IT Likes Arkansas over Alabama

IT analysts Randy Moore and Jeffery Stewart weigh in with their picks for this weekend's slate of seven SEC contests.


ARKANSAS AT ALABAMA: The Tide may have been looking ahead when it lost to Northern Illinois last week but that setback surely left Bama players a bit shell-shocked and Bama fans questioning new head man Mike Shula. Look for Houston Nutt's boys to take advantage. Arkansas 27, Alabama 21.

WESTERN KENTUCKY AT AUBURN: After hammering Vanderbilt two weeks ago and enjoying an open date last weekend, the Tigers should be well rested for this game ... well, maybe GAME is too strong a word. Auburn 42, Western Kentucky 7.

FLORIDA AT KENTUCKY: My heart says to pick Kentucky because of its excellent coaching staff and star QB Jared Lorenzen. But my gut tells me this is the kind of game the Wildcats always find a way to lose. Florida 31, Kentucky 24.

LSU AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: LSU might well be the best team in the Southeastern Conference. Mississippi State may well be the worst. The only cowbell-clanging to be heard this week is when they slap against the thighs of Bulldog fans as they hastily leave the stadium at the start of the fourth quarter. LSU 31, MSU 14.

TEXAS TECH AT OLE MISS: Eli Manning is a brilliant talent but his supporting cast isn't providing a whole lot of support. Texas Tech 34, Ole Miss 31.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT TENNESSEE: The Vols could be a little flat after an emotional win at Florida but the Gamecocks don't have the offensive capabilities to take advantage. Tennessee 23, South Carolina 7.

GEORGIA TECH AT VANDERBILT: Vanderbilt is coming off a lopsided loss to Texas Christian, Georgia Tech off a lopsided loss to Clemson. Both will be mad but only one will get redemption. Georgia Tech 31, Vandy 17.


ARKANSAS AT ALABAMA: Northern Illinois didn't do Houston Nutt's squad any favors by toppling the Tide last week in Tuscaloosa. A similar performance by Bama tomorrow and this game won't even be close. If that happens, Mike Shuler's honeymoon may come to an abrupt end so this is a critical contest for Alabama's football program. That should be enough to keep this one close, but an improved Arkansas aerial attack is making it tough for teams to stack against the run. Arkansas 24, Alabama 20.

WESTERN KENTUCKY AT AUBURN: After a tough opener against Southern Cal, the Tigers have had a trio of games against less than formidable foes Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and now Western Kentucky. This should be another confidence booster for a team some projected to win a national title but has struggled to a 1-2 start. Next week is a different story. Auburn 45, Western Kentucky 7.

FLORIDA AT KENTUCKY: After last week's loss to Tennessee Florida Coach Ron Zook (pronounced Zuke) made the change to true freshman Chris Leak at quarterback. How he performs in this hostile setting will likely determine the outcome. Kentucky looked sharp last week at Indiana, but every team looks sharp against Indiana. Florida's talent level appears to great for the Wildcats to pull the upset. Florida 38, Kentucky 27.

LSU AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: After picking Mississippi State to beat Tulane and Houston, I'm off the Bulldogs this week. This has all the signs of a letdown game for LSU, but MSU doesn't appear capable of taking advantage. The Bulldogs look to be in a state of total disarray and the only state worse than that to be in is Mississippi. LSU 40, Mississippi State 17.

TEXAS TECH AT OLE MISS: What this game lacks in glamour in should make up for in competitiveness. Eli Manning is a big-time talent and the Rebels are at home. That's enough to pick Ole Miss 34, Texas Tech 31.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT TENNESSEE: After already writing reams about this game, I'll make this one simple. Tennessee 31, South Carolina 18.

GEORGIA TECH AT VANDERBILT: Both teams boast gold helmets and high academic standards but not a wealth of football talent. Vanderbilt has been fairly tough at home but this is too good an opportunity for victory for the Yellowjackets to fall short. Georgia Tech 30, Vanderbilt 24.

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