Tusk to Tail: Get ready to be introduced to a lot of Razorback second and third stringers

LSU is parting ways with Head Coach Ed Orgeron less than two years after winning a championship. Who will they hire to replace him?

Forrest: Dust off the plane tracking app, because it’s that time of year again! LSU AD Scott Woodward is known for going after the big name hire. His last head coaching hire was Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M. According to sources, the top names for LSU are Chris Peterson, Mel Tucker, James Franklin, and Mario Cristobal. I have reached out to other sources and none have them have been able to see what color tie Gruden is wearing at this time. I could see Mel Tucker or James Franklin getting the nod. Both are excellent recruiters with SEC experience. I’m just glad to be on the outside for once.

Todd: Evidently two years since a national title is not enough in Baton Rouge to keep Coach O. I look forward to some more up and down years as LSU continues to think they will find another Saban. Well, they had Saban and lost him to Bama. Maybe Joey Freshwater will jump ship again.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff @ Arkansas
Todd: Just over 40,000 tickets have been sold for this one. I thought fans were excited about playing in-state teams instead of directional schools from other states? Coach Sam Pittman told the brutal truth this week when he said playing home games off-campus in Little Rock and Dallas is bad for recruiting. The Golden Lions come in 1-5 and the Hogs are on a three-game slide and beat up after some very tough SEC games. An open date looms ahead next week to help with getting well. Let’s be honest, it’s two weeks off. The Arkansas offense is rolling even in the losses, racking up over 1,200 yards the last two weeks. Ideally you hope to be up big at halftime to let Malik Hornby and a lot of backups get some valuable playing time. There will be nothing golden about this game for the Lions. All Hogs, 55-10.

David: The last time the Razorbacks played in The Rock, it was raining, Barry Lunney Jr. was coach, and Jack Lindsey was the starting quarterback. And you wonder why we drink before games. I’m sure UAPB is motivated to show they can hang with their SEC neighbor, but it doesn’t seem like anyone else is really looking forward to this game. It has all the makings of a classic upset, except for one tiny detail. UAPB is not very good at football. Hogs by 90.

#24 Texas-San Antonio @ Louisiana Tech
Forrest: Under the leadership of former Arkansas running backs coach Jeff Traylor and former Arkansas quarterback Barry Lunney Jr. running the offense, the UTSA Roadrunners are off to the hottest start in school history and have managed to crack the top 25. Maybe Julie Cromer Peoples and the board of misfits should have hired him instead of the previous Head Hog. They face a struggling Louisiana Tech club Saturday night in Ruston and should be on their way to 8-0 when the dust has settled. Put some respect on the Roadrunners and take them to cover the -6.5. MEEP MEEP!

Clemson @ #23 Pittsburgh
David: It looks weird not seeing a number in front of Clemson’s name. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has struggled to run the Tigers offense, completing just 55.7% of his passes for 974 yards with 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. By contrast, Pitt QB Kenny Pickett has connected on 69.8% of his passes for 1,934 yards, 21 TDs, and only 1 INT. The Panthers are favored by 3 at home, but Pickett has played some of his worst games against the Tigers. Give me Clemson to win outright, 27-20.

LSU @ #12 Ole Miss
Forrest: I honestly have no idea where this game could go. I would stay away from any “entertainment only” gambling on this one. With LSU football spiraling downward and head coach Ed Orgeron on his way out on one side, you have Lane Kiffin and Heisman hopeful Matt Coral on the other side. It should be noted that Eddie O has a 12-4 record in two stints as an interim coach so maybe he can conjure up some more Cajun voodoo and get a big one on the road in his farewell tour. If I had to pick, give me Ole Miss especially if they wear their sissy blue uniforms.

Todd: LSU upsets the Gators and then announces their coach won’t return after this season? Crazy Cajuns. The Tigers will either play for their sitting duck or let go of the rope moving forward. LSU gave up close to 500 total yards against Florida, but had some huge takeaways to save them. Ole Miss is banged up but the offense is still hitting on all cylinders behind Matt Corral. After a nail biter against the Hogs and dodging golf balls against the Vols, the Black Bears should get a little breathing room in this one. I’ll take Ole Miss, 41-31.

#10 Oregon @ UCLA
David: This game has some intriguing storylines, but given the current state of Pac 12 football, few will care. The conference is on track to be entirely eliminated from playoff contention before the committee meets for the first time. The Ducks are the sole ranked team, and find themselves a 2-point underdog against former coach Chip Kelley’s Bruins. I like Oregon as the underdog. The game should be close, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Ducks leave Rose Bowl stadium victorious, 30-28.

Tennessee @ #4 Alabama
David: Tennessee has to love the direction of their program under coach Josh Heupel. Quarterback Hendon Hooker had the Vols offense humming until he was injured at the end of the Ole Miss game. Hooker’s injury takes away almost any chance of an upset. Another year, another Alabama rout, 41-15.

Editor’s note: Now in its 10th 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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