It’s going to be cold at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning when the Razorback game begins.
With duck season starting and Thanksgiving just a few days away, Arkansans will have plenty of excuses to miss a contest between a 3-7 team and a 4-6 team that are a combined 1-11 in Southeastern Conference play.
I’ll be there. So will my wife and our youngest son. Brenda Scisson has put together quite a Saturday morning brunch menu for the tailgate party we’ll attend.
I’ve never tried to hide my love for War Memorial Stadium. There are so many good memories of the high school and college football games I’ve seen there during the past 50 years. I’ve watched games from the stands. Arkansas games. Arkansas State games. UAPB games. Henderson in a bowl game (the 1975 Bicentennial Bowl, the first and only). Ouachita games. Arkansas Baptist games at the junior college level. Semipro games. High school games in the regular season and high school state championship games. High school all-star games.
I played there as a high school athlete in 1976.
I’ve covered games from the press box as a newspaper reporter and broadcast games on the radio.
Magic can sometimes happen there.
I was at the original Miracle on Markham. I was there again for the second Miracle on Markham. And I was there three years ago when Arkansas beat LSU to earn a spot in the Sugar Bowl.
Yes, I’ll be there Saturday. Stop by before the game, say hello and we’ll share a muffin with you.
Granted, there’s not a lot to get excited about in Arkansas on this fourth Saturday in November with the regular season winding down.
UCA will end a disappointing season with a game at home in Conway against a decent team from Sam Houston State.
UAPB will end an even more disappointing season on the road at Prairie View A&M.
Arkansas State will host an 0-10 squad from Georgia State in front of a bunch of empty seats in Jonesboro.
The best football of the day likely will take place in Arkadelphia as 11-0 Henderson hosts 10-1 St. Cloud State in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
We were 5-1 on the picks last week.
The record for the season is now 73-15.
On to the picks for Week 13 of the college football season:
Arkansas 24, Mississippi State 21 — Why not? Why not pick these downtrodden Hogs? A Mississippi State team that’s not all that much better comes to Little Rock this weekend. Arkansas is playing its final home game of the season and should be loose since there’s frankly nothing to lose at this point. It’s Mississippi State that must win its final two games to become bowl eligible. So the pressure is on the Bulldogs. MSU has only managed to defeat Alcorn State from the SWAC, Troy from the Sun Belt, Bowling Green from the MAC and Kentucky (which is from the SEC but might as well be from the Southland Conference when it comes to football). I was there when Bobby Petrino’s first team — which was not a good one — defeated LSU in late November at War Memorial Stadium. So why not?
Arkansas State 35, Georgia State 19 — Arkansas State moved to 6-4 overall and 4-1 in the Sun Belt Conference last Saturday night with an impressive 38-21 victory in Jonesboro against Texas State. The win made ASU bowl eligible for a third consecutive season, but the Red Wolves probably could use another victory or two to actually make it to a bowl game. ASU gained 328 yards on the ground against a Texas State squad that had come in holding teams to an average of 106.2 yards rushing per game. Quarterback Adam Kennedy had 78 yards rushing on 18 carries. Georgia State’s 10 losses have come at the hands of Samford, Chattanooga, West Virginia, Jacksonville State, Alabama, Troy, Texas State, Louisiana-Monroe, Western Kentucky and Louisiana-Lafayette.
Sam Houston State 28, UCA 24 — A talented Sam Houston State team rolls into Conway for Saturday afternoon’s game. The Bearkats are 8-3. The victories have come against Houston Baptist, Texas Southern, Incarnate Word, Eastern Washington, Lamar, Northwestern State of Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin and Nicholls State. The losses have been to Texas A&M, McNeese State and Southeastern Louisiana. UCA, which has been beset by injuries this entire 2013 season, escaped Thibodaux, La., last Saturday with a 17-10 victory over Nicholls State. UCA, which had lost its previous two games to Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana, is now 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the Southland Conference. The Bears need to pull the upset Saturday for a winning season.
Prairie View A&M 38, UAPB 33 — The only contest we didn’t pick correctly last week was the UAPB game. We picked the Golden Lions to win their game against Alabama A&M. They lost, 50-42. It just hasn’t paid this fall to go with UAPB, which is 2-8 overall and 2-6 in the SWAC. Golden Lion quarterback Ben Anderson did have another fine performance last Saturday. He completed 21 of his 35 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Anderson needs to have another big game for UAPB to end its season on a winning note. Prairie View is 5-6. The victories have been over Texas Southern, Alabama A&M, Stephen F. Austin, Grambling State and Mississippi Valley State. The losses have come at the hands of Texas State, Southern University, Alabama State, Jackson State, Alcorn State and Abilene Christian.
Henderson 34, St. Cloud 30 — The Reddies completed their second consecutive undefeated regular season with a dramatic 60-52 triple overtime victory in the Battle of the Ravine against Ouachita. It was one of the best college football games I’ve ever witnessed. Now, 11-0 Henderson tries to come down off that high and advance in the Division II playoffs, something the Reddies were unable to do last year. In 2012, Henderson received a first-round bye but then lost in Arkadelphia to Missouri Western in the second round. St. Cloud is 10-1. This marks the fifth appearance in the Division II playoffs for St. Cloud and the third appearance in the past four years. The winner of Saturday’s game at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia must travel to Minnesota State-Mankato for the second round. I’m cold just thinking about it.