- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Sources are telling the SEC blog that the NCAA has launched a full-investigation into some questionable practices by my colleague, Edward Aschoff, concerning his weekly picks.
It seems that he’s getting an early look at my picks and then adjusting his accordingly, which has worked in his favor to this point.
But as I’ve tried telling him, there are no quick fixes in this league, and you don’t win championships based on what you’ve done the first five weeks of the season.
We were both 7-0 last week, although I will admit that there were no real testers on the schedule.
This week is different.
Edward had a meeting late Wednesday with two NCAA investigators, so we’ll see how focused he is and how he deals with distractions.
In this league, there’s always something.
In the meantime, I’ll give the kid his props. He has a real want, and he has greatness inside of him (Hey, a little Les Miles and Dabo Swinney there), and he also has an early lead with a 34-4 record (.895).
I’m not too far behind at 32-6 (.842), and we’ll see how this NCAA investigation goes. There’s a chance Edward may have to vacate some of those wins.
While we wait on a ruling, let’s delve into our picks for Week 5:
BUFFALO at TENNESSEE
Chris Low: The original schedule had Tennessee traveling to North Carolina this week, which would have been an interesting game, especially given the way last season's bowl game ended. Now, we get another blowout in front of what figures to be a ton of empty seats in Neyland Stadium. … Tennessee 45, Buffalo 7
Edward Aschoff: This will be our first glimpse of life in Knoxville without Justin Hunter. Tennessee has young weapons at receiver and expect coach Derek Dooley to rotate a lot of bodies in at Hunter's X position. Also, this is a chance for the Vols to get their struggling running game going. ... Tennessee 41, Buffalo 13
OLE MISS at FRESNO STATE
Chris Low: Through four games, Ole Miss has one of the worst passing offenses in the country. And with running back Brandon Bolden still not completely healthy and an offensive line that has had its issues, that combination doesn't bode well for the Rebels being able to score enough points to win this game. … Fresno State 24, Ole Miss 17
Edward Aschoff: Not only are the Rebels really hurting offensively but they have to travel across the country to face Fresno State. With the 1-3 start, that won't be a very fun flight out. Ole Miss will get another test on defense, as Fresno can score points. That's a bad sign for Ole Miss because points have come at a premium this season. ... Fresno State 30, Ole Miss 17
KENTUCKY at NO. 1 LSU
Chris Low: The real drama in this one will be whether or not Jordan Jefferson plays in the game after being reinstated on Wednesday to LSU's team. Otherwise, it's a complete mismatch. Kentucky has been a wreck on offense, and LSU's defense just plain wrecks opposing offenses. … LSU 35, Kentucky 3
Edward Aschoff: Kentucky's offense has struggled in every game this season, while LSU's defense has absolutely smothered its opponents. This won't be the weekend for a Wildcat rebound, as the Tigers should roll in this one. The question is if we will see the reinstated Jordan Jefferson make an appearance at quarterback late. ... LSU 38, Kentucky 10
MISSISSIPPI STATE at GEORGIA
Chris Low: The Battle of the Bulldogs went Mississippi State's way a year ago and was the springboard for a big season for Dan Mullen's club. Both teams have two losses coming into this game and can't afford a third this early in the season. Look for freshman Isaiah Crowell to have another big game and for Mark Richt's Dawgs to avenge last season's loss in Starkville. … Georgia 31, Mississippi State 21
Edward Aschoff: Neither pack of Bulldogs can afford another conference loss at this point, but only one will leave Sanford Stadium with their heads up. Georgia enters with some momentum after getting their first two wins of the season, while Mississippi's State offense looks nothing like it did in the first two weeks. Mississippi State has struggled to stop the run and Isaiah Crowell is starting to look like the prize Georgia expected. ... Georgia 31, Mississippi State 20
AUBURN at NO. 10 SOUTH CAROLINA
Chris Low: South Carolina is ranked No. 10 nationally, but the Head Ball Coach will be the first one to tell you that this Gamecocks aren't playing like a top-10 team. They've stunk it up in the passing game, but go up against an Auburn defense on Saturday that has been mighty generous. The Tigers have had serious issues in the secondary, which means that maybe Stephen Garcia will finally get it going. If not, there's always Marcus Lattimore. … South Carolina 35, Auburn 24
Edward Aschoff: These two teams couldn't have asked for a better matchup this weekend. South Carolina's struggling offense meets Auburn's horrid defense. South Carolina's defense finally came alive last week against Vanderbilt, and I expect that to bleed into this contest. Stephen Garcia will make mistakes, but the Gamecocks' defense and Marcus Lattimore will bail him out again. ... South Carolina 30, Auburn 20
NO. 18 ARKANSAS vs. NO. 14 TEXAS A&M
Chris Low: The Hogs are still hurting from their 38-14 loss at Alabama last week, both mentally and physically. It's a game they'd been pointing to ever since last season, and they were never really in the game after halftime. Plus, they lost defensive end Tenarius Wright to a broken arm, and it doesn't look promising that defensive end Jake Bequette will be able to return for this game on the other side. Both teams will put up a lot of points, but the Aggies will unofficially welcome themselves to the SEC with a big win. … Texas A&M 38, Arkansas 31
Edward Aschoff: Both of these teams are looking to rebound after tough losses a week ago. Texas A&M gave up a big lead to Oklahoma State at halftime, while the Razorbacks were blown out of Tuscaloosa. This is a preview of a future SEC matchup, but expect the current SEC member to push the new guys around in Arlington. ... Arkansas 27, Texas A&M 23
NO. 3 ALABAMA at NO. 12 FLORIDA
Chris Low: Alabama is as advertised on defense and probably better on offense and special teams than a lot of people have given the Crimson Tide credit for. That said, Alabama's 'D' hasn't seen speed in the backfield like it's going to see Saturday night in the Swamp in the form or Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. That's Florida's ticket if it's going to win this game -- hit that Alabama defense with big plays. The Swamp will be crazy, and the Gators will make a few plays -- just not enough to finish the job. … Alabama 24, Florida 13
Edward Aschoff: This is the ultimate student-teacher showdown. Nick Saban helped jump-start Will Muschamp's coaching career and now they'll meet as foes in The Swamp. Both have extremely tough, aggressive defenses that suffocate the run and feature offenses with very strong running games but not a lot of throwing power. The winner might have to go to the air more than usual with the way these defenses have played in the box this season. ... Alabama 27, Florida 20
11hDavid Ching and Edward Aschoff