Arkansas associate professor Lawton Nalley arrested for public intoxication and profanities for screaming at Arkansas coach Bret Bielema
We begin this week with an associate college professor, the intoxicating mixture of alcohol and football, a dash of profanity, and the long painful walk to the locker room by a losing coach.
Two weeks ago in Fayetteville, Lawton Nalley, a 37-year old associate professor of business and economics specializing in agriculture at the University of Arkansas, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, and public intoxication, for screaming obscenities at Razorback Coach Bret Bielema as he trudged off the field after the Hogs 49-30 loss to number 1 Alabama.
Lawton, who was briefly held at the local jail, has since apologized to the University, and more importantly to Coach Bielema. He remains employed at Arkansas.
This weekend, let’s see which teams give a teaching moment on how the game should be played, and which leave its profane alums crying in its beer after another loss.
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama (Ch. 4, 3:30 p.m.) It was the second year of the Harding Administration (1922), when Texas A&M started its 12th Man tradition in which all 38,000 students stand the entire game, metaphorically at the ready, if called upon.
Unfortunately, for the Aggies it’s going to take more than a tradition to bowl over Alabama.
In College Station, it’s been a season of glad tidings for the “Sons of John David Crow,” who surprisingly are 6-0 for the first time since its old Southwest Conference reigning days under Coach R.C. Slocum.
[Note: The joke around the nation was that the acronym of SWC translated: – ‘sure we’ll cheat.’
The leader of this Kevin Sumlin revitalization tour is Oklahoma graduate transfer, QB Trevor Knight (9 TDs-5 Ints -53% – 502 rushing yds. – 7 yds. a carry – 9 TDs) one of only two active signal callers to defeat Nick Saban’s Tide.
Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight
The dual-threat anvil-hardened leader, who attacks a defense with the same fearless élan as that of Jean Claude Kiley attacking a mountain, is assisted by his blue-ribbon t-freshman tailback Trayveon Williams (8 yds. a pop – 5 TDs), and a pair of quality receivers; Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds.
But the Aggies Achilles Heel is its D, led by safety Justin Evans, end Daeshon Hall (9 tfls-3.5 sacks) and backer Shaan Washington (4.5 tfls -2 sacks), that ranks 98th overall, and cracks more often than a bag of Diamond Walnuts on Thanksgiving.
[Note: All-America end Myles Garrett is back healthy which holds as much anticipation as Johnny Carson returning to the “Tonight Show” after a two-week vacation.]
In Tuscaloosa, the Sir Lancelot of college football, aka St. Nick, has his “Sons of Joe Namath” on a 19 -game winning streak (10 consecutive at home) that even King Arthur would find impressive.
Alabama has also successfully maneuvered through the first two legs of its 4-game gantlet (both on the road and with relative ease), so the friendly confines of “Title Town” should be as comforting as the loving arms of Queen Guinevere.
Alabama t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts
Dual-threat t-freshman QB Jalen Hurts (9 Tds-3 ints-63% -8 rushing TDs) is the commander of the country’s sixth highest scoring eleven (45) who, with apologies to John Mellencamp, “Hurts’ the opposition So Good,” in piloting the Tide’s dominating battleship.
The kid, who has plays with the poise of Sandy Koufax, is assisted by a pair of show ponies; Damien Harris (8 yds. a carry), and Josh Jacobs (8 yds. a pop), the principle road-runners on the nation’s tenth best rushing attack.
When the wunderkind takes to the Alabama skies, future Sunday performers; Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, and tight end O.J. Howard are “Linus-blanket” targets.
But if the Tide’s offense is a five-star feast, its D serves a menu of Michelin 3-star perfection.
The nation’s eighth stingiest group (15), anchored by All-Americas; backer Reuben Foster, and tackle Jonathan Allen (5.5 tfls-5 sacks), and mixed with fellow backer Shaun-dion Hamilton (7.5 tfls), is tops in rushing yards allowed (63 yds.) and is more disruptive than “Lady Gaga” going country.
The Aggies had an extra week to prepare for this game, they could have taken a month, it wouldn’t have mattered, as the Tide’s streak rolls to a Barry Sanders 20. Roll Tide!
No. 23 Mississippi at No. 25 LSU (ESPN, 9 p.m.) The Rebels are the best 3-3 team in America.
But as the Oxford faithful are well aware, if it could only hold onto a lead, ‘Ole Miss would be securely perched inside the Top-10.
These “Sons of Charlie Conerly” (fought in the Battle of Guam), are directed by another guy with a Sunday future, QB Chad Kelly (14 TDs-5-ints-62%) who, like his HOF uncle Jim, is tougher than Elizabeth Warren excoriating the now former CEO of Wells Fargo; John Stumpf.
The battle hardened marksman is assisted by tailback Akeem Judd, who has run like Wynonna (Mississippi 85th in rushing), and a trio of field-stretchers; All-America caliber tight end Evan Engram (15 yds. catch – 9 TDs) and receivers Damore’es Stringfellow, and Van Jefferson.
And just like the shanties of the delta, Mississippi’s D has more holes than the aliases of that shady sleazebag, and now missing Quincy realtor; Scot Wolas or whatever his name is.
[Note: Wolas is the guy who absconded with $1.5 million of investor’s dough on a phony scam that involved the closed Beachcomber Club on Wollaston Beach.]
These defensive matadors, featuring safety Zedrick Woods, backer DeMarcus Gates, and end Marquis Haynes (6-tfls-4 sacks) are a bottom feeding 104th in both; total defense, and run stopping, and surrender points (30) at a faster clip than Donald Trump tweets about a “rigged election.”
In Baton Rouge, “The king is dead, long live the king.”
LSU’s new coach Ed Orgeron aka Coach O
Ed Orgeron is the head that now wears the crown, and the lovefest toward the first Louisianan to lead the Tigers since Jerry Stovall (1980-83), has a vibe that is Woodstock worthy.
The Death Valley newbie, who exudes more energy than an “Eversource” power plant, has also removed the offensive shackles, and the early returns have, to stay with the political parlance of the day; a landslide.
The keys to the Caddy are now in the hands of Purdue transfer QB Danny Etling (6 TDs-2 Ints – 58%) with assists from a dynamic turf churning duo; Derrius Guice (9 yds. a pop – 6 TDs) and his partner Darrel Williams, along with a pair of defense stressing wideouts; Malachi Dupree, and Travin Dural, who’ll keep any defense from stacking the box.
But LSU’s pearl in the oyster is its D led by backers Kendell Beckwith, Arden Key (7.5 tfls – 7 sacks), and All-America safety Jamal Adams.
The country’s fourth tightest (14) eleven is tougher to penetrate than the security around Kayne and Kim, and will ultimately determine the length, and future employment of LSU’s newly crowned leader.
We think the lovefest expresses the intensity of Bogart and Bergman in “Casablanca” as the Tigers crown the Rebels and climb in the raknings.
TCU at No. 12 West Virginia (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.) As “Sylvester the Cat” might incredulously ask; “What in ‘sufferin succotash’ in going on in Fort Worth?
Coach Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs, like Jason Bourne, have lost its defensive identity, and have morphed into all the rest of the Big-12 interchangeable colanders.
Sylvester the Cat
QB Kenny Hill (12 TDs – 8 Ints- 63% -7 rushing TDs) is TCU’s bombardier with assists from a pair of game-breakers; wideouts Taj Williams (20 yds. a catch – 4 TDs) and his partner John Diarse (16 yds.) and when the Frogs call a pitchout, tailback Kyle Hicks is a turf turner with attitude.
But as the faithful have witnessed, the D of the “Sons of Bob Schieffer” is more frightening than anything that will be roaming the streets this Halloween, and that includes all the clowns.
These muckrakers, led by backers Ty Summers, Travin Howard, and safety Denzel Johnson, surrender 30 sieve-like points a game (85th), and opposing QB’s have sliced and diced them (103rd defending the pass) more than a Ron Popeil Veg-O-Matic.
In West Virginia, and with apologies to John Denver; it’s been a “Country Roads” of surprises belted out by these Mountaineers.
The “Sons of Don Nehlen” who are directed by QB Skyler Howard (8 TDs – 4 Ints – 66% – 3 rushing) and assisted by tailbacks Justin Crawford, Rushel Shell, and a trio of wideout stressors; Daikel Shorts, Shelton Gibson, and Ka’raun White have shown better overall balance than the Wallendas family.
But the biggest eye opener in Morgantown has been a D anchored by safety Jarrod Harper, backer Justin Arndt (4 tfls- 2 sacks), and corner Kyzir White, which despite surrendering tons of yardage, has managed to stiffen in the red-zone, allowing a more than respectable – 19 points a game.
We think the Morgantown magic continues as Coach Dana Holgorsen’s heroes continue to climb the charts.
No.17 Arkansas at No.21 Auburn (ESPN, 6 p.m.) The Hogs have been bringing home the bacon, or to paraphrase Golden Globe winner Ving Rhames the voice in the commercial for Arby’s; “Arkansas, they have the Meats!”
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema
The “Sons of Jerry Jones” are under the purview of its master butcher, QB Austin Allen (18 TDs-6 Ints-63%), who “Ginga” knifes a defense behind the nation’s eighth leading rusher Rawleigh Williams (785-yds. 5 TDs), and a quartet of receivers: Drew Morgan, Jared Cornelius, Keon Hatcher, and Jeremy Sprinkle.
Unfortunately the pork bellies D, led by backers; Brooks Ellis, Dre Greenlaw and Deatrich Wise, has slowed the opposition’s running attack (80th), about as often as Joe Biden regrets not running for President, or an incumbent Mayor of Boston loses re-election.
On the Plains, it was only a few weeks ago that the seat of Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn was hotter than the lava flow from Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano.
But three consecutive victories has put the kibosh, at least temporarily, on the Mayflower moving vans.
The Tigers off week has also been fruitful allowing its starry tailbacks; Kerryon Johnson (ankle), and Kamryn Pettway, who have combined for 1043 yards and 10 TDs, to return like Ricard Nixon in 1968; “rested and ready.”
The director of the “Sons of Bo Jackson” is QB Sean White (6 TDs-2 Ints-69%) whose principle aerial sightings; Tony Stevens, and Ryan Davis, have big play capability.
The Tiger’s D, the nation’s 11th stingiest (16), featuring backers Tre’ Williams, Darrell Williams, and corner Johnathan Ford, has some issues slowing the run, but overall has been as surprising as Tito Francona’s Cleveland Indians, and will keep Auburn in every game. (How come we can’t get managers like that?!)
Ultimately, in a very tight game, we think the Hogs find a way to bring home the bacon.
North Carolina State at No. 7 Louisville (Ch.5, Noon) The Wolfpack has a dilemma the magnitude of the fractured Republican Party.
It not only has to power-wash away the sting of last week’s lost opportunity of monumental proportions, but it must regroup, go on the road and face the highest scoring band in the land. Ouch.
These “John Wayne” gritty “Sons of Phillip Rivers” are directed by its starry QB Ryan Finley (9TDs-2 – ints), who has shown an ability to take a hit with Ali bravado.
The “Raleigh Rifleman” is assisted by tailback Matt Dayes (5 yds. a carry – 4 TDs), and a pair of glue-fingered receivers; tight end Jaylen Samuels (4 Tds), and wideout Stephen Louis, who is averaging an eye-popping 22-yards a grab.
NC State’s D, behind backer Airius Moore (6.5 tfls), safety Josh Jones, and end Bradley Chubb (8.5 tfls – 5 sacks) has been as smooth as a puff of a Tar Heel State’s finely rolled stogie.
Louisville is flying higher than Richard Branson of Virgin Air, and has displayed better numbers than Elle Macpherson or Wilt Chamberlain.
Louisville Qb and Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson
The descendants of “Johnny U” who are hanging more than a half-a-hundred (52) against its opponents are led by its “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” Heisman frontrunner, QB Lamar Jackson (15 TDs – 4 Ints – 15 rushing -4th in nation – 832 rushing yds.) who dances like Nureyev, and plays with a Sinatra-esque duende, that even the irascible and acerbic columnist George Frazier would begrudgingly admire.
The Louisville maestro behind tailbacks Brandon Radcliff (8 yds. a carry), his partner Jeremy Smith (10 yds.), and a trio of touchdown making receivers; James Quick (17 yds. – 4 TDs), Jamari Staples (19 yds.) and tight end Cole, has more weapons at his disposal than a Kurdish Peshmerga battalion pushing toward Mosul.
The D featuring backers Keith Kelsey, James Hearns, and corner Zykiesis Cannon isn’t as dominating, but does possess thoroughbred speed and is solid in all phases.
Sean O’Malley would approve of these Cardinals, and in a tip of the cap to the latest Nobel Prize winner for Literature, “You don’t need a weatherman, to tell which way the wind blows,” same goes for the scoreboard in Papa John’s Stadium on Saturday.
Last week: 4-1 Season Record: 20-15.
That’s it from cyber-space. We’ll be up and running with our recap by noon Sunday. Until then, Peace and listen to the music. pk