competitive game? I fear the Tide will dominate both lines of scrimmage and outperform the ridiculous 35-point spread.

Khan: Yes, there is something the Vols can do: Score touchdowns. Since they couldn't do that against South Carolina or Georgia, I have no faith that they will against Alabama. The Tide will roll.

Several double-digit spreads this week. Missouri is a two-touchdown favorite over Idaho. Shall we assume the Tigers finally get a win here? I think they get it done and they have been playing better than they did in September.

Scarborough: Yeah, they showed me something competing against Georgia last weekend. The defense still needs sweeping changes, but the effort is there. I like Mizzou.

What about Auburn-Arkansas? You think Bret Bielema can get the big win that's been eluding him this season or does Gus Malzahn's seat get even hotter?

Khan: I got burned a couple weeks ago, having faith in Arkansas to pull off an upset at South Carolina. Won't make that mistake again. Auburn shouldn't have lost to LSU last week after leading 20-0. Malzahn's group is still just a flat-out better squad than the Razorbacks at this point. Auburn takes it.

Scarborough: I agree. If Arkansas' run defense was better, I might be tempted by this one. But alas, I think the Tigers win on the road.

How about LSU-Ole Miss?

Khan: I know Ed Orgeron has said all the right things but you know this is one he really wants. He's done a good job of motivating his team the last couple weeks and I think he'll get them fired up for this one, too, and the Tigers take it.

Scarborough: I'm going to go out on a limb and LSU fans are going to light me up for it, but I smell an upset. After two dramatic wins, on the road, against a team no one expects to win, I think the Tigers slip up. Ole Miss played well against Vanderbilt and should have its confidence back. What's more, the comments Orgeron made about coaching at Ole Miss but wanting to be at LSU all along should get fans riled up. I thought at the beginning of the season that the Rebs, with Shea Patterson and that passing game, would upset someone. I think this is the week.

Khan: Oooh. Interesting. I like the roll of the dice here.

Last one on the board is Kentucky at Mississippi State. This one is a tough one to call for me. The Bulldogs haven't really impressed since that win over LSU. Kentucky, meanwhile, is 5-1 and though not every win has been pretty, the Wildcats are playing good football.

I'm taking Kentucky with the road upset. Why not? They're mere moments in that Florida game from being unbeaten; I think the confidence level has to be high for the Wildcats right now. I say they go into Davis-Wade Stadium poised and ready.

Scarborough: I was ready to do the same until I saw the double-digit point spread. Now I'm backtracking and taking Mississippi State. The more I think about it, the more I like the Bulldogs. I think they got some confidence back by beating BYU, the home crowd will make a difference and Nick Fitzgerald, Aeris Williams and the running game will do enough to come away with the W.

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