Remember when it wasn’t football season without hearing those wonderful sayings from Keith Jackson?
Whoa Nellie! Upset Bug Already Biting the SEC
By: Larry Burton
As sportswriters, we think we know more than the average Joe, after all we study, we have inside sources and see things differently than the casual fan. Or so we think.
Well after last night’s SEC kickoff, many sportswriters, me included, will go back to the chalk board after the way Texas A&M not only won, but beat the tar out of the team that the great majority of sportswriters, me included, felt would win the SEC East this season. Add to that Vanderbilt was not just beaten, but humiliated by the Temple Owls, a team we would usually laugh at when it comes to taking on any SEC team.
All night I could picture Keith Jackson, the famous ABC college sports figure for so many years, looking at the upsets getting more and more out of hand and yelling, “Who Nellie! There they go again and folks now this one has become a laugher!”
Just in case you didn’t know, Vanderbilt was as much as a 17 point favorite over Temple, but the final score was 37-7 Temple. For you non math majors, that’s 47 point difference than what the boys in Las Vegas saw! To say nobody saw this kind of butt whipping coming from Temple was a vast understatement.
And in the case of the Gamecocks, the Old Ball Coach was supposed to coast in this one and win by at least 10 points. The final score in that game was 52-28 Texas A&M. Again, for the non math majors that’s a difference of 34 points from what was expected to happen!
Only Ole Miss took care of business and did so in a way that surpassed their favored line. Ole Miss was a nine point favorite and won by 22.
So folks, you can certainly say the upset bug is in flight and packs quite a bite and coaches that thought they had an easy week may now be swallowing hard and wondering if they are as unprepared as South Carolina and Vanderbilt looked last night.
I can guarantee that Nick Saban will bring this up to his Crimson Tide, who go into the game with West Virginia a huge 27 point favorite and I’ll bet the farm that Gus Malzahn tells his team that if they don’t play up to the highest standards that they could down too despite being a 21 point favorite.
My hunch is that the bug will bite at least one more time this holiday weekend and I can’t say where, but it is one hungry bug and it’s certainly on the prowl.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter