Tech wins a squeaker; Georgia survives in Starkville

The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. N.C. State at Georgia Tech: The last time the Wolfpack was 3-0 (2002) they eventually got to 9-0 before the run was stopped by Georgia Tech in Raleigh. As a Tech fan you need to be concerned that N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson is just now knocking off the rust after playing minor league baseball all summer–and he threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in his last outing against Cincinnati. Wilson has thrown 101 passes this season without an interception. That will change at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. Georgia Tech 21, N.C. State 20.

2. Georgia at Miss. State: Don’t worry about the cowbells, Bulldog fans. They are loud. It’s life on the road in the SEC. The thing to worry about is that the Mississippi State quarterbacks–Chris Relf and Tyler Russell–are due for a breakout game. And after giving up just less than four bills against Arkansas last week, the Georgia secondary is not going to put a lot of fear into anyone. My advice to Georgia? Just run the football and wear this team down. It’s time for the offensive line to man up and win a game for Georgia. Georgia 24, Miss. State 17.

3. Alabama at Arkansas: This summer I asked Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett about Saturday’s date with No. 1 Alabama and how excited the Hogs’ fans would be. He smiled: “I hear we’ve sold all the tickets and will probably draw a big crowd.” Yep. With both teams in the Top 10, it’s the second biggest game ever played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. In 1969 No. 1 Texas beat No. 2 Arkansas 15-14 in a game that decided the national championship. Arkansas will have the crowd but Alabama still has that massive offensive line and the best running back combo on the planet in Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. I could be wrong.  But I think Alabama starts to pull away in the fourth quarter. Alabama 34, Arkansas 21.

4. South Carolina at Auburn: First of all, I wonder how much Auburn has left in the tank after last week’s very physical overtime win against Clemson. South Carolina is going to come to Jordan-Hare Stadium for its first road of the season and try to beat Auburn by using the Georgia game plan: That’s a heavy dose of running back Marcus Lattimore and just enough passing to keep the defense honest. Look for Auburn to put an extra defender in the box and to force the Head Ball Coach to air it out with quarterback Stephen Garcia. Then what happens is anybody’s guess. I like the Gamecocks in this one because Ellis Johnson’s defense is going to cause some problems for Auburn’s quarterback, Cameron Newton. South Carolina 17, Auburn 14.

5. Kentucky at Florida: So how many times have we said this: Kentucky has the best offense in the SEC East? Right now the Wildcats are certainly better on offense than Florida. Kentucky needs to keep one streak going: The Wildcats have not given up a turnover in three games. If the Wildcats can do that, then they have a puncher’s chance to end their 23-game losing streak to the Gators. All I know is that the Florida defense already has 10 interceptions. UK quarterback Mike Hartline must take care of  the football. Florida 21, Kentucky 10.

6. Oregon State at Boise State: The Broncos are ranked No. 3 and the release of the first BCS standings don’t come until Oct. 17. In the meantime Boise must keep winning and do it with style points. I’ve got Oregon State as my darkhorse pick to win the Pac-10. The Beavers (1-1) lost to No. 4 TCU  (30-21) and almost lost to Louisville (35-28) last week. College Game Day is coming to Boise and the world will be watching. The Broncos need to put on a show. Boise State 42, Oregon State 27.

7. Stanford at Notre Dame: Stanford has won its first three games (Sacremento State, UCLA, Wake Forest) by a combined score of 155-41. Quarterback Andrew Luck has already thrown for 674 yards with no interceptions. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has got a little bit of an attitude about him and his fans like that. I know this sounds crazy but I have it on good authority that Stanford was really jacked up to play Wake Forest after losing to the Deacons last year in Winston-Salem. Could the Cardinal have a let down at Notre Dame (1-2), which needs a win after two straight losses at the buzzer? I’ll go with Stanford and the hot quarterback. Stanford 35, Notre Dame 27.

8. UAB at Tennessee: It’s obvious now that Tennessee is going to have to take baby steps (two steps forward, one step back) in this first season under Derek Dooley. The good news is that Tennessee played the full 60 minutes against Florida before losing 31-17. The week before the Volunteers basically packed it in after falling behind in the second half against Oregon. Here is why Saturday’s game with UAB is so important. A win gives the Volunteers a 2-2 record with games coming up at LSU, at Georgia, Alabama in Knoxville, and at South Carolina. You have to figure Tennessee will be 2-6 heading into November. They will still be able to get to 6-6 and Dooley can point to a tangible goal. Having a goal is important to a struggling team. Tennessee 27, UAB 10.

9. Virginia Tech at Boston College: After a tough three weeks to open the season, the Hokies (1-2) open ACC play on the road. My buddy Bill Roth, the radio voice of Virginia Tech, tells me that no Hokie has scored a rushing touchdown at Boston College since Lee Suggs did it in 2002. In fact, Boston College has beaten Virginia Tech in five of its last six meetings, including a 14-10 win at Virginia Tech in 2007 led by Matt Ryan. I think Boston College beats the Hokies again. Boston College 21, Virginia Tech 17.

10. West Virginia at LSU: It’s a non-conference game. It will also be the best party in all of college football this weekend. LSU (3-0) needs to keep winning because the Tigers want to be 5-0 when they go to Florida on Oct. 9. West Virginia (3-0) may be the class of the Big East now that Pittsburgh is 1-2. The Mountaineers have some playmakers in QB Geno Smith (800 yards passing, 7 TD) and Noel Devine (118 yards rushing per game). But I see LSU’s defense as too big and quick. Both sides win the party. LSU wins the game. LSU 24, West Virginia 14.

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Programming note: Today on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” we’ll welcome Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley to give us an update on the Florida Gators. Sports agent Pat Dye, Jr. will join us as well as Bob Behler, the radio voice of Boise State. We’ll also replay an interview I did with Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino as he talks about Saturday’s big game with Alabama. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on 790 The Zone.

520 comments Add your comment


September 26th, 2010
11:24 am

Are comments disabled for this blog?


September 26th, 2010
11:36 am

Oh yeah… We aren’t allowed to say the name of the South Carolina mascot, are we?


September 26th, 2010
11:38 am

Week 4
SEC Stock Report:

Alabama – UP – Number 10 Arkansas opened strong, but couldn’t hang onto the lead in the second half. Bama wins 24-20. The Razorbacks may no longer qualify as “David”, but the Crimson Tide is still “Goliath”.

Next Up: Florida

Arkansas – MIXED – A 24-20 loss to the Number 1 Crimson Tide gave the Hogs an opportunity to show how much they have improved over last season.

Next Up: Bye Week

Auburn – UP – South Carolina proved to be a worthy opponent, but Auburn clawed it’s way back for another fabulous finish, winning by a score of 35-27.

Next Up: Louisiana Monroe

Florida – UP – Kentucky was clearly not prepared for SEC level competition. Gators eat their lunch to the tune of 48-14.

Next Up: Alabama

Georgia – DOWN – MSU wins 24-12. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Mississippi State proves that they are still capable of Crooming SEC coaches. Add another MSU tradition to the cowbells.

Next Up: Colorado

Kentucky – DOWN – The Cats 48-14 loss to the Gators offers Kentucky a rude introduction to SEC conference play.

Next Up: Ole Miss

LSU – UP – West Virginia was no match for the Bayou Bengals. LSU notches another ugly win with a 20-14 victory over the Mountaineers.

Next Up: Tennessee

Mississippi – UP – A 55-38 win over Fresno State offers relief to the struggling Nutt Squad.

Next Up: Kentucky

Mississippi State – UP – State wins the dogfight 24-14.

Next Up: Alcorn State

South Carolina – MIXED – The battle of the birds ends with the Eagles handing the Chickens a 35-27 loss, but the GamecLocks still offer the only real competition to the Gators for SEC East supremacy.

Next Up: Bye Week

Tennessee – MIXED – A win is a win. That said, UAB should have never seen OT against an SEC opponent – much less Double OT. Vols win in a nail-biter 32-29.

Next Up: LSU

Vanderbilt – UNCHANGED – You can’t lose if you don’t play – but you can’t win either.

Next Up: U Conn


September 26th, 2010
11:38 am

How prudish Tony…

Mr. College Football?

September 26th, 2010
12:31 pm

OK, is your name really Mr. College football?? Tony, you are 60% on these picks and you only got the easy ones correct. I would say you are Mr. Amateur Picker. It is apparent to me that you really have no clue what you are doing. The only thing you ever say is Alahbahmma and Coach Nick Saban… We are going to paste those two words on your short lived career – just sayin. Put down the kool-aid.

Chili Dog

September 26th, 2010
1:12 pm


The SC and Arkansas are great teams myth is done.
Forget the 3-4 scheme takes years to learn.
AJ can’t play defense.

And you’ve been trying to sell Starkville as the toughest place to play at night. I don’t they’re buying it. When you lose by a couple of TD’s to Miss St. and can stop the dive play 10 consecutive times…

Eagarly awaiting your next feel good myth for the base. Please consult with Bradley, Shultz, and Slabach so everyone’s on the same page with their talking points


September 26th, 2010
1:23 pm

Tony doesn’t run a betting service. He offers his picks to generate conversation, not as investment advice. If some of you are looking for for inside info on playing point spreads, then you’re looking in the wrong place. As for being a “homer”… sure he is. This is the AJC, after all. What do you expect?

Just Sayin’…

Mr College Fraud Ball

September 26th, 2010
1:23 pm

Tony, perhaps you need to do some actual research next week. Last week it was UGA will win “because they have to”. This week it was UGA’s OL will finally step up and UGA will just run the ball and win. What will it be for next week? UGA will use the time away from the home crowd to find their stride.


September 26th, 2010
1:34 pm


You might want to get a new post up as quick as you can seeing as how this headline must you look kinda stupid. No offense intended.


September 26th, 2010
1:38 pm

We DO have another football team in Georgia ! Not one article about Georgia Southern (24) knocking off Elon (11) Saturday. Let’s pay attention to the entire state and not just the metro Atlanta area.

MS. Bully

September 26th, 2010
3:16 pm

Just to let everyone know. The Cowbells are still ringing in Starkvegas this morning!!

Charlie and the chocolate factory Bama

September 26th, 2010
3:34 pm


Ingram's Jock Strap

September 26th, 2010
5:00 pm

I told yall the Tide would win that game! Alabama nos how to win unlike the barn whos gets lucky cause the other teem gives them the game. RTR!


September 26th, 2010
5:32 pm

VT beats BC AGAIN. That makes 4 out of 5 Mr. SEC Football… almost the exact opposite of what you claimed.

I wonder how much you’ll have UGA and GT winning by next week?

Charlie and the chocolate factory Bama

September 26th, 2010
7:35 pm

“I told yall the Tide would win that game! Alabama nos how to win unlike the barn whos gets lucky cause the other teem gives them the game. ”

At least us barners, as you call us, know how to spell and use correct grammar.

Oh, and if we’re so “lucky” as you state, then how come our QB and other players have won SEC player of the week for 3 straight weeks?

Bama fans=retarded butt monkeys.


September 26th, 2010
8:46 pm

The only thing worse than Tony’s picks is his crummy hair-dye job.


September 26th, 2010
9:15 pm

Sockpuppets win every argument — with themselves.

Bama fans for bammers

September 26th, 2010
9:20 pm

bama fans=national champions


September 26th, 2010
11:43 pm

Wow…Tony…good call on South Carolina and Ellis Johnson giving Cam Newton problems….176 rushing yards…3 TD’s and 160 passing yards with 2 TD’s….and no picks. Do us a favor…next week…don’t pick UGA.

Tony Loves UGA

September 27th, 2010
8:48 am

Tony just loves his beloved dawgs! He’ll pick them every week—objective journalist! Mr. georgia football! They “gotta” win!!!!