HIGH SCHOOLS / ROME BRAVES / LOCAL COLLEGES / COMMUNITY EVENTS
By Norman Arey
For Hometown Headlines
I try my best not to gloat and cover myself with praise and glory but what can I say? After two straight week finishing with 9 correct picks out of 10 games, I out did my usual excellent with a perfect 10-0 mark. Now my percentage of picking losers stands at 84% with a 42-8 mark. Keep those cards and letters (and checks) coming.
Wake Forest at Clemson – Wake was 4-0 before losing to a poor Florida State team last week and now it goes up against the behemoth of the ACC in the Tigers from Clemson. Clemson dispatched high-flying Virginia Tech in the Hokies’ lair and has shown it may be trouble down the road for any team in America. The Demon Deacons have the defense to stand up against the Tigers. NO-NO. Clemson puts the Deacs to shame in a 35-7 trouncing.
Ole Miss at Auburn – The Rebels are 2-2 but the two wins were over two nobodies and the two losses were bad ones. The Tigers, who love Eagles, are 4-1 with their lone loss to Clemson but really haven’t beaten anybody to speak of (bad sentence). Johnny Reb comes armed and springs a surprise. NO-NO. Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham has thrown for 1,100 yards and 5 TDs thus far and makes the home-standing Tigers a real threat as Ole Miss is dusted, 31-14.
Miami at FSU – This was billed as a big game in preseason and I suppose it still could be but Miami is 3-0, with only a win over Duke to brag about. Florida State lost to Alabama and N.C. State, and struggled against Wake Forest for its 1-2 mark. It’s in Tallahassee and nobody beats the ‘Noles in the House that Bobby Bowden built. Miami is stunned. NO-NO. I think Mark Richt has got his Hurricanes riled up for the showdown and the Seminoles are blown away, 28-14.
LSU at Florida – The once-proud and once mighty Bayou Bengals are staggering at 3-2, having lost to Troy last week to send the LSU athletic brass back to the drawing broad wondering why it chose to hire Ed Oregeron. Florida opened with a lopsided loss to Michigan but is now 3-1. LSU is desperate and Oregeron wins one to placate his bosses. NO-NO. The Gators shouldn’t be crowing too much with narrow victories over Tennessee and Kentucky. LSU loses another one that perhaps it shouldn’t, 21-17.
Virginia Tech at Boston College – The Hokies came to earth with a sickening thud against Clemson and immediately went back to work with the goal of winning the rest of ‘em. The Eagles, all good Catholic boys, are 2-3 with their wins coming over directional schools – Northern Illinois and Central Michigan. But alas, the BC boys have no more directional institutions remaining on their schedule. So that means win this one and get back on track. NO-NO. Hokies mean business and come with hurt and bitterness in their hearts and ground the Eagles, 33-7.
Wisconsin at Nebraska – Remember when Nebraska almost never lost? Them days be gone. The Cornhuskers are 3-2 and haven’t really beaten anyone of consequence. Wisconsin is undefeated at 4-0 and goes into Lincoln as an 11-point favorite. I smell an upset. NO-NO. I’m not predicting that Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top team but the Badgers are certainly on a level above the ‘Huskers and the ‘On-Wisconsins’ top the struggling folks who shuck corn, 40-21.
Michigan at Michigan State – For all of you Jim Harbaugh haters out there, here’s where old Jimbo may get a face full of embarrassment. The Spartans aren’t on top of their game as they have been for the last three or four years but they are home and reel in the obnoxious ones. NO-NO. As much as I hate it, I fear that Harbaugh will have an enjoyable afternoon on the sidelines in East Lansing as Big Blue sends Sparty into despair with a 28-17 win.
Alabama at Texas A&M – I know all about how tough it is supposed to be to play in College Station against the Aggies and their 12th man crowd. It had to happen sometime and the Crimson folks suffer at the A&Mers hands. NO-NO. The mystique of College Station and their 12th man only applies to normal teams and Alabama doesn’t fit into that category by any stretch of the imagination. It might be close for a half but the Tide powers on past the home boys, 31-12.
Notre Dame at North Carolina – The Tar Heels are 1-4 and are laboring every week with redshirt freshman quarterback Chazz Surrat. Notre Dame is 4-1 with their only loss coming to No. 5-ranked Georgia. But the game is in Chapel Hill and the ‘Heels are usually good for on upset every year and this is it. NO-NO. The Fighting Irish are 17-point favorites and that sounds like a good number to me as the Tar Heels can’t control the Irish’s superior athletes, lose 27-10,
Georgia at Vanderbilt – The thing you can honestly say about the Commodores this season is at least they’ve been competitive, beating a decent Kansas State team and playing Florida straight up before losing by two scores. The thing you can honestly say about the Bulldogs is that they look pretty darn good and may be as good as their fans always believe. But the game is in Nashville and Vandy will be sky-high with the nation’s fifth ranked team in town and go all out for an upset. NO-NO, won’t happen. I’m beginning to believe the Georgia hype with Jake Fromm’s heroics and the sparkling performances of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. And I even have to say the defense is excelling. It shouldn’t be close with the Dawgs coming home with a 35-10 victory.