IT Picks the SEC

Tennessee fans have a vested interest in this weekend's LSU-Alabama game at Tuscaloosa.

The Vols can claim the SEC East title by winning their three remaining conference games. Their opponent in the SEC Championship Game likely would be the winner of Saturday's showdown between Nick Saban's Tide and Les Miles' Tigers, who share the Western Division lead with matching 4-1 records.

Clearly, the LSU-Bama game is the marquee match-up on this weekend's conference schedule. Who will win the big game? InsideTennessee experts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore offer their thoughts in this week's picks.

Jeffery went 4-2 last week and now stands 55-14 for the year. Randy went 3-3 last week and checks in at 52-17.

Here are their picks for this weekend:


LSU AT ALABAMA: There were four Alabama games on the 2007 slate — Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn — that you just knew Nick Saban would have his troops primed to play. The Tide won the first two of those critical contests and now face their toughest test against the Tigers, which is the most important for Saban. Ditto for Les Miles. Beyond the personal pathos this meeting will likely decide the SEC West. Both teams come into this game off open weeks which turns it into more of a coaches' contest. Saban should keep it close and will give his squad a chance to win at the end, but Les will get the last laugh. LSU 23, Alabama 20.

SOUTH CAROLINA AT ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks beat S.C. 26-20 because Darren McFadden (219 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and Marcus Monk (8 catches, 192 yards) had career days. Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, who have lost two in a row, the M&M boys are back and the game is in Fayetteville. Arkansas 27, South Carolina 20.

TENNESSEE TECH AT AUBURN: It's homecoming at the Loveliest Village on the Plains with Tennessee Tech playing the role of sacrificial lamb to the delight of the Village idiots. The last time the Golden Eagles played a D-I school was in 2005 and they lost 42-3. The opponent was Northern Illinois, a member of the MAC. That doesn't bode well for the Golden Eagles, who will be stepping up in competition. Auburn 51, Tennessee Tech 6.

VANDERBILT AT FLORIDA: Even though the Gators have won 16 straight in the series this is far from a sure thing as the last two games have been decided by a touchdown or less. However Florida has won 20 straight following the Georgia game and Vandy won't sneak up on anybody in the SEC after its upset at South Carolina. The Gators won't lose any SEC game this season and the Dores won't win another SEC game this season. Florida 33, Vanderbilt 16.

TROY AT GEORGIA: Yet another homecoming contest although this one could actually be interesting with the Dogs fresh from a big win over Florida and perhaps looking forward to Auburn. Troy can put points on the board and has plenty of motivation to pull off the upset. Georgia 42, Troy 27.

NORTHWESTERN STATE AT OLE MISS: After taking their lumps against the killer A's — Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn — the Rebels catch a break against Northwestern State. Ed Orgeron, who played D-line at NWS, has never been so glad to see his alma mater. Ole Miss 38, Northwestern State 10.

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE AT TENNESSEE: The Cajuns' rage and hunger will be no match for the Volunteers' momentum and depth. Tennessee is 79-9 in November since 1985. Number 80 will be a piece of cake. Or should I say cream puff? Tennessee 52, Louisiana-Lafayette 14.


LSU AT ALABAMA: Nick Saban would love to beat Les Miles, who succeeded him as the boss bengal in Baton Rouge. Bama is playing at home and is rested following an open date but the Tide isn't nearly as good as it looked in a 41-17 trouncing of Tennessee two weeks ago. LSU 27, Alabama 17

SOUTH CAROLINA AT ARKANSAS: South Carolina dominated Tennessee last week only to lose due to four turnovers and a missed field goal in overtime. The Gamecocks are sure to be down this weekend, a fact the run-oriented Razorbacks should be able to exploit. Arkansas 24, South Carolina 20

TENNESSEE TECH AT AUBURN: Tommy Tuberville's Tigers are likely to be looking ahead to next weekend's rivalry game at Georgia but it won't matter. Auburn 42, Tennessee Tech 7

VANDERBILT AT FLORIDA: The 5-3 Commodores need one more win to become bowl eligible but they won't get it this week. Wonder if Urban Meyer will try to hang 59 points on Bobby Johnson? Florida 38, Vanderbilt 20

TROY AT GEORGIA: Troy already lost to SEC members Arkansas (46-26) and Florida (59-31). Some people just never learn. Georgia 44, Troy 24

NORTHWESTERN STATE AT OLE MISS: Rebel boss Ed Orgeron had better enjoy this game because it probably will be the last one he wins as an SEC head coach. Ole Miss 27, Northwestern State 7

LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE AT TENNESSEE: The nickname "Ragin' Cajuns" has a nice ring to it. Tennessee probably would have a rhyming nickname except there's nothing that rhymes with Volunteers. Tennessee 45, ULL 20

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