- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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I realize many of you are probably over election rhetoric by now, but I’m not ready to give my concession speech.
Not yet, anyway. It’s still too early.
What I will say is that my performance hasn’t been up to par this season, and I will do a complete evaluation at season’s end of my approach to picking games, who I’m listening to, who I’m not listening to (my wife) and whether I need to look at making a change.
I’m still well over 80 percent -- 72-13 (.847) -- but the ATL Kid is over 90 percent. He had another unbeaten record last week and is now 78-7 (.918). I was 7-1 last week and missed Texas A&M’s win over Mississippi State.
I guess somebody hit me upside the head with a cowbell when I made that pick, and I wasn’t thinking clearly.
Now six games behind, I’ve got to start making up some ground this week and get within three games heading into the bowl season. If I can do that, then I have a chance.
It’s never over. In the immortal words of Bluto Blutarsky, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.
And it’s not over now.
On to this week’s picks:
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE at FLORIDA
Edward Aschoff: Before the Gators can huddle around a TV to watch what happens with Georgia and Auburn, they'll have to get through a glorified scrimmage early Saturday. Florida wins big, but the goal should be to find a receiving target not named Jordan Reed. ... Florida 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 3
Chris Low: The Gators have had a hard time scoring points the past two weeks and have been even harder to watch on offense. The Ragin’ Cajuns might be the perfect cure. They’re ranked 89th nationally in total defense. … Florida 38, Louisiana-Lafayette 14
MISSOURI at TENNESSEE
Edward Aschoff: Missouri's offense is sputtering along and Tennessee's defense has been every offense's best friend. Something has to give, and the Vols will essentially crush the Tigers' bowl hopes with a far superior offense. ... Tennessee 28, Missouri 20
Chris Low: The Tigers lost another offensive lineman last week, the seventh lineman that has suffered an injury this season. They’re going to need a big game from quarterback James Franklin to win this one. The Vols are a disaster on defense, but they’re explosive enough on offense to win a second straight shootout at home. … Tennessee 31, Missouri 30
MISSISSIPPI STATE at LSU
Edward Aschoff: The Tigers are surely banged up after that physical loss to Alabama, but there's a ton for this team to play for. Mississippi State is looking to rediscover its swagger after back-to-back blowouts. LSU is just too tough for the Bulldogs. ... LSU 24, Mississippi State 13
Chris Low: If the Bulldogs lose this one badly, it’s only fair to wonder if they had a good team or just a good schedule. They need to stop the bleeding after getting blown out each of the past two weeks against Texas A&M and Alabama, but they run into an angry bunch of Bengal Tigers this week. … LSU 28, Mississippi State 13
VANDERBILT at OLE MISS
Edward Aschoff: Both of these teams would become bowl eligible with a win, so this game has a ton riding on it. Vandy has had a lot of success against the Rebels lately, but Ole Miss will feed off of its home crowd and have a little too much offense for the Commodores. ... Ole Miss 27, Vanderbilt 24
Chris Low: The winner of this game qualifies for a bowl game. Everybody predicted that back in August when they saw this game on the schedule, right? Both coaching staffs have done an outstanding job, but the Commodores are better on defense and will find a way to win their fourth game in the past five years against the Rebels. … Vanderbilt 27, Ole Miss 20
ARKANSAS at SOUTH CAROLINA
Edward Aschoff: The Gamecocks haven't exactly had a lot of recent success against the Hogs, but these aren't the same Hogs we've seen the past couple of years. South Carolina will be playing with a lot of emotion and will be very rested after a much-needed bye week. ... South Carolina 31, Arkansas 20
Chris Low: The Hogs have owned the Gamecocks in this series, and very few of their recent meetings have even been close. But this has been a season that’s been on life support from the very beginning for Arkansas, and South Carolina still has big plans. … South Carolina 31, Arkansas 21
GEORGIA at AUBURN
Edward Aschoff: All the Bulldogs have to do is win this weekend and they are headed back to the SEC championship game. Auburn is at the bottom of the SEC, but this is the South's Oldest Rivalry ... at night. Still, Auburn just doesn't have enough on either side of the ball to pull the major upset. ... Georgia 27, Auburn 10
Chris Low: The Bulldogs looked so bad in that 35-7 loss to South Carolina back in October that it was a stretch to think that they would battle their way back into the East race. But here they are, and they’re not about to stumble now. … Georgia 31, Auburn 14
TEXAS A&M at ALABAMA
Edward Aschoff: Like LSU, Alabama has to be exhausted after last week's game. But this team has too much to play for to not come out strong against red-hot Texas A&M. We saw some holes in Alabama's defense against the Tigers, but they won't be there this weekend. ... Alabama 27, Texas A&M 17
Chris Low: The come-from-behind win at LSU last week took its toll on Alabama, both physically and emotionally, and Texas A&M is the most explosive offensive team the Crimson Tide have faced this season. The Aggies still need to prove they can light it up against a quality defense. They bogged down against Florida and LSU and will meet a similar fate against the Crimson Tide. … Alabama 28, Texas A&M 10