With three weeks left in the regular season, plus the conference championship games, who do you think will make this year’s College Football Playoffs? Can anyone beat Bama?
Todd Rudisill: Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, and Notre Dame will make the playoffs. You want to say no can beat Alabama, but in the back of my mind I keep remembering the Hogs somehow put 31 on them. Clemson is the only team I can see that could score 30 on Bama and possibly make enough stops to win. That’s a longshot, but sometimes longshots come in.
Craig May: I have Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Georgia in the College Football Playoffs. I think Clemson and Notre Dame win out, and Georgia upsets Bama in the SEC Championship game.
• #9 LSU @ Arkansas
Brad Davis: Arkansas will not be able to run the ball against the LSU defense, and will have to rely on Storey and the passing game. Although the LSU offense is still struggling, they won’t have a problem scoring, as the Hog defense is still trying to find its identity. LSU 24, Arkansas 10.
Dale Cullins: We all know the Tigers have the talent and a better record, but it’s not like LSU has been setting the league on fire. They still struggle to score points on offense. The Tiger defense is solid and the Hogs will struggle to score against them. However, there is a lot going for the Hogs. It is the week after the Bama game, the Hogs had a week off to get healthy, it will be fairly cold, and the crowd should provide a solid home field advantage. I think it will be close, like 20-17 LSU, but I would not be shocked if the Hogs found a way to win.
Marvin Del Marmar: Will LSU have enough of a letdown after their loss to Alabama? Will enough of Arkansas’ best players be 100% following the week off? Will the cold bother LSU so much that they just want to get back on the plane and head home? I think the answer to all these will be “no.” I don’t expect it to be a fun night for the Hogs. The only good thing about this game is that Tusk to Tail will be able to tailgate several hours before the kickoff. LSU 42, Arkansas 27.
Todd Rudisill: It’s another year where the Tigers are coming off another spanking by Alabama. LSU is coming in bruised, battered, and heartbroken because they thought they had a chance to beat the Tide when they really didn’t. In the past, this played perfectly into the hands of the Hogs, and the Hogs took advantage a few of those times. But two years ago, it changed. LSU came in here after a Bama loss and we all thought we would take advantage of a down and banged up LSU team. They killed the Razorbacks. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Ed Orgeron got LSU in the right frame of mind for this one-sided “rivalry” game. Orgeron did what Les Miles could never seem to do: get LSU to bounce back and get up for the Hogs. Expect the same Saturday night. Bayou Bengals win, 37-17.
• #8 Ohio State @ #24 Michigan State
Todd Rudisill: Ohio State is overrated. Coach Urban Meyer is in la la land and a walking PR nightmare. Michigan State always seems to play salty at home in these games, and is actually playing on an upswing right now. I’m calling a Sparty surprise in East Lansing for the Buckeyes. Michigan State wins 26-23.
• Oklahoma State @ #6 Oklahoma
Brad Davis: The Battle of Bedlam is one of the longest running rivalries in college football, dating back to 1904 with Oklahoma beating what was then known as Oklahoma A&M, 76-0. I’m a bit biased with this game because I had the opportunity to watch Kyler Murray play since he was a Freshman at Allen, Texas, High School, leading them to three straight State Championships and going 42-0 as a starter. He comes in completing 70% of his passes with 31 TDs and 5 INTs. Oklahoma State will put points up quite easily against Oklahoma’s weak defense, but their defense won’t be able to hold down the Sooners’ offense. Oklahoma 49, Oklahoma State 41.
• Auburn @ #5 Georgia
Craig May: It’s tough sledding for a three-loss Auburn team. Their last two games are on the road at Georgia and at Alabama. he Auburn offensive line and running game has been average at best all season, but they did manage to catch a spark late in the game last week in a come-from-behind win at home against Texas A&M. I think Auburn puts up a fight in the first half of this game, but Georgia makes some key plays on defense in the second half, gets the win, and moves on to the SEC Championship game. Georgia 35, Auburn 20.
• #2 Clemson @ #17 Boston College
Marvin Del Marmar: Clemson is undefeated and headed toward another potential championship matchup against Alabama. Boston College, while having a good year and riding a three-game winning streak, just won’t be able to generate enough offense against a very, very strong Clemson defense. While BC’s statistics on offense are impressive (440 yards per game), a lot of that was against weaker opponents. Their stats are not that good against stronger teams, and Clemson is the best team BC will face this season. Clemson 44, BC 21.
• #18 Mississippi State @ #1 Alabama
Dale Cullins: Bama may have a little bit of a letdown or slow start, but they are too good to blow this game at home against State. Alabama 45, Miss State 21.
Editor’s note: Welcome to the seventh 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. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the River Valley Smile Center … because it’s another dang rebuilding year and you’re gonna need a good smile to get through the season. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter — @TuskToTail