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RTI Pick 6: Week 14

Nick Saban-1

 No. 15 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (-8.5) 7:45 Saturday ESPN

Daniel: You never know what will happen in the Iron Bowl. But Alabama seems to be about as close to a sure thing as you can find in college football right now. Balance is the key for the Tide – it’s a pick-your-poison situation – either sellout to stop their talented backs or expose yourself in the secondary where Amari Cooper can run wild. That’s true for any defense and especially true for the Tigers, who have been weak on that side of the ball in recent weeks. I’m not expecting any crazy endings this year. I’ll take Alabama to take care of business. Winner: Alabama 31-20

Houston:  The Iron Bowl just doesn’t have that same shine to it this year as it has recently. Auburn appears to be in scramble mode since their fourth quarter collapse against Texas A&M and the following whipping in Athens one week later. While Alabama may have had a shaky start to the 2014 season, the Tide have peaked in recent weeks and are hitting on all cylinders right now. Blake Sims and Amari Cooper are a match made in heaven and I don’t expect Auburn’s defense to have an answer for what that duo will do in this game. I think this line is about right, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Bama blew the doors off of the Tigers this year – and that’s exactly what I’m picking. Payback is a B. Winner: Bama 45-24

Reed: I’m a Malzahn fan, but Auburn just doesn’t have what it takes to win this game. Their defense has been abysmal lately – struggling with tackling and limiting yards after the catch. Amari Cooper, Blake Sims and Bama’s punishing backs will cause all kinds of problems for that Tiger defense. Never say never in this rivalry, but I’ll be floored if Auburn finds a way to win this one. Winner: Tide 35-17

Wes: While the SEC grind has taken its toll on most teams, the Crimson Tide just keep rolling. The 2014 Tide look more like a steady ebb than a tidal wave, but Nick Saban’s bunch has been consistent and clutch since losing to Ole Miss. The Tigers have lost consecutive conference games and looked extremely lackluster last week against Samford. An even uglier stat: Auburn has surrendered 31 points or more in each of its last five SEC contests, going 2-3 during that stretch. War Eagle can expect a fourth-quarter ceasefire, because the game will be well in hand. Winner: Alabama 38-17

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