IT Picks Georgia vs. Auburn

The biggest game in college football this weekend will be played in the Loveliest Village on the Plain as No. 3 Auburn (9-0 overall, 6-0 SEC) hosts Georgia (8-1, 6-1). Everyone has an opinion on this showdown, including InsideTennessee.com analysts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore.

Our resident experts went 7-3 last weekend picking a combination of SEC and top national games. With three weekends left in the regular season, Stewart has a record of 74-26. Moore's record is 71-29.

Here's a look at this week's top games:

Randy Moore's picks:

OLE MISS AT ARKANSAS: Despite a 3-5 overall record and 1-4 SEC mark, Arkansas has been awfully tough at home. The Hogs killed New Mexico State (63-13) and Louisiana-Monroe (49-20), thumped Alabama (27-10), pushed Texas to the limit before losing 22-20 and gave Georgia fits before bowing 20-14. That's enough for me. Arkansas 27, Ole Miss 17.

VANDERBILT AT KENTUCKY: When's the last time Vanderbilt was favored twice in the same season against SEC foes? The Commodores already whipped underdog Mississippi State, and now they get a shot at the declawed Mildcats. Vanderbilt 31, Kentucky 21.

GEORGIA AT AUBURN: If Georgia springs the upset, fans will say Tommy Tuberville choked on the big one ... and they'll probably be right. Auburn's playing better than anyone in college football, and the Tigers should prevail on their home field. Auburn 24, Georgia 14.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA: Which Carolina team shows up ... the one that lost big to Tennessee (43-29) or the one that hammered Alabama (20-3)? Which Florida team shows up ... the one that dumped Arkansas (45-30) or the one that lost to Mississippi State (38-31)? Florida 27, South Carolina 17.

ALABAMA AT LSU: Both teams boast excellent defensive play and erratic quarterback play. LSU has the homefield advantage and is coming off an open date. Still, I won't be too surprised if the Tide wins. LSU 20, Alabama 14.

NEBRASKA AT OKLAHOMA: This used to be the biggest game of the year in college football. Of course, I used to have jet-black hair and a 34-inch waist. Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14.

PITT AT NOTRE DAME: I have a lot of respect for former UT aide Walt Harris but I think his Pitt Panthers are catching the Irish at a bad time. Ty Willingham's crew should have some momentum after dumping Tennessee last weekend. Notre Dame 31, Pitt 17.

MIAMI AT VIRGINIA: Surely the Hurricanes can't lose three games in a row, can they? Virginia has a 7-1 record and the homefield advantage but the Cavaliers choked in an earlier gut-check game against Florida State, losing 36-3. Miami 27, Virginia 20.

WISCONSIN AT MICHIGAN STATE: The Badgers (9-0) haven't impressed anybody but they haven't lost to anybody, either. The Spartans seem to play just well enough to hang tough against quality foes. Wisconsin 28, Michigan State 17.

TEXAS TECH AT TEXAS A&M: Coming off a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State fell to Texas. With A&M coming off a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma, the Aggies may find bouncing back difficult, as well. Texas Tech 38, Texas A&M 31.

Jeffery Stewart's picks: OLE MISS AT ARKANSAS: This is an intriguing match-up between programs possessing parallels aplenty, particularly in terms of their head coaches. Houston Nutt took over at Arkansas in 1998 while David Cutcliffe arrived in Oxford after the Vols 1998 SEC championship victory and before their national championship triumph. Over his first six years at UA, Nutt has had five winning seasons and .500 finish. In five years at Ole Miss, Cutcliffe has had four winning campaigns and a 6-6 season in 2002. These clubs played a record seven-overtime contest in 2001 and come into this one with identical 3-5 marks. Saturday's game in Fayetteville will see one of these teams keep their bowl hopes alive while one team will fail to qualify for a bowl game for the first time under its current head coach. Both teams finish with LSU and Mississippi State. The Rebels have had a pair of byes sandwiched around an unfortunate outing against Auburn. I don't know if that's good or bad, but I do know the Razorbacks have ferociously defended their home turf under Nutt and are starved for a victory, having not won since beating Alabama on Sept. 25. Last ride for Matt Jones in Fayetteville should be a good one. Arkansas 30, Ole Miss 24.

VANDERBILT AT KENTUCKY: When these two teams get together anything can and won't happen. At least not that anyone outside the seventh circle of SEC hell would notice. There's not a lot to choose from in this one. However, the Dores appear to be playing with more desire while the Wildcats sometimes seem to mail it in even at home. That may have something to do with the status of their respective head coaches. Vandy 20, Kentucky 17.

GEORGIA AT AUBURN: Georgia gets its chance to play king of the mountain against a club that has been drop kicking challengers with extreme prejudice. However, LSU showed in week five that if you can slow Auburn's running game you can hold those Tigers. In order to complete the formula and actually beat them you have to score more than 10 points. The Bulldogs should be able to do that behind savvy senior signal caller David Greene. UGA also has superb offensive tacticians in Mark Richt and OC Neil Callaway. The Bulldogs bludgeoned LSU a week after Auburn edged them by using the deep pass, to set up the short pass, to set up the run. Essentially, Georgia will attempt to duplicate what LSU did against Auburn and what Georgia did against LSU. That may be a lot easier said than done with QB Jason Campbell in command of what looks like a team of destiny. Auburn 27, Georgia 19.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT FLORIDA: The Gators pulled themselves out of a funk to avoid an upset to Vanderbilt last week and keep their bowl hopes alive. Meanwhile the Gamecocks nailed down a bowl bid last week against Arkansas and is looking to beat Georgia for the first time since a 6-0 win in 1939. Thanks to an improved offense that ranks sixth in the SEC and a solid defense that checks in at No. 5 in the conference, S.C. is 3-0 on the road in 2004. Florida has played well at home with the exception of a late collapse against LSU and Ron Zook has been able to consistently motivate his club. This may be Lou Holtz's best and last shot at the Gators. The Gamecocks stock is on the rise, but I'm still not buying. Florida 30, South Carolina 26.

ALABAMA AT LSU: Fronted by the nation's top-ranked defense, the Crimson Tide rolls into Baton Rogue looking for the eighth win in its last nine road games vs. LSU. This contest features the SEC's No. 1 and No. 2 defensive squads and a pair of offenses that have struggled. It promises to be a first class slobber-knocker — if there is such a thing — between traditional football giants aiming to ascend the bowl pecking order. I like Bama's history of success in Baton Rogue, but doubt a one-dimensional offense will be enough against the run stuffing Tigers. LSU 17, Alabama 13.

NEBRASKA AT OKLAHOMA: Remember when this used to be THE GAME of the college football season? Now it's a game in name only. The Cornhuskers don't possess the personnel to run the west coast offense installed by first-year coach Bill Callahan, while the legendary "Black Shirt" defense hasn't been seen in Lincoln since Tom Osborne hung up his whistle and ball cap in 1997. NEWS FLASH: November in Nebraska isn't the best time or place to be slinging footballs from sideline to sideline. There's a reason the option-I offense was favored by those in the know at Nebraska. Just like there's a reason the west coast offense originated on the west coast. Question: If the Huskers surrendered 70 points to Texas Tech in Lubbock, what will the Sooners do against them in Norman? The horror... the horror. Oklahoma 52, Nebraska 13.

PITT AT NOTRE DAME: After the Fighting Irish woke up the echoes at the expense of Tennessee last week, they're out to bring down the thunder in South Bend where they've lost their last two outings beneath the golden dome. Pittsburgh's talent is down or the Panthers might be able to catch Notre Dame basking in the afterglow of a huge win. It's even more likely Ty Willingham will build on momentum and post a convincing home victory. Notre Dame 33, Pittsburgh 21. MIAMI AT VIRGINIA: Hurricane season is over in Florida and Miami finds itself in the midst of a stretch-drive slump for the second straight year. Will the Canes bounce back as they did last year with three wins to close out the 2003 campaign, or will Virginia add to their misery with a breakthrough victory at home? The Cavs are favored but until they do it I won't believe it. Miami 24, Virginia 20.

WISCONSIN AT MICH. STATE: With a possible Rose Bowl bid vs. Michigan hanging in the balance, the Badgers attempt to close out the season with road wins at Michigan State and Iowa. Earlier this season, Wisconsin posted back-to-back road victories over Ohio State and Purdue to seize control of the Big Ten race. I look for Barry Alvarez's squad to duplicate that feat. Wisconsin 23, Michigan State 14.

TEXAS TECH AT TEXAS A&M: The Aggies may have spent themselves in last week's thriller with Oklahoma, which would be bad news with the Red Raiders' flying circus coming to College Station. Dennis Franchione has A&M headed in the right direction and should have his troops ready to respond to the challenge at home this week. In a contest of good defense vs. good offense, I'll take the Aggies D. Texas A&M 34, Texas Tech 31.


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