story by Dale Cullins, predictions by Tusk to Tail
Editor’s note: Welcome to the third season of Tusk to Tail, a special “web reality” presentation of the tailgating experience as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. Members of the Tusk to Tail Team are Sean Casey, Jack Clark, Dale Cullins, Greg Houser, Craig May, David Rice and Mark Wagner. Tusk to Tail is managed by The City Wire. Legal representation is iffy at best and professional psychological help is welcome but likely to be ignored. Link here for the Tusk to Tail introduction to the 2014 Razorback football tailgating season.
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Game week has arrived with a flurry of activity for me as the Colonels are coming and Hell’s riding with them. Obviously a small school like Nicholls State is not very intimidating, but it’s all we have for this week’s opponent. At least we are back home on The Hill.
Nicholls State is in Thibodaux, Louisiana – deep in bayou country south of New Orleans. The Colonels are an FCS team that was steamrolled by Air Force last week, and this doesn’t appear on paper to be much more than a stats game for the Hogs.
After the Hogs’ second-half collapse against Auburn last Saturday, this could be just what the doctor ordered for this young team. The game offers some much needed minutes for players and coaches to work out some kinks in preparation for another road trip to Lubbock next week against a Big 12 team with a lot to prove.
The holiday-shortened week has only heightened the pace of preparations. I’m a bit out of sorts with the first road trip already in the books and plans for the first home game still on my desk, but things are coming together quickly. The best tip I can offer for this first game is that with a fairly high chance of rain, be sure to throw some straw on the ground beforehand. Your guests will appreciate the lack of mud and the forethought on your part.
We decided to hang our TVs this season to free up some floor space and to increase the viewing angles for our tailgaters. I also ordered some new tablecloths, as our old chevron patterns wouldn’t survive another season’s abuse of dips and barbeque sauce. Lastly, we have hired a bartender to free us up during the busiest time of the day when we would all rather be socializing. This game should be a good opportunity to see how well it all works, as it will not be a huge crowd.
I considered Cajun dishes for the menu this week. But since LSU is coming later this year, we are going with the Colonel’s chicken, though not actually from KFC, since our guests’ palettes are too refined. We will have our usual assortment of sides and dips, but for the most part, this first game will be about keeping it simple, keeping it dry, and just getting everyone back together for some SEC football. We will have bigger tailgates in the weeks ahead, but this one is all about family time.
Go Hogs, Beat Colonels!
For this week’s predictions, Tusk to Tail is joined by a famous fictional Colonel, who was found in a remote abandoned Cambodian temple by our own Jack Clark.
Predict the 4 teams to play in the first college football playoffs. Who wins the championship?
I am basing my picks for the 4 teams to go to the first ever college playoff on what I saw in Week 1. Texas A&M, Oklahoma (threw up a little here), Louisville (threw up more), and Michigan State.
Still a bit early to say but I could see Oregon, Michigan State, Florida State and the
winner of the AU/UGA game playing for the title. Shoot, AU/UGA could be playing back to back weekends. Once in conference play and then in the SEC title game. Still too early to say for sure which one of them will be better that late in the year.
The four teams in the inaugural CFB playoff will be Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, and Ohio State. I'll never vote for OU. Georgia is a bit of a stretch (considering their history). Ohio State doesn't have a QB but their conference is winnable. Oregon still has a ton of speed, and the Seminoles have 2-3 teams to watch out for in the ACC.
My four teams after week 1 are Florida State, Georgia, Oregon and Oklahoma. I think Florida State and Oregon will be in the Championship game, and I’m going with Oregon in that game.
Those suffering SEC fatigue finally get their wish of seeing a championship without a team from the conference. In fact, the SEC fails to even get a team in the Final 4. Oregon beats Florida State in the final after Ohio State and Oklahoma exit the first round.
4 teams in the Championship – Georgia, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan State.
Overall winner – Georgia
Col. Walter E. Kurtz
From the SEC, I’ll pick the Aggies or Auburn Tigers. Until Sumlin leaves the Aggies and Auburn goes on probation again, (LSU) Tiger and Tide fans need to worry. The other three are Florida State, Oklahoma, and Oregon.
I can't pick OU or Oregon out of principle, so picking a Florida team (even if not ours) with an experienced QB seems well, not crazy.
PREDICTIONS FOR THE GAME IN FAYETTEVILLE – Nicholls State @ Arkansas
Not much to say about this match-up. Arkansas dominates Nicholls State and wins 42-10.
Arkansas will look unimpressive in its win over FCS Nicholl's State. There is no way for an SEC team to beat a FCS school and anyone be impressed. If the weather is bad, I expect there to be only 45,000 fans at the game. I'd love to see a quality opponent, a packed house, Coca Cola in the concession stand, and a winning streak. Guess I'll have to wait.
I sure hope the Hogs don't let last week bother them and come out to get better and to
win. Hogs should be too much for the Colonels and cruise to a 44-20 win.
Nicholls State or whomever we are playing will not be a challenge. It'll be an unimpressive romp in Fayetteville. My hope is we get a few more things figured out for Lubbock the following week. Regardless of the second half last week, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid. I still say 6 wins and 1-2 years from now we are pretty darned impressive.
Looking forward to seeing the young safeties and wide receivers getting some experience this weekend. Hogs 42, Colonels 10.
The Razorbacks feast on tripe and gizzards this week, running up the score on an inferior opponent. At least the 10-game losing streak should be behind us. Arkansas 70, NSU 10.
The Hogs go crazy in this one. They get their offense ground game going, and defensively they are more than enough for the Colonels. The Hogs win their first game after 10 straight losses and win it going away. Arkansas 42, Nicholls State 13.
Col. Walter E. Kurtz
Hogs will win, but people will not be excited until we beat an SEC team. After watching the 2nd half last week, “I've seen horrors … horrors that you've seen.”
#18 Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt
Ole Miss and Vanderbilt is always a competitive game but this Vanderbilt team is not coached by James Franklin. Ole Miss 35, Vanderbilt 7.
#15 USC @ # 11 Stanford
Sarkisian gives Stanford fits and now he has more talent at USC, but inexperienced talent. Stanford has a bit more experience, strong offensive line and will be at home. Stanford narrowly wins at home 35-30.
Virginia Tech @ # 5 Ohio State
Ohio St. will defeat Virginia Tech.
Col. Walter E. Kurtz
Nothing impressive from either team in week one. I am an Urban Meyer hater, but have to pick Ohio state at the Shoe.
#4 Oklahoma @ Tulsa
The Sooners have the talent edge on both sides of the ball. Tulsa gave up 516 yards against Tulane last week and the Sooners are averaging 7.4 yards per carry. Oklahoma has won the last seven consecutive games against Tulsa with an average margin of victory being 37 points. Last year the Sooners won 62-21 in Norman. Tulsa does not have the talent to make up that kind of difference. Oklahoma wins 54-24
#8 Michigan State @ #3 Oregon
Sparties lose on the road to a fast Ducky team that may not beat them later in the year.