Tusk to Tail: Keep calm and tailgate on
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At the onset of the Second World War, the British government distributed red and white posters intended to raise morale in light of potential foreign invasion. The message was simple, effective, and overwhelmingly British: “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Almost 75 years later, the posters have become popular once again, inspiring nostalgic reproductions and humorous parodies.
At the same time, Razorback Nation has suffered its own loss of morale following the embarrassing loss to Louisiana-Monroe the week before top-ranked Alabama invades our state.
Athletic Director Jeff Long has called for a “red out,” where fans are asked to wear red to show their support for the players as they go to battle.
Tusk to Tail has never stopped supporting the players, and most of us would have worn red to the game anyway. It seems unlikely that we will be able to sneak up on the Crimson Tide, even after falling out of the Top 25. Alabama coach Nick Saban lies in wait for the teams that lie in wait.
But we are going to be there, rain or shine, and we are throwing our biggest party beforehand. Tusk to Tail feels that in times like these, it is best to keep calm, and tailgate on.
Now for our weekly predictions.
• Sean Casey
Final Score: Bama 53, Arkansas 10
Razorbacks impact player: Jason Peacock, the only guy on the O-line that wants to hit someone.
Revised season record: 5-7. Hogs are headed into a nosedive.Predict the next coach of the Razorbacks: Rumor now is Charlie Strong. Anything is a guess now. It won't be Bobby Petrino.
Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: Tenner. East is still soft.
Bonus prediction: After a crushing defeat, The Godfather goes West Virginia on us and starts burning couches and looting up and down Victory Village.
• Jack Clark
Final Score: Hogs 24, Tide 21.
Razorbacks impact player: Zach Hocker, who kicks a record-breaking 8 field goals. Revised season record: 10-2. Now that I’ve seen Auburn play, I’m not sure they can beat us. We lose to Texas A & M on the road.
Predict the next coach of the Razorbacks: John L. Smith stays.
Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: Florida. Tennessee is still overrated. I watched them play N.C. State, and I’ve seen flag football games more physical than the N.C. State defense. Florida still gets the players each year.
Bonus predictions: 1) I will be 4 minutes late on Saturday morning, just so I can keep Craig edgy. 2) I will have made significant progress in my LSU game preparations.
• Dale Cullins
Final Score: 48 – 10 Bama. Saban will not run up the score. He’s too classy for that.
Razorbacks impact player: No idea. Maybe our punter, Breeding?
Revised season record: Assuming Tyler Wilson returns, 6-6 is not out of the question. Defense is looking so poor that without Wilson, it could be worse.
Predict the next coach: I would like to see the TCU coach. I like his offense and he cares about defense Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: I think I'll pick Tenner. They have played well so far this year, though Florida should really test them. Tennessee 24, Florida 21.
• Greg Houser
Final Score: 24-21, Arkansas, if Wilson plays.
Razorbacks impact players: The offensive line. If I'm right, they should feel like someone just punched their mother in the face. They will dominate the line of scrimmage out of sheer will. If they don't, regardless of the game, the season will be close to over before it has begun.
Revised season record: I am chalking myself up to be a homer this year. I say 10-2 instead of 11-1. Anything less and I will focus on tailgating, who our next coach will be, and which assistants will we want to stay!
Predict the next coach: I've been hearing Charlie Strong. If we can get a great offensive coordinator, I'd be ok with that hire!
Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: Florida all the way. Raised in Jacksonville Fla. I still have a soft spot for the Gators!
Bonus Predictions: Jack and the rest of the TTT crew will scheme up new ideas (for the end of the year) to make LSU feel as welcome as the rest of the SEC feels at Baton Rouge.
• Craig May
Final Score: Bama 44, Arkansas 21
Razorbacks impact player: Dylan Breeding. Six punts with a 45 yard average vs. Bama.
Revised season record: I’m going to revise my season record from 10-2 to 7-5 with losses to Bama, LSU, USC and Auburn.
Predict the next coach: I would like the next coach to be Gary Patterson or Mark Dantonio, but we’ll probably end up with a coach like Charlie Strong or Butch Jones.
Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: Tennessee 24, Florida 17
• David Rice
Final Score: It feels like Bama could name their score this week, but I may as well stick with the upset. Being right would be so fun. 28-24, Arkansas.
Razorbacks impact player: Bobby Petrino’s penis. No member of the SEC coaching fraternity has ever swung the results of a season so hard.
Revised season record: 7-5. Based on how we have played thus far, we should lose to Alabama, Texas A & M, South Carolina, Mississippi State, and LSU. I’ll hedge my bet and say we win at least one of those on Tyler Wilson’s sheer will.
Predict the next coach: Strictly guessing, but TCU’s Gary Patterson would probably be a good fit. His defensive coordinator is a Razorback.
Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: We know Florida’s offense is not great, but the Tennessee players who came to Fayetteville last year did not look like they belonged in the SEC. I’ll say Florida by 4.
Bonus prediction: Taking a page from the Houston Nutt Book of Motivation, Arkansas breaks out the white helmet this week. I would predict the debut of the new dark jersey as well, if not for the Redout.
• Mark Wagner
Final Score: Bama 52 Arkansas 6
Razorbacks impact players: Hocker will be the only one to score. Also the defense will have an impact, because these guys couldn't stop a Pop Warner team.
Revised season record: 5 – 7. I was 9-3 but now don't see us winning an SEC game other than Ole Miss.
Predict the next coach: Charlie Strong will be the next coach because he'll take the job and because we will pay too much money for him. Who I'd like to see is anyone other than the Barnum & Bailey circus we have up there now.
Predict the winner of Florida at Tennessee: Florida. Dooley will not have a job much longer.
Bonus predictions: I predict there will be a loud cheer if we are able to force Alabama to punt. I also predict that the liquor sales in the Northwest Arkansas market are going to spike on Saturday.
• The man Mulcahey (Note: Mulcahey is the consigliere to Tusk to Tail’s Godfather of Tailgating. Wishing to remain anonymous, yet snarky, he weighs in on some of our weekly picks.)
Key takeaway: We have a great punter!
Predictions: Tailgate will have young (but legal) co-eds asking for beer. Unfortunately for the old tailgaters, we are invisible to the young ladies. On the other hand, maybe the curmudgeons should be thankful the women don't notice how repulsive we truly are.
I will go with Clubber Lang's fight prediction for the game: “Pain!”
Grant you not the exact same, but it is worth noting that the New Orleans Saints and the Hogs both lost strong coaches in a chaotic manner last spring and both have grossly underperformed. Even the great Drew Brees threw for under 50%.
We were lucky Tyler Wilson stayed healthy last year. We will continue to have quarterback injuries until we protect better.
Can the season get worse? Sure! I figure the next four games could determine if our whole season is awful or just the beginning. If our coaches and players don't pull together, this entire 2012 football season could be a disaster. I also expect the next few games will determine if coaching changes will be made before the season ends.
Nick Saban will get more ink and air time this week than all of the other SEC coaches combined.