This Saturday I plan to put myself in full college football watching mode. From College Gameday in the morning to College Football Final at night, I hope to enjoy as much of Saturday's offerings as possible. A Razorback t-shirt and a pair of Razorback sweats, a comfy futon, a channel changer, a flat screen tv, and as much popcorn as my microwave can pop, that's what I envision for Saturday. I wouldn't dare take Raz's place in front of the crystal ball for Arkansas games, so I am just going to look at what our SEC brothers (sorry, not quite yet Texas A&M) can expect on Saturday. Here's my take and Vegas's take as well.
AUBURN at. CLEMSON or Tiger vs. Tiger: (12 PM Eastern on ABC) - Vegas has Clemson by 3.5. But how do you score half a point? Yet another reason, my ignorance, of why it is a good thing I don't gamble. I imagine Vegas is giving the team that has only one mascot the edge because they play at home. Clemson shouldn't have much trouble scoring (see Utah State and MSU) on this Auburn defense. Auburn with Cam Newton at home barely beat Clemson last year, so I am going with Clemson to cover at home. They'll have to beat Auburn by more than eight points, for Gus's crew happens to be 10-0 in games decided by eight points or less. So how about Clemson by two touchdowns. I think most fans in the SEC would shout "ACC! ACC!" on that one, haha. The 17 game winning streak ends at Clemson.
OLE MISS at VANDERBILT or Preppy with a Drawl vs. Preppy with a Yankee accent: (12 PM Eastern on SEC Network) - Vegas says Ole Miss by 2.5. Not a very big margin there. I am sure the oddsmakers happen to know that Colonel Nutt has a difficult time beating Vanderbilt. How would his seat feel there in Oxford if he lost to them two years in row? He got a lucky puff of wind, or he would have lost to Vandy two years in a row at Arkansas. Houston doesn't get his puff of wind this time. I say the Dores win this one in a close one, by three of fewer points, but I admit wishful thinking is pushing this prediction over the crossbar!
COASTAL CAROLINA at GEORGIA or I didn't know you existed vs. Boise State's favorite SEC team (1 PM Eastern on PPV) - Vegas doesn't put down a line on games vs. FCS teams. There's no way Georgia loses this game, but if Coastal Carolina was somehow magically transformed during Hurricane Irene into super football players and were to beat Richt's club, then CNN should make the short drive from Atlanta to Athens and put Anderson Cooper in front of the University of Georgia campus. The death toll would certainly include one Mark Richt's job. We call that in Arkansas being Citadeled! However, I say, Georgia, by many points.
TENNESSEE at FLORIDA or Just Ugly Orange vs. Ugly Orange Plus Blue (3:30 PM Eastern on CBS) - Vegas says Florida by 9.5. You could call this the game to decide who races with South Carolina to Atlanta. I agree with Vegas and say that it will be Florida. The game is in the Swamp. The Vols under Dooley have shown a Keystone Cop tendency, and until they show me they can beat a good team without shooting themselves in the foot, you have to go against them here. But I don't think Florida covers. It is the SEC on CBS at that 2:30 Central time slot, and you can pretty much count on a close game there.
NAVY at SOUTH CAROLINA or Cockie guys who wear white slacks vs. the Cocks (6 PM Eastern on ESPN 2) - Vegas says South Carolina by 17 points. But you know, this seems like the type of game Spurrier's crew could lose. They have to prepare for that option attack, which they won't see again most likely unless I can talk Petrino into using Brandon Mitchell and Joe Adams against them in an option attack come November. I think Stephen Garcia will screw up early, get replaced by Conner Shaw, take some of the Navy defensive guys out drinking during half-time, come back in the third quarter and throw a few touchdowns to get South Carolina by Navy. But not by 17 points. Fewer than that.
LSU at MISSISSIPPI STATE - Oh, you mean they've already played? Well, I was going to say LSU, really, honestly! haha. LSU did look sharp last night on defense, very sharp. And the Cowbellers looked once again like the Cowbellers we know, a team that scores all of six points. I hope not much changes by the time they come to Little Rock. Fun Facts: State has never won a game inside the state of Arkansas. And Dan Mullen has only beaten one SEC Western Division team, Ole Miss, since coming to Mississippi State. He owns the Rebels at 2-0, but no other Western team.
LOUISVILLE at KENTUCKY or Petrino's old team vs. People who hate Petrino and don't give a flip about the Falcons or Auburn (7 PM Eastern on ESPNU) - Vegas says Kentucky by six points. Charlie Strong, Batesville native, would do himself a world of good at Louisville if he could prove Vegas wrong, but I don't think he will. I saw Louisville play a game earlier this season against some nobody team, and they looked horrible. Kentucky will get the job done for the SEC and will cover in the process. Sorry, Charlie.
NORTH TEXAS at ALABAMA or a team from Texas that isn't hasn't destroyed its conference vs. a team from Alabama who thinks they are their conference, but hasn't driven everybody off (7:30 PM Eastern on FSN) - Vegas says Alabama by, geez, 47 points. I don't know if Alabama will score 47 points, but I seriously doubt North Texas even sees the endzone once during this game. A couple of field goals might be the most they get to take back to Denton. But no doubt, they are dreaming the ULM dream right now. Remember, ULM knocked off the Tide in Tuscaloosa during Saban's first year. Keep dreaming. Alabama wins this one going away. If they don't cover, it is simply because they want to rest up for the mighty Hogs!
ENJOY YOUR SATURDAY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL WATCHING!