Predictions for SMU-Tulane, Texas A&M-Mississippi St. and key national matchups

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This week, The Dallas Morning News’ panel of nine college football experts — including columnists, writers and editors from The News as well as personalities from The Ticket, FSSW, NBC5 and the Denton Record-Chronicle — makes predictions for 20 different college football games, both straight and against the spread.

Most of this week’s marquee games are national matchups not involving local schools. But even without many high-profile matchups and with the majority of the area’s teams either idle or having their games postponed for COVID-19 reasons, there still are some local games of note. Unbeaten and ranked SMU will travel to New Orleans to take on a pesky Tulane team on Friday. The following day, Texas A&M will travel to Starkville on the heels of its massive win over Florida a week ago to try to keep the positive momentum going against Mike Leach and Mississippi State.

From a national standpoint, all eyes will be on SEC West and SEC East favorites Alabama and Georgia as they square off in Tuscaloosa. The host Crimson Tide are currently five-point favorites over a Bulldog team that boasts the nation’s most dangerous defense.

Other games of note include LSU at Florida, Auburn at South Carolina, Louisville at Notre Dame and BYU at Houston.

Our predictions for those seven games, as well as 13 others, can be found below:

Previous weeks’ picks: Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2

Find more college sports coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

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Trump, Biden zero in on swing states that are key to victory

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JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — With Election Day just three weeks away, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden concentrated Tuesday on battleground states both see as critical to clinching an Electoral College victory, tailoring their travel to best motivate voters who could cast potentially decisive ballots.

Biden went to Florida to court seniors, looking to deliver a knockout blow in a state Trump needs to win while trying to woo a group whose support for the president has slipped. And Trump visited Pennsylvania, arguably the most important state on the electoral map, unleashing fierce attacks on Biden’s fitness for office in his opponent’s backyard.

“He’s shot, folks. I hate to tell you, he’s shot,” Trump told a big rally crowd in Johnstown, saying there was extra pressure on him to win because Biden was the worst presidential candidate of all time. “Can you imagine if you lose to a guy like this? It’s unbelievable.”

In his second rally since contracting the coronavirus, Trump spoke for more than an hour to a crowd of thousands packed in tightly and mostly maskless. Like the night before in Florida, Trump seemed healthy, and his rhetoric on the pandemic — including the dubious claim that it was mostly a thing of the past — changed little despite his own illness, except for his threat to kiss audience members to prove his immunity.

Trump made a local pitch, hammering home the claim that a Democratic administration could limit fracking in areas where the economy is heavily dependent on energy, despite Biden’s proposal to only bar new leases on federal land, a fraction of U.S. fracking operations. And Trump, touting his elimination of a federal rule that would have brought more low-income housing to the suburbs, zeroed in on groups whose support he has struggled


Key ways Sullivan and Hayes differ on the economy and education in the coronavirus crisis

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The coronavirus crisis that continues to stifle jobs and schools across the nation is a key dividing line in the race for Connecticut’s most competitive congressional district.

A New Fairfield prosecutor trying to be the first Republican to represent the 5th District since 2006 says the direction voters wanted when they elected Donald Trump president in 2016 is the way out of the COVID-19 crisis for people in northwestern and central Connecticut.

But U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes says the correction voters wanted when they elected her and a Democratic majority to the House of Representatives in 2018 is the way to help schools in need and get the economy back on its feet in Connecticut.

Republican challenger David X. Sullivan, a retired assistant U.S. attorney, said he started out campaigning against Hayes but has wound up fighting a war against “Marxism.”

“We need to move forward to provide help to people, but we have to transition away from total dependency on the federal government,” Sullivan told Hearst Connecticut Media last week. “We want to get people back to work.”

Hayes, who first made the spotlight in 2016 as the national Teacher of the Year, said relief for jobs and schools in Connecticut’s 5th District can’t wait for the next election day mandate on Nov. 3.

“We are in a Democratic majority in the House and the bills we are passing reflect Democratic priorities, but they also reflect the priorities of the people of this district,” Hayes told Hearst Connecticut Media. “I vote for the plan that does the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people.”

Hayes’ and Sullivan’s comments came at the end of a week of virtual 5th District debates in Danbury and Waterbury, and a week of partisan debates in Washington, D.C., over a new


Mario Molina, Nobel-winning Mexican chemist who made key climate change finding, dies at 77

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mario Molina, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1995 and the only Mexican scientist to be honored with a Nobel, died Wednesday in his native Mexico City. He was 77 years old.

Molina’s family announced his death in a brief statement through the institute that carried his name. It did not give a cause of death.

He won the prize along with scientists Frank Sherwood Rowland of the United States and Paul Crutzen of the Netherlands for their research into climate change.

Molina and Rowland published a paper in 1974 that saw the thinning of the ozone layer as a consequence of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, chemicals used in a range of products.

Molina’s work contributed to the drafting of the first international treaty on the subject, the Montreal Protocol, which phased out the use of the chemicals. Later, he focused on confronting air pollution in major cities like his own Mexico City and pushing for global actions to promote sustainable development.

One of his last public appearances was alongside Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, also a scientist, in a video conference during which Molina reflected on the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of wearing masks to avoid transmission.

Molina was a member, among other institutions, of the National Academy of Sciences and for eight years was one of the 21 scientists who composed President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

Only two other Mexicans have been awarded Nobel Prizes: Alfonso García Robles received the Peace Prize in 1982 for his work on nuclear weapons negotiations and writer Octavio Paz was awarded the prize for literature in 1990.

Molina died on the same day this year’s prize for chemistry was awarded.

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College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for key top 25 games in Week 5

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The 2020 college football season has been anything but normal so far, and that includes in the SEC, which was the defending national champions upset last week as it began play. Now entering Week 5 of the overall season, the SEC truly takes centerstage with the two biggest games of the day.

No. 2 Alabama hosts No. 13 Texas A&M in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week as Jimbo Fisher — in Year 3 with the Aggies — looks to become the first Nick Saban assistant ever to topple his boss. The Crimson Tide are heavily favored in the contest, but in this wild season it seems like anything can happen in a given game. There is also the first top-10 showdown of the season in the evening as No. 4 Georgia hosts No. 7 Auburn in one of the SEC’s biggest rivalry games. Will the Bulldogs have their quarterback situation worked out, or will the Tigers pull off the upset as a near-touchdown underdog?

Let’s take a look at the biggest games on the schedule Saturday along with our picks and predictions for what will transpire in those contests. Our CBS Sports college football experts have picked every game both straight up and against the spread, giving you ample opportunity to decide how to make your picks ahead of kickoff.

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook | All times Eastern

South Carolina at No. 3 Florida (-17.5) — Noon on ESPN: The Gamecocks are just 1-3 against the Gators in Will Muschamp’s tenure, but their average margin of defeat in those three losses is just 9.3 points. South Carolina scored 27 against Florida last season and 31 in 2018. Given how vulnerable Florida’s defense looked against Ole Miss, it’s a safe bet that South Carolina will reach at

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