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.”