Mmm…this crow sure tastes good
Justin Schuver, Sports Editor
OK, so it's not that bad to have your pick for national champion lose a game during the regular season. It is pretty bad, however, when it happens in just the second week of the year.
Iowa simply looked awful Saturday, and that might be putting it nicely. The team was turnover-prone, didn't protect its quarterback and was obviously affected by the raucous atmosphere at Iowa State. That Ohio State road game in week four is starting to look more like a massacre than a close-fought contest, now.
That's why I'm a sports writer and not a professional gambler.
Here's some more of my weekly picks, as I try to salvage what little credibility I have left.
Walker (2-1, 2-0) at Hartselle (2-1, 1-1): This game has "potential letdown" written all over it. Hartselle has played three tough games on the road to start the season, and had a disappointing finish in its 19-6 loss to No. 2 Russellville last Friday. Coach Godsey and his staff will do a good job of keeping the team's spirit high, and the crowd support will be there to help the Tigers to come away with the victory…Tigers 24, Vikings 20.
Brewer (1-2, 0-2) at Curry (1-2, 0-2): This game looks much more even on paper than Brewer's last two contests against Russellville and Athens. Curry has a fine running game, but little else. This one will probably be won in the trenches, and I'll give the home team the slight edge…Yellow Jackets 35, Patriots 28.
Priceville (0-3, 0-2) at Oakman (0-3, 0-2): Somebody will end this game with a win, that's for certain. Priceville's defense has played really tough this year, averaging just a little over 10 points a game so far. The Bulldogs have played all their opponents close, and it's about time they end up on the winning side of the ledger…Bulldogs 17, Wildcats 10.
Falkville (1-2, 1-1) at Lamar Co. (2-1, 2-0): Congratulations to Falkville and Coach Estes for breaking its 15-game losing streak Friday against Cold Springs. Lamar County is a much better team than Cold Springs, though, after winning its first two region games easily. The Blue Devils will play tough, but ultimately fall short…Bulldogs 31, Blue Devils 17.
Danville (2-1, 1-1) at Vinemont (1-2, 1-1): Danville simply has to find a passing game. Teams will continue to stack the box against the Hawks until they prove they can move it through the air. The defense is still good, but it's not as strong as last year's Patrick Pinchon-led model…Eagles 17, Hawks 14.
Alabama (2-0) at South Carolina (1-1, 1-0 in SEC): This one's pretty tough to pick. The Crimson Tide have looked horrendous at times in their first two ball games against mediocre opponents, while South Carolina gave powerhouse Georgia a real fight. I'll give Coach Spurrier's boys the edge here since they're playing at home…Gamecocks 24, Crimson Tide 21.
Ball State (0-2) at Auburn (1-1): Ball State alum David Letterman once did a bit called "Ball State Fighting Football Cardinals Fighting Football Highlights," which typically showed something like a 6-yard run for a first down in a 84-0 loss to Middle-of-Nowhere Tech. Saying the Cardinals are a below-average football team is like saying Gigli was a below-average movie…Tigers 45, Cardinals 3.
Michigan State (2-0) at Notre Dame (2-0): So far so good for my Irish, but this could be a real stumbling stone if the team is not careful. The Spartans have dominated their first two opponents – even if they were Hawaii and Kent State.
Still, with the team playing its first home game in front of a re-energized Notre Dame fan base, I just don't see them losing this one…Fighting Irish 31, Spartans 21.