Huck’s Fearless Forecast
How did we get here so fast, y’all? It seemed like only yesterday that my friends and family and I were gathering under the Oak Tree near the Driftmier Engineering Center, eating fried chicken in the hot sun and wondering by how many points we would beat Austin Peay. Now here we are, ready to gather under that same Oak Tree on a cold November day, eat more fried chicken, and wonder how many points we will use to disperse the University of Massachusetts. We will also discuss the unthinkable. Can Paul “Fish Fry” Johnson come between our hallowed hedges next week, for a third straight time, and upset our playoff bound applecart and—the big question, of course—do we really want Bama?
But all of those things loom in the coming weeks. This weekend our eyes should be squarely on the prize of a 10th win against the UMass Minutemen. And the weekend is, of course, here, so What the Huck! Let’s pick a few games!
Virginia at Georgia Tech. I’m tired of pretending I can figure out what those guys will do from week to week. I haven’t got a Tech game right all year. To hell with Tech.
Mizzou on Rocky Top. I tuned in the Paul Finebaum show this week and thought I had wandered into the Twilight Zone. They were talking like they were living in some alternative universe, gushing over Jeremy Pruitt as if he were the second coming of General Neyland up at Tennessee. They were talking about the great turn-around in Obnkoxville and how the SEC East had a new sheriff in town. I looked at the records just to be sure I had not missed something. There it was. A mediocre 5-5 with a recent hangover win against a disheartened Kentucky team—kind of like the loser of the SEC Championship loses in the bowl game every year because they just lost out on a chance to play for the Natty--and a recent 14-3 win over powerhouse Charlotte. I’m picking the Tigers and Drew Lock and Barbara Dooley’s Boy.
Missouri 31 Vowels 24
UAB at Texas A&M. Just a few years ago the University of Alabama at Birmingham decided that football just wasn’t for them and disbanded their program. Good thing for Georgia. We inherited Jake Ganus from them who was the bright spot of our defense that year. Well, they managed to do without football for six months in Birmingham and now they are not only back, but ranked in the Top 25 (Coach’s Poll), relegating Auburn to the third ranked team in the state of Alabama, at best. But UAB has to travel to Kyle Field this week and the SEC is not the same as Conference USA. UAB had a close win two weeks ago over Southern Miss. I think they will find reality in College Station.
Aggies 35 Blazers 17
The Citadel at Roll Tide. Nick Saban went off on reporters this week when asked if quarterback Tua Tagovailoa would play against Pat Conroy’s Alma Mater this weekend. “Why wouldn’t he?” was the first remark—with an attitude, I might add. Then he explained that it would send a bad message to the rest of the team about the quality of the opponent if he sat Tua. Hey, Nick. Your guys are in college. They are smart enough to figure out the quality of a Citadel team that lost to Furman by 11 and beat the mighty Mercer Bears by 7. Then he assured the press that he didn’t need any advice from them on how to run his football program. Then he stormed off, leaving them to interview his Coke bottle—again.
Alabama 56 Bulldogs 0
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt. The Rebels are 5-5 and have put up a lot of points against the bad teams on their schedule. Vandy is 4-5 with an almost-win over Notre Dame being the highlight of their season, so far. Their defense has been pretty stout throughout the year. Both teams beat Arkansas—Ole Miss close, Vandy by a lot—and both teams lost to South Carolina—Ole Miss close, Vandy by a lot. Should be a good football game in Nashville, Saturday, and one that few people outside Hotty Toddy and Anchor Down will care about one whit.
Commodores 27 Rebels 21
U Mass Between the Hedges. Please, Lord, don’t let anybody get hurt. Please, Lord, don’t let anybody get hurt. Please, Lord, don’t let anybody get hurt. Dawgs on Top!
Georgia 66 Minutemen 6
Look for me under the Oak Tree. I’ll be the good-looking guy in the red Kemp Won shirt!
Darrell Huckaby is an author, educator and syndicated newspaper columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.