I am nervously sitting at my desk after hours on Thursday when the phone rings. Who could it be?
On the eve of a big game weekend I would expect it to be my brother, a good friend of mine from Dallas named Kane, or a debt collector hell-bent on restitution from a wild, credit card-fueled Vegas weekend in 1998.
I was never so unlucky as it was none of the aforementioned.
Instead I had the pleasure of listening to an acquaintance of mine lecturing me about how I would be a fool to not make this week’s piece scenario driven on how Arkansas can still win the SEC West.
“Trust me, man, I have thought about the possibilities, but you do know we are playing Alabama this week,” came my reply.
“Yes, but this is our year. Bama is beatable, and we are ranked and red-hot right now,” he retorted.
My rebuttal was phrased something along the lines of “I get it man, but look at our history with the Crimson Tide. It seems every single time we should be competing with them in what appears to be a close contest, they go out and hang 35 or more on us in the first quarter. It’s only in our down years when we generally make anywhere near a good game of it. Besides, we are facing injuries and are no doubt beat up from the victory in Baton Rouge.”
“Have you have no faith and no confidence in the team you so openly claim to love unlike no other?” he asked almost biblically.
“Oh, I have faith,” I stated, “yet I also know this game is at 2:30 on network television, it is in Tuscaloosa, and Alabama is doing everything it can to validate its spot in the polls and playoff rankings. I also know the Tide would have to lose out along with Ole Miss; and the latter hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday. Furthermore, as bad as I hate to tell you this, those two parts are just the start of the necessary falling dominoes which will support your hopes of a division championship.
A response of “Oh…”, followed by silence and then a quick “You’re a jerk” all preceding a clicking sound which indicated the end of our banter.
Do not get me wrong, I appreciate the phone call and advice, but I think I do a good enough job looking like a fool on my own. Just ask the people from my hometown.
Hopefully the sun is still up when this game ends so we do not have to witness the Bama faithful acting like their stadium light show is the first time they have seen electricity.
TRIVIA QUESTION: The series had three games of note in the years 1993, 2005, and 2007. What is unique about these three contests?
Honestly, I think we can win, but I think we are very thin in numbers right now, and if our secondary is not healthy we will struggle to make Alabama run against us due to us dropping back on coverage.
Hey, if you are believe in prayer, please extend one to a kid named Carlee and her family as the healing process begins.
We are jostling for a better bowl game at this point, and I think most Razorbacks fans are okay with that. It has been a long time since we have had the success Sam Pittman and his wisemen have brought us so quickly.
This could be our time to end the losing streak. Bama has a freshman quarterback, and no doubt our coaches will mix up new schemes Nick Saban & Co. have not seen on film.
I was nervous about the game this weekend. I am glad you asked.
TRIVIA ANSWER: After a 1995 investigation, it was discovered Alabama cornerback Antonio Langham had received improper benefits by signing with an agent. The Tide had to forfeit all games in which Langham played including a victory over Arkansas. The 2005 and 2007 victories were defiantly vacated by Alabama over a free textbook scandal wherein athletes were giving books (provided by their scholarships) to other friends (students) at the university. Worth noting, 2007 was Saban’s first year at Alabama.
I have a lot of confidence in Pittman, Barry Odom, Kendal Briles, their staffs, and all the players. Let us show up with some passion, fire, and a knowledge we can upset the best program in all of college football, and there will be an upset in the making.
P.S. I said all of that knowing I was going to pick the final to be …
Alabama, 38 – 24
Be certain to listen to the game Saturday at 2:30 P.M. via HitThatLine.com and on the air at ESPN Arkansas 99.5 in Fayetteville, 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs, and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.
SEC Picks for Week 11
I do not believe either Andy Hodges nor myself know the official score in the cup chase. Andy has been taking gambles and, honestly, my hat is off to the old man as his Ricky Bobby approach to picks over the past couple of weeks is starting to pay off. That said, it’s the Magic Man versus El Diablo side-by-side going into the final turn.
(Andy’s Note: Pete is more the guy that would water El Diablo’s horse.)
Charleston Southern at (1) Georgia: Unless I counted wrong, the 2021 Georgia Football roster has 132 players gracing its practice facilities. Only if every single one of them oversleeps will the Eagles stand a chance. Bulldogs by 50.
Prairie View at (16) Texas A&M: It might as well be Pleasant View headed down to College Station to face the Aggies for this late season cupcake week in the SEC. Aggies by 40.
Tennessee State at (25) Mississippi State: This will help the Bulldogs in their quest for a good bowl game. Ah, Hail, I am just kidding. State by 30.
New Mexico State at Kentucky: I feel bad for Kentucky as they have had a rough stand the past month. Their winning streak was replaced by a losing one, they did struggle in a win against Vandy last week, and rumor has it head coach Mark Stoops is being sought after by LSU to fill their pending vacancy. Fortunately, the Aggies of the West come into Lexington boasting a 1 – 9 record. Wildcats by 30.
(21) Arkansas at (2) Alabama – GAME OF THE WEEK: On second thought, depending upon which Razorbacks team shows up Saturday, this could be close or a blowout. There will be no in-between. Bama by either 7 or 35.
Florida at Missouri: Dan Mullen, you are a carousel master when it comes to the emotions of Gators fans. Despite gaining bowl eligibility this weekend, I am doubtful you have much time left in the Swamp. Gators by 14.
Auburn at South Carolina: This has the making of a good game based upon how Auburn played the last time we saw them. Despite their horrible second half last week they are still better than the Gamecocks. Tigers by 15.
Vanderbilt at (12) Ole Miss: Kiffin blows. Rebels by 30.
South Alabama at Tennessee: More cupcakage? It appears so as the Jaguars roll into Knoxville to pad the win column for those in orange. Vols by 28.
Louisiana-Monroe at LSU: The Warhawks will provide the Tigers with a much needed in-state victory as the countdown for Ed Orgeron’s final game draws near. I am curious if the LSU powers that be will truly keep Coach O on-board for a bowl game if the Tigers can become eligible by defeating Texas A&M next week. LSU by 38.
Check in during the game for all the highlights updates from Saturday’s contest.
I would love to have a cupcake this weekend.
Find me on ‘Twitter’: @PeterMorganWPS