I went to bed last Saturday night thinking that Mississippi State had defeated Auburn 17–9, only to awake on Sunday morning and discover that MSU didn’t win, but Auburn lost. The local newspaper covered every aspect of the Tiger’s ineptness on both sides of the ball, and made little or no mention of my Bulldogs play.
I suppose that after Auburn signed a host of 5 star recruits, there is no way the likes of MSU should be able to stay on the field with the Plainsmen, but like the bumblebee that cannot fly, we somehow managed to eke out an SEC victory. MSU made a real positive step towards ascending from the SEC West cellar, and might actually have a better season than the talking heads predicted.
In other SEC action, the Razorbacks let me down on my prediction of a hog victory in Dallas. They played tough, did a lot of good things, but lost in overtime to A&M. Kentucky managed to salvage some of my football wizardry by beating Mizzou in a hard fought game in Lexington. The Wildcats will continue to get better as the season advances.
On Friday I got an email from just below the Arctic Circle. It was my old friend Ken Walslaben bemoaning the performance of his Syracuse Orangemen, and predicting a rout at the hands of LSU. I shared my belief that LSU isn’t a great football team, a good one, but not great. Syracuse dropped a ten point contest and looked better than they did in their three point win over Central Michigan.
Alabama stomped Louisiana–Monroe, and Ole Miss finally took care of business by beating feisty Vandy. Tennessee managed to find a way to lose again, blowing a big fourth quarter lead ala the Oklahoma game, while Georgia and South Carolina beat their patsy of the week.
On the national scene, there were only a couple of surprises. I was shocked by the pounding Michigan laid on BYU, and the humiliation of Oregon at the hands of Utah. TCU, Baylor and USC continued their winning ways, as did Notre Dame and Michigan State. I was a little surprised that Georgia Tech took it on the chin at the hands of Duke.
I have a friend who’s an avid fan of Middle Tennessee State and another who bleeds blue and white in support of the U. of Memphis. Both schools have pretty darn good football teams. The MTSU Blue Raiders are sitting at 2–2 after losing close battles to Alabama and Illinois of the Big Ten, and The Blue Bengals are undefeated at 4–0. Both of these schools will be factors in the C-USA, and both should have good overall records.
Looking forward to this week’s games, the premiere contest should be the meeting of #13 Alabama and #8 Georgia between the hedges. Since I’ve already predicated that Georgia would finish their regular season undefeated and lose to Ole Miss in the SEC Championship game, I’ll have to go with the Red & Black Bulldogs.
Another game with big time importance, will find the #3 Ole Miss Rebels traveling to that hell hole known as Ben Hill Griffin stadium to face the undefeated and #25 Gators. Despite a lot of jaw snapping hype, the Rebel’s will win a close, hard fought game and keep their hopes of running the table alive.
Number 6 Notre Dame will pay a visit to #12 Clemson, and leave South Carolina with a large orange paw print on their backs. TCU should trash the Texas Longhorns, and I think my Bulldogs will surprise the Texas A&M Aggies. There it is folks, let the rebuttals begin.
About your football predictions this week:
I, unfortunately, agree that OM will pull it out in Gainesville. UF’s defense will force Chad Kelly into his second sub-par performance in a row, but I just don’t think the Gators have the O-line to score enough points to win. The only way UF wins is if OM puts the ball on the ground 5 times or something similarly bone-headed. I will say this: if it’s a close game in the 4th quarter and the game hinges on a coaching decision on either side, my money is on McIlwain, not Bucky the Beaver.
I will depart with you on MSU and A&M though. I want to believe, I really do. But I expect A&M to win. They can score in bunches and will eke out a track meet I fear. In an attempt to keep their offense on the sidelines, our running game will make its best showing yet, completely surprising Chavis et. al. And if we can contain their Wonderkind freshman receiver we may stand a chance. If we do win I believe we have a legit chance to go into the Egg Bowl with one loss. Even if we lose, I still think we can run the table until then. We will whip Alabama’s ass in Starkville, and while we may have some other close, tough games (UK, @ Mizzou, @Ark) no remaining team has enough talent/balance/experience to really worry me until we meet the Plantation.