Well friends, this is the last full week of games in the Southeastern Conference. Next week will include five games, one of which is the conference championship game between Alabama and Florida at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. When I started writing for this week, TSUN was supposed to be heading out to play a makeup game with Texas A&M. Many of us find it remarkable that the Lane Train suddenly uses the protocol window to avoid this game. Personally, I would like to see the league change next week’s games so that LSU can go play Tennessee and allow Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin to take his whatcha-ma-call-em football team out west to get what should be a butt kicking they seem to be trying to avoid. Again, this is just my subconscious talking out loud, so apply your own opinion to TSUN (That School Up North, AKA…Ole Miss).
So, here we go with my Week 12 predictions.
No. 9 Georgia @ No. 25 Missouri
The Georgia Bulldogs got the house all cleaned up then had no one to invite into the house again last Saturday. There will be no trip to the league title game this year for head coach Kirby Smart’s puppies. The Bulldogs will be looking to work out some frustration when they visit Columbia, Missouri, this week, but it is possible the frustration could grow worse if Georgia doesn’t show up.
Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz rode the rollercoaster last week with his band of felines. Through all of the ups and downs, the Tigers managed to hang on to the high ground last and subdue the fighting pigs. Drinkwitz knows if his felines are to lockup Smart’s Bulldogs, he will need to have his cat’s motors purring at a high level.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Georgia 34-31 (could easily flip)
Ole Miss @ No. 5 Texas A&M
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral will lead his rumbling, bumbling, slimy fish into College Station, Texas, looking to surprise Aggieland. Kiffin hopes to make a bigger name for himself by beating the $10 million man named Jimbo Fisher. The Lane Train will try to derail the Aggies’ College Football Playoff drive any way they can.
Fisher feels the chance to be in the College Football Playoff for the first time is almost in his grasp. The Aggies will need to play keep-away from Corral’s offense, or they will need to ring the bell at a higher rate than they have been. Whatever it takes, you have to feel like Fisher won’t let Kiffin steal his thunder.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Texas A&M 52-21
Tennessee @ Vanderbilt
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt takes his Volunteer army down to Music City looking like a bunch of rag-tag backwoods hillbillies. The Volunteers have fallen as the season went along to what they are now. Pruitt has had an extra week to figure out how to establish an effective siege to the Commodores’ river fort. If Pruitt can’t figure out how to get his little army to capture the flag, it may be his own ship that is sunk.
Vanderbilt interim coach Todd Fitch will try to make a last stand with the Commodores at home and will seek to score the first points since assuming the role he has now. The Mizzou Tigers blanked his cadets in his first leadership attempt. Vanderbilt may be winless this year, but make no mistake, they are a proud and courageous group of sailors. The Commodores will put up a fight until the fat lady sings. Will it be enough?
T-Dawg’s Winner: Tennessee 31-24
No. 1 Alabama @ Arkansas
Alabama head coach Nick Saban made it to Death Valley with his Crimson Tide last week and enjoyed every second of the whooping imposed on “LSWho.” There is nothing that can block Alabama from going to Atlanta next week, but there is no way Saban lets his boys take a game off. Having something embarrassing happen against the Razorbacks could have huge side effects on the Crimson Tide’s playoff chances and seeding. Saban will have quarterback Mac Jones on top of his game to ensure a proper roasting of the Razorbacks.
Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman has tried to get his porkers operating at a high level. While the Razorbacks have accomplished more than last year, they just haven’t been able to get over the hill yet. When Alabama comes to town, that hill will turn into Mount Everest, and Pittman will be heard crying, “No Sir.”
T-Dawg’s Winner: Alabama 58-10
LSU @ No. 6 Florida
If you didn’t get a chance to see LSU head coach Ed Orgeron’s sideline rant Saturday night against Alabama, it exemplified the feelings he has had this season:
It was a once in a lifetime season last year for Orgeron and his Tigers. This year has been the polar opposite. The Tigers drilled the Gators in Death Valley last year, but that was a lifetime ago. It is a safe bet that Orgeron and his Tigers will not enjoy the gifts they get at the Swamp.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen and his Florida Gators secured their place in Atlanta by pulverizing Kentucky last week. The Gators know they have a real chance of making the College Football Playoff this year if they can win their last two games. Many of these Gators vividly remember the verbal insults and abuse thrown at them in Death Valley in 2019. Dan Mullen’s Gators will have a lot of abuse to dish out to Orgeron and his kittens so get ready to see Tiger Rant: Act 2.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Florida 48-20
Auburn @ Mississippi State
The Gus Bus heads west one more time this season, but the real question is, “Will this be the last journey Malzahn makes with Auburn?” I don’t see that happening no matter the outcome because $21 million isn’t chump change, for anyone. Malzahn could be missing some players when he unloads in Stark Vegas, but either way, the season is pretty much lost in terms of success on Auburn’s scale. Pride is about all the Tigers will have to play for, but how much motivation will that result in?
The Dawgs have been trending upward without seeing a totally positive result. After the Black Bears and Bayou Beetles, many of the Dawg Nation, including me, enjoy giving Aubie the Tiger a black eye as often as possible. The stage is set for the young guns of head coach Mike Leach to take a huge step in the growth process. The weather may be inclement and the environment detrimental for Malzahn’s Tigers, but the Pirate will do all he can to have his mattes ready to swing their swords and ring the bell on Malzahn often.
T-Dawg’s Winner: Mississippi State 34-17
I will be heading for my beloved Mississippi State this Friday to visit friends and family before taking in the game no matter what weather confronts me. I hope each of you can be in places that you feel led to be and enjoy a little college football as it quickly winds down for 2020.
Make your own predictions and see how accurate you are.
Army wins over Navy
Washington State wins over California
No. 15 Southern Cal wins over UCLA
Virginia wins over Virginia Tech
No. 10 Miami wins over #17 North Carolina
Maryland wins over Rutgers
No. 16 Iowa wins over Wisconsin
No. 22 Oklahoma State wins over Baylor
Oregon State wins over Stanford
No. 21 Colorado wins over Utah
Georgia Tech wins over Pittsburgh