IT picks the SEC

You'll get a blend of insights and wisecracks each time you read our weekly "IT picks the SEC" feature. Check out this week's offering:

This is “Breather Weekend” in the SEC. Most of the games are horrendous mismatches.

Alabama hosts Western Carolina. Auburn hosts Samford. Florida hosts Eastern Kentucky. Georgia hosts Charleston Southern and South Carolina hosts South Alabama. These games project to be so lopsided that Las Vegas declined to post odds on them. Folks who criticize the SEC for its non-conference scheduling will have a field day this weekend.

Fortunately, there are a couple of compelling matchups on the slate – Tennessee hosting Missouri and Arkansas hosting Ole Miss. Mississippi State hosts Vanderbilt in a game that could be mildly competitive if the Bulldogs come out flat after losing their perfect record and No. 1 national ranking last weekend.

IT publisher Josh Woodward went 2-5 on last weekend’s SEC picks and slipped into a first-place tie for the season with Randy Moore, who went 4-3. Both stand 78-28. Danny Parker went 3-4 last weekend and stands just one game back at 77-29.

The picks panel had a so-so week against the spread. Moore and Parker went 4-3 each, Woodward 3-4. Woodward continues to lead for the season, however, with a 52-45-1 record versus the points. Parker is second at 51-46-1 and Moore third at 45-52-1.

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

JOSH WOODWARD (78-28, 52-45-1 vs. line)


Western Carolina at Alabama (no line): This game could get ugly, Alabama needs to keep winning big to hang on to that top spot. 54-7 Tide

Ole Miss (-3) at Arkansas: Arkansas is playing good football, they have solid running backs and a great offensive line. I can easily see them winning this game. 28-24 Arkansas

Samford at Auburn (no line): It is cupcake week for the SEC West, 48-10 Auburn

Eastern Kentucky at Florida (no line): Oh wait, maybe it is cupcake week for the SEC East, 35-3 Gators

Charleston Southern at Georgia (no line): Georgia will be wearing orange this weekend hoping for a Tennessee win for a trip to the SEC Championship. The band will likely be playing Rocky Top when Georgia scores. 45-10 Bulldogs

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (-29): Coming off a hard loss to Bama, State looks to run right over Vanderbilt. I feel sorry for the Dores this weekend, it’s going to get ugly. 48-10 Bulldogs

South Alabama at South Carolina (no line): Shouldn't be much of a game here. 35-3 Gamecocks

USC at UCLA (-3): Good PAC 12 game here, I like UCLA at home by more than a touchdown. Look for these PAC 12 officials to screw something up too, they have all year. 35-20 Bruins

Missouri at Tennessee (-3.5): Game of the week in the SEC and the concern here in Knoxville is how the Vols respond without A.J. Johnson. Tennessee will need to stop the run, if that happens the Vols can win. Tennessee can score on this defense with Dobbs running the show now, it should be a fun game to watch. 28-20 Vols

RANDY MOORE (78-28, 45-52-1 vs. line)


Western Carolina at Alabama (no line): If the Tide is really, really flat after beating top-ranked Mississippi State last weekend … no, I’m not even going to go there. Bama, 56-7

Ole Miss (-3) at Arkansas: Can the Hogs follow an 0-13 SEC start under Bret Bielema with a 2-0 winning streak? No. Unlike LSU, the Rebels have a quarterback. Ole Miss, 17-13

Samford at Auburn (no line): With Auburn coming off back-to-back losses this one could be 42-0 at halftime. Tigers, 63-14

Eastern Kentucky at Florida (no line): Now that he’s officially fired Will Muschamp can relax and do what he does best … run up the score on hapless opponents. Gators, 49-7

Charleston Southern at Georgia (no line): With the Bulldogs coming off that emotional defeat of Auburn last weekend … no, I’m not going to go there, either. Georgia, 56-7

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (-29): Will Dan Mullen’s Dogs be flat or fiery after losing to Bama and losing their No. 1 national ranking? I’m guessing flat, but not flat enough to help Vandy. State, 38-14

South Alabama at South Carolina (no line): I’m guessing the Head Ball Coach is thinking more about golf than he is about football this week. This game should be as easy as a two-inch tap-in on the 18th green. Gamecocks, 49-10

USC at UCLA (-3): Two of the classiest uniforms in college football on display. The teams are good, too, but I don’t watch Pac-12 football. Ever. Bruins, 24-17

Missouri at Tennessee (-3.5): Two mobile quarterbacks should make for an interesting evening at Neyland Stadium. The one that passes better will win. Rocket Man, 27-21

DANNY PARKER (77-29, 51-46-1 vs. line)


Western Carolina at Alabama (no line): No comment. Alabama, 51-0.

Ole Miss (-3) at Arkansas: Intriguing matchup between that Rebels defensive front and the Razorbacks blockers. Playing at home may offset the Arkansas quarterback disadvantage. Then again, maybe it won't. Ole Miss, 28-19.

Samford at Auburn (no line): These late-November non-con games may be a nice idea for what's essentially a third bye in most cases. Auburn, 63-9.

Eastern Kentucky at Florida (no line): The Bowl Fairy makes its way down to Gainesville. Florida, 34-7.

Charleston Southern at Georgia (no line): Are the Bulldogs building more momentum for a shot at the SEC championship? Guess we find out soon enough. Georgia, 63-3.

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (-29): The town of Starkville will be the quietest it’s been in decades when home football games are being played. Why? Because Commodore Nation is heading southwest and taking over Davis Wade Stadium. Numerous Bulldogs fans are able to pay off years' worth of mortgage payments with Vanderbilt faithful paying deep into the four figures for tickets so they can provide more overwhelming support for the Black & Gold. Mississippi State, 35-9.

South Alabama at South Carolina (no line): More points, more yards for that talented Gamecocks offense. South Carolina, 47-24.

USC at UCLA (-3): These cats is playin' already? Shoo, I thought they play like 3-4 weeks from now. USC, 18-17.

Missouri at Tennessee (-3.5): Toughest SEC game to predict this week. Been back and forth all week after saying no way on picking the Vols to win this one two weeks ago. The new-look Tennessee offense has become exciting to watch, however with the changes to the lineup and no emotional leader, the Big Orange collapse late with an atrocious fourth quarter. The version of the Tigers from last week shows up, not the one that lost at home to Indiana. Missouri, 38-28.

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