Once again ladies and gentlemen, and children of ALL ages, the Auburn Tigers will participate in the primo game of the week in Southeastern Conference play. The first Auburn-Florida game I ever attended was on November 2, 1963. Highlights later.
Last week I predicted five of six games correctly, and that brought my season stats to 43-9 and a percentage of .826. Kentucky did not defeat USC East (That’s the University of South Carolina for those of you in the laity), and, therefore, I did not have a perfect week. I have yet to go 100% in any of the previous five weeks. We look to rectify that in week six.
Onward and upward!
The SEC squadrons that will not play football on Saturday, nor any other day this week, are, in alphabetical order, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, the Mississippi “Butthurt” Bulldoggies (yes, your words will always resonate in my heart and mind, Keith Jackson), South Carolina, and Texas A&M.
And now let us pick to perfection! Grin along if you like!
Georgia vs. Tennessee
Neyland Stadium, located in the Great Smoky Mountains of the Volunteer State, will be the site of the University of Tennessee’s next humiliation. It will be administered by Kirby Smart’s Pups. Jeremy Pruitt truly needs to win some football games but it ain’t happnin’ Satday. Break out the corn cobs and moonshine at the pregame tailgate because the only folks celebrating after this one will be those clad in red and black. Georgia 42, Tennessee 10.
LSU vs. Utah State
The Aggies travel to Red Stick with a 4-2 record and a quarterback, Jordan Love, that has been hyped for the Heisman Trophy. It’s athletic department sent me a spiral notebook containing his 2018 accomplishments, even though I don’t vote on the award. That was sweet of them. What won’t be sweet is the mangling inflicted upon them by those Bayou Bengals. Ed Orgeron’s Kitties will having a blast playing with the toys from the home of National Parks, such as Monument Valley, before they open up a can of gumbo on the visitors. LSU 49, Utah State 17.
Missouri vs. Troy
“Rah rah rammer jammer, best team in Alabama, Teeee-Roy Teeee-Roy!” That’s a cheer we used to do at Troy “State” football games back in the mid 70’s when yours truly was romping the fields of Pike County. And you better believe we wuz a ROMPIN’ there at 701 South Brundidge St. Then Jesus intervened and said, “Slow down boy!” Well, another story for another day. Praise the Lord and Punt the Pigskin! I would love to see my alma mater upset the Tigers, like they did a few years back on a Thursday night game, but I do not foresee it. Chip Lindsey’s Trojans will fall at the hands of Kelly Bryant and company. Barry Odom’s Felines are -24.5. Rubber men get drubbed! Missouri 45, Troy 13.
Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt
The Johnny Rebs are but a seven point favorite over the Commissioned Naval Officers of NashVegas. That doesn’t seem to be quite enough, in this prognosticator’s feeble mind. The Grove will be a bustlin’ and the home boys will be a hustlin’. The coach with two first names, Matt Luke (my son’s name is Auburn Luke, BTW), will have his troops ready, and Derrick Mason (Jar) will sail back to Middle Tennessee, drop anchor, and re-evaluate his team’s dismal season at the halfway point. Ole Miss 28, Vanderbilt 17.
Auburn vs. Florida
And now we continue what I promised at the beginning of this Pulitzer piece! Yes, it was 1963 and my father, brother and I sat in temporary bleachers erected in front of the south end zone permanent seats, what was then, Cliff Hare Stadium. Florida had a big time halfback in Larry Dupree, later to become a first team All American in 1964. They were picked to whip us. And here’s the beauty of the situation. It was homecoming on The Plains! Guess whose homecoming it is this week? Yes, it’s the Water Lizards’ call to ole grads and all that accompanies it, Gator Growl, etc. All this is an attempt to muster up an electric atmosphere in The Swamp which could lead to an upset of General Gus Malzahn and his seventh ranked Tigers.
But back to ’63. Auburn beat the hell out of Florida that autumn afternoon, beneath the sun kist skies, to the tune of 19-Zip, and all the points were scored in Little Tweetie’s end zone! Two field goals by Woody Woddall, one 25 yard run by Jimmy Sidle, and one pick six by sophomore linebacker Wild Bill Cody. It was glorious! Yes, the atmosphere will be electric and the Gators will be a chompin’, but the visiting Felines flatten the home team, going away, in the fourth quarter. Oh wait! The 1963 edition of the Water Lizards had a brash young freshman quarterback who later became the Head Ball Coach in Gainesville. But freshmen couldn’t play with the varsity back then. Steve Spurrier would have to wait until two years later to return to Cliff Hare Stadium and take his whipping, 28-17, administered by the heavy underdog Tigers in 1965. Yes, it was again a homecoming game. Later Gators! Auburn 30, Florida 17.
Next week… Batman vs. Mr. Freeze (as Auburn has an open week), and many other surprises right here on Bird’s Banter!
Take care out there and be sure to love your neighbor! But you’d better not covet his ox nor his ass!