Tusk to Tail: Arkansas trumps Kansas State, and Saban gets another national championship
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Editor’s note: Welcome to the fourth season of Tusk to Tail – the sport of tailgating as organized, performed and perfected by a group of Hog fans who have been tailgating together sober and otherwise for more than a decade. Members of the Tusk to Tail Team are Sean Casey, Jack Clark, Dale Cullins, Greg Houser, Craig May, David Rice and Mark Wagner. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics. Legal representation is iffy at best and professional psychological help is typically ignored, if not mocked.
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Predicting a win for Boomer Sooners is hard for one Tusk to Tail member to swallow: “Their tee-shirt fans make Bama fans and the corndogs seem Mensa members by comparison. Typing this prediction is a nauseating experience because the Sooners will crush Clemson, and it won’t be close.”
THE BOWL GAMES
• Liberty Bowl: Kansas State vs. Arkansas
Arkansas comes into the Liberty Bowl a 13.5 point favorite over Kansas State and looks to end the season on a high note. Kansas State had to win the last 3 games of the season to qualify for a bowl, but only managed to finish 3-6 in Big 12 play. This matchup favors the Hogs. The Wildcats have struggled on offense all season and have been outgained by 9 of their last 10 opponents. Look for Arkansas to pull away in this one. Hogs 38, Wildcats 17.
The Liberty Bowl against K-State is a trap game for the Hogs. That said, I believe the Hogs will stay focused and physically dominate the Wildcats. Hogs win 35-21.
The K-State offense plays into the Hog D’s hands, so I’m thinking the Hogs take advantage by controlling the ball and finishing the drives on offense. I see the Hogs cruising in the 2nd half after a tight first half, with Coach taking the foot off the gas against one of his mentors. Hogs win 31-14.
• Music City Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Louisville
With all the turmoil that has been going on in Aggieland, this game sets up nicely for Bobby Petrino and the Cardinals. Louisville wins, although I expect it to be a close one.
• Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss
Okie Light doesn’t play well against good defenses, but Ole Miss doesn’t have one. Ole Miss can score on anyone, so this looks to be a shootout. Ole Miss will get a few stops on D and win this one in the 4th quarter. Rebels 43, Okie Light 35
• Orange Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal: No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Clemson
Only those who grew up on the border with that idiocracy called Oklahoma can understand how much I despise the Sooners. Their tee-shirt fans make Bama fans and the corndogs seem Mensa members by comparison. Typing this prediction is a nauseating experience because the Sooners will crush Clemson, and it won’t be close. Clemson fans will have Boomer Sooner memorized by the 3rd quarter, and only find peace when the game ends. Sooners win 56-24. Dance on that Dabo.
Oklahoma has a lot to prove after last season’s bowl game and was playing better than anyone at the end of the season. Clemson has not played anyone as talented as OU this season on either side of the ball. Clemson’s D will keep it closer than it should be, but OU wins 34-24.
• Cotton Bowl College Football Playoff Semifinal: No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Alabama
I am always an SEC homer. Saban will have his team ready. Sparty has been fun to watch, and I don’t have anything against them, but their QB doesn’t impress me any more than Bama’s Coker. So if that’s equal, I’ll take Bama’s D-line and their skill guys.
• College Football Playoff National Championship
Oklahoma vs. Alabama will be a great way to close out the 2015 college football season. The Sooners’ Baker Mayfield leads an explosive offense against the buzzsaw known as the Crimson Tide defense. Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry is too much for Oklahoma to handle as the Tide cruise to another championship.
Who starts at quarterback for Arkansas in their 2016 season opener?
It’s hard to see anyone beating out Austin Allen for the starting job. He has the age, experience and reps to beat out the other contenders. In his days at Fayetteville High, he would go on to replace a lot of his brother’s records, so I hope that trend continues.
The starter will be Austin Allen, who will then lose the job after the third game to either Ricky Town or Ty Storey.
I’m really intrigued to see how the USC kid (Town) or Storey can do. Of course if Enos can develop a quarterback like he did BA, I’m probably going to be comfortable with any QB.
When Jeb and Hillary both announced they would run for president, we were reminded that if either was elected for two terms, there would be a Bush or Clinton in the White House for 28 of the 36 years between 1989 and 2025. It almost feels that way at quarterback for Arkansas, but with Dicks or Allens instead. It sounds like Rafe Peavey may be glad just to be part of the team, and Ty Storey may take some more time getting used to SEC speed after playing for tiny Charleston High School. Ricky Town is highly rated, but it’s hard to trust a guy who quit in the middle of two-a-days at USC. I think Austin Allen gets the nod to start the season. Whether he can hold onto the job remains to be seen.