If you listen to the media and tune into programs like the Paul Finebaum Show (as pretty much everyone in the South does), then you will hear there is no rivalry anymore between Alabama and Tennessee.
The Tide has won 14 straight in the series, it’s no longer competitive, the fans don’t care and it’s no longer and important game to the players and coaches.
That is all wrong. You see, the media that writes and broadcasts about college football covers it from eyes of the press box. It’s just what they see on the field. But I and PubClub.com cover it from a different and far more insightful point of view: the bars!
This is where you get the real pulse of the fans. This boots-on-the-ground approach clearly demonstrated to me that Alabama fans and students still hate Tennessee so much they go around wearing “Hate Tennessee Week” buttons all week, the bars have “Hate Tennessee Week” wristbands and you can’t get Jack Daniels in a Tuscaloosa bar during Tennessee week because it’s a Tennessee whiskey. I can go on and on and for more just click this Hate Tennessee Week article for more proof that this is still a heated rivalry for the fans. Bear Bryant would be proud.
Elsewhere, LSU has given Coach Oh No!, a lifetime supply of gumbo to go eat it somewhere far away from Tiger Stadium (and, presumably, LSU coeds), the Gators have gone from nearly chop-chopping Bama to being Mullenheads (a role they are much more comfortable in playing), Cincinnati apparently read the Prognosticator last week, Iowa found you just can’t win expecting turnovers and the Dawgs had another big day ‘Tween The Hedges.
Now onto this week’s games. All times Pacific because the Prognosticator lives on the West Coast.
Cincinnati at Navy (9 a.m., ESPN2)
The Baehr-cats ran wild against the Gus Busers last week and now the sinking Navy ship is in their sights. The Midshipmen’s only win was against – you guessed it, the Gus Bus – but that’s about the only thing these two teams have in common. Ahh, life in the American Athletic Conference, tho the school will soon upgrade of sorts by joining what will be left of the Big 12. Winner: Cincinnati
Oklahoma at Kansas (9 a.m., ESPN)
This can provide a nice preview of what Cinci can find in that new Big 12 – teams like Kansas which provide no more of a challenge than Navy or Central Florida. The Stacked Beer Cups will add another one to the stack this week but they are falling soon. Winner: Oklahoma
Northwestern at Michigan (9 a.m., FOX)
The Wildcats have been anything but wild this season and should pose little threat to Big Blue in the Big House. Winner: Michigan
Illinois at Penn State (9 a.m, ABC)
Since beating Nebraska to start the season, the non-fighting Indians have only won one other game. And that was against Charlotte. The Nits need not to worry about them, enabling the students to fill up places like Bill Pickels Tap Room earlier than usual on a Saturday. Winner: Penn State
Wisconsin at Purdue (Noon, BTN)
The Boilermakers surprised the Prognosticator last week by not only upsetting Iowa but not even taking it down to the end so they can blowing it in keeping with school tradition. They should be able to do the same against the offensive-challenged Badgers tho keep in mind they are still Purdue. Winner: Purdue
Oregon at UCLA (12:30 p.m., ABC)
College Game Day makes a rare stop in Southern California (hey, it’s easier on Herbie, who is broadcasting the game) and this is just the type of atmosphere that can get the Trampolines to bounce high in the air. The Ducklings seem to play up (and down) to the level of their competition and the pressure is on for this one. It’s not Ohio State where they could play loose with nothing to lose; this is a can’t lose game. Can they handle it? Winner: Oregon
LSU at Ole Miss (12:30 p.m., CBS)
When this is over, Coach Oh No!, and Joey Freshwater should go out to an Oxford bar and see whom can be more successful hitting on the college girls, for that seems to be something they have in common. That is in part what led the Big O out of the Red Baton. Well, that and a 9-8 record since he stayed out of the way of all the real coaches in that miracle season two years ago. He was able to beat the Mullenheads (again) but not likely the Rebs. Winner: Ole Miss
Clemson at Pittsburgh (12:30 p.m, ESPN)
The Panthers hung 52 on Georgia Tech, a team the once-mighty Tigers could barely beat. They will need a lot fewer to win this one. Winner: Pitt
Tennessee at Alabama (4 p.m, ESPN)
Now that we have established the fact that this is still a hot SEC rivalry, it’s up to the visiting Vols to see what they can contribute to it on the field. And the past few years, they have actually played competitive against the beastly Pachyderms in Bryant-Denny. Except for the year when Butch Jones refused to say Alabama by name and kept calling them “that red team.” UT likes to go deep a lot and its offense will keep the Bama linebackers busy, but after the game the Tide will again be smoking cigars in their locker room. Winner: Alabama
San Diego State at Air Force (4 p.m., CBSSN)
For Air Force veterans Rob & Darryl, better hit the bottle during this game and not the throttle. Winner: San Diego State
Ohio State at Indiana (4:30 p.m., NBC)
The Bucks won’t stop here, for the one-year fun run of the Hoosiers is now a faded memory. Winner: Ohio State
South Carolina at Texas A&M (4:30 p.m., SEC Network)
Life is good if you’re an Aggie these days. After beating Bama, they get a relaxing win against a bad Missouri squad and now get a team that can barely beat Vanderbilt. They can keep the 12th Man in the stands for this one. Although, the Gamecocks do tend to rise like a Phoenix for one game a year. But probably not this year. Winner: Texas A&M
USC at Notre Dame (4:30 p.m., NBC)
A night game at Notre Dame Stadium? USC schedules this game in October because they don’t want to play in the November cold in South Bend but the weather forecast calls for the temperature to drop to 39 on Saturday night. The team that will get the most chills, however, will be the Irish, who have proven they are not nearly as good as their record. Winner: USC