SEC Football vs. The Corona Virus

In a steel cage! And after falling behind early the SEC has jumped out to a big lead! Beginning Sep-TEM-ber 26th! In a Southern state near you! Be there! Oops! Delete. I won’t be there and neither will you, most likely. The folks in Vegas just might, somewhere, have a line on when and where or IF the gates will open, to any degree, to the public. Place your bets!!!

To quote the band nearest and dearest to my heart, the Grateful Dead, “What a long strange trip it’s been!” Ya reckon’!!! 2020 has been one for the ages, to say the very least. I think I can safely say to each and every one of you of you friends and passionate followers of the Southeastern Conference, and even if you’re not, 2020 has been trying in a multitude of ways we could never have imagined. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

Ok, before I get too sappy, let us get down to the ever so important business at hand. College football. Hallelujah! It is here! I can picture Gene Wilder from the sidesplittingly humorous motion picture, Young Frankenstein. “It’s ALIVE! It’s ALIVE! It’s ALIVE!” Maybe not in all of its glory, but in enough of it to light my fire (a nod to The Doors).

Let’s pick ’em!

Florida (-13.5) vs. Ole Miss

The *Water Lizards will be writhing in anticipation as they await the arrival of a sparkling new, young coach who now heads up the home team from Old Mississipp’. The highly imaginative Lane Kiffin will, no doubt, bring a full arsenal of firepower into Gainesville, but Dan Mullen, also once a head coach in the Magnolia State, will be ready for it. You can count on it. His squad is not ranked number five for no reason. Many, including yours truly, have picked the Gators to unseat The Peach State Pups as champions of the ever improving SEC East. Florida 37, Ole Miss 20.

LSU (-16.5) vs. Mississippi State

Here is another intriguing matchup to take place within the borders of the great state of Mississippi. StarkVegas and her version of bull pups will play host to the defending NCAA National Champions. And they also have a sparkling new, but not so young, head coach in Mike Leach. The Pirate will be spinning tales and plotting an overthrow of the Bayou Bengals. Son/daughter, that is a tall order and certainly a not the game one would champion as an upset special. Coach O’s aggregation has lost a plethora of players to the NFL and COVID but remain quite talented. This could be a tight one for a bit, but no dice on the upset. LSU 31, Mississippi State 16.

OOPS 1! Sorry, the Tyguz do not get to make the trip to beautiful Starkville. This one is in Baton Rouge. How did I “fumble” on this? Beats me. My wife says I’m getting old. Don’t believe her. Well, I ain’t no spring chicken anymore! That’s for shore! You just have to shrug your shoulders and laugh sometimes. War Eagle!

Georgia (-27.5) vs. Arkansas

Speaking of sparkling new head coaches, we’ve got ourselves another up in the Ozarks of The Natural State. Sam Pittman, oddly enough, spent the past four seasons (Oh, how I sometimes miss one of my other lifetimes, as a Field Inspector for AAA, with perks like evaluating/staying at facilities such as the Four Seasons) on the UGA sideline as offensive line coach. Coach Pittman may or may not get it done in Fayetteville, but I’ll betcha the Piggies will be snortin’ to go Satday. No matter. Kirby Smart’s Bulldawgies are far too talented for the Hawgs and will prevail by a goodly margin. Georgia 38, Arkansas 10

Alabama (-27.5) vs. Missouri

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. Missouri’s Mildcats also have, say it with me, a sparkling new head coach in, this isn’t easy, Eliah Drinkwitz. As in, after one has spent too many hours at a bar and throwing them back with a friend, “I think I’ll havz anutter drinkwitz you. ” Hoo hoo, mercy! Eliah might be longing for the beautiful vistas of Boone, NC, where he was the head coach at Appalachian State after getting pounded into submission by the Pachyderms. The most interesting aspect of the clash could be just how hard and heavy Nick Saban wants his Tide to roll out in Columbia, MO. And it will. Alabama 42, Missouri 9

Texas A&M (-31) vs. Vanderbilt

Another Vegas hosting a football game this week. And this one’s first name is Nash (Remember Nash Bridges? I don’t. But I never watched Miami Vice either. No disrespect to Don Johnson.) Jimbo Fisher (Jim Morrison’s moniker with his bandmates, when he was drinking, was Jimbo), marches his troops eastward to the Capital of Tennessee. I would advise him, his boys, and Aggie fans not to partake of beer or wine, by the glass, in downtown Music City as there is now a 23% additional tax on those beverage servings. No, greed is not good, Gordon Gecko. And here would be a place to remind all of you playing at home to have the Google app close to you if you’re not picking up on all my silly references. Ok, those few tidbits will be infinitely more interesting, and certainly more entertaining, than the thrashing the Commodores will receive on Satday night. Texas A&M 41, Vanderbilt 12.

OOPS 2! What’s up with the “Vegas” games. No, this one will be played in College Station. But wasn’t all the Nashville stuff fun? You wouldn’t have been warned about that 23% by the drink tax had I not screwed this one up!

Tennessee (-3.5) vs. South Carolina

Jeremy Pruitt will lead the Volunteers into another Columbia this Satday. This particular one is in the Palmetto State. And we should probably see one of the better games of the day with Will Muschamp’s Cocks providing some stiff competition. It’s getting to be put up or shut up time down in Car-o-line. Part of me really wants to pick the home team, but I think the Vols will manage to escape this trap. Tennessee 24, South Carolina 21.

Tot da da daaaaaah!!!! Hit’s the big one, Aunti M! At least in the mind of your humble pundit.

Kentucky vs. Auburn (-7.5)

Yes! From the Loveliest Village of the Plains! The only SEC contest with two ranked teams in action! It’s a Feline Fest, to be sure, as Gus Malzahn’s eighth ranked Auburn Tigers do battle with Mark Stoops’ Wildcats! HAW! And if you don’t think this is a dangerous game with a potential upset lurking in the shadows, then you had better think again. The visitors bring an experienced, talented, and physical football team into Jordan-Hare Stadium in the the first SEC game of the 2020 season. Hitch ’em up and buckle ’em down. We’re looking at one Keith Jackson would describe as a “dandy!” Auburn, quite frankly, is loaded at the skill positions, and sophomore quarterback, Bo Nix, has emerged as a driven, motivated, and vocal leader on this, Malzahn’s eighth edition of the Auburn Tigers. The big question is whether or not the O line can get it done. They are talented and experienced, despite what some others might say. They just haven’t played together yet as a unit and need time to jell. That could spell for some bumps in the road in this game which is also a morning kickoff. The defense could be better than last season. That might come as a surprise to many. But make no mistake. There is a great deal of talent, and some depth and experience, on the front seven. They should hold up nicely. And the secondary is VERY talented with some good depth there also. Kicking game? Rock solid with the return of Anders Carlson, great return men, and highly capable punters. The Tigers are my sleeper to make the playoffs and if that is to have even a remote chance of happening, or to at least win the West, then it has to start on Satday. It will. Auburn 27, Kentucky 20.

There you have it, sports fans! Your guide to fortune and fame. As Jeff Schultz, formerly of the AJC, used to say “I’ve provided you with all the winners. All you have to do is find them.”

Stay safe out there and be sure to love your neighbor as yourself!

P.S. You don’t want to wind up with a blew gasket or a cut koner! (Hint. See last year’s columns).

P.S.S. The * inserted above, in the column and preceding the term Water Lizards, denotes a term, and not the only one, I stole from Leonard Post Toasties, as I did in 2019, of Leonard’s Losers. Every column is a tribute to Leonard. Other than the games and the tailgating, Leonard’s Losers was the thing I looked most forward to on fabulous fall weekends in the South. Peace out!

P.S.S.S. Here is my blog on how the SEC will play out, both the East and West.

https://birdlecroy.com/2020/09/18/whos-ready-for-some-sec-football/



Who’s Ready For Some SEC Football???!!!

I haven’t written anything in quite a long time. I am blaming COVID-19 and will ignore the fact that I am very lazy about penning anything these days. It takes both desire and effort and those two things have been in short supply with me concerning writing. That’s about to change as football season has, actually, begun and SEC football makes its debut NEXT week.

Therefore, I am going to make some predictions on the soon to arrive SEC 2020 season. Hot diggity dawg!

The Southeastern Conference member teams will be playing only teams from the SEC. At least until playoff time. Each team will play ten regular season games (https://www.secsports.com/article/29682732/sec-announces-new-2020-football-schedule).

And there will be an SEC Championship game right here in Hotlanta!

This week we will take care of picking the orders of finish in the SEC and next week we’ll get down into picking the actual contests that are on the slate for that week.

Let’s roll!

SEC East
1. Florida (9-1)
2. Georgia (7-3)
3. Kentucky (6-4)
4. Tennessee (4-6)
5. South Carolina (3-7)
6. Missouri (2-8)
7. Vanderbilt (0-10)

SEC West
1. Alabama (9-1)
2. Auburn (8-2)
3. LSU (7-3)
4. Texas A&M (6-4)
5. Ole Miss (4-6)
6. Mississippi State (3-7)
7. Arkansas (2-8)

In a quick bit of analysis, let’s start with the East. Florida went 9-3 in 2019 and will be improved, again, in Dan Mullen’s second year. I think Georgia will take a step down, due, primarily, to inexperience at quarterback and that a true freshman will likely start. It has holes to fill AND it plays Alabama during the regular season, as well as Auburn from the West.

Many prognosticators like Tennessee over Kentucky, but I do not. Jeremy Pruitt is doing a very good job of recruiting and rebuilding that program, but Mark Stoops has quietly rebuilt the Wildcats into a formidable team. They are very physical and should play well on both sides of the ball. The quarterback position, with former starter, Terry Wilson, at the helm, should be solid calling the signals.

Something has to give at South Carolina. They, also, should find some stability at quarterback. Colorado State transfer, Collin Hill, has been named the starter. Will Muschamp has had four years to recruit his guys and move the Cocks forward, but they seem to be standing still, as far as movement in the standings are going. UT has leapt over them.

Misery is the word in Columbia, MO and NashVegas. Derek Mason, for all of his enthusiasm and optimism (you have to love the guy) has not gotten it done at Vandy. They could well not win a football game this year, one tops!

And now over to the West. I think Auburn is going to field a VERY good football team this season. The Iron Bowl is in T-Town and that is the only reason I picked Bama over the Tigers. On the other hand, Gus Malzahn’s troops could pick up its first win at Bryant-Denny since the CamBack. Bo Nix has developed into a full grown man and he has championship QB written all over him at some point. That could be 2020, but we’ll give shaky nod to Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide.

I don’t get all the love for LSU. They did win it all last year. This year they have been hammered by attrition, from graduation and COVID, and look to drop a couple of notches in the pecking order. Yes, they tend to reload, but not enough to win the Wild Wild West.

I really don’t get the love for the Aggies. I do not have confidence in Jimbo Fisher and it appears, from this angle, that it will be the same old, same old in College Station.

The five and six spots in the West belong to the circus that both Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach bring to the Magnolia State. It will be a great deal of fun to watch them play and the pressers should be wonderful! The Mississippis promise to improve each succeeding year under these two coaches.

Misery is also the word in Fayetteville, AK. Bret Bielema left a complete dumpster fire there and it will be years before the Razorbacks are back on track. I am quite happy Chad Morris is now the offensive coordinator on the Plains. The O will ROCK!

We’ll work about the championship game when the time comes. For now, let’s just kick back and enjoy watching the best dang conference in the country play football!

Take care out there and love your neighbor as yourself. Peace out!










Week 14 SEC Picks: Iron Bowling for Dollars

“Hmmmm, Candida.” Just segueing from last week to the Thanksgiving/Iron Bowl week extravaganza we here at Bird’s Banter have planned for you, the reader. And evidently, there is not a plethora of you good folks out there reading these humble words. At least not last week. The numbers dropped precipitously. We’re going to write that one off (though I thought it was one of the better blogs). She did receive some great reviews but minimal readership. C’est la vie!

Interestingly enough, I did have a request for this special edition of SEC Picks. A dear friend of mine inquired as to the possibility of getting the column done by Wednesday, instead of Thursday. Great idea actually! Even if our family did celebrate the Giving of Thanks this past Sunday. We still plan to do lunch, or dinner, and a movie on Turkey Day. This has evolved into a tradition as we have to arrange schedules to suit the handful of families within our little sphere.

I bet you were just hanging on every word of that enticing introduction! Now we press on to the body and the conclusion.

The request line is open!

And our first request comes from “Nicky S” of Tuscaloosa. He asks, “Bird, in your infinite wisdom, how do you see Saturday’s Iron Bowl tuning out?” Thank you Nicky! I will get to that shortly. But first we have a little ditty to tell and we must predict all of the other rivalry games on the docket for Saturday. Patience please.

I attended my first Auburn-Alabama game on Thanksgiving Day of 1964. And it was also televised, nationally for the first time, on NBC. How bout dat!?

I wrote a column on that experience back in 2014, and, alas, it no longer exists in the College Football Roundtable archives. Gone. Kaput!

The essence of it, in a nutshell.

Alabama was 10-0, and Auburn, a preseason favorite to win it all, limped in with a 6-3 record. Limped would indeed be an apt descriptor of this Auburn football team. Jimmy Sidle, its All-American and first Tiger quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards, in 1963, was hurt and could only play wingback. Tom Bryan, a promising young sophomore, was now the signal caller and he was doing a pretty darn good job on that sunny afternoon at newly expanded Legion Field. A (cough cough) neutral site. (Rolls eyes).

Tucker Frederickson was in great form that day and had put Auburn up at the half, 7-6, with a dive, up and over, in the north end zone where my cousin Richard and I sat. Earlier, Alabama had scored its first touchdown when the ball was snapped over, Tiger punter, Jon Kilgore’s head and the Tide recovered it for a TD. David Ray missed the extra point.

But, alas, Ray Ogden took the second half kickoff to the house, north to south, 107 yards. Joe Willie Namath hit Ray Perkins, in the fourth quarter, on a 23-yard TD pass, and Bama went on to win, 21-14.

Also, someone stole my lucky hat, sort of a fedora, blue, with an orange feather in it, at halftime. I am convinced that is why Auburn lost the game!

Sigh.

Since that ’64 game I have attended 39 Auburn-Alabama games. My record stands at 18 wins and 22 losses.

Here’s to 19!

Rivalry Time!!! Hey the games begin on Thursday with the Egg Bowl! Thanks for the request. We gotta get busy!

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State

The Black Rebel Sharks are +2.5 for the the game in lovely StarkVegas. Its record is 4-7. If it loses, then there will b e no bowling (tennis or badminton) for the Oxfordians in 2019. The Bullies are 5-6, making this a must win to absolutely insure a postseason clash for Joe Moorhead’s Canines. The question remains, will Joe depart after this season is in the books? A loss to the folks from the land of Faulkner could lead to the hastening of that process involving the decision. In a doozy. Ole Miss 28, Miss State 27.

Missouri vs. Arkansas

We have used the term “YOU-Gly” on multiple occasions here in 2019. That descriptor aptly applies to the horror show to take place on Friday in Pigtown. The homies are 12 point dogs, or swine, or whatever. The Columbia Felines can also lock up a bowl bid with a win, its sixth. Barry Lunney, Jr. does seem to have the Hawgs playing with some spunk. Could be a scrap. Missouri 31, Arkansas 21.

Clemson vs. South Carolina

Warm buttocks appear to abound in the good ole SEC, as we speak. Will Muschamp, reportedly, do indeed have a case of Burning Backside. I don’t know how much reality there is to that, or any potential pink slippages, in this day of staggering buyouts. The game will take place in the land of the Cockaboose. Dabo’s Felines are smokin’ (and, quite possibly, drinkin’ and cussin’, as well). They are also -27.5. I do not know about Clempson covering. I do know about them winning. Aw heck! And covering. Clemson 48, South Carolina 13.

Georgia vs. Georgia Tech

The Pups are an even a larger favorite than Cousin Clem. -28.5. The Ramblin’ Wrecks have shown a bit of spark in the second half of the season. They beat Miami and NC State. I have immediate family and several in my church who “drink my whiskey clear.” They better have a goodly portion of sour mash at their finger tips this Satday, at noon, for Smarty’s Dawgs will have their way with the Yellow Jackets. Georgia 35, Georgia Tech 9.

Louisville vs. Kentucky

Also a nooner. Mark Stoops’ Fightin’ Felines have secured a postseason game. Now they want to enhance the location of that impending bid. Isn’t Bobby Petrino no longer a Cardinal? Maybe Pope Francis will make him one again! Well, there is the matter of Easy Rider’s Catholicity and his struggle with the seventh commandment. But “we are all sinners”, right? One never knows! Speaking of Bobby P, I have also seen his name brought up as a passing coordinator candidate at Auburn by some badly misguided soul on a message board. What some folks will do for attention. Members of the troll community. No? Really!? Didn’t that ship sail exactly 16 years ago!? Kentucky 31, Louisville 23.

Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee

The Top will be Rocky, in Knoxville, for the visitors from Music City Satday at 4PM (3CT). The Corn Cobbers and the Anchors. Pruitt and Mason. Starsky and Hutch. Waylon and Willie. Ok, that could go on all day. Mary and Joseph. You get the snapshot. The Vowels are bowl bound! The Dores (“Come on baby, light my fire”) are not. Nor do they have the opportunity to accomplish that this weekend. They do not pass go. They do not collect $200. They do not win. Tennessee (-21) 34, Vanderbilt 14.

Texas A&M vs. LSU

Jimbo’s Aggies gave Kirby ( “How about them, BEEPIN’, Dawgs!”) “Potty Mouth” Smart’s Bullpups a bit of a fit this past weekend. Well, at least Buster B trumped “We beat the dog crap out of them”! All swearing aside, this one ain’t going seven overtimes in 2019. We pray. It’s in Red Stick. Thus the 17 point line which favors the Bayou Bengals. It’s also a night game and that spells “gloom, despair, and agony on me” for the Aggies. LSU 35, Texas A&M 20.

Florida State vs. Florida

The Taggertless Noles must travel to The Swamp for its final whuppin’ of the year. I guess there is the matter of a bowl game to consider, so I suppose I’ll amend my statement to read, “It’s next to last spanking of the season.” Danny, How much caffeine can one man consume?, Mullen will have his Water Lizards ready to chomp, on Satday, and the Tallahassee Tribe shall suffer its sixth thrashing of this campaign. Florida 34, Florida State 16.

Sound the trumpet! Honk the horn! Wake up the children. Read your bibles! It’s THE game of the weekend in all of her glory! Iron will be sharpened and bowls will be smoked down on the Plains of East Alabama on Satday!

Auburn vs. Alabama

This will mark my 41st time attending this classic event, and that is what she is, an event! Should be a barn burner! No SEC West title is at stake and only the visitors have an outside chance of making the playoff. Don’t let the absence of Tua misguide your thinking here. The Crimpson Tide will be one tough out. Or it might be an in. IMHO, this is a pick ’em. The visitors are, currently, a 3.5 point favorite. Vegas ain’t making Bama a dog. The money would be stacked sky high on the Pachyderms and Sin City don’t want no part of that. They like even betting on both sides. The Tigers defense is, as you well know, its strength. That unit WILL keep it close. Can the offense complement it enough to pull off, what would be considered, a mild upset? Can Mac “The Knife” Jones withstand the the pressure and the deafening crowd noise which will greet him in Jordan-Hare Stadium? Will Gus have a game plan that will allow his minions to score the necessary points to win the game? Can Anders Carlson clear out the clutter which has, evidently, come to reside within his noggin? These, and more, questions will be answered by around 7:00-7:30 PM (ET) Satday? My take? Auburn 24, Alabama 21.

Here’s to wishing for no blew gaskets, cut koners or the like this weekend in Auburn!

“Get your motor running, head out on the highway. Looking for adventure…”

God bless and a Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Take care out there and be sure to love your neighbor as yourself. Peace out!

Week 13 SEC Picks: So You Want To Be a Rock Star

I’ve got a “Favorites” setlist going now. Apple Music picked it. Just a warning as the music could influence this week’s blog. Like I’ve said before, I am only the vessel. A stream of inspired consciousness.

Week 13 SEC Picks! The Pusher, by Steppenwolf, first song up. Most of y’all know it. Old John Kay wrote an eye opener with this tune. Pretty doggone heady for its day. I absolutely loved Steppenwolf!

I was a part of a rock ‘n roll band for one evening back in 1970. My first quarter at Auburn (Yes, we will get to football in a minute! Hang on!) I saw a 3×5 card posted on a bulletin board in Haley Center, by someone or something called JC&G Productions, seeking a lead singer for a fledgling band to do tunes by Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Creedence and, yes, Steppenwolf, among others. I though, hmmmm, think I’ll look into it. Well, the next thing you know I’m out at the old Holiday Inn on US 280, near The Bottle. We, the band, are in a large meeting/banquet room rehearsing for the first, and last, time. At least with me as a member.

We did Born To Be Wild, Proud Mary, and the Alvin Lee and Ten Years After opus, I’m Going Home. The lead guitarist was ripping it it and we were jammin’ out. In the middle of I’m Going Home we veered into Wilson Pickett’s Land of a Thousand Dances, and we were off and running. But no monitor to speak of and I couldn’t hear myself singing, “Naaaa nana na naaa nana na naaaa na na naaaa na na naaaaa…”, and then I transition into “nobody can do the shing a ling, like I do, nobody can do the skate, like I do, nobody can do the Philly…” and on and on. Cranking it up in Lee County!

But Charlie, JC&G stood for John, Charlie, and Greg, Charlie had written up a book of lyrics and he was the absolute king of misheard lyrics. He had Born To Be Wild beginning with “Bitchin’ for the run in, devil’s on the highway, looking for attention, or whatever the game played.” Or some other misconglomeration of words. Whew! He also obliterated Green River. SMH.

Anyway, we gathered up at the end and talked about coming gigs in Opelika, Columbus, rehersals and somewhere else I can’t remember. But here’s the killer. These were to be played on Football Saturday nights and I would not be able to attend some of the games due to traveling, etc., setting up, and so forth. No sir! War Eagle!

I rode home with Charlie and John, they lived just down Glenn St. from me, sitting in the back seat while they sang along to Tony Orlando and Dawn’s, I think it was just Dawn in those days, Candida. “Oh oh, Candida, we could make it together, the further from here girl the better, where the air is fresh ands clean…”

Lord knows what lyrics Charlie was singing.

Short story long, when we arrived at the War Eagle apartments, which was their abode, I said goodbye and never saw them again. I weren’t gone miss no Auburn football games even if it meant passing up the rock star wannabe lifestyle.

I often muse on that night thinking about what might have been. Thanks, but no thanks. And I would like to think the good Lord saw fit to keep me out of that wrangle as I might not be here today if I had followed that treacherous path. ‘Cause I did love to get down. Still do to a much much MUCH lesser degree.

The moral of the story is, stick with your favorite college football team and let the band play on.

“Get your motor running, head out on the highway!!!!”

And that, my friends, brings us to SEC football and ALL of our favorite teams!

Have mercy! There are some real stinkers on the skeh-jule this week! Let’s do something different! I’ll list the games, followed by the scores, and it’s your job to match them up!

  1. Auburn vs. Samford.
  2. Alabama vs. Western Carolina
  3. Kentucky vs. UT Martin (Remember! I stayed at an Econo lodge there in Martin, TN and dined at the Huddle house! See earlier blog.)
  4. Mississippi State vs. Abilene Christian (I wonder if there’s an Abilene Buddhist? “Abilene Abilene, prettiest town that I’ve ever seen…” Great song by George Hamilton lV.)
  5. Vanderbilt vs. ETSU (It’s your job to ‘cipher just who ETSU is.)
  6. 42-10
  7. 52-6
  8. 37-13
  9. 49-7
  10. 45-13

Just match 1-5 (games) with 6-10 (scores). Sorry I’m doing it this way, but I’m not adept at this numbering/lettering/matching thing. I’m an unfrozen caveman lawyer. You figure it out.

Now! On to some Southeastern Conference league play games!

Arkansas vs. LSU

Oops! Another stinker! LSU is a 43.5 favorite. I rest my case. Peeyeeew! Coach “yaw yaw yaw football” Orgeron and his Bayou Bengals are about to open a gargantuan can on the Piggies. The ‘Backs are coarched by (Fill in the blank. I don’t know). I do know that I hope it won’t be Gus in 2020. And everybody simmer down about firing Gus. Let him finish the season. Then we’ll see wot hoppens. Let’s stick to football. LSU 56, Arkansas 17.

Tennessee vs. Missouri

This ‘un could be a good scrap! The Vowels are a 4 point road dog. Mizzou tends to win at home and lose on the road. Both squads are 5-5. One team reaches bowl game status. The Columbia Felines are the pick, but this forecaster likes a minor upset by Jeremy Pruitt’s band of Smoky Top Rockies. It’ll go down to the wire and the Corn Cobbers will win it with a field goal. Tennessee 27, Missouri 24.

An aside. Back to my Apple Music “Favorites” setlist. Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita” is playing now. Plucks the heart strings. The most beautiful song you will ever hear about heroin addiction. No joke. So very touching. RIP Warren Zevon. We miss you.

Now Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne.” Wow! More beauty. The first time I heard this brilliant, moving tune, I was sitting in a circle, towel under the door, incense burning, the whole nine yards, at the Delta Chi house that same freshman year at Auburn. Spring quarter. Just before I flunked out. The first time.

Georgia vs. Texas A&M

The Pups are back ‘Twixt the Hedges for this scintillating contest. It could be just that. You have to wonder if the emotion of that huge win down on The Plains, combined with the highly physical nature of the game, God bless you Derrick Brown, took a lot of the bite out of the Dawgies. Here’s to figgerin’ that the home team will start slow and eventually come around to playing its game after spending much of the week in the hot tub. Georgia (-13.5) 28, Texas A&M 16.

BTW, we returned from the Holiday Inn coming back down College St. and turned right onto Glenn St. with the Gulf Station (Blew gasket, cut koner, Sani-Flush and all) on our right!

Ain’t life grand!

Y’all be safe out there and be sure to love you r neighbor as yourself!

Exits to “Hmm, Candida, just take my hand and I’ll lead ya, I promise life will be better, and it said so in my dreams…”

Week 12 SEC Picks: Rabbis, Cocaine, Alaburn, and more

Hits about to get really real, college football fans! There is a great deal of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth here in mid-November. Always is. Why is my team not ranked as the greatest of all time? We’re better than THEY are! Gary Danielson hates us. The CFP committee is biased toward the SEC! And I could go on and on and on. What-EVUH!!!

Get over yourself! Let the games play out. Pull for your team. Pull against whichever team puts your team in a more favorable position. There are bigger fish to fry. Put it in perspective. Go ahead. try. Come on… I’ll wait. Jeopardy theme songs plays…

HONK!!!!! TIME’S UP!!! Easier said than done, right? And I’m as guilty as anybody. That’s one of the things that makes NCAA football, and particularly SEC football (Wink), so great.

An aside. I’m listening to J.J. Cale’s “Troubadour” album on Apple Music, at this moment. ‘Travelin’ Light’, ‘Ride Me High’. “High high high, how high can you go? Ride me high this morning. Ride me high some more…,” ‘Cocaine’.

I can hear Johnny Cash now! “Stay off the whiskey and let that cocaine be!” Very good advice.

I never did any cocaine but that was only because the opportunity did not avail itself. Got lucky on that account. If you could drink it, smoke it, snort it, or rub it into your belly, I probably ingested it. And I lived to tell about it. Thank you Jesus!!! Literally! For real! PTL!

Speaking of ol’ JC, we are having a bible study at our church on Wednesdays, led by a Rabbi from Marietta. Albert Slomovitz. He is an assistant professor at Kennesaw State University and a retired military chaplain, among many other things. The study is on the Gospel of Matthew, looking at it through the eyes of Rabbi Jesus. Teaching Christians about the Jewish Jesus. It is delightful, insightful, and quite meaningful. The primary purpose is to connect us, for we all come from the same tree, Jews and Christians. Selah.

I say that to say this. We are all connected in this SEC football thing. Auburn and Alabama (or Alabama and Auburn for you Tiders), Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Georgia and Florida. Tennessee and Kentucky. You get the message.

I grew up playing Alaburn in the front yard and with electric football and board/card games. I would have Jimmy Sidle, Joe Namath, Tucker Frederickson, and Lee Roy Jordan all on the same team. It made perfect sense to me. It still should. We could use a little mutual admiration, love, and respect these days.

My daddy grew up during The Depression pulling for Alabama in the Rose Bowl and later in life pulled for both Auburn and Alabama, except when they played each other. I learned that from him and followed his example. I don’t do that much any more. I tend to pull for Auburn and whoever else to win, if it helps Auburn. I pulled for Alabama about as hard as one can when they played Miami in the Sugar Bowl that followed the 1992 season. It was GREAT fun!

All in all, it doesn’t really matter. Just stay safe out there and love your neighbor as yourself.

I usually close with that line, but somehow I got sidetracked. These things write themselves. I am only a mere vessel.

SEC FOOTBALL!!!!!!

Alabama (-18) vs. Mississippi State

Nick Saban’s Pachyderms make the short jaunt to lovely StarkVegas in an attempt to salve the wounds received last week during The Game of the Century. They fought back brilliantly, but, in the end Joe Burrow & Co. were too much for the hometown Tide. The Crimpsons might get off to a slow start, but look for them to rebound nicely against Joe Moorhead’s Bullies. Alabama 38, Miss State 17.

Florida (-6.5) vs. Missouri

The host Felines have been struggling mightily, as of late, and could use a big boost. This game with the Water Lizards would be a great opportunity to do just that. But alas, that is not the view in this prognosticator’s crystal ball. Danny Boy Mullen will have his Reptiles primed for the fight and Barry Odom’s forces won’t have enough in its arsenal to pull off the upset. Florida 31, Missouri 14.

Kentucky (-10) vs. Vanderbilt

The Cats are looking for a bowl bid. The Commodores are looking for Louis, Louis Chama, it appears. Derrick Mason might be looking for a job. Soon. Too bad. I like him. I like Chad Morris. I like Willie Taggert. Noooo matter. You gotta win. Or, at minimum, show a pulse. Vanderbilt is about to be chewed and clawed into submission by Mark Stopps’ version of the Fighting Felines. Kentucky 34, Vanderbilt 10.

LSU (-21) vs. Ole Miss

Ed Orgeron’s Bayou Bengals find themselves at the top of the college football heap, in all of the polls this week, after ending their eight year drought with Alley-Bama. The Louisiana Felines could have a slight emotional letdown following that monumental win in West Vance, but don’t expect it to be much of one. Matt Luke’s Black Rebel Bears will be as high the beautiful sky over Oxford Satday evenin’ but it won’t be enough to upset the visitors. LSU 42, Ole Miss 16.

South Carolina vs. Texas A&M (-10.5)

Jimbo Fisherman and Will (My fanny is gettin’ warm) Muschamp will match wits out in College Station, TX this Satday. If the Roosters lose they will be knocked out of the postseason festivities for the holidays. That won’t set well in Cockaboose Town. The Aggies will be making an effort to move up in that pecking order. The team of the 12th man is favored for a reason. They will win. Texas A&M 28, South Carolina 19.

Now we git down to bidness!

From the Loveliest Village of the Plains…

Georgia (-2.5) vs. Auburn

Hoo Hoooo, mercy!!! What a Jim Dandy this is shapin’ up to be! In this corner. From ‘Twixt the Hedges in Athens, GA. Coming in at number four in the United States of America. Buster Brown Smart and the GAWWWWWJA BUL-DAAAAWWWIES!!! AND! In THIS KONER! (Remember the Gulf Station on College Street. Traffic ticket. Old Yellow. Blew gasket. Et al). From ‘Neath the Sunkist sky! The Mad Scientist, Gustav Malzahn and his East Alabama Felines!!!! ROAR!!!! Lord! Turn ’em loose! DEE-Fense will abound! Jake Fromm Georgia will run for his life! Bo will Nix the Puppy defenders! Derrick will Brown and tan the hides of those Doggies! And Auburn! SWEEEEET AUBURN, will dash the playoff hopes of the visiting squad! Auburn 23, Georgia 21!

Drops mic and struts, stage left, with pumping fists, to the tune of Canned Heat’s ‘Let’s Work Together’!

War Damn Eagle!

The End!

Week 11 SEC Picks: Showdown in T-Town

Western Carolina will make its way from the bucolic setting, between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains of “The Old North State”, to do battle with the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide. The Catamounts of Cullowhee… Wait! What! Ho! I’m two weeks ahead of myself! I got so caught up in the hype of this impending clash that I almost forgot about the business at hand THIS Satday, Alabama and LSU.

More on that one later.

The past two week’s blogs have dealt, to some extent, with our old DEE-Luxe, 1970 something Pontiac Astre, Old Yellow. Two weeks ago I made mention of the time that Old Yellow was diagnosed with a “blew gasket” by the good folks at the old Gulf station in downtown Auburn on College Street.

More on that later.

When I was a freshman at Auburn, in the fall quarter of 1970 and the winter quarter of 1971, I made my residence at 332 W. Glenn St., in The Loveliest Village of the Plains. Mr. And Mrs. Bruce Peak were the owners of the old two story abode, and it was equipped with three private rooms on the second floor, which male students, at the time, were allowed to rent. $30 a month. No air, no tv, and no phone (the three of us did, later, pool our resources, and had a shared phone installed), but there was a community refrigerator in the hallway, where the phone was set up. WooHoo! Uptown!

One of my fellow renters, in that winter quarter of ’71, was a most congenial fellow by the name of John Norton. John was a jazz pianist, as well. Alvin Baggett, who hailed from Repton, AL, was down the hall from John and me.

Well, one day John returns to his room, after classes, and proceeds to show me this ticket he received from one of Auburn’s finest. The charge? “Cutting a koner.” Yep. Spelling was not the officer’s forte and John mocked him with a mixture of both glee and disdain. The location of this heinous traffic violation? Yep! The Gulf station on College Street (and almost adjacent to the Sani-Freeze, or the Sani-Flush, as she was affectionately known. Still is).

I say that to say this. Don’t go “cuttin’ koners” at the Gulf station on College Street, in Auburn, AL, or one day you just might have a friend who winds up with a blew gasket.

The End.

P.S. Alvin Baggett had an accounting class with Pat Sullivan, and I had Mickey Mouse Math with Terry Beasley, in the Fall of ’70. Don’t mess with the boys at 332 W. Glenn Street!

If I had not picked Florida to upset Georgia, I would have, finally, scored my first perfect week of picks. Dadgummit! (Another $1 to Bobby Bowden. He’s staring to pick up a nice cash flow from these beautiful blogs. My words, certainly not anyone else’s). Our season record now stands at 65-17 after that 5-1 finish last week. That’s a pct. of .792. Continue onward to 80%, fellow football fans!

Vanderbilt vs. Florida

The Water Lizards are still smartin’ from their loss at The World’s Largest Cocktail Party, but even if they are a bit beaten and bruised, there will be enough Gator gumption for Dancin’ Dan Mullen to dunk Anchorman Derrick Mason and company in The Swamp. (Oh Will Ferrell, where art thou!?) Florida 42, Vanderbilt 14

Arkansas vs. Western Kentucky

The Piggies are but a 1.5 favorite over the Hoppin’ Hilltoppers. Dang! Hits done got sho’ nuff’ YOU-gly up in Fayetteville! After getting hammered by 30, at home, to the Bullies from StarkVegas, do the Hawgs have ANYTHING left in their collective tank? Not much, I do suppose. Not much. SMH. Surely Chad Morris’s ‘Backs can get it done against the boys from Bowling Green. If not, he may be unemployed on Monday. Arkansas 30, Western Kentucky 28.

Ole Miss vs. New Mexico State

The Ole and the New! How ’bout dat!? Maybe the Aggies from Las Cruces (is it me or does New Mexico State seem to play an inordinate number of SEC teams?) can bring some green chile stew and stacked red chile enchiladas with them for that wonderful tailgate experience in The Grove. That would be nice. What won’t be nice is the tail whuppin’ the Johnny Rebs are gonna paste on their hineys! Ole Miss 40, New Mexico State 13

Georgia vs. Missouri

Kitties and Pups, ‘Twixt the Shrubs! UGA’s litter looks to be the easy choice here, but, watch out for the visitors who will be a scratchin’ and a clawin’ its heart out. Canines are -16.5, and may very well cover that, but not before a street fight. Kirby and Barry will match wits and the homies will pull it out for their rabid fans. Georgia 31, Missouri 14.

South Carolina vs. Appalachian State

The Mountaineers were ranked number 20 before they got themselves a bad case of them Statesboro Blues last Satday. Georgia Southern put them in their place and now the Booners will be looking to rebound down in Columbia, SC. The Roosters will be crown’ and lookin’ to put wins back to back after disposing of some Commodores back in week 10. The hosts should win but will they cover the 5.5? Here’s to a yes on that one, barely. South Carolina 27, App State 21.

Kentucky vs. Tennessee

Two East division squads lookin’ to do some bowlin’ here in 2019. The Vowels are 4-5 and the Felines are 4-4. The moon will ba a shinin’ and the muskets a blazin’ on what should be a frosty night up in the Bluegrass. But it’ll be hot down on the field of Kroger. Here’s to that home field advantage for Mark (FSU?) Stoops and the Bourbon State boys. Kentucky 31, Tennessee 28.

And now, that matter of numbers two and three in the initial College Football Playoff Poll, and also in the rankings of yours truly! I was happy to receive that vindication, and also Ohio State at number one! The committee missed on number four. Should be Clemson.

Alabama vs. LSU

The visiting Bayou Bengals are a six point underdog to the hometown Crimpson Tide. Nick Saban will be more than happy to be sluggin’ this one out in T-Town, but history shows they have fared as well or better down in Red Stick. That one is a head scratcher. No matter. Bama has reeled off eight straight against LSWHO and they are rarin’ to make it nine. Joe Burrow and his talented group of wide receivers are quite formidable, but there is no one in the USA that can match Tua and the absolutely superb gang of wideouts from West Vance. Coach Ed “Yaw Yaw Yaw Football” Orgeron will have his Felines extremely well-prepared. Don’t think the Pachyderms won’t be, as well. Special teams will play a big role here and turnovers and penalties will too. This is gonna be one for the ages. In two overtimes. Alabama 45, LSU 42.

Hoo Hoooo, Mercy! Football!!!

Next week our AU version of Fightin’ Felines will return to action. Smart and Malzahn will square on The Plains. Gus is 9-0 coming of a bye week. The Dawgs are scramblin’ to win the East and have a shot at the playoff. Something’s got to give! It should be a dandy! Stay tuned!

And…

Take real good care out there and be sure to love your neighbor as yourself!

Week Ten SEC Picks: The Continuing Saga of Old Yellow

Raise your hand if you thought Auburn would beat LSU if it allowed only 23 points. Ok. Yes. Ok. Thank you. Yes, I see that hand! Good! That’s a heap of folks. Well, we were WRONG! So be it. Auburn lost a football game. On the road. To the Number one team in the country. Two road losses to top ten teams. 6-2. Not bad. Ranked number 11. Very good! Goodbye, Joey Gatewood. Now, let’s move on from the past.

Last week’s 3-2 record was not what I had hoped for, either, but that’s what it was. I am now 60-16, this season, and that is a pct. of .789, or, effectively, 79%. Let’s get back over 80%!

But first, back to that 1970 something model Pontiac Astre, affectionately known as Old Yellow. We purchased Old Yellow in 1987 when we were living in Auburn at Starr’s Trailer Park. A brand spanking new double wide and we were the first to inhabit it. Right there on Opelika road and across that busy highway from the Hungry Hunter restaurant. We could walk home if we so desired. I did so desire more than once. Good idea other than having to dodge traffic.

We would take Old Yellow tailgating sometimes during the ’87-’89 seasons. Auburn won, or shared, three SEC championships those memorable years. Played in two Sugar Bowls and in the first Hall of Fame Bowl as rewards for those championship seasons. It was great fun! There’s something to be said for living in a double wide in Auburn in the late 80’s. War Eagle!

Back to Old Yellow and tailgating. The 1988 Georgia game comes to mind. I, along with my first born, Luke, took Old Yellow to our spot, near the old monkey cages, yep, that’s what I said, monkey cages, to save a place for us and our tailgating buddies. This was Friday night before the big game Saturday afternoon. We slept in her! When we had to winky tink, we would could just step outside. We also went over to the old Beard-Eaves Mausoleum, it was open then, and walk, carry on, or whatever. A handful of drunk students wandered by the car in the middle of the night. It was great fun!

The next day Auburn beat Georgia, in Vince Dooley’s last game he coached versus his alma mater. Auburn went on to win the SEC that season, but lost to Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, 13-7. We were there. In Whitey. Whitey was an ’88 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. LOVED Whitey as well. Did not love the missed interference call, committed against Freddy Weygand or the ensuing interception by Deion Sanders, who was covering Lawyer Tillman. That ended our chances to win the game. Did not love the hangover I had at the Cafe Du Monde the next morning, either.

A quick aside. That ’88 defense was as good as I’ve ever seen at Auburn, but this 2019 edition is close. Let’s see what happens in the remaining four games of the season, all of which are to be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium!

Pickin’ time! Speaking of pickers, I saw Mr. Pete Townsend a few weeks back, here in Hotlanta. and he ain’t half bad. Wish he and his pal, Roger, could be here as guests on my blog, but I guess that will have to wait.

“See me, feel me, touch me, heal me…”

I won’t get fooled again. No sir! We’re still striving for that perfect week!

Let’s roll!

In the order in which the games will be played!

Texas A&M vs. UTSA (12 PM ET on the SEC Network)

No, that’s not the University of Tennessee-San Angelo. It’s the University of Texas-San Antonio, silly rabbit! The Aggies will whup the tar (baby) out of the Alamo gang. That comes as no surprise to anyone. The College Station Kids are favored by 38. Will they cover? Will Muschamp win again? Don’t get ahead of yourself, Bird. Texas A&M 45, UTSA 10.

Georgia vs. Florida (3:30 PM on CBS)

Gary Danielson will be doing the color commentary for this game (BWAAAAHAHA! Chew on that cocktail partiers!) Brad Nessler is on the play by play. A lot of folks will be drunk down there in Jacksonville. And this will be a stemmmmwinder! Jake Fromm where art thou? Wide receivers, you just might have a lot to do with this. It will matter a great deal if Florida has its full complement of pass rushers this Satday. Dynamite Dan Mullen’s squadron is a 6.5 point underdog. Water Lizards cover AND win. Florida 23, Georgia 21.

Mississippi State vs. Arkansas (4 PM on the SEC Network)

Change channels. This here’s a YOU-gly matchup. The Piggies might cover the 7.5, but they will fall short of a vic’try. They are awful, as are the Bullies. Misery abounds. Joe Moorhead vs. Chad Morris. SMH. Miss State 27, Arkansas 21.

Tennessee vs. UAB ( 7 PM on ESPNU)

The Vowels have been hot, as of late, but they better not sleep on Bill Clark’s Blazers (nor his neck ties, nor his khakis). This will be a fine contest up on good ole Rocky Top. I voted for Clark as the FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year the past two years and he did win it in 2018. The Magic City Maulers will give Old Smoky all he can handle. Tennessee (-12.5) 30, UAB 23.

Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina (7:30 PM on the SEC Network)

Another battle of YOU-glies. (Just how in Hades did the Cocks defeat Georgia? Twixt the Hedges??) SMH deux. The game be in the Capital City of Car-o-line. Roosters favored by 15. Anchor Steams remain giddy over the Mizzou upset. Giddy won’t be the word they feel when the home town Fowls spank that Commodore fanny. South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 14.

And now! Out of kickoff time order!

Auburn vs. Ole Miss (7 PM on ESPN proper)

Dadgummit! (Another $1 to Bobby Bowden). We ALMOST got it done. You just cannot say enough about that AU D! Day-UM! What else could one ask for? Well, four more points, I suppose. Gus Malzahn, Mr. play caller exceptionale, needs to get the blankety blank ball in the hands of Seth Williams and Anthony “Flash” Schwartz MORE OFTEN!!! and HOW often do we have to say that?! Put Bo in a better position to win. I’ll let you do the research. Research is hard. But his stats are better than Stan White’s, Jason Campbell’s, and… AND Pat Sullivan’s, as first year newbie starters. YES! That’s right! We got Boobee and D. J. as backup QB’s! Wheeeeee! But, I’m a telling’ you now. That D.J. Williams can tote the rock! Come on! Let’s go! Ok, calm down. The Fightin’ Felines rise back up!, as the Rebel Black Bears get whacked by the inhospitable hosts. Auburn (-19.5) 38, Ole Mrs. 17)

We love you! Thanks for listening! Tip your waitresses! Drive safely! AND! Take care out there and love thy neighbor as thyself! I’d like to thank King James for his version, as flawed as it is, and the good folks at Willie Nelson’s Special Reserve! War Eagle!

SEC Week Nine Picks: Pork Skinned and Corn Dogs

Howdy howdy, there friends and neighbors, AND ALL you SEC college football fanatics! We are one wild and crazy lot!  Hooo Wee! Hit’s about to get gooooood ! (Be sure to say that last line aloud like Andy Grifith on his marvelous Ritz Cracker commercial). MmmmHmmm! Savor it! For there is about to be some savorin’ a goin’ on Satday! We got ourselves one big, fat giant game this weekend, along with a few tasty appetizers to open up your taste buds and whet your appetite for that Big One on the Bayou!

The past two weeks have seen your servant, and financial advisor, go 10-4, and that brings my record on the 2019 season to 57-14. That is a winning percentage of .802. As the season draws to a close and the games get tougher to forecast, the pct. tends to dip somewhat. But I do so want to hold it at 80% or above! Wish me luck as I dive into Saturday’s relatively small slate of games!

Let’s roll!

Alabama vs. Arkansas

After Auburn’s  fiery roasting of them Piggies out in northwest Arkansas, I don’t know what’s left of the carcass. But go ahead and break out the smokers in T-Town, as there should be a few smidgens remaining for Nick Saban’s Pachyderms. I have continued to hold out hope for Chad Morris to rebuild that program back into respectability, but the process is not going well, to say the least. The ‘Backs are 0-12 in the SEC under his leadership. Things are not improving at a rate anyone in Fayetteville can be remotely happy with. This week will, obviously,  provide not a shred of hope out in the Ozarks. Even without Tua, the Hawgs are no match, whatsoever ,for the hometown team. Alabama 42, Arkansas 14.

Kentucky vs. Missouri

Mark Stoops’ Fightin’ Felines were shutout on a miserable, wet night ’Twixt the Shrubs last Satday in Athens. The Cats might fare a wee bit better back in the friendly confines of Kroger Field, but don’t be giving the visitors any of those 10 for $10 specials to lap up on! Barry Odom’s bunch was totally embarrassed by Derrick Mason’s brainy and bright but, a bit,  thletically light, crew of Commodores. This week, I perceive that  Mizzou will rebound nicely as Kentucky continues to keep slip sliding away ($1 to Paul Simon). Missouri 27, Kentucky 17.

Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M

The Clangers had an off week to recover from their embarrassment at the hands of the Rocky Top Vowels back on October 12th. And Jeremy Pruitt’s squad did show some spunk down on The Capstone this past Satday. In the end they got second hand smoked by the Crimpson Tahd and them CEE-gars. But back to the Bullies. I cannot see the pride of StarkVegas traveling to Kyle Field and pulling off the upset in Aggieland. Jamesbo Fisher has still got a ways to go in getting things rebuilt out in Aggieland. A win this week would be another brick in that wall. All in all…Texas A&M 30, Miss State 17.

South Carolina vs. Tennessee

CAN Tennessee maintain its improvement at home? WILL Muschamp finally wind up with a blew gasket? (An aside here. Back in the late 80’s, we were living in Auburn when our DEE-luxe 1970 something Pontiac Astre went to a smokin’ and a belchin’ and gave up the ghost. The friendly folks at the Gulf station in downtown Auburn told us, “It looks like you got a blew gasket.” I certainly had no idea what color a gasket was, but I knew it sounded like trouble. (The Sherlock of automobile malfunctions that I am). Let’s revert our thoughts back to the business at hand, a pigskin clash in Knoxville, TN! (Speaking of blew. Coarch Muschamp thought them zebras blew a few too many whistles in beautiful Columbia, SC Satday, didn’t he? HAW!!!) Dadgummit, $1 to Bobby Bowden, football Bird! The Cocks will capitalize on the Moonshiners mishaps and secure another victory, which will bring their record back to .500 at 4-4. South Carolina 28, Tennessee 21.

Sound the ram’s horn! (Read that in a Psalm today). Dot dah dah DAAAAAHHHH!!! It’s time for the BIG Kahuna!!! (also love Pulp Fiction). THE feature game of the week!!! No. 9 at No. 2!!!

Auburn vs. LSU

The process of elimination picks up speed down in Red Stick, Satday, especially for the visitors. If Auburn loses it can kiss an SEC West division title goodbye. The Bayou Bengals would still have a shot if they lost, but won the remainder of their games. Something has to give.

In other words, this one is LARGE!

Things have gone miserably, in this game, for the East Alabama Tigers over the last 20 years in Baton Rouge. Nine losses in-a-row. Some of those games, 2005, 2007, and 2017 most noteworthy, were obviously due to VooDoo. That’s the only way it can be explained. And… the annual VooDoo Fest is being held in New Orleans this weekend. That don’t bode well for good ole AU. Whether it’s five missed field goals, a last gasp, last second, desperation pass into the end zone, or a comeback from a 20-0 deficit, LSWho has been extremely fortunate. The Cigar Game Curse? I don’t know. All I know is gloom, despair and agony follow Auburn to Death Valley like nothing I can remember in the history of football on The Plains.

The home team is a 10.5 point favorite, as we speak, on this Thursday afternoon. And a fine one it is! The forecast is for rain on Satday. I won’t reiterate the the numbers, angles, etc, of this game. LSU is arguably the best team in the country. Auburn has a very good football team. It will get even better as we move into November. Auburn plays ALL of its remaining games in the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium. That’s great! This game is being played in Tiger Stadium. That is not great at all.

Both teams will be ready. Auburn will not back down one inch. LSU will not flinch. SEC football at its best! Barnburner! Donnybrook! Stemwinder! All of these superlatives should apply.

In the end, you have a senior, Heisman candidate quarterback vs. a wonderfully gifted and gutty true freshman. As mush, AS MUCH as I literally ache for my loved Auburn Tigers to steal one from the host Tigers. it’s hard to see without help on turnovers, penalties, etc. LSU 27, Auburn 24.

Dear 7 lb. 8 oz. baby Jesus! Please PLEASE let me be wrong!

Before we go, here are the lines for the games we just previewed:

Alabama -31.5; Missouri -10; Texas A&M -10; South Carolina -4.5; LSU -10.5 (But you knew that).

She’s a wrap. Pray for Auburn, call your mama, read your bible, take care out there, and, of course, love your neighbor as yourself!

Week Eight SEC Picks: The Second Half Begins!

Let me begin by congratulating the University of South Carolina on its upset of the Trembling Chihuahuas ($1 to Jeff Schultz). Will Muschamp truly needed that signature win and now, maybe, he won’t have a stroke on the sideline, hopefully.

It’s a relatively benign docket of clashes scheduled for this weekend. The Third Saturday in October has become The Third Meh-Day in October. But, we down here in Dixie do love our glorious Sabbaths in the South. And thusly, let us make our 14 separate ways to the grand and glorious Cathedrals bathed beneath the sunkist skies, and some under the brilliant artificial lighting, for Week Eight of NCAA college football!

Alabama vs. Tennessee

As aforementioned, this once critical clash has become an October scrimmage for the the Pachyderms of Paul Bryant lineage. Whether it is played in the fall foliage of the Great Smoky Mountains or the, well, terrain of Tuscaloosa, it’s a snoozah. Here’s hoping there are no critical injuries, on either side, as Nick Saban’s Crimpson Tide marches forth toward the gargantuan showdown, in T-Town, with the Ferocious Felines of Red Stick. Alabama (-34.5) 48, Tennessee 13.

Florida vs. South Carolina

What do we have here? A hint of a scrap? Won’t be a nap. Could be a trap (channeling my inner Dr. Seuss). The Water Lizards are smartin’ (as is Kirby) from that defeat down on the Bayou last Satday. The Roosters are struttin’ coming off its massive upset Twixt the Shrubs of UGA. The game is in Columbia and the crowd will be at its barnyard best, but the egoless Danny Boy Mullen will have the visitors primed and ready and the hosts will return to reality. Florida (-5?) 27. South Carolina 14.

Georgia vs. Kentucky

The sun did shine quite brightly on the old the Kentucky home last Satday. It did not in Athens, GA. It will this Satday. Too bad for the, what will be reduced to, Kitties of Corn Mash. On a brighter note. The visiting squad has a favorable schedule, for the remainder of 2019, and it COULD run the table from here on out. Kirby may have to borrow some of Leonards’s “Smart Pills” if he hopes to get his Pups back to Hotlanta. This will be the first step in that direction. Georgia (-25) 37, Kentucky 16.

LSU vs. Mississippi State

This is the CBS feature game of the week. Say what??? That reinforces my assertion of Saturday being a Meh-Day. That’s what it’s come to. StarkVegas is the scene of the coming arse chewing about to be administered by Coach Ed “Yaw Yaw” Orgeron’s Bayou Bengals. Hit ain’t gone be purty! Joe Moorhead is now coming to the realization that “We’re not in Happy Valley” anymore. The SEC got game! And the Numero Uno Tigers, in my book, favored by 18.5 (not enough), will reduce the hometown Bullies into “Jambalaya, crawfish pie and a file gumbo,” quicker than you can say, Lagniappe! LSU 49, Miss State 20.

Missouri vs. Vanderbilt

It went from worse to “a whole damn lot worse” in Music City a week ago. The Commodewhores were routed by the Runnin’ Rebels of Sin City, 34-10! Say what deux ??? The Casino Kids only other victory, in 2019, was over Southern Utah. They have been defeated by Arky State, 43-17; Northwestern, 30-13; Wyoming, 53-17; and Boise State, 38-13. They am bad. Vandy am worse. I am not interested in this debacle unless George Jones rises from the grave, Jesus is coming soon!, and sings the National Anthem with Trisha Yearwood. Garth can harmonize. The West End Wonders will have to “take an ole cold tater and wait” until next year, when it will, quite possibly, have a new coach. Sorry Derrick Mason. I do like you a lot. Put the farm on the SEC’s third group of Tigers, -21. Missouri 45, Vanderbilt 13.

Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss

These Rebels did not run so well back on the twelfth of October. They dropped one out in the Show Me state to, don’t look now, the first place team in the SEC East. You heard that right! Numbuh one! Meanwhile, Jimbo’s Aggies were being subdued by them Elephants out thar where “the stars shine bright”, in Tejas. I do like the Black Bears, and The Grove is my favorite tailgate spot to visit in the conference, but I’m a thinkin’ the Agricultural and Mechanical school of College Station will prevail. Texas A&M (-6.5) 30, Ole Miss 20.

On to the big one! (In many of our eyes).

Auburn vs. Arkansas

Woo Pig Sooie!!! Our East Alabama Felines, helmed by native Arkansan, Gus Malzahn, will return RE-freshed and RE-newed for this battle, up in the Ozarks, Satday mawnin’! Gustav is 5-1 against his home state’s flagship program, should be 6-0, and his Tigers WILL be ready! Chad Morris’s Hawgs have yet to win an SEC clash since he took over the reigns from our good friend, Bret Bielema. ‘Ol Bert, as I was want to call him, really took the Fayetteville Flashes down the tubes. Good ole normal American football!

Auburn is now without the services of one Boobee Whitlow, but watch out for freshman DJ Williams! He is the real deal, and along with Kim Martin (lotta Cams/Kams in Tiger Town Lately), Shaun Shivers and Malik Miller, the ground game should Be in pretty good shape. Also expect Bo Nix to learn and improve from his lesson in The Swamp. Derrick Brown will lead a most fierce “D” and the special teams appear to be in order.

The Razorbacks gave both Texas A&M and Kentucky fits, so the Tigers better be ready. They will be! There should be minimal angst in this one and the visitors should return ti The Plains with win number six on the season. Auburn 42, Arkansas 17.

Please enjoy the featured image, “Tailgating in Little Rock, 1995.”

There’s your skinny for Week Eight in the SEC! Enjoy the games! Clean your plates. And don’t go dancin’ with the Devil. Take care out there and, ALWAYS, love your neighbor as yourself!