IT picks the SEC

This week's version of "IT picks the SEC" brings our readers another treasure trove of wit and wisdom from InsideTennessee's staff of football authorities:

Some attractive matchups are on this Saturday’s SEC football schedule, topped by unpredictable Arkansas’s visit to top-ranked Mississippi State. Auburn at Ole Miss, Kentucky at Missouri and Tennessee at South Carolina are games sporting spreads of a touchdown or less.

Of course, Georgia and Florida are scheduled to meet in Jacksonville for a game that used to be known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” until the administrators of both schools told media to stop calling it that. So we won’t.

InsideTennessee publisher Josh Woodward went 6-1 on last week’s SEC Picks, extending his season’s lead over staff writers Danny Parker and Randy Moore, who went 5-2 each. IT staffers had a tough week against the spread – Woodward and Parker going 3-4, Moore 2-5.

For the season Woodward (66-18) holds a three-game lead over Parker and Moore, both 63-21. Woodward continues to hold a commanding lead versus the spread with a 44-33-1 record. Parker (39-38-1) is second and Moore (35-42-1) seems to be positioning himself for a big November rally.

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

JOSH WOODWARD (66-17, 44-33-1 vs. line)


Arkansas at Miss. State (-10.5): Arkansas at Mississippi State: The Bulldogs continue to roll this season and get a much improved Arkansas team at home. The Bulldogs had a hard fought game with Kentucky last week, but should control this game from the start. 42-20 State

Auburn at Ole Miss (-2.5): Ole Miss lost a tough one at LSU last week and I wonder how they will approach this game. They are still in the thick of the SEC West. I'm going with the home team. 24-21 Ole Miss

Florida vs. Georgia (-13) in Jacksonville: Georgia is setting up well for a playoff chance, I just don't think they are that good. They win this game fairly easy though. 35-10 Bulldogs

Kentucky at Missouri (-6.5): Kentucky has one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, and they will need him to play perfect on the road. I see Missouri causing some turnovers and winning this one. 42-33 Tigers

Louisiana Monroe at Texas A&M (-32.5): Not much to say about this one. 54-10 Aggies

Old Dominion at Vanderbilt (-7): Vanderbilt should win this one and I think they cover the spread. 13-3 Dores

FSU (-4) at Louisville: Should be a close game, I could see FSU losing it, but I'm going to pick them on this one. 35-31 Seminoles

Tennessee at South Carolina (-7): Butch Jones got his signature win last season over South Carolina, but this one on the road worries me. I think it will be a close game. It will really depend on how Josh Dobbs plays, if he plays like he did against Alabama then Tennessee will win. I just think the road game will cause some issues. 34-24 Gamecocks

DANNY PARKER (63-21, 39-38-1 vs. line)


Arkansas at Miss. State (-10.5): Expecting Dak Prescott to have his most prolific Saturday throwing the football. Pressure building for the Bulldogs as they've never been rated as high as they are and never understood the moment. Might the bubble burst soon? Mississippi State, 24-17.

Auburn at Ole Miss (-2.5): Gus Malzahn is the difference in this one. The exceptional offensive mind gives the Tigers just enough of an advantage to overcome a super talented Rebels defense. Auburn, 26-24.

Florida vs. Georgia (-13) in Jacksonville: If the Gators can salvage this one and run the table, perhaps they save Will Muschamp's job. Such a tender-hearted and soft-spoken individual that Muschamp. For the sake of Will, here's to hoping that the Gainesville kiddies can pull it out. Look for me to be clapping upside down on Saturday. Florida, 20-18.

Kentucky at Missouri (-6.5): The toughest pick of the week. Which version of each shows up? Might the home advantage be the difference? Me thinks the Mizzou running game will be. Missouri, 27-22.

Louisiana Monroe at Texas A&M (-32.5): Quarterback controversy in College Station? Does the loser have to play defense? Could Kyle Allen get a now-defunct offense going? Yes, but not this week. Texas A&M, 41-17.

Old Dominion at Vanderbilt (-7): The Commodores faithful will once again create havoc in Nashville similar to the Dawg Pound of the '80s. Old Dominion players will be thoroughly intimidated and the team nearly has to forfeit due to the fear keeping players from getting off the bus. It's not until Gov. Jim Haslam calls in the National Guard that the game can go on. From that point, it's a blood bath—both on and off the field. Three Old Dominion walk-ons disappear afterward and will be truly missed. Vanderbilt, 32-5.

Florida State (-4) at Louisville: Jimbo Fisher's squad defecates and urinates on the field at Papa John's Cardinals Stadium and the head coach gets furious at the local media for tweeting about the excrement. Friggin' media. Always up to no good. Florida State, 34-20.

Tennessee at South Carolina (-7): The Volunteers need three more victories to get into the postseason for the first time since Derek Dooley's first season on The Hill. Winning on the road in this league is no simple task. Have to think Tennessee plays better in all phases than it did in a 14-point loss to Alabama but just don't see it being able to outscore a talented offense with Steve Spurrier drawing plays in the dirt. South Carolina, 38-33.

RANDY MOORE (63-21, 35-42-1 vs. line)


Arkansas at Miss. State (-10.5): I’m not sure Mississippi State’s Cinderella season is going to last but I do believe it will last one more week. Bulldogs, 38-24

Auburn at Ole Miss (-2.5): Tough call but I think Gus Malzahn is a better coach than Hugh Freeze. Tigers, 27-24

Florida vs. Georgia (-13) in Jacksonville: The Dawgs seem to be better without Todd Gurley this fall, just as Florida will be better without Will Muschamp next fall. Georgia, 24-13

Kentucky at Missouri (-6.5): I don’t know of two teams that better illustrate the up-and-down nature of college football than these two. Who knows what will happen? I don’t. Best guess: Missouri, 24-20

Louisiana Monroe at Texas A&M (-32.5): What happened to the Aggie team that hammered South Carolina in Week 1? A&M, 49-10

Old Dominion at Vanderbilt (-7): The Monarchs surrendered 42 points to Western Kentucky last Saturday – in the FIRST HALF – eventually losing 66-51, so I’m thinking even Vandy can score on this bunch. Commodores, 35-24

FSU (-4) at Louisville: Two reasons for my pick: I don’t like FSU and I think Bobby Petrino is a heck of a coach. Cardinals, 27-24

Tennessee at South Carolina (-7): The Gamecocks score a lot of points but surrender a lot of points. This is bounce-back week for the Vol defense. Tennessee, 31-24

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