SEC predictions, week #9

Well, we tried going bold again and went 5-1 (making the huge mistake of thinking that the Swamp Things could actually play some tackle football). The Muschumps made us miss the elusive perfect record, forcing us to go 5-1 for the week (and bringing our season record to 54-9). So bold didn’t quite work out – unless you happen to prefer the “slightly less attractive” Rob Lowe. But this is a new week. We start afresh. We are like new and we’re continuing our unwearied search for Captain Perfecto (and we got a feeling he’s ours this week). Six games. And if you want to see what’s going to happen, keep reading:

UAB at Arkansas: Well, the Pigs have had a rough couple of weeks – refusing to accept Alabama’s offer to give them a win and then getting blown out by Georgia. So they need a victory in the worst sort of way and there’s nobody better at giving the other team a needed victory than the Blazers of UAB (we’ve ranked UAB’s nickname as the #3 most sarcastic nickname in the country – every time you refer to UAB as “the Blazers” it sounds like you’re making fun of them. Sorta like calling Charlie Weiss, “Tiny”). UAB’s mascot is a dragon. Don’t ask us. Anyway, this will be a happy Hawg Saturday – it might even make the Pig Lady sing again.

Mississippi State at Kentucky: The Cowbell Gang is riding high, undefeated and ranked NUMERO UNO from California to the Gulf Stream waters. And there’s no worry about the balloon bursting this Saturday. The Mildcats are living up to their reputation of being the cute, harmless kittens that we know and love. So the Bullies will have to hold back to keep from turning the K-Kats into Cat Chow this Saturday. And that means that everybody in StarkVegas will continue to get on SportsCenter so that the country can learn the history and tradition of ringing those annoying bells.

Vanderbilt at Missouri: We come to the most boring game of the week with the Commydoors traveling to Columbia to take on the M-Tigs. The Doors are coming off a scintillating one point victory over the mighty Charleston Southern Buccaneers last Saturday (and we’re not joking, look it up). They are so bad that even the Navy has requested that they stop talking about anchors. This game might be close if Mizzou’s players were forced to hop on one leg and play with one arm tied behind them. Unfortunately for Vandy, they’ll get to play with all their appendages free and that spells disaster for the Doors. Mizzou wins and keeps alive its hopes for winning the SEC LEast.

South Carolina at Auburn: Now here we go Coach S. You want to play in the Big Games ™. You love tough competition. You love the excitement of playing a top 10 school. You welcome the challenge. Ok, hereyago. Let’s see how this one works for you. No, on second thought, we won’t see, cause we won’t watch – and we won’t watch because we already know what’s going to happen to you. This ain’t Furman. So, you lose.

Ole Miss at LSU: If it’s almost All Hallows Eve, then it’s time for Old Miss and LSU to tangle – and this year they get to tangle in Red Stick where they’ll play Billy Canon’s punt return all night long. The Lester is confident. The fans are growing in confidence. The players are bragging. But it won’t be enough. These are not last year’s Old Missuses – they actually know how to tackle and cover wide receivers and rush the passer. The question is, can LSU score? We think they can. The problem is we don’t think they can score as much as they will need to in order to win this game. The amazing Rebel Black Bears continue to live in Undefeated City for one more week.

Alabama at Tennessee: Now for the really Big Game of the day. The Tide travels to K-ville to take on the Little Candy Orange Slices (we are rapidly approaching the bottom of Orange nicknames – yes, we’ve demoted UT one more level down. It’s pretty sad. They have gone from the BIG Orange to the Little Oranges, to the Tangerines, to the Clementines, and now to the Candy Orange Slices. There is only one level left for Orange before the Orange food coloring level – the incredibly humiliating Orange Candy Peanut level. Anyway, we think the Little Candy Orange Slices will play tough, for the first half. Begin to wear down in the second half and fall flat at the end. If the Tide can play anywhere near the way they played last week, they should win. We believe they will. Bama wins and keeps the dream alive.

Hard to believe that we’ve already passed the half-way point in this season ain’t it? But, that only means that we have to buckle down and wring all the goody we can get out of the last half. So getchoo some good pieces of dead meat and cook it up fine and eat it with thanksgiving that you don’t have to root for that team that wears those gaudy gold helmets with the sissy shoes. That would be sho-nuf misery. Y’all enjoy and we hope your team wins (unless it’s nicknamed the Little Candy Orange Slices).


Alabama 59, Texas A&M 0

Well, that was different wasn’t it? The Tide played its most complete game of the year and dominated – no, make that DOMINATED – an SEC team for the first time in a while. And let us say, it was enjoyable to watch. Even Blake Sims played fairly well [though who knows what would have happened in the game if his pass to the A&M defensive back on the 2 yard line, had been caught and returned for an A&M touchdown (and if it had been caught, that would have been the result)? But thankfully, Blake is about 0-8 in throwing the ball to the other teams defensive backs so far this year (thank God for defensive backs who cannot catch!). Alabama scored on the next play and the game was over.

Aside that that near disaster, there were few mistakes the rest of the way. The o-line did not get any illegal procedure penalties (no, we’re not kidding) – and on top of that, they actually blocked some defensive linemen; there were no delay of game penalties (really!); and no critical holding penalties that cost huge gains at crucial moments in the game (amazing) ­– of course, we should add there were no crucial moments in this game. We were left wondering if one week of practice could really accomplish so much.

T. J. Yeldon, looked like T. J. Yeldon! for the first time this year. Amari continues to be Amari. The d-line actually got some pressure on the quarterback for the first time this year and the defensive backs looked like they were serious about preventing pass receptions! Even Jake Coker got to play! It was wondrous, glorious, “pass-the-plate-cause-I’m-giving-some-folding-money” fine.

And one more thing, the team actually looked excited to be playing football for the first time in a long time. Whatever Saban said or did last week worked and if he could bottle it, he be a millionaire ­– oh wait, nevermind.

Anyway, it was fun to watch. And now ladies and gentlemen, we come to “Take Orange Out of the Rainbow” week. The Tide plays the Little Candy Orange Slices in K-ville this Saturday night. Now, is the time to play a game. Beat UT guys.

SEC predictions, week #8

[Note from The Fan Headquarters: The International HQ has unfortunately been cut off completely from the outside world by technical difficulties beyond our control which utterly cut off TF's access to the World Wide Web and prevented the posting of The World's Greatest Weekly Football Analysis Available Anywhere (TWGWFAAA). It is a disgraceful situation, but one The Fan unhesitatingly repudiates all responsibility for and places it boldly and squarely at the feet of Comcast, Inc. (please send all complaints to them). So, we are using innovative technology to go around said company and post anyway! EXACTLY what you would expect from TWGWFAAA! So, here were the predictions for last week's games that we were unable to put up for your enjoyment]

Georgia at Arkansas: Well of course the Dawgs would play well after we talk bad about them! Wouldn’t you? Of course you would! Of course you would do everything you could to try to make the Fan look dumber than a bag of 10-penny nails, of course you would! But hey, we bounce back. We learn our lessons. We grow. And we keep our eyes open. And this week, we’re picking the Red and Black. The Hawgs come off their ugly game against the Tide all ready to win one for Big Grace, but it ain’t happening. Not this week. G-Dawgs win and get a strangle hold on the SEC LEast lead.

Kentucky at LSU: The K-Kats are so excited they even thought their win over ULM was a “big win.” They are so cute aren’t they? They’re even talking about winning the SEC LEast and taking a trip to Hotlanta in December. Aren’t they just the sweetest, cutest things you’ve ever seen? Bless their hearts! But their big dreams are about to burst like the bubbles in that Guinness commercial in the top of the glass. Baton Rouge at night will do that to you. But y’all! You definitely look just darling in those blue shirts and pants! Seriously.

Missouri at Florida: Well here’s a game for you – and please take it. These two teams have been playing ugly all season and now get to uglify Florida Field. We say, save yore money and watch that last episode of CSI Gary, Indiana (or whatever it is y’all are watching). Will (the Thrill) Muschamp is losing supporters faster than Barak Obama. It ain’t all Will’s fault but he don’t help matters when he refuses to check on one of his injured players in order to have more time to chew out the healthy ones. Our advice: Will. Will baby, take a powder and sit back and enjoy your last few weeks as head coach. Smile. Read one of those Jewish joke books. Sing. Or, at least, hum. And whistle. Whistling is just the ticket to get you through those tough days with Jeff Driscoll. And don’t forget, you get to play another SEC LEast team this week. And they are truly TERRIBLE! You got a real chance to win one. And we think you will. Gators win – and Will gets to act like it was never in doubt.

Furman at South Carolina: Furman comes to Columbia to play the hapless and hopeless Gamechickens. It would be the perfect way to fill the day with real fun if the chicks lost to Furman (just imagining Spurrier’s tantrums makes us smile). It would be fun, but it won’t happen. And it won’t happen because, as bad as USC (east) is, they are not close to the level of Rotten that Furman lives in. So Coach Superior has found a team that will take a payoff in exchange for a first-class drubbing while he gets to pad his (over-rated) record and gets to complain how nobody plays the kind of schedule Carolina plays. Right Coach. Keep talking. Nobody’s listening.

Tennessee at Ole Miss: The Clementines get to go to Oxford-town to play the Ole Ladies’ Quilting and Confectionary Society. And, they will again lose. They don’t have the players or the depth to stay with the Ole Missuses. The Rebel Black Bear defense will play “shut down” against the Clementines – forcing them to consider opening a citrus store that carries nothing but very small lemons. Ole Miss continues to roll.

Texas A&M at Alabama: The “big game” of the day is in T-town again as the A&Mers come to take on the Crimson Tide in Bryant-Denny. The Tide has a lot of improving to do if they want to win this game. Their last two games (against Arkansas and Florida) have not been encouraging when it comes to playing winning football. It could be a very close game but we hope not! The Tide needs a romp – but we’ll take another one point win if we need to (remember: from here on in, we’re playing in “must win” town every week). So you gotta take em however you can get em.

[So, as you can see, we foolishly thought the Swamp Things could pull it together and play some football, but we were embarrassingly wrong and now are left to crawl into this week bearing that burden]

Alabama 14, Arkansas 13

Well, what do you say about a game that you tried to give away in just about every way imaginable and the other guys just wouldn’t take it? Except maybe, “Hey, thanks guys!” This was a game that should have been a loss. The Tide played about as badly as a team can play – fumbles (again), dumb penalties (again!), and missed assignments along with another missed field goal (AGAIN!). Really, watching this game makes you wonder how in the world did Arkansas lose!

It wasn’t easy. They had to fumble on the half-yard line into (and out of) the endzone, drop three Blake Sims’ passes that hit the defenders squarely in the chest, muff a chip shot field goal, and fumble themselves. Seriously. The Hawgs had to work hard to lose this one. And they did.

Aside from J. K. Scott, there is almost nothing to be encouraged about when it comes to the play of this team. Offensive line? painfully inept. Defensive backfield and linebackers? Two words, guys, “crossing patterns.” Quarterback? How bad must Jake Coker be not to get an opportunity to play in this game? We hate to keep harping on this, but really, anybody who thinks that Blake Sims is enough to win a championship is on drugs and doesn’t care.

But more seriously, Arkansas just showed the rest of the league how to beat us. Stack the box, stop the run, and force Blake Sims to win the game with his arm.

It’s amazing that the Tide was able to score two touchdowns given the abismal play of the offensive line and the qb. The offense gained barely over 200 yards (66 rushing). Blake Sims looked completely befuddled the entire game. Amari Cooper did what he could but when the guy who throws the ball is constantly throwing it over your head or behind you, there’s not a lot you can do.

So, anyway, thanks Pigs. We appreciate your kindness and generosity in allowing us to stay in the Western division race but, wow – how thankful are y’all that we didn’t play Miss. St. or Ole Miss or Auburn or Georgia or LSU or just about anybody but Vandy this past Saturday? With Texas A&M coming to T-town this week, there’s a LOT of work to do. The A&Mers have their own problems, but honestly, if the Tide can’t find a way to make some significant improvements this week – they could easily lose this game.

But in the end, a win is a win and it’s always better than losing – even when it looked like that. Nothing to do but try to get better and get another win this Saturday. And it’d be awful nice to look like a real football team. Whaddaya say guys? Sound good? Good.

One “must win” down, six to go.



SEC predictions, week #7

Ouch. Just ouch. We almost had a great week and would have if Alabama could hold on to the ball and kick field goals and if the Tangerines could hold a lead. But no, they couldn’t and the result was a 4-2 record for the week, bringing our season total to 49-8 – well below expectations (when you have expectations as high as ours). But, y’all know know what Momma used to say, right? “If you don’t go, you can’t come back!” Dang right! [Actually, we're not quite sure how that saying of Momma's applies to this situation but we're trusting our expert instincts – so y'all meditate on it anyway.] It does kinda get us ready for this new week when the Fan goes BOLD on you – and we do mean bold. Buckle yore seat belt boys, we’ve gotchoo some real edge-of-the-cliff prognostications for this Saturday.

Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky: Well, we’ll get bold in a minute, but let’s brag on the Mildcats first. We had a feeling they’d make the Visor get thrown a few times last week and we was R-I-G-H-T. The K-Cats are lobbying for a nickname upgrade and they just might get one before the season’s over. Do y’all realize that they have an outside chance at getting 7 wins this season? It’s true. And they’ll get win #5 this Saturday against the Warhawks (who play more like doves). Mildcats get the “W” and demand respect! (or make that RESPECT ™)

Georgia at Missouri: Ok, now see if you can follow this: The G-Dawgs have the inside track to the SEC LEast title. They just had an easy win over the Commydoors (sorry, calling a win over the Doors “easy” is redundant and we apologize). But this game is gonna be played in Columbia. Mizzou’s only loss has come against 98-pound weakling Indiana (for which they still should be ashamed) – but a victory against the Dawgs puts them in the driver’s seat for the SEC LEast title. Georgia hasn’t played up to their billing all year. Mizzou has given cause to make all their opponents overconfident. But this week, they come to life. The M-Tigs will win this game, the d-line will make the difference, and you will say, “well whaddaya know?” or something similar.

Auburn at Mississippi State: Dang State! 5 and oh? In October?? Number 3?? In the countree???? And now y’all get the #2 Barners to come to Starkvegas and play in the Cowbell Palace??? Dang! But, guess what? There’s only one team playing better than y’all. And it’s the team that’s coming to town Saturday. And, sorry, but they’re gonna win this one. And all the cowbell girls and cowbell boys are gonna be disappointed. And the rest of us are gonna say, “Yep, that’s the Miss St. we know and love.” It should be a good one, but the vibe here at Fan HQ is, y’all lose. But still . . . dang State!

Chattanooga at Tennessee: The UT Tangerines were begging to be raised back to the level of “the Little Oranges” and, if they had beaten the Gators, we were all ready to give serious consideration to it. But at the last minute, they fell and fall one more level down the nickname ladder as well. They are now officially the “Clementines” and perilously close to falling to the “Candy Orange Slice” category. Which will happen before the sun goes down if they lose this one. But, let’s note (and we do it dutifully) that the Mocs come into this one rolling – having won their last three in a row. But their “winning streak” will this Saturday in K-ville. The Clementines win.

LSU at Florida: Let’s call this one “The Battle of the Used-to-Bees” since both these teams have stunk up the field so far this season. The Reptiles can thank the back judge for ignoring the fact that the play clock ran out before each of their  game-winning plays over Kentucky and the Clementines. The Bayou Tigs can’t blame anybody for their horrific losses to M-St. and Awbarn. Both teams have BIG problems. The Gator offense has been about as offensive as you can be so far. And as for LSU – well, aside from their offense, defense, and special teams, they’ve played pretty well. But this Saturday, The Hat makes his comeback. It’s time for one of those wins that continue to save his job each year and continue to make LSU fans believe that he’s the right man for the job (God bless em!). LSU wins and Will Muschamp starts getting bids from moving companies.

Charleston Southern at Vanderbilt: And speaking of *big games* (sarcasm alert) Vandy may have found another team it can beat. Though, let’s be fair and give credit to the CS Buccaneers who come into this game undefeated (but sadly,  unranked, in spite of the fact that they demolished Point University 61-9! True. We don’t know anything about “Point University” other than they obviously have a terrible football team, but PU must be one of those online Universities – sorta the Southern equivalent of the University of Phoenix). Anyway, Vandy needs a win worse than Mel Gibson needs a good PR guy. And, for now, beating Charleston Southern will have to do.

Ole Miss at Texas A&M: Well the Ole Missuses had such a case of the vapors last Saturday evening they missed Miss Videlia Trimble-Marsh’s niece’s cotillion ball. The “biggest win in 30 years” will do that to you. The Rebel Black Bears are feeling goooooooood. Ranked #3. Undefeated. In other words, this Saturday is the perfect time to play this team. And the TA&Mers get the privilege of doing so. And, they’ll take advantage of it. K-Hill will get his game back, the A&M offense will play their best game of the season – and the “Big Game Hangover” will put a half-Nelson on the Old Ladies from Oxford. A&Mers win.

Alabama at Arkansas: Not the Big Game of the Day ™ but still a big game for both these teams. With their loss to the Rebel Black Bears, the Tide has put itself in “Must-Win” City for the rest of the season. The Hawgs are much improved as “Big Grace” Bielema gets them familiar with his system. They opened with a tough loss in Awbarn and then lost a game they shouldn’t have to the A&Mers, so they’re better than their record indicates. But the Tide is in must win mode (at least, they better be!) and we think they’ll be able to hang on to win this one in Fayetteville. Eat more Pork!

Were we exaggerating? Was that bold or what? What you’ve just witnessed is boldness on a Katy Perry level. Bold. I’m saying. But confident. We might be wrong, but don’t call us timid. It’s gonna be another fun Saturday, so we hope y’all all have a good time. Remember, don’t play “chicken” with motorcycles and stay away from sushi. Getchoo some ribs or some chicken and see if you can’t grill up something fit to eat. Enjoy and be thankful. It could always be worse. You could have grown up a Vandy fan.


Murder sunshine in the face

Well, after last weekend bloody losses by the supposedly elite teams in college football, you knew we’d have some Hall of Fame meltdowns, right? Oregon, Tex A&M, Okie boys, and, of course Bama’s famous Meltdown Kings. This is painful, but the rest of y’all have earned the right to laugh. Loudly.

Ooooh, but it did feel good to see the Ducks get ambushed by the Wildcats last Thursday night, didn’t it? And about time. But too soon for the Duck fans who still think they deserve a shot at the Nat. Championship. HAHAHAHAHAHA


“Who is our open-field tackling coach?”


“Even Colorado would give us a run for our money at this point”



“The End of and Era. Adjust your expectations accordingly…”

“Between our offensive line, Jesse Palmer and this Nissan commercial returning, I might be on the news tomorrow morning.”

“Now will everyone who isn’t in the coolest time-zone please go to sleep so we can circlejerk each other’s persecution complexes in peace?”

“Michael J. Fox could draw up a better game plan with an etch-a-sketch.”


“My heart feels like a black hole filled with hellfire”

“I’m going to try to sleep and hope I don’t have to work, then when I get off I’m going tebowing (lift weights and cry about nothing loving me)”

“I hate everything and football is stupid.”

After all the blow-hard noise coming out of Norman for the past half-year, it’s nice to hear nothing but griping and sobbing by Oklahoma fans over getting taken down by Frogs.

“It’s one of the few things we can all count on. Bills, taxes and OU pissing away another National title season. Year after year, after year, after year, after year, after year.”

“We are the Chicago Cubs of College Football. “

“I hate the truth. And facts.”

“I picked the wrong time to quit drugs and drinking and bungee jumping without a bungee.”

“OU is playing like far less attractive Rob Lowe.”

“My dog is about to take a beating”

“Heupel is a mental midget and Stoops is an enabler.”

“My rum and coke suddenly tastes like sadness and wasted life.”

“Anyone ever drink 409 before? I will let you know how it goes.”

The A&Mers had such high hopes for this season. But that’s the problem with “high hopes” – they give you a long way to fall.

“Another drop. I blame our ugly gay uniforms”

“Don’t know what you can do to help our guys find their reproductive organs.”

“Seals Jones is slow, and has alligator arms.”

“Winning dos not matter.. All about swag uniforms.”

“Will Sumlin be taking the Swaggcopter home?”

“I haven’t played since 8th grade and will need to re-enroll, but I think I can catch the ball when thrown to me.”

“Don’t have to worry about Ebola…
No one on our team will be able to catch it”

“Every time we debut a new uniform that I like, we lose like b1tches. Dress out in clown suits next time…at least then we are dressing for the job.”

“i’m gonna go play clash of clans and beat up on some 7 year olds.”

“I think I’ve finally reached the 5th stage of grieving and loss. I can now lol at how bad we suck!!!”

“These cow bells are going to make me kill someone….or myself….”

“Where is my Vomit cup………”

“Is it wrong of me to just be trying to think of something clever for our inevitable inclusion in the meltdown thread?”

And lastly, Bama fans are tired of giving teams their “greatest victory” in a generation, but losing to the Ole Missuses was a bit too much:

“Guess it’s time to jump on that soccer bandwagon I’ve heard so much about”


“When did we become Clemson?”

“Katy Perry just got a lot less hot.”

“NOOOOO!!!! Why can’t I have nice things?! Who’s got the whiskey? This is gonna be a long night.”

“Seriously, get some grass or get out of the SEC. totally uncalled for considering all the money Bama et al. bring in for your poor Mississippi asses”

“I’m going to eat Red Lobster shrimp until I puke”

Alabama 17, Ole Miss 23

Well, you could almost feel this one coming couldn’t you? The Florida game (and really, all the previous games) have left us with the feeling that this team was just a tad undisciplined, just a little too careless with ball security — there were a few too many missed assignments, a few too many missed tackles — to beat a really solid team. You can beat a Florida (and maybe any other Eastern division team) but you’re not getting away with that against the SEC West. Not this year.

And that’s basically what we saw on Saturday. Ole Miss is a solid team. Very good overall defense. Excellent defensive backfield. Good linebackers. And with Bo Wallace having his best game of the year, the Tide had to play mistake-free, solid, disciplined football to win. They didn’t and they lost.

Dropped passes at critical points, missed tackles, some missed assignments, all hurt — but nothing hurt as badly as the penalties and of course, the turnovers. Penalties killed drives (especially painful on the last drive of the game when Bama had one last chance to win the game). And, let’s not talk about Christian Jones’ fumble on the kick return that gave Old Mississippi the opportunity to go 20 yards for the winning TD.

Painful. Too painful.

But what’s just as worrisome is Adam Griffith’s continued struggles on field goal attempts (missing 2 more in this game — could we have used that extra 6 points? Shut yo’ mouth!) and on kick offs (what’s happening there?). Special teams? We don’t know the meaning of the term yet. [Ok, let's not forget the one bright spot so far -- J. K. Scott, who's booming punts have given the Tide a lot of breathing room this year.] But aside from Scott, things are pretty bad (the Tide is 103rd in kick off return defense — please pass the Tylenol).

Can’t really blame the loss on Blake Sims — but he still doesn’t inspire confidence when it comes down to the last possession, on the road, in a loud, hostile environment, when you’re behind. Not yet. Bad passes and bad decisions, are still happening. Maybe he’ll grow from this experience. Maybe. But he’s not there yet.

And we’ll not talk any more about injuries. But, ugh. Wow. Awful. Poor Kenyon. Poor us.

But, let’s put aside these specific concerns for the moment. Here’s the reality: this team as a whole is not playing at a championship level — and, in spite of the excitement after the Florida game — it still hasn’t played a complete game of solid championship football. They haven’t come close to looking like Awbarn looked Saturday night against LSU. This loss doesn’t end the season, but it sure doesn’t make things any easier. There’s no margin for error from here on.

And that starts next week in Fayetteville. Another performance like we had on Saturday will mean the destruction of two more goal posts and another team celebrating the “biggest win” they’ve had in 20 years — but what will be worse is that we’ll almost certainly join LSU in waving bye-bye to the playoffs. This team has the talent to win it all. But can they? Can they pull everything together for the kind of finish it’s going to take to do it?

If they can, then they need to start next Saturday.

It’s going to be tough. But we like it tough.