PETE’S PICKS: Disappointment with last week’s pick, grasping at straws

0
17

Disappointment. It can catch us off guard at any time, entering our life unexpectedly, or it can be something we will knowingly experience through anticipated feelings.

If you have ever done something you normally would not simply to see if the unexpected happens we are on the same page.

Or perhaps your hypothesis has an expected result so you venture into thought and action to verify results. Television detectives would refer to it as a hunch.

Last Saturday was no different than any other day. I had options. I had thoughts.

Unfortunately, I made a prediction I knew would not end well, but I grasped at straws anyway solely to give myself a sense of comfort.

In all honesty, going in I knew my prediction would not bode well, yet I wanted to see if the strength, conviction, and motivation were there to overcome.

Whereas sometimes I battle karma and vocalize a thought in hopes the opposite will happen, this time I did not bite might tongue, and let the record show I made a mistake I may forever regret.

Arkansas lost to Texas A&M, and while the score seemed close for an extended period, the game was not really was a little bit one-sided.

They were able to break down our defense with medium passes over the middle. They were able to stifle our offense as the game wore on. They simply were the better team.

Now we move on to this week with the hope they have not broken our spirit. So now we wait.

By the end of Saturday, after playing Tennessee, we will see just how much resolve is ensconced within this Razorback team’s soul.

Sam Pittman and his staff will have this team ready for a home game against the Tennessee Volunteers. Unlike last week, I say this with full confidence.

Some may remember Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee team being honored early in the season with a ranked spot in the Top 25.

Notice I was careful not to use the word “earned”. It would be pretentious of me to state I was the only one doubting the credibility of the votes cast by those “in the know”.

Two weeks into the 2020 season, after a close win against South Carolina on the road and a dominant win versus a visiting Missouri Tiger squad, I did begin to question my doubt in the Volunteers, but only slightly.

Three straight Tennessee losses later (including an embarrassment at home against the SEC enigma we know as Kentucky), the validity of our intuition casting reservations of anything near even an SEC East title in Knoxville has presented itself.

Yes, the other two recent losses were against Top 5 Georgia and Alabama, so those clad in orange can hang their checkered scarfs on that.

Arkansas also holds a 2–3 record in Pittman’s freshman campaign, unless you want to count the asterisk next to the Auburn game a win.

However, Arkansas’s three losses look far better on paper, and picking them seems like a wise choice. Even Vegas is playing to close with Tennessee only being a one-point favorite.

Blah, blah, blah … Like a small town constable giving a campaign speech on why he should be elected to the state senate, I have rambled enough.

Why Arkansas will win:

Motivation. This team feels it has something to prove and a win over Tennessee would continue the progress they’ve made with wins over the Mississippi teams.

Razorback Stadium. We are at home. Everyone plays better at home… right? I’m not asking you, Chad Morris.

Offense. Arkansas’s attack under Kendal Briles is improving on a weekly basis. Our line and backs will have to find a way to keep linebacker Deandre Johnson out of the backfield and away from Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks.

Why Tennessee will win:

Defense. Tennessee’s defensive unit came into 2020 with a lot of hype, and, in my opinion, with a lot of reason.

They may be amped to play up to their preseason expectations against an Arkansas team they view as reeling.

Eric Gray. His last name may be bland, but the running back averages four-and-a-half yards per carry.

Hogs defensive coordinator Barry Odom will need to ensure we have enough pressure coming up to stop the ground game grind.

This may be more possible due to Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano not being much of a threat in comparison to what Arkansas has face all season.

Motivation. Cliché. Tennessee knows they will soon be short one coach Pruitt if they lose four in a row, especially against a Razorback team who many still feel the jury is out on their true talent and potential.

Final thoughts:

• This week there are some injuries to the Volunteer defense which may limit playing time. Furthermore, talented cornerback Alontae Taylor will not participate against Arkansas.

• Hey, if you were fortunate to get tickets to this reduced attendance game, take advantage of it, and go make some noise. I was sick of the non-stop praise of Kyle Field last week.

• Odds are a Vanderbilt quarterback will win the Heisman before we know who won the presidential election.

• These Hogs are winning us over even when they do not play as well. Why? Because they are showing improvement and desire.

No reverse hopes here in this week’s prediction…

Arkansas, 34–12

Listen to the game Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at HitThatLine.com and on the air at ESPN Arkansas 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.

SEC Picks for Week 10

Andy admires me and my accurate SEC games forecast capabilities. He won’t admit it, but he does.

(8) Florida at (5) Georgia [GAME OF THE WEEK]: This is, of course, a toss-up. I could not convince myself whom … who … whom to pick. So I flipped a quarter, and the lords of luck said Florida… “Okay, best of three.” Flip two also went to Florida. “Best of five,” as who am I to limit such an important decision to only two tosses of a U.S. monetary prophecy tool? The winner – Gators. “Last chance, Georgia, best of seven.” Flip four for Florida. Nice try champions of chance. Bulldogs by 10.

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State [SLOPFEST OF THE WEEK]: I stated last week the Commodores will not win a game all season. This week may be their best shot, but no one would bet their lucky quarter on it. Another group of Bulldogs by 21.

(7) Texas A&M at South Carolina: The Aggies my be in for a surprise this week, and while I would enjoy picking this as an upset, the HTL season competition is too close for me to risk it. A&M by 16.

Tennessee at Arkansas: Forgive me if I am wrong. Hogs by 22.

Last week I used the word “bye” to start my piece. For the record, given how my week went, I will never do that again. Here’s to 12-rounds of luck.  Once again, my apologies.

Find me on ‘Twitter’: @PeterMorganWPS

Go HOGS!!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here