Football Picks: I went 5-5 in last week's column picks to bring the overall record to 95-35 (73%). My picking was even worse in our staff contest.
In high school, the usual suspects advanced. What's suprising is who didn't. Hoover and Madison Academy were eliminated last Friday. Every other champion from last year still remains.
If you polled people in this state on who had the best chance of defending their title prior to the season, these two would've been at the top of the list, especially Hoover. The Bucaneers loss last week was their second this season to cross-town rival Spain Park.
The Super 7 begins next Wednesday, Dec. 7. The last time the Bucs didn't play for the championship in the state's largest classification was 2007. Spain Park represented the North that year. Go back to 2000 and you'll find a team from Hoover in the title game each season. This will be the Jaguars second appearance.
In AISA, Edgewood won again but barely. Still, the nation's longest streak in prep football has extended to 71 games with another state championship for voach Bobby Carr.
Three more unbeatens are no more in college football. Just as Baylor went down after playing its first credible opponent of the season a week prior, Ohio State did the same on Saturday. Baylor did bounce back to give Okie State its first loss. Houston (as if anybody really cared) was the other team to lose for the first time.
You have to be bothered by Ezekial Elliott's remarks after the Buckeyes' loss. Elliott should take some of the blame instead of pointing fingers and talking about the NFL.
It's Bama vs. Auburn in the Iron Bowl on the Plains this week. The Tigers aim to spoil the Crimson Tide's national title aspirations.
Linden at Maplesville: This is one of those rematch games. The Red Devils won the first meeting and hope to defend the 1A crown in T-town next week. MHS 26, LHS 20.
Randolph County at Fyffe: Reeltown fans know all about these two teams. Fyffe beat the Rebels on their way to the state title last year. RCHS won the area that Reeltown plays in this year. RCHS 36, Fyffe 28.
Munford at Leeds: Munford shocked Leeds with a 49-48 overtime win during the regular season. They lost the next two games. That's why Leeds is hosting as the region winner. The Green Wave are playing like they during their 4A title run last year. Leeds 42, MHS 21.
St. Paul's at Jackson: Here we go again with another rematch of region teams. Jackson won the first time, but that was back in September. Last week, the Aggies won a thriller over Beauregard. This week look for them to dethrone the Saints in a de facto 5A title match. Jax 34, St P 28.
Benjamin Russell at Spanish Fort: The Wildcats have been dominating every team in their path this post-season. The Toros beat Danny Horn's club last year in the semis. SF 28, BR 27.
Notre Dame at Stanford: The Irish have been living off of the Clemson loss this year, but what have they really done? Give me the Tree. Stanford 27, ND 24.
Ohio State at Michigan: I picked Michigan to win this game about a month ago. I'll stick with it. In the end, Harbaugh will wonder "what if" with nightmares of that botched punt costing him a playoff chance. Michigan 23, Ohio State 20.
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State: The Cowboys really blew it last week. The Sooners survived a TCU scare. The winner of this game will hope to be in the Top 4. Okie State 38, OU 35.
Florida State at Florida: What a week for the SEC East last week. Thank goodness for Kentucky! Florida and Georgia needed overtime to win. South Carolina lost to the Citadel. I'm not sold on the Gators, even with 10 wins. FSU 24, UF 17.
Alabama at Auburn: This is a mismatch on paper, but we're throwing out the record books. By the way, that cliché almost never applies.
Bama stuffs the run. That's what the Tigers do. Auburn has an inability to stretch the field.
On the flip side, while the Tide's offense sometimes sputters, the Tigers rank near rock bottom in the conference on defense. All said, it spells doom for an AU upset bid.
Gus Malzahn will have some tricks up his sleeve. A big play or two might come from that, but sustained success won't come against the best defense in the country.
I'm sure Malzahn's comment, "We should've scored 60," in reference to last year, will emanate around the Capstone this week as well.
The ESPN matchup predictor lists Alabama's win chance at 78.1 percent. Bama 31, AU 14.