IT Picks SEC

There are no Louisiana-Lafayettes, Louisiana-Monroes or Louisiana Techs on this week's Southeastern Conference football schedule.

Except for Florida (open date) and South Carolina (at North Carolina), every SEC team will measure itself against another league team this Saturday as the 2007 season reaches the midway point.

Even with considerable parity in the SEC this fall, experts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore continue to hit on most of their weekly SEC Picks. Jeffery was 7-1 last week and stands 43-8 for the season. Randy went 6-2 and stands 40-11.

Can the dynamic duo continue at this pace for an entire season?

"I'm just taking them one game at a time," Moore said. "I'm not in the predicting business.... Oh, wait ... I guess I am in the predicting business."

That said, here are the predictions for this week:


ALABAMA AT OLE MISS: The Tide's Nick Saban and the Rebels' Ed Orgeron are quality recruiters but that's pretty much where the similarities end. Unless Saint Nick is looking ahead to Tennessee, he should give Special Ed a lesson in Football 101. Alabama 27, Ole Miss 17

AUBURN AT ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks are 0-2 in league play, having lost at Alabama and at home to Kentucky. This is a back-to-the-wall game for Houston Nutt but Auburn is probably playing as well as anyone in the SEC after an awful start. Auburn 24, Arkansas 20

GEORGIA AT VANDERBILT: The Dawgs were stunned by Vandy last year and have even more frustration to vent coming off a lopsided loss at Tennessee. Playing in Nashville would help if the Commodores actually had a home-field advantage. Georgia 27, Vanderbilt 17

LSU AT KENTUCKY: The SEC's most explosive offense and the SEC's most dynamic defense collide in Lexington. The Wildcats are better than they showed in last Thursday night's loss at South Carolina but the Tigers are better than anybody in college football. LSU 34, Kentucky 24

TENNESSEE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Vols can't be as flawless as they were in last Saturday's dismantling of Georgia. But, given how weak the MSU offense is, the Vols won't have to be. Tennessee 24, MSU 13

SOUTH CAROLINA AT NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels upset Miami last weekend but outsmarting the Ol' Ball Coach is a little tougher than outsmarting Randy Shannon. Butch Davis will learn that the hard way. South Carolina 27, North Carolina 17


ALABAMA AT OLE MISS: Bama has 11 of the last 13 in this series, but Ole Miss has been Near Miss the last two years, losing 26-23 in OT at Oxford in 2005 and 13-10 at Tuscaloosa last year. The Tide should be able to eek out another win if they don't peek ahead to next week's encounter against Tennessee. Alabama 24, Ole Miss 19.

AUBURN AT ARKANSAS: The Hogs had their coming out party against Auburn last year, knocking off the No. 2 Tigers 27-10 in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Now Arkansas is 0-2 in the SEC and Houston Nutt is being dry roasted by Razorback fans. When the Hogs hosted UT Chattanooga last week in Little Rock a plane flew over War Memorial Stadium carrying a banner that read: "Nuttin' Like Being 0-2 in the SEC." This week a plane may fly over Reynolds Stadium in Fayetteville with a sign that reads: "Nutt Cutting Time." But somethin' tells me Nutt will cut the heat to his seat with a rousing victory over the War Eagles. Here's why: Nutt is up 6-3 going head-to-head against Tommy T, who happened to finish second for the Razorback job back in 1997 when the Hogs instead traded their Ford for a Nutt. Another reason for favoring Arkansas is its schedule of North Texas and UT Chattanooga before Auburn and Ole Miss and Florida International after. Whereas Auburn is two weeks removed from a huge upset win in Gainesville and play LSU next week. Oh yeah, those guys known as Mac the Knife and Felix "The Cat" will be the difference. This is one of the few showcase games on the Hogs slate and Darren McFadden's chance to wrap up the Heisman Trophy that he should have won last year. Arkansas 27, Auburn 21.

GEORGIA AT VANDERBILT: Both of these teams are coming off drubbings, but Georgia has the added incentive of having lost to the Dores last year in Athens only to become the Commies' homecoming opponent this year. The Dawgs are young, but have better athletes and more depth. The Commodores look like they are hitting the point of the season when they normally begin to fade from lack of depth. Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 20.

LSU AT KENTUCKY: Taking the No. 1 banner on the road in the SEC is almost as tough as winning at Kentucky in football. Obviously, the Wildcats are much improved, but they're not 49 points better which was the difference in last year's meeting in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are catching the Kats between Florida and Auburn, but has the best offensive/defensive fronts in the SEC. Kentucky would like to turn this into an air war but the Tigers will keep it in the trenches. LSU 34, Kentucky 21.

TENNESSEE AT MISSISSIPPI STATE: Interesting overtones in a contest that could be more entertaining than most imagine. The Bulldogs will test UT's D-line on the ground, and dare the Vols to run between the tackles. That means UT needs to be patient and balanced — work the short passing zones and take the four-yard runs that will be available. This isn't a good spot for the Vols who are coming off the emotional victory over Georgia and travel to Tide Town next week. Tennessee is 2-5 in its last seven games before playing Alabama. The Dogs have QB problems, but they are still dangerous with a solid running game. With that said you simply can't be one-dimensional and beat the Vols. Tennessee 33, Mississippi State 27.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT NORTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier and Butch Davis last faced off in the 2000 Sugar Bowl in which Florida scored a 37-20 victory. South Carolina has more talent and has faced the tougher competition. Give the Ol' Ball Coach better player and 10 days to scheme and he'll overcome any home field advantage. Plus he'll make you look bad while doing it. South Carolina 29, North Carolina 17.

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