IT Picks the SEC

A year ago school officials asked the media to stop referring to the annual Florida-Georgia football game in Jacksonville as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party."

The response was dramatic: The 90,000 fans and college boys who showed up prior to kickoff shared bible stories, instead of alcoholic beverages. Many of them shouted out exhortations of praise to the Almighty during the game. Several were so moved by the experience that they had to be helped from the stadium following the contest, babbling in tongues of unknown origin.

InsideTennessee analysts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore found this development so encouraging that they have agreed never again to call the Florida-Georgia game "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." Instead, they will respectfully refer to it as "That Game In Jacksonville That Used To Attract A Bunch Of Drunks."

Both Jeffery and Randy went 4-2 on last weekend's SEC picks, leaving Jeffery with a 51-12 record and Randy with a 49-14 mark.

That said, here are their projections for this weekend's SEC games:

RANDY'S PICKS:

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AT ARKANSAS: Florida International sounds like an airport, which is appropriate since the Razorbacks will cut through the Golden Panthers like a 747 cutting through a heavy fog. Arkansas 49, Florida International 7.

OLE MISS AT AUBURN: Last weekend the Rebels lost by 36 points to an Arkansas team that has a 1-3 SEC record, while the Tigers lost in the final seconds to an LSU team that has more talent than anyone in college football. Even Ed Orgeron's wife can't believe he'll win this week. Auburn 34, Ole Miss 7.

GEORGIA VS. FLORIDA (JACKSONVILLE): Georgia coach Mark Richt has shown up sober as a judge for six games against Florida, going 1-5. Maybe he needs to loosen up a bit ... like the Bulldogs' fans. Oops ... that's right. Nobody drinks at this game. What was I thinking? Florida 34, Georgia 24

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT KENTUCKY: West Virginia scored four touchdowns and a field goal on its first five possessions against the Bulldogs last weekend, and the Big Blue may match that start this weekend. Kentucky 38, Mississippi State 20.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT TENNESSEE: Steve Spurrier's offense looked sick in last weekend's 17-6 loss to Vanderbilt but it should get well against a Vol defense that is responsible for more healing than penicillin. South Carolina 27, Tennessee 24

MIAMI (OHIO) AT VANDERBILT: After upsetting No. 6 South Carolina last weekend in Columbia, Vanderbilt may actually go into a game overconfident. When was the last time that happened? Vanderbilt 31, Miami 20

JEFFERY'S PICKS:

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL AT ARKANSAS: This game won't be interesting in a competitive sense but it does have a lot of unique elements in it. We've got Hog futures, a Heisman chase and a Nutt case all on a homecoming weekend in the Ozark Mountains where the cries of Woooooo Pig Soooooie inundate the autumn air. Sounds like a scene from Deliverance and after the ear tweaking Arkansas puts on the Golden Panthers it could become an International incident. Arkansas 44, Florida International 0.

OLE MISS AT AUBURN: You never know which Auburn will show up — the Auburn that beat Florida in the Swamp or the Auburn that lost at home to Mississippi State — whereas you always know which Ole Miss you'll get. And that's good news for the Tigers, who may not be at their best following last week's emotional loss to LSU. Auburn 30, Ole Miss 17.

GEORGIA VS. FLORIDA (JACKSONVILLE): The Gators have won 8 of the last 9 and 15 of 17 in this celebrated series, but the last five have also been decided by a touchdown or less. The Bulldogs are coming in off a bye week while Florida has played a trio of ranked foes — Auburn, LSU and Kentucky — in down-to-wire contests. Such circumstances will keep things close again, before the Gators' talent prevails. Florida 24, Georgia 19.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT KENTUCKY: The Cinderella Wildcats catch a break after a arduous stretch, at South Carolina, vs. LSU and vs. Florida, in consecutive weeks. That could lead to a natural letdown just as homecoming can present distractions. However the Bulldogs don't have the weapons — last in the SEC in total offense with less than 300 yards per game — to match Kentucky's offensive firepower which tops the SEC. Plus the Cats really raise their level of play at Commonwealth Stadium and have won the last two in their series. Last year they held Mississippi State to 57 yards rushing. Kentucky 34, MSU 17.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT TENNESSEE: Last week I wrote there was a better chance Steve Spurrier would be hired to coach the Redskins again, than there was he'd lose to Vanderbilt in Columbia. I also picked the Vols on the heels of a three-game winning streak to tame the Tide in T-town. Nostradamus I'm not. Nevertheless, quitters never pick and pickers never quit. At least not while they're behind. Moreover, I really like UT's chances in this home game where the young defense will get plenty of emotional fuel to feed upon. Additionally, Vanderbilt may not have surprised the Gamecocks as much as they exposed them. Tennessee 26, South Carolina 20.

MIAMI (OHIO) AT VANDERBILT: They have bowl game fever in Music City and after a 25-year absence from the post season scene who can blame them? Last week's shocking upset in Columbia, S.C., positions the Dores to make a legitimate run for holiday fun. That's all the motivation they will need against a middling member of the MAC pack. Vanderbilt 28, Miami (Ohio) 17.


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