- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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Well, we come to the midway point of the college football season this weekend, and the ATL Kid is riding high.
He has a three-game lead on me in our picks contest. His Gators are unbeaten and ranked No. 4 nationally, and he just found out that they’re starting a nationwide soccer fantasy league for the three people who signed up.
No excuses from me, though. I just haven’t been on top of my game.
I was the epitome of mediocrity last week in going 3-3. I missed Arkansas’ win over Auburn, Vanderbilt’s win over Missouri and Florida’s win over LSU.
The Kid was 4-2 and gets props for taking Florida to beat LSU. He’s now 52-5 overall (.912), while I’m 49-8 (.860).
But, hey, just like The Masters golf tournament doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday, this picks contest doesn’t start until real football weather sets in.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep on keeping on. Like coach Saban says, we’ll worry about the results after the game is over.
And this game is a long way from being over.
Now, to this week’s picks:
KENTUCKY at ARKANSAS
Edward Aschoff: These teams have enough injuries to field another team. But the Razorbacks still have enough pieces on offense and will be able to score often on the Wildcats. ... Arkansas 38, Kentucky 17
Chris Low: Both of these teams have injury lists that would stretch for miles. The Wildcats will be without freshman quarterback Patrick Towles, who was injured last week. The Hogs have been decimated on defense. But they still have Tyler Wilson, who will pass them to their second straight win. … Arkansas 35, Kentucky 14
FLORIDA at VANDERBILT
Edward Aschoff: This one has trouble written all over it for Florida. The Gators are riding high off that big win over LSU, and the Commodores are fighting for a bowl berth. This one will get sloppy for Florida, but the Gators will shine in the fourth. ... Florida 27, Vanderbilt 13
Chris Low: The Gators have already proven that they’re road warriors this season with two SEC victories away from home. They will get a third, but will have to scrap for it against a Vanderbilt team that will be ready. … Florida 24, Vanderbilt 17
AUBURN at OLE MISS
Edward Aschoff: The Rebels lost a heartbreaker last week, but will welcome the struggling Tigers to town. Auburn can't seem to do anything right and Ole Miss' offense will make sure the Rebels' 16-game losing streak in the SEC ends Saturday. ... Ole Miss 35, Auburn 20
Chris Low: Remember when Auburn was putting up 40-plus points and 500-plus yards on offense ... not too long ago? This Auburn offense would like to be able to score 40 points in three games. Ole Miss can taste it. The Rebels’ SEC drought ends Saturday after 16 straight defeats. … Ole Miss 30, Auburn 17
ALABAMA at MISSOURI
Edward Aschoff: The Crimson Tide are rested and refreshed after the bye, while Mizzou is limping into this one. With all those offensive issues the Tigers have, this one won't be pretty. ... Alabama 41, Missouri 7
Chris Low: Nick Saban and Gary Pinkel were teammates at Kent State. But unless Saban lets Pinkel have a couple of his Alabama players, Missouri’s not going to have much of a chance in this one, especially playing a backup quarterback. … Alabama 34, Missouri 7
TEXAS A&M at LOUISIANA TECH
Edward Aschoff: These teams are finally getting to play each other and both have been very impressive offensively. This is a tough road game for the Aggies, but Louisiana Tech is 123rd in total defense. ... Texas A&M 41, Louisiana Tech 27
Chris Low: Had these two teams played to open the season as originally scheduled, who knows what would have happened? It’s been a great start for Louisiana Tech, but Texas A&M’s high-powered offense isn’t about to stall now. … Texas A&M 37, Louisiana Tech 24
TENNESSEE at MISSISSIPPI STATE
Edward Aschoff: The Vols are in a must-win situation, while the Bulldogs are looking for respect. That matchup between Tennessee's receivers and Mississippi State's secondary should be a good one. Turnovers late will doom Tennessee again. ... Mississippi State 24, Tennessee 20
Chris Low: Talk about tipping-point games. Both teams need this one in the worst way. The Vols are trying to avoid going 0-for-October again this season. The Bulldogs are determined to prove they’re for real after a soft schedule to this point. The difference will be turnovers, and the Bulldogs are plus-11 going in. … Mississippi State 31, Tennessee 27
SOUTH CAROLINA at LSU
Edward Aschoff: Both of these defenses have been on point thus far, but LSU's offense has been abysmal in its two SEC games. We know South Carolina will try to grind it out and bring pressure to Zach Mettenberger. The Gamecocks have the momentum, but under the bright lights inside Tiger Stadium, The Hat will find a way to get it done. ... LSU 20, South Carolina 17
Chris Low: LSU is still smarting from the loss to Florida last week, and there’s something magic about Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night. The odds say LSU comes back and wins this game, but the Head Ball Coach has beaten the odds at South Carolina and turned the Gamecocks into a contender. They take another monumental step in the Bayou version of Death Valley. … South Carolina 23, LSU 17
Well, we come to the midway point of the college football season this weekend, and the ATL Kid is riding high.He has a three-game lead on me in our picks contest.