Pigskin Prophet: Driving the pumpkin home from Tennessee edition


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Pigskin Prophet: Driving the pumpkin home from Tennessee edition

I took the week off from going to college football games last weekend and took a friend’s van into North Carolina to pick up some apples and pumpkins for a fall festival we are having at our church. Midway through the third quarter of South Carolina’s game at Tennessee, I received an urgent call from my friend who works in the South Carolina Athletic Supporter Department.

He said that it was looking likely that the Gamecocks were going to lose to lowly Tennessee, and he had received a call asking for help. A little backstory – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was so irate over one of his players throwing a punch that he made the kid ride a bus home from Louisville.

My caller asked my location and if I knew where to get a van, and he was thrilled (as was I, because these Burger King coupons don’t pay the bills) when he found out I was in Asheville and could be in Knoxville about 30 minutes after the game was over. He told me to make my way to Neyland Stadium and I would receive further instructions.

I got to Neyland and texted my pal, and he told me to pull into a certain tunnel. There I found none other than South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, who was being made to ride back to Columbia in a van as punishment for the loss to a really bad Tennessee team. I loaded his bag, full of shrubbery, into the back of the van and old Will spent the entire ride the same way the rest of the pumpkins spent it – kinda sad looking and silent.

The things I do for money…now onto some picks.

SATURDAY

NC STATE AT WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest looks to stay in the ACC Atlantic Division race with a win over the Fightin’ Doerens, who have only one conference win (over a bad Syracuse team). Here is the problem – Wake Forest doesn’t know how to play defense. They line up, see the ball snapped, and then 11 guys point and say, “There he goes!!!!!” This alone will help NC State stay in the game longer than they should, but much like the shine on Dave Doeren’s head, the luster will soon go away and the Demon Deacons will win. WAKE 41, NC STATE 24

UTSA AT TEXAS A&M

WHOO???? WHO IS THAT PLAYING UTSA?? WHO IS TEXAS A&M? Oh, the little Jimbos. Yawn.

VIRIGNIA TECH AT NOTRE DAME

Brian Kelly was named the Coach of the Year last year by someone and the Irish had hopes of making another run to the College Football Playoff so they could get embarrassed by another elite team. Instead, they got embarrassed in late October by Captain Khaki Pants and are now trying to get in position to make a good bowl. They host VPI this week, and the Hokies are trying to climb back into the ACC Coastal race by barely beating some really bad teams. Notre Dame isn’t really bad. They just aren’t really good. NOTRE DAME 36, VPI 22

GEORGIA AT FLORIDA

The game of the week this week features two moribund offenses and two pretty good defenses. The fun part about this game is, of course, the big party that happens outside the stadium. Look, I know some of you, most of you women named Karen who love to yell at cashiers when they won’t take your expired coupon, need to be politically correct. And you wanted the name changed from the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party to some crappy River City Rivalry. Look Karen, it’s the WLOCP and it always will be. And try to get some updated coupons you snowflake. As for the game, this one will be close and everything in me says to pick Georgia. Except that little voice that says all year Georgia has shown that something is a little off (yes, I know their head coach is off, but even worse than him) and that it will once again catch up to them. In an upset…FLORIDA 26, GEORGIA 23. DEAL WITH IT KAREN

WOFFORD AT CLEMSON

Wofford is still a college, and that’s all you need to know. I am not sure they even have a band. Or cheerleaders. CLEMSON 65, WOFFORD 7

MIAMI AT FSU

How about this crapshow? This used to be one of the premier games each season, but some absolutely horrific coaching hires have made this once-proud rivalry meaningless. Here is what you need to know – FSU has a terrible offensive line. Miami has a terrible offensive line. FSU has better running backs. And a better quarterback now that James Blackman and his indescribably bad play have been benched. That will be the difference. FSU 28, MIAMI 24

PITT AT GEORGIA TECH

I called the ACC just to make sure they still wanted this game to be played. They said they do because it’s on the schedule and a few hundred fans might show up. Yuck. Just…yuck. Given the choice of watching this or driving a pumpkin back down the mountain, I’ll drive the pumpkin every time. PITT 9, GT 6

VANDERBILT AT SOUTH CAROLINA

Gloria travels to Columbia and the Williams-Brice Industrial Complex Outdoor Stadium and Fairgrounds to take on the Gamecocks and those loveable tailgaters, who score more in the parking lot than their team does in the stadium. Vanderbilt, part of that brutal SEC schedule that includes Kentucky and Missouri, and Tennessee, might give the old Gamecocks fits for a quarter or two. But this is a Vandy team that has two wins – over a Missouri team that beat South Carolina and NIU. They lose to UNLV by 24 AT HOME. The same UNLV team whose only other win is over Southern Utah. Brutal. Just….brutal. I’ll drive pumpkins any day. SOUTH CAROLINA 28, GLORIA 13

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