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College football: Week 7

Where do we even begin?

We were one of the few in the state to pick South Carolina over Arkansas last week, but even we didn’t see that 48-22 whipping coming.

The Razorbacks are 2-3 overall, and a losing season looms. For the fourth time in Bret Bielema’s five years as head coach, they start 0-2 in the Southeastern Conference.

Under Bielema, the Hogs are 0-16 in games they trailed at the half.

Arkansas has lost its past five games to Power 5 teams, and that streak will go to six since this Saturday has the Razorbacks traveling to Tuscaloosa for a night game against the No. 1 team in the country.

Picking that one is easy.

What’s ruining our average is the crazy Great American Conference where nothing makes sense.

Parity rules with Ouachita, Arkansas Tech and Southern Arkansas all at 4-2, and Henderson, UAM and Harding all at 3-3.

Harding upset Ouachita, and UAM upset Arkansas Tech last weekend. That gave us two of our three misses for the week.

The other miss was picking UAPB to win. We figured the Golden Lions might get a victory against a Mississippi Valley State squad that came to Pine Bluff with an 0-4 record. But it was not to be.

It’s really sad to see how far the UAPB program has fallen. Just when we swear not to pick the Golden Lions to win another game, we notice that they’re playing an 0-6 Central State team out of Ohio. So we’ll go with UAPB this week and probably end up regretting it.

Our 5-3 record last week makes us 33-14 for the season.

Here are the picks for Week 7:

Alabama 49, Arkansas 17 — The Gamecocks scored three defensive touchdowns against Arkansas as South Carolina improved to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the SEC. In the process, South Carolina ended a seven-game losing streak to SEC West teams. It was the highest point total against a Power 5 team for South Carolina since a victory over Arkansas in 2013. Bielema said afterward: “The third quarter probably was one of the most frustrating quarters I’ve ever been involved with. It just seemed everything disintegrated right in front of us.” What do you think it will feel like this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa? After outscoring its first two SEC opponents 125-3, Alabama pretty much took the night off in College Station with a 27-19 victory over Texas A&M. The Aggies fell to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in conference, while Alabama improved to 6-0 and 3-0. You have to believe that Nick Saban won’t allow two consecutive close games against inferior opponents.

Arkansas State 30, Coastal Carolina 20 — The Red Wolves opened Sun Belt Conference play last week on a Wednesday night with a 43-25 win at Georgia Southern, which fell to 0-4. Arkansas State, now 2-2 overall, came up with four interceptions and one fumble recovery in that game. Chris Murray had five receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns to lead the ASU offense. Coastal Carolina gets to come to the state of Arkansas twice this fall. This Saturday sees a trip to Jonesboro. That will be followed by a Nov. 4 visit to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks. The Chanticleers won their opening game against Massachusetts by 10 points, 38-28. They have since lost four consecutive games — 30-23 to UAB, 52-10 to Western Illinois, 51-43 to Louisiana-Monroe and 27-21 to Georgia State.

UCA 37, Stephen F. Austin 28 — With both Arkansas Tech and Ouachita getting upset last week, there are only two one-loss teams remaining in the state. And they’re both in Conway — UCA and Hendrix. UCA had that huge win over Sam Houston State on the final Saturday of September. There was no letdown on the first Saturday of October as the Bears moved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Southland Conference with a 27-7 victory at Houston Baptist (1-4, 0-3). Senior quarterback Hayden Hildebrand was 19 of 30 passing for the Bears for 293 yards and two touchdowns. Former UCA head coach Clint Conque brings his Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin to Conway this Saturday night. SFA is 2-4 overall and 2-2 in conference. Two losses to open the season were followed by two wins and then two more defeats. The SFA victories were by scores of 37-31 over Incarnate Word and 20-10 over Abilene Christian. The losses were by scores of 58-14 to SMU, 51-14 to Southern Utah, 35-0 to McNeese and 27-16 to Sam Houston State.

UAPB 15, Central State 13 — The 38-31 loss in Pine Bluff last Saturday night to Mississippi Valley State was a bad one. The Delta Devils, after all, had lost 15 of their previous 16 games. But the Golden Lions, who are struggling just as mightily, have now lost two years in a row to Mississippi Valley State. UAPB is 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the SWAC. Our instincts tell us not to pick UAPB again this year, but the opponent in Pine Bluff this Saturday is an 0-6 Central State team that has lost 24-23 to Elizabeth City State, 55-14 to Clark Atlanta, 35-33 to Morehouse, 22-34 to Kentucky State, 21-11 to Benedict College and 41-20 to Miles College.

Ouachita 40, Southern Nazarene 31 — This is a Thursday night game on the road for Ouachita. The Tigers will try to shake off that disappointing homecoming loss to Harding, but they can’t take this one for granted since this is a new version of Southern Nazarene (3-3). In fact, Southern Nazarene is the only GAC school other than the Ouachita team that went undefeated in 2014 to beat both Harding and Henderson in the same season. And those wins came in Searcy and Arkadelphia. The problem for the Crimson Storm is that they’re 0-3 at home, and this game is at home.

UAM 44, Oklahoma Baptist 35 — The Boll Weevils evened their record at 3-3 with a stunning 46-45 victory over Arkansas Tech. The Wonder Boys had started the season 4-0 and moved to No 11 nationally in NCAA Division II before back-to-back losses to Ouachita and UAM. Tech led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but UAM’s Cole Sears led his team back. Sears threw a touchdown pass with 8:43 left. After a Tech field goal, Sears scored on a 10-yard run with 1:44 remaining. Oklahoma Baptist is the only winless school in the GAC at 0-6.

Harding 27, Northwestern Oklahoma 26 — This should be an exciting game way out in Alva, Okla., between a pair of 3-3 squads. Harding has momentum. Having lost most of the starters off the team that went 11-0 in the regular season a year ago, the Bisons started the year 0-3. They’ve now won three consecutive games and looked like the old Harding against Ouachita on Saturday. That 31-28 victory in Arkadelphia should give Harding the momentum it needs to have a good season going forward. Tristan Parsley even put through a 50-yard field goal against Ouachita on a day when everything went right for the Bisons.

Southern Arkansas 34, East Central Oklahoma 22 — The Muleriders, the conference’s preseason favorite, moved to 4-2 with a 27-15 victory at Southern Nazarene as SAU quarterback Barrett Renner completed 21 of his 34 passes for 250 yards. East Central is 1-5.

Arkansas Tech 43, Southwestern Oklahoma 36 — The Wonder Boys should bounce back in Weatherford on Saturday against a Southwestern team that’s 2-4. Tech has talent and now has to hope that at least two teams can knock off 6-0 Southeastern Oklahoma in the final five games of the season. Southeastern’s next four opponents are Henderson in Durant, Southern Arkansas in Magnolia, Harding in Durant and Arkansas Tech in Russellville. All four Arkansas squads are capable of defeating the Savage Storm.

Henderson 25, Southeastern Oklahoma 24 — Upset special! We’re calling for the 3-3 Reddies to shock the 6-0 Savage Storm since it’s a road game for Henderson. In case you haven’t heard, Henderson has the nation’s longest road winning streak at 29 games. Reddie players just don’t feel they can lose on the road, and that confidence can be contagious. The streak almost came to an end last Saturday. Oklahoma Baptist scored with 10 seconds remaining in the game to pull within a point of the Reddies, 14-13. The Bison faked the extra point, but a pass fell incomplete and Henderson held on for the victory.

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