IT Picks SEC Slate

Two teams with high-profile coaches and matching 4-0 records collide in a potentially awesome game this Saturday when Georgia hosts Alabama in Athens.

The only other game on this week's SEC schedule that offers any sort of intrigue is Tennessee at Auburn, two teams trying to bounce back from disappointing losses to top-10 opponents.

Inside Tennessee analysts Randy Moore and Jeffery Stewart both posted 6-1 records on last week's SEC picks, leaving Randy's season mark at 30-6 and Jeffery's at 29-7.

Here are this week's picks:


ALABAMA AT GEORGIA: I think the Bulldogs are overrated and will be knocked off a couple of times this season. I just don't believe this Saturday will be one of those times. Georgia 24, Alabama 20

ARKANSAS AT TEXAS: Alabama showed in last weekend's 49-14 beat-down of the Hogs that defeating Arkansas is easy as ABC ... which just happens to be the network that will air this weekend's beat-down at Texas. Texas 41, Arkansas 14

OLE MISS AT FLORIDA: The Rebels actually beat the Gators when Eli Manning was the quarterback in Oxford. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, Jevan Snead is no Eli Manning. Florida 31, Ole Miss 10

WESTERN KENTUCKY AT KENTUCKY: After Norfolk State in Week 2, Middle Tennessee in Week 3, an open date in Week 4 and now Western Kentucky in Week 5, the Big Blue seems intent on pacing itself until the SEC portion of its schedule arrives. Kentucky 31, Western Kentucky 13.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT LSU: The Bulldogs were hammered 38-7 by Georgia Tech in Atlanta last weekend, and this weekend's trip to Baton Rouge isn't looking like much of a vacation trip, either. LSU 27, Mississippi State 0

UAB AT SOUTH CAROLINA: Even the defensively inept Blazers couldn't get Tennessee's offense on track two weeks ago. Can they kick-start the points-hungry Gamecock attack this weekend? Probably not. South Carolina 27, UAB 7

TENNESSEE AT AUBURN: The good news: The Vols can't look any worse than they did in last weekend's 30-6 loss to Florida. The bad news: They may look just as bad against a tenacious Tiger defense. Auburn 20, Tennessee 10


ALABAMA AT GEORGIA: Alabama may not be back but it doesn't have far to go. This is the toughest test the Tide have faced all season and the second SEC road game in a row they've played. Georgia has won three in a row in this series but two of those were close including last season's come-from-behind overtime victory. I'll take UGA at home in what should be a fierce and physical battle pitting Bama's SEC-leading ground attack vs. Georgia's SEC-leading rush defense which returns nine starters from 2007. Georgia 24, Alabama 20

ARKANSAS AT TEXAS: The key to defeating Texas is to exploit a suspect secondary but Arkansas is suspect everywhere especially on the road against a ranked team that has dominated this series to the tune of 55-21. After getting thumped by No. 8 Alabama in Fayetteville last week, playing No. 7 Texas this week, No. 5 Florida next week followed by No. 15 Auburn the week after, Petrino may wish he was back in the NFL — if he doesn't already think he is. Texas 44, Arkansas 17.

OLE MISS AT FLORIDA: Last season Tim Tebow ran for 165 yards against the Rebels as the Gators won a close 30-24 decision. Ole Miss has lost 15 straight SEC road games by an average of 15 points per game. You can't get anymore SEC road game than the Gators in The Swamp. Florida 41, Ole Miss 14.

WESTERN KENTUCKY AT KENTUCKY: The Wildcats stand to go 4-0 against the Hill Toppers in this first ever meeting between these schools. Impressive though the record is UK has played Louisville on the road before home games against Norfolk State, MTSU with an open date preceding WKU. Next week it's Alabama on the road in the Rude Awakening Bowl. Kentucky 35, Western Kentucky 16.

MISSISSIPPI STATE AT LSU: The Tigers routinely maul the Bulldogs, winning 15 of the last 16 during which they outscored MSU 340 to 81. The Bulldogs averaged five points per contest during that span and this is may be the worst offense MSU has ever had (only 23 total points this year against three bowl subdivision foes). That adds up to another laugher. LSU 40, MIssissippi State 3.

UAB AT SOUTH CAROLINA: One past and one future 2008 Tennessee opponent. Guess which will be the better team? South Carolina 38, UAB 7.

TENNESSEE AT AUBURN: The Tigers under Tommy Tubberville are 3-0 vs. Tennessee since 2004, and have won seven straight after playing LSU. The Vols may find some favorable match-ups in this game if they can take advantage. However Auburn is at home with its back against the wall and this will be the Vols first SEC road test. However it won't be the first large, hostile crowd they have played before — given the frosty climate on Rocky Top. That creates a us against the world mindset that might just push the Vols to a higher level of performance much as it did last season against Georgia. However until they prove they can do it, it's hard to bet against TT and his Tigers. Auburn 24, Tennessee 20.

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