Now we get to tune-up week. I hate this setup. I think all the paycheck games should be completed by October 1. The end of the year should be reserved for games that matter. But I suppose I understand. For a power school about to face its most hated rival, a game against a glorified high school team that allows your important players to come out of the halftime locker room in civies has great benefits. It just makes for lousy football. On the bright side, it makes for a nice fattening of the record for people who predict the outcomes.
Mercer at ‘Bama – Mercer completes its Alabama Paycheck Tour, having already played Auburn and now getting another nice payout in West Birmingham. The Evil Empire 59, Mercer 7
Misipi St at Ar-Kansas – Well, it’s a conference game, but one that is going to have a ‘Bama-Mercer feel to it. Jerry Clower U 43, Pigs 17
UAB at Florida – How funny would it be for UAB to lose to 1-9 Charlotte and beat Florida? Stop laughing. UAB is 7-3, in most people’s top 50 and has a very good running game. Everyone else will be shocked, but I will not. Blazers 24, Lizards 17
Kentucky at Georgia – UK is having a great year. They’re probably going to get 8 or 9 wins, depending on their bowl matchup. But they’re gonna get eaten alive by this pack of angry hounds. Big Ol’ Hairy Dawgs 47, Briars 10
Texas A&M at Misipi – Two offenses with lots of weapons, especially the Aggies since their starting QB is back. This has all the makings of a track meet, and easily the most entertaining SEC game of the day. Misipi 47, Aggies 42
Wofford at South Carolina – I guess Jerry Richardson doesn’t donate enough to his alma mater, since they have to go looking for paycheck beat-downs. Fightin’ Chickens 38, Jerry Richardson U 13
LSU at Tennessee – Something happened after that Troy game that changed the Bayou Bengals. Something happened at The Swamp that changed UT. This game is the evidence. LUS 37, Rocky Bottom 16
Missouri at Vanderbilt – Remember when a Vandy player yelled at a camera, “Hey ‘Bama, you’re next”? Neither do I, but I do remember that Missouri got destroyed by Auburn and since then has been nearly unstoppable. Mizzou 40, Vandy 20
Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn – Something tells me that Stidham plays through the 3rd quarter so he can get his TDs after the running game hogs all the TDs in the first half. This will not be a repeat of Mercer. WAR EAGLE 56, ULL 20
BONUS: Charlotte at Southern Miss – This was the C-USA upset of the year in 2016. After getting thoroughly whacked in each previous meeting, the 49ers turned the tables, playing even in the first half and destroying USM in the second. A repeat would be nice, but let’s not get carried away here. USM 27, 49ers 10
Last week’s record: 7-2
Season: 82-21