Gotta say Week One was a little better than expected but will not compare to what we have in store this weekend. After all of the picks, be sure to catch guest blogger Joseph Michael and his take on Week One's biggest storyline. Shockingly, it is about his favorite coach in the nation, the one and only Houston Dale Nutt.
SEC Games - 11-1 straight up last week
In the lame SEC games of the week (definitely fewer of these this week), #14 Arkansas over ULM, Mississippi over Tulane (C'mon HDN, don't let me down again this week), Kentucky over Western KY, #8 Florida over South Florida, and #19 LSU over Vanderbilt (or Leslie Miles better hope so).
# 21 Auburn @ Mississippi State (Thursday) - The cowbells will be ringing early for this one. The Bully fans will be wearing their bourbon scented cologne/perfume. The Bulldogs and Tigers both looked good last week. This series has seen some crazy games lately like the 3-2 Auburn victory two years ago on a three run homer by Bo Jackson. Still confused about all the Bully love although they are tough at home. Auburn is a little too deep for them. Auburn 21-17
#22 Georgia @ #24 South Carolina - In a game of two other teams that looked great last week, I was leaning a little toward SCeast before the AJ Green news broke. Gotta stick with them since: 1) Garcia actually played well for the Cocks last week, 2) UGA has a freshman QB in his first road game, and 3) Spurrier plays UGA well even when he doesn't have a an equal or better team. On another note...who'd have thought the NCAA could suspend a guy for selling one of his jerseys when the NCAA makes money every day selling the guy's jersey to the public. Cocks 31-23
#18 Penn State @ #1 Alabama - Two traditional powers (and one really really old coach) in a non-conference showdown. It doesn't get much better than this. The Big T(ele)e(ven)n is getting a lot of love this year; it's time for them to prove something on the field. Bama looked like a well-oiled machine on offense last week. I got a feeling Penn State will do a little of what they usually do to SEC teams...lull them to sleep. But in the end, the Tide won't fall for it. In a less than stellar performance, Tide roll 23-13. A win's a win in this one.
#7 Oregon @ Tennessee - Let me first say that I have no idea the last time the Vols were 12 point underdogs at home. Let me set the stage for you...the Vols new defensive coordinator coached Boise State last year and shut down the Ducks (more explosive offense than this year) on the blue turf with a lesser defense than the Vols will be fielding on Saturday, inexperienced Duck QB will be in his first road start in front of 100,000 plus...okay, I'll stop there. I won't allow my inner Rick Schaeffer to blind me here. The Vols will be ready, but I think any chance at a win they had went away when they're top wide receiver, Gerald Jones, broke his hand last week. I won't be surprised with a Vol upset, but Ducks win 33-24.
Notable Games Around the Nation - 4-1 straight up last week
#12 Miami @ #2 Ohio State - Is the U back? Is Terrelle Pryor for real? Personally I think Jacory Harris is a better QB than TP. I also don't buy the Miami speed versus Ohio State power (or lack of speed); truth is both are strong and fast. Miami has not been very good away from home lately, and I think the trend continues Saturday. The sweater vest wins his 2nd big game in the last 7 years. Buckeyes 26-21
#17 Florida State @ #10 Oklahoma - Okay...FSU looked stellar last week against Samford; OU looked bad in a narrow victory over Utah State. The guy who was coach-in-waiting-and-his-team-was-so-bad-under-his-watch-that-the-old-coach-was-asked-to retire-and-now-he-is-head-coach has his first road test. Don't get me started on the whole coaching in waiting thing. FSU is 12-13 on the road the past five years. OU has something to prove after last week's game. Boomer Sooner 31-17
If I were a bettin' man... - 2-1 against the spread last week
Iowa State @ #9 Iowa (-13.5) - It's always dangerous to take an early rivalry game here, but I'm feeling lucky. The Hawkeyes thinks it's their year; it is never the Cyclones year! When Iowa is ranked going in to this game, they typically dominate. They beat the 'Clones by 32 last year at Iowa State and are allegedly going to be better this year.
Syracuse @ Washington (-13.5) - What's with me and 13.5 spreads this week? Syracuse has been really bad and is picked by most to finish last in the Big East once again. They also have an inexperienced QB and are playing on the west coast. Traveling west is so underrated; east coast teams very much struggle on the left coast...especially when the team is already bad. This is the second straight week the 'Cuse has played on the road. Washington and Jake Locker will be excited for their home opener after a tough loss at BYU last Saturday. The crowd will be psyched, and the Huskies roll in this one!
And without further ado...
And He Muffed It...by Joseph Michael -
Let's just spend this whole section in Oxford, Mississippi where the Ole Miss Rebels took on the Gamecocks... And they definitely muffed it. No, not the South Carolina Gamecocks, but the Jacksonville St. Gamecocks. Coached by former Razorback coach Jack Crowe.... The Rebels jumped out to a 31-10 lead at halftime and the tandem of Nathan Stanley and Jeremiah Masoli looked ready to doom SEC defenses in the weeks to come. Only one problem, the Right Reverend Houston Nutt stepped in and reverted back to his four play Tecmo Bowl playcalling, mostly calling A^... Jacksonville St. was able to scratch and claw its way back until finally Ole Miss drove and kicked a field goal with 2:55 remaining in the 4th to make it a 34-26 game. It looked like all was saved in Oxford and as we all know a win is a win, when Houston Nutt is calling the shots. Just like an Audible "is a called play and I called it Chuck," but that's a whole different story all together. The Gamecocks took the final 3 minutes to drive down the field, score a touchdown and tied it up with a two point conversion. That's when all hell broke loose. The next two overtimes were full of wild play after wild play leading everyone to believe that Houston would indeed, luck out again, but with no fingernails to spare. Then on 4th and 16 from the 30 in the 2nd OT Coty Blanchard threw a strike to Kevyn Cooper in the back of the endzone to pull the Cocks within one at 48-47. It looked like triple OT was a definite; however, I can only imagine what was going through Jack Crowe's head at this point. He must've thought back almost 18 years ago to the day to the 10-3 loss his Razorbacks were handed by The Citadel, which cost him ever coaching big time football again. I'm guessing his thought process was the same that runs through my head at Tunica when I'm down to my last 75 dollars on the way to the buffet passing the roulette wheel after a long night of drunken gambling. "F it, you bet big, you win big".... What ensued was probably the worst shovel pass in the history of shovel passes, but it worked and the Jacksonville St. Gamecocks had pulled off the upset of the Rebels and may have started the beginning of the end of the used car salesman turned football coach Houston Nutt...
At least Nutt and Masoli had some intelligent quotes in the postgame. Nutt saying " this is the worst loss in my career" and Masoli saying " I never expected us to be in overtime."
I don't know what the future holds for either of these men of genius, but one thing is for certain, they are pretty damn perfect at stating the obvious. As a Hog fan, this is a very sweet story for me to bring and I hope that all those Ole Miss fans that always tell me "thanks for the coach", understand why I bust out laughing and say you're welcome and buy them a Smirnoff Ice...
Good luck next weekend at Tulane, Ole Miss Rebels, I never thought Id say that, but it looks like you may need it.
Until next week, enjoy the games and tailgating at War Memorial. Please keep the girl fights to a minimum!