Political columnist and author John Brummett recently tweeted something about Alabama being favored 30 points over the Hogs, but wasn’t sure about the point spread for the other three quarters. We’re not sure his banter was humorous or prophetic.
Who do you think will win the World Series?
ALCS: As a Yankees fan, it was great to see them beat the Tribe in Cleveland to advance to the ALCS against Houston. The Yankees are exciting at the plate, and also have some great ingredients like Chapman on the mound. As much as I hate to say it, Houston is explosive on offense too, and in my opinion, has better starting pitching overall. Don’t forget that the Astros absolutely pounded a good Red Sox team; I’ll take Houston over the Yankees in six games.
NLCS: The defending champion Cubs have not been as dominant this season. The difference being their bullpen cannot take over a game like Chapman & Co. did last year. That said, the Cubbies still found ways to get this far, and have playoff experience. The Nationals are inexperienced and a banged up Bryce Harper doesn’t bode well for them. I believe the Cubs win Thursday to face off with the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Dodgers are deep with starting pitchers and have a solid offense. I still question the reliability of the Dodger’s bullpen but I expect they will beat the Cubs in five games and advance to the World Series.
World Series: An Astros vs. Dodgers World Series should be fun to watch. Both teams have good pitching and good offense. I predict the Astros keep the foot on the gas offensively, and that carries them over LA. Houston and the Astros get to celebrate a World Series Championship.
I’ve always been more of a NL guy. If I can’t get my Cards in, then I’d like to see Houston, especially after the hurricane and flooding they had. The Astros spent their first 51 seasons in the National League before moving to the AL in 2013. I’ll be more than happy to see former Hog Dallas Keuchel and the Astros win it all!
• Arkansas @ #1 Alabama
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is on pace to be a Heisman finalist. Arkansas will either play a hobbled Austin Allen or give Cole Kelley his first start under center in an extremely hostile environment. Arkansas freshman cornerback Kamren Curl is still learning on the job, and is prone to give up the big play. He will likely be covering future first round draft pick Calvin Ridley. Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick will also be a first rounder (I sense a trend!) and may cover our leading receiver Jonathan Nance, who came to Arkansas via junior college due to a lack of FBS scholarship offers.
Alabama coach Nick Saban could rob a bank or demand to sleep with the wives of the Alabama boosters and he would get away with it as long as he agreed to keep coaching the Crimson Tide. Saban has won five national championships and looks on pace to do it again. It was recently revealed that it may “only” cost about $6 million to fire Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, and many of our fans rejoiced. The upset seems unlikely. Alabama wins 56-0.
While Razorback fans have been preoccupied this week with things like “buyouts” and “new athletic directors” and “going to the Big 12,” I’ve spent my time focusing on just what it will take for the Hogs to win a game in Tuscaloosa. And I’ve concluded that all they need to do is win in the following three areas: 1) Offensive line protection, 2) Special Teams, and 3) Coaching. Prediction: Alabama 86 Arkansas 0.
• Texas A&M @ Florida
This may be the year that the coach on the hot seat at the beginning of the year stays, and the coach that likes to sleep with sharks leaves. I’ll take A&M by 3. I’m curious to see if Florida and Jimmy boy part ways soon. Growing up down there, I’m not sure the Gator nation is content anymore.
• #24 Texas Tech @ West Virginia
Texas Tech is 4-1 and ranked in the top 25 again. That’s not uncommon this time of year, though they generally fall off later in the season. I don’t see Tech’s pretty boy coach Kliff Kingsbury holding up well to the Mountaineers pressure and burning couches. West Virginia 56, Texas Tech 42.
• #12 Oklahoma @ Texas
They used to call this game the Red River Shootout, but changed the name to Rivalry because Shootout sounded too violent. So we can ban dangerous words, but not the actual weapons. The Sooners should be steamed after being upset by Iowa State last week, but no one circles the wagons like Texas head coach Tom Herman. Oklahoma wins by a touchdown, 41-34.
• #10 Auburn @ LSU
Dan Hampton was named an “SEC Football Legend” this week. And while I’ll always love the Big Guy, Dan Hampton was not SEC football. Auburn vs. LSU? Now THAT’S SEC football. These two teams meet for the 52nd time this weekend, and they square off in Death Valley where the Tigers (Auburn) haven’t beat the Tigers (Cajun) since 1999. Gus and Co. are a touchdown favorite and while they may not cover the 7 points, I fully expect them to win. Count on CBS to feature lots of O-face this weekend – as in a confused Coach O, not the good kind.
• #6 TCU @ Kansas State
TCU is the only undefeated team left in the Big XII conference and they travel to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on the Wildcats. The Wildcats are 3-2 for the season and have not been impressive with losses to Vanderbilt and Texas. I like TCU in a tough game, they have the advantage at QB with Kenny Hill, they start 13 seniors and 22 players who have started in at least 10 games, and they make a lot of 3rd down conversions. I expect TCU to win 38-27.
Editor’s note: Welcome to the sixth season of Tusk to Tail – the sport of tailgating 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 Talk Business & Politics against the advice of attorneys and family. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail