Hood takes the lead

Orley Hood, the wily veteran, has taken a one-game lead over relative newcomer Rick Cleveland. Boy, that was fun to write. Only Orley could make this old soul feel like a newcomer.

 

Here we go again . . .

Orley’s picks

 

Middle Tennessee State at Mississippi State: The dream, ever since State fans first espied the 2012 schedule, was to get to Tuscaloosa on Oct. 27 7-0. All that stands in the way is MTSU. But as befits unbeaten teams come mid-October, every slope is as slick as a bald man’s head. Letdowns can cause a coach to lose his hair as well as his mind. Bulldogs 31, MTSU 17.

Marshall at USM: The Golden Eagles have played with heart lately, searching desperately for that first win. This is it! Southern gets on the board, 34-14.

LSU at Texas A&M: Johnny Football, indeed. Manziel is a wonder. LSU played great in Death Valley last Saturday night against the Ol’ Ball Coach. How will the Tigers do against Wonder Boy, who might be the most exciting player this side of RGIII? Too much Tiger. LSU 38, A&M 30.

Auburn at Vanderbilt: January 2011 and Auburn was on top of the world. Post-Cam, and the Tigers are mud beneath the SEC’s tires. Everybody’s getting a piece, and Vandy’s no exception. Commodores 20, Auburn 14.

South Carolina at Florida: USC’s fabled lines got bopped in the head by LSU last week. Can they regroup and take it to the vastly overrated Gators. Says here they can. Carolina 35, Florida 30.

Alabama at Tennessee: Did you see the licking Mississippi State’s fabled secondary put on the Vols? This week it will be Alabama’s front slapping UT’s passing game right in the face. Derek Dooley best stay in the press box, nursing his hip; bodies will be flying at field level. Alabama 42, UT 14.

Georgia at Kentucky: Must win for those Hairy Dawgs. Survival for those forlorn Cats. Woof. Easy pickings for Georgia’s offense. Dogs 52, Cats 24.

Kansas State at West Virginia: K-State was lucky to get by Iowa State in last week’s land grant Farmageddon. Tommy Tuberville’s Red Raiders tore WVU a new one. Mountaineers get the Big O back on track. West Virginia 49, Kansas State 42.

Florida State at Miami: Which of the grand ol’ programs is closer to regaining its annual spot in the Top 5? That would be the ‘Noles. Florida State 38, Miami 20.

Mississippi Valley at Jackson State: All three of our SWAC teams won last Saturday, which makes for a dandy week. JSU finishes the new week off with more smiles. Tigers 30, Delta Devils 20.

Saints at Tampa Bay: New Orleans comes off a bye after finally winning a game the week before. The Bucs won big last Sunday. Jonathan Vilma may be back for the Saints. Won’t matter. Bucs 40, Saints 38. Oh, lordy, please let me be wrong.

 

 

Rick’s picks

 

 

Middle Tennessee State at Mississippi State: Dan Mullen has not lost a single game he was supposed to win since he has been at State. As Yogi said, you could look it up. This will not be the first. State, 34-17.

Marshall at USM: It’s going to he hard for USM to get back up after the devastating, double overtime loss at UCF last week. USM fans, looking for a silver lining in 0-6, can look to this: The new coaching staff has not lost the team. They played their best game last week. The seventh game will be the charm but it won’t come easily. USM, 34-33.

LSU at Texas A&M: Johnny Football, Orley’s new hero, learns how the big boys play defense in the SEC. LSU 24-13.

Auburn at Vanderbilt: Never thought I would write these words where Auburn and Vanderbilt are concerned, but the better team, with the better coach, will win this game. And that would be Vandy, 27-20.

South Carolina at Florida: From Tiger Stadium to The Swamp. Who made out this South Carolina schedule? Certainly not Steve Spurrier. Hard to believe Spurrier, with a team this good, will lose two in a row, but nobody ought to have to play these two games, at those two places, back to back. Gamecocks, 27-24.

Alabama at Tennessee: Gen. Bob Neyland would take one look at this Tennessee defense and throw up. Alabama, which has been watching Tennessee all week, is licking its chops. Bama, 34, Tennessee 10.

Georgia at Kentucky: Just the tonic Mark Richt and the Bulldogs need: Kentucky on the rocks. Georgia, 30-20.

Kansas State at West Virginia: Did Texas Tech give everyone a blueprint for whipping the Mountaineers. Bill Snyder, one of the nation’s best coaches, probably didn’t need one. K-State, 41-38.

Florida State at Miami: Neither program is what it once was, but Florida State appears closer than Miami at this point. FSU, 31, Miami 20.

Mississippi Valley at Jackson State: Jackson State just has more talent, period. JSU, 41-17.

Saints at Tampa Bay: Call me stupid. I probably am. Saints, 30, Bucs 27.

*******

Orley, 8-2 against a tough slate, last week is not 44-17 on the season, one game better than Rick, who was 7-3 and is 43-18.

 

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