Weekend Predictions: Georgia feasts on Tech, Falcons over Bucs

According to legend, my second-favorite source to the person who every year swears Jon Gruden was sitting in a corner booth at a Waffle House with Elvis going over the final details of his contract to coach Tennessee, Thanksgiving stems from a harvest feast in 1621 when Plymouth Colonists stuffed the Wampanoag Indians with all the turkey they could eat, and Wampanoag’s general manger was still so hammered on tryptophan five years later that he swapped Manhattan for $24 worth of beads, two butternut squashes, a seventh-round draft pick and the green Jello with fruit cocktail that Aunt Edna always brings over but nobody eats, because, seriously.

The Wampanoag Indians eventually saw a decline in attendance and moved to Cleveland, where they became the Browns.

So it’s on this day of celebration that Georgia tries to keep its feast going (if you don’t count two weeks ago when they fell face-first in the gravy boat). The Bulldogs are huge favorites over Georgia Tech. The annual meeting is known as “Clean Old Fashioned Hate,” which is funny considering Georgia fans were so upset about Tech winning the first time in 1893 that they “threw rocks and other debris at the Georgia Tech players and chased the victorious Blacksmiths (Jackets) back to their awaiting train.” (Source: Wikipedia. Better than Tennessee/Gruden sources.)

Georgia is headed for next week’s SEC title game and has a shot at a playoff berth.

Georgia State is going to a bowl game.

Kennesaw State is in the playoffs.

Georgia Tech has in the last three weeks: 1) Lost to Virginia; 2) then upset 17th ranked Virginia Tech; 3) then lost at Duke.

Tech should change its mascot to the BiPolar Bears.

It’s a rivalry game. Strange things happen. Tech has won two of the last three meetings but oddly hasn’t beaten Georgia at home since 1999 (George O’Leary vs. Jim Donnan, 51-48 in overtime).

That may happen again. One day. Not this year. Georgia wins and covers 11.

 Trying to get home for Thanksgiving (”Planes, Trains and Automobiles)

I’m Not Moving From This Couch

Alabama at Auburn: Alabama has won three straight meetings since the “kick-six” loss in 2013 but nobody seems to talk about that. Then again, it’s fun to irritate Nick Saban, which is probably professional troll Lane Kiffin this week shared a photoshopped picture of Saban wearing torn jeans (in light of Saban’s little rant on torn jeans last week). Kiffin, now at Florida Atlantic, is trying to yuk-yuk his way back into the SEC. Hey, the Tennessee job is open. Bama wins but take Auburn and 4-1/2.

Florida State at Florida: The Gators are awaiting on Chip Kelly, but he’s eating a corn dog and rollerblading near the Santa Monica pier so that’s not a good sign. Seminoles cover 5.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee: Kelly turned down the Tennesssee job. Also a slightly more attractive opening at Captain D’s. Vanderbilt has won three of the last five meetings. Is there still a pulse in Knoxville? Uh, no. Commodores pull the upset.

Knoxville’s top attraction

Clemson at South Carolina: Chaos ensues if the Gamecocks pull an upset, then Clemson blows out Miami in the ACC title game and no conference team goes to the playoffs. I love chaos. OK, fantasy over: Tigers win but take the Poultry and 13-1/2.

Virginia Tech at Virginia: The Hokies have won 13 straight in this series. Ah hell, I’m already drunk on fruitcake: Take the 7 and the Cavaliers in a straight upset.

Kevin Sumlin and Bret Bielema could be the next SEC coaches to get fired and receive the official parting gift after this week.

Missouri at Arkansas: Missouri’s sports information department referred to Arkansas’s coach as “Bert” Bielema in this week’s official game notes. Hey, he’s been called worse. Tigers win but take the Razorbacks and nine.

Texas A&M at LSU: Welcome to coach-flushing season. One of head coaches is expected to be gone after this game and against all preseason odds it’s not Ed Orgeron. Too bad because Kevin Sumlin is pretty good and the Johnny Manziel years were probably an aberration in College Station, the armpit of Texas. LSU wins but take A&M plus 10.

Louisville at Kentucky: The Wildcats going into the season finale with the same record (7-4, 4-4) at Bobby Petrino. They also carry the sentimental vote. However: Cards win but take Cats and 10.

Samford at Kennesaw State: The Owls, winners of 10 straight and the Big South title, play their first FCS playoff game. I look forward to the renaming of Bohannan Mountain. KSU wins a pick ’em.

Appalachian State at Georgia State: The Panthers, new residents of the Braves’ former stadium, have won six of the last seven and are tied with App State for first place in the Sun Belt. Must have a better bullpen. The magic ends: App covers 7.

NFL Six-Pack

Bucs at Falcons: Jameis Winston is out with a shoulder injury, which for all we know he got during an Uber ride. He allegedly groped an Uber driver. The NFL is investigating. The league was going to leave it up to Florida State to investigate but that never worked when he was in school, so ... Falcons roll, cover 10.

Feeling nostalgic: Jameis goes crablegs shopping

Saints at Rams: The Saints rank first in offense, third in scoring and have won eight straight in a season when many didn’t believe it would win eight overall. I’m the guy who keeps doubling down because at some point the coin comes up tails. Rams win and cover 2-1/2.

Seahawks at 49ers: Seattle apparently needed somebody to blame for the loss to the Falcons so it waived Dwight Freeney, who had three sacks in four games. Turns out that fake field goal wasn’t the worst Pete Carroll decision in the past week. Seattle wins but take the 49ers and 6-1/2.

Battle of Oy-hio: The Browns are so bad, they aspire to be  the Bengals. Cincinnati covers 7-1/2.

Some stories never change.
Photo: Maribeth Joeright

Bears at Eagles: Carson Wentz of North Dakota State leads the NFL with 25 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. Blow that out your 5-star rankings. Pretty sure the Bears would lose to the Bison. Eagles cover 13-1/2.

Jaguars at Cardinals: Jacksonville can become only the fifth team since 1940 to allow less than 10 points in seven of the first 11 games. The other four teams went to the championship. Yeah, that’s not happening. Jags cover 5. 

Lilly The Greek

The Mutt, who plans to binge on turkey gravy this weekend, had her five-game winning streak snapped in Seattle, but she’s still 8-3. This week, we cheese’d pictures of Nick Saban (left) and Gus Malzahn. Lilly started right, then went left. Roll Tide.

Lilly barks, “Roll Tide.”
Photo: Jeff Schultz/jschultz@ajc.com

Accountability scorecard

"I don’t gamble, if you will concede that poker is a game of skill.” -- Robert A. Heinlein, “Glory Road.”

Last week: 13-3 straight up, 8-8 against the spread.

Through 12 weeks: 127-40 straight up, 81-79-7 against the spread.

“Sack Schultz 2017”: E. Waldrop of Alabama has a two-win lead going into the final week for the $2,500 vacation grand prize. Updates at AJC.com/sackschultz

Thanksgiving podcast: On Tech-Georgia, Falcons, Coppolella and food 

Reprising a Thanksgiving tradition: In the spirit of Furman Bisher, it’s time to give thanks (to some)

Subscribe to the,We Never Played The Game” podcast with the AJC's Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein on iTunes or on the new AJC sports podcasts page.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz
Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.
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