(photo by Mark Wagner)

Tusk to Tail: A note on home runs, cheaters and there is also a Razorback game

It’s that time of year again. Who do you think will win the World Series?

Brad: Dodgers vs Astros. Astros win it in six with Pitching, Pitching, Pitching. Bonds Hit 73, Judge still has a few more to go. PEDs? It was part of the game. And while I’m at it, Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.

David: Speaking of Pete Rose, October is the perfect time to get acquainted with America’s favorite pastime, sports gambling. The big four major league sports are all in action this month. In MLB, the Dodgers are practically automatic. They have to win it all this year. I was hoping the Mariners could upset Brad’s cheating Astros, but Game 1 might have put an end to that. If the Yankees get in, I think they should show random college football highlights alongside every at bat to make up for the Aaron Judge coverage that was unwillingly forced upon us.

Arkansas @ BYU
Todd:  Last weekend the Hogs didn’t execute and had turnovers that killed them. When you turn the ball over that many times on the road, it turns into a 23-point loss. KJ is back this week, but the Hogs are reeling after three straight losses. Provo, Utah, is not the place you want to go to end that streak. It’s a tough place to play, with an elevation of 4,500 feet. Notre Dame gutted the Cougars defense for 200-plus yards in on the ground last week in the Irish win at South Bend. Look for the Hogs to do the same, and hope KJ can find that great accuracy he had last season. Own the line of scrimmage, control the clock, and keep your defense off the field. This is a pivotal game and the Hogs just can’t lose four in a row. The ‘Backs end the losing streak, 28-24.

Logan: This is a tough physical game. Their defense is noticeably better than ours, so it all depends on our QB play and which QB is playing. Their QB is solid and makes minimal mistakes. Hopefully the Hogs will be motivated after the past three weeks. Unfortunately, we have a lot of other variables coming into the game as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if my score prediction was flipped. Arkansas 27, BYU 24

Brad: Here we are again, on a 3-game skid with the defense in a dire situation. BYU is coming off a loss to the Irish, and BYU and Arkansas have dropped out of the Top 25. This is going to be a battle of who wants to save their season more. BYU has a dual threat QB that can sling it. The Hogs will need a big game from the D. The offense should be fine with KJ back, although I was impressed with Hornsby last week. He just needs more snaps. BYU defense is quick, not big, so I expect to see the Hogs play some bully ball in a score fest on both sides. Hogs win 38 – 31.

#10 Penn State @ #5 Michigan
Logan: Penn State has not been tested against the likes of Purdue, Ohio, Auburn, Central Michigan, and Northwestern. Michigan beat Colorado State, Hawaii, UConn, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana all by a much larger margin and more efficiency. Michigan is on a war path to the CFB playoffs, and this game is in Ann Arbor. Penn State 20, Michigan 27

#8 Oklahoma State @ #13 TCU
Brad: This game will feature two of the top five scoring offenses in the nation, TCU at #3 with 46.4 points per game, and Oklahoma State ranked #4 with 45.2 points per game. Defense, who cares? It’s the Big 12! TCU is favored by 3.5, only because they are playing at home. I will take the Cowboys to win outright 37-31.

#3 Alabama @ #6 Tennessee
Logan: The only thing that explains the ridiculous -7.5 Vegas line for Alabama at Tennessee is there are side bets for over/under 3.5 bailouts by the zebras for Alabama. However, Tennessee is scary and Hooker is the real deal. Let’s see if they can put Alabama away and claim the unofficial SEC title. Alabama 20, Tennessee 24

Todd: This has become the game of the century in this matchup between these two, only because Tennessee actually has a shot in this one. Bama still has a 15-game win streak against the Vols. (Sound familiar Hog fans?), and this should be one helluva game. I’m thinking the Vols get up early and Orange Nation is full tilt ordering SEC championship rings and reserving rooms in California for the national title game. But if Bryce Young is back, then Bama is going to Bama and Saban is going to Saban and the Tide will win it late in the 4th. Make it 16 in a row for the Tide, 38-31. Without him? Trash this, and take the Vols.

#16 Mississippi State @ #22 Kentucky
David: The Bulldogs are executing Coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense to perfection, steamrolling the Razorbacks 40-17 in the process. Kentucky is reeling from two straight losses to Ole Miss and South Carolina. Wildcats QB Will Levis missed the game against the Gamecocks, but is expected to play against Mississippi State. Levis makes the difference for Kentucky to score the home upset 27-24.

#7 USC @ #20 Utah
Logan: Utah has played well this season, but they have heartbreaking losses to Florida and UCLA. USC is on a different level, but this will be their first challenge. California comes to Utah for a showdown that will be fun to watch while in Salt Lake City (game begins at 7 p.m. after the Hog game). Utah will be very motivated to win at home. USC 31, Utah 35

David: If Tusk to Tail is able to pull this off, we will also tailgate for this game following the Arkansas game at BYU. Kneel before your tailgating kings! USC 36, Utah 30

Editor’s note: Now in its 11th 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.

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