Listen now to the Sept. 17 edition of SEC Pigskin Picks. Prof. Sinclair is not impressed by Coach Billy Jack’s psychic cat, and Chely teaches a boy a stinky lesson. Featured games, Florida-Kentucky and LSU-Auburn.
I was at a loss. I couldn’t think of anything to blog about for today’s post. I did Thanksgiving. It’s too early to talk about Christmas. Neither Diddy, Kanye or a Kardashian had done anything particularly egregious lately. And the Iron Bowl 2013 talk is getting old faster than Harvey Updyke’s Pabst Blue Ribbon hit his TV Saturday night.
Then I saw this tweet from Auburn Turf Team:
Accompanied by this picture:
Lots of folks are probably speculating that some adoring Auburn widow dumped her husband’s ashes on the field to mark the spot where Chris Davis nearly stepped out of bounds. But not me. I’m smarter than that. Here’s what I think happened.
Uncle Willard (let’s call him) was a huge Alabama fan. His front door was crimson. In his den, he proudly displayed pictures of him posing with the Bryants and the Namaths and the Rutledges and the countless others who make up the folklore that is Alabama football. He had Saban’s cell phone number. He had hounds tooth sheets.
Uncle Willard could say Roll Tide, Roll in 19 languages. Fluently.
Before he passed last spring, his death-bed request was to go to one last Iron Bowl with his three nephews. In fact, he requested to be cremated just for that purpose. (No one in has family had ever been cremated, but that Crimson Tide urn he saw while he was planning his arrangements sealed the deal.) Plus, how were his three nephews going to haul a coffin in and out of the stadium?
So there they were on Saturday night: the three nephews sitting alongside Willard’s urn (which had its own seat, no less). One tick remained. We all know how the game ended. And, yes, we all know how Uncle Willard landed on the field. Sometimes you just gotta throw something in disgust — even if it’s your uncle.
So here’s the moral of the story:
If your final request is to go to posthumously to the Iron Bowl, make sure to have your family members haul a coffin to the stadium. That way, if things go terribly (horribly, morbidly, unbelievably beautifully) wrong at the end, your stupid nephew could never chuck you more than 10 or 12 rows. And, even if the lid comes off, the Auburn Turf Team would still have a pretty good shot at IDing you.
- Missouri is the only unbeaten team (2-0) in the SEC East. Yes, they’ve played two slacker games while everybody else has actually broken a sweat. But, Missouri’s conference schedule is one that could play nicely in their favor as we move toward December. Georgia on the road is their toughest remaining game. But I won’t get ahead of myself. Let’s see what coach Gary Pinkel does on the road against Indiana Saturday.
- Nobody can figure out how to slow down Johnny Football. His most slippery move, of course, came before the season even started by making the NCAA whiff in the wake of the autograph scandal. Somebody called him Johnny Cash on twitter, and that was pretty funny, but I digress. Anyway, even though the Aggies fell to Alabama, Manziel still manufactured 628 yards of offense. If Saban can’t stop him, who can?
- Alabama has problems on defense. Virginia Tech moved the ball against the Tide in week 1, and we’ve already given Manziel enough ink. Of course, Saban has plenty of time to tinker and tweak (I almost typed twerk.)before their next test, which doesn’t happen until Nov. 6 against LSU.
- Auburn is 3-0. Of course all three of their games have come against schools with “State” after their name (Sorry Mississippi State). But still, nobody had the Tigers picked to be perfect after 25% of the season was in the books.
- Mississippi State is bad with their only win coming against Alcorn State. They will even it up after beating Troy on Saturday, but that just makes the game against LSU and the Mad Hatter that much closer. Mississippi State fans, go on and book that New Year’s Eve package. It’s not going to conflict with football.
1. Alabama is going to win the West. There’s not much that could happen that could sidetrack that. I hate clichés, so I’m not going to say “they don’t rebuild, they reload.” But right now, that’s what they’re doing in Tuscaloosa. You know the names; I won’t bore you.
2. LSU has been the forgotten team this preseason with Bama’s dominance and Johnny Namath, uh I mean Manziel’s misgivings (which I will address in a minute). And I’m sure Les Miles loves it. He’s down there in Baton Rouge devising his diabolical plan to win it all. He can’t do it, because a bad case of graduation-itis struck his defense. But he’ll be good enough to finish second.
3. Over in College Station, things are going in a different direction with Johnny Manziel. Last year, we named him our @secpigskinpicks Player of the Year. Well, player of the year he was; but his high flying off-season shenanigans have soured me on him. Did he sell autographs? It sure looks that way. Will he ever step behind center for A&M again? Probably. A slap on the wrist is a likely scenario since the NCAA’s burden of proof goes way beyond reasonable doubt. And, A&M has hired a fancy law firm with NCAA investigation experience to keep him in an Aggie uniform. But he’s a target now, and we know Saban, the Mad Hatter and all the other SECW coaches have been keying on turning him from unstoppable to merely effective. And “effective” isn’t going to get it done in the SEC.
4. Last year, Mississippi State won their first seven games before a loss to Alabama forced the Bulldogs to implode. Tyler Russell still has plenty of weapons, but don’t look for them to get there this year. I’m seeing about a .500 conference record.
5. Ole Miss: heading in the right direction, but not there yet.
6. Arkansas: nope.
7. Auburn: look for the Tigers to be mainstays on their opponents’ highlight reels.
Whenever I’ve got 2 more minutes, I’ll preview the East. And remember to listen to @secpigskinpicks every Thursday night during football season during @thesportsdrive on 101.3 The Buzz!