Tusk to Tail: That ringing in your ears will be from several thousand cowbells
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When your team isn’t going to a bowl game, one has time to wonder wildly about where angry playboy college coaches will land after being shown the door. Some in the Tusk to Tail crew think Petrino could be a coach for Saban or Belichick. Or a volleyball line judge. Or, who cares?
Bobby Petrino has been fired as head coach at Louisville. What do you think is next for Petrino?
Todd Rudisill: He’s finished as a D1 head coach. No school should hire him just based upon his bad character. Maybe he could be an assistant coach somewhere or find a DII head coaching job. But honestly what D1 head coach would put up with that hot head?
Mac Garland: He should take a year off and see a counselor to resolve his anger management issues. However, I doubt he has the self-awareness and/or humility to do that. More likely, he will go be the Offensive Coordinator for someone, but who? While his play calling abilities are appreciated, he isn’t well-liked among coaches. Petrino should be with someone he respects who can help him improve as a person. Don’t we all expect him to ultimately be Alabama’s OC? The “Evil Empire” with BMFP is like some storyline from professional wrestling. It wouldn’t be Saban’s first OC reclamation project (see Kiffen, Lane). If Josh Daniels takes an NFL HC job after this season, maybe Bill Belichick hires him for the Patriots.
Willard Grandview: I am and will always remain a charter member of the Bobby Petrino fan club. And while our ranks have thinned over the years, those sweet, sweet memories of 10- and 11-win Razorback football seasons will never fade away. That said, even I have to acknowledge Bobby’s head coaching career at major colleges is likely over. Sure, he can probably land a gig as a coordinator somewhere, but at this point in his life – with money no longer being an issue – I expect Bobby will occupy his time with things he knows and loves. So, look for him to resurface in a year or two as a collegiate volleyball line judge.
Arkansas @ #25 Mississippi State
Sean Casey: A 2-win Razorback team enters Starkvegas on Saturday as a 21-point underdog. Despite having some offensive success passing the ball and scoring points the past few games, the Hogs have not been able to get any quality wins. They’ll be facing a very tough Bulldog defense and quarterback Nick Fitzgerald who has had a lot of success against the Razorbacks in their previous two meetings. Arkansas continues to move the ball and score some points, but it won’t be enough to pull out a win. Fitzgerald will be electric in his final game in Davis Wade Stadium rushing for over 100 yards and passing for 400 yards. The Hogs fall 35-24.
Greg Houser: It’s not just the X’s and O’s it’s about the Jimmys and Joes. Morris continues to dominate the recruiting scene which will elevate the Hogs, but that won’t help him this weekend. Fitzgerald is definitely good enough and the lineman for State will get a steady dose of cowbell to run roughshod over our beloved piggies. State 35, Hogs 17.
Todd Rudisill: This one has blowout written all over it, especially since the Hogs play on the road. The Razorbacks made the score against LSU respectable late in the game, but the Tigers were not playing on all cylinders. I’m hoping we can see more Connor Noland this game when it gets out of hand, and it will. Nick Fitzgerald will have a Heisman-worthy day and run for 150-plus yards. All Bulldogs, 33-13.
Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt
Willard Grandview: Is there anything less intimidating than going on the road to play at Vanderbilt? I can’t even tell you the name of their stadium. But they sure looked like a solid football team when they came to Fayetteville and spanked our asses. Ole Miss may have five wins, but that team has been wretched all season. The Rebs lose to the Commodores, then get trucked in the Egg Bowl on a short week. The clock is ticking on Ole Miss coach Matt Luke.
#18 Iowa State @ #13 Texas
Mac Garland: Both teams are ranked for the first time since 2002, but none of us will be watching this Saturday night tilt since it’s exclusively on state run television in Austin. The Longhorns are favored by 3 points, which is the standard home spread. Iowa State turned things around after changing QBs to Brock Purdy, who loves a pump fake like no other. They also have a tall and fast receiver in Hakeem Butler, which one would expect to be a matchup problem for Texas. However, the Cyclones will be without RB David Montgomery for the first half of the game due to a penalty for fighting in their previous game. The Longhorns’ defense is somewhat beat up, and has taken a beating the past few games. Even though they’re at home, Tom Herman’s team will not leave victorious. Iowa St 49, Texas 46.
#19 Cincinnati @ #11 UCF
David Rice: Can someone please beat Central Florida so they stop yammering about winning 22 straight games, and a mythical national championship? The 9-1 Bearcats look to have as good a chance as anybody, but it won’t be easy in Orlando. Take the 7.5 points, but expect another win by the Knights.
#7 West Virginia @ Oklahoma State
Sean Casey: If you like offense, if you like teams that pass the ball, if you like college coaches with a luxuriant and shimmering mane of hair, this is your game. Both quarterbacks are fun to watch. Taylor Cornelius at OSU was a 2-point conversion from upsetting the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman last weekend and West Virginia’s Will Grier is having a great season passing the ball. Expect a high scoring game with over 1,000 yards of offense between the two teams. This will be a game of spectacular plays and multiple ups and downs. In the end, West Virginia pulls out the win, setting up a classic matchup with the Sooners. The Mountaineers win a close one, 49-44.
#12 Syracuse vs. #3 Notre Dame
Greg Houser: The Orange could be the last team to give the Irish fits before the playoff. Their next opponent, USC, has dropped off a bit. I suspect the Irish are focused on Syracuse and not looking past them. Coach Brian Kelly has his team prepared and will play sound mistake-free football to secure a close win. Irish by 7.
Editor’s note: Welcome to the seventh 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. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by the River Valley Smile Center … because it’s another dang rebuilding year and you’re gonna need a good smile to get through the season. The diehards may also be followed on their Facebook page. Or follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram, all @TuskToTail.