It has been a strong start to the 2017 season. A season when all the pundits once again said Miss. State would be lucky to win 6 games and the bowl run would come to an end. None of our players were chosen as 1st team Preseason All SEC and only Nick Fitzgerald and Martinas Rankin were chosen as 2nd team. LSU on the other hand had 6 chosen even TSUN had 3. We are given no respect year after year but I think we are all use to it. All the “ranking” and “stars” mean nothing when you walk out on the field. There it is about who is more prepared, who executes the best and who WANTS it more.
We (The DAWG Nation) need to fill up the entire area around the stadium Friday night and Saturday morning. We need to show the whole country who has the best atmosphere for college football and the proudest fans. Seriously, we need to get ready to back our band and spirit squads who will lead us in ROCKING the HOUSE for SEC Nation. Let’s start the StarkVegas party Friday night and keep it going until Sunday morning.
The first two weeks of predicting I am 24 and 2. A&M got me the first week and Arkansas last week. Now for week 3 which sees the SEC getting really wound up.
Louisiana Rajun Cajuns @ Texas A&M — There is another storm brewing in College Station and it is not named “Harvey” or “Irma”. True enough Kevin Sumlin was able to see his team subdue Nicholls St. last week 24-14 but the game was tied until half-way through the 4th quarter. The 12th man stands weren’t happy in the least. A&M enters this game 114th out of 117 teams in the NCAA in passing per game. Mark Hudspeth leads his Rajun Cajuns into College Station at 1-1 after dropping a shootout to Tulsa 66-42. The Cajuns will score points, that you can count on but the question is can the Aggies outscore them. Sumlin is on his 9th and 10th quarterbacks in six years. They are struggling badly and are still weak of heart and will. I try to always find a way to support SEC teams but A&M almost fell to a weak Nicholls St. team. I think the problems are deep at College Station and this week may be the end. As bad as I hate to do it...
T-DAWG’s Winner - Rajun Cajuns 27 - 17
Tennessee @ Florida — Needless to say it has been a tough weekend in the Southeast with Hurricane Irma but especially in Florida. Gainesville wasn’t badly hit so perhaps Florida has their home opener this week. The bad news is Tennessee has a train load of Volunteers pulling into town and they have more ammunition than it takes to pop a Gator. Florida is woeful on offense. In this week’s NCAA rankings they are 123rd, yeah they are bad and in a weak SEC Eastern division. Tennessee is far from loaded but Old Smokey has more than enough to drain the Swamp. Florida needs to find some answers and fast but it will not be this week.
T-DAWG’s Winner - Tennessee 35 - 13
Mercer @ Auburn — The Mercer Bears migrate to Auburn this weekend where they expect to find a nice meal of War Eagle stew to pilfer. Auburn was offensive on offense last week. It was without the worst a Malzahn team has ever performed on offense. OC Chip Lindsey said he called every play, the good and the bad (what good?). It looked like the same old plays Gus has called for eight years. There is major change coming at Auburn by the end of the year. The Auburn fans are faithful but unrest has grown loud and they are tired of excuses. Malzahn will attempt to poor it on Mercer and drive the Bears back to their den in an attempt to calm the faithful.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Auburn 45 — 3
Purdue @ Missouri — The Boilermakers steam into Columbia looking for another non-conference win before their conference schedule starts. Jeff Brohm has taken the helm in West Lafeyette and optimism abounds because of the exciting brand of football he has them playing. They are scoring bucketfuls of points and have at least a minimal defense. Missouri has dismissed their DC after only two games thinking that the problem him. Sorry Tigers but the problem is lack of talent. The only hope here is to outscore the Boilermakers. This will be a toss-up with only paper defenses. I have to go with the SEC and this may be one of three games Missouri has a chance of winning the rest of the year.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Missouri 48 - 44
Colorado St. @ Alabama — Mike Bobo (Georgia QB alum) brings his Rams into Tuscaloosa to collect a payday but most of it will be spent trying to repair broken horns. Alabama is trying to fine tune all the new parts before making an excursion to Nashville next week to open their SEC season. Alabama’s passing game is 108th but when you don’t have to pass why should you? Run it, control the clock and win game after game. Sooner or later though if Saban wants another title and you know he does, Jalen Hurts will have to progress as a passer. If the Crimson Tide has a flaw, the passing game is it. The OL is so good though most people can’t force the pass. The Tide keeps rolling here as the Rams butt their head against a brick wall called the Bama “D”.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Alabama 42 - 7
Samford @ Georgia — The Samford Bulldogs come to Athens 2 - 0 having beaten two DII teams handily. The Georgia Bulldogs have their final tune-up before opening SEC play next week against US! Georgia has a good defense but struggle to run the ball even with two of the best backs in the country. Their OL can’t seem to put it together again this year and they are also trying to use a true freshman quarterback (FROMM) again. Jacob Eason (sprained knee ligaments) may be back next week but that isn’t for sure. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will probably run wild against an inferior opponent this week but Samford still picks up that paycheck.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Georgia 45 — 10
Kansas St. @ Vanderbilt — The Commodores are striving for their best season since James Franklin departed five years ago. Derek Mason has worked to produce a winning program the right way. He just may be beginning to do that. This week is a statement game for Vanderbilt. Bill Snyder (now 77 and battling throat cancer) will bring his Wildcats to Nashville having put up 55 points in each of their first two games over inferior competition. This Vandy offense is the best they have had in many years and with Derek Mason running his own defense nothing will come easy. He knows he needs this game with Alabama around the corner. This game should tell us if Vanderbilt can make a real run at the SEC East crown.
T-DAWG’s Winner — Vanderbilt 31 — 27
Kentucky @ South Carolina — Mark Stoops brings his Wildcats to Columbia to battle it out for the eastern division lead. Kentucky needs to make their run this year while the field is wide open but Will Muschamp has his own ideas about making a run. Something has to give this week. The Gamecocks grew a bunch last week when they beat Missouri on the road. Their offense is beginning to run like a well oiled machine with talented Jake Bentley at the controls. The kid has no fear and has enough talent to get the job done every week in the east. I picked Kentucky to win the SEC East but I didn’t see the Gamecocks coming so strong. This will be interesting.
T-DAWG’s Winner — South Carolina 38 — 24
TSUN @ California — This is a late night game (10:30 start) on the west coast. Shea Patterson will fill right at home out there with the west coast preppies. Make no mistake, this kid is a pure talent who has football instincts that you just don’t coach. The Cal Bears are off to a good start of their own. Their Pac-12 schedule starts next week as they host USC so they hope to let it all hang out this week in preparation for the Trojans visit. The Golden Bears do not plan to give their den up to their cousins from the east. This should be a high scoring toss-up with a lot of fur flying before it is all settled deep into the morning hours.
T-DAWG’s Winner — TSUN 55 — 51
LSU @ Miss. State — The winner of this game will take over the early lead in the SEC West. It is a huge game for both teams as it will probably set the tone for the rest of their season. Orgeron said he respects State so much and that they are using John Deere tractors behind them with our fight song and ringing cowbells blaring to prepare them for this game. Danny Etling hasn’t particularly been amazing at quarterback but he has run at times. LSU is 47th in total offense while we are 20th. Miss. St has been better in total defense so far while both team’s kickers are at .500 (MSU 2/4, LSU 3/6). This game will be all about who has more heart and desire as well as who wins the turnover battle. I know I’m prejudiced but I feel like Fitzgerald is primed to step out and show the nation what he is about and that Miss. State is ready to make a run of their own. I believe we will indeed make a positive statement Saturday night. I can’t wait to see our Dawgs maul them. Get ready for an exciting game folks! The RUN begins.......
T-DAWG’s Winner — Mississippi State 34 — 17