As we head down the stretch of this football season and attempt to answer the age-old question, “Who whines more: SEC football fans after losing a game or Republicans after losing an election?” — and this is why I always check under my car for suspicious wire before starting it — it’s time to check in on the remains of Gene Chizik.
Two years ago, Auburn won the national championship. Now the Tigers are 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the SEC.
Or, as Karl Rove would put it, they’re trending upward and on the verge of conquering the SEC West, the conference, the BCS, Ohio (don’t it make my red eyes blue?), Hawaii, Alaska, Manitoba, the dangling chads of Florida, the clogging anchors of Fox, the Western Hemisphere, the Eastern Bloc (Commies! We’ll hunt ‘em all down!), the Peoples Republic of Cheech and Chong (Colorado and Washington just legalized marijuana — so, yes, we have confirmation that Doritos has lobbyists) and even the educated, artistic and peaceful liberals of Alderaan (oh wait, they were destroyed by the Death Star in Episode IV. Never mind.)
Back to Gene Chizik. I’m generally not a proponent of firing coaches two years after winning national championships. But this guy is now 9-29 in SEC and Big 12 conference games in which he didn’t have the luxury of telling Cam Newton, “Here’s the ball. Go do anything you want.”
I know what you’re thinking: “Georgia’s going to let down.”
Not this time. Too much at stake: The SEC East and a trip to the Georgia Dome. That’s reality, not an electoral projection.
If the Bulldogs can just keep Mark Richt off a swing set, they should be fine.
The line is a whopper: 15½. But it’s covered. Division, ho!
You contest (and Lane Kiffin) update
The wit and wisdom of Mr. Burns (whiny SEC fan?)
Georgia Tech at North Carolina: The Jackets are 1-0 without athletic director Dan Radakovich. See, I’m all about the positive. It was either that or point out Tech’s four wins have come over 2-9 Presbyterian and three ACC teams with a combined conference record of 4-12. Oops. Heels win, but take Tech and 9.
Georgia State at Maine: Not saying Bill Curry has had a rough season, but last week he inadvertently turned in an organ-donation card instead of a lineup card. A Zen moment: A career-ending win for Curry.
Texas A&M at Alabama: The disingenuous Nick Saban says no-huddle, spread offenses like A&M’s are a danger to player safety. Let me translate: “If they go too fast and I can’t rotate my three-deep, five-star, winded front seven, there’s a chance I might lose. And another thing, Sumlin: Get off of my lawn!” Tide win, but give me the Aggies and 14.
Arkansas at South Carolina: Too bad it’s not Bobby Petrino vs. Steve Spurrier or we could’ve had “The Moral Compass Bowl.” Jimmy Johnson actually said Arkansas should rehire Petrino. Question: Is he willing to bankroll the university for all future sexual-harassment lawsuits? Yeah. Didn’t think so. Roosters cover 14.
Missouri at Tennessee: Derek Dooley was depicted in “art work” on UT’s painted rock again, this time as “Doolander” (as in, “Zoolander”). With all of that creativity on campus, you’d think somebody could draw up a play. Finally, an SEC win: Vols cover 3½.
Mississippi State at LSU: Les Miles is a great coach when he’s not trying to pull a moose out of a hat (cue: Bullwinkle). Tigers win, but take the other Dogs and 14½.
Les Miles reaching into his playbook
NFL SNACK PACK
Falcons at Saints: The Saints have stabilized since an 0-4 start. That’s not to say they’re going to make the playoffs, but at least linebacker Curtis Lofton isn’t stabbing himself with a fork in the middle of the night, screaming, “What have I done!?!”By the way, what’s Sean Payton doing with a Dallas tags on his car? Falcons cover 2½.
Cowboys at Eagles: Jerry Jones the owner said he would fire Jerry Jones the general manager, but then Jerry Jones the deluded poobah most responsible for the Cowboys’ mess said he won’t strip himself of personnel duties. The good news: With one playoff win in 15 years, he has the full support of 31 other owners. Eagles win (and take the 1).
Texans at Bears: Houston strikes me as one of those really good teams that will never do anything in the playoffs. Then again, the Bears have Jay Cutler. Winner: Texans (take the 1).
Broncos at Panthers: Since those three quick interceptions against the Falcons, Peyton Manning has thrown 18 touchdowns and three picks. It’s all in the timing. Denver covers.
It’s Jerry Jones, starring as “Dark Helmet” (”Spaceballs”)
BUT WHO’S COUNTING? (ME)
Last week: 8-3 straight up, 7-4 against the line.
So far, so awesome: 86-26 straight up, 66-45-1 against the line.
“Sack Schultz” update: “JoeB1515″ and “Rayne09″ lead the race for the Georgia-Georgia Tech tickets and other prizes. “Wildone” leads for the trip to Hawaii. Lucky dude Brad Sawyer of Stockbridge who went 14-1 last week to win a Marlow’s giftcard and a Fathead.
Lilly Pick of the Week: It’s Falcons-Saints week. Cheeseballs were placed on pictures of the two quarterbacks, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Lilly puts her 5-4 record on the line. The winner: Brees.
By Jeff Schultz