LSU-Ole Miss highlights this week's SEC schedule

The InsideTennessee staff predicts this week's SEC slate.

This week's SEC schedule mixes in big batch of sugary cupcakes with a couple of bitter rivalries. The highlight of the schedule will most likely be LSU-Ole Miss, two teams hoping to end the season on high notes after their SEC Western Division title hopes were dashed. Arkansas wants to continue its November tear over Mississippi State, and Tennessee is hoping to spoil Missouri legend Gary Pinkel's final home game in Columbia.

After that, the schedule is filled with what are supposed to be easy wins for teams resting before the final week of the season. Will the Vols be able to end Missouri's three-game winning streak? Can LSU sneak out a win over the Rebels? Will we see any monumental upsets? The InsideTennessee staff takes a stab at predicting this week's SEC slate:

DANNY PARKER'S PICKS (73-19)

Tennessee vs. Missouri

Hard to imagine how much adrenalin will be pumping through the veins of the Tigers at the onset of this one. They need this one badly not only because it's Senior Night and Gary Pinkel's final home game at Memorial Stadium, but because they're a win shy of bowl eligibility and the finale is at Arkansas. Tennessee is coming off its second worst performance of the fall (yet won 24-0). Whomever gets three touchdowns should win this one. Not sure if the Vols can get there unless they can run the football, but who's going to start along the offensive front? Can they block Charles Harris and Kentrell Brothers? The Orange & White must keep Mizzou out of the end zone. If the Tigers score even two touchdowns, that may be enough. Missouri, 16-14.

Florida Atlantic vs. Florida

Interested to see if the Gators can pitch a shutout versus the two-win Owls. Florida, 38-0.

The Citadel vs. South Carolina

Sounds weird to say it but the Gamecocks will be home for the holidays. This one is just for pride and a tune-up before the 'Cocks take on the No. 1 team in the nation in Clemson next week for South Carolina's bowl game. South Carolina, 31-9.

LSU vs. Ole Miss

After a pair of double-digit SEC losses, the Tigers take their game on the road. Not sure what to make of them right now. We'll find out what kind of coaching staff Louisiana State has for certain as the Rebels have a solid rush defense. Feel as clueless as Kentucky-Vanderbilt last week in picking this one. Coin toss. Ole Miss, 23-17.

Idaho vs. Auburn

Cannot figure out the Tigers for nothin. Assuming they'll take care of business. Auburn, 57-3.

Charleston Southern vs. Alabama

The best part of this one may be the post-game press conference. Stat padding game for Derrick Henry as he runs through truck-sized holes all day. Alabama, 49-0.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas

The Razorbacks are absolutely rolling. Heck of a job being done by those young men. They should run wild on the porous rush defense of Mississippi State. Arkansas, 42-17.

Georgia Southern vs. Georgia

The Bulldogs tack another victory and continue on their track to finish with my predicted record of 9-3. Still curious if Mark Richt will return for next year...or has he heard enough? Georgia, 45-17.

Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt

The Aggies enter as losers in three of their last four Southeastern Conference games. The Commodores can get bowl eligible by winning this one and then taking down the Volunteers in their finale. League opponents are scoring just 17.7 points per game on Vandy. Had I known the 'Dores were going with Kyle Shumur at quarterback last week instead of Johnny McCrary, I would have picked them against Kentucky. It appears as though both Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray will be available for the visitors. Both are quite talented and I have to think the tandem creates enough plays to get the win. Texas A&M, 21-16.

Charlotte vs. Kentucky

Don't really have much to say about this one. Curious to see what kind of crowd shows up at Commonwealth now that basketball season is underway, the temperature has dropped and this isn't a big-name foe. Kentucky, 34-9.

CORY GUNKEL'S PICKS (71-21)

Tennessee vs. Missouri

Emotions will be high in Memorial Stadium as Gary Pinkel bids goodbye to an illustrious 41-year coaching career. Pinkel transformed Missouri from a Big 12 afterthought to back-to-back SEC East champions over the course of his 15 years with the program, and on Saturday a grateful Tiger fan base will bid him farewell. It's going to be an electric atmosphere in Columbia, but once foot meets leather, all that will matter is what happens between the white lines. Missouri's defense is one of the best in the country, limiting fellow SEC East opponents to just 14.2 points per game and generally stopping every offense with a pulse. Tennessee's passing game woes will be inflamed by a stingy Mizzou pass defense that ranks No. 17 nationally giving up just 184 yards per game. The run defense is one of the best in the NCAA as well, but the Vols have proven they can run on anyone in the country after impressive ground showings against Alabama and Florida earlier in the year. Missouri's offense, on the other hand, is a walking corpse. There is one offense averaging less points per game than Mizzou's 15.2, and that would be Kent State. Freshman quarterback Drew Lock found some semblance of a rhythm against BYU last Saturday, throwing for 244 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but will he be able to sustain it against a reinvigorated Vols pass rush and a secondary that has also found its rhythm? This could be the coldest game Tennessee has played in since 2003, and the weather favors Team 119's ground-and-pound approach. Missouri's defense is the real deal. Missouri's offense is a raw deal. Tennessee will be able to pull this one out just in time before frostbite sets in. Tennessee 17, Missouri 14

Florida Atlantic vs. Florida

The in-state showdown before the real in-state showdown when Florida takes on Florida State next week. The Owls of FAU are abysmally bad, and it would be a success if they are able to score any points at all on the Gators' unbelievable defense. Florida 35, FAU 0.

The Citadel vs. South Carolina

Another snoozefest in this particularly weak slate of SEC games before the rivalry matchups kick off in the final week. South Carolina 41, The Citadel 10

LSU vs. Ole Miss

This one is going to be gooooood. These two teams hate each other far more than some might think, and Ole Miss wants a little revenge after LSU took away its shot at the SEC West title last season. According to some reports, Les Miles may be coaching for his job in these next two weeks, and with the way his offense has stumbled of late, Ole Miss might have a chance to send him out the door. The Rebels' offense is tops in the SEC behind transfer Chad Kelly and his favorite target, future Sunday starter Laquon Treadwell. Will LSU have enough in the tank to pull off the win in Oxford? This is the week Leonard Fournette gets back to being himself. LSU 23, Ole Miss 21.

Idaho vs. Auburn

Auburn needs this one to make a bowl game with Alabama looming in the distance next week. The Tigers will snatch up a win, but this season has gone about as well as a botched colonoscopy. Auburn 41, Idaho 17.

Charleston Southern vs. Alabama

Nick Saban hates taking opponents lightly, and he proved it in a press conference this week when beckoning back to 2011, when then-FCS Georgia Southern lit up his 'Bama squad for over 300 yards rushing in a 45-21 Crimson Tide win. Saban said GSU "ran through us like (crap) through a tin horn." That's all you need to know about how serious Alabama is going to take this one. Alabama 48, Charleston Southern 0.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas

Playing Arkansas in November is like your grandma changing: really scary and you don't want to see it. Bret Bielema's Hogs are terrorizing the schedule right now and Mississippi State is their next unfortunate victim. Alex Collins will have a field day against MSU's tenth-ranked rush defense. The Razorbacks continue to roll. Arkansas 28, Mississippi State 21.

Georgia Southern vs. Georgia

Speaking of Georgia Southern, the Eagles are now in the FBS and have become perennial Sun Belt champs despite being in the league just two years. Georgia is riding a two-game SEC win streak and won't overlook a strong, run-heavy Group of Five opponent in Athens. Georgia 38, Georgia Southern 17

Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt

In a baffling turn of events, Texas A&M's supposedly high-powered offense was only able to throw up 10 points on Auburn in a 26-10 loss two weeks ago. The Aggies exorcised some demons against Western Carolina, and now it's time to face one of the best defenses in the SEC in Vandy. The Commodores are coming up after a slow start. This is Derek Mason's signature win. Vanderbilt 17, Texas A&M 10.

Charlotte vs. Kentucky

Another SEC-Conference USA showdown, another big-time beatdown for Kentucky as the reeling Wildcats hope to right the ship in time for bowl eligibility. Kentucky 45, Charlotte 3.

JOSH WOODWARD'S PICKS (72-19):

Tennessee vs. Missouri

This game is stacking up against the Vols with this being Gary Pinkel's last home game. It might be a good thing for Tennessee to get behind as they seem to play better that way. Tennessee just needs to not turn the ball over and Aaron Medley needs to be on point. He could be the hero of this game. On defense the Vols should be able to keep everything in front of them as Missouri has the second-worst offense in the SEC behind only Vanderbilt. It will be a tough game and I see it being a low scoring affair. 13-6 Vols

Florida Atlantic vs. Florida

Man, a late season cupcake the Gators. 31-3 Florida

The Citadel vs. South Carolina

Same as Florida with another cupcake. 28-10 Gamecocks

LSU vs. Ole Miss

Best game of the weekend and should be a fun one to watch. It seems to me that LSU has a problem throwing the ball against quality defenses of the SEC. If the Tigers can run on Ole Miss, then they will win, but Alabama laid the blueprint on how to beat the Tigers. 35-21 Rebels

Idaho vs. Auburn

Another cupcake. 42-10 Tigers

Charleston Southern vs. Alabama

Cupcake No. 4 for the SEC. 48-0 Tide

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas

Another good mathcup. I like how Arkansas is playing right now. I believe this will be a really high scoring game and the total points could be in the 80s. 45-41 Arkansas

Georgia Southern vs. Georgia

Cupcake No. 5. 52-14 Georgia

Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt

Cupcake No. 6, although I'm not sure who is the cupcake here. Could be a really good game. 28-6 A&M

Charlotte vs. Kentucky

Cupcake No. 7. 45-20 Wildcats


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