Despite the ups and downs of this season, Tennessee is the only team in the SEC Eastern Division that controls its own destiny. What does this mean? It means if they can beat Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky to close out the season that they will play in the SEC championship game.
Let's see a show of hands of those who believe that will happen. Just what I thought. The Vols have been too darn inconsistent to believe they will win three in a row. However, it's been a really wacky season where the unexpected has repeatedly happened. So who knows?
This week Tennessee hosts Arkansas. I believe this is a bad match up because the Razorbacks' strength feeds right into one of Tennessee's big weaknesses. Arkansas leads the SEC in rushing, averaging 315 yards per game. Tennessee's defense ranks toward the bottom of this category, giving up 167 yards per game.
Last week, Arkansas piled up more than 500 yards rushing against South Carolina. The week before, Tennessee rushed for slightly more than 100 yards against Carolina.
The bottom line is Tennessee just doesn't match up well with Arkansas. Tennessee's defensive front seven won't be able to take the pounding the Razorbacks will dish out.
The pick: Arkansas 31 Tennessee 21
As for the Tennessee Titans, who thought they would be 6-2 half way through the season? I certainly didn't. This week, the Titans host Jacksonville in a re-match of a game Tennessee won 13-10 in week one.
Quarterback Vince Young seems to be going through a sophomore slump as his production the last few weeks has been lackluster. However, fellow second year player LenDale White is rounding into form as the team's feature back. White rushed for 100 yards last week against Carolina though it took him 31 carries to do it. If nothing else, he is proving he can take the pounding a number one running back must take.
Look for another low scoring game with the Titans using short passes by Young to set up their methodical running game. As always, it won't be pretty, but the result should be a win.
The pick: Tennessee 20 Jacksonville 17
Other SEC picks: Florida over South Carolina, Auburn over Georgia, Kentucky over Vanderbilt, Mississippi State over Alabama, LSU over Louisiana Tech
Other NFL picks: San Diego over Indianapolis, Pittsburgh over Cleveland, Green Bay over Minnesota, Kansas City over Denver
Last week: 12-1 (.923), Overall: 89-28 (.761)