ITAT SEC Picks: Week Four

A pair of huge conference games highlight the best week of SEC football so far in 2008.

Editor's Note: The winner of our weekly Inside the Auburn Tigers prediction contest will receive an invitation to join staff members to give their takes in the SEC picks column. Last week's winner, rabungap61, is our guest.

Here is the link for this week's picks contest:

Week 4 Picks Contest

Mississippi State (1-2) at Georgia Tech (2-1), 11 a.m. CDT, Raycom Sports
Jason's Take: The Bulldogs were shut down by a very good Auburn defense last week in a 3-2 loss. This week they'll have to perform better on the road against a solid Georgia Tech team in Paul Johnson's first year. While it will be a struggle the Yellow Jackets get it done. GT 17, MSU 13

Mark's Take: Although it is difficult to believe, this is just the third time these two teams have played in football even though both were charter members of the SEC. Tech's running game has looked good with QB Josh Nesbitt directing the option attack and handing the football to Jonathan Dwyer. The Bulldogs are tough on defense, but have offensive issues. The last time the two teams met Tech won 27-13 back in 1929. That sounds like a reasonable score this year, too. Georgia Tech 27, Mississippi State 13

Stephen's Take: How will the triple option work against a defense of the SEC? It doesn't matter. MSU won't score enough points to make it matter. Georgia Tech 20, Mississippi State 3

rabungap61's Take: Paul Johnson is one of the country's best young coaches. His feisty Yellow Jackets will sting Coach Croom in Hotlanta. Georgia Tech 17, Mississippi State 6

Alabama (3-0) at Arkansas (2-0), 11:30 a.m. CDT, Raycom Sports
Jason's Take: Bobby Petrino's team has struggled in two wins over inferior opponents this season and they'll have to take it up several notches this week against a confident Alabama team. This one is closer than most think but Alabama wins. Alabama 27, Arkansas 20

Mark's Take: Road trips to Arkansas are usually a major challenge, but the Razorbacks are still trying to get their act together in a transition year for new head coach Bobby Petrino. Alabama 31, Arkansas 17

Stephen's Take: Nick Saban wins the first battle between the two NFL outcasts. Alabama 27, Arkansas 21

rabungap61's Take: Arkansas will give Alabama some trouble late in the game, but the much improved Tide will prevail against Petrino and the rest of the hogs. Alabama 27, Arkansas 20

Florida (2-0) at Tennessee (1-1), 2:30 p.m. CDT, CBS Sports
Jason's Take: The powerful Florida offense heads on the road for the first time to face a Vol squad looking for an identity after and up and down win over UAB. The Gators will score plenty but if Tennessee sticks to the running game this one could be interesting. Florida 27, Tennessee 23

Mark's Take: The Vols have homefield advantage, but the Gators have a better team and the returning Heisman Trophy winner at QB while UT's quarterback play has been spotty. The Gators are performing with a feisty attitude on defense and will take a sizable bite out of the Big Orange. Florida 28, Tennessee 17

Stephen's Take: Florida has won three straight in the series but actually trails the Vols 19-18 overall. The Gators' speed makes it four in a row as they tie the series record and put a foot in the door right next to Georgia's for the race in the East. Florida 34, Tennessee 17

rabungap61's Take: Tim Tebow will showcase his skills on National Television as the gators put a nice whipping on Coach Fulmer and the gang. Florida 30, Tennessee 10

Vanderbilt (3-0) at Ole Miss (2-1), 6 p.m. CDT
Jason's Take: Ole Miss has struggled with the Commodores in the past and this year will be no exception. Vanderbilt is 3-0 and on cloud nine following a win over Rice but the Rebels are too strong up front for them to pull out the win. Ole Miss 31, Vandy 17

Mark‘s Take: Picking the Commodores to win an SEC road football game is a bit radical, but so is the thought of Vandy opening the season with a 3-0 mark, which has happened. I'm tempted, I'm really tempted, but Rebel QB Jevan Snead should be the difference. Ole Miss 31, Vanderbilt 28

Stephen's Take: For the first time in my life I'm actually intrigued by a game between the Commodores and Rebels. The winner could be headed for a bowl game. Ole Miss 24, Vanderbilt 21

rabungap61's Take: Coach O left a bunch of talent and the Rebels will beat a very good Vanderbilt team. Mississippi 21, Vanderbilt 14

Wofford (2-0) at South Carolina (1-2), 6 p.m. CDT, PPV
Jason's Take: The Gamecocks haven't done much on offense but it won't take much for them to get a victory in this one. South Carolina 27, Wofford 10

Mark's Take: Steve Spurrier's team will be ripe for an upset after a close but no cigar effort vs. the Georgia Bulldogs. However, the 2-0 Terriers are out of their league and don't have a big enough bite to worry the Gamecocks unless the home team hits the snooze button. South Carolina 31, Wofford 14

Stephen's Take: The Gamecocks need an ego boost, and for that matter, any win they can get these days. South Carolina 34, Wofford 13

rabungap61's Take: Coach Spurrier will never touch his visor as the Gamecock stomp Wofford coached by the best coach in the history of the school, Mike Ayers. South Carolina 49, Wofford 10

LSU running back Charles Scott will be a key in Saturday night's matchup against Auburn.

Georgia (3-0) at Arizona State (2-1), 7:13 p.m. CDT, ABC
Jason's Take: Dennis Erickson's Sun Devils got caught looking ahead to this week's game in an overtime loss to UNLV last week. That's not good news for Georgia in the Bulldogs first trip out West in years. It won't matter though as Mark Richt is 26-4 away from home since 2001. Georgia 24, Arizona State 10

Mark's Take: The Sun Devils and their star QB Rudy Carpenter are trying to bounce back off an upset loss to UNLV while the Bulldogs are just plain upset they keep dropping in the polls each week despite winning. Although this is the time UGA has ventured this far west to play a football game since Benjamin Franklin was flying kites look for the Bulldogs to return home from the desert as a 4-0 team. Georgia 35, Arizona State 21

Stephen's Take: UNLV ruined the hype of this game by coming from behind and beating the Sun Devils last weekend. Georgia takes care of business. Georgia 34 Arizona State 20

rabungap61's Take: The Bulldogs taste a bite of humble pie this week as Arizona State scores late to beat the Dogs. Arizona St. 23 Georgia 21

LSU (2-0) at Auburn (3-0), 6:45 p.m. CDT, ESPN
Jason's Take: The home team has won eight straight in this series dating back to Auburn's win in Baton Rouge in 1999 in Tommy Tuberville's first season at Auburn. In a battle of defenses the home field could prove to be huge. Looking for the homestanding Tigers to do just enough to get the win. Auburn 16, LSU 13

Mark's Take: Auburn's offense was embarrassed by its performance at Starkville so look for those guys to try to make amends on Saturday night. Even if Tony Franklin's offensive players make major improvements that might not be enough against a talented LSU defense. However, if the Auburn defense continues to perform like it has in the first three games the home team will be tough to beat with LSU trying to win on the road with a pair of unproven QBs.

LSU hasn't won at Jordan-Hare Stadium since 1998 and the Auburn fans will be fired up trying to help their Tigers extend that streak. Earlier in the week I thought LSU was the logical pick, but now I am not so sure. Auburn 19, LSU 16

Stephen's Take: It's Auburn versus LSU where strange things happen. The Auburn offense scores some points, but the defense allows too many. LSU 28 Auburn 24

rabungap61's Take: Auburn's Defense shows the country why they are so good. The defense scores 7 and the offense scores 6. Blackmon and Powers will shine. Auburn 13 LSU 10

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* - 5xTiger and dukeofga

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