FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It’s Auburn week and Arkansas fans are full of confidence after getting an overtime win over a Florida team that’s not very good. They seem to forget this team is still 3-6 and the bowl destination won’t be anywhere really fancy.
Yes, the Razorbacks are improving with Kenny Guiton taking over offensive direction after Dan Enos’ unceremonious firing a few weeks ago. He went off quietly into that good night and nobody has heard a peep out of him since then. If you have paid attention, though, most of the fan base was on his side until everybody discovered he’s e-mailing UA students critiquing him after another loss to Texas A&M.
Guiton won his first game and it’s hard to know whether the Gators were not prepared or really not any good. The sneaky feeling it was about equal there and the game still went to overtime because their field goal kicker missed a 44-yarder at the end of regulation. You can jump up and down all you want about poetic justice and that, but a kick sailing about 5 yards to the left and we’re having a completely different week.
And now it’s the Tigers. At least that bird won’t be flying around the stadium here. That would be dangerous since deer season is open, it’s Veteran’s Day and camo will probably be the primary color of the day. There are plenty of tickets available. I’ve heard all week about people offering to give me tickets from all across the state.
They may be close to a sellout, but there won’t be that many people in the stands. Nobody really knows what the Hogs are going to do. Which team shows up? That’s also the question for Auburn, but they tend to make me a little uneasy, mainly because Hugh Freeze has settled on a quarterback and he won a game over the Hogs last year with Liberty nobody expected.
Pete Morgan went way out on a limb and picked a big Hogs’ win. That really wasn’t surprising. I can barely see him in the rearview mirror at this point of the season. But hair like some wrestling manager from 30-50 years ago? Really?
The Razorbacks may pull out a win in this one. Don’t expect the Tigers to just fold up the tent, though, and start getting ready for the trip home. These games are usually pretty weird and I really don’t expect this one to be much different, but keep in mind the Tigers do have a much better defense this year than the Razorbacks and that might be the edge they need. Auburn 34, Hogs 27
We’re coming to the end of the season and the games involve a lot more than just how good a team is. It’s also the time of the year when we have a pretty good idea what teams are what, but college football still remains a difficult sport to handicap because last week seldom has anything to do with this week.
Alabama at Kentucky – I thought Kentucky was supposed to be pretty good. Alabama has been supposed to be taking a backward direction, but here they are sitting at 8-1 on the season and angling for a way to get into the conversation for a national championship. They just might make it. Alabama 42, Kentucky 14.
Vanderbilt at South Carolina – The Gamecocks haven’t had a great season by any stretch, but they are good enough to handle Vandy. It does make you wonder if they are ready for another coaching search. South Carolina 28, Vandy 14.
Tennessee at Missouri – Are we starting to see the Tigers crumble after a 7-1 start. The Vols have under-performed a lot of folks’ expectations this year, but blowing out Missouri would change their minds. The worst thing for the Hogs having to play them in a couple of weeks would be that exact scenario because they do have a pretty good roster. Vols 45, Missouri 39.
Ole Miss at Georgia – Lane Kiffin hasn’t really pulled off a shocker this year, despite what you think about the win over LSU. But the Bulldogs are simply too strong for any of the goofy antics he might pull as they are probably trying to get into a New Year’s Six bowl game. Bulldogs 31, Rebels 28.
Florida at LSU – The Gators face a team that hates them with a passion. Florida simply isn’t good enough to do a whole lot about that this year. LSU 42, Florida 21.
Mississippi State at Texas A&M – Will Bobby Petrino be the offensive coordinator next year? Will Jimbo Fisher even be there to make the decision? Texas A&M boosters didn’t give him that contract to not be playing in championship games, but they simply got a different version of the coach they had. The Bulldogs are terrible, though. Texas A&M 41, Bulldogs 21.