Welcome back to another edition of, “What The Hell Happened?” a proud tradition in Athens stretching back 36 years, or at least since 1989, when Georgia replaced Vince Dooley with Ray Goff and a teenager in Brookline, Massachusetts, looked up from his algebra book and said, “They did WHAT? Oh, this won’t go well, if my name isn’t Theo Epstein.” And so the Curse of The Goff lives on, and I say that in deference to Zaxbys, which I made Goff rich, and I actually like, except for the Texas toast, which is like eating a mattress. (Can the toast block?)
This will end one day, Georgia fans. Epstein killed the “Curse of The Bambino” in Boston and “The Curse of the Billy Goat” in Chicago, so how hard can it be for somebody to end the “Curse of The Team That Stole Nick Saban’s Best Assistant But Lost To Vanderbilt And Is Ticketed For Shreveport. On A Prop Plane. Right After A Flyover In Columbus For Some Crop Dusting”?
This week, the Trembling Chihuahuas, fresh off a 21-yard rushing and performance and more humiliation in Jacksonville, try to win for only the second time in games
They play at Kentucky. They own Kentucky. They are 22-3 vs. Kentucky since 1991.
Kentucky beat Vanderbilt (Dogs lost). Kentucky beat Missouri by two touchdowns (Dogs won on a desperation heave). Kentucky didn’t have its two best running backs (one who was expected to be a Heisman candidate) feel compelled to go to the offensive coordinator and vent that this is ruining their season, to say nothing of their NFL stock (Nick Chubb and Sony Michel did that).
Georgia ranks 100th in the nation in total offense and 102nd in scoring. Jim Chaney is making fans wistful for Brian Schottenheimer.
The Dogs are favored. Why? Because they should be better? I’m done with the, “This will be the week” projections. Give me the gift 2 points but Kentucky wins in a mild upset.
Georgia fans disillusioned, so we break for reflection
Sack Schultz 2016
This is the worst year I’ve had in college contest picks, but I’m not eligible to win anyway so the heck with it. Congrats to last week’s winner, Greg Hamilton of Newnan, who went 14-1. Overall, we have three contestants at the top with a record of 102-32. I’m two zipcodes behind at 88-46. Think you can outpick me? (Of course.) Go to MyAJC.com/go/sackschultz2016. You’re still eligible for weekly prizes like Kroger gift cards.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina: This is a good time for the Jackets (5-3) to look ahead to the Virginia game in two weeks because the next two games are on the road against ranked teams (UNC, Virginia Tech) and somewhere it is written that every ACC team’s potential bowl-eligibility clincher should come against Virginia. Tech is coming off a narrow escape. Carolina is coming off a bye. Bad things, man. Heels cover 10.
Florida at Arkansas: The Florida defense should be well rested after a bye and playing Georgia. Gators cover 5½.
Alabama at LSU: Nick Saban laughed this week about getting a birthday present, a desk toy that says, “That’s bull****” out loud every time you push the button. So there’s your confirmation: Nick Saban laughs and has a birthday. Always just assumed he was some mutant lab creation like Frankenstein, except in the body of a Teletubbie. Actual factuals: The Tide has won 12 straight over ranked teams (four short of the record) and five straight over LSU (one short of where they will be after Saturday). Bammy covers 7.
Vanderbilt at Auburn: The Tigers have won five straight since starting 1-2 and Gus Malzahn’s parking key card went missing for two weeks. So welcome back to inflated expectations. Not buying Auburn upsetting Alabama. But for now, there are lollipops and Vanderbilt. Auburn wins; take Vandy and 26.
Tennessee Tech at Tennessee: Butch Jones will never have to buy another meal. In Columbia. Vols cover 41½.
Pittsburgh at Miami: Mark Richt has lost four straight. So before you start the, “We’d be better off with him” stuff. Yeah. Canes win but take Pitt and 3.
Florida State at N.C. State: FSU was right to complain about a phantom illegal block penalty against Clemson but Jimbo Fisher went overboard with, “And then to call another penalty on the sideline is even more garbage. It’s cowardly, gutless and wrong.” Cowardly, gutless and wrong? Pot, meet kettle. FSU’s motto: See no evil, hear no evil, suspend no evil. Seminoles cover 5.
Texas A&M at Mississippi State: The Aggies are ranked fourth by the playoff committee and Kevin Sumlin is the flavor of the week again. So everybody who thought he’s nothing without Johnny Manziel, yeah. A&M covers 13½.
*** Thursday Online-Only Special ***
Falcons at Bucs: Many jumped ship after Falcons lost their opener to Tampa Bay and Mike Smith but that turned out to be as misguided as the NFL’s belief that Thursday night football was a good idea. (It’s a felony.) The Falcons are 5-2 since. So is it time to get comfy? No. But I have a hard time visualizing four straight losses to a mediocre team. Birds over Bucs, cover 4.
NFL Six Pack
Eagles at Giants: Philadelphia receiver Josh Huff was arrested for speeding, DUI, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a gun. So the Eagles cut him, because, well, he doesn’t start. Giants cover 2.
Lions at Vikings: The Vikings were a great story after starting 5-0 without Adrian Peterson or Teddy Bridgewater, but now they’ve lost two straight and offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned because the offense ranks 31st and Turner was on a path of perpetual demotion, like Milton Waddams in “Office Space.” No word of Turner kept his stapler. Minny covers 6½.
Colts at Packers: Indy coach Chuck Pagano said this week’s game “will be a defining moment.” Actually, after losing to the Jaguars, we might be past that point. Packers covers 7½.
Panthers at Rams: Ever notice how quarterbacks only complain that officials aren’t doing enough to protect them when they’re 2-5, not when they’re 15-1 and going to the Super Bowl? This also might be a good time for Cam Newton to stop doing the electric slide across the goal line. Panthers cover 3.
Saints at 49ers: Not that everything going on in San Francisco is Chip Kelly’s fault but he’s 7-15 in the last two seasons as an NFL coach and the 49ers rank last in the league in offense. Go home, Chip. Saints cover 3½.
Cowboys at Browns: The Cowboys have a present and a future: His name is Dak Prescott. The Browns have a present and a future: Its name is 0-8. Halfway to a blown No. 1 pick. Dallas covers 7.
Last week: Disaster in college picks, better in pros. 9-5 straight up, 5-9 against the line.
Bottom dollars: 83-34-1 straight up, 58-57-3 against the line.
Lilly’s pick: Lilly has dropped four straight. This week, it was a choice of species: A kitty (Kentucky) on the left, a trembling chihuahua (Georgia) on the right. Lilly goes left: Upset! Kentucky wins.
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