IT Picks SEC

The most unpredictable SEC football regular season in a long, long time concludes this weekend. Will the Week 13 games follow form or will there be more mind-boggling upsets?

Four SEC teams will see action on Friday – LSU hosting Arkansas and Mississippi State hosting Ole Miss. Six more games are set for Saturday, including an intriguing match-up between Tennessee and Kentucky in Lexington.

InsideTennessee experts Jeffery Stewart and Randy Moore went 5-1 on their Week 12 picks, missing on Alabama's stunning loss to Louisiana-Monroe but hitting on the other projections. Stewart stands 70-18 to date, Moore 66-22.

Here are their Week 13 predictions:


ARKANSAS AT LSU (Friday): Houston Nutt is 7-4, yet many Razorback fans think he's a goofball. Les Miles is 10-1, yet many Tiger fans think he's a goofball. I'm guessing Ole Miss fans think both of them are geniuses. LSU 27, Arkansas 17

OLE MISS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (Friday): Rebel head man Ed Orgeron is the target of a tremendous amount of lampooning. A lot of it isn't deserved ... but most of it is. Mississippi State 24, Ole Miss 10

ALABAMA AT AUBURN: If Tide coach Nick Saban loses this game, as expected, he will have made $666,666 for each regular-season win this year. I mention that simply because his last name is just one letter removed from being Satan. Auburn 20, Alabama 7

FLORIDA STATE AT FLORIDA: This game matches the Urban Legend against the Erstwhile Legend. Isn't it sad when people overstay their welcome? Florida 34, Florida State 14

GEORGIA AT GEORGIA TECH: A lot of Bulldog fans jumped off the bandwagon after Mark Richt's troops were drilled by Tennessee 35-14 on Oct. 6. The Dawgs are 5-0 since then, however, so it was clearly a case of premature evacuation. Georgia 31, Georgia Tech 21

TENNESSEE AT KENTUCKY: The Big Blue has lost the last 12 meetings at Commonwealth Stadium, usually looking a whole lot more common than wealthy. The Big Orange has won the last 22 meetings overall but all good things must end. Kentucky 31, Tennessee 27

CLEMSON AT SOUTH CAROLINA: The idea of a Steve Spurrier-coached team losing five games in a row is almost unthinkable but the Gamecocks haven't lost four in a row by playing well. Clemson 24, South Carolina 23

WAKE FOREST AT VANDERBILT: The Commodores should've beaten Kentucky two weekends ago but lost in the final seconds. They should've beaten Tennessee last weekend but lost in the final seconds. Third time's a charm. Vanderbilt 27, Wake Forest 24


ARKANSAS AT LSU (Friday): This is the annual Battle of Boot, a poor PR effort contrived to make the Hogs feel they had an SEC rival to replace the void Texas left. The winning team receives a trophy configured in the adjoining states of Arkansas and Louisiana that resembles a boot, although not to the degree Italy does. Rumors have Houston Nutt getting the boot after the contest whether the Hogs win or not. He's been connected to a couple of jobs in Texas, and unlike his brief affair with the Nebraska opening three years ago, no one will bar the door this time. Les Miles already has the Tigers in the SEC title game and leads the pack of BCS contenders. Michigan is expected to offer him its job if it hasn't already. With intrigue like that who needs a boot unless it's to kick some Razorback butt. Save the ham hock for me. LSU 31, Arkansas 20.

OLE MISS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (Friday): Ah yes, the annual Egg Bowl aka Mississippi mud-fest. That rotten egg smell wasn't intentionally added, it's the result of having two teams that generally stink play for Magnolia State bragging rights. For instance this is the SEC's worst offense vs. the Rebels cellar dwelling defense. In fairness Mississippi State is better than many expected this year with big road wins at Auburn and Kentucky, plus a recent home triumph over Alabama. A victory would give the Bulldogs a winning season and assure a bowl bid. Ole Miss is still looking for its first SEC win and match up well with MSU. With that said, this seems too late for the Rebs to get it together. Mississippi State 24, Ole Miss 20.

ALABAMA AT AUBURN: The Iron Bowl may be the most intense of the great natural rivalries. Football is second to nothing in the Heart of Dixie and these people have to live with each other. That's probably why this game seems to transcend the quality of the teams involved. Put two great Tide and Tiger teams against each other and it produces a greater game. Pit a pair of pitiful teams it produces a dutiful game. Both schools have fielded far better squads than will clash in Auburn Saturday. Bama's fall from respectability reached rock bottom last week when the Tide were throttled at home by Louisiana- Monroe, followed by Nick Saban's public meltdown. Apparently being a gridiron deity isn't all it's cracked up to be. (Pun intended.) Some Auburn fans are growing a little weary of the Tigers' inconsistency under Tommy T, too. Things are tough all over. It will be a long offseason for the one that loses this one. Will Saint Nick catch the polar express in time for Christmas? Will Tuberville depart for Texas, or get his dream job in Arkansas? Stay tuned... As far as the game goes, it would seem if Bama had anything left we would have seen it by now. Auburn 23, Alabama 20.

FLORIDA STATE AT FLORIDA: Florida State hasn't been impressive for a while and that It factor the Noles had throughout the 90s has become the aint factor. Meanwhile the Gators might have defended their national title if not for a couple of close calls against Auburn and LSU. This could be a real showcase opportunity for Tim Tebow's Heisman Trophy chances. Florida 38, Florida State 21.

GEORGIA AT GEORGIA TECH: Since their loss to UT, the Bulldogs have been on a roll with victories over Florida, Auburn and Kentucky. Georgia has won six straight in this series and should without a lot of bad luck will make it seven. Georgia 33, Georgia Tech 24.

TENNESSEE AT KENTUCKY: The Vols have only beaten Mississippi State on the road this year, and will face a fired up and determined opponent vs. Kentucky. Tennessee may have more pressure with the East Division title at stake, but there are great expectations in Lexington that the Wildcats will end UT's 22-game win streak. That's a lot of pressure for the Wildcats, too. The Vols bring momentum into this game with four wins in a row and seven of their last eight, while Kentucky hasn't had momentum since the middle of October. That difference will show on Saturday. Tennessee 37, Kentucky 31.

CLEMSON AT SOUTH CAROLINA: Clemson is coming off a big game against B.C. while South Carolina just completed its first off week of the season. Better late than never. Steve Spurrier will have time to plot some ball plays and the home crowd should give the Gamecocks a lift. South Carolina 27, Clemson 24.

WAKE FOREST AT VANDERBILT: Nothing takes more out of a team than losing a close game to a superior opponent. (Note: Tennessee's loss last year to LSU and the subsequent fallout.) Vanderbilt has lost two such games in a row and appeared to be running on fumes against the Vols last week. It's hard to imagine the Dores making a quick recovery this late into a draining season. Wake Forest 26, Vanderbilt 19.

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