SEC Picks, Week 4

Two of the SEC's most surprising teams get a chance this weekend to prove they're contenders, not pretenders.

Kentucky, 3-0 after three non-conference games, faces a stiff test on the road at Arkansas. South Carolina, 3-0 overall and 1-0 in league play, faces an even stiffer test at LSU. Two other intra-league tussles also are on tap – Georgia at Alabama and Florida at Ole Miss.'s Jeffery Stewart went 6-2 on his picks last week and stands 24-4 for the season. Cohort Randy Moore went 5-3 last week and stands 22-6 thus far.

Here are this week's projections:


GEORGIA AT ALABAMA: Tennessee fans will be watching this one with more than passing interest. Alabama is coming off a tough come-from-behind victory over Arkansas while UGA beat Western Carolina in a breeze. That should weigh in the Bulldogs favor. However this is their first road game of the season and they are 1-7 all-time in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban appears to have turned the Tide and has momentum of his side. Alabama 24, Georgia 21.

KENTUCKY AT ARKANSAS: The last time these teams met was 2003 in a game that went a record seven overtimes before the Hogs scored a 71-63 victory. This one won't take that long but it should be close and high scoring. Kentucky is coming off a huge win over rival Louisville but face a different type of challenge in Fayetteville where the Hogs running game can produce points while limiting the Wildcats offensive opportunities. Arkansas 34, Kentucky 24.

NEW MEXICO STATE AT AUBURN: After consecutive home losses to South Florida and Mississippi State this game takes on more significance than Auburn fans would have ever believed before the season began. New Mexico State appears to be just what the doctor ordered for a Tiger offense that is struggling mightily. Auburn 35. New Mexico State 14.

FLORIDA AT OLE MISS: Is Florida as strong as it looked against Tennessee? Are the Rebels as inept as they appeared against Vanderbilt? The answer to both is probably not, but it won't make much difference as the Gators are a lot stronger than Ole Miss. Florida 38, Ole Miss 17.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT LSU: With one huge road win under their belts, the Gamecocks go big game hunting in Baton Rouge Saturday. South Carolina has the defense to slow the Tigers and the Ol' Ball Coach will empty his bag of offensive tricks. It should be entertaining but LSU has too many horses for it to be a close race. LSU 33, South Carolina 14,

GARDNER-WEBB AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: After a blowout loss to LSU to begin the 2007 season, State has a chance to put together a rare three-game winning streak in this battle of the Bulldogs. Mississippi State hasn't won more than three games in a season since 2000 so this is tantamount to a breakthrough for Sylvester Croom's crew. Mississippi State 31, Gardner-Webb 10.

ARKANSAS STATE AT TENNESSEE: This is a lot tougher game than when it was scheduled as Steve Roberts has worked magic since seizing the reins six years ago. The Indians are going to change their name after this season and if they beat the Vols they might be known as Giant Killers. However this game is critical to the Vols and any chance they would overlook ASU went out the window in Gainesville. Tennessee 34, Arkansas State 19.


GEORGIA AT ALABAMA: The only way Nick Saban can be more popular with Tide fans would be to show up Saturday wearing a hound's-tooth hat, then improve his record to 4-0. I'm guessing he does neither. Georgia 31, Alabama 24.

KENTUCKY AT ARKANSAS: The Wildcats can do wonderful things with the football ... but only if they can get it away from the Razorbacks. Darren McFadden and Felix Jones may combine for 400 yards. Arkansas 38, Kentucky 31

NEW MEXICO STATE AT AUBURN: After back-to-back home losses to South Florida and Mississippi State, the Tigers need a win in the worst way. This game qualifies. Auburn 34, New Mexico State 10

FLORIDA AT OLE MISS: Florida might be the SEC's best team. Ole Miss appears to be the SEC's worst team. Unless the Rebels' home-field advantage is worth 42 points, they're in for a long day. Florida 49, Ole Miss 10

SOUTH CAROLINA AT LSU: This game pits a great coach (Steve Spurrier) with good talent against a good coach (Les Miles) with great talent. The ol' ball coach will keep it closer than it should be but I don't think he can pull off the upset. LSU 27, South Carolina 20

GARDNER-WEBB AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: Sylvester Croom is coming off an upset of Auburn but he's the same coach who beat Florida and lost to Maine in the same season. Still, I don't see lightning striking twice. Miss. State 27, Gardner-Webb 7

ARKANSAS STATE AT TENNESSEE: After a first-half hangover, the Vols bounced back from their Game 1 loss to Cal by thumping Southern Miss. The same formula should work following their Game 3 loss at Florida. It's bounce-back time in Tennessee. UT 34, Arkansas State 17

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