In my last piece, we looked at four underperformers in 2011. Now, let’s take a look at five bold upset predictions for this coming season.
Remember, you heard them here first:
1. September 3rd – Boise State 28, Georgia 25
Let’s start it off with a week one underperformer – the Georgia Bulldogs. Mark Richt is sitting on the hot seat, and it will get even hotter after this one. I expect Georgia to play their tail off, but it won’t be enough. The Boise State Broncos did it in their opener in 2010, and they will do it again this year and rip the hearts out of the Georgia-faithful in Atlanta. The running game will be ineffective for Georgia and there will be no one to turn to, unlike last year with AJ Green. Richt will ultimately feel the heat a week later against South Carolina.
2. September 24 – Arkansas 31, Alabama 28
Oh the lore of the Arkansas Razorbacks going on the road and beating the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. I can read the headlines now, “Alabama Defense Burned By Hogs’ Passing Game”. This one has upset all over it, and it should have happened last year in Fayetteville. This year, the Razorbacks will do it in Bryant-Denny, and the Rammer Jammer will be no more.
3. October 1 – Mississippi State 28, Georgia 17
The Mississippi State Bulldogs will prove once again their fluke win over Georgia last year in Starkville wasn’t a fluke after all. Dan Mullen still has magic against Georgia, as he dominated them year after year in Gainesville. Relf will throw for 200-plus, and State will score four rushing touchdowns for their dynamic ground game. Cowbells will be ringing between the hedges.
4. October 15 – Tennessee 27, LSU 24
Tennessee should have defeated the Tigers last year, but because of a too-many-men-on-the-field flag, the Vols dropped that one on the road. Now, the Tigers travel into Neyland Stadium in front of the Power T. Tyler Bray will perform well enough in this one to bring the Big Orange back to the winning circle. Les Miles’ magic will run out in Neyland on this day.
5. October 22 – Jacksonville State 28, Kentucky 24
The Jacksonville State fighting whatever they are will defeat the Kentucky Wildcats this year. The Wildcats lost a ton of playmaking ability in Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke, and even though they beat Ole Miss last year, Kentucky will be the only victim of the 2011 season to fall to a 1-AA team. Former Georgia Bulldog Washaun Ealey beat up on the Wildcats last year, and he will do it again this year.