Georgia-Florida And Other Scary Games On Halloween Weekend
Several years ago, an old-timer sports writer took a detour to the press box before the Georgia-Florida game.
Tens of thousands of people – twice as many as the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville held, he noted – were tailgating and partying in the area between the stadium and Jax Landing. Upon arriving in the press box, he looked like he had seen a ghost (apparently the guy didn’t get out a lot) and when he reported his adventure to his fellow scribes, they asked him what it was like down there.
“It’s the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party!,” he exclaimed.
And a nickname for a game was born.
The fact that this rivalry always occurs on Halloween weekend is a bonus.
And speaking of Halloween, the team wearing the biggest costume as a College Football Playoff contender all season has been Ohio State. USC, too, has been masquerading as a quality team and while the Gus Bus pulled into the Ole Miss service station for a quick repair it’s still held together with duct tape.
This week there’s only one haunting matchup but anything can happen in college football so mix up some witches brew and see what scary things are about to happen on the ‘ol gridiron.
All times Pacific because The Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Friday, Oct. 26
Utah at UCLA (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
The Utes may be on a scouting trip to the Rose Bowl, and the Baby Bears are not ones to stand in the way of tour groups this year. They will be as welcoming as guides at Universal Studios, showing the visitors every inch of the field with special and repeated trips to the end zone. Winner: Utah
Saturday, Oct. 27
Clemson at Florida State (9 a.m., ABC)
The Felines claw into Doak Campbell for an early feeding session, looking to pounce on the north Florida warriors before they have a chance to sharpen their weapons. The Spears have been pretty dull this year and the way Clemson has played the last two games this one should be over before the fraternity boys and sorority girls leave their balconies and get to the stadium. But, as an FSU alumni is fond of saying “not so fast!” The Prognosticator is sensing a struggle for the big cats when they get into Tallahassee tribe territory, one that will leave them beat up and bruised, hoping to claw their way back into the College Football Playoffs. Winner, in an upset: Florida State
Georgia vs. Florida (12:30 p.m., CBS,Jacksonville, FL)
The Dawgs did not have their day down on the Bayou two weeks ago and the suddenly nasty Gators are looking to ambush them in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail party in Jacksonville. The drinks will be flowing on both sides and when you mix Georgia’s potential for powerful offense with Florida’s dangerous defense and you’ve got a recipe for some lively libations. Kirby will really turn loose the Canines if he takes the leash off Justin Fields. Despite Florida dominating this rivalry of late – the Gators are 21-7 since 1990 – there’s not enough chomp-chomp force to take the hide out of the Dawgs. Winner: Georgia
Kansas State at Oklahoma (12:30 p.m., FOX)
This is not your typical Bill Snyder sneaky squad, the ones where you take them lightly and then suddenly find yourself in a catfight in the fourth quarter. The only thing wild about the Wildcats this year is how they’ve been roughed up in the Big 12. The Boomers will be wild on Saturday – running wild all over their visitors. Winner: Oklahoma
Arizona State at USC (12:30 p.m., ABC)
The happy Herminators come burning into the Coliseum hoping to set fire to an already inflamed Troy. Fans of the Helon Skelters are hot under the collar at their head coach and the Pitchforks certainly aren’t going to be providing a cooling Gatorade bath for the Trojans. To add fire to the flame, quarterback JT Daniels remains in concussion protocol while third-stringer Jack Sears (& Roebuck) has been taking first-team snaps in practice all week. It’s too early to know if The Great Desert Experiment with Edwards is going to be a boom or a bust, but the visitors are going to turn up the heat on the embattled Trojans and their head coach. Winner: Arizona State
Washington State at Stanford (4 p.m.)
The Cats are trying to make a case for being noticed by the rest of college football, but going into hiding with early non-conference games against the likes of San Jose State and playing in the obscure Pac-12’s northwest are keeping them as hidden as real cougars in the Washington woods. Winning on The Farm can shed a little light into the darkness but with the Cardinal not shining bright this year it may take until the Apple Cup until this team is truly noticed. If they make it that far. Winner: Stanford
Notre Dame at Navy (5 p.m., CBS)
The Irish set sail for the Navy pier with hopes they don’t crash into the pilings and while that may have been cause for concern in the recent past, this class of Midshipmen does not have the firepower to put up much of a fight. The Prognosticator feels the Domers are doomed for one game this season, but this is not the one. Winner: Notre Dame
Texas at Oklahoma State (5 p.m., ABC)
They are singing the song of the state in Austin these days and while the eyes of Texas may be upon the College Football Playoffs, they had better watch out for what’s in front of them because the Pokes are going to poke them right in the eye. The Steers still have some growing up to do and after this one, it will be the Cowboys that will be singing, not the Longhorns. Winner: Oklahoma