FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The general comment is if you’re still looking for answers to some critical questions by the third week of the season, you’ve got problems. Welcome to Arkansas’ world today against No. 12 LSU in Baton Rouge.
Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman still hasn’t sorted out the offensive line game of musical chairs. It shouldn’t be his responsibility. If Cody Kennedy can’t get it figured out, his job stability may not be great, regardless how nice of a guy he is or being friendly with the boss.
Sam is about trying to get wins and probably the only person he can’t fire is Jamie (that’s his wife). They better recruit and stay out of his office plus get results on the field to hang around long.
There are other questions on this team. They still don’t have a No. 1 receiver, haven’t figured out how to get the ball in the hands of the best playmakers in space. The fastest guy on the team was apparently recruited to run back punts and kickoffs … and block. You can have your own questions about recruiting a guy that fast and even expecting him to throw a block.
Defensively, they seem to have things put together but they haven’t played anyone nearly as good as what they’ll see Saturday from Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers. They combined at a dizzying pace in a 41-14 win over Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss. Don’t bring up their opener because it was a lifetime ago and the Hogs aren’t anywhere close to Florida State.
In the world of college football, the openers were a a virtual lifetime ago and teams should be getting better every week and nearly all of them have a game or two where absolutely everything falls apart. LSU won’t repeat that against the Hogs and I’m still not sure it would be enough toe get a win. The Tigers have that much more talent.
The point spread has been over 17 points all week and, quite honestly, that doesn’t sound that far out of line unless something really wacky happens and you can’t count on that on a regular basis. LSU 45, Hogs 28
Don’t ask me what the record is in the picks contest but I’m pretty sure Pete Morgan is double digits behind. With a lot of likely blowouts this week, he probably won’t make up much ground because only a few games should be that different. I fully expect him to go into catch-up mode by mid-October and give up shortly after Halloween.
Auburn at Texas A&M: This game could tell us quite a bit more from two teams on the Hogs’ schedule this year and the Aggies are the opponent next weekend in Arlington. A&M is an 8-point favorite, so even the oddsmakers think it will be close. In my view, Hugh Freeze is a better coach than Jimbo Fisher, particularly on offense. He just hasn’t had time to build the Tigers’ roster deep enough, but I’m not ready to pick Auburn to win a road game at Kyle Field yet. A&M 34, Auburn 31
Kentucky at Vanderbilt: Really, this game comes up on the schedule every year, but that may be coming to an end sooner rather than later with the new scheduling format next year. The Wildcats may have dropped off a little, but Vandy hasn’t improved that much, either. Kentucky 28, Vandy 14
Ole Miss at Alabama: Somehow I think this game could surprise everyone and that doesn’t mean I feel the Rebels are going to come out with a win. The Crimson Tide are going to be better than everyone is thinking, even though they lost to Texas and things got way too close for comfort against South Florida. Nick Saban basically held Jalen Milroe out of the game for whatever reason because he probably didn’t think he was that important. Maybe he was. Ole Miss may be ready for prime time, but probably not for an Alabama team that will get things sorted out. Alabama 42, Ole Miss 38
Texas-San Antonio at Tennessee: For some strange reason, a lot of people thought Florida’s win last week was due more to the Vols falling flat, but I never was buying into the whole dead Gators thing. Plus, I think Billy Napier is a good coach and will probably do fine in Florida, particularly where he can round up great recruiting classes from his office Tennessee will take out a measure of revenge, though, in this one and UTSA just happens to be the focus of that this week. Tennessee 51, UTSA 13
Charlotte at Florida: Now after all that for the Tennessee game, the Gators are still human. A bit of relaxation in this one wouldn’t be surprising and a competitive first quarter is not a far-fetched idea, Florida will pull away, though, on “Tom Petty Day” and close the deal early in the second half. Florida 49, Charlotte 13
Alabama-Birmingham at Georgia: Pete will probably pick this one to be close, but then again he’s double-digits behind me so I’m not going to even acknowledge that. Even Uga will likely be asleep by the end of the first quarter and hopefully nobody in the stands falls sound asleep and injures themselves falling down. Georgia 56, UAB 14
Memphis at Missouri: This just has the feeling the Tigers will blow the game. Of course nobody will likely notice because so few people even pay attention to football at Mizzou. Memphis isn’t a bad team, but should have a slight talent edge that could be enough against a Tigers’ team I’m not sure is consistent enough. Missouri 41, Memphis 39
Mississippi State at South Carolina: Despite rumors to the contrary, the Bulldogs didn’t just forfeit the rest of their games and go ahead to start getting ready for a bowl game after getting demolished by LSU last week. I probable shouldn’t assume a bowl game, but the SEC gets the overwhelming majority of them and I just figured they would have everybody in one. The Gamecocks just need to find some consisteny because they have looked really good at times and iffy at other time. South Carolina 31, Mississippi State 28