SEC predictions, week 1

Oh y’all, it’s been a long, hot, summer! But now we get to go back to the basics. Back to real, honest-to-goodness, slap yo momma and fry the possum FOOTBALL (please note the spelling – not “futbol”). What. In. The. World. happened back in June and July??? All those foreigners running around kicking little white, round, balls on an unstriped football field, while the spectators sing songs and wave handkerchiefs??? Are you kidding me??? You think we got time for that?? Naw.

But now, things finally get back to normal. It’s REAL football time! And all of us here at Fan HQ are as excited as Joan Rivers with a new plastic surgeon! And it ain’t even September yet! It’s good being back. And this year the best conference just went out and got it’s own Tee-Vee Network! And us at Fan HQ have been chosen as the official blog! Well, not exactly, but we ought to be!

Anyway, we’ll calm down a bit a get right to our world renown, top drawer, first class, unprecedented predictions for Week #1. You ready? And, if you can believe it, we start the weekend on . . . Thursday! And we got us not one but THREE games!

Thursday – August 28th

Texas A&M at South Carolina: The A&Mers get to see what life’s like without Johnny F. Ball and they get thrown into the deep end of the reality pool in this opener in Columbia. Coach Visor has not exactly been guarding his tongue during the off season so it looks like he thinks he’s got a real team over there. Whether he does or not, they ought to be good enough to win this one. Gamechickens start their season with a win.

Ole Miss vs. Boise State: The Ole Missusses get to travel to Hotlanta for their opener (and if somebody will tell them which fork to use when they go eat at Aunt Pittypat’s Porch, they should have a good time with minimal embarrassment). We’ve been waiting for Dr. Freeze’s hot-shot freshmen to grow up and this should be the year we finally get to see it. The Smurf Turf team seems to get disoriented when they have to play on normal colored artificial turf, so this should work out well for the Ole Ladies from Oxford. The Ole Misses win.

Temple at Vanderbilt: Vandy wins! Da Doors are National Champions! Hooray! Way to go guys! Amazing! Wow! Wait. What? That was in baseball??? Oh, sorry. Ok. Look, guys, don’t let the fact that y’all are wearing pads, break the momentum. You’re on a roll. Say it. Believe it. And you’re playing Owls, for heavens’ sake! C’mon, y’all can beat a bunch of Harry Potter pets, right? Yes. You. Can. Vandy starts another season UNDEFEATED! Dores, we salute you!

Saturday – August 30th

UT Martin at Kentucky: You know, people complain about non-conference scheduling, but you gotta give it to the Mildcats, they know how to schedule outside of the conference.You schedule a team that is easily confused with Dean Martin and everybody thinks you’re playing a tough opener. You know, you’re playing a member of the Rat Pack. Tough. Right? You’re ok unless somebody looks up what the “U” and the “T” stand for. And yes, it’s “Utterly Terrible” Martin, NOT Dean. Not Steve. Not even Martin Scorsese. Just UT Martin. The Mildcats win and everyone dumb enough to actually watch this game realizes that they would have had more fun watching reruns of Dean Martin on Johnny Carson.

South Dakota State at Missouri: Mizzou gets its new season kicked off hosting the Broncos from South Dakota State University. We now know a grand total of two things about South Dakota: 1) it’s is a cold place in the winter and 2) apparently, the state university has a football team. The latter only became known when we saw this week’s schedule. We’ve got a feeling, however, that the former fact is a lot more interesting and dangerous than the latter. If this was going to be a snowball fight, we’d go with the Broncos. It ain’t. So Mizzou wins. And their fans get to chant “SEC! SEC! SEC!” like they’ve been here since Prohibition.

Alabama vs. West Virginia: The Champs love Chik-Fil-A AND Atlanta in late August don’t they? And this year we get to take on the couch burners from Morgantown. West Virginia is now a proud member of the Big 12/10 Conference and that’s been awfully confusing for their fans (at least the ones who know how to count and have some basic geographical awareness). This could be a tough one for the Tide – a baptism of fire for new qb Jacob Coker. And it’s always a little scary when you start the season off against a school who’s Alma Mater is the theme song from Deliverance. But in spite of all that, we’re confident the Tide can come through! Roll on y’all! The Champs win and get a Chik-Fil-A trophy (they do give a trophy right? chicken sandwiches?).

Arkansas at Auburn: And speaking of Deliverance, welcome back to another year of “We gonna try to score on every play and hope something good happens” for the Awbarn Tigers. The Guster’s got it rollin’ on the Plains and they jump right into the season by welcoming the Razor Pigs to Toilet Paper City. We love Bret Bielema (called “Big Grace” by his friends) but we’re still concerned that he hasn’t figured out yet that he’s in the South now and doesn’t have to act like a drunk at a wedding to get us to like him. Awbarn begins the new season with a “W” and our stock holdings in Charmin go through the roof.

Clemson at Georgia: Well, there ain’t nothing like starting the season with a game that can make or break you, right? Coach Richt needs to win this game more than Charley Weiss needs Pizza Hut’s all-you-can-eat buffet. That’s some serious need y’all. If the Dawgs win this one and next week’s game against the Game Chickens, they could easily have a serious shot at the four-team National Championship tournament at the end of the season. We’re talking B.I.G. And we think the Dawgs’ll come through and everybody in Athens will put “I Love Mark!” stickers on their pick-ups.

Idaho at Florida: Poor Will Muschamp. He’s gone from being the beloved “coach-in-waiting” at Texas to being the “coach-in-huge-trouble” in Gainesville. If Will doesn’t want to see his name changed from Muschamp to “Mustgo” he’d better have a good year with the Swamp Things. He’ll get a good start as the Gators welcome the mighty Vandals from Idaho. (Is there another team in the country whose nickname sounds more sarcastic than Idaho’s?). The Reptiles will look like world-beaters on Saturday – and, good for them, enjoy it while it lasts guys.

Southern Miss at Mississippi State: The Cowbell Gang starts their season at home hosting the Golden Eggles from Southern Mississippi. Big things are expected this year from the Dawgs’ quarterback, Dak Prescott, and Coach Dan Dan the Mullen Man. We’ll see. This is not the first time that the Bullies have gone into a season with high expectations only to have them dashed unmercifully. But at least they won’t be dashed on opening night. Bullies win.

LSU vs. Wisconsin: The long day ends with a pretty good tilt in Houston, Texas, with the Les Milesrables playing the cheese-eaters from Madison. The Badgers were pretty bad in four losses last year so it will be interesting to see if they can hold the Tigurs down for four quarters. Les’ boys are always better than their season record might indicate and this year may be no exception. If the Tigurs win, they’ll go into their September 20 contest with Miss. St. undefeated. Three and Oh. And we are just bold enough to believe the Lester can make that happen. LSU wins.

Sunday – August 31st

Utah State at Tennessee: The amazing weekend ends with the Tennessee taking on the Aggies of Utah State at Neyland in K-Ville. The level of play UT has displayed over the last four years has forced us to degrade their nick-name significantly: from the “Big Orange” to the “Little Oranges” – and down again this year to the “Tangerines.” If they don’t get their juices flowing, they’re headed for “the candy orange slices” level (which is not only disgusting and terribly embarrassing but bad for your teeth). They need to win this game! We hear the Aggies have a pretty good offense (of course with the level of competition in the Mountain West, the fat boys at Fan HQ could have a “good offense”). If they do have an offense, the Tangerines may have their hands full. But we’re trusting that Butch Jones has been making the guys take their vitamin C and drink some MinuteMaid OJ so that they can be ready to win this one. We’ll be pulling for the boys in the yellow-red jerseys.

So, there you go, fellers, and as usual, it’s all for free! It’s going to be a great weekend and another great season. Here’s hoping you’ll be able to find you some barbequed winged fowl, ice tea, and some of that fine tator salad (you know, with the cut up, homemade sweet pickles in it) and have yourself a sho-nuf celebration! Y’all have a good time and Mommer says it’s ok to send us the bill!

RTR, y’all!

The Hog Lady returns

You know it’s football season when the Hawg Lady starts doing karaoke.

She’s started.

So here you go just to tide you over till tomorrow:

Are you ready?

School’s about to start.

And your favorite SEC blogger will be back to tell you all about it.



He’s coming!

We know it must seem like two forevers since y’all have heard from the official blog of the SEC Network!

But all y’all have to do is hold on for one more month and all your dreams will come true!



Yep. The Fan ™ is coming back!.

He’s only one month away.

And, just this once, it’s ok to squeal like teenage girls looking at Paul McCartney.

[ok, that's enough, we said just this once!]

Where football is played


The “mean” guy

Nick Saban is regularly treated to all sorts of unflattering descriptions: heartless, cold, Serpent-like, Coach “Satan,” dishonest, cut-throat – you name it, he’s been called it.

But here’s a story that happened yesterday (National Signing Day) that hasn’t been widely publicized and Coach Saban most likely won’t say anything about it (unless a reporter presses him). It’s the story of Elisha Shaw.

Elisha was a 4-star defensive tackle from Atlanta’s Tucker High School. He was a highly sought after and at 6-4, 295, had the size, strength, and agility to be a star in the SEC or in any other conference in which he desired to play. And every major school in the country was interesting in getting him to sign and play football.

Then, before his senior season started, Elisha suffered a severe neck injury, so severe that doctors said he could never play football again.

Overnight, all the interest from SEC schools and the many schools around the country was gone. Nobody wanted a guy who couldn’t contribute to their on-field success. Every single school stopped recruiting him, no head coach showed any interest in him . . . well, no one but Nick Saban.

Coach Saban invited Elisha to come to Alabama on an official recruiting visit last month . . . and he came. And after that, Coach Saban offered Elisha a scholarship which Elisha signed yesterday.

Elisha Shaw won’t play a single minute in any game, he will never even put on a helmet – but he will have a full scholarship which he will use to get his degree from the University of Alabama.

So, the next time you hear someone call Nick Saban mean-spirited, uncaring, unfeeling – just tell them to check with Elisha Shaw.


[here's a picture from Elisha's signing ceremony on Wednesday]


National Signing Day has become almost a national holiday among college football geeks. It’s easy to make far too much of a signing class. You never know who’s going to develop, who’s going to continue to improve, stay out of trouble, go to class, etc. Thousands of things can happen to undermine all the praise that a particular class might garner.

BUT, all that said, the 2014 class for Alabama is historic (at least on paper). Fully seven of the top 16 players in the country have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the U of A. According to ESPN, there were 15 five star players in the country. Alabma signed five of them. According to 247Sports composite ratings, the Tide got the top-rated prospect in Alabama, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia. They got the No. 1 offensive tackle, No. 1 center, No. 2 athlete and the nation’s No. 1 linebacker.

Nothing like this has ever happened.

History has been made again.

Now, watch the video.