I’m putting a moratorium on the trash talk, at least for now.
My esteemed colleague, Edward Aschoff, was all fired up about potentially taking a three-game lead in our picks competition last week. In fact, he was sure it was going to happen. But that’s what kids do. They count their wins before they happen.
So as you might imagine, the ATL Kid had a pretty steep tumble back to earth after Georgia outgunned LSU 44-41 last Saturday. He picked the Tigers, and I picked the Bulldogs.
In keeping with my vow not to do any woofing, I’ll refrain from firing back at The Kid after he beat his chest two weeks ago over correctly picking Rutgers to beat Arkansas.
He’s a formidable opponent. He really is. Sure, he subscribes to Cat Fancy magazine and participates in three soccer fantasy leagues, but he’s a good kid. I’ll have to be on top of my game to beat him this season.
That’s all the smack I’m going to talk this week.
He’s still one game ahead of me after going 7-1 last week. He’s 47-4 (.921) on the season, and I’m 46-5 (.902) after going 8-0 in Week 5.
Enough of the talk. You don’t win championships by talking. You win championships by doing.
So without further ado, let’s get to this week’s picks. There are some tricky ones on the schedule:
GEORGIA STATE at ALABAMA
Chris Low: It’s one of those name-your-score kind of games for Alabama. Then again, you sort of wonder if the whole month of October might be like that for the Crimson Tide. Alabama 51, Georgia State 0
Edward Aschoff: After showing everyone why it's still the best team in the country, Alabama gets a nice breather before heading to Kentucky. It must be nice to have that kind of schedule. Alabama 41, Georgia State 0
KENTUCKY at SOUTH CAROLINA
Low: The Gamecocks will be getting quarterback Connor Shaw back for this game. Talk about one tough customer. Either way, Dylan Thompson is more than capable under center. What’s more, nobody has been able to stop Mike Davis this season, and that won’t change Saturday. South Carolina 38, Kentucky 13
Aschoff: The Gamecocks have to tighten up mentally in the fourth quarter, but Kentucky is struggling to put things together ... well, everywhere. I see another big game from Mike Davis. South Carolina 34, Kentucky 14
ARKANSAS at FLORIDA
Low: The Gators have been rocked by injuries and suspensions this season. But on defense, they’re just plain rocking people. Arkansas sports a bruising running game, but there’s a reason Florida leads the country in rushing defense. Florida 27, Arkansas 14
Aschoff: Expect a physical, low-scoring game when the Razorbacks and Gators meet. Arkansas is averaging more than 230 rushing yards per contest, and Florida hasn't given up more than 66 rushing yards in a game. It won't be pretty, but Florida pulls this one off. Florida 20, Arkansas 10
LSU at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Low: Don’t sleep on the Bulldogs’ defense. They’re pretty salty on that side of the ball, and they’re playing at home. But LSU simply has too many weapons on offense and will find a way to win its 14th in a row over Mississippi State. LSU 30, Mississippi State 27
Aschoff: The Tigers have a lot to work on defensively, and Mississippi State's offense is averaging 507 yards in its past three games. But the Bulldogs might be making a mistake starting Tyler Russell over Dak Prescott and his hot hand. LSU 31, Mississippi State 23
MISSOURI at VANDERBILT
Low: Missouri and Alabama are the only two SEC teams still unbeaten. The Tigers haven’t really been tested, but they’re sure rolling up the points. The only problem is that Vanderbilt can score points in bunches, too, and will prevail in a shootout. Vanderbilt 34, Missouri 30
Aschoff: This is a crucial game for both teams when it comes to finding out who they are. Mizzou has a red-hot offense, but has blown out lesser nonconference opponents, while Vandy is 0-2 in conference play. Something has to give, and something tells me Mizzou's offense won't cool off in Nashville. Missouri 31, Vanderbilt 27
OLE MISS at AUBURN
Low: For the fourth time in five games, Ole Miss finds itself back on the road. The Rebels have already won at Vanderbilt and Texas. But the Tigers are coming off a bye week and are as healthy as they’ve been. The home crowd will be the difference. Auburn 34, Ole Miss 28
Aschoff: This is another big game in the grand scheme of things for both of these teams. Ole Miss is coming off a tough loss at Alabama, while Auburn is rested after being blown out at LSU. Bo Wallace's silence this week tells me the Rebels will return to normal offensive form. Ole Miss 30, Auburn 27
GEORGIA at TENNESSEE
Low: The danger for Georgia is being a little flat coming off last week’s emotional victory over LSU. Tennessee is pulling out its “smokey” gray uniforms for this game and hoping they provide a little extra juice. But they won’t be much help against Aaron Murray and that red-hot Georgia offense. Georgia 38, Tennessee 24
Aschoff: People have talked about a letdown from the Bulldogs this weekend. But when you're struggling on defense like Georgia is, there's no room for one. Plus, Tennessee is breaking out those smokey uniforms. I mean where there's smoke, there's bound to be fire -- lots of it. Georgia 45, Tennessee 21