Week 9 of football in the Southeastern Conference is upon us. I love my Dawgs, but this season in general has deteriorated for our conference and all of college football. I am glad we have it, but it is almost like spring games or a jamboree. With all the guides and protocols to follow, it is hard for the coaches to put much of a normal team on the field many Saturdays. I do hope we play so many younger players get in-game reps that will benefit them in the future. Honestly, I see no way that there can be a true national champion crowned because some teams aren’t playing and most of the teams aren’t able to be anything close to 100%. If a national champion were to be crowned, I would have to say that an asterisk should go beside the title to recognize it as a partial and contested season. That’s just my opinion, though, so…….
No. 6 Florida @ Vanderbilt
Florida head coach Dan Mullen has his Gators on the verge of finally taking the SEC East title. There are only a few small details to take care of. The first comes in Music City against a mildly resurgent group of Commodores. Mullen will have his Gators patrolling the waters around Vanderbilt Stadium for any of the Commodores who fall overboard.
Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason keeps doing an admirable job of getting his navy ready to put up a good fight, even though his weapons are far below grade. The Commodores have fought back the last two weeks to nearly claim victory in foreign waters. The will is there, but success keeps escaping the overmatched Commodore navy. This week should be no different.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Florida 42-24
LSU @ Arkansas
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron has seen the bubble of a joyous national championship blow up like dynamite. All the great luck and positives from last year have gone down the drain. It could be worse down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but not by much. Orgeron is taking his powder puff Tigers up to Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium hoping to sneak by a barn yard of sleeping hogs. It won’t happen, big guy!
Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman has his Hogs playing hard and confidently. While they didn’t subdue the Gators in the Swamp, they sure gave them all they wanted. The Arkansas Rednecks, I mean Razorbacks, have a special hatred for these Cajuns. Pittman and quarterback Feleipe Franks plan to retake the trophy from LSU in the Battle for the Golden Boot and use that boot to kick the Cajuns back into the Louisiana swamps.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Arkansas 35-21
Ole Miss @ No. 5 Texas A&M
The Aggies have had an extra week off to get over some problems and at least make mental plans for the Land Minnows. Head coach Jimbo Fisher finally has the Aggies going in the direction he intended when he started drawing $10 million a year. Fisher and the Aggies will do all they can to prevent the Lane Train from rolling through College Station, Texas.
Head coach Lane Kiffin and his little fish treated their guests very rudely last Saturday. They embarrassed their guests so badly that the chicken ranch is now looking for a new head rooster. These preppy fish cannot stop the water from running out of the bottom of the bucket, but they also have no problem filling it up faster than it runs out. The Aggies better not have a case of the hiccups or Kiffin’s fish may drown them.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Texas A&M 55-42 (postponed)
Kentucky @ No. 1 Alabama
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops’ Wildcats played inspired last weekend, yet they still struggled to hold off the Commodores. Stoops’ boys have to make a trip down to Bryant-Denny Stadium this week to check up on a herd of pachyderms. It is a good bet that what they find will be much than they expect.
The Crimson Tide seems to have all the cards they need to run the table. Head coach Nick Saban is doing his best to avoid any wildcards being played against his Tide as it heads down toward their goals. Saban seems to throw a hissy fit or two each year. That hasn’t happened this year and Stoops’ Wildcats won’t cause the first one to happen. You can take that to the bank.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Alabama 49-17
Tennessee @ 23 Auburn
The Volunteers had been on a really hard four-game slide downward, so getting an unexpected week off was a chance to catch their breath. Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has checked every aspect of their rifles, changed the ammunition grade and even secured new powder. Nothing has worked lately, so he has also issued sling shots to his Volunteer army for their invasion of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The last trip they made down to the Auburn Plains was a positive turning point. This trip may not turn out near as good.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn always seems to find a way to squirm out of tight places. It seemed like the lid was about to be nailed shut on his box after South Carolina. Then, he found another jar of pixie dust helping him to escape the Land Minnows and grind up Baby O’s Bayou Bengals. When Pruitt’s soldiers come marching in, Malzahn will have his Tigers ready to blast away from every side.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Auburn 34-23
Missouri @ South Carolina
The Mizzou Tigers will be on the prowl when they stroll into Williams-Brice Stadium to look for some chickens flopping around with no head. Head coach Eliah Drinkwitz has been trying to find the right combination to make his Tigers purr but hasn’t gotten the hairballs out yet. The Tigers will try to fry the Gamecocks before they can find their head again.
Interim head coach Mike Bobo assumes control of the Gamecocks for the rest of this season. There is a slight chance he could be trying out for the permanent head rooster job, but all that is down the road yet. If he has any desire for that role, he will need to get the remaining chicks fired up and sharpen their spurs if the Tigers are going to suffer a flogging they won’t soon forget. I don’t think so, but it has been a season like no other already, so....
T-Dawg’s Winner: Missouri 31-21
Mississippi State @ No. 13 Georgia
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has struggled with offensive production forever and has been through several coordinators seeking what he needs. Smart is behind in a race he cannot afford to lose as comparisons grow to former head coach Mark Richt. The eastern breed of Bulldogs have hit a large hiccup in the middle of their season, including being thumped by Mullen’s Gators. You would think Smart’s Bulldogs could breeze through this week? But then again, it is a wacky year, so....
The last time there was a Dawg fight like this one, it didn’t turn out well for the Maroon and White. Head coach Mike Leach is in the beginning of a major overhaul and rebuild in Stark Vegas. It will take time, but opponents will not wait for that to happen, so Leach and his very young pups must perform as well as they can, and in doing so, slowly growing towards a future goal. Realistically, you wouldn’t expect the Stark Vegas Dawgs to pull this one off, but again, it is the strangest of years and you never count out a pirate.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Mississippi State 24-22
What are your thoughts?
Tulane over No. 25 Tulsa
Minnesota over Purdue
Iowa over Penn State
Wake Forest over Duke
No. 4 Clemson annihilates FSU
Utah over No. 20 USC
Washington State over Stanford
No. 14 Oklahoma State over No. 18 Oklahoma