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My columns have been way too serious lately, so going to pick some Hog football wins and losses. It’s SEC Fantasy Football with a Hog look, and while I’m at it, I have a few pointers to give our cheerleaders, bands and mascots.

Let’s start with the overall schedule, and according to most of the pundits, it’s the toughest schedule ever in the history of football, and if the Hogs played in the NFL it would be a step down. Well. I’m not bothered a bit with the omission of the “Little Sisters of Mercy” schools being dropped. Course, I’m not coaching or playing, but heck, if you knock off one of them it’s a “so what?” and God forbid, if they whip up on the Hogs, its coach changing time.

The season starts September 26 with Georgia, the team with ugliest mascot in the SEC, a fat, squatty dog named Uga. Being the ugliest is hard to do ‘cause you have to be uglier than a hog. Georgia will probably be suiting up walk-ons, but since Hog Coach P. knows all the Georgia secrets, and the overconfident Georgia team has already written up a win, the Hogs will surprise the Dogs, and will win in a squeaker 14 to 10. And Asa will designate September 26 as a state holiday.

Well, the Hogs won’t be underdogs when they head for cowbell country, which is Mississippi State. Yes, ringing those cowbells can get on your nerves, and I would imagine the sale of hearing aids in Mississippi is pretty lucrative. However, the Hogs will still be celebrating the big Georgia victory, and won’t be at the top of their game. It’s going to be a close game, but another dog team in the SEC will pull it out and Mississippi State will take a 20 to 17 win. Say Mississippi State folks: four dog teams are three to many in the SEC. Get another mascot. How about the Cows — you know, like cowbells?

In game three, the Hogs are on the road to Auburn, and old what’s his name, the Arkansas turncoat coach, will be lying in wait, and it won’t be good day for Hogs. They’ll come back to Fayetteville with two hams missing, and a 14 to 3 loss. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it ain’t a freight train, it’s Ole Miss. The Rebels will roll into Fayetteville, and the U of A band won’t be playing Dixie. Actually, I think the band should work up a “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” as a theme song. Well, while I’m talking about the band, I recommend a new 2020 look. Maybe Snoop Dogg could design something, and get rid of those hats. I see a red baseball cap with “Make the Hogs Great Again” on it. Of course, our female cheerleaders might ask Lady Gaga for a little wardrobe help. But it’s a home game for the hogs, and my bet is Razorback Stadium will be packed and roaring for the Hogs. It’s the Hogs by two field goals, 27-21, and Arkansas’s virus cases will spike to 4000 a day for the next two weeks.

Then its head down to Texas A & M. Yeah, I can’t stand those Aggies. The Corp goes over the top even when they are getting killed. When we lived in Texas and went to College Station to watch the Hogs play, and the Corp booed when our band played the U of A’s Alma Mater was when I put those suckers in my low rent category. And they have another stupid dog as a mascot named Reveille. Hey, you morons, we have way too many dog mascots already in the SEC. You need a new mascot. How about the “Lizards?” Well, the Hogs will have found a quarterback by this time in the schedule, and a series zippie passes and a running quarterback will knock off the Aggies, 32 to 17.

Then it’s back to the hill to play another dog team. Evidently, some folks think if you are in the SEC you have to have dog as a mascot. Well, Tennessee has Smokey #10, a really dumb looking hound dog, and yes they are also called the Vols, since most sportswriters can’t spell Volunteers. But since their colors are a sick orange, and they look a little too much like Texas burnt orange, I developed an immediate dislike for Tennessee. However, the Hogs will roll as our new quarterback will run circles around the Vols, and Arkansas picks up another win. It’s a 21 to 10, Hogs, and for the first time since only God know when, the Hogs have won three in a row.

Well, with a whopping three game winning streak the Hogs will head for Florida with their heads in the sky, and that’s why they will get their collective asses kicked. My crystal ball says “The Swamp” will do in the Hogs. I’m seeing a gator go chomp, chomp: Florida 14, Hogs 3.

Now its payback time, and the battered and bloodied Hogs will return to their pen in Fayetteville to face the over-ranked LSU Tigers—well at least they aren’t dogs. Yes, I know there are at least 50 other football teams called the Tigers, but Louisiana isn’t known for being original. I think LSU will be ranked number one. It’s the big upset of the season as I see it, and if we don’t get a forfeit, (Louisiana is also number one in the virus category) a final minute field goal wins it, 24-21.

Yes, by game 9 with Missouri the Hogs will have their game down, and they will roll. Of course, I have a problem with Missouri’s mascot, the Tigers. Come on guys! We already have enough Tigers. When you folks play LSU do you just yell “Go Tigers” and figure you have a winner one way or another. I guess I’m going to have to come up with a name, and it seems Missouri is just up there in never-never land and maybe just the “Nobodies” would fit them. Yeah, the Hogs will take Missouri by two touchdowns, 28-14, but nobody will care.

Hogs are on a roll, and some folks picking them to knock off Alabama, which is rumored to have genetically engineered pom-pom girls, but our Hogs have been reading their press clippings and checking on bowl games instead of getting fired up to meet Alabama, and it will be another slaughter, but not as bad as the really bad slaughters in the past, but the Hogs will lose. As the Hogs stagger off the field a packed home crowd will cheer them as if they had won, (Hog fans reached crowd immunity after the Ole Miss game) and the buzz will be “Coach P. can coach.” Sorry, but my crystal ball sees a 28 to 10 Crimson Tide (at least they aren’t another dog or tiger team.) win.

Those are my Fantasy-Hog Football picks, folks. I believe the hogs will go 5-5, even though the pundit’s consensus says they will get 1.5 wins. I guess they don’t count Missouri as a full win.

Richard Mason is a registered professional geologist, downtown developer, former chairman of the Department of Environmental Quality Board of Commissioners, past president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation, and syndicated columnist. Email [email protected]

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