IT Picks Slim Slate

There are a lot of spectacular weekends in SEC football each season. Unfortunately, this isn't shaping up as one of them.

This Saturday's slate features just one game that really fires the imagination. That is the Alabama-Florida State shootout in Jacksonville. Four more games could be competitive if the home team comes out flat – Florida Atlantic (3-1) at Kentucky (4-0), Mississippi State (3-1) at South Carolina (3-1), Auburn (2-2) at Florida (4-0) and Ole Miss (1-3) at Georgia (3-1).

InsideTennessee's Jeffery Stewart stands 29-6 on his SEC picks after going 5-2 last weekend. He missed on Georgia's win at Alabama and Kentucky's win at Arkansas. Cohort Randy Moore improved to 28-7 by going 6-1 last week. He also failed to foresee the Big Blue's win at Fayetteville.

That said, here are this week's picks:

Randy's picks

ALABAMA VS. FSU (JACKSONVILLE): Last week's home-field loss to Georgia convinced many Tide faithful that Nick Saban is not God. Now someone needs to convince Nick. It probably won't happen this week, though. Bama 27, FSU 20.

NORTH TEXAS AT ARKANSAS: North Texas piled up 613 yards of total offense against SMU but still lost 45-31. The Razorbacks should score at will ... assuming they aren't looking ahead to next week's game vs. Chattanooga. Arkansas 48, North Texas 21.

AUBURN AT FLORIDA: The Gators are mediocre on the road but they are murder at home. Conversely, the Tigers are mediocre at home AND on the road. Look for Urban Meyer to avenge last season's only loss in a big way. Florida 35, Auburn 14.

OLE MISS AT GEORGIA: The Rebels are feeling pretty good about themselves after giving Florida a scare last weekend in Oxford. They should get slapped back to reality this weekend in Athens. Georgia 31, Ole Miss 14.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT KENTUCKY: FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger visited Lexington as head man at Louisville in the 1994 opener for both teams. The Big Blue won that day, then lost its 10 remaining games. How's that for a fun fact? Kentucky 41, Florida Atlantic 24.

LSU AT TULANE: The Tigers are sure to be looking ahead to next weekend's highly anticipated grudge match with Florida. Will that help the Green Wave keep this game close? Nope. LSU 45, Tulane 0.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT SOUTH CAROLINA: Two teams struggling at the quarterback position meet in Columbia. I'm taking the one with the wicked home-field advantage and the evil genius coach. South Carolina 24, Mississippi State 10.

EASTERN MICHIGAN AT VANDERBILT: Eastern Michigan lost by 22 points to Ball State but bounced back last week to beat Howard 38-15. That Howard must be one crazy dude, taking on entire teams all by himself. Vandy 35, Eastern Michigan 17.


ALABAMA VS. FSU (JACKSONVILLE): If you played this game 15 years ago it would have weighed heavily in the national championship fight, but now its just a couple of teams trying to get back to 1992 levels. Given the stakes, Tennessee should play the winner. Notes of interest: Bobby Bowden was a freshman QB at Bama before transferring to FSU. His offensive coordinator is Jimbo Fisher who served Nick Saban in the same role at LSU. Alabama is coming in off a couple of tough games come-from-behind games against Arkansas and Georgia while the Noles are coming in off a game against UAB and a bye week. The rest will do them good. Florida State 20, Alabama 17.

NORTH TEXAS AT ARKANSAS: Two weeks ago the Razorbacks overcame a 21-point deficit before losing at Alabama in the last eight seconds. Last week they had a 14-point lead before collapsing in the fourth quarter and losing to Kentucky in Fayetteville. There will be no such drama this week against North Texas or next week against Chattanooga. Arkansas 49, North Texas 17.

AUBURN AT FLORIDA: The Tigers have struggled all season and their first road game is in the most hostile venue in the SEC. Add the fact Auburn was the only team to defeat Florida last year —27-17 without the benefit of an offensive touchdown — and you've got all the ingredients for reptilian revenge and feline failure. Florida 34, Auburn 14.

OLE MISS AT GEORGIA: The Bulldogs are coming into this contest off a big overtime win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, while the Rebels enter on the heels of a hard fought loss to Florida. Expect the Dogs to win their eighth straight in this series and their 14th straight prior to playing Tennessee. Georgia 27, Ole Miss 13.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT KENTUCKY: After emotional victories over Louisville and Arkansas and a date with South Carolina on tap, the Wildcats may have a problem getting up for Florida Atlantic, but they shouldn't have any problem outscoring the Owls. Kentucky 38, Florida Atlantic 24.

LSU AT TULANE: It's been 25 years since the Green Wave have beaten LSU as the Tigers enjoy a 15-game victory streak over their intrastate rival. This is merely an appetizer before next week's main course against Florida in Baton Rouge. LSU 56, Tulane 10.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT SOUTH CAROLINA: The Bulldogs have proven a capable road team the last two seasons with wins over Georgia, Alabama and Auburn to their credit. Mississippi State has enough defense to make this one very interesting. However the Dogs lack the offense to pull off the upset. South Carolina 26, Mississippi State 14.

EASTERN MICHIGAN AT VANDERBILT: This is a Music City tune-up for the Commodores who play at Auburn next week before hosting Georgia on homecoming and traveling to South Carolina. Vanderbilt 33, Eastern Michigan 17.

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