Mark Green Picks The SEC

Road kill, problems on Rocky Top, a troubled Jackie Sherrill and the Tigers vs. Razorbacks showdown are among the subjects Mark Green writes about in this week's SEC football column.

Mark Green

Editor's Note: Mark Green is looking to get back on his hot streak after seeing his three-week streak of perfect picking end in the Saturday morning game when the Florida Gators were stunned by Ole Miss. Mark's late night longshot pick of Arkansas to win at Tennessee was inspired, but the Razorbacks couldn't seal the deal despite multiple opportunities in the six overtimes. For the season, Mark has a 42-7 record for an .857 percentage.


Once again, the waxen Jackie Sherrill insinuated his odious personality into a post-game handshake, this time in Columbia accusing an entirely uncompunctious Lou Holtz of trying to score one-too many touchdowns against his lackadaisical Bulldogs. Said Sherill, "You got too much class to do what you did. And, hey, we been competing together too long to do what you did."

Class? Now wher'd he hear about class? Hey, this bellyaching by Jackie is beginning to sound all too familiar, as is the weekly Bulldog scoreboard. Saturday, State gets to really take stock of how far the program has come under Sherrill when Troy State returns to Starkville for a possible repeat of last season's humiliating Trojan win. And, hey, this game, sick as it is, is one of the most intriguing on Saturday's slate. Intriguing because no one knows yet if State has thrown in the towel on what has already become a 1-4 season. Mississippi State 24,Troy State 23Hey!


The Big Blue has really made a splash so far this season, compiling a 4-1 record and giving the Florida Gators a run for their money two weeks ago in Gainesville. Derek Abney lived up to his billing as UK's big-play specialist by returning both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the Cats' game effort.

Now UK must assume the role of SEC favorite as Lou Holtz' young and improving Gamecocks visit Lexington for an evening of fun and football. The tailgaters should be out early to salute the men in Blue, but by the time it's over 'Cocks could be doing all the crowing. South Carolina 24, Kentucky 20.


It's down to business for well-rested Vanderbilt this week as Bobby Johnson and his peppy Commodores take on the now-defunct Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State. Andy McCollum's Raiders gambled on an SEC schedule this fall and have thus far crapped out to the point of blowing the whole season. Maybe Vandy will provide some much-needed relief, but I have a feeling the losing will continue for MTSU even with Vandy quarterback Jay Cutler sitting out with a one-game suspension. Vanderbilt 27, MTSU 20.

Arkansas State at OLE MISS

A week off is just what the doctor ordered for the victory-glutted Rebels, still drunk on the fumes of last Saturday's 17-14 upset of then Top 10 Florida. Well, maybe not literally a week off, but these Arkansas State Indians are just plain awful. Even conservative ole Coach Cutcliffe can just sit back and give the ball to his running backs as he is so want to do.

Eli should ring the register a few times himself, so it ought to be a good time at the Grove, even if the Indians manage to break into the kitchen and take a lock or two of that well-brushed long black hair with them. Ole Miss 41, Arkansas State 14.


What a foul and pestilent game it was for the road- killed Gators in Oxford last Saturday. Turnovers and disinterested game-planning probably set in early motion the dismissal of first-year head coach Ron Zook. Oh, he may get a season or two to redeem himself, but losing to Ole Miss by failing to score more than 17 points is so un-Spurrier-like that even the most intoxicated of Gator fans will at once recall what the program has lost since last winter.

And if last January was a sad time for Florida fans, just think how blue things might get by this Christmas at the Purple Porpoise. Gator football may never be the same. Pass the cruel sauce; it's fixin' to be hotter still at Florida Field for the fast-talking, wide-eyed neurotic nomad from up north.

LSU Coach Nick Saban and his Bengal Tigers must be licking their chops over this wounded Gator, feeling that any team who can't put up 20 against Ole Miss is no match for the SEC's league-leading defense. They may be right. Florida has clearly lost the passing attack that made it famous, and so far at least, the Gators have been too proud to buckle up and grind it out. But unless they do that--get their fine stable of running backs into the game--the losing streak might not stop at one. Florida 23, LSU 17.


The bad news just keeps on coming at Rocky Top, as game-saving junior QB Casey Clausen suffered a cracked collarbone in last Saturday night's hair-raising, six OT win over Arkansas. And even though Java Clausen "might" play, bone cracks, hair spikes and all, it could be a bad day Between the Hedges where, in ancient times, the Georgia Bulldogs used to always beat the Volunteers. Gonna bury ya boy!

Expect a Vol brawl this Saturday, but with WRs Gary, Gibson and Edwards, UGA just might make it seem like the good ole days on the tressel, whether crazy Casey plays or not. Georgia 30, Tennessee 20.


Well, well. So we meet again. Last season, Auburn's budding season flew off-track like a wounded passenger pigeon by sustaining a hard-to-believe 42-17 broadside loss in Fayetteville. It's difficult even now to understand what really happened up there. Cadillac ran wild--for 177 yards. Auburn gained nearly 500 yards on offense while holding Arkansas to under 300. The Tigers were certainly "man enough" to beat the Hogs. Yet AU was humiliated on the scoreboard.

Everything went way wrong for the Tigers. DB Junior Rosegreen was cheated by an official on a pass interference call. Pig sophomore QB Matt Jones ran for nearly a hundred yards while tossing an unlikely touchdown pass. Meanwhile, AU QB Daniel Cobb had perhaps his worst game ever, tossing up two interceptions-turned-touchdowns, and Tiger WR Tim Carter, while running free, lobbed the ball up for grabs unmolested, as if he were playing badminton in the backyard with Mr. Rogers. What the *#*? Bad memories. Bad day. Bad game. But that was almost a year ago. This time the home-cookin' Tigers will be waitin'. And I can smell the Pig Meat a cookin' already. Break out the red sauce. It has a sweet taste to it. Auburn 27, Arkansas 13.

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