SEC Football: Week 12

Were it not for Vanderbilt upsetting Kentucky last week, I would have gone 7-0. 69-19 is now the tally on this 2022 SEC Football season. The pct. is .784. Got some cupcakes along with some very good SEC only games in week 12. And you know what’s up next week?! It brings Egg Bowl, Iron Bowl, et al! Will Friend and Ike Hilliard have done a good job of getting the AU running game at its peak and I look forward to continued improvements, and hopefully, some of those adjustments in the passing game to give the Tigers some more growl for that little contest in T-Town. Let’s roll!

Austin Peay at Alabama (No line)

The Governors have their “work work work” (See Blazing Saddles’ “Gov”) cut out for them in T-Town in this nooner (the First of four 12 ET games). The Tide scores early and often in a rout. No drama here unless you do happen to be wagering against the spread. You can get a spread in Vegas. Alabama 55, Austin Peay 3.

TSU at Mississippi State (No line. Again.)

The Buccaneers of East Tennessee State are the sacrificial lambs at StarkVegas. Will Rogers should be able to “slang it around” as he pleases. The Pirate versus the Buccaneers. Just thought of that. Would you like icing on that cupcake, Coach Leach? Miss State 48, ETSU 10,

Florida (-14) at Vanderbilt

Hey! Anchors away! Dores won at the Kentucky Kroger Wildcats last Satday. Why not this Satday? Well, the Water Lizards hammered USC East in The Swamp and they’ll reduce the NashVegas homies to rubble also. Florida 38, Vanderbilt 13.

Georgia (-22.5) at KK Cats

Dawgs are a true force of nature. They be wompin’ the competition left and right. And down the middle. tomorrow in the Bluegrass will be no different. Buster Brown continues to march the Hedgers to Hotlanta. Georgia 38, Kentucky 14.

Western Kentucky at Auburn (-5.5)

The Hilltoppers score points by the bucketful, 42 last week and 59 the week before. Coach Lac and DC Schmedding will have to get that D fine tuned. The visiting Bowling Green, KY gang can”slang it good” themselves. The Tigers’ running game has been quite good as mentioned above, and I expect Tank and Jarquez to lead a ground game that maybe hits 300 yards Saturday. Gotta get up a full head of steam as they head for Bryant-Denny the next week.Could be a dandy but I hope not. Auburn 37, Western Kentucky 24.

Tennessee (-22) at South Carolina

Cobs and Roosters! Rocky Tops and Cockabooses. The Knoxvillians could be playoff bound. They take on Vandy next week to close the season. Almost certain to finish at 11-1. The SEC Championship game is set between UGA and LSU. The Vols get to rest and wait, eagerly. Josh Heupel will have UT focused and ready. The Cocks will crow but not loudly enough. Tennessee 45, South Carolina 17.

Ole Miss (-2.5) at Arkansas

Now this one SHOULD be a dandy! Amidst all the Kiffin to the Plains talk, he’s had him a huge game to plan for this week. Sam Pittman’s Pigs have had some ups and downs in 2022. I feel they will be primed for a fight with the Black Bear Rebel Sharks. It could go down to the wire with… Ole Miss 35, Arkansas 28.

New Mexico State at Missouri (-29)

The Aggies of Las Cruces (beautiful place in southern New Mexico) are severe underdogs and won’t pull off the upset. Mizzou has been so very close in its losses. Not a close one in Columbia, MO this week. The second set of SEC Tiguz romp. Missouri 42, NMSU 13.

UAB at LSU (-15)

Blazers and Bayou Bengals. And the Bhammers have been to Red Stick before when they toppled Nick Saban’s Tigers. It can be done. Hit won’t Saturday. But it could be fun. Here’s to hoping! LSU 34, UAB 16.

Here are some recommendations for the sporting weekend.

Detroit Deep Dish Pizza from Little Caesar’s. We cannot get those Anchor Bar wings from Buffalo but Taco Mac has some very good ones as does Three Dollar Cafe, and I bet that there is a local restaurant near each one of y’all that has good ones. Hey! Would you post on here where that would be in your neck of the woods? Everybody is near a Hardees. Good biscuits. I like the pork chop with egg. And anyone can also get some Milos iced tea. Also a bottle of tequila and a margarita mix will do the job.

How’s all that sound? Good luck to one and all. I hope your team wins unless you’re a Western Kentucky fan. Peace, love, and music. Safe travels. Love your neighbor. I’m outta here!

Photo credit Pexels Free Photos

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SEC Football: Week 11

Here we are once again. Staring at a blank screen. Thinking about SEC Football. The Allman Brothers Band raging on a Whipping Post from August of 2003. I have SiriusXM tuned to the Jam On station. Now there’s a group named ALO doing ‘Cowboys and Chorus Girls’. Never heard of it or them. Time to learn someone new. That’s fine. What’s not fine was my pickin’ results from last weekend. I think I had a losing record. Time to tally up!

Ouch!!! that’s awful! I was 2-5. That’s makes me 63-18 on the season. And that is .777. Slipping a bit since we’ve gotten seriously into the red meat of the 2022 SEC season. There are seven picks this week with all of them SEC matchups. No out of conference or Group of Five or FCS opponents. As Archie Bell and The Drells sang, “Tighten Up!”

Brang it!

Missouri at Tennessee (-20.5)

Eli (I’d just love to have a) Drinkwitz you got a very generous new contract extension recently. Not bad for someone with a losing record (4-5). I like the guy and wish him well. A beaten and angry Vols squad at Neyland Stadium is not the place to even that record at 5-5 this Satday. Kirby’s Dawgs put a butt whuppin’ on them down Twixt the Hedges. The Corn Cobbers return to their pre-Gawja ways and whack the Show Me Tigers. Tennessee 42, Missouri 17.

Lucky To be Alive by My Morning Jacket is now playing on the radiddio. It’s a good one.

LSU (-3.5) at Arkansas

I was not the least bit surprised that The Bayou Bengals upset the Tahd down in Red Stick. You Gotta Give Batman Kelly credit. He has these Tiguz improving each and every Saturday. Arky seems back to be back to form, as well. Should be dandy as the line would indicate. The visitors are in the Catbird Seat in the SEC West. Who’d a thunk it? The road to Atlanta continues for… LSU 37, Arkansas 28.

Ok ok! Now on SiriusXM. Ready? Vieux Farka Toure/Khruangbin – Tonga Barra. Pretty good!

Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-17.5)

The last of a Noon ET Tripleheader. The Nashvillians invade the Bluegrass. Who would Bill Monroe pull for in this clash of SEC Easters? I hear Easter in the Bluegrass is lovely. Too bad it’s mid-November. Kroger Field will be rife with savings galore. Get that gasoline discount before ye return to NashVegas. It’ll seem like a long trip. With an 88% chance to win… Kentucky 31, Vanderbilt 14.

Now it’s Jackie Greene on vocals with Gov’t Mule covering David Bowie’s ‘Changes’. Yes ma’am! I’m a huge Mule fan. Gov’t Mule has been my favorite live band for some years. Used to be that if they were within six hours of 116 Sundown Way, Acworth Gee A, Me and Paul were there. Our first live show was at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on 10/20/2001. One of those musical epiphany nights that transports and transforms you. They don’t happen often. But oh are they sweet! Like sugar! And speaking of sugar…

Alabama (-12) at Ole Miss

One of these two could very well wind up in NOLA as the SEC New Year’s Six representative in the Sugar Bowl. My guess is it will be Bama. It has a waaaaaay outside chance of making the SEC Championship Game. But I’m thinking LSWho is making the trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Hotlanta. As a matter-of-fact, the Tuscaloosans could lose this contest in Groveville. They will if they are not on their best game. Another OT nail-biter for Nickydemus. Alabama 38, Ole Miss 35.

South Carolina at Florida (-8)

“Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox taił on his hat, nobody knows where the Swamp Fox is at. Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox living in the glen, he runs away to fight again.” The Swamp Fox was a Disney show from long ago. Taco time !!! It’s been awhile. If one of you can tell me who played Francis Marion (Revolutionary War hero) you win a taco! No cheating! But, as always, wagering is encouraged. Is coach Billy Napier now the Swamp Fox? Or is it QB Anthony Richardson? Napier’s Water Lizards spanked the Aggies last week. More on them later. It’s Senior Day in Gainesville. Florida 34, USC East 24.

Georgia (-16.5) at Mississippi State

The Bullpups were most fortunate to score more points than Auburn, in StarkVegas, Saturday previous. That shall not happen tomorrow. The visitors from Hedgeville will win this game. The Kirbyites might struggle a wee bit early in the game. And The Pirate’s aggregation of canines might be able to sling it around for a spell. But in the end… Georgia 40, Miss State 16.

And finally! Drumroll please!

“Well there she sits buddy just a gleaming in the sun, There to greet a working man when his day is done, I’m gonna pack my pa and I’m gonna pack my aunt, I’m gonna take them down to the CADILLAC RANCH!” YAY HEEEE! WDE!!! And gracias, Bruce Springsteen!

Texas A&M at Auburn (-1.5)

Yes, the Carnell Williams led Auburn Tigers are favored to defeat the Fighting Jimbos! The loser sinks to the bottom of the SEC West. Now, I am here to tell you this. I haven’t seen, or felt, this kind of excitement surrounding an Auburn Football game since the Penn State game back in mid-September. The sold out Auburn crowd will be raucous and rockin’ old Jordan-Hare tomorrow night! Coach Lac will have 25-30 of his former teammates with him in the locker room prior to the game. They come as a show of support of their beloved fellow Tiger, and many of them were together on that National Championship team form 2004. Arguably the best team in Auburn Football history. And, hell yes, they were champions! Raise the banner! (Along with the ’83 teams and a handful of others.) But more on that another day. I expect Auburn to come out on fire and jump out to a quick lead, and then they will proceed to trounce the Aggies on their way to wins in its final two outings to go 6-6 and make a bowl game. Never flag in zeal! “On to victory! Strike up the band!” Auburn 27, Texas A&M 21.

SiriusXM closing with St. Stephen by The Grateful Dead. How apropos! The mood at Auburn has turned on a dime and excitement, once again, abounds! Should be a great weekend for SEC football. Football all over the USA for that matter. Enjoy it!

As Hillbilly Jim says on his Outlaw Country radio show, “I’m not here for a long time. I’m here for a good time!”

Have fun! Be safe! And LOOOOVVVVE your neighbor as yourself! Peace out!

Photo Bird LeCroy

SEC Football: Week 10

I do hope y’all had a Happy Halloween. Auburn was pretty darn scary but we have hit the reset button, down on the Plains, and WE COMIN’!!! Trust me on that. Oh Lane, where art thou? Oh Prime, we need that recruiting machine to crank back up. I hear Coach Cadillac is doing that with ferocity. More on all that later. Yes, Halloween. We didn’t have a lot of visitors so I put the Twix bars on top and the fun size Snickers on the bottom of the bowl. Strategy worked! I only gave out the Twix and the Snickers were all left for Me & Paul. Everyone was happy!

We have ourselves some big ol’ fat stem-winders coming down the pike this weekend. Two games will decide who the leaders are in both the East and West divisions of the Southeastern Conference. Haw!!! And besides the monster clashes in Red Stick and Hedgeville, we have highly competitive games all over the SEC.

I got my Swami hat on, so let’s do it!

Kentucky at Missouri (A pick em)

Can’t get more competitive than a pick em. Both teams will sport 5-4 records if the Tigers win. I don’t think they will. I believe the Cats are getting back on track and will find a way to escape Columbia intact. There remains the possibility of a 10 win season for Mark Stoops and the Bluegrass Boys. Kentucky 24, Missouri 21.

Florida at Texas A&M (-3)

We continue to burn barns down in College Station. I do believe they have a big yell thing going on somewhere near the Aggie campus Friday nights for home games. Billy Napier’s Water Lizards better have their tough hides greased and ready. Speed talkin’ Jimbo got some much better offensive production last Satday and here’s saying he’ll get enough out of the O to pull out a win over the visitors. A 3-5 record ain’t sitting well with the fans in Texas. And that huge contract Coach Fisher has? WHEW!!! Texas A&M 27, Florida 23.

And now we move away from the also rans to the contendas. The Big Boys. Number One versus Number Three! Haw Deux!!!

Tennessee at Georgia (-8.5)

Mercy me! Mercy me! Hit don’ get no better! Twixt the Hedges. ZERO losses between the two of them. Whoa Nellie! We have a dandy in the making! I wish Keith Jackson was there to call this Monster Match. Brad and Gary will be there. Don’t you just love Gary? All sarcasm aside, I wouldn’t be surprised if the ghosts of Larry Munson and John Ward came down to haunt this huge, juicy plum of a football game. I think there will be multiple leads changes and the last team with the ball will win. That would be… Great Corn Cobs! The Rocky Toppers! In an upset! Tennessee 35, Georgia 31.

Liberty at Arkansas (-14.5)

The Fighting Falwell Freezer Flames and the Razortuskbackhawgs! Another dandy? Most assuredly there will be fireworks. Hugh and Sam. The Escorter and Old Cold Beer.Yes, we are hearing Freeze to Auburn as well as many others. Ain’t nobody supplanting Coach Caddy until, probably, after the Iron Bowl. And what if he wins out? No, I’m not drinking.Yet. Ok, back to Fayetteville. There used to be a place called the AQ Chicken House where I loved to eat when my travels took me to Northwest Arkansas. A great big honky tonk I liked as well. K K! Football. Arkansas 38, Liberty 24.

Alabama (-13.5) at LSU

Yay Heeee! Baton Rouge at night. Death Valley. Blah blah blah. Not what it once was. The Crimpson Tide has fared exceedingly well down on the Bayou. Hey! We broke the hex down there last year. It is soooo very tempting to pick the upset. It could happen. I wouldn’t be surprised at all. But I think Nickydemus will have his squad ready to roll. Another nail-biter. Alabama 30, LSU 27.

Auburn at Mississippi State (-12.5)

I’ll take the points yet again. Unless you’ve been spelunking heavily, you know what has happened in the Loveliest Village this week. It was a Bloody Monday. Roberts and Cohen working hand in hand to right the ship and get this thing pointed back in the right direction. I think their plan will succeed. Mightily. Sooner than later. You can rest assured that they have already been in talks with agents and the wheels are turning rapidly. And the guy might come out of left field as has happened so often in the past at AU. I’d love to have the Lane Train or Deion, but who knows. I do trust our admin this time. I also trust Carnell Williams to take a relaxed yet fired WAAAAY UP group of Tigers to StarkVegas. The Tigers will play with great passion and find a way out of the second half malaise they have been in since the State game last season. They intend to go to Mississippi and win. And win they will. Auburn 28, Miss State 26.

South Carolina (-6.5) at Vanderbilt

Live from Music City. Another potential upset. Clark Lea’s Commodores and Shane Beamer’s Fighting Cocks. I honestly cannot remember the last time Vandy won an SEC game. Decent chance here. Mizzou put an end to the USC East momentum that had been gathering steam and had these Columbians ranked in the AP top 25. Roosters get their swagger back but not without a real fight from the Dores. South Carolina 30, Vanderbilt 23.

Y’all have a great weekend! Enjoy yoselfs! Be safe. Love your neighbor. and peace out!

Photo Credit Pexels Free Photos

SEC Football: Week One (2022 AD)

So, how was Week Zero for you? Weak? That’s what I thought. I have come to bring you good news of glad tidings and great joy! There are 14 SEC football games coming to you you over the next four days, and we here at Bird’s Banter are prepared to share our prognostications to one and all so that ye might find treasures and riches galore. Once again, we provide you the winners. It’s your job to find them. (And again, $1 to Jeff Shultz for that wee morsel of truth.)

Onward and upward my fellow gazers of the gridiron! The games are listed in the order in which they will be played. Movin’ On…

Ball State at Tennessee (-35.5)

Do it to it like Sonny Pruitt! (You must pay attention to the references. That’s half the fun!) He of 18 wheeler fame is the proper example of gittin’ er dun! And ex Vol head man, Jeremy Pruitt is not. “At McDonald’s, we do it all for you.” Dave Letterman’s alma mater stands zero, there’s that dang word again, chance of defeating the hometown Corn Cobbers. Actually, it stands a 4.9% chance of toppling the Rockies according to BSPN. Tennessee 52, Ball State 6.

LA Tech at Missouri (-20.5)

The second of two SEC Thursday night clashes. Now, this one could get very interesting. If Eli (has a) Drinkwitz you before the game then the Rustonites could pull of the first big shocker of the weekend. No, Northwestern’s upset of the Huskers, speaking of corn, was pretty much expected by this fearless forecaster. I said hello country bumpkin, Scott Frost’s butt is on the stumpkin. Yep! No false Natties to claim in Lincoln. Buh bye! Anyhoo… Missouri 37, LA Tech 24.

Sam Houston at Texas A&M (-29.5)

“Jimbo Jimbo!” That was a quote of Terry Bowden summoning Coach Fisher on the headset during Auburn’s 1993 National Championship season. Some source(s) did declare it! I claim it! (Hey! This is FREE!) Just like JJ and Joe Willie say! Back to College Station. I don’t know why the Aggies continue to get so much love each passing year in the preseason. Show me! Naw, that’s MIzzou. Name Sammy Houston’s mascot with proper spelling, without looking, and you win one free taco the next time we bump into each other. At what other site do they just give away free food? Homeys cover. Texas A&M 42, Sam Houston 7.

Oregon vs. Georgia (-17) in Hotlanta

The defending National Champions (“We ain’t defending nuthnin'”. Oh yes you is!) take on former UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning’s West Coast Groovies (Follow the references).Teacher/pupil, blah blah blah. Former Auburn Tiger Bo Nix is QB1 in Eugene. Oh Karma where art thou? Buster Brown has “elite” talent across the board. The Ducks will quack loudly for a bit. Pups have too much talent and firepower in this “neutral site” game. (Remember Legion Field!) I hope you don’t tire of parenthetical phrases. Tweetie loves em! Georgia 31, Oregon 20.

Cincinnati at Arkansas (-6.5)

Potential upset alert but I doubt it. Fun no less. The Beatles White Album song just raced and snorted across my aging mind. Remember Leather (Tusc)adero on Happy Days? More tacos if you can name the actors/singer who played her. Hawgs lost a few guys but ol’ Sam Pittman is getting there. Remember the visitors to Northwest Arky? The last time we saw them they were the Group of Five sacrificial lamb to the SEC Champions/eventual national runner up to Spanky and his gang. Arkansas 28, Cincinnati 24.

Troy at Ole Miss (-22.5)

Just spent three days with seven of my former Troy State Lambda Chi fraternity brothers at the Fourth Annual Gathering of the Cracker Box Buds. (See Steve Straughn for moniker explanation. He is our host extraordinaire and truly one of the good guys. As are all the buds). We spoke of this game and what a great road trip it would be. “Oxfud” would “nevuh” be the same. We might not bring it with the same ferocity as we did in the early to mid seventies, but there remains some fire in the bellies. Long live bourbon, bushwhackers, and beer! And NSAIDS!!! Stop there Bird! Oh for the Trojan upset. LSU Deux? ‘Friad not. Black Bear Land Sharks 35, T-Roy 14.

Utah (-3) at Florida

An SEC the underdog at home on opening day to a PAC-12 sissy??!! How dare you suh?! Da Utes won the conference in 2021 and are favored to do the same thing in 2022. Dandy Dan Mullen is gone. “Tuesday’s Gone, keep up!, with the wind.” Introducing former Louisiana Ragin Cajuns head coach, Billy Napier. He should restore law, order, and respectability to the Gainesville Water Lizards, although that might not occur fully in 2022. I haven’t heard much out of the “Head ball Coach” lately. Ye? In a mild upset/squeaker… Florida 24, Utah 23.

Miami Ohio at Kentucky (-16)

The sun shines bright in Lexington after the second 10 win season under Mark Stoops. Hats off to the Cats boss. Well, maybe except for John “Whine” Calamari. A hotbed of MAC coaching travels to Lexington for a whuppin’. Enjoy the bourbon and bluegrass! Kentucky 38, Miami Ohio 10.

Elon at Vanderbilt (-19)

Who the Sam Hill is Elon? Elon, among other fine things, was where my former colleague, and friend, Jan Fuller, was a chaplain until very recently when she retired. She was in campus ministry at Yale when I was doing the same at SUNY Albany in the capital of New York. “Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end…” Very good times in the mid eighties. That’s where I developed my addiction to Buffalo wings. We are returning to NY and New England for fall foliage in October. Paul retired June 1. “Look out mama there’s a white boat coming up the river…” I digress. More tacos for Elon’s nickname! Vanderbilt 45, Elon 10.

Utah State at Aaaaaaaalabama (-41.5)

A forty plus point favorite over a team that was ranked last season. And Nickidemus just signed an extension. Dear 9 lb 11 oz baby Jesus, please let coach Saban, who we all just love so much, retire very soon. We would like to play with the football too.

Love, Tweetie.

P.S. And please bring me an electric football game and a Tucker Frederickson jersey for Christmas.

Alabama 49, Utah State 3

Memphis at Mississippi State (-16)

I can’t remember who the head coach is at Memphis. Y’all? I can remember how much I love the ribs at Rendezvous and the house band at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street. My friend Tom Kimmel married the outstanding young woman who is now the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Memphis. Great BBQ, great preaching, and great music! Can’t beat it. But the game is being played in StarkVegas. What they got good to eat there? And music? And where is the Jesus hookup? Hey! This could be a good game. Or not. Pirate wins.They did have a Ruby Tuesday the last time I was in the City of Bully Dogs. “Who could hang a name on you?” Miss State 35, Memphis 17.

Georgia State at South Carolina (-12.5)

The Downtown ATL Panthers do not resemble the Carolina or Pittsburgh teams of the same nickname. Or do they? They almost beat Auburn last year. That was the emergence of T.J. Finley. AU QB numero uno. More on that later. The Cocks will rise to the occasion and defend the Columbia home turf well. Shane Beamer’s guys won the Duke’s Mayo Bowl last year. He was covered in the outstanding condiment after the game. Folks, I don’t make this stuff up. I’ll be 70 years old Saturday. I have seen the game I know and love so passionately evolve. Would that be that word? No no no! I have seen it Devolve. SMH. South Carolina 33, Georgia State 21.

Florida State at LSU (-3)

Jay-Sus! Can we get to the Auburn game??? Did y’all see new LSU top dog Brian Kelly doing the Batman dance behind one of the guys he was recruiting? Lights flashing, et al. Vincent Vega he ain’t. Bad at mocking a Cajun accent as well. A former Memphis head coach, Mike Norvell, now leads the Semi-Holes. I wonder if he ever went to Corky’s or the Rum Boogie Cafe? I don’t know if he can dance or talk Native American, but I know the great countrysiner-songwriter John Anderson had a big hit with Seminole Wind. Great song! Tempted to call an upset. But Tiguz win and cover. LSU 28, FSU 21.

And finally!

Mercer at Auburn (-31.5)

Saved my boys for last even though it ‘s out of order in terms of when the games are played. T.J., as aforementioned, is the man. Bryan Harsin has been separating the wheat from the chaff and the man who hired him is gone. And some folks wanted Harsin gone. Sometimes I get so damn mad at what goes on at one of my three alma maters I could scream. But she’s mine and I love her (Beatles song reference). My .02? Harsin is a badass. Leave him alone and he will get this thing on track. Auburn will surprise people this season. In a good way. The first five games are at home. There is a distinct possibility of entering October at 5-0. There is talent and pretty good depth on this Lee County aggregation. Tank is primed for a massive year. The D is looking really good. The hunger is there in spades. The chip is planted squarely on the shoulder. Beware all ye who enter here! WDE! Auburn 44, Mercer 14.

So there you have it! Whew! We’re at 100% with the Commodores opening shellacking in Week Zero!

Y’all have a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Be safe! And as always, love your neighbor! Peace out!

Photo credit Pexels

SEC Media Days Final and 2021 Prediction

Company’s Comin’!

“Oh Mama, I’m excited, I’m almost out of breath
What I saw like t’made me run myself to death
I was on the mountain side when I looked down below
And glory be I thought I’d better come and let you know
That we got company comin’, company comin’, we got company comin’ up the road
They’re down the road about a mile they’ll be here in a little while
There’s company comin’ up the road.”

That is the way I feel after hanging with SEC Media Days this week. Football is upon us and practice begins in two weeks. This week was the unofficial beginning of the season and I can’t remember when I have been more excited about an upcoming autumn of college football, and in particular, SEC Football. It’s like what Porter Wagoner was trying to communicate in that great song of his. We got company comin’ mama and they’re almost here! As Jerry Clower used to say, “Haw!”

Eli Drinkwitz (MIssouri), Sam Pittman (Arkansas), and Bryan Harsin (Auburn) wrapped up the four days of coaches sharing the views and visions, Thursday afternoon, of their respective teams and it about is about time to put the foot to the pigskin. Haw, indeed!

Let’s get to it! I will finish up with my impressions of the coaches and follow it with predictions of how I think it will all shake down in the Southeastern Conference.

Eli Drinkwitz is yet another of these impressive “new” SEC coaches. He is entering his second year at Mizzou but this was his first Media Days appearance, with the the 2020 meeting being cancelled due to COVID. He has ties to Bryan Harsin, “owes him a debt”, and also Gus Malzahn. The former Tiger coach was a mentor to him when he spent time on the Auburn staff.

Drinkwitz is sharp, bright, articulate, and young. The youngest head coach in the SEC. And he is funny. A really incisive sense of humor is almost always a big plus. I will be surprised if Mizzou is not highly competitive and successful under his tutelage. He has a dynamic quarterback in Connor Bazelak, and appears to be assembling the other vital pieces together in order to win in the toughest conference in college football.

I really like Sam Pittman, of Arkansas as well. And I was happy to learn that he is a big music fan, primarily country music, and plays the piano and guitar. He comes off as tough, hard working and thorough. A good teacher. He is a very good recruiter also. He said that recruiting comes easy to him. You don’t hear or find that in every coach.

Arkansas has been at the bottom of the West for many years but under Pittman’s leadership, I think it has begun its ascension up the daunting ladder that is the SEC West. Arky will surprise a few people in 2021.

And then is the man that will lead my Auburn Tigers forward after an highly successful run at his alma mater, Boise State. I am more excited about this hire than any in my 60 years of following Auburn Football very, very closely, and I’m talking about when the hire was made. Harsin is a winner. Big time. And, IMHO, he has the tools to succeed like this anywhere chooses to hang his hat, regardless of the circumstances he might find himself in. He has the vision, work ethic, discipline, know how, and “sticktoitiveness.” He also has that keen eye for detail and the ability to pull people together and lead them to “win.” Even in drag racing, as you may know.

Coach Harsin is a family man. It was of the utmost importance that his family would find it comfortable and be happy living down on the Plains. Auburn has exceeded his expectations in that area.

I believe that the Auburn Family will be proud every time that their team sets foot on the field and that the team will leave everything out there on that turf. Wins and losses? I think this team is capable of going 8-4 or even 9-3 with a bit of luck. And in time, it will win championships.

Now on to how I think the chips will fall in the SEC.

East

  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. Kentucky
  4. Missouri
  5. Tennessee
  6. South Carolina
  7. Vanderbilt

West

  1. Alabama
  2. Texas A&M
  3. Auburn
  4. Ole Miss
  5. LSU
  6. Arkansas
  7. Miss State

My feeling is that this in finally Georgia’s year. Alabama Has to replace a lot in 2021. As I mentioned in a post on Facebook, and you have heard the term many times before (Fill in the blank) does not rebuild, it reloads. That is true of Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. But Georgia is loaded to the gills, as well. They have the experience and talent at quarterback and at most every other position on the field. think they will light it up on offense. They always play great “D”. It should be a monumental SEC Championship game. Bama could certainly win it, but in the end, the Georgia Bulldogs will weigh in as 2021 SEC Football Champions.

Take care out there and be sure to love your neighbor.

And War Damn Eagle!

Hocus Pocus Focus: SEC Football Predictions

BOOOOOO!!! Insert maniacal laugh here, . This week’s slate of SEC football games falls on October 31st. Halloween. I’m scared already! The horror of losing conference games is enough. Throw in a few witches, ghouls, ghosts, and goblins, and we have a bubbling cauldron of fear that could get one shaking in their shoes.

Tennessee and South Carolina do not take the field on Satday. That could work out to be an advantage. Don’t play. Can’t lose. Six squads will lose on Satday. Also, six squads will win. “Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life.” If you go off into the shadows, you don’t know what’s lurking there and you could become another ingredient in said bubbling cauldron of turnovers, dropped passes, high snaps, and blew gaskets. Makes me shiver to think about it.

Now, I’m going to open my trunk of prognosticating treats for you. Guaranteed winners on every pick and a big sack of Dum Dums for the bone-headed mistakes and coaching guffaws that are bound to transpire Satday.

Georgia (-16.5) vs. Kentucky

The Mildcats return to the friendly confines of Kroger Field, (Price check on aisle four!) after being out-felined in Columbia, MO. The Bullies were, meanwhile, back in Clarke County Georgia being groomed and well fed for its trip to the bluegrass. There is a reason the Dawgs are heavy favorites. They have a much better football team. Mark Stoops certainly hopes the Kitties return to the back to back win form displayed before that loss out in the midwest. Return to that form or not, Kirby Smart has a passel of pups that will pound home team. Georgia 31, Kentucky 13.

Ole Miss (-16.5) vs. Vanderbilt

If any SEC team is a three score underdog to the Rebs then it must be woeful. Woeful, waffle, whatever, you’re bad. Really bad. The Land Sharks have many issues also. That defense is as porous as a colander. The quarterbacks seem to complete as many passes to the opponent as they do to their own players. And the coach has been told to go sit in the corner with a time out. I can’t say that I blame ol’ Lane (Joey Freshwater) Kiffin. I have a pathological aversion to authority myself. But I don’t have $25,000 to pay for running my trap. Yessir, Mr. Sankey! I promise to do better Mr. Sankey. Back to the good news for Old Mrs. The opponent is Vandy. I don’t care if the game is played in NashVegas of the North Pole. Automatic W! Ole Miss 45, Vanderbilt 21.

Mississippi State vs. Alabama (Name the spread. Hit don’t matter.)

These Bullies are going to get a bigger butt whuppin’, down in T-Town, than I did in first grade when I keep making trips to the cloak room, during one rest period in the winter, and emerging with a new coat, cloak and/or cap on each successive round. Yep! Made a “D” in conduct that six weeks. I wonder why I didn’t receive an “F” ? There’s that pathological aversion to authority! Oh well, I made an “A” under my second grade teacher, Miss Bunnie Dale, who I loved dearly, on every report card. My hippie ethic at work, as well. Peace and love to all my brothers and sisters, and stick it to the man every chance you get. Where did the football discussion get off to? This ain’t a football game. It’s a public execution. Name the score. Ok! I will. Yes, the Thundering Pachyderms are a 30.5 favorite. And yes, they will cover. And here’s some advice to the Pirate. Nickydemus is a comin’! YOU hade better RUN for cover! Alabama 52, Miss State 17.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (-12)

Now, this one has the makings of a sho’ nuff contest. Kyle Field. College Station, TX, where the COVID rules are not enforced and no one is fined. Don’t you feel lonesome, Lane? Sam Pittman has his Hawgs playing with great ferocity and the 12th Man better have his chinstrap fastened tightly. The temptation is to pull the trigger on the upset of the week, but that is coming later. A certain scrap is in store in Tejas. I’ll go with Kellen Mond over Felipe (Beans And) Franks. Texas A&M 30, Arkansas 24.

Missouri vs. Florida (-12.5)

The Water Lizards haven’t played in two weeks and that could mean they will be a bit rusty on Satday. Meanwhile, The MOCats spent this past Satday puttin’ the wood to ol’ Kanetuck. The Swamp is a seriously tough place to pick up a “W”. The Alleygators have also been victim to quite a few cases of COVID and that lack of practice time could really exacerbate matters too. The home team will be chomping to get back in the win column, but Eli (I think I’ll have anutter Drinkwitz you) has his boys well oiled and on the same page. That defense has been quite stingy. Smilin’ Dan’s D has been giving up points in droves. Upset Special of the week! Missouri 34, Florida 30.

LSU (-3) vs. Auburn

The Gus Bus has had its blew gasket fixed and returns to the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium on Satday after a scintillating victory over in the Magnolia State. These Fighting Felines now have a Tank out in front of that bus and Bo Nix had his highest completion percentage, while on the Plains, and a superb QB rating last weekend. Coach Ed (Yaw Yaw Yaw Football) Orgeron got his Bayou Bengals back on the fast track down in Red Stick, last Satday, by plucking the Roosters that embarrassed Auburn two weeks ago. Comparative scores can get one in trouble if one is looking for an angle by which to come up with a winner. I learned that as a mere lad down in Lower Alabama. Each and every week comes with a clean slate in the Southeastern Conference. No doubt, the visitors lit it up and gained some confidence and momentum, but the defense is having some terrible troubles slowing down the opposition. The home team’s defense is the only one yet to have given up 30 points in the SEC. It won’t do that this week either. In a mild upset. Auburn 34, LSU 27.

I hope all y’all good folks survived Zeta in pretty good shape. We were lucky here at 116 Sundown Way. Just a lot of wind, rain, and fallen leaves.

And, once again, I remind you that every week’s picks are an homage to the late, great Leonard Post Toastie.

Take care out there and be sure to love your neighbor as yourself.

Peace out!

SEC Football: Reelin’ But Still Rockin’

The Smart Pill Machine is back up and running! But! (and everybody’s got a big but) at only about 85%. Football, as we have known it in the past, is gone and it will never be the same. I don’t need a smart pill to understand that. The Corona Virus has wreaked havoc across our nation and our world and we’ve just got to make the doggone best of it.

At least we have football, and a World Series, which I don’t give a hoot about now that our Bravos have been eliminated. But Bravo for the Bravos! Well done in 2020! That is quite an accomplishment!

Now back to football, SEC style. There are only four games on the conference schedule this week as six teams have drawn a bye this round. It appears that all four contests, with the possible exception of Bama-Tennessee, could be very exciting clashes. The Vols and Crimpsons could be interesting if Coach Jeremy “Cornbread” Pruitt decides to fire someone again during the game. Coach Pat Dye used to fire at least one person most every week, but it never resulted in them having to leave the squad immediately.

So, without further adieu, here we go! Haw!

Alabama (-21.5) vs. Tennessee

In the arena named after General Neyland. CBS, along with Brad Nessler and everybody’s favorite, Gary Danielson, will be broadcasting this event. That is what this great rivalry used to be, an event that took place on the Third Saturday in October. It ain’t been an event in quite a few years and often it is not played on that third Satday any longer. What would Bear Bryant and Johnny Majors think about all that? Won’t be much suspense either as ol’ Rocky will be topped in a big way by Nick Saban’s Thundering Pachyderms. Alabama 44, Tennessee 20.

Kentucky (-5.5) vs. Missouri

Coach Mark Stoops’ troops have been on a tear here recently and one could easily expect the same out in the Show Me state this weekend. But as Coach Lee Corso is want to say, “Not so fast, my friend.” Coach Eliah, I think I’ll have anutter drinkwitz you, has his fold of Felines playing pretty darn salty. Don’t forget they whupped those Bayou Bengals on this fine plot of turf back earlier in the season. We expect a humdinger out in Columbia. It sho’ could be a minor upset, but I’m sticking with the hot hand and going with the Felines from the bluegrass. Kentucky 27, Missouri 21

South Carolina vs. LSU (-6)

Football fans, we all know what happened in another Columbia, the one in the Palmetto State, last weekend. Coach Will Muschamp’s angry Cocks put one on Coach Gus Malzahn’s Kindly Kitties. They actually had the help of three interruptions, some poor clock management, a perplexing early two point conversion, and the limited use of a first year Tank. Bigsby, that is. But, by golly, the home team took it to ’em and came out with a much need victory. Congratulations to Coach Boom and his Roosters! I don’t know if this gang of Kitties from Red Stick are any better. We’s about to find out. Feathers and fur should be flying down on the bayou Satday night. It might not be pretty, but Coach,Yaw Yaw Yaw, Orgeron’s Football Felines need this one desperately. In a stinger. LSU 28, South Carolina 24.

Auburn (-3) vs. Ole Miss

The Gus Bus seems to have a blew gasket. And his buttocks could be burning up if he doesn’t find a way for his Kitties to return to the status of Fierce Felines. And he “butter” get his young ‘uns to stop running their traps and play some dang football! He sho’ can’t be cutting no koners this week in Oxford. The Lane Train, after a great effort against the Crimson Tide, seems to be running low on coal. His defense couldn’t slow down molasses in the winter and the offense certainly can be slowed down. And the best way to do that is to turn loose the Tank and give Bo a little time to communicate and connect with his receivers. Chuck a timely one here and there, and play like the aforementioned Pat Dye will be waiting for you in the locker room when it’s said and done. The Grove won’t be hopping and the fields of Faulkner won’t be what they normally are on Satday. Two years ago, when I saw that Auburn was actually favored over Ole Miss, I laughed like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. Stidham’s Stallions were looking mighty poorly at that point in the season. I thought Matt Luke’s Land Sharks should pull out the upset. But! Lo and behold! While we were eating ribs and having a toddy in Memphis, our boys in blue took it to ’em! I initially thought Auburn would squeak by USCe and lose to Misissipp’ in a high scoring affair. I have now changed my tune, as has the Smart Pill Machine. Deja vu all over again! Auburn 38, Ole Miss 31.

Well slap the dog and spit in the fire! That brings to a close another version of the SEC cotton picking prognostications. We might have an occasional stumble, but we think a lot mo’ better days lie ahead. Hug your sweetie and call your mama. Life is short. Also, be safe out there and love your neighbor as yourself.

Peace out!

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad SEC Football World!

The smart pills weren’t working quite as well last week as they were for the first weekend of action in SEC football. Yours truly went 4-3 after going 6-1 in week number one. Our grand total now tallies at 10-4, back door, for a .714 pct. That is not where this prognosticator wants to be, but it is where he finds himself as we bear down on weekend three of football in the Southeastern Conference.

And! I have the feeling that the 2020 season could just get crazier and crazier as the days grow shorter and the leaves continue to transform into a brilliant array hues. If crazy equals fun then we just might be on the verge of having a whole heap of fun.

To wit. Mississippi State throttles defending National Champion, LSU, 44-34. The Bullies then travel to Fayetteville, AR where they are stymied, 21- 14. These are the same Pigs that were overpowered, although they did show some signs of promise, by the other set of SEC Bullies, Gawja, 37-10. And then, the same LSU traveled to NashVegas where they slammed the Dores, 41-7. The same Dores who gave Texas A&M all manner of fits. And the Aggies turn around and score more points on Alabama than they did on the Dores. And, after, seemingly, regrouping from a less than inspiring first half against Kentucky, Auburn is humiliated by Gawja, 27-6. Whipped! Pummeled! Walloped! Madness!

Also, the last time I saw Bo Nix, he was sprinting as fast as he could down I-85 with a pack of frothing Dawgs on his heels. Madness!

Y’all wit me?

Enough chewing the fat. Let us git down to it! Kick start us, Percy!

Florida (-6.5) vs. Texas A&M

Both squads should come out with guns a blazin’. In the games the Gators have played both teams lit up the scoreboard thus far in 2020. The Water Lizards defense has been porous, allowing 35 and 28 points to Ole Miss and South Carolina, respectively. And after giving up 12 points to Vandy, the College Station Cadets surrendered a whopping 52 points to Alabama. Smilin’ Dan Mullen do know his offense, but Jimbo’s boys have been pretty darn average since his arrival in Aggieland, where this contest is to be played. Will ex semi-hole, Mr. Fisher, pick up his first signature victory since being given the keys to the vault out in Texas? Short answer. Nope! Florida 42, Texas A&M 30.

Missouri vs. LSU (-14.5)

Cat fight! Two groups of ferocious Felines will claw it out down on the bayou in Red Stick, LA on Satday night. It seems as though Coach Ed (Yaw Yaw Yaw Football!) Oregon “encouraged” his team to pick up the tempo (Hats off to Willie Nelson) last week, and they responded splendidly up in Music City, as mentioned earlier. The Show Me Cats were, once again, punished in game two, 35-12, at the hands of the Tennessee Vowels. It ain’t lookin’ good for Eliah (I’ll have anutter Drinkwitz you) in 2020, and the forecast is not sunny for the Kitties this week either. LSU 35, Missouri 17.

South Carolina (-13) vs. Vanderbilt

Something’s got to give back in NashVegas Satday morning. Neither of these two squadrons have posted a “W”, yet, this season. The Roosters and Anchormen both have coaches whose collective backsides could set the woods ablaze. But even a win here might not pacify the restless natives in Columbia and Nashville. Or do Vandy fans even get restless, like my feet do some evenings? Muschamp and Mason. More like Abbott and Costello. Hit ain’t working in either state. Eenee Menee Minee… Muschamp! The Cocks gets its 12th win in a row over West End Warriors. South Carolina 28, Vanderbilt 13.

Tennessee vs. Georgia (-12)

Haw! This one has the potential to torch a barn! Well, a Barn was set a fire last week in Shrubville. And the Dawgies are back at home Satday at 3:30 ET (phone home). CBS is carrying this scrap and I know all you Gary Danielson fans will be excited bout dat! Buster Brown vs. Jeremy “Cornbread” Pruitt. The Moonshiners will be motivated and the Pups will be woofing it up in wait. Hot da mighty! Could be a stemwinder! Guess who has the longest winning streak in college football? The Volunteers. Guess who will hold that distinction Satday night? I don’t know. The streak is snapped. Georgia 27, Tennessee 17.

Alabama (-24) vs. Ole Miss

“Grove-in’, on a Satday afternoon. Really couldn’t getaway too soon”, could be what little Nickydemus might be singing when this one is over. You know Lane Kiffin, the pupil, will have some tricks up his sleeve for Saban, the teacher. I do expect a lot of fireworks from the Rebs and Pachyderms, but the Land Sharks will have to show up and slow the Crimpsons down to have any chance whatsoever. The Tide is rolling and will continue to do just that in Oxford on Satday night. Alabama 51, Ole Miss 28.

Mississippi State vs. Kentucky (-2.5)

Dadgummit! ($1 to Bobby Bowden, to whom we wish a speedy and complete recovery from COVID-19). Mark Stoops’ Felines have had some really tough luck after just two games. three turnovers killed them at Auburn and a missed extra point and some shenanigans got them beat at Kroger Field, in Lexington, last week. The Cats will be back in the friendly? confines os Supermarket Stadium Satday, and they might need a little luck to help them with these other Bullies. I just have to think the home town hosts will finally get that break on through to the other side and slam the “Doors” on the Maroons. Kentucky 31, Miss State 26.

Return with me now to the “Loveliest Village of the Plains.” (If you, too, cannot keep your eyes off the train wreck).

Arkansas vs. Auburn (-14)

Man, that last one still hurts like hemorrhoids! (Just try spelling that without looking it up.) But now it’s the Pussycats and the Tusks. And here we go. Or do we? Bewitched, bothered and bewildered. (While I’m tossing out $$, here’s one to Richard Rogers). Speaking of Rogers, we’re going to need Roy, Dale, Trigger (bless his taxidermied heart), Gabby Hayes and the whole gang if Auburn hopes to turn it around, it seems. Another truism is brought to mind. “Nothing is as good as it seems, and nothing is as bad as it seems. Somewhere in between reality.” (Lou Holtz). And that spanking over is Athens was about as real as it gets. A lot of folks want to fire the coach when a debacle like this comes along. And every armchair coach in America is bloviating in full force. I prefer to wait and see what transpires in this, what oftentimes seems like a nightmare, year of COVID-19, 2020. Haw! It ain’t been one for the faint of heart!

Coach Sam Pittman is going to have a bunch of believers with him at Jordan-Hare Stadium Satday afternoon. Them Hawgs will be ready for SEC victory number two. Will Auburn be ready for victory number two? I will not swear to it, but I have seen the men in burnt orange and navy blue do it before. Don’t get me wrong, these Piggies are not the Kansas City Chiefs. They should, though, be prepared to bring a determined bunch to the 20% filled arena. (20% ‘Twixt the Shrubs? Ya think?) No matter. Buckle up and be ready. It’s time to do some growing up. Don’t let Georgia beat you twice. Here’s thinking that will not happen. Auburn 30, Arkansas 17.

Once again, a bow to Leonard’s Post Toastie and Leonard’s Losers. And to being thankful we are able to enjoy some college football in these turbulent times.

If you cut any koners, just don’t get caught. And hoping no one has any blew gaskets.

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

Next week! Batman vs. Mr. Freeze!

Peace out!





SEC Football: Tigers and Dawgs and Hawgs! Oh My!

When I sat down to begin typing this work of art, the page in front of me was not blank. It contained this question, “What’s on your mind?” Thus, we begin with an easy answer to a simple question, that being, Georgia. Georgia has been on my mind, seriously, this week, but maybe not as much as other weeks and other times.

My bride and I have been occupying our minds, to a great degree, with hotels, restaurants, wine, food, and all sorts of good things as we ease into October. We have been in the mountains of north Georgia, with stays in Young Harris, never saw Old Harris, and Helen. Octoberfest is in full swing in Helen.

We had never been there during this fun and festive event. The crowds were not large during the week, but I expect they will be this weekend. Masks! “Distance! How can the wind with its arms all around me…” Thought I’d toss in an obscure song lyric there. From the group, Yes. The song? Perpetual Change. I would suggest you play this song. And if you don’t have it, then, by all means, download it. Great music!

OK! Mind off schnitzel and on to SEC football! YeeHaw!

Last week, your tour guide on all things SEC hit six out of seven, darn those Bullies, but congratulations to head coach Mike Leach and his troops! Big upset in Red Stick! Anyway, six of seven translates into an .857 percentage. Not too shabby. Last season I hit right at .800. and that is our goal! I win! You win! We all win, except the losers.

And now let us gaze into the crystal ball, actually I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do own an Eight Ball. No! Not THAT kind, the kind you snort. The one that you ask yes and no questions to, and get cute little answers. I asked the Eight Ball if Auburn was going to beat Kentucky. She replied, “It is decidedly so.” Bingo! I picked Auburn.

It’s so easy! (“To fall in love…”).

Let’s do dis!!!

And I will try to do better with where the games are to be played this week. I had LSU playing at State and Texas A&M at Vanderbilt last week. The two Vegases hosting those tests. Nope. But THIS week both Stark and Nash are at home. Sends shudders throughout your entire being to think of having to travel to Dudley Field, doesn’t it?

And Starkville? “What a lovely place…”, the Eagles might sing.

Did I say, “Let’s do dis?” Sho nuff did!

Now, in the order in which the games are to be played!

South Carolina vs. Florida (-17.5)

Dan Mullen’s Water Lizards play host to Will Muschamp’s Roosters and the South Carolina coach’s fanny is decidedly warm. That loss to the Vowels, last Satday, set the Cocks off on the wrong foot in a big way. The Swamp is no place to cool off one’s hind end either. There won’t be tens of thousands of fans on site, but it won’t matter. They could play this one on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field and the result would be the same. Alleygators it is! Florida 41, South Carolina 20.

Missouri vs. Tennessee (-12)

Eliah (I’ll have anutter Drinkwitz you) received a somewhat rude awakening into the world of SEC football. Alabama is a tough draw on one’s first foray into the conference. But, the Kitties covered! Will they do so this week? We shall see. Jeremy “Cornbread” Pruitt would love to have over 100,000 moonshine swilling hillbillies a rockin’ and a hollerin’ in Neyland Stadium. That ain’t happnin’ with COVID-19 on the loose. But the Rocky Tops should do just fine with ole Joey Guantanamo Bay slinging it around the yard. Tennessee 34, Missouri 21.

Texas A&M vs. Alabama (-18)

Jimbo’s Infantrymen had quite a tussle with Derek Mason’s Anchorboys last Satday. And if they play that way again this week, they will get kicked in the Semi-Hole. And Mr. Fisher knows all about those. Nick Saban’s Proud Pachyderms will be roarin’ and stompin’ over in T-Town and don’t look for them to have a letdown this Satday. The Aggies should play better than they did last week, but it won’t be enough to upset the Crimpsuns. Alabama 34, Texas A&M 17.

Ole Miss vs. Kentucky (-6)

This one is closed to the Publix, but Kroger Field is the site and the hometown Fighting Felines had better brace for an aerial onslaught form “Stay in your” Lane Kiffen and the Black Bears of Oxford, Mississipp. An upset could be in the making if Mark Stoops doesn’t have his squad primed and focused. Three turnovers got the Cats beat last Satday down on the Plains and there can’t be no fumbling around this week if they are going to take home the victory. Kanetuck should be fiercely clawing to redeem themselves this week. Kentucky 38, Ole Miss 28.

Arkansas vs. Mississippi State (-17)

All the Bullpups did last week was set a new SEC record for yards passing with well over 600 of them against the Paper Tigers. Rrrrrr! Leach the Pirate has ’em taking flight down in StarkVegas and Sam Pittman has ’em playing better in Hawgtown, it seems. They did lead the other set of Bullpups at the half, 7-5. More on those Dawgies in a few moments. Look for more fireworks, Satday, from QB Costello and Company. The Maroons should be able to pound the pups into submission. Mississippi State 42, Arkansas 24.

LSU (-21) vs. Vanderbilt

Now, let us move forward to NashVegas. You can bet the Bayou Bengals are a lickin’ its wounds after getting air raided in the friendly confines of Death Valley. Vanderbilt should prepare to play host to a very angry and highly motivated set of Felines this week. New defensive coordinator, Ted “Leaky” Roof, should be proud of his defense for holding the Aggies to just 17 points and the Commodores ought to be inspired in knowing last season’s National Champs can be had, but they won’t be this Saday. LSU 27, Vanderbilt 10.

And on to the BIG ONE!

Auburn vs. Georgia (-7.5)

Tigers and Dawgs! Twixt The Hedges! Number 4 versus number 7! Both teams needing to run the football more effectively. Both defenses pretty darn salty last week! What’ll it be Satday night!? Buster Brown better have them on their P’s and Q’s at 7:30 PM ET. Gus will have the Bus lubed up and rollin’ into Athens. Gawja has had the upper hand faaaaar too long in this, The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Isn’t it strange to be saying that in early October??? Something’s got to give. Kirby would be smart to have his great D set the tone for this one. Keep the ball away from Bo and Co. And yes, the quarterback position will be oh so important when these highly ranked teams take the field at Sanford Stadium. Gus has a good ‘un and Kirby is searching for the right one. Look for defensive prowess and a real donnybrook on Satday night! Chad Morris should open things up a bit and have that air game in better rhythm. Look for more tosses to backs and tight ends and the running game to be a little nastier. Nasty enough for the visitors from East Alabama to pull of the “upset.” It’s time! Auburn 24, Georgia 20.

That’s it for this week! Take us out of here, Percy!

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

Peace out, peeps!



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/