SEC Football: Week Nine Picks

Boom! We finally had a perfect week! Yes, week eight was an unblemished and, thus, we are inspired to reach similar heights beginning this round. The season record is now 59-16. That makes the pct. .786. I forgot to pick a lock (was I trying to break into a safe?) and the season lock tally remains at 4-3. Several teams have a bye week, as was the case last week. And so, my fellow football fanatics, let’s do this!

Missouri (-16.5) at Vanderbilt

“Nashville cats, play clean as country water 
Nashville cats, play wild as mountain dew 
Nashville cats, been playin’ since they’s babies 
Nashville cats, get work before they’re two…”

If anyone can tell me who wrote and recorded that song, without cheating, that person will receive free tickets to this weekend’s big game between Vanderbilt and Missouri!

Crickets

That’s just how much excitement surrounds this contest in NashVegas Satday. The Tigers are heavy favorites, as they should be, but if they are not on their p’s and q’s, they could be embarrassed by the Anchor boys. Missouri 38, Vanderbilt 27.

Georgia (-14) vs. Florida (In Jacksonville, FL)

“The World’s Largest Cocktail Party.” I am compelled to use that term in describing this high profile battle, each and every time I write about it, because it has been banned in official usage for some time now. For what it’s worth, there’ll be a whole heap of drankin’ going on in the River City, and environs, this weekend. Georgia is much better and will win the football game. The drinking game? Your guess is as good as mine. Georgia 38, Florida 16.

Ole Miss at Auburn (-3)

This could be the best game of the week. It is certainly the premier game being played in the Southeastern Conference. Number 10 vs. number 18. Now, let’s stop it right there. The Lane Train and Ole Miss have been getting a whole lotta love in 2021 (Cue Led Zeppelin). Deserved? Maybe. You cannot deny that Matt Corral deserves all the love he’s been getting. He is lights out. He will need to be neutralized to some degree. And I will say this, Auburn and Bo Nix quietly continue to improve each week. The Tigers should get many of their walking wounded back Bryan Harsin is finding firm footing in the SEC. This is a huge game for both teams. You better lookout for the squad that emerges as a winner Saturday. I full expect the winner to be the home team. At night in Jordan-Hare. Auburn 42, Ole Miss 31.

Kentucky at Mississippi State (-1)

Another potential humdinger. The home team has been gaining a foothold in the SEC throughout the season and now are a rather formidable opponent. The Cats keep marching toward a season to remember. The sparks should fly in StarkVegas on Satday night. Look for this one to go down to the wire, Kentucky 28, Miss State 24.

Let’s not forget to do a lock this week. I’ll take Georgia -14 over the Florida Water Lizards. I hope each and every one of you has a great weekend. Go Braves! Be safe on the highways and byways. The glass is neither half full or half empty. The glass is full. Love your neighbor. And, as always, click, read, share. Peace out!

SEC Football: Week Eight

When I sat down to begin writing this blog a few minutes ago, I had the TV on and heard Paul Finebaum welcome Lane Kiffin to his program. So I stopped, went into the den, and listened to what the Ole Miss coach would have to say about the game tomorrow with LSU. Soon into the interview they got to the subject of Coach O and his situation and moved on to his relationship with Coach Kiffin. Lane spoke glowingly of Coach O and of how Orgeron mentored and taught him so much about coaching and particularly recruiting, among other things. Then the conversation turned to the game last weekend in Neyland Stadium and the nightmare that occurred there in Knoxville. Lane played it all down and tried to keep it light. Then he was asked about having all the the debris, including the golf ball thrown at him and his team. The crowd had also been screamed at Kiffin in unflattering ways. The Ole Miss coach replied that he had something of a God moment and tried to return love to the frenzied fans that were abusive toward him. I was a bit stunned and had a God moment myself because of what the Ole Miss coach said.

We often get so wrapped up in the games and our passion gets the best of of us and we speak very harshly of the other teams, coaches, players, and the officials. We sometimes speak nastily of players and coaches on our own teams. I have worked hard on not behaving or speaking in that manner over the years and even moreso as of late. We were taught sportsmanship where I grew up and we were taught to behave as ladies and gentlemen.

One more thing before I get to the five games on the SEC schedule for this weekend. Our daughter and her husband have taught their daughter to never use the word hate. We strive not to use the word ourselves. Three or four weeks ago Melodye was on the phone with an extended family member talking about something very troublesome that had occurred to another family member and she said that she hated that it had happened. Our granddaughter was nearby listening, of course, and she said “Granny, we try not to use the word hate.” May it be so.

Now, let’s talk some SEC football!

AR-Pine Bluff at Arkansas (-48.5) @ Little Rock

When I worked for AAA, inspecting hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, and attractions (somebody’s got to do it), Arkansas was in my territory for three years. One of the “moments” I had, while traveling in The Natural State, was leaving Pine Bluff very shortly after sunrise one morning. A sense of beauty, belonging, wonder, awe, and peace came over me. I know that you have had many similar moments, as have I. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be one of those moments for AR-Pine Bluff on the field at War Memorial Stadium. I hope they enjoyed the trip over and do have special moments involving the spectacle of playing the mothership of football in the state. On the field it will not be pretty. Arkansas 56, AR-Pine Bluff 7.

LSU at Ole Miss (-8)

We return to the subject of Coach Kiffin’s Rebels and his mentor’s Tiguhs. It should be a most exciting clash. The Bayou Bengals showed prowess to get off the mat and win a big conference game in Red Stick last Satday versus the free falling (Tom Petty, a Gator, reference) Water Lizards. In a fight to the finish. Ole Miss 44, LSU 38.

Mississippi State (-20.5) at Vanderbilt

The hometown Music City boys came within an eyelash of defeating South Carolina last weekend. They won’t do that Satday. But will they scrap mightily? I hope so. The Pirate will direct his ship into the murky waters of the Cumberland River and NashVegas, seeking to return to StarkVegas with a victory. The Commodores will throw down the anchor but it won’t be enough. Mississippi State 42, Vanderbilt 24.

Tennessee at Alabama (-25)

It’s not the third Saturday in October in more ways than one. It just ain’t what it was. I think the last time The Rocky Toppers beat the Crimson Tide the wise men were trekking their way to Bethlehem bearing gifts to the baby Jesus. This one has a slight chance of being a shootout. A wide open affair would be fun to watch and it might begin that way but Saban and company pull away and win this homecoming contest on The Capstone. Alabama 45, Tennessee 20.

South Carolina at Texas A&M (-19.5)

Deep in the heart of Texas! We made the journey to Kyle Field in 2013 to see Nick Marshall and my Auburn Tigers upset Johnny Football and the Aggies. It was a glorious day that helped catapult The Gus Bus onward to the BCS National Championship game. It remains my favorite Auburn road trip of all time. Tremendous folks out there in College Station. This game will not be as scintillating as that one those eight years ago. I do hope the Rooster delegation has a great time like we did. Texas A&M 35, South Carolina 13.

And now it’s time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin. Oh yeah! Last week we were, again, just one game shy of going perfect. Another 6-1. The record now stands at 54-16. That’s a .771 pct. I nailed my lock last week. Auburn plus five at Arkansas. Locks record is now 4-3 on the season. I hope you good folks have a wonderful weekend and enjoy some great SEC football and also revel in the joy of the Braves winning the pennant on Satday night! Let’s close out with something from the late great Glen Campbell.

“You’ve got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness. Just shine your light for everyone to see. And if yo try a little kindness, then you’ll overlook the blindness of the narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.”

Peace out!

SEC Football: Week Seven Picks

It’s me! Ernest T! That was the first thing that popped into my head when I sat down to do this thing. Speaking of Andy Griffith, if you’ve never heard his comic masterpiece, ”They Call It Football,”do yourself a favor and give it a listen. Hey, listen again even if you have heard it. And, I would pay to listen to a college football prediction podcast hosted by Howard Sprague and Floyd the barber. They could have some guest pickers each week. Andy, Barney, Gomer, Goober, Otis. Heck, the could have Helen and Thelma Lou on as special guests one week. “Hey, Barn! Who’ve you got in the Kentucky-Georgia game? It’s between the hedges. Georgia minus 21 and a half.” And that brings us to week seven picks!

Auburn at Arkansas (-5)

It’s the first game of a CBS double header. The betting has been heavy, heavy on the Pigs. This is a critical game for both teams. Auburn controls its own destiny. Win out and you’re in Hotlanta. Might sound far-fetched but it’s true. Arky has struggles against the run. Run the football. If Auburn can do that and hits a few explosive plays, then it wins. IMHO. The Felines have won five-in-a-row in the series. The Razorbacks will be primed for this one. Back home after getting their butts whipped. Twice. They’ll be mad. Mad won’t be enough. Auburn 27, Arkansas 24.

Florida (-11.5) at LSU

An 11 AM kickoff in Red Stick. The stadium will be half empty and not terribly noisy. The Cajuns are mad too. They want a new coach. It’s a hot mess down on the Bayou. The corn dogs are stale. The gumbo is flat. The Water Lizards have had their issues as well. Dapper Dan will have a plan. I don’t think it’ll go down to the wire. The Swampers, not the Muscle Shoals guys, will be singing a victory tune after it’s said and done. Florida 37, LSU 20.

Texas A&M (-10.5) at Missouri

Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I want to go to bed…” The home towners can incorporate the state moniker into its song of defeat. That’s the short of it. The Aggies have been as high as Willie Nelson at the peak of one of his famous picnics since they beat Bama. We went to the 2003 Willie Nelson picnic. Speaking of high. The Dead also played opening night. They began with a long jam which morphed into a Sam Cook cover, “Get in the groove and let the good times roll. We’re gonna stay here till we sooth our souls, if it takes all night long.” Some dude, in front of us, in a cowboy hat and boots said, “Well, that group finally got through with their first song after an hour,” Yep. That’s The Dead. Texas A&M 34, Missouri 24.

Kentucky at Georgia (-21.5)

Cats and Dawgs. Benson and Hedges. Those were some long cigarettes. 101’s. “A silly millimeter longer.” I started on Winstons back when in ’69. I eventually worked my way over to Kools and later to Kool Milds before I quit in ’75. I don’t miss ’em. So much for the Bensons, back to the Hedges. Jawja at home. Jawja on the road. Don’t matter. Pups fared well on the road last week while Kanetuck was pounding what remains of LSU. The march to Hotlanta continues. Georgia 27, Kentucky 17.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina (-18)

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. YAAAAAWWWWWNNNNN! Cock a doodle do! Wake up! This is the Rooster! Prepare for your demise. South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 17.

Alabama (-17) at Mississippi State

Alabama is coming off a loss. How often do you hear that? Alabama is coming off a loss. That’s more rare than a 1909 SVDB penny. Mike Leach will bring an Air Raid party to Dais-Wade Stadium in StarkVegas Saturday night. Leach was once asked, at a press conference, what was the best party he had ever been to. He said it was at the Flora Bama Lounge. Then he went on to explain this as only Mike Leach can do. I hope this game is as much fun as a party at the Flora Bama. I think it will be for a bit. But ultimately the Tide will roll, just like the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in LA. Alabama 34, Miss State 21.

Ole Miss (-2.5) at Tennessee

We were talking about tobacco back up the blog a piece. We spent six years in a dwelling on Cecil Keesling’s tobacco and cattle farm, about 20 minutes north of Nashville from midway1990 to midway 1996. He kept the tobacco hanging in a barn out there. One day my son Luke relieved some of the tobacco from its spot in the barn and took it to school to sell it. Luke also mowed the word Satan in our spacious lawn on the riding mower. We saw Cecil out there attempting to decipher the demonic code shortly thereafter. I don’t know if he cracked it or not. Three hours to the east of us was Knoxville. Home of the Tennessee Vols. Those Vols, as you have noted, are an underdog at Neyland Stadium. That’s where the Corn Liquor Crowd will play host to the Rebels of Old Mississippi. This should be one of the best games of the day. There will be a heap of points piled up on the banks of the Tennessee River Satday. That we do know. I call this little contest dead even. Turnovers and/or penalties could tell the tale. Another one of those shaky nods to… Ole Miss 45, Tennessee 42.

Dang Alabama! It’s game was the only one I missed last week. AND that was my lock. Those now stand at 3-3. Overall we’re at 48-15 for a .761 pct. My lock? Auburn plus 5. “Winstons taste good like a cigarette should. Winstons taste good like a (pat pat) cigarette should!” Well slap the dog and spit in the fire! It’s time to get outta here. You know what to do. Love your neighbor. Drive safely. And if you feel an overwhelming urge to speak in unknown tongues, just let her rip. Peace out!

SEC Football: Week Six Picks

Week Five of picks was a mediocre effort, 5-3. That won’t won’t do. Overall record now stands at 42-14 for a .750 pct. I missed my lock, Arky at Georgia. That record is now 3-2. As Gus used to say, ‘We got to get butter.” How about Dem Tigers going down to Red Stick and breaking that hex voodoo jinx? Yeah! My blew gasket caused me to miss the trip to Louisiana and I cannot make it to the Georgia game either. But I can do this. Let’s go!

Arkansas at Ole Miss (-5.5)

They’ll be groovin’ in the Grove Saturday in Oxford. Burgers, ribs, BBQ, potato salad, desserts galore, and a big ol’ bowl of popcorn right smack dab in the middle of the table! Haw! Both of these squads got their comeuppance last weekend and are looking to right the ship. It should be a dandy! Methinks the home team has the edge. Ole Miss 38, Arkansas 31.

Vanderbilt at Florida (-39)

Back when my daughter was quite small she used the term “uh oye!”, when something went amiss, instead of the classic ”uh oh!” That is exactly what I said when I saw this one was next in my line of picks. And the game is to take place in The Swamp. ”Uh oye!” deux. The Gators lost last week and they’re angry. An ”Uh oye!” trifecta! Florida 55, Vanderbilt 10.

South Carolina at Tennessee (-10.5)

Rocky Top, Rocky Top! The Volunteers opened a can on Mizzou last week and cussed them while they were kickin’ them! Haw! The Roosters were given a fit by the men of Troy. I don’t think this will be a whippin’ of enormous magnitude although the home team should win the game. Tennessee 35, South Carolina 21.

Georgia (-15) at Auburn

The Big One. When I saw the opening line on this classic old rivalry, I thought it was a bit high. Then I paused to consider it and realized it really wasn’t too high at all. Georgia is a very, very good football team. Auburn is good and getting better. Coach Harsin is on a mission and he intends to accomplish that mission. This will be another step in establishing a new culture at Auburn. Visiting teams have struggled with raucus home crowds in the SEC in 2021. This will be the first hostile crowd that many of the Pups have experienced in their college careers. Covid taking care of last year. The last intimidating crowd the Dawgs actually came up against was at Jordan-Hare in 2019. Georgia’s eye popping defensive stats have to begin to adjust to a human level at some point. That could be Saturday. The Tigers will come in breathing fire. This one goes four quarters. And when it is all said and done. Georgia 24, Auburn 17.

North Texas at Missouri (-19)

When you were growing up, didn’t it seem there was always a dud in a pack of firecrackers? Well, boys and girls, this is that dud. Eli had a Drinkwitz his D line coach last week after the beatdown the Kitties received at Neyland Stadium last Satday and handed him a pink slip. Ho hum. Missouri 37, North Texas 20.

LSU at Kentucky (-2.5)

When was the last time The Cats were favored over the Bayou Bengals? I have no idea. Ok, that can be one of you good people’s homework. They are having football fun in Lexington and I love it. They aired a BASKETBALL tipoff show from AUBURN last night. Downtown on Toomer’s Corner. Playing roundball. Say what? ”When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.” And as Bobby Dylan sang, “the times they are a changin’.” There’s a bad moon on the rise in Baton Rouge. The days and nights ahead appear dark and ominous. Kentucky 24, LSU 21.

And…

Alabama (-18) at Texas A&M

This was supposed to be the Big One on October 9. Hit ain’t. Speaking of bad moons on the rise. One is sho nuff on the rise in College Station, TX. It’s hard to imagine that, arguably, the Aggies could plummet to the cellar of the SEC West. Strange days, indeed. Here comes the knockout punch, Jamesbo. Alabama 38, Texas A&M 14.

Whoa! My lock! Let’s put forth a good one. Got to tighten up. ”Now make it mellow.” Archie Bell and the Drells. Bama -18.

Take care. Drive safely. Read the Bible. Love your neighbor. And pet the dog. Peace out!

SEC Football: Week Five Picks

Here we are again, sports fans! A huge Saturday of SEC football, biggest week of the season! I hit my lock last week, Arkansas plus the 5.5, versus Texas A&M. 3-1 on those locks. And that’s 75% if you’re not doing the math at home. Also picked Arky to win the game, which they did. Totals now stand at 37-11 for a .770 pct. Time’s a wastin’! Let’s roll!

Arkansas at Georgia (-17.5)

The Piggies have been kickin’ butt and taking names. The Puppies haven’t been slack themselves. You have to score the most points to win the game. Georgia doesn’t give up many points at all. The home team will score more points than the visitors in this one. But not 17.5 more. My lock of the week. Razorbacks +17.5. Georgia 27, Arkansas 14.

Tennessee at Missouri (-2.5)

Even though the Vowels got beat by Florida, and it was 38-14, they did some good things and showed some promise. The Kitties lost a tough one at Boston College. The same BC (4-0) that Clemson best have its big boy britches on for in Death Valley. Rocky Tops fight hard but come up short. Missouri 34, Tennessee 28.

Ole Miss at Alabama (14.5)

The Lane Train will be full speed ahead in T-Town Satday afternoon. The Crimpson Tide will be ready. You know ol’ Kiff will have a few tricks up his sleeve, but ol’ Nick has numerous five star athletes on his squadron. Alabama 45, Ole Miss 31.

Troy at South Carolina (-6.5)

The Roosters better not get too cocky this week or my dear old alma mater will return to Pike County with a big fat “W” plucked from those fowl. Chip Lindsey’s Trojans will be primed for an upset. Another train, the Shane Train, will be steaming down the tracks at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC in one of those Cockabooses.. And it will be just a little too fast for the gents from the wire grass. South Carolina 24, Troy 20.

Florida (-7.5) at Kentucky

Oh Danny Boy, the Cats are calling… and they will be wild Saturday night at Kroger Field. I hear Gator is on sale at the local stores in Lexington. If the Water Lizards aren’t hitting on all eight, they will suffer SEC loss Numero Deux on the 2021 season. In a thriller… Florida 31, Kentucky 27.

Mississippi State at Texas A&M (-7)

Jamesbo cannot generate any offense out in Aggieland. Mike the Pirate will be air raiding with his Bullpups. Coach Fisher does have a good defense and one whale of a home crowd. That should be enough to topple the visitors. Texas A&M 27, Mississippi State 23.

UConn at Vanderbilt (-14.5)

The NashVegas gang is bad. The Huskies are worse. One of, if not THE worst in the FBS (1A). This could be uglier than Frankenstein’s Daughter on a bad night. You saw it right. The Dores are favored by 14.5. When on God’s green earth were they last favored like that? Haw! Maybe the last chance for a win on the Anchor Boys schedule. Vanderbilt 30, UConn 14.

Auburn at LSU (-3)

Mercy! Our Tigers. Their Tiguhs. Yaw yaw. 9 PM ET. Yaw yaw yaw! How will it geaux? Will it be T.J. or will it be Bo? This should turn from a rhyme fest to a slugfest. It will barn burning, humdinging, snot slinging, wild Saturday night in Red Stick. As former LSU head coach, Mike Archer, once said. “You can smell the bourbon from the field.” HooWee! Just before I pulled into Scott’s BBQ, in Cartersville, GA, where we have a Football Lunch every Friday around noon. Some Aubies. Some Dawgs. But all Cartersville Purple Hurricanes fans and boosters, except me. I’m a North Cobb Warriors guy who supports his wife’s place of employment for the past 25 years. I do pull for the Canes in their region. They continue to succeed as in the past glory years of hometown favorite, Trevor Lawrence. Undefeated. Anyway, a red light or two away from Scott’s, I finally thought I had this one picked. I don’t have a great deal of confidence for our boys in blue. And I thought I would pick LSU. (Still rhyming).But when I got into the Pig Palace and ordered, was given number 10. That’s Bo Nix. That’s Auburn. East Alabama’s Plainsmen from Lee County in a mild upset. A shaky nod to… Auburn 27, LSU 20.

It’s been good jawing at y’all again. I love me some Football Fridays and cannot wait until noon Saturday! SEC Football!!! Pick that lock. Settle in. Kick back. Read away. Share. Love your neighbor. And be safe on our nations highways and byways. Peace out!