Tusk to Tail: A collection of predictions with ‘blasts,’ ‘piledriving,’ and Carole Baskin
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What do you expect from the Razorbacks basketball team this year, including the post-season?
Forrest Acuff: I expect big things from this year’s squad. The team is loaded with freshman talent and Muss got some gems on the transfer market with solid talent and veteran leadership. Could this be the year the team cracks the sweet 16 barrier that’s haunted us for so long? Barring another COVID-cancelled March Madness, I say yes. Make no doubt about it, I will enjoy the hell out of this season and seeing what heights Coach Muss takes this team to regardless of whether it’s completed.
David Rice: I really love the hires Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek has made so far. Football coach Sam Pittman and basketball coach Eric Musselman have brought Hog fans back together and are building winning programs. More than that, they are both just plain likable. While Muss has assembled a talented team, I suspect they will experience a few growing pains along the way. I expect about 18 wins in the 25-game regular season, followed by a couple of wins in the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas @ Missouri
Sean Casey: Arkansas blasts Mizzou in an unexpected rout winning 48 -17. The win is capitalized with former Missouri coach Barry Odom, now the Defensive Coordinator for Arkansas piledriving Eli Drinkwitz at midfield.
Forrest Acuff: Nothing gets me excited for a game like a forced, sponsored rivalry from an insurance company. This game was actually my first trip with the fine men of Tusk to Tail, so in all actuality it will always hold a special place in my heart. With Drink’s ties to Arkansas and Odom’s ties to Mizzou, those things alone could definitely spice it up a bit. Mizzou has struggled mightily with experienced quarterbacks so far this season, and Frank’s brings plenty of that to the table. In what should be a slobberknocker, give me the Hogs to win outright.
Liberty @ #20 Coastal Carolina (now changed to #13 BYU @ #20 Coastal Carolina)
David Rice: Between the time predictions were made and when they were posted, Liberty was forced to cancel this game due to COVID-19 restrictions. Luckily for the Chanticleers, Brigham Young University was going door to door in Coastal Carolina’s neighborhood, and agreed to play them Saturday. Switching from playing Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University to BYU is quite the religious conversion, but it won’t make a difference. Coastal Carolina will prevail.
Forrest Acuff: What a storybook season these programs have had. Liberty has the Hugh Freeze redemption story, and Costal Carolina’s rise to the top 25 is just the best. College Gameday making the trek to Coastal Carolina has brought a lot of attention what is normally an afterthought of a game. Murmurs of COVID issues affecting Liberty, most notably their star quarterback, has caused the line to sway to Costal Carolina. The Chanticleers have been the giant killers all season and I don’t see it stopping Saturday. Even if they have to play BYU.
#12 Indiana @ #16 Wisconsin
Sean Casey: Indiana rolls into Madison and rolls the Badgers 31-18.
David Rice: Not so fast, my friend! The Hoosiers’ star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was injured and is now out for the season. Wisconsin pulls away late to win 35-17.
#5 Texas A&M @ #22 Auburn
Forrest Acuff: Could this be the week that Auburn Jesus makes his return? They sure took it off last week again Alabama, but nothing could have saved the Tigers against the Tide. Talks of A&M making the playoff if Ohio State is unable to complete their season has added some new pressure to this game for the Aggies. I like A&M to win outright but I think they squeak by in a close, close game.
David Rice: Texas A&M wins in the trenches. The linemen keep QB Kellen Mond upright, and pave wide lanes for running back Isaiah Spiller. Auburn won’t be able to stop them, and should lose by 10 or more.
#3 Clemson @ Virginia Tech
Sean Casey: Trevor Lawrence has 4 touchdown passes in the first half. Clemson wins 56-13.
David Rice: Someone went and made Clemson coach Dabo Sweeney angry. You’re not going to like him when he’s angry. The Tigers chew up the Hokies like they were Carole Baskin’s husband.
#1 Alabama @ LSU
Sean Casey: Bama has looked forward to this game for over a year, and revenge will be sweet for the Gumps. Bama rolls in Death Valley beating the corndogs 51-10.
Editor’s note: Now in its ninth year, Tusk to Tail is 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. The primary focus of Tusk to Tail will be to follow the Hogs through the fans’ perspective with their insightful, irreverent, smart-alecky and sometimes practical style. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.