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Tusk to Tail: They say it’s the Hogs year to send Auburn packing

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin has come under fire in just his second season on The Plains.  Who do you think will be coaching at Auburn next year?

Sean: Looking at it from a coach’s perspective, what is a coach getting into by going to Auburn? You’re the second team in the state, at best. Auburn has notoriously undercut their coaches since Tuberville and their rogue alumni call all the shots. I guarantee that Aubie has already talked to coaches, maybe even someone in Fayetteville (just guessing). You can write off coaches like Dave Aranda at Baylor or Mark Stoops at Kentucky. Why would they leave for that clown show? Kyle Whittingham is Utah through and through. I believe they will throw tons of cash at someone like Luke Fickell with Cincinnati or retread Dan Mullen.

David: Harsin is still the head coach until someone tells him otherwise, but nearly everyone seems to believe he’s a dead man walking. I agree with Sean that Auburn boosters have already begun vetting candidates. Some intriguing names to consider include Matt Rhule returning to the college ranks, and even Hugh Freeze returning to the SEC, particularly if Liberty upsets Arkansas next week. The obvious home run hire would be Deion Sanders. Auburn has always recruited well, but Coach Prime Time would take it to another level, likely attracting blue chip prospects away from Saban down in Tuscaloosa. If none of those work out, I hear Gus Malzahn is doing pretty well at UCF. Maybe they could work something out.

Arkansas @ Auburn
Todd: It’s been six years since Arkansas beat Auburn in 4 overtimes in Fayetteville. In 2020, the Hogs got robbed on what was clearly a fumble by Bo Nix that was ruled intentional grounding. Then last season, the favored Hogs came out and flat and let a mediocre Tiger football team walk off the Hill with a win. Now the Hogs play an Auburn football program in shambles, and face an Auburn coach who will be gone any day. If the Hogs can’t get a win this year, when will they? The Tigers have the worst rush defense in the SEC giving up 740 yards on the ground in just the last two games. So Razorbacks, RUN THE DAMN BALL. We have seen Fred Talley and Darren McFadden run wild on the plains of Auburn for big wins. It’s your turn, Rocket Sanders and company. The defense has gotten some players back, including Myles Slusher. They had a pretty good second half against BYU, thanks to Hudson Clark. Hogs run all day, 38-28.

Mark: The Hogs get some people back and Auburn will continue to struggle on offense. The Hogs will win this one in a close contest, 24-21.

Sean: Take Arkansas baby. The Hogs have lost six in a row to Aubie and it’s hard to win on the road. But take the Hogs. Arkansas will be physical on both sides of the ball, balanced on offense, and they will control the Aubie run game. That’s a recipe for a Razorback win, 45-27.

#2 Ohio State @ #13 Penn State
Mark: Don’t let Penn State’s win over Minnesota last week fool you. Minnesota was without its starting QB, while CJ Stroud for Ohio State is in the Heisman race. Even though Penn State is at home, I’m picking Ohio State all the way, 35-14.

Florida vs. #1 Georgia
Sean: Georgia is too much for the Gators. Their starters are coming out in the third quarter.  UGA wins going away, 52-24.

#19 Kentucky @ #3 Tennessee
Todd: Will Tennessee overlook Kentucky for their upcoming showdown with #1 Georgia? They better not be. The Wildcats are dangerous and Will Levis can eat up that weak Vol secondary in big chunks at a time. But Tennessee has Hendon Hooker and a powerful offense to answer. They answer just enough in the 4th to keep the highly anticipated showdown intact. Vols win 31-24.

Mark: The track meet that is the Tennessee offense take on a team that should definitely win the time of possession, but not the game itself. Despite being ranked 122nd in time of possession, the Vols are averaging a touch over 50 points per game. I don’t believe Kentucky can keep up. Plus, Tennessee is playing at home in Neyland, assuming they got their goal posts back up. Tennessee 45, Kentucky 28

#22 Kansas State @ #9 Oklahoma State
Sean: Okie Light in the Little Apple will be a fun game to watch. I expect to see a high scoring game (even with K-State’s QB banged up) but somehow the home team pulls off the upset of the higher ranked team. Kansas State 55-49

David: Oklahoma State was originally favored in this game, but K-State’s homefield advantage and gritty style of play is expected to slow down the Pokes. This game is probably coming down to a field goal either way. I lean toward Oklahoma State plus the points.

#18 Ole Miss @ Texas A&M
Todd: This is the battle of this year’s most overrated football teams. Ole Miss got exposed last week against LSU. They were ranked #7, having played a weak schedule. They beat Kentucky without their QB Levis, and then went to Baton Rouge and got smoked by the Tigers. On the other side, A&M has imploded under the overpaid Jimbo Fisher and his $85 million buyout. They also suspended three freshman players this week for the rest of the season. Standby for a wide open transfer portal in College Station at the end of the year. This one will be ugly. A&M defense steps up to win it at home, 24-21.

Mark: With injuries to the starting offensive line and suspension of three of their top freshmen, people are wondering how it can get worse for Texas A&M. Well, it will this weekend. Ole Miss will rebound from their loss to LSU and win this game at College Station, while the Aggies head toward their worst season in years. Ole Miss 35, Texas A&M 17

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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