LSU-Bama highlights stout SEC schedule in Week 10

The InsideTennessee staff predicts this week's SEC slate.

The SEC kicks off with a bonus Thursday night game pitting Missouri's stout defense against the SEC's best quarterback in Mississippi State's Dak Prescott. And it only gets better from there.

Ole Miss hopes to fend off a hungry Arkansas team that matches up well against the Rebels (does 30-0 ring a bell?). Florida attempts to clinch the SEC Eastern Division for the first time since Tim Tebow cried in public, and LSU-Alabama will play for college football playoff placement and more. Buckle down for a fun week.

Managing editor Danny Parker continues to lead the InsideTennessee staff, while beat writer Cory Gunkel and publisher Josh Woodward trail by a slightly slim margin. If there's any room to pick up some slack, it could be this week.

DANNY PARKER'S PICKS (65-12)

Tennessee vs. South Carolina

Vols CEO Joshua Dobbs, running back Jalen Hurd and bolt of lightning Alvin Kamara should all enjoy their most productive SEC games this season against a porous Gamecocks defense. However, can the Big Orange defense slow down Brandon Wilds, who tends to play quite well versus Tennessee. This figures to be a better game than some fans think. Steve Spurrier is a Hall of Fame coach but the guys he left behind aren't going to crawl away and die. A side note of interest is how many reps does Micah Abernathy get spelling Malik Foreman at nickelback. The former Scout four-star prospect has been coming on of late. Tennessee, 34-20.

Mississippi State vs. Missouri

Both teams should be well-rested. Wonder if the Tigers found a way to score and if the Bulldogs found a way to score on the Tigers. Dak Prescott will get one of this greatest tests of the season. Mississippi State, 20-9.

Vanderbilt vs. Florida

Can't image the Commodores will find the end zone more than 1-2 times in The Swamp. Should be an easy victory for the Gators and a clinching of the SEC Eastern Division crown. Florida, 23-3. 

Kentucky vs. Georgia

The Bulldogs kickstart a four-game winning streak to get to 9-3 and Georgia fans wonder why they wanted their coach fired. Georgia, 24-13.

Arkansas vs. Ole Miss

Can the Rebels get up for this one? Seems to be a team that plays off emotion a tad too much. Should still be enough talent on the field to take care of a scrappy Razorbacks bunch. Ole Miss, 28-20.

Auburn vs. Texas A&M

Not the matchup many, including myself, thought it would be going into the season. Figures to be comical at times watching the Tigers try to tackle Kyler Murray in the open field. Texas A&M, 41-27.

LSU vs. Alabama

Ding. Ding. Ding. Quarterfinal for the College Football Playoff. It could get nasty in the stands at Bryant-Denny Stadium. If my prediction holds true, there will be death threats from Tide fans to Tide players by the time it's all said and done. Hopefully some of the kids are used to it by now and know those are just cowards that put too much into football. Leonard Fournette puts his Heisman candidacy on the line. If Tennessee was able to net 132 on the ground in Tuscaloosa, he should be able to do more than that with his talent and that offensive front. LSU has to continue evolving with its passing attack. If it can, it should be playing in Arizona in January. Just haven't been impressed with the Alabama offense beyond occasionally opening up gigantic holes for backs and the back-shoulder fades. Louisiana State, 17-13.

CORY GUNKEL'S PICKS (61-16)

Tennessee vs. South Carolina

South Carolina enters a game vs. Butch Jones for the first time without Steve Spurrier on the sideline. Waylp. The legendary coach is gone, and in his place is Shawn Elliot, hoping to both audition for the new opening and salvage a season that has been one of the Gamecocks' worst since Spurrier came to Columbia. Every weakness South Carolina has will be exacerbated by a Tennessee strength. The 'Cocks are unequivocally the worst rushing defense in the country. That's, how do we say this, not good heading into the buzz saw that is Tennessee's run game. Josh Dobbs may have one of his best games against a team that will try to stop the run, but isn't particularly adept at limiting the passing game either, as evidenced by opponents' average of 215 yards a game in the air. USC's offense has struggled to gain traction after quarterback Connor Mitch went down, and now Perry Orth, who sounds like a divorce lawyer, is tasked with jumpstarting a unit that averages 21 points a game. The biggest threat, as Vol fans know all too well, will be wide receiver/running back/quarterback/everything Pharoh Cooper (or in Spurrier's case, "Fay-Roh"). Cooper leads the team with 44 receptions for an average of 76 receiving yards per game. The closest guy next to him has just 16 catches on the season. That's how much they rely on their Pharoh to succeed. He'll probably have his yards and a TD or two — he is that good, after all — but that will be South Carolina's only bright spot in yet another loss to the Vols. Tennessee 38, South Carolina 17

Mississippi State vs. Missouri

Mizzou's defense is an impenetrable force that allows just 282 yards a game — good for No. 2 in the SEC behind Alabama. The offense, on the other hand, is the personification of the Price is Right fail noise. Freshman Drew Lock took over for suspended starter Maty Mauk and promptly failed miserably behind a porous offensive line. Mississippi State is cooking right now, and the Bulldogs have the best quarterback in the SEC in Dak Prescott. Thursday night SEC games can get weird, but this one should stay par for the course. Mississippi State 24, Mizzou 13

Vanderbilt vs. Florida

Florida can clinch the East with a win over Vandy Saturday. I'll take sentences I never dreamed of typing in June for $100, Alex. The Gators overcame the suspension of their starting quarterback for using PEDs and a nasty scare against Tennessee to land in the Top 10 in head coach Jim McElwain's first season at the helm. He's pretty good at the whole coaching thing. UF should have no problem dispatching of the Commodores despite a solid Vandy defense. Florida 31, Vanderbilt 7

Arkansas vs. Ole Miss

I'm reaaaaaallllly tempted to pick Arkansas in this one. The Hogs are extremely good against the run, where Ole Miss has surprisingly been one of the best rushing teams in the SEC. Star safety Tony Conner will "give it a go" for the Rebels Saturday, which is a huge boost to a D that hasn't played up to its potential, but it's hard to pick against Ole Miss at home with its SEC title game destiny still in its hands. Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 21

Kentucky vs. Georgia

The Wildcats are reeling, but Georgia isn't exactly a beacon of light right now with all the drama in the coaching department and under center. This one has become more of a coin toss than anything else. I'll take UGA because ...? Georgia 28, Kentucky 24

Auburn vs. Texas A&M

Could Gus Malzahn get fired just two years removed from playing in the national championship? Ask Gene Chizik. He'll likely stay, but the Tigers' path to a bowl is arduous at best. Texas A&M 42, Auburn 41

LSU vs. Alabama

The Game of the Century of the Week in 2015. Leonard Fournette vs. Derrick Henry. No-name QBs. Stout defenses. Under the lights. This game will have everything but sobriety. The Tide are at home and favored, but can they really match the inevitable Heisman Trophy winner in the trenches? Alabama's D is the best in the SEC, but the Tigers aren't far behind, and this game will probably come down to how Brandon Harris performs after Nick Saban's squad stacks the box with as many bodies as possible. You'll want to watch. LSU 21, Alabama 17.

JOSH WOODWARD'S PICKS (63-14):

Tennessee vs. South Carolina

South Carolina impressed me in the loss at A&M, but I'm not sure how good A&M really is. Tennessee should be able to move the ball really well against this Gamecocks' defense. Unless the Vols fumble or throw interceptions I really see this being similar to the Kentucky game. I see Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara both running for a 100 yards each. The defense will just have to keep everything in front of them as I don't think South Carolina can drive down the field on them. In the end, it shouldn't be that hard for the Vols. 38-10 Vols

Mississippi State vs. Missouri

Thursday night in the SEC suck. This is horrible idea. This should be Louisville or Rutgers playing these games. Unless Mississippi State misses the bus ride to the stadium I just don't see Missouri having a chance. The bigger question is whether Missouri will score a point. I think they will score 6. 35-6 Bulldogs

Vanderbilt vs. Florida

Vanderbilt is the only team left in the SEC East besides Florida that can win the East. Yep, you heard that right. Vanderbilt could win the East, but it needs some miracles to happen. This could be a sluggish game, with Florida coming out slow. I do see them cruising in the end. 21-3 Florida

Arkansas vs. Ole Miss

Man, this is a tough game to pick for me. I guess since Ole Miss is at home I will go with them, but I could easily see Arkansas winning this game. Should be a close one. 38-34 Rebels

Auburn vs. Texas A&M

Another tough pick. People say the SEC East is down, but these teams aren't very good. I will go with the home team. 28-21 Aggies

LSU vs. Alabama

Game of the year again in the SEC, I look for Alabama to stop the LSU running game and keep the pressure on the quarterback to throw the ball and beat them. LSU's quarterback, Brandon Harris, hasn't thrown a pick all year. I believe he will have at least two against Alabama. I'm not sure the LSU defense can stop Alabama running the ball. Still this will be a close game. 35-28 Alabama


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