Hot Seats For Butch Jones & Clay Helton Could Catch On Fire If Vols, Trojans Lose
Halloween weekend is here and that’s good, because several souls are walking the sidelines dressed up as legitimate big-time college football coaches.
Soon, however, they could be asked to return their costumes to the athletic department while directors start searching for someone who is a better fit for them.
After last weekend, the seats for Butch Jones and Clay Helton became as hot at the weather out here in Los Angeles, where the Prognosticator is while writing this column. It’s burning up here and it is, too, at UT and USC.
The schedule makers may have been affected by the heat, too, for they have for some reason scheduled the key games all at the same time on a weekend when there are precious few key games. Perhaps they figure we’ll all be out at Halloween parties on Saturday night and why bother us with having to be locked onto a TV when we should be checking out the costumes and the other eye-catching things at Halloween parties.
Meanwhile, in T-town, Alabama faces its toughest opponent to date: Nick Saban.
And now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific.
Penn State at Ohio State (12:30 p.m., FOX)
After dispatching of some Wolverines, the Nittany Lions now go looking to graze through a field of tree nuts. The Buckeyes haven’t been heard from since losing to the Boomers, hiding in that soft schedule that is the majority of its Big 10 games of September and October so it’s hard to know if they have taken root and can stand tall against a hungry enemy. The Lions are coming down from the mountain for a meal and they will leave picking pieces of the Buckeyes out of their teeth. Winner: Penn State
N.C. State at Notre Dame (12:30 p.m., NBC)
The Irish may not have woke up the echoes just yet, but they sure woke up USC fans about they ability of their head coach to lead a storied program. And suddenly, the Domers have visions of the College Football Playoffs dancing around in their golden heads.The Prognosticator is still not sold on the Irish (or, more accurately, Brian Kelly). But NC State lost to South Carolina, which lost to Kentucky and Mississippi State and that makes the Wolfpack more like lone wolves rather than an unruly pack of ferocious creatures. Winner: Notre Dame.
Georgia vs. Florida (12:30 p.m., CBS, Jacksonville, FL)
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party may be the end of the party for ‘ol Jim Mac. The head stall coach has the Prehistoric Creatures stuck in the swamp on offense and that’s just where these Dawgs going hunting for a little Gator meat. They will find it in abundance and once they sink their teeth into it, will be going after it like a pack of hungry bloodhounds. The Gators have won 21 of the last 26 games but their fans are going to need a few more cocktails after this one. Winner: Georgia
TCU at Iowa State (12:30 p.m., ABC)
The Prognosticator generally steers clear of Big 12 games because the teams are so wildly unpredictable it’s like chasing a piece of paper in a windstorm. You can never catch up to them. The Toads blow into a storm in Aimes, quite literally as there will be thunderstorms and a temperature of 41 degrees. Perfect weather if you’re a Cyclone. But frogs are water creatures, and will prove to be too clever and slippery to catch. Winner: TCU
UCLA at Washington (12;30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2)
Sitting quietly in the corner den of Westwood while all sorts of things are happening around them in Los Angeles – the Dodgers in the World Series and Helton looking over his shoulder at Heritage Hall – the Baby Bears are trying to bring a little sunshine into their lives. They are certainly taking it to Seattle. Fresh off a surprisingly easy win against Oregon, they get clear skies and sunshine for their matchup with the Huskies. Who, too, have been somewhat hibernating, their only noticeable moment being a loss. It’s too much to ask the Trampolines to keep bouncing up a week after a win. Winner: Washington
Tennessee at Kentucky (4:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Even before Rashaan Gaulden flipped off Alabama fans, UT folks had done that to his coach, Jonsey. Things are so low on Rocky Top these days that Vols fans are worried about losing to Kentucky. If that can’t get the coach fired then the athletic director should go back to Tweeting about the tennis team. Before making this pick, the Prognosticator must take a swig of that corn stuff UT fans get from a jar. (Pause). Okay got it. Winner: Tennessee (Editor’s Note: Had it been bourbon, the pick would have been Kentucky.)
Georgia Tech at Clemson (5 p.m., ABC)
After a week of licking their wounds from the spearing they took from the Saltine Crackers in Syracuse, the Fighting Dabos now walk into a swarm of Yellow Jackets who are capable of providing a big sting to anyone who crosses their path. But these Tigers have a thick coat to protect them and while they may be swatting away the Bees for a while, they will withstand the attack. Winner: Clemson
USC at Arizona State (7:45 p.m., ESPN)
After riding high on the Helton Horse, the Trojans have slowed from a Kentucky Derby pace to a gallop to a slow walk back to the stable, with a frustrated AD following closely behind, perhaps about ready to shut the barn door. The Prognosticator has been pointing to this game all season as the one in which the dam would break for USC and while the Pitchforks are not a threat to many teams, they will even poke even more holes in the Trojans’ offense and defensive lines. Winner: Arizona State