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story.lead_photo.caption Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson (21) rushes against LSU linebacker Corey Thompson (23) in the first half during an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Not a lot of excitement in the SEC this week as five teams have open dates and Alabama hosts Tennessee.

The critical game for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is going to be the next one for the remainder of this season. At 2-4 the Razorbacks have to find a way to win four of next six to get bowl eligible, and that's important for the fans and recruiting.

CBS opted for Tennessee at Alabama, which seems like a big W for the Tide, but one game to keep an eye on is Kentucky at Mississippi State, the 3 p.m. kickoff on the SEC Network. The Wildcats have one loss and the Bulldogs are tough at home.

Had a bad week picking last week. Went 4-4 to bring season total to 53-15.

Here's this week's picks.

AUBURN AT ARKANSAS

Containing the Tigers balanced offense has to be the No. 1 concern for the Razorbacks. The Tigers average 222.4 yards rushing and 216 passing. They are coming off a surprise loss at LSU, 27-23, after leading by 20. Either the Hogs are going to catch an angry Auburn team or a stunned bunch of Tigers. The Hogs receivers are getting better by the week and Cole Kelley should find playing at home more comfortable than in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Hogs are coming off a "moral-victory" loss to Alabama, 41-9, and are trying to get first conference victory of the season. Tigers are looking to stay in the hunt for second place in the SEC West. Auburn 35-27.

TENNESSEE AT ALABAMA

The Bourne Ultimatum was playing in movie houses, Barack Obama was about a year way from becoming president of the United States and Phil Fulmer was still Tennessee's head coach when the Tide started their current 10-game victory streak over the Vols. Now, a decade later, Alabama is favored by 34 points, the largest point spread in the history of this rivalry. The Vols have been fairly consistent this year, finding ways to lose home and away. In the SEC the Crimson Tide is simply the best and everyone else the rest. Alabama 35-10.

KENTUCKY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE

This is 'Cats and 'Dogs day. The Wildcats should be undefeated, but lost a heartbreaker at home to Florida, 28-27. But this might be their biggest test to date, as they face a Western Division opponent. It seems odd to see the Wildcats in second place in the SEC East, but it would seem even odder if it was basketball season. The Bulldogs' two losses were at Georgia and at Auburn. The 'Cats love to throw; the 'Dogs strength is against the pass. Mississippi State 35-31.

LSU at MISSISSIPPI

No one is more productive throwing the ball than the Rebels, averaging 357.2 yards per game. Shea Patterson has thrown 17 touchdown passes and six interceptions. The Rebels are the Missouri of the SEC West. They struggle to stop anyone from scoring and are giving up almost 460 yards per game. LSU is difficult to define, although it favors the running game. The Tigers lost to Troy, but have bounced back to beat ranked Florida and Auburn by a total of 11 points. This remains a mystery team. LSU 35-31.

IDAHO AT MISSOURI

The Vandals are not very good outside of the Sun Belt, and there's a chance they could get beat badly. Tigers Coach Barry Odom should enjoy this game, especially since it is likely he will only have five more as head coach, after it. If Missouri quarterback Drew Lock gets hot -- he is second in the SEC with 287.2 passing yards per game -- it will be over by the half. However, the Tigers' defense has to get the Vandals off the field on third down a few times. Missouri 42-17.

Sports on 10/20/2017

Print Headline: SEC weekend: Schedule light, intrigue low

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