Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher often talks of trap games on schedule. This would be one of them.
The Aggies (4-2, 1-2 SEC) will head to Columbia to face Missouri at 11 a.m. Saturday. This seems problematic for several reasons -- road trip and an early kickoff time -- usually favor the home team.
And, of course, A&M is coming off its biggest win in nearly a decade over No. 1 Alabama. The 41-38 victory has the Aggies feeling themselves entering the second half of the season. Of course, consistent play from quarterback Zach Calzada and the offensive line will likely dictate how far the Aggies go.
The Tigers (3-3, 0-2) aren't the only team with the trap game label this weekend in the SEC. Ole Miss heads to Rocky Top to face an improved Tennessee squad. Kentucky is looking to make the race for the SEC East tight with an upset in Athens. And is this the week Ed Orgeron finally is let go from his post in Death Valley?
Here's All Aggies SEC picks of the week and top picks from national games across the country.
No. 21 Texas A&M at Missouri – 11 a.m.
See AllAggies' in-depth look at the game here.
Auburn at No. 17 Arkansas – 11 a.m.
Matt Galatzan - Managing Editor/Publisher: has lost two straight and will be hungry to get back on track. It's close, but give me the Razorbacks.
Matt's Pick: Arkansas
Cole Thompson - Columnist: The Hogs have been away from Fayetteville for three straight games. They won against the Aggies on a neutral location, lost like everyone to Georgia and saw KJ Jefferson score six touchdowns in a one-point loss to Ole Miss.
Something has to break soon for Arkansas, right?
Cole's Pick: Arkansas
Art Garcia - Columnist/Editor: Just feeling the Hogs after last week's decision to go for 2 against Ole Miss. Sure, it didn't work out but that kind of belief from Sam Pittman will pay off this week.
Art's Pick: Arkansas
Matthew Postins - Staff Writer: Alabama’s loss throws the SEC West into a bit of disarray. Auburn and Arkansas need the win to stay in spitting distance of the race. I think the Tigers take it on the road. I just haven’t been buying that Arkansas is as good as people think they are.
Matthew's Pick: Auburn
Timm Hamm - Staff Writer: Has Bo Nix finally figured out how to win on the road? Can K.J. Jefferson keep the Hogs offense on the field and keep the Auburn offense from scoring? This will be a battle between offensive coordinators.
Timm's Pick: Arkansas
No. 20 Florida at LSU - 11 a.m.
Galatzan - Florida isn't a world-beater but they're far and above more talented than this LSU team. Not to mention better coached.
Matt's Pick: Florida
Thompson - Two more season-ending injuries to defensive end Ali Gaye and wide receiver Kayshon Boutte offers little to hope for on either side of the football. Florida makes this game feel longer than 60 minutes, but this isn't the week coach O is out.
Cole's Pick: Florida
Garcia - Don't expect for Coach O to get the boot this week, but falling below .500 will hurt. Maybe the Bayou Bengals muster up an inspired performance for their embattled coach, but I doubt it.
Art's Pick: Florida
Postins - This game feels like a train wreck in the making for the Tigers, who keep losing key players to major injuries. I know Death Valley is a tough place to play, but the Gators have the better team.
Matthew's Pick: Florida
Hamm - LSU is broken and just lost its best player in Kayshon Boutte. Coach O is on the hot seat and it's only going to get hotter after this game.
Timm's Pick: Florida
No. 11 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia – 2:30 p.m.
Galatzan Kentucky has been a fun story, but its about to get real for the Wildcats. Georgia won't allow Kentucky in the endzone in this one.
Matt's Pick: Georgia
Thompson: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, nope, not happening. It's Georgia and the last time I even said they'd come close to losing, they hung 37 up on Arkansas. Maybe Kentucky covers, but the winning streak ends here for the Wildcats.
Cole's Pick: Georgia
Garcia: The Battle of the SEC West!?! How times have changed. The Kentucky story is too good not to enjoy, so let's celebrate what the Wildcats have done. Just don't expect a win. This Georgia defense is bordering on historic.
Art's Pick: Georgia
Postins: Most years, you pick Georgia and move on. This isn’t most years. I still like Georgia here, especially between the hedges, but this one makes me wish I wasn’t shooting football games in Abilene this weekend. And when was the last time anyone said that about Kentucky football?
Matthew's Pick: Georgia.
Hamm - It's hard to believe this is a matchup of two 6-0 teams, because one is clearly a contender and one is a pretender. You know who's who.
Timm's Pick: Georgia
Vanderbilt at South Carolina - 3 p.m.
Galatzan: South Carolina is better than one team in the SEC and its Vanderbilt.
Matt's Pick: South Carolina
Thompson: Did you know that a Gamecock is just a rooster that has been injected with the same super-soldier serum as Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America? Now you do.
Cole's Pick: South Carolina
Garcia - If the SEC had a Toilet Bowl...
Art's Pick: South Carolina
Postins: I mean, South Carolina really ought to win this game, right? RIGHT? But Vandy has to win and SEC game sometime, right? This is probably its best shot. But Vandy won't win. It's not built for that yet.
Matthew's Pick: South Carolina
Hamm - This is a game to decide who's actually the worst team in the SEC, and a tale of two teams headed in different directions. Shane Beamer clearly has his team on the rise while the Commodores are still dysfunctional.
Timm's Pick: South Carolina
No. 5 Alabama at Mississippi State – 6 p.m.
Galatzan: Alabama rarely loses two in a row under Saban. In fact, I can't even remember the last time that has happened.
Matt's Pick: Alabama
Thompson: Know the term "JMB" on Twitter. Alabama fans will be using it for the remainder of the season since they lost to Texas A&M. What does it mean?
Joyless murder ball. Pray for the Bulldogs.
Cole's Pick: Alabama
Garcia - Not a good week to face Alabama. Tide don't do losing streaks.
Art's Pick: Bama
Postins: Relax. Alabama is going to do what Alabama is going to do and bounce back. And it’s gonna be a blowout because, well, Alabama has some things to work out after last week.
Matthew's Pick: Alabama
Hamm - I feel kind of sorry for the Bulldogs, because Nick Saban and the Tide are going to take all of last week's frustrations out on them. Look for this one to get ugly soon and stay that way.
Timm's Pick: Alabama
No. 13 Ole Miss at Tennessee -
Galatzan - This could be the highest-scoring game of the year in the SEC. Ole Miss has the edge thanks to their Heisman candidate, and Tennessee being without their best offensive weapon.
Matt's Pick: Ole Miss
Thompson: This is the other trap game of the weekend. Look, Tennessee is off to a great start with Josh Heupel at the helm, but the Rebels offense should be able to handle whatever he throws their way.
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It's a really simple formula in beating Tennessee: score big in the second half. In conference games this season, the Vols have scored just 24 points.
Cole's Pick: Ole Miss
Garcia - The Vols in Rocky Top are primed for a signature win for Josh Heupel. Is this the week?
Art's Pick: Tennessee
Postins: Tennessee's trend line is pretty clear — play a bad team and blow them out. Play a good team and get blown out. Ole Miss is a good team. Expect an Ole Miss blowout.
Matthew's Pick: Ole Miss
Hamm - No way the Tennessee defense stops Lane Kiffin's explosive Ole Miss offense, but Hendon Hooker has clearly helped the Volunteers turn a corner. This one should be high-scoring but the Vols can't keep up.
Timm's Pick: Ole Miss
No. 12 Oklahoma State at Texas - 11 a.m.
Galatzan: Texas has a lot to prove this week after blowing their lead against Oklahoma. I think Sark has them ready to play.
Matt's Pick: Texas
Thompson: Texas is going to have to trust the passing attack this week. Without Jordan Whittington, I expect this to be a game where Xavier Worthy and Josh Moore both break out for over 150 receiving yards in an upset win at home.
Cole's Pick: Texas
Garcia - Okie State always plays well in Austin under Mike Gundy, but this feels different.
Art's Pick: Texas
Postins: This is a much harder game to predict than it was in July. I'm not sure anyone expected Texas' offense to be quite this explosive. And, certainly, few expected Oklahoma State to have one of the best defenses in the country. I covered this game two years ago and Texas won that game by six.
That was with Sam Ehlinger at quarterback and a Cowboys defense that, as we now know in hindsight, was getting better. I'm going to give the edge to Texas at home. But that's the only reason. I wouldn't be surprised to see OSU win this game.
Matthew's Pick: Texas
Hamm - The Longhorns' loss to Oklahoma last Saturday at the Cotton Bowl was a heartbreaker and may have been a dealbreaker. Texas needs this win to keep their conference championship hopes alive, but Mike Gundy and the Cowboys need a big win too for the same reason.
Timm's Pick: Oklahoma State
UCF at No. 3 Cincinnati – 11 a.m.
Galatzan: Holy crap Cincinnati is No. 3? I guess i'll go with the Bearcats.
Matt's Pick: Cincinnati
Thompson: Is Dillion Gabriel playing in this game? No? Give me the Bearcats by at least two scores.
Cole's Pick: Cincinnati
Garcia - This is the Big 12 Lite. Well, so is the Big 12 in general.
Art's Pick: Cincinnati
Postins: The two future Big 12 members square off as Cincinnati tries to protect its undefeated season and its slender path to College Football Playoff consideration. UCF beat Boise State, but it also lost to Louisville and Navy.
Still not sure what to expect here, but I think Cincinnati wins a close one.
Matthew's Pick: Cincinnati
Hamm - Without Dillon Gabriel in the lineup, UCF probably won't hit 10 points against the Cincinnati defense.
Timm's Pick: Cincinnati
No. 19 BYU at Baylor - 2:30 p.m.
Galatzan - Why is Baylor's schedule so weird? BYU by two scores.
Matt's Pick: BYU
Thompson - Somewhat of a reunion in Waco for Baylor's offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. Since leaving for the Lone Star State, Baylor's offense has drastically improved, averaging 38.5 points per game. The Cougars will finally get a proper welcome into the Big 12.
Cole's Pick: Baylor
Garcia - BYU had the wind take from its sail by Boise State. The Bears will punch a hole in the side of the Cougars' ship.
Art's Pick: Baylor
Postins: Baylor head coach Dave Aranda knows the Cougars well. He squared off with them as an assistant at Hawaii, Utah State, Wisconsin and LSU. Now he’ll match wits with them as a head coach for the first time. BYU is smarting from its loss to Boise State. Something tells me they come to Waco and punch their future Big 12 rivals in the mouths.
Matthew's Pick: BYU.
Hamm - Baylor has taken huge strides on offense this season and it's complimented by a stout Bears' defense. While the BYU offense is good, its defense won't be able to stop Baylor.
Timm's Pick: Baylor
Purdue at No. 2 Iowa – 2:30 p.m.
Galatzan: Iowa has a chance to do something really special in 2021. And that only happens if they can win games they are supposed to win after emotionally draining weeks previously. I think they do it.
Matt's Pick: Iowa
Thompson - I get that Purdue has played close against teams like Notre Dame and Minnesota, but neither defense they faced was stellar. The Hawkeyes rank top five in scoring defense and rank top 10 in total. Iowa's offense stalls but wins.
Cole's Pick: Iowa
Garcia - Not sure Iowa is the class of the Big Ten, but the Hawkeyes should be fine at home.
Art's Pick: Iowa
Postins: Iowa has a clear path to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis. It just has to win out. First up after its huge win over Penn State is Purdue, a team talented enough to screw with Iowa … for about three quarters. But that may be enough for the Boilermakers to make the Hawkeyes sweat it out.
Matthew's Pick: Iowa
Hamm - The Boilermakers' lack of a consistent running game will hurt them, but they're better rested while Iowa is coming off a physically and mentally taxing game against Penn State. This is a trap game for Iowa.
Timm's Pick: Purdue
TCU at No. 4 Oklahoma, 6 p.m.
Galatzan: Oklahoma pulled off the comeback of the year last week, and may have found a quarterback in the process. Give me the Sooners.
Matt's Pick: Oklahoma
Thompson - Some people believe that a two QB system can work. It can't. Even when the best teams like Alabama tried to work a pair of gunslingers, it backfired. Lincoln Riley needs a slice of humble pie after his comments this week and Zach Evans feels like the proper waiter to deliver it.
Cole's Pick: TCU
Garcia - What's Gary Patterson gonna complain about this week?
Art's Pick: OU
Postins: I watched the TCU-Texas Tech game and the Horned Frogs absolutely gashed the Red Raiders’ run defense. It was complete dominance. And they did that with a banged up offensive line (their starting guards were out). Now, running back Zach Evans and quarterback Max Duggan are questionable.
There are too many questions with the Horned Frogs going into the game for me to take the upset, and that’s saying something given the BIG question mark behind center in Norman.
Matthew’s Pick: Oklahoma
Hamm - The Sooners are coming off on of the most emotional victories they've had in a while at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, and trying to figure things out at quarterback. If Max Duggan and TCU can succeed in the passing game against OU's leaky defensive backfield, they stand a chance, even in Norman.
Timm's Pick: TCU
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