Football Picks: It was a weak week for picking (6-5). That dropped the win percentage down a few notches to 75%. The column picks total stands at 60-20.
In high school, playoff spots are up for grabs with teams jockeying for position. In college, it might be the biggest week of the season to date for the Tide and Tigers, as well as a couple of other in-state rivals (Troy and South Alabama).
Highland Home at Notasulga: Notasulga got spanked by Isabella last Friday. I thought they'd win. Unless Loachapoka upsets Maplesville, a win gives the Blue Devils the No. 3 seed in the region. NHS 34, HHS 26
Reeltown at Fayetteville: A Reeltown win this week would lock up the region's No. 3 seed. A loss coupled with a Horseshoe Bend win puts three teams in a tie for third with one that will be left out of the post-season. FHS 28, RHS 26
Leeds at Munford: The Green Wave could make things interesting with a win. That would likely help Tallassee if the Tigers take care of business. There would be a three-way tie for No. 2 in the region. THS has a win over the No. 1 seed to be in Handley.
A Leeds loss with a Tallassee win puts the pair in a tie for third, tiebreaker advantage to Tallassee. MHS 27, LHS 20
Benjamin Russell at Wetumpka: The Indians can wrap up the No. 2 seed with a win. A loss would drop them to fourth or possibly create a scenario of three teams tied for No. 3. WHS 37, BRHS 20
Tallassee at Elmore County: The Tigers did what they had to do in Leeds last week. The mission is not quite complete. They have to take care of their cross-county rivals to guarantee a playoff berth.
The Panthers ended Tallassee's three-game win streak in the series with last year's 28-21 victory in Eclectic. The game is back at Burt-Haney this year. Elmore County is out of the playoff mix but can spoil the Tigers' post-season hopes.
In Elmore County's four wins, their opponents have combined for 10 wins. That includes Holtville and Childersburg with one between them.
Tallassee's beaten those same region foes but have fared better against quality competition. The Panthers have been whipped by an average score of 48-19 in their four region defeats vs. Handley, Munford, Leeds and Dadeville. THS 34, ECHS 20
Troy at South Alabama: South Alabama has broken new ground this year with wins over an SEC team (Mississippi State) and a Top 25 team (San Diego State). Troy did that when they were first getting started with "Big Boy" football too.
Outside of the marquee wins, Joey Jones' Jags have an 0-3 record in the Sun Belt. Neal Brown's Trojans have only the one loss this season - at No. 4 Clemson. Troy 31, USA 21
Mississippi State at Kentucky: Two of the doormats of the conference have made the picks column this week. It is a bad week for the college slate. The Dogs are really missing Dak Prescott. The Cats are getting ready for basketball season. MSU 24, UK 20
Ole Miss at LSU: Coach "O" is getting credit for the LSU turnaround. The Bengal Tigers were supposed to win those games and would have done the same with Les Miles. So now they have a legitimate challenger. Colonel Reb won't be crying in "Death Valley" as he was in Fayetteville last Saturday night. Ole 30, LSU 27
Arkansas at Auburn: It seems that the heat is off of Gus after a couple of strong wins. This week's SEC West opponent from Arkansas is riding high after beating No. 12 Ole Miss.
There are some intangibles in Auburn's corner this week. The Hogs are in the midst of a tough stretch with their third straight game this week vs. a Top 25 team. Meanwhile, the Tigers rested up last week. Also, those last two games were at Razorback Stadium. Home field edge to the Orange and Blue.
I expect Auburn's defense to be the key. They'll get more stops. With that being noted, they will need to produce with their red zone offense? AU 27, Ark 23
Texas A&M at Alabama: After the Tide's impressive win in Knoxville, the Saban train is at full capacity. The comments are that Bama is unbeatable. They do keep defying the naysayers with blowout wins. There aren't many naysayers though.
I remember the talk that Alabama would win the NFC East if they were in it back in 2010 after blasting Urban Meyer's Florida team. They lost the next week at South Carolina.
I'm not trying to make bold predictions in the now, based on the defending champ losing three games that year. They've not lost three in a season since then.
What I will point out is that there will come a time when an opponent will challenge Bama again. It will probably happen this season. It might even occur this weekend.
Texas A&M appears to be a worthy challenger. They have a good quarterback with the big play receivers. They're better in the running game. Plus, John Chavis has made the defense better than respectable.
So, on paper - to me, this team matches up with the mighty Tide. The winner might just be in the driver's seat to win the division, the SEC and vie for a national championship. Can Alabama get another non-offensive score? That might be the difference. UA 38, A&M 34