Tusk to Tail: Predictions on college football games, and another note on BYU

There’s not much to talk about during the bye week. Do you have any final comments on the BYU trip?

Jeff: As mentioned, the backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains was fantastic. And it’s great to see a different part of the country and stadium for the first time in a few years. I was surprised Hunter Yurachek scheduled a series with Utah after his predecessor had agreed to the ones with BYU and Colorado State. That said, I’m pretty sure all of us that visited Provo plan to return to Salt Lake City in four years, along with everyone who has heard us talk about how great it was. The only problem is that barring a quick addition, Rice-Eccles Stadium seats 51,444 (12,000 fewer than BYU’s Lavelle Edwards Stadium). If you’ve never been to a road game, you’re missing out.

Sam: All we all experienced went above anyone’s expectations of how pretty the BYU area, and most of all, how friendly their fans were. I have a question, though. Since most BYU students are required to complete a two-year mission commitment, does that apply to athletes? Are all students, including athletes, required to abide by Mormon faith? This could allow them much older athletes than most of the teams they play.

#24 Mississippi State @ #6 Alabama
Jeff: I’d like to believe the Pirate and his Bulldogs could drive across U.S. 82 into Tuscaloosa and hand the Tide another loss after what happened to them in Knoxville. Saban won’t let that happen though, and that’s why Bama is a 21-point favorite. Mississippi State is also dealing with a tragedy. Sam Westmoreland, a freshman O-lineman from Tupelo died this week. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and teammates. Alabama 38, Miss State 21

#20 Texas @ #11 Oklahoma State
Sam: With Texas just destroying OU two weeks ago, they seemed to be sleep walking at Iowa State last week. Oklahoma State seemed to forget to keep the offense rolling and let TCU rally for a 3-point win in double OT at Fort Worth. So, I believe both teams will have a very active week of practice this week. Since the game is in Stillwater, I think the Cowboys will sneak out a 27-23 win over Texas.

#9 UCLA @ #10 Oregon
Jeff: This is one of the key matchups this weekend with the Ducks favored by 6. Both schools are undefeated in conference play, and neither played last week. Both teams have outstanding QBs. Bruins coach Chip Kelly is 0-3 against his former school. Somehow someway the Bruins end that streak Saturday. UCLA 38, Oregon 35

#17 Kansas State @ #8 TCU
Sam: With TCU’s rally last week I think they have some positive momentum. Kansas State has had a good year, but I believe TCU is just a much better ball club at this point in the season. TCU will cover the spread of 3.5 and win 35-24 over K State.

#14 Syracuse @ #5 Clemson
Jeff: Both teams enter the game undefeated. Vegas has the Tigers as a 13.5-point favorite. There’s no question Clemson has played the tougher schedule thus far. Syracuse is brimming with confidence though, and can run and throw the ball. It should be a fun game. Syracuse 24, Clemson 32

#7 Ole Miss @ LSU
Sam: Ole Miss has a better record, but I question who the wins were against. LSU is beginning to look better than they did at the beginning of the year. If this was a night game, I think LSU would win. It’s a 2:30 p.m. start, so that goes back in favor of Ole Miss. Ole Miss has run the ball much more than passing it this year, as they are break in new QB Jaxson Dart. The Ole Miss defense has shown much improvement. Ole Miss pulls away in the 4th quarter for a 40 to 32 win.

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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