Tusk to Tail: Coach Bielema returns to schedule bashing. Bad news for the Hogs?
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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 The City Wire. Legal representation is iffy at best and professional psychological help is typically ignored, if not mocked.
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The Razorbacks are coming off two incredible road wins against tough SEC opponents. But when Coach Bielema isn’t hopping on his wife, he’s mouthing off about what he thinks is a weak schedule for other SEC teams. He should do more hopping and less talking.
• Mississippi State @ Arkansas
The Hogs are coming off back to back road wins over Ole Miss and LSU. If the Hogs can slow down Dak Prescott, look for the Hogs to get their seventh win of the season. It’s clear the Hogs have turned the corner, and with every win comes a better bowl and more exposure for recruiting. There is nothing better for your program than winning at a high level. Arkansas 24, MSU 17.
Looking at Miss State, I’m concerned about one thing: Dak Prescott. He’s a good quarterback who can move well on his feet This has to make Rob Smith nervous. We recently faced a similar QB in Ole Miss’s Chad Kelly, who had good success. The home team wins, but doesn’t pull away until the 4th quarter. Hogs 35-21.
I wish the Hogs were not favored, but they do need to learn how to play from that position. It’s hard to see the Miss State defense being able to hold back BA and Alex Collins, and I think the D can get enough stops to win this game. I’ll give it to the Hogs, 37-24.
I hope everyone braves the chilly weather to cheer on the Hogs. Meanwhile the Houser family will be sweating a little in Mickey Mouse world. As someone who is a bit superstitious, I hesitate to break tradition of the last two games and pick the Hogs. This semi-truck of a team looks to have picked up full speed! Superstition won’t have anything to do with our beloved piggies this Saturday. Hogs by 10.
The Hogs are on a great streak, but streaks like this are hard to keep up. Miss State will be a great challenge for the Hogs. They have maybe the best QB we will face this season. Both defenses will have their work cut out for them. Ours because of the their QB and good wide outs, and theirs, because they can’t seem to stop the run. I see a very close game, closer than most people would like. I think this one goes down to the wire, with the Hogs pulling out a 27-24 win late in the fourth quarter.
State is a tough team that has exceeded expectations this year. Prescott delivered this year with an offense that was expected to struggle due to players graduating. This should be a heck of a game. I’m picking Arkansas because they are at home.
I never thought we could top the best two back to back top 20 wins in Arkansas history last year over Ole Miss and LSU. Then we turn around and do it again this year, but this time on the road? What an amazing two weeks. State has beaten us the last two years after winning in Arkansas for the first time ever two years ago. It’s time for payback. It will be a great game between the league’s best two quarterbacks. The Hogs’ defense will have to take it up another notch because Dak Prescott is on another level, make that two levels, over LSU’s Brandon Harris. Hogs keep win streak rolling 34-24.
This is the prime spot for a letdown game. Everyone is confident and has high expectations for the Hogs. Coach Bielema declared the LSU win a “whooping,” and proposed that the SEC play against the Big 10, rather than FCS opponents like Alabama and South Carolina faces this week. The last time Bielema took a shot at someone’s schedule, we lost to Toledo, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M in consecutive weeks. Home field advantage should be enough to get the win, but I think it will be close. I’ll say 31-28 for the Good Guys.
• #22 USC @ #23 Oregon
This game has a lot riding on it. Each team is on a 4-game win streak and the winner is still in contention for the conference title. The issue is will USC’s offense do what they can do or will it fall short? Can Oregon’s defense overcome their injuries and keep the team in the game? I think this one is a shootout with USC prevailing 49-42.
• #20 Northwestern @ #21 Wisconsin
I’m so sick of the Big 10 I could puke. This game is a classic matchup of slow versus stupid, which the Big 10 media will proudly promote as a must-see defensive struggle. Check out the game and you will realize it is simply two incompetent offenses, both painful to watch. Wisky is the home team coming off a bye week so I look for them to win 21-15.
Wisconsin is playing at home and coming off a bye week. And frankly, they are looking a little stronger anyway. Wisconsin wins.
• #17 LSU @ #25 Ole Miss
Things sure have changed for the Tigers and Rebels over the last two weeks. Both teams are coming off disappointing loses to Arkansas and both are looking for a win in Oxford on Saturday night. The Tigers will lean on their physical defense and star running back Leonard Fournette. The Rebels come into the game with the best passing offense in the SEC. The Rebels are coming off a bye week, and still have an outside chance to win the SEC West. That should be enough motivation on Saturday. Rebels 24, LSU 17.
I think LSU is done. The Ole Miss offense is just as good as the Hogs, as we know. Rebels/Black Bears win 38-27.
• #11 TCU @ #7 Oklahoma
Jack Clark TCU and Oklahoma seem to heading in opposite directions at this point in the season. I can’t stand OU, but they are playing really well right now, and will be at home. I’ll take the Sooners in a rout.
TCU is banged up. After the Texas loss, Oklahoma got it together and has been dominant in almost every game. Their offense has produced less than 50 points only once since they played Texas. Look for the Sooners to win with their QB making a bid to be a Heisman finalist.
• #10 Baylor @ #4 Oklahoma State
The loss of Baylor’s starting QB is enough to make me pick Okie Light. Add the fact they almost lost their backup QB last week, and I’d put money on dem Cowboys!
This is back to back big games for Baylor. They lost the one last week to OU. OSU needs this one to stay undefeated and setup a showdown with OU for possibly the final spot in the College Football Playoff a week from Saturday. Go Pokes! 47-41.
• #9 Michigan State @ #2 Ohio State
My in-laws are big Buckeyes fans. I will be spending Thanksgiving with them, so the play here has to be Ohio State, even though my brother in law was pretty insufferable after they beat us in the Sugar Bowl. Ohio State 35, Michigan State 13.
I love Michigan State, but their QB is injured and Ohio State is playing well. Ohio State wins.
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