IT picks the SEC

Don't place your wagers until you've read this week's edition of "IT picks the SEC." You'll want to mull our insights before deciding who will win this week's key games.

Some intriguing matchups are on this weekend’s SEC football schedule, topped by the meeting between second-ranked Auburn and third-ranked Mississippi State in Starkville.

Other attractive matchups see Alabama visiting Arkansas, LSU visiting Florida, Georgia visiting Missouri and Ole Miss visiting Texas A&M.

The remaining matchups see Tennessee hosting Chattanooga, Vanderbilt hosting Charleston Southern and Kentucky hosting Louisiana Monroe.

Josh Woodward went 4-3 straight up and 4-3 against the spread last weekend to take the IT staff lead in each category. Danny Parker went 3-4 straight up, 2-5 against the line. Randy Moore is looking for some new tea leaves after going 2-5 straight up and against the line.

Here are this week’s IT staff picks, with year-to-date records in parenthesis:

JOSH WOODWARD (49-12, 34-23-1 vs. line)

WOODWARD

Alabama (-10) at Arkansas: With Alabama coming off a loss there is some rumbling going on down in Tuscaloosa. The biggest question will Alabama be up for this game? I don't think so, but I think they barely slide by. 28-24 Alabama

Auburn (-2.5) at Miss. State: Wow, what a game this weekend, It is really a shame this is the 3:30, it really should be a prime time game for Saturday night. I like Miss State in this one, I think the smoke and mirrors that Auburn runs won't be able to beat this team. 38-31 Bulldogs

LSU (-1.5) at Florida: Florida looked awful last week against Tennessee, so I think they will get blown out by LSU. 28-10 Tigers

Georgia (-3.0) at Missouri: Georgia has issues and with Gurley out this turns the ballgame in the favor of Missouri. 35-28 Tigers

Louisiana Monroe at Kentucky (-21.5): Not much of a game here; move a long. 42-7 Kentucky

Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-2): Ole Miss got the big win at home against Alabama, but can they go on the road against in a tough environment and win. I think they will lose this weekend. 42-38 Aggies

Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt (no line): Vandy really has a tough one here, they are playing a great division 2 squad. I think they don't make it out of this one a winner. 24-17 Charleston Southern

TCU at Baylor (-2.5): I don't know much about these teams, but I do know Bryce Petty plays for Baylor so I'm going with Baylor. 48-40 Bears

Chattanooga at Tennessee (no line): How well will Tennessee bounce back from the Florida loss? I think it won't be much of a problem, but I see it being a slow start. 38-3 Volunteers

DANNY PARKER (48-13, 29-28-1 vs. line)

PARKER

Alabama (-10) at Arkansas: The Crimson Tide isn't playing its best football as ample distractions exist. Still, the most talented football team in the nation should come out on top. Alabama, 27-18.

Auburn (-2.5) at Miss. State: This games should be played in January. Hate that it's going down while I'm at work Saturday. This is the best football team in the history of Mississippi State and Dak Prescott, who hasn't been arrested or suspended this summer or fall, is a legit Heisman candidate, especially if his team can stay in the top 5. Tremendous challenge for the Tigers to have to slow down. Win this one and Dan Mullen makes seven figures more in 2015...whether it's in Starkville or elsewhere. Mississippi State, 34-24.

LSU (-1.5) at Florida: Not expecting 32 NFL scouts to be salivating over the quarterback play in this one. Figures to be the ugliest matchup between these two this century. The Gators D-line showed enough in Knoxville to impress me into thinking it can keep the Tigers ground attack from running wild and create turnovers in pass defense. Also, the play clock will be deactivated late in the fourth quarter. Florida, 15-12.

Georgia (-3.0) at Missouri: Does Hutson Mason have what it takes to lead the Bulldogs on the road in the SEC. My answer is no, but he'll get the chance to prove me wrong. Got my crow in the crock pot just in case. Missouri, 24-23.

Louisiana Monroe at Kentucky (-21.5): Should get out of hand at some point in the second half...if Kentucky is for real. The Wildcats could also be a team playing at the level of their opponents. Kentucky, 31-17.

Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-2): Toughest game of the week to predict. Surely the Rebels have something of a letdown after one of the program's finest victories ever. The Aggies ran into a buzz saw last week in Starkville. Texas A&M, 35-31.

Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt (no line): Throw out the records when these two get together. It's a matchup that paints a magnificent picture of the pageantry of college football. A black and gold clad crowd as far as the eye can see will completely take over Nashville to see these two lock horns. How the Gameday crew isn't Music City bound is beyond me. Recommend the officers of law to have its equestrian unit on hand to help keep the mob at bay. Contests like this one are bound to make Don Yates amazingly frustrated that he lives in Washington and not in the Commodore State. Derek Mason overtakes Tim Corbin and Kevin Stallings in the mayoral race when his kids can come out on top. Watch out! Anchor's away! Vanderbilt, 19-4.

TCU at Baylor (-2.5): Finally, chance to see if the 2014 Bears have enough bite to dig into a solid opponent. Bryce Petty, Tennessee fans. Bryce Petty. What's Tennessee's record this fall if he's in orange? You'll never know because your program hired Lane Kiffin to make such a decision. Art Briles and Gary Patterson—both tremendously finer men than Kiffin—is a coaching matchup worth watching. Baylor, 27-22.

Chattanooga at Tennessee (no line): The Volunteers better get put this one out of hand early and get a look at players like Jacob Gilliam, Cortez McDowell, Nathan Peterman and Derrell Scott before the gauntlet continues. They must also pound the football and get the ground game going. Tennessee, 49-7.

RANDY MOORE (47-14, 28-29-1 vs. line)

MOORE

Alabama (-10) at Arkansas: The Tide is mad after losing to Ole Miss but I think the Hogs’ ground attack will keep this game close. Bama, 24-20

Auburn (-2.5) at Miss. State: I picked the Bulldogs to lose to LSU and to Texas A&M. Will I never learn? Apparently not. Auburn, 34-27

LSU (-1.5) at Florida: The Gators are a bad football team that had no business beating Tennessee last Saturday in Knoxville. LSU is struggling but still good enough to drain the Swamp. Tigers, 24-10.

Georgia (-3.0) at Missouri: With Todd Gurley inactive Georgia is a mediocre football team (and Tennessee is 3-2 instead of 2-3). Mizzou, 34-31

Louisiana Monroe at Kentucky (-21.5): The Wildcats are flat after an emotional upset of South Carolina but it won’t matter … much. Big Blue, 31-13

Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-2): I think I’m just going to start flipping a coin when two teams from the Western Division meet. It’s heads. Aggies, 31-27

Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt (no line): Instead of solitary confinement, the unruly convicts at the state penitentiary in Nashville have to attend this game. Commodores, 27-13

TCU at Baylor (-2.5): When I know nothing about either side I typically take the home team. Baylor, 34-28

Chattanooga at Tennessee (no line): One week after looking like a giant checkerboard Neyland Stadium may look like an abandoned warehouse. Vols, 38-10


Inside Tennessee Top Stories