SEC Picks, Week 2

Two interesting intra-league matchups highlight Week 2 of Southeastern Conference play. Alabama travels to Vanderbilt and South Carolina visits Georgia.

There's also an intriguing inter-league matchup between two top-10 teams – LSU and visiting Virginia Tech.

These games should challenge InsideTennessee's Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore, who combined to go 21-1 on their Week 1 picks. Stewart correctly picked all 11 games involving SEC teams, while Moore was 10-1, missing on Tennessee's loss at Cal.

Can Stewart continue his perfect prognosticating? Can Moore stop viewing the world through orange-colored glasses? Perhaps the answers can be found in their Week 2 picks:

JEFFERY'S PICKS

ALABAMA AT VANDERBILT: A pair of squads coming off impressive wins last week collide in this early SEC test. The Dores have only two wins in the last 40 years of this series and one since 1984, but were narrowly defeated (13-10) last year in Tuscaloosa. This one won't be quite that close as the Crimson clad clan leave Music City singing Nick Saban's praises. Alabama 27, Vanderbilt 17.

SOUTH FLORIDA AT AUBURN: This is the first gridiron meeting between these schools and it should be an interesting encounter. The Bulls return 15 starters from a 9-4 team and have one of the best defenses in the Big East. That's not good news for an Auburn offense that sputtered last week behind QB Brandon Cox against Kansas State. However the home field advantage is with the Tigers who should win by whisker. Auburn 24, South Florida 23.

TROY AT FLORIDA: After chomping on a cupcake last week, the Gators get something they can sink their teeth in on Saturday but it's still an appetizer for next week's main course. Florida is 9-0 in nonconference games under Urban Meyer by an average margin of 38.9 points. Florida 44, Troy 17.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA: Three of the last five meetings between S.C. and UGA have been decided by six points or less. However last year the Bulldogs blanked the Gamecocks 18-0, only the second shutout in Steve Spurrier's illustrious coaching career. Is this payback? Perhaps but S.C. hardly looked the part of world beaters last week while the Dawgs appear to have plenty of bite especially between the hedges. Georgia 24, South Carolina 20.

KENT STATE AT KENTUCKY: The Wildcats have the weapons to flush the Golden Flashes as they have in the prior five meetings between these schools. The danger is looking ahead to a big battle against Louisville followed by games with Arkansas, Florida International, South Carolina, LSU and Florida. Come to think about it why would any team look forward to that? One game at a time is the mantra for a program in recovery. Kentucky 38, Kent State 21.

VIRGINIA TECH AT LSU: I had a joke for this game but decided it was too Hokie. The straight story is Virginia Tech beat LSU 26-8 in the only meeting between these teams back in 2002, but are a woeful 26-48-5 all-time vs. SEC teams. That record and last week's near upset against East Carolina don't bode well against a tough LSU defense in Baton Rouge. LSU 28, Virginia Tech 10.

MISSOURI AT OLE MISS: The Tigers have three players on the offense named Chase, including two QBs — Chase Daniel and Chase Patton — which explains why Ole Miss fell behind early last year and never caught up in a 34-7 setback. In fact, the Tigers out gained the Rebels 169 yards to 7 yards in the first quarter of that contest played in Columbia. Daniel compiled 332 yards of total offense to Mississippi's total of 162 yards. The Chase will be on again Saturday. MIssouri 30, Ole Miss 21.

MISS. STATE AT TULANE: The good news for the Bulldogs is that they have nine starters back from last year's offense. The bad news is they had the worst offense in the SEC in 2006. That showed again in the season opener which they dropped 45-0 to LSU. The Green Wave won by three points in Starkville, but MSU seems to play better on the road, as evidenced by last year's road upsets over UAB, Georgia and Alabama. Mississippi State 17, Tulane 13.

SOUTHERN MISS AT TENNESSEE: The Vols have had their way (4-0) vs. Southern Miss, but haven't played since 2001 when UT was last top ten quality. The Golden Eagles have six players named to the All-Conference USA preseason team and eight starters returning to a defense that allowed just 17.6 points per game. The loss to Cal last week makes this into a must win for UT which means it should be focused even with Florida looming on the horizon. That doesn't mean it will be easy. Tennessee 30, Southern Miss 24.

Randy's picks

ALABAMA AT VANDERBILT: Commodore QB Chris Nickson was snubbed by Tide recruiters as a senior at Pike County High School in Brundidge, Ala., so this game could bring out the best in him. Bama 27, Vandy 24

SOUTH FLORIDA AT AUBURN: The Tigers looked awfully vulnerable in their opener against Kansas State. Game 2 doesn't look to be a whole lot easier. Auburn 20, South Florida 17

TROY AT FLORIDA: The Gators may be looking ahead to Tennessee, especially after seeing the Vols' comical attempt at tackling in their Game 1 loss to Cal. It won't matter, though. Florida 41, Troy 14

SOUTH CAROLINA AT GEORGIA: The Gamecocks looked awful in their opener and are playing on the road. The Dawgs looked great in their opener and are playing at home. I like Spurrier but ... Georgia 27, South Carolina 20

KENT STATE AT KENTUCKY: Unless the Big Blue is looking ahead to Louisville, this should resemble its Game 1 blowout of Eastern Kentucky. Kentucky 45, Kent State 14

VIRGINIA TECH AT LSU: Tech showed little offense in a 17-7 defeat of East Carolina. LSU showed a lot of defense in a 45-0 shutout of Mississippi State. Plus, the Tigers are playing at home. LSU 20, Virginia Tech 10

MISSOURI AT OLE MISS: Ed Orgeron should savor the Rebels' Game 1 win at Memphis. It may be the only victory they post all season. Missouri 27, Ole Miss 17

MISS. STATE AT TULANE: If you have trouble sleeping, tape this game and watch it right after dinner. You'll be nodding off in no time. Mississippi State 23, Tulane 20

SOUTHERN MISS AT TENNESSEE: The Golden Eagles have a run-oriented offense and the Vols have a disoriented defense. The home-field advantage may prove decisive. Tennessee 34, Southern Miss 27


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