IT Picks SEC, Week 9

The athletics directors at Florida and Georgia request that their annual football game no longer be referred to as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party," so we won't. This year we're calling it "The World's Most Overrated Sporting Event."

It's hard to get excited about Mark Richt's Bulldogs, whose past three games consisted of an 18-point loss to Tennessee, a two-point loss to Vanderbilt and a three-point defeat of lowly Mississippi State. Georgia fans can only hope the unbeaten Gators will watch UGA's last three game films and come in overconfident.

Regardless, Georgia vs. Florida is the marquee match-up on this week's seven-game SEC schedule, although Tennessee at South Carolina is almost certain to be a more engaging contest.

Resident InsideTennessee experts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore posted 6-0 records on last week's SEC picks. Stewart stands 58-6 for the year, while Moore is 55-9.

Here are this week's picks:

Randy's Picks

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AT ALABAMA: A word of warning to Bama: Don't start a fight with these guys. FIU's players proved against Miami that they have even less class than football skills. Bama 31, FIU 10

LOUISIANA-MONROE AT ARKANSAS (in Little Rock): Fayetteville ... Little Rock ... Houston Nutt's front porch ... No matter where they play this game Louisiana-Monroe is going to prove it's one of the NCAA's weakest programs. Arkansas 45, ULM 14

FLORIDA VS. GEORGIA (in Jacksonville): Athens ... Jacksonville ... Gainesville ... Urban Meyer's driveway ... No matter where they play this game Georgia is going to suffer its third loss in the last four weeks. Florida 31, Georgia 13

AUBURN AT OLE MISS: The Rebels are looking for redemption after being hammered 38-3 by Arkansas last week. Yeah, and I'm looking for a long-term relationship with Salma Hayek. Auburn 42, Ole Miss 14

KENTUCKY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: Even Mrs. Rich Brooks and Mrs. Sylvester Croom will need No-Doz to stay awake during this snoozer. Kentucky 27, MSU 24

VANDERBILT AT DUKE: The players at these two revered academic institutions are so smart you'd think they'd be able to figure out why they are utterly inept at football. Vanderbilt 24, Duke 17

TENNESSEE AT SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier may have Phil Fulmer's number but he also has Lou Holtz's players. That's why the ol' ball coach is two years away from contending for the SEC East title. Tennessee 27, Carolina 21

Jeffery's Picks

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AT ALABAMA: Bama rolls out the Crimson carpet on homecoming to the Golden Panthers, and can only hope there isn't an International incident — like a mugging of the queen and her court. Otherwise, FIU poses little danger on the football field, especially with its best fighters suspended. Alabama hasn't beaten a good team this season, but it has looked good beating bad teams, and they don't get much worse than Florida International. Alabama 41, FIU 0.

LOUISIANA-MONROE AT ARKANSAS: In an odd role reversal Arkansas is actually the visiting team in this game played at Little Rock. Louisiana-Monroe gets to count the crowd toward maintaining its Division I status, the Razorbacks get an easy win and a free tour of the Clinton Library. Arkansas 56, Louisiana-Monroe 13.

FLORIDA AT GEORGIA: The Bulldogs have had trouble beating Florida in the best of times (UGA has dropped 14 of the last 16 in this series), and this is far from the best of times in Athens. How bad is it? After losing to Vandy between the hedges, Georgia barely survived at home against Mississippi State. If you can't get fired up after getting beaten by the Dores, how are you going to get up after beating the Dawgs. On the other hand, Florida has had two weeks to fume over its only setback of the season to Auburn. Florida 34, Georgia 16.

AUBURN AT OLE MISS: This is the ninth game in a row the Rebels without a pause have played this season, and Auburn is hardly a breather. Special Ed Orgeron will have to have his troops at peak form to keep this one close. And Brent Schaeffer needs to resemble the five-star signal caller the Rebels signed out of Junior College. Good luck on both counts. Auburn 35, Ole Miss 10.

KENTUCKY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: This one is for the lightweight title of the SEC. Since I can't pick it to end in a draw, I'll take the Wildcats in a split decision. Wake me when it's over. Kentucky 17, Mississippi State 16.

VANDERBILT AT DUKE: This would have been a great match-up for the old GE College Bowl televison program — a contest in which eggheads exhibited their intellect while answering questions that could stump Stephen Hawking. Sounds boring? Not as boring as this football game. Vanderbilt 23, Duke 10.

TENNESSEE AT SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks have played better than expected this season and are on pace for another bowl appearance. Syvelle Newton gives the S.C. offense a running threat and the team has reponded well to his senior leadership. South Carolina will try to control the ball and shorten the game much as it did against Auburn. The Vols will attempt to balance their offensive attack and exploit mismatches in the secondary. While it's impossible to ignore Steve Spurrier's success against UT, it's also difficult to overlook Tennessee's success in Columbia, where they haven't lost since 1992. I like Fulmer's track record in road games and I don't expect Erik Ainge to have another bad game. Tennessee 26, South Carolina 17.


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