This is the last week in the college football season (other than the playoffs and bowl games) and it’s called the Interstate Rivalry of the SEC and the ACC.
Teams with not so good of a season can come out head high with a win in one of these games. It’s also show and tell on who is going to the big bowl games and who’s not.
At this time of the season bowl bids are rare, so it’s a must win for all teams. Unfortunately, many teams only go home and must wait until next season; some are looking with anticipation as to who the new coach is going to be, or can the old coach come up with a better season than last season.
But for this week, it’s dog eat dog and the bragging rights to the state — these are the games when you see a 2-9 team beat a 9-2 team. Folks, it happens all the time. Remember, on any given day in college football, any team can win, no matter what the win-loss records are.
Here are your 10 picks for the week plus a tiebreaker for Nov. 25:
1. Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks: This is the ACC game of the week — 80,000-plus fans at William-Brice Stadium get to see feathers flying all over the place. Tigers by 21.
2. Duke Blue Devils vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: It’s true, this game is so close it’s hard to call but it’s going to be fun to either be there or watch on TV. Blue Devils by 6.
3. Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators: 92,000 fans at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (this year they called it Benny Hill Stadium) finally have something to cheer about. One is the season is over with and the Gators just might win this one by 3.
4. Georgia Dawgs vs. Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech: And that’s just that — a big wreck in front of 85,000 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium who will see the Dawgs dive over them by 21.
5. Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Big Blue: 68,000-plus Big Blue fans are on hand to help Kentucky end with a great season. Big Blue very closely wins by 3.
6. Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn War Eagles: This is the game of the week nationwide; 88,000-plus War Eagle fans will be at Jordan-Hare Stadium. (The stadium is too small for this game; it needs to be 125,000). More people will watch this game than the Notre Dame-Miami game. Alabama train just keeps chugging along by 14.
7. Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers: In the SEC game of the week, there’s no 12th man in Tiger Stadium. LSU by 13, maybe.
8. Ole Mississippi Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs: Really a very lackadaisical game; there’s more interest in the tailgate party than the game, but it’s the Bulldog fans who fill Davis-Wade Stadium of 56,000. Miss. State by 6.
9. Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Tennessee Volunteers: Under the circumstances of Tennessee’s season, the team gives new meaning to the word "Volunteers." Unfortunately, the Commodores will take full advantage of the poor showing of both teams with Vandy 10 points ahead at the end of the game. I don’t think the Tennessee fans can fill Neyland Stadium of 102,455.
10. Miami Hurricanes vs. Pittsburg Panthers: The night game on the 24th of November on ESPN, a bit on the cold side night for Miami, but they warm up to the tune of 21 points over the Panthers.
Tiebreaker: South Florida Bulls vs. Central Florida (UCF) Knights — The Knights fans said they could and will have over 50,000 in the Spectrum Stadium that only holds 44,206. I believe them — Knights by 18; Coach Scott Frost, how would you like to come to The Big Orange (Tennessee) after your bowl game?
THOUGHTS ON THE VOLUNTEERS
In 1948, I became a Tennessee fan because of my grandfather. I learned to eat, sleep and drink Tennessee football and all the other sports that Tennessee had.
My blood somehow turned orange during those years. I’m from Bristol, Tenn.; went to Tennessee High School, as did my father and uncle, my wife (Merle), all her sisters (three) and my first daughter (Monique).
I have flown the Tennessee flag in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Libya, Switzerland, Sweden, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Denmark, Australia, Austria and Cambodia.
I also flew the Tennessee flag on my tank while with the 11th Armored Calvary Regimen in Vietnam, and with the 196th Infantry Battalion and also in every southern state in the USA to also include California, Oklahoma, Texas, Hawaii and the last was Arizona. Oh, and I cannot leave out New Joisey.
My wardrobe consists of 25 orange T-shirts with Tennessee on them, 25 white T-shirts with Tennessee on them, and about 15 gray T-shirts with Tennessee on them.
Both my truck and car have the Tennessee orange "T" license plate on the front and UT window sticker on the rear window.
If you ask me why I’m so hard on Tennessee, it’s because I know they can do, and are, better than these past three or four years. This past year was the worst, and it breaks my heart, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel — better years are on the way.
I’ll never stop loving or being a UT fan, but I also have the right to say you stink or in some cases scream obscenities in front of the TV — but we still love you Tennessee!
See you at the bowl games.
Bill Everett is a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and lives in the Baker area.