The two old-timers picked some pretty clean cotton this past week. Orley Hood was 13-2, including that Stanford over Oregon pick, while Rick Cleveland went 12-3, despite ignorantly picking USM over UTEP. Hood and Cleveland head down the stretch all tied with 94-37 records.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss: Rick called earlier, asked me who I thought was going to win. Uh … I don’t know, I told him. Still don’t. So, I’m going to do the other games first. Maybe inspiration will strike by the time I get to the Saints.
Southern Miss at Memphis: Memphis has won three conference games. The Tigers scored a ton last week. And they’re at home. So … It’s 0-12 for the Golden Eagles after 12-2 last season. Unbelievable. Memphis 30, USM 20.
LSU at Arkansas: Can the Tigers recover from the Ole Miss game to kick around the Hogs on the road? You laugh, but I’m not kidding. OK, they do and they do. LSU 38, Arkansas 21.
Georgia Tech at Georgia: Lots of these BCS analyzers seem to have forgotten Tech, which has a big-time triple option running game and will play for the ACC championship against Florida State because Miami is trying to duck NCAA wrath. What if Tech beats Georgia and Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship? Fugeddaboutit: Bulldogs 42, Jackets 31.
Auburn at Alabama: Parents, don’t let your children watch. Tide 52, Auburn 17. Call if you get work, Gene.
Florida at Florida State: I vote the Gators the weirdest team in the country, good sometimes, awful others. Goofy on top of goofy. But FSU, for all the talent, can play down, too. FSU, at home, 30, Florida 27.
Vandy at Wake: Vandy’s good, Wake … uh … not so much. So … Commodores sail, 40-20.
Missouri at Texas A&M: The New Guy Bowl. Who out there didn’t think Mizzou was going to be the best match for the SEC? Be honest. Raise your hands. You! In the back! You’re lyin’ like a dog in the dust. No chance against Johnny Football, the country’s best player. A&M 51, Mizzou 28.
South Carolina at Clemson: Tough game for the ol’ ball coach. Lots of points to be had though. It’s a coin flip. USC 35, Clemson 31.
Texas at TCU: I dunno. Texas plays lousy. Horns can’t even beat Chaminade in basketball. Not the best TCU team this year either. Mack needs this. Longhorns 27, Toads 20.
Miami at Duke: Easy call before the Canes gave up on bowl season as a sacrifice to the NCAA poobahs. Still no match. Sorry again, Cut. Miami 45, Dukies 30.
Wisconsin at Penn State: That guy who took Joe Pa’s place, he should be coach of century. PSU has to make time before the NCAA penalties undercut the program altogether. Penn State 20, Wisconsin 17.
Stanford at UCLA: Lots of respect for both. Big wins last week. Double letdown this week? Stanford 31, UCLA 28.
Notre Dame at Southern California: The Trojans may have blown completely. Plus, no Barkley this week. Irish go unbeaten, 30-7. They can kick back and wait for Alabama.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma: After the 50-49 last breath survival against West Virginia last Saturday, the Sooners may be a bit winded. But they’re better than the Cowboys. OU 42, OSU 38.
49ers at Saints: What a game! Niners are burning hot. Saints, too. Brees has got to be really special against a great defense. Saints have to win every week. Niners don’t. Saints 30, 49ers 27.
OK, well, here are, back where we started. State at Ole Miss. Groovin’ in the Grove. Girls all dressed up in their fall duds. Serious fans sweating blood all week long. Bowl eligibility at stake for the Rebels. Three-game winning streak against Ole Miss at stake for Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs. Rebels played great against LSU last week. State played great against Arkansas.
Ole Miss is Golden, 28-27.
OK, there you are. I’m exhausted. Gotta take a nap now.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss: In September, I had State a 20-point Egg Bowl pick. Now, I think State should be a 1- or 2-point favorite. The oddsmakers have Ole Miss favored, which I’m sure made Dan Mullen quite happy. Ole Miss is due — due to win a big game, due to beat State and due to get a break at the end, so, naturally, I’m picking: State 27-24.
Southern Miss at Memphis: Unbelievable is right., Orley. Memphis, 34-14. Woe is USM.
LSU at Arkansas: Arkansas is fragile. The Hogs will fold up like a tent when something goes wrong and it will. LSU, 40-20.
Georgia Tech at Georgia: Would love to see this game in person. Tech will move the ball but Georgia will win the game. Dogs, 34-31.
Auburn at Alabama: Woe is Auburn, too. Bama, by whatever Saban decides.
Florida at Florida State: Florida plays down up or up to the competition. Gators better be “up” this week. Florida, 30-27.
Vandy at Wake: Vandy is only one of the best coached teams in the country. Vandy 31-24.
Missouri at Texas A&M: If I was voting on the Heisman today I’d vote for Johnny what’s-his-name. A&M 48, Mizzou 27.
South Carolina at Clemson: Another great matchup here. I’ve got Clemson, 34-27.
Texas at TCU: Don’t know if there’s any such thing as a homefield advantage when Texas plays anywhere else in Texas. Longhorns 24-21.
Miami at Duke: Upset special. Duke, 34-30. Come on, Cut.
Wisconsin at Penn State: You have to admire what Penn State has achieved this season, though not nearly as much as you hated what transpired before this season. Penn State, 24-17.
Stanford at UCLA: Two teams coming off huge, huge victories. Once again, I’ll go with the smart guys. Stanford, 31-30.
Notre Dame at Southern California: Irish all the way. Did I mention I don’t really care much for Lane Kiffen? Our Lady, 34-14.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma: Boy, is this a great college football rivalry weekend or what? Sooners 37-34.
49ers at Saints: Two players I love to watch: Patrick Willis, eyes-to-eyes with Drew Brees. OK, so maybe Drew has to look up a bit. Saints stay on a roll, 37-30.