Tusk to Tail: Yea though they cheer in the valley of the shadow of death, they fear no Fournette
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Editor’s note: Welcome to the fourth 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. Members of the Tusk to Tail Team are Sean Casey, Jack Clark, Dale Cullins, Greg Houser, Craig May, David Rice and Mark Wagner. Tusk to Tail is managed by Talk Business & Politics. Legal representation is iffy at best and professional psychological help is typically ignored, if not mocked.
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What a difference a week makes. Few expected the Hogs to pull a big W out of Oxford, but with that in their pocket, the Tusk to Tail crew thinks a W is possible in Death Valley against the mad hatter and his Cajun crazies. Sometimes it’s difficult to know if the Tusk to Tail mixed drink is half full or half empty.
Who do you think will win the Heisman Trophy this season?
Despite a poor performance at Alabama, LSU’s Leonard Fournette is in the best position to win the Heisman. Fournette’s rushing average of 172.9 yards per game is simply amazing, and I expect he’ll bounce back against Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. There is no one in the country who stands out at his position like Fournette. Hopefully the voters will focus on the player and not the team when voting.
I really don’t have a good feel for who might win at this point. Fournette still has a good chance, but with the way Clemson is playing, Deshaun Watson might be my front runner. Corey Coleman at Baylor is great, as well. If I had to pick today, I’d go with Watson. I think the way Baylor plays, Coleman could be replaced for the most part, but not Watson.
The Heisman front runner should do well enough the rest of the season to win it. Derrick Henry of Alabama (said in my best Keith Jackson voice) has the numbers against great opponents while others have not.
Lenny Fournette is still my pick for the Heisman Trophy. LSU as a team got exposed by Alabama last week, but there’s no question their tailback is the real deal. With the run defenses of Arkansas, Ole Miss and A&M left on LSU’s schedule, Fournette could add another 600 yards to his rushing total.
• Arkansas @ #9 LSU
Classic opportunity for an Arkansas homer pick here, but I think it can be justified. With touchdowns on 14 of their last 20 drives, the Razorback offense is playing at its highest level since the Petrino years. Brandon Allen has been dynamic over his last nine quarters, completing 72% of his passes for 10 touchdowns and no picks. And for whatever reason, we just seem to match-up well with the Tigers. The Hogs mostly outplayed LSU for 58 minutes in 2013, and flat out dominated them last year. Will we again hold Leonard Fournette to 9 yards on 5 carries? No chance. But we’re equipped to win a shootout. Arkansas 38, LSU 34.
The Hogs have taken three games to overtime so far. I see a similar type game against LSU. I’ll take the Hogs in this one, 42-40, in 3 OT’s.
I really like the match up for the Hogs on Saturday at LSU. This is always a physical game that goes down to the wire. It’s going to be interesting to see how LSU bounces back after a tough loss to Alabama last Saturday. The Tigers couldn’t stop the power running game of Alabama with Derrick Henry, so how will they do against Arkansas and Alex Collins? Arkansas 42, LSU 35.
Everything that had to go right for Arkansas to get the road win did last week at Ole Miss. I just don’t see lightning striking twice. LSU 27, Arkansas 20.
After last week anything is possible. I had picked this game to be a loss at the beginning of the season, but with the offense we’ve had the previous three weeks, I believe we can keep up with anyone. If the defense shows up, then we win this one in regulation 35-32.
John E. Dap
Arkansas does not have Alabama’s front 7 and used all of its luck last weekend. Saturday night at Death Valley is too much to overcome. LSU wins.
• Georgia @ Auburn
Georgia still has questions while Auburn’s questions have had time to settle. I’ll take the home team by a TD.
Georgia has not been themselves since Nick Chubb went down. Auburn seems to be clicking again on offense. Tigers 31-20.
• #25 Memphis @ #16 Houston
Navy dashed any hope Memphis had of making the college football playoff, upsetting the Tigers 45-20 and ending their 15-game win streak in front of their home fans. Memphis now takes on an undefeated Houston team looking to take a step closer to the AAC Western Division Title. Houston has been having issues with their offensive line, and the defense will need to play better if they expect to beat Memphis on Saturday. For Memphis, how will they handle the adversity after being dominated on both sides of the ball by Navy? Houston 45, Memphis 38.
John E. Dap
This game might actually be worth watching. Although Memphis had a rough loss last week, they are a quality team like Houston. I look for Memphis and Lynch to bounce back and break Houston’s win streak against the Tigers, as well as crush any hopes of an undefeated season.
• Oregon @ #7 Stanford
Truth be told, I’m not watching this game and neither are you. Oregon has Nike, great looking cheerleaders, and electric uniforms but they still suck without Chip Kelly. Stanford will ground and pound the Ducks Saturday, winning 32-20.
Stanford is still in the hunt for the playoff. The Cardinal win, 34-20.
• #12 Oklahoma @ #4 Baylor
Baylor has had the upper hand, but Oklahoma has bounced back since the debacle at Texas. Even though the Bears have the game at home, I just don’t think their freshman QB is prepared for a team the caliber of OU. I’m predicting the Sooners to win in a shootout, 56-53.
John E. Dap
The Big 12 is having playoff elimination games this month as Baylor makes its playoff push at home with Gameday in town. That being said, Baylor had a mediocre outing against Kansas State. They also have a freshman starting at quarterback. This spells more chaos in the Big 12. I will take Oklahoma.
• #3 Alabama @ #20 Mississippi State
MSU quarterback Dak Prescott has also been playing out of his mind. But this is November, and Alabama has everything to play for. Do they ever let down in these situations? Bama 26, Clanga 17.
I really want to pull for State in this game, but Bama is Bama, and they will win convincingly.
Why did we ever doubt Bama? Well because of the QB, but they have it rolling now. Stingy defenses win championships. Always. Tide 37-17.