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College football picks: SEC future and present highlight Week 6 with Red River, Alabama-Texas A&M

The Southeastern Conference, present and future, takes center stage Saturday. At the Dallas State Fair, Texas’ #3…

The Southeastern Conference, present and future, takes center stage Saturday.

At the Dallas State Fair, No. 3 Texas and No. 12 Oklahoma will play the final Red River Rivalry game as members of the Big 12 before joining the SEC next year.

Instead of Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark being at the game, the SEC’s Greg Sankey will be coming to check on two new members who made it through the first month of the season undefeated. The Longhorns and Sooners will both bring unbeaten records to the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 2008.

The grudge match is the first game of a Lone Star State doubleheader for Sankey, who plans to travel to College Station to watch the mid-afternoon matchup between No. 11 Alabama and Texas A&M, the only two remaining undefeated teams in the SEC conference. West.

Perhaps the most important game in today’s SEC is between the two top-ranked teams in the East Division: No. 20 Kentucky takes on No. 1 Georgia, and the Wildcats are out again to prove that they are more than just vying for second place in the standings. East.

The least known SEC team is No. 21 Missouri, which hosts No. 23 LSU in Columbia. After an epic defensive collapse last week, the two-loss Baton Rouge Tigers are already in danger of being buried in the SEC West basement.

The five most intriguing games in Week 6 have a significant bias toward the SEC.

No. 3 Texas vs. No. 12 Oklahoma in Dallas

The Longhorns beat the Sooners last season in historic fashion, 49-0, ending a four-game losing streak in the series. The Sooners played that game without injured quarterback Dillion Gabriel and it was the third loss in a three-game skid that effectively ended any hopes of contending for a Big 12 title.

Gabriel comes into this game healthy and, like this team, isn’t getting much attention for what has been a torrid start. The fifth-year quarterback totaled 1,593 yards and 15 touchdowns.

On the other side, Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers totaled 1,358 yards and 10 scores.

LINE: Texas by 6 1/2. TO PICK: TEXAS 31-28.

No. 11 Alabama at Texas A&M

A huge opportunity for coach Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies to quickly take control of the West, a division they have yet to win since joining the SEC in 2012.

Just a few seasons ago, A&M knocked off a top Tide team as an unranked team in College Station, then finished the season 8-4. So no, don’t crown the winner of this game.

But considering the state of the West, this looks like a case where either Alabama restores order or the Aggies finally make a real breakthrough under Fisher.

LINE: Alabama by 2 1/2. PICK: Texas A&M 23-22.

No. 20 Kentucky to No. 1 Georgia

The Bulldogs have won 13 straight in the series, including two meetings in the last five years where both teams were ranked. Georgia won those two games by 17 points and outscored the Wildcats 497-135 overall.

Vanderbilt transfer Ray Davis is coming off a monster game for Kentucky (280 rushing yards on 26 carries).

The two-time reigning national champions have yet to play a decisive match this season. Here’s their chance.

LINE: Georgia by 14 1/2. PICK: Georgia 31-14.

No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 25 Louisville

Third straight week with a ranked opponent for the Fighting Irish, and second straight on the road against an upstart Atlantic Coast Conference team. Notre Dame has won 30 straight regular season games against ACC competition.

In the first year under hometown hero Jeff Brohm, the Cardinals are 5-0 for the first time since 2013.

LINE: Notre Dame by 6 1/2. PICK: Notre Dame 27-21.

No. 23 LSU at No. 21 Missouri

LSU is trying to avoid falling to 3-3 with two SEC losses after starting the season No. 5 in the country. The Tigers’ defense has been a mess, tied for 121st in the nation with 6.47 yards per play allowed.

Undefeated Missouri (5-0) has the weapons to take an advantage, starting with WR Luther Burden III, who is second in the nation with 128.8 receiving yards per game.

LINE: LSU by 6 1/2. PICK: MISSOURI 35-31.

The rest of Saturday’s games involving ranked teams and FBS foes, with lines from FanDuel Sportsbook:

No. 2 Michigan (minus 19 1/2) at Minnesota

Can the Gophers be the first opponent to break seven points against the Wolverines? …MICHIGAN 35-13.

Maryland (up 19 1/2) at No. 4 Ohio State

The Buckeyes are 8-0 against the Terps since Maryland joined the Big Ten, averaging 57.5 points per game… OHIO STATE 38-21.

Virginia Tech at No. 5 Florida State (minus 23 1/2)

The Seminoles have scored at least 30 in 10 straight games…FLORIDA STATE 45-17.

Arizona (up 21 1/2) to No. 9 Southern California

The status of Wildcats quarterback Jayden De Laura (ankle) remains uncertain after missing last week’s game…USC 49-31.

No. 13 Washington State (up 3 1/2) at UCLA

The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in defense with 3.75 yards per play allowed…WASHINGTON STATE 27-24.

Syracuse (up 8 1/2) at No. 14 North Carolina

Only the third meeting since the Orange joined the ACC in 2013… NORTH CAROLINA 31-24.

No. 15 Oregon State Cal (up 9 1/2)

Match between the two best rushers in the Pac-12, Jayden Ott of Cal and Damien Martinez of OSU… OREGON STATE 24-16.

Arkansas (up 11 1/2) to No. 16 Mississippi

The Hogs and Rebels have had some close, high-scoring games recently…MISSISSIPPI 34-24.

Georgia Tech at No. 17 Miami (minus 20 1/2)

Quietly, the Hurricanes are third nationally in offense, averaging 8.24 yards per play… MIAMI 42-17.

No. 24 Fresno State at Wyoming (up 5 1/2)

The Bulldogs have won four straight in the series, the last two by shutout…WYOMING 20-17.


Colorado (minus 4 1/2) at Arizona State (@DanaBecker). Deion Sanders’ team leaves the big stage to join the Pac-12 network… COLORADO 34-27.

Wake Forest (over 20 1/2) at Clemson (@BlakleyRon). The Tigers have won 14 straight against the Demon Deacons, including a wild double overtime game last year…CLEMSON 31-14.

Rutgers (up 13 1/2) at Wisconsin (@jcsteer). The Badgers are 4-0 against the Scarlet Knights averaging 34.5 points per game… WISCONSIN 24-14.

UCF (up 2 1/2) at Kansas (@lilerq74). The Knights are still looking for their first Big 12 win after blowing a 28-point lead last week against Baylor…UCF 34-31.

Marshall (over 6 1/2) at North Carolina State (@ThenotfakeBG). Thundering Herd looking for their second win of the season against an ACC team as Wolfpack makes a QB change…NC STATE 23-20.


Last week: directly – 16-5; Against the spread – 11-9-1.

Season: Straight – 90-27; Against the spread — 50-66-1.


Follow Ralph D. Russo on https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at http://www.appodcasts.com


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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