Mark Edwards' picks: Same old, same old for Tide at LSU; another loss for AU

Nov. 4—Alabama faces an SEC West rival, while Auburn is playing out the string under interim coach Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.

Jacksonville State is off this weekend before closing out with a home game Nov. 12 against Eastern Kentucky and a Nov. 19 trip to Central Arkansas.

So, let's get to the picks, keeping in mind that with the release of the first College Football Playoff rankings this week, we're now using those instead of the Associated Press poll:

No. 6 Alabama (7-1) at No. 10 LSU (6-2): In the past two seasons, the Crimson Tide has played a whole lot more nail-biters than it did before. Most have been on the road.

This one likely will be the same, although the result will be the same: an Alabama win.

Alabama has won 10 of its last 11 against LSU, and the Tide hasn't lost in Baton Rouge since 2010 when Bryce Young was in third grade. Young isn't a child any longer, and as his injured shoulder gets better, so will his passing game. ... Alabama 30, LSU 13.

Auburn (3-5) at Mississippi State (5-3): Bryan Harsin built a terrible Auburn team, and while firing him will help in the long term, it won't help Saturday.

There isn't anything the Tigers do well. As an example, they're ranked No. 127 in the nation in run defense, just ahead of No. 128 Hawaii, No. 129 Charlotte, No. 130 Colorado and No. 131 Louisiana Tech in last place. I never, ever thought I'd see the day when an Auburn team couldn't stop the run. ... Mississippi State 35, Auburn 17.

No. 1 Tennessee (8-0) at No. 3 Georgia (8-0): The playoff rankings disagree with the AP poll, which has Georgia first and Tennessee and Ohio State tied for second. The playoff committee has Tennessee, Ohio State and Georgia in that order.

Whoever wins this game likely will sweep the No. 1 spots across the board. It's hard to pick against the Vols' offense, which has piled up 553 yards a game through eight games, but Georgia is the champ until somebody else takes the belt. ... Georgia 38, Tennessee 34.

No. 24 Texas (5-3) at No. 13 Kansas State (6-2): With last week's win over Oklahoma State, Kansas State is now 4-1 in the Big 12, good for second behind TCU (5-0). There are no divisions, so the top two play in the title game. Texas is 3-2 in the league and has an opportunity, but can't afford to lose Saturday against K-State or next week against TCU. ... Kansas State 27, Texas 24.

Kentucky (5-3) at Missouri (4-4): Kentucky had hopes for something big this year, but the Wildcats have struggled to move the ball (No. 100 nationally in total offense). They're good on defense at No. 20 nationally. Missouri is Missouri. ... Kentucky 23, Missouri 16.

Florida (4-4) at Texas A&M (3-5): Texas A&M has lost four straight, including the last three by a combined 13 points. Florida might be the solution for what ails the Aggies. ... Texas A&M 24, Florida 19.

South Carolina (5-3) at Vanderbilt (3-5): South Carolina pretty much has lost to anybody good that the Gamecocks have played. Now comes Vanderbilt. They aren't good. ... South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 14.

No. 17 North Carolina (7-1) at Virginia (3-5): The Tar Heels are sailing behind freshman quarterback Drake Maye, who's third in the country in passing efficiency and fifth in passing yards. North Carolina is unbeaten in the ACC and everybody else in the Coastal Division has at least two losses. Including this weekend, the Tar Heels have four more ACC games left. ... North Carolina 31, Virginia 17.

No. 4 Clemson (8-0) at Notre Dame (5-3): After a slow start, Notre Dame has won five of its past six. Clemson lost on its last trip to Notre Dame in 2020, although the Tigers got revenge in the ACC title game a month later. (Notre Dame played in the ACC for the 2020 COVID season.) ... Clemson 27, Notre Dame 20.

California (3-5) at No. 9 Southern California (7-1): The Trojans likely are the best team in the Pac-12, as Oklahoma transfer Caleb Williams is having a brilliant season with 24 touchdown passes against only one interception. They've still got a trip to UCLA on the schedule and a potential meeting with Oregon in the Pac-12 title game — if they get that far. ... Southern California 42, Cal 21.

Last week: 9-1. Missed on Missouri's win over South Carolina. Also, correctly picked Kansas State to win but I had the score at 31-28, which was way off the final mark of 48-0.

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.