SEC Picks, Week 10

The winner of Saturday's Tennessee-LSU football game will retain at least an outside shot to play in this year's Southeastern Conference Championship Game. The loser won't have a ghost of a chance.

As a result, both the stakes and the intensity level will be sky high this weekend in Knoxville. The Vols are 7-1 overall, 3-1 in SEC play. The Tigers are 6-2 overall, 2-2 in league play. Clearly, it's the marquee match-up on this week's conference schedule.

InsideTennessee analysts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore continue their red-hot prognosticating. Each went 6-0 on his Week 8 picks and 7-0 on last weekend's picks. Stewart now stands 65-6 for the year, while Moore checks in at 62-9. Will their delusions of grandeur crash and burn this weekend? Time will tell.

That said, here are this week's picks:

Jeffery's picks:

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT ALABAMA: Coming in off a pair of confidence building defeats against Georgia and Kentucky, in which, the offense showed signs of life, and the Bulldogs were close enough at the end to sniff a rare SEC victory, Mississippi State could pose problems for the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. Conversely, Alabama has games coming up at LSU and against Auburn to end the regular season and may look past the heavy underdogs from Starkville. Bama's own offensive woes makes it suspect in the role of prohibitive favorite, but the Tide should have enough in their arsenal to prevail in this one. Alabama 24, Mississippi State 20.

ARKANSAS AT SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks lost to Tennessee last week and the Ol' Ball Coach is madder than the proverbial wet hen. However that won't help S.C.'s suspect run defense (ranked ninth in the SEC) slow down the league's top game ground. South Carolina's contest against UT was physical and key personnel are hampered with injuries. Since defeating Auburn three weeks ago on the road the Razorbacks have easily defeated Southeast Missouri State, Mississippi and Louisiana-Monroe at home. They should be ready for another road test. Arkansas 24, South Carolina 16.

ARKANSAS STATE AT AUBURN: Playing Arkansas State is nothing like playing Arkansas; a point the Tigers should drive home to the Indians and a Jordan-Hare Stadium crowd many of whom had the misfortune of seeing the latter on Oct. 7. Auburn 38, Arkansas State 10.

FLORIDA AT VANDERBILT: This series has had an interesting evolution from the end of the Steve Spurrier era at Florida in 2001, when the Gators mangled the Dores 71-13 in The Swamp, to the beginning of the Urban Meyer reign in 2005, when the Gators needed overtime to hold off Vandy 49-42 at The Swamp. This one is being played in Nashville where the Dores are afforded little cover. Florida needs a win to remain in the the SEC East driver's seat. Florida 24, Vanderbilt 13.

GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY: Georgia rallied from a 21-0 second half deficit against rival Florida last week to make it interesting, 21-14. Will that provide any boost at Kentucky, or was it just another setback in a string of three loses in their last four games? It's too late to get things turned around this season, but playing the Wildcats' defense should amp up the Dawgs' offense. Kentucky shouldn't expect the Bulldog's D to be quite so accommodating. Georgia 33, Kentucky 24.

NORTHWESTERN STATE AT OLE MISS: I confess to knowing absolutely nothing about Northwestern State, but I do know the Rebels should be ashamed for playing it. At least it should be a good tune-up for Ole Miss' open date next week. Mississippi 42, Northwestern 6.

LSU AT TENNESSEE: The Tigers have the look of a classic underachiever; a team with a lot of talent but little to show for it. Then again maybe it's the schedule that has them playing eight home games. That's hardly the way to prepare them for road tests at Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas. LSU has lost to Auburn and Florida and on Saturday they will lose at Tennessee, where they are 1-11-1 all time. No, the Vols don't have a loss to draw from as motivation like the Tigers do. However the Vols do have a losing season to atone for. Tennessee 26, LSU 20.

Randy's picks:

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT ALABAMA: Bulldog head man Sylvester Croom was a candidate for the Tide's head coaching job three years ago but it went to Mike Shula instead. Now both men are on the hot seat. There's a message in there somewhere but I'm not sure what it is. Alabama 24, Mississippi State 14

ARKANSAS AT SOUTH CAROLINA: The Hogs have a perfect SEC record and a great ground game. The Gamecocks have the home-field advantage and Steve Spurrier. I have a headache from trying to decide who'll win. South Carolina 27, Arkansas 24.

ARKANSAS STATE AT AUBURN: The last time a team from Arkansas visited Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Tigers got their butts kicked. This time they'll do the booting. Auburn 49, Arkansas State 7

FLORIDA AT VANDERBILT: A controversial celebration penalty cost the Commodores a win last year in Gainesville. They'll be reminded of that on Saturday. They'll also be reminded that they don't beat top-tier SEC teams ... even in Nashville. Florida 27, Vandy 17

GEORGIA AT KENTUCKY: The Dawgs are 1-3 in their last four games. Wildcat coach Rich Brooks is battling to save his job. Call this one the Desperation Bowl. Georgia 31, Kentucky 21

NORTHWESTERN STATE AT OLE MISS: Rebel QB Brent Schaeffer starred against junior college competition in 2005, so he should feel right at home against this bunch. Ole Miss 35, Northwestern State 10

LSU AT TENNESSEE: The Tigers don't win close games and they don't win games on the road. This figures to be a close game and it's on the road. Tennessee 24, LSU 20

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