To which I say: Feh!!!!
I do it for the love of the game, the spirit of win one of the old alma mammy, pass me the mustard for my brat, Go Team Go, March Atherton Forward March, Hold that Line, Gimme a C, Gimme an A . . . etc, etc, etc.
Besides which, I’ll never forget the sage intonation of Joey the Vig: “Point spreads? I don’t need no stinkin’ point spreads.”
So, continuing a grande tradition as this Anybody but Alabama season commences, here are the first of this season’s predictions.
Ole Miss @ Vandy. The Commodores are coming off a bowl-winning, 9-4 campaign. The latter of which numerals also denotes the number of players lost after they allegedly raped a fellow student while she was unconscious. Nice work, fellas. While, if true, is most heinous. But it does provide further ratification of the Pakistani Graduate Student Theory, which is, in fact, no longer theory. Vandy’s rise during the James Franklin Era is directly related to the number of bad asses matriculating to West End Avenue. Meanwhile, we know Hugh Freeze can recruit to Oxford Town. DE Robert Nkemdiche is, they say, this year’s frosh Jadeveon Clowney. Which could help the Johnny Rebs build on the Compass Bowl spanking theyt gave Pitt last post-season. Are the Stars & Bars ready to win its opener on the road, a conference game no less? Not quite. ‘Dores prevail.
Boise State @ Washington. If “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” proves untrue, nobody would be more pleased than the Broncos. The Team Formerly Known As Everybody’s Favorite Underdog edged UDub in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl, where the Blue Fielders have ended their last three seasons. But this one’s in Seattle, where the faithful are not so patiently awaiting the Steve Sarkisian Era to kick into gear. Wasn’t this the season Boise was to be dubbed Big East? So it was. Instead Chris Petersen’s club has appropriately arrived in the geographically consistent Mountain West. (To the chagrin of the the late, not the least bit lamented WAC.) Husky Stadium has been refurbished. Will it give UDub an even greater home field advantage? Boise State is no longer the nation’s darling — that fell apart at Nevada near the end of the ’10 campaign — but they remain a stalwart non-BCS contenda. And shall show Washington why.
Georgia @ Clemson. There’s something about Clemson I’ve never really gotten. Where is the school exactly? Qu’est que c’est Clemson? And, as always, why would any school choose bright orange as their team’s prominent uni color? To mix with purple? That naysaying notwithstanding, the Tigers take football seriously. IPTAY (I Pay Ten A Year) was the first of the donor groups that helped elevate a university’s athletic program. (No, it did not commence with Tom Jurich.) Plus their magnificently named coach Dabo Swinney has proved his mettle. Last year, the Tigers were 11-2, with a bowl W over LSU. Georgia which coulda woulda shoulda beat Bama in the SEC title game, went 12-2, and is once again a legit national contender. Which is to say, this is Big Time Football. I like Dabo Swinney’s guys, and pick them to win, if only so I could write his name again.
Western Ky vs. Kentucky (Nashville). I’m advised that first year, risen from the ashes like the proverbial Phoenix coach Bobby “She Was Just Working Alumni Relations” Petrino has invited any number of U of L fatcats down to watch the game at Titans Stadium. What that means, I don’t exactly know, but I thought I’d pass it along anyway. Just another bit of innuendo about this game, the most intriguing of college pigskin’s opening weekend slate. Willie Taggert, who audaciously called that trick two-point conversion play which won it for the Toppers last year in Lexington, is now coaching in Florida. So too, Joker Phillips, whose Dead Man Walking fate was sealed that night in Commonwealth Stadium. Will Petrino or new Wildcat mentor Mark Stoops add more value in his team’s opener? The game might not be pretty, but shall fascinate nonetheless. UK’s got something to prove. But so does Bobby “I Always Have My Bags Packed” Petrino. I say, Western wins, which means its battle in Week II with Tennessee could be Petrino’s Bowling Green swan song.
Ohio @ Louisville. Usually the hitter, DL mainstay Lorenzo Mauldin was the victim of a hit and run this game week Tuesday a.m., while riding a moped. His status for Sunday, let alone the rest of the season, is uncertain. So too, how U of L will perform under the weight of heightened expectations? The Cards’ track record as overdog is not traditionally good. That Rutgers loss in the Petrino Years that probably kept them from the BCS title game. Last season’s meltdowns against Syracuse and UConn after a 9-0 start. Plus the Cardinals OL is a BIG ???, its secondary must prove it can be consistent, and the DL could be a man down. Which is not to mention that every MACtember we read about another upset, or two, or three, against big name opponents from that underrated league. Last year, Ohio won at Happy Valley and was cruising along, until significant injuries more or less waylaid the Bobcat season. Frank Solich’s team still had a higher national ranking than Louisville in rushing offense, total offense, scoring offense, pass efficiency defense, sacks, tackles for loss, sacks allowed and turnover margin. Red & Black Faithful, Caveat: This one’s not a gimme. The Cards will prevail, but there shall be some heart palpitations before the final gun sounds.
– Seedy K