Big Jeff's
Picks

Week of 9/12/97 SEC Commentary '96 Bowl Games
9/19/97

Got a really big week this week. Four games pit top 25 teams against each other. In the SEC, the Florida-Tennessee matchup will probably determine the winner of the East division and the winner of the LSU- Auburn tangle in BR has a leg up on the West. Went 8-5 last week. Got really stung by Boston College's upset of WVa. Also caught it from UCLA (still can't believe how bad they beat Texas). But the one that I really got to laugh at is Arkansas against SMU. Late in the first half, Arkansas scored a touchdown on a pass to the front corner of the end zone. The official on the spot signalled a touchdown. Supposedly, the referee did as well. However, the Arkansas bench could not see the official who made the original call. Then the umpire (the official behind the defense), who also did not know it was a touchdown, put the ball on the right hash mark at the 3 yd line (usually, for an PAT, the ball is placed in the middle of the field unless the scoring team requests that it be moved). This caused the Hog bench to believe that it was 3rd and goal, so they ran another play (which didn't make it to the end zone). Result…the try for 2 points was bad and SMU led 7-6. What makes it even better is that after Danny Ford figured out what had happened, he argued with the referee that the touchdown should be taken off the board and they should get to try it all over again!!!!!

After this week, I'll be putting together my take on the top 40. I'm gonna go with 40 teams since that pretty much is going to be everybody in a bowl game anyway (aren't there 293 different bowl games now??) Anyway on with the picks:

Alabama
vs.
Arkansas
After last weeks debacle, Danny Ford just might be out of a job. As a matter of fact, considering that AD Frank Broyles has a track record of firing coaches in the middle of the season (he fired John David Crowe after only 1 game, a loss to SMU, a few years back), if Arkansas doesn't make a decent showing against the Tide this week, Danny could be out on the bricks by Tuesday. Could be.

Prediction: Alabama 27 - Arkansas 7



ASU
vs.
BYU
After going into the Orange Bowl and whupping up on the ‘Canes last week, ASU once again has that feeling that they can do it all. And you know what, considering the thumpin' that the Huskies put on BYU, the Sun Devils just might do it.

Prediction: ASU 35 - BYU 31



East Carolina
vs.
S. Carolina
Going into this year, I thought that this was the breakout year for Brad Scott and the Gamecocks. But after seeing them squeak by C. Fla and then get hammered at Athens last week by a good Georgia team, I'm not so sure that this could be a really long year in Columbia.

Prediction: E. Car 28 - S. Car 14



Florida
vs.
Tennessee
Da big one. Fans in Knoxville have been looking forward to this game since about halftime of last years game. And some think that this could be the year that the Vols knock off the Gators. You gotta think that with all of the losses Florida had on the offensive side of the ball, that Fulmer's team's got a real good shot. But, until they prove they can do it.

Prediction: Florida 24 - Tenn 17



FSU
vs.
Clemson
Another match-up of 2 ranked teams. FSU gets to go into Death Valley (the fake one, not the real one that ones in Baton Rouge!!!) to take on Priester and the Tigers. If Clemson can get their running game going, it could make it tough for the ‘Noles, and Bowden's crew is going to have to try to keep the offensive prowess they showed last week against Maryland going, or it could be a long afternoon.

Prediction: FSU 21 - Clemson 10



Georgia
vs.
NE Louisiana
Last week, the Dogs came out with a good showing against the Gamecocks and really put a whipping on 'em. This week, they get to pound it out of lowly NLU. Poor Indians, they only play 2 home games all year. But hey, look at all the frequent flier miles they're racking up!

Prediction: Georgia 42 - NLU 3



Indiana
vs.
Kentucky
Finally got to see this kid Couch last weekend. He is FUN to watch. Unfortunately (sorry John), he is all the Mildcats got this year. His arm just might be enough to carry ‘em Saturday, but it'll be tough.

Prediction: Kentucky 24 - Indiana 22 (Hey, it's SEC
vs.
Big-10, er 11, whatever. Gotta go with the home boyz)



LSU
vs.
Auburn
The next in a series of tight strange games will be played Saturday night under the lights in Tiger Stadium for a national ESPN TV audience. These teams seem to like playing games that go down in history. There was 1987, when LSU's Eddie Fuller caught a Tommy Hodson pass in the end zone in the last minute of the game to beat Auburn 7-6 and the seismograph in the Geology department 3 miles away registered an earthquake at the exact instant. Then in 1994, LSU had a 2 touchdown lead at Auburn, but Jamie Howard threw 5 interceptions in the 4th quarter, 3 of which were returned for touchdowns, as Auburn came back to win. Then 2 years ago, Troy Twillie intercepted a Patrick Nix pass in the end zone as time ran out to preserve a 12-6 LSU win and last year, Raion Hill intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, then later, after Auburn had scored in the last minute of the game to creep to within 17-15, he intercepted the try for 2 and returned it 100 yards for 2 points to make the final score 19-15 (that one is real big for me, ‘cause I had bet on LSU and given 3 -1/2 points). I don't look for this year to be any different. Turnovers always play big in these games and I expect that they will again.

Prediction: LSU 21 - Auburn 15



Miami
vs.
Pitt
The Canes are out to rebound from last weeks disappointing showing against ASU. This week they go to the steel city for a Thursday night showdown with the Panthers. Look out for weather warnings tonight.

Prediction: Miami 38 - Pitt 21 (I refuse to call them anything but Pitt that's what they are, and that's what I'll call 'em)



Michigan
vs.
Baylor
Ugly helmets get their second matchup in as many weeks against a Big-12 team, and the outcome will probably be the same, just more so. This Michigan team really impressed me last week against the Buffs. And Baylor, I watched the Buffs. They are good. You are not Colorado.

Prediction: Michigan 35 - Baylor 10



Nebraska
vs.
Washington
Another top 10 matchup has the Huskers travelling to the great northwest to meet the Huskies. This is Washington's second big game of the year, after pummelling BYU. Look for Rashan Shehee to run wild again. The question mark in this game is the play of Husker QB Scott Frost. If he plays steady and consistent and doesn't do anything to hurt his team, they got a shot. But it'll be real tough.

Prediction: Washington 21 - Nebraska 17



UNC
vs.
Maryland
I realized last week while I was flipping back and forth between the Auburn - Ole Miss game and the FSU - Maryland game that if Maryland played Mississippi the scoreboard on the screen would read MISS MARY!!! Unfortunately for the Terps, that pretty much describes their chances against the Heels. Miss Mary is going to be in for their second whipping in as many weeks.

Prediction: UNC 31 - Mary (had a little lamb) 3



Northwestern
vs.
Rice
I don't know what to say about this one. You would expect that N'Western should beat the tar out of the Owls, but after last week's upsets (and the Wildcats showing against Wake Forest - Naah, let him sleep)

Prediction: N'Western 28 - Rice 10



ND
vs.
Mich. St.
Is Bob Davie's job on the line. If you listen to all the clamor coming out of the subway alumni, you would think so. If the Golden Domers don't take care of business this week, they could be in for a very, very, long year. After this week, Neuter Lame has Michigan and Stanford on the schedule, so there is a good possibility they could end up 1-4. However, I'm going to go totally against everything I have ever stood for and pick ND to win this one, unless Lou Holtz pulls another fast one like last week where he guaranteed the Irish would pull it out against Purdue at halftime.

Prediction: Mich St. 17 - Folding Amish 10 (okay I lied. I didn't pick ND. Sue me)



OSU
vs.
Arizona
Arizona has pointed to this game all year. They look at what ASU did on this weekend last year to Nebraska and think they can do it too. HELLO MCFLY!!! Get a grip.

Prediction: OSU 38 - Arizona 17



Penn St.
vs.
Louisville
Have these guys played anybody yet. You gotta love their early season Alabama-like schedule. Curtis Enis has to licking his chops in anticipation of this one. I'm gonna give this one my La. Tech Homecoming Queen Game of the Week (ugly, real ugly)

Prediction: PSU 45 - Louisville 3



Vandy
vs.
TCU
Is there any way we can get Vandy to join the WAC??

Prediction: Vandy 17 - TCU 14