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Mark Edwards' picks: Go with Bulldogs over Tigers, Tide over cowbells

Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn goes through Tiger Walk.

Auburn steps forward this week with the state's biggest game, as the Tigers host Georgia.

Meanwhile, Alabama must visit Mississippi State and listen to clanga-clanga-clanga of cowbells all day long. Yes, there's such a thing as too much cowbell.

Jacksonville State has the weekend off before finishing its season next week at home against Eastern Kentucky.

So, let's move on to the picks:

No. 4 Georgia (8-1) at No. 12 Auburn (7-2): Georgia is awfully good defensively, although it helps that the Bulldogs like to run the ball, which milks the clock and gives both teams fewer possessions.

Still, Georgia is fifth in total defense, fourth in run defense and second in scoring defense. The great and wonderful Auburn defense — which we are told often is one of the best around — isn't in the top 10 in any major defensive category. … Georgia 23, Auburn 13.

No. 5 Alabama (8-1) at Mississippi State (4-5): With Tua Tagovailoa struggling with his injured right foot, don't be surprised if Mac Jones gets the call to quarterback the Crimson Tide. If that's so, expect to see plenty of Alabama running back Najee Harris, who wasn't used much in the first three games but has picked up at least 105 yards in four of the six games since then. he ran for 146 against LSU and gained 44 more receiving.

Mississippi State relies on the running game, too, with Kylin Hill ranking first in the SEC and 10th nationally with 1,027 rushing yards this season. ... Alabama 28, Mississippi State 10.

No. 1 LSU (9-0) at Ole Miss (4-6): The Tig-ahs celebrated so hard and long after beating Alabama, it might be a minor miracle if they get to Oxford, Miss., without still being hungover. Still, Ole Miss isn't good enough to put up enough of a fight to win. … LSU 35, Ole Miss 21.

Indiana (7-2) at No. 9 Penn State (8-1): If Penn State can win this week and next over Ohio State, the Big Ten Championship Game likely would match Penn State and Minnesota. Should an 11-1 Ohio State team still make the playoff? … Penn State 31, Indiana 14.

No. 11 Florida (8-2) at Missouri (5-4): Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant is supposed to play after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has done well in relief after the Gators lost Feleipe Franks early in the season. He ranks fourth in the SEC in passing efficiency. Tagovailoa is first, LSU's Joe Burrow second and Alabama's Mac Jones third (seriously), followed by Trask. … Florida 27, Missouri 20.

Michigan State (4-5) at No. 15 Michigan (7-2): Still waiting for Michigan's Jim Harbaugh to dethrone Nick Saban as the country's greatest coach. The Wolverines are getting better, though — they're tied with Indiana for third place in the Big Ten East Division. … Michigan 26, Michigan State 13.

No. 23 Navy (7-1) at No. 16 Notre Dame (7-2): Notre Dame used to beat Navy pretty thoroughly every year, but the Midshipmen have won four of the past 12 in this series, including in 2016. They rank first nationally in rushing offense and ninth in scoring, but Notre Dame is at home. … Notre Dame 30, Navy 27.

Wake Forest (7-2) at No. 3 Clemson (10-0): After starting the season slow, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence hasn't thrown an interception in the last three games. He's up to eighth nationally in passing efficiency … Clemson 45, Wake Forest 9.

No. 8 Minnesota (9-0) at No. 20 Iowa (6-3): Iowa has played three ranked teams this year and lost every time. … Minnesota 30, Iowa 29.

No. 10 Oklahoma (8-1) at No. 13 Baylor (9-0): Whoever wins this game, Baylor coach Matt Rhule has turned around the program since coming from Temple in 2017. He went 1-11 his first year to nine wins (and counting) this year. The scandal-ridden school isn't out of the woods yet, so we really don't know if Rhule is any better than the previous guys at condoning sexual assault. He's winning football games, although it's come against a pretty weak schedule. ... Oklahoma 49, Baylor 31.

Last week: 6-4. Missed on LSU over Alabama, and Tennessee Tech over Jacksonville State. OK, so sue me over backing the home teams. Also missed on Minnesota over Penn State, and Wisconsin over Iowa. Not a good week.

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

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