I have no idea who laid the bigger egg last week; Vanderbilt, South Carolina, or me for picking them to win. Nevertheless, the 2014 college football season is underway so here we go.
Last week: 8-3, with Idaho @ Florida still pending.
This week, Lamar at Texas A&M: The Aggies were perhaps the biggest surprise of the week last Thursday as they manhandled South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium. As Coach Johnny Majors used to say, "You're never as good as your best day, or never as bad as your worst." If quarterback Kenny Hill is anything close to as good as he was against the Gamecocks, this one will likely be over right after the national anthem. Texas A&M 63 Lamar 14.
San Jose State at Auburn : Auburn and Arkansas were tied at 21-21 before Tiger quarterback Nick Marshall took his first snap of the year, as he was serving a one half suspension for discplinary reasons. From that point on, Auburn owned the Razorbacks. Auburn so impressed the pollsters, they leap-frogged past Ohio State into fifth place in this week's top-25 poll. They will have no trouble at all this week with San Jose State. Auburn 52 San Jose State 20.
East Carolina at South Carolina: It's still hard for me to believe the Gamecocks are as bad as they showed against Texas A&M last week. Coach Steve Spurrier says his team is still embarassed by the shellacking the Aggies put on them. With the Georgia Bulldogs having this weekend off before traveling to Columbia next week for their SEC opener, USC needs to improve quickly on defense or they will be embarassed once again. It's good to have East Carolina coming in to get things worked out before Georgia comes to town. South Carolina 45 East Carolina 21.
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt: I should have known better. To actually pick Vandy to beat anybody is just wrong, especially now that James Franklin is gone to Penn State. In the SEC's only league game this weekend, Ole Miss will win in a rout. Welcome back down to earth Commodore fans. Ole Miss 35 Vandy 10.
Florida Atlantic at Alabama: While 'Bama is still trying to decide which starting quarterback to go with, I can't help but think of the old adage, "When you have two starting quarterbacks, you really have no starting quarterback." Alabama is still a good football team, but they may only be the third best team in the SEC West. Alabama 44 Florida Atlantic 7.
Sam Houston State at LSU: It was really hard for me to pick against LSU last week against Wisconsin, but that's now water under the bridge and down the bayou. LSU looks to be pretty darn good, and don't look for a let down this week. LSU 48 Sam Houston State 13.
Eastern Michigan at Florida: With more than three hours of lightning forcing the cancellation of last week's season opener with Idaho, the Gators have one less game to use to prepare for their SEC opener against Kentucky next week. That's unfortunate for Coach Will Muschamp as he needs all the help he can get to get his offense working well. Florida 40 Eastern Michigan 17.
Nicholls State at Arkansas: The "Hogs" played even with Auburn for one half (21-21, without Nick Marshall) before folding their tents in the second half last week. Nicholls State however isn't Auburn. The Razorbacks get the win. Arkansas 38 Nicholls State 13.
UAB at Mississippi State: The Bulldogs impressive 49-0 whitewash of state rival Southern Miss was no fluke. Coach Dan Mullen's crew is that good; maybe not good enough to win the SEC West, but good enough to have a say into who does win it. Mississippi State 38 UAB 13.
Ohio at Kentucky: The Wildcats looked very good in their big win last week over U.T. Martin from the OVC. Ohio is better than Martin, and Florida is much better than Ohio. Still the 'Cats will be 2-0 when they face the Gators next week. Kentucky 31 Ohio 14.
Missouri at Toledo: Missouri scored a big opening win last weekend against South Dakota State, but it was just what it was; a win. Nothing overly impressive in that one, but in week number two, the 24th ranked Tigers get a bigger test against the 1-0 Rockets. With tough Central Florida looming ahead next week, the Tigers need to pick it up a notch or two. Missouri 28 Toledo 20.
Arkansas State at Tennessee: Tennessee took a huge step in last weekend's 38-7 win over Utah State. Even though Arkansas State is not as good as the Aggies, both are against teams the Vols should beat on their way to a 6-6 season. U.T. will be 2-0 when they travel to Oklahoma to face the Sooners. There will be an upset or two on the Vols' schedule this season, but they can ill afford to lose any game they're supposed to win and mnake the post-season. Tennessee 42 Arkansas State 14.
Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.
His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.
He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.
In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have four grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, DellaMae and CoraLee.
To contact Randy: email@example.com