Well you want to believe that we hammered OD and really increased our confidence again, worked out some things, cleaned up some areas, worked on depth and got some people well for a stretch drive at a top level bowl game. This is a week we need to get back on our game on both sides of the ball, get a win and get ready to win several SEC and a couple of out-of-conference games over the next two months. Maybe we all had grand dreams but if you don’t dream then you never work towards a prize. There are still many great opportunities ahead of us if we as alumni and fans stay behind our young men and coaches and they fight every step of the way. Can we finish 10-2, 9-3 or 8-4? Yes, all of those are possible, realistically 9-3 or 8-4 is very attainable. Last week was another pretty good week and would have been perfect except for LSU somewhat finding themselves, at least for a week. Last week I went 5-1, now 46 - 14 overall (77%).
This week’s predictions:
South Carolina @ Tennessee — The Gamecocks scored their first multiple defensive TD’s in over 6 years last week in fact they had never scored three defensive TD’s in 125 years. Muschamp either found a way to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s OR Arkansas is steadily collapsing. Tennessee took a week off to figure out if they have any powder left for their long-rifles because they had about become defenseless. Butch Jones can’t seem to get his BIG ORANGE to play in a manner the faithful expect. Hopefully Ol’ Smokey comes out of their off week with a strong scent of the direction in which Muschamp’s yard-birds have taken to their Neyland Stadium roost so they can be dealt with before Tennessee Orange turns to blood red as the arteries are severed and Butch Jones goes on life support. Bentley played lights out last week and the defense rose to incredible highs. I could be really wrong but I think Ol’ Smokey’s wounds are life-threatening and the Gamecocks will smell the blood early.
T-DAWG’s Winner — South Carolina 30 - 26
Auburn @ LSU — Orgeron met with coaches and AD last week while players met privately on their own. Somehow and from somewhere the Bayou Bengals found some heart, got pissed or just got totally hyped up after being pushed around all season. Now Coach “O” has the Gus bus pulling into Death Valley on a Saturday afternoon with a strong taste for Gumbo igniting the saliva. Auburn has hit a stride for now and they are adamantly against anything wearing purple and gold slowing them down. One set of Tigers are desperate while the other is determined to keep the bus rolling for two more weeks until an open date appears. Gus has finally found him a song that keeps him all fuzzy feeling and he plans to keep his “Rose-Colored Glasses” on as long as he can. If you want to sing along with him ( http://www.metrolyrics.com/rose-colored-glasses-lyrics-john-conlee.html ) you can and he hopes he has a line dance going by the time “The Fat Lady” sings in Death Valley Saturday night.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Awbun 41 - 23
Vanderbilt @ TSUN — This is a game of “Wanna-be’s” with Vanderbilt and TSUN both having high expectations for this season that have begun to rapidly fade into the rear view mirror. In some ways Vanderbilt still has opportunities to clean it up and have a winning season for themselves. The Commodores aren’t bad but they don’t have hands to man all stations adequately for the SEC wars. TSUN has begun to realize they aren’t going anywhere for real and maybe for several years. Even though TSUN may be capable of defending Fort Oxford from the Commodores it just gets hard for a Black Bear to keep dancing when they know there is no treat coming. They may figure there is more reward in raiding local trash cans. This one should be close but Coach Mason may be getting his groove on again in Oxford Saturday night while Gus is busting loose in Baton Rouge leaving Coach Luke to cry in his beer again.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Vanderbilt 35 - 31
Texas A&M @ Florida — Sumlin brings his Aggies to the “Swamp” looking to build on what they were able to do against Saban’s Crimson Tide last week. Freshman Kellen Mond seemed to grow dramatically against Alabama and looks to enhance his water skills this week and avoid Gators seeking to pull him under. Felipe Franks will go back out again for McElwain who is beginning to hear the grumbling of Gators all around. If he can’t keep the waters turbulent enough to help subdue visitors then his seat in the boat is going to really heat up. There is no doubt who is in control of the SEC East but the rest are up and down like waves driven by a hurricane. I hope the Aggies can tread water in the Swamp because I think the wind will blow the Gator’s way Saturday night.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Florida 28 - 23
Arkansas @ Alabama — Saban wasn’t happy by a long shot last week in Aggieville. After ripping through two SEC teams in a row the Tide seemed to have left their “Big Boy Pants” at home last week but still managed to survive while holding their pants up with one hand. You can be sure Saban spent the week throwing out all the “rat poison” and lighting some fires under his team. The Razorbacks sight-seeing trip to Tuscaloosa couldn’t come at a worse time. By the time Bret unloads his Hogs the fire will be hot and the barbecue sauce will be waiting to be applied. All that will be needed is the guest of honor and it won’t take long before Bielema and his Porkers know they have been “stuck”.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Alabama 48 - 0
Missouri @ Georgia — The Tigers try to slip into Athens and hide out in the hedges in hopes of maybe catching some tired Dawgs napping. Even sleepwalking these Dawgs have more than enough to make Missouri look for a back door to the dressing room during halftime if they can make it that far. Kirby Smart is trying to get his troops fighting mad before heading to Jacksonville next week and he plans to use a group of out-classed Tigers to tune up for the trip. Kirby will be sure Missouri gets plenty of it’s state motto (Show Me) before they run off with their tails between their legs.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Georgia 45 - 12
BYU @ Miss. State — These Cougars don’t have the bite or even the growl they had last year. Coach Kalani Sitake brings his boys in on a 5 game losing streak. Quarterback Tanner Mangum will be back to start but still has limited mobility with a tender ankle (oh boy!) but true freshman Joe Critchlow relieved him last week and probably will this week also. The Cougars have been yielding quite a few points this season so Fitzgerald and company need to get physical again and run it down their throats then toss a few over their heads. Expect Fitzgerald to play a good bit of fetch with some wide-outs we will need to perform down the road but hitting the check-downs is a must also. Jeffrey Simmons and his “Nasty Crew” need to find that attitude again and communicate so they can stuff the run and then hold team meetings at the quarterback. I look forward to seeing our DAWGS return to early season form and step on the Cougar’s tails hard before they run back to hills and regroup before going to East Carolina next week. Hey Fitz, you ready to sing again?
T-DAWG’s Winner — Mississippi State 31 - 13
I will be there with Cowbell in hand as we get the second half of the season started off right. Be there if you can and make plenty of noise while supporting our team, coaches and spirit groups. I can’t wait to see the season ticket holders from Pontotoc that sit beside me and the crew from Madison at the “Function at the Junction” tent.
Be safe in your travels.