Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a member and past president of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year 10 times and has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Like It Is:
Wally Hall's weekend predictions
Alabama head coach Nick Saban, right, and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, meet in the center of the field before an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Although most of the college football world will be watching LSU at Alabama, there may be some sort of aftershock in the state of Arkansas.
The Western Kentucky at University of Arkansas game kicks off at 11 a.m., so it should be in the record books before No. 3 Alabama faces No. 2 LSU.
Those rankings are courtesy of the College Football Playoff committee. Everyone else has it No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama.
Maybe the committee doesn’t like CBS.
Regardless, the loser will have an uphill battle to reach the playoff unless the winner runs the table, including a big victory over the SEC East champion in the SEC Championship Game.
As for the Hilltoppers vs. the Hogs, who would have thought this would be a big game? Some believe it is a must-win game for the head Hog Chad Morris.
There is a strong belief that should Ty Storey ride into town — the last time he was seen in Reynolds Razorback Stadium, he was the Razorbacks starting quarterback, and now he’s the starting quarterback for the Hilltoppers — and beat the Razorbacks, Morris will be fired Sunday.
Probably not, but a loss to a team that was beaten at home by the University of Central Arkansas 35-28 would not help Morris’ case.
Storey is good enough to do it, too. It seemed like a mistake to let him get away, but watching interviews this week he seems happy. What more could you ask for a good person?
Went 6-1 last week to bring the season record up to 67-20. Here are this week’s picks:
Western Kentucky at Arkansas
The Hilltoppers are a good football team, maybe better than San Jose State who is 4-5 overall and already beat the Hogs. Here’s a suggestion: Someone — it should be a Razorback senior, but anyone with leadership will do — should call a team meeting tonight without coaches and make sure everyone is on the same page. That everyone knows a loss Saturday would be one of the program’s worst, and the players will be part of the wrong kind of history. Arkansas 35-24
LSU at Alabama
The winner will possess the best running attack. The Tigers and Crimson Tide are Nos. 1 (LSU) and 2 in passing offense in the SEC. Expect Nick Saban to attack on the ground to keep as much pressure as possible off Tua Tagovailoa, who most likely will start despite surgery on his ankle three weeks ago. The Tide are favored, which should bring out the best in the Tigers. LSU 28-27
Vanderbilt at Florida
The Gators are scratching and clawing to stay in the SEC East race, and they should be shouting “Missourah” all day. The Commodores are winless on the road. Florida 35-21
Missouri at Georgia
The Bulldogs’ march to Atlanta continues at home against a good team that has been inconsistent away from home. Georgia 42-27
Tennessee at Kentucky
One of these teams will move within a game of becoming bowl eligible. The Vols seem to have turned it around with two victories in a row. Basketball has debuted very successfully in the Bluegrass State, but there is interest in this game. Kentucky 28-24
New Mexico State at Ole Miss
It’s OK if the Rebels look ahead to next week’s game with LSU in Oxford. The Aggies come in looking for their first victory and leave looking for their first victory. Ole Miss 42-14
Appalachian State at South Carolina
The Mountaineers are coming off their only loss, which was on a Thursday so they have had two extra days to prepare for the Gamecocks, who are favored at home. Appalachian State 31-28
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