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!

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/



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 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!