Uh-oh, it’s another pigskin picking column. This one looks ahead, not behind. In other words, I haven’t gotten a tally of how folks did last week. I do know Johnny Campbell is in the lead. At this rate, he’ll win something by the end of the year. What that might be is still up in the air.
And for the uninitiated, there’s a group of us got together before the season and decided to pick games each week. It’s led by B.J. Clark and includes Ernie Mitchell, Mike Clark, Mark Rogerson, Noah Covington and me.
After the picks are in, I write something about the week. Nobody really knows why. It’s a variation on a theme, I guess.
Though some production issues this week means it’s too late to extend a challenge to readers to outpick us, we’ll do it again next week. As bait, there’s the possibility of prizes to be won. Nobody knows what, yet, but we’ll figure something out. Maybe an autographed used grill. In the meantime, here’s a look at the third week of the football season.
No games are bigger than the one in Columbia, South Carolina where the Gamecocks take on Georgia. And here’s where I’ve got to let folks in on a something: Covington, who serves as a county commissioner, can lay down some smack. It’s subtle, but good.
Case in point. Covington’s a Georgia fan. I’m a Carolina fan. So I emailed him "Go Gamecocks" earlier this week, just because I felt like it.
"Good luck with that."
This week’s games:
Georgia at South Carolina: Not even a month ago this looked like the kind of game that was made to show the rest of the world why SEC football is king, tsar and supreme commander of the allied forces of the football world all rolled into one.
But somebody forgot to tell South Carolina’s defense that. The Gamecocks would have trouble holding Savannah State under three touchdowns. They might not be able to stop First Presbyterian Christian Academy from running up the score.
On the flip side, Todd Gurley went Hershel Walker against Clemson and he was just one of at least 18 or 20 fast and scary running backs who saw playing time against Clemson.
In fact, Georgia looked so good against Clemson I’m afraid this one’s gonna make the feathered fowl howl for a year.
That’s alliteration, folks. Don’t try it at home.
In the meantime, everyone picks UGA to win. Except me. And I’m still probably going to watch the game with my eyes closed. Don’t worry. That’s the same way I drive down 144 during rush hour.
Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech: This one is intriguing on so many levels. Tech coach Paul Johnson led Georgia Southern to two of its six NCAA I-AA titles, but you could say he had a hand in every one. Johnson, known by GSU fans simply as PJ, basically invented the Eagles version of the triple option - which the Eagles don’t run anymore - while offensive coordinator under the legendary Erk Russell. So there’s that. And then there’s the fact this is the first time the two programs have met. And then there’s the fact Georgia Southern is riding high after almost beating North Carolina State and then running 83-something roughshod over Savannah State in the Eagles’ first full-fledged season in FBS.
Well, everybody runs roughshod over Savannah State, but still, hopes are high. The picks run like this: Johnny Campbell, B.J., Mike and Mark go with the Eagles. Ernie and I say Georgia Tech wins. Still waiting on Noah Covington’s pick. That’s probably because he’s trying to think up more smack.
Note: Covington shoots his pick in, it’s Tech. But he’ll gladly take the miss if he’s wrong. I suspect there’s smack in there somewhere, but I’m not smart enough to figure out where it is.
North Carolina State vs. Florida: The Wolfpack were one of the worst teams in the ACC last season, but they beat Georgia Southern in the opener for both schools. South Florida is that XFL team with the funny looking bull logo. So who wins? I don’t know. I do believe Bryan County BoE member Amy Murphy is an NC State grad and fan, and I once watched the Gamecocks play the ‘Pack up in Carter-Finley Stadium. Beautiful area. So I’ll pick the Wolfpack. So do B.J., Noah, Mark and Ernie. Mike and Johnny Campbell take South Florida.
Arksansas vs. Texas Tech: Mike and Mark and me go with the Hogs. B.J. and Ernie and Johnny Campbell say Texas Tech win.
Abilene Christian vs. Troy: I’d rather eat fried bats with chopsticks than watch this game. Everybody picks Troy.
UCLA vs. Texas: I admit it. If I had to pick one West Coast school I could root for, it would be UCLA. Everybody picks the Bruins to win.
Navy vs. Texas State: Nobody’s giving the Bobcats a shot. I sure won’t. Besides, when I was in the Army I used to root for Navy.
Arizona State vs. Colorado: I’d rather eat fried bats with tarter sauce than watch this game, even though ASU has one of the coolest mascots around - the Sun Devils. But what else can I tell you except that it’s out yonder somewhere and everybody picks the Sun Devils to win this one.
Southern Cal vs. Boston College: The real USC in these parts is up the road in Columbia. Southern Cal, on the other hand, is on the west coast. Southern Cal wins
Central Florida vs. Missouri: Mark picks Central Florida, but he’s young. The rest of us say Mizzou. Like that. Mizzzzooo.
Fort Valley State vs. Savannah State: More fried bats, please. Poor SSU. Everyone says Fort Valley State wins. Oh, wait: Noah Covington picks SSU. He might know something. He’s sneaky good. Or it could be a guise.
Ole Miss vs. the Raging Cajuns: It’s unanimous. Rebels win.
Falcons vs. Bengals: Everybody is taking Atlanta but me. High School:
Bryan County High School held off Southeast Bulloch 10-7 on Thursday night. I abstain because Christie Howard reported the score as I finished off this column, but just so you know, Noah and Mike were the only two to get it right.
Richmond Hill at BI: This one was played Friday night. Everybody went with the Wildcats except Mike.