LSU's winning or losing falls in this man's hands. Huge props to Moustached Mettenberger. - Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
The Pam Ward and Andre Ware punishment for poor play. How Kansas State has been the anti-Hogs since last year's Cotton Bowl, and why LSU is a sure-fire win.
Missouri at No. 7 Florida (ESPN2)- Missouri's four losses all come while in competition with the SEC. Gary Pinkle is starting a committee to look at the possibilities of a move back to the Big 12, or at least Conference USA. The Tigers have been riddled by injuries, but that is no excuse for a loss to Vanderbilt at home. Even Auburn wouldn't do that. Florida is coming off of a tough rivalry loss to Georgia last week. As long as they are not still feeling the effects from the World's Largest Cocktail Party, the Gators should win easily.
Temple at No.10 Louisville (ABC)- How good does Charlie Strong look this year? Imagine if that red on his shirt was a shade or two darker and instead of a bird on his right chest, it was a fierce wild hog. We will see how Strong and his team handle their first top 10 ranking as a head coach, and the first since a former Northwest Arkansasan motorcycle enthusiast. In their last two games, both at home, the Cardinal have won by a combined five points, so maybe their magic is running out. Hopefully not, because I want Charlie to be able to use a BCS win on the recruiting trail this spring and summer.
No. 16 Texas A&M at No. 16 Mississippi State (ESPN)- Last week these two schools played the ultimate ends of the spectrum from the state of Alabama. The Aggies were up by 44 points at halftime in front of an empty Jordan-Hare Stadium, while the Bulldogs were showing the rest of the nation that they are who we thought they were. This week Manziel leads his A&M to a road victory in their second of three consecutive road games.
Tulsa at Arkansas (12:21 p.m., SEC Network)- I don't mind noon games. I hate 12:21 games on the SEC Network thanks to Andre Ware's color commentary. Type "Andre Ware is" into Google and see what you get. Does ESPN have to punish us this way when the season is already a disaster? Razorback fans not only have to watch a horrible product visually, but have to endure the likes of Pam Ward and Andre Ware audibly. I will take Arkansas, but with no confidence.
No. 23 Texas at No. 18 Texas Tech (3:30 p.m., ABC)- First of all, How is Texas still ranked? Now back to this week's game. It is hard to believe this was four years ago. I still remember thinking when it happened that would go down as one of the best games/plays I had, or will, seen. I hope the Red Raiders put up 65 points because it is always fun to watch Texas lose.
Ole Miss at No. 6 Georgia (3:30 p.m., CBS)- Still after last week, Bulldog fans in my home state were ready to fire Mark Richt, to which I told them if they want a trade coaches now everyone in the state of Arkansas is signing up for that one. The Bulldogs have a chance to really put up some gaudy defensive numbers, particularly my Heisman favorite, Jarvis Jones. The Rebels are No. 99 in college football in sacks allowed. I'll say Jones has more than 2.5, and Dawgs win at home.
No. 4 Oregon at No. 17 USC (7 p.m., FOX)- If the football Gods are in our favor, the Ducks will score 28 in the first quarter so that every good SEC fan can watch the bloodbath that comes on at 8 p.m. This very well may be the case, as seen last week when the Trojans had a to face an up-tempo offense and came away losers at Arizona. At +8.5, this USC is the biggest home underdog it has been since 1997. Take the money. This Oregon team is legit and will win you money and hopefully by 8 p.m.
No. 13 Clemson at Duke (7 p.m., ESPN2)- The Tigers have a chance to really mess up my dream of a Louisville-Duke Orange Bowl with a win this week. They have too much offensive firepower for Duke to catch up. The Tigers will simply outscore the Blue Devils with the best receiving combination in the game,
No. 24 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Kansas State (8 p.m., ABC)- I can not help but watch the Wildcats and see the anti-Hogs, a team which took last year's Cotton Bowl and did things the right way. Going undefeated, not 3-5. Bill Snyder, the devoted family man is the anti-BP, and you can't not like him (Snyder, that is). And how about Collin Klein? Sure it is a little weird he didn't kiss his girlfriend until they were married, but by all accounts he is a stellar young man. They may struggle early with the Pokes and I do not see them going undefeated but KSU wins this week.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 5 LSU (8 p.m., CBS)- This game has been broken down in every which way by analysts from every which corner of the nation. So here is another take: This is the epitome of why every where else wants to be like us. Why every school craves to have matchups and atmospheres like us. Games like "The Game of the Century III" are why recruits come to play down here. Why we do it best and no one comes close. Revel in the fact that as an Arkansas fan, you are a part of this (and I don't mean just byway of Alabama's undefeated record). You are a part of the greatest conference, the most passionate fanbase, and highest quality of college football anywhere, the SEC.
That sounds about like a Wright Thompson piece, minus being good and sounding like Wright Thompson. Can you tell I am a homer? Oh and Bama wins. Know also that I have been 0-2 on "Game of the Century" picks.
This is usually the part I tell you to watch Oregon State win a close game to remain undefeated. As soon as I gained a little bit of confidence in the Beavers, they lost last week so all is back to normal. Save your time and head to bed, unless of course you're going to watch Arkansas' most famous coach play "courtroom" with Mark May and Rece Davis.
Upset Special- Michigan State over No. 20 Nebraska. While great at home, the Cornhuskers have been awful on the road with their only "away" victory coming at Northwestern by one point.
Best game without ranked teams- New Mexico State at Auburn. Both teams are horrid at the game of football, but have the Tigers given up all hope this season? No doubt a loss here means Chizik is gone, as he should be if he losses to a team whose only win comes against Sacramento State.
Atmosphere I would most like to experience- There is no debating here. Going to a night game in Baton Rouge will be experienced before I am all said and done, and I have always heard to go when your team is not playing. When better than when they are hosting the best team in the nation?
Season Record- 68-20