Thanksgiving Professor’s Picks

One of my favorite sports traditions growing up in metro Atlanta was reading Furman Bisher’s annual Thanksgiving Day column in which he offered thanks for the various blessings in his life. In homage to the ageless Bisher, who is still going strong in his early 90s, please enjoy these turkey day ruminations (followed by Professor’s Picks).

On this beautiful Thanksgiving in north Georgia, among the many thoughts that come to mind … I am thankful for …

… a brisk walk on a cold, clear morning.
… a pastor with a sense of humor in the pulpit (and an accurate timepiece).
… a wife who handles all our family financial business.
… a son who loves college football more than I do and knows more about it too.
… college students; I get older every year but they stay the same.
… neighbors that put up Christmas decorations (after Thanksgiving please).
… craftsmen who know how to build things.
… a good lefthander in the Braves bullpen (thanks Venters).
… a six-foot putt to halve a hole – that falls in.
… listening to my favorite Bulldog for all those wonderful seasons. Oh, you Larry Munson.

Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving was full of family, food, fun, and football!

Professor’s Picks

2011 Overall Record: 109-35
Last Week’s Record: 10-6 (ouch again!)

Thursday, November 24

8:00 PM ET No. 25 Texas at Texas A&M … a great rivalry ends for a while. PP: A&M

Friday, November 25

12:00 PM ET No. 8 Houston at Tulsa … could the BCS buster get busted? PP: Tulsa

12:00 PM ET Iowa at No. 21 Nebraska … should be the start of a fine corn-fed rivalry in the B1G. With some of the traditional rivalries ending because of conference realignment, here’s to a new one. PP: Nebraska

2:30 PM ET No. 3 Arkansas at No. 1 LSU … Bengal Tigers probably wrap up a BCS CG bid with win. PP: LSU

7:00 PM ET Pittsburgh at West Virginia … sure hope the backyard brawl survives these teams splitting for different conferences. PP: WVU

Saturday, November 26

12:00 PM ET Iowa State at No. 9 Oklahoma … Sooners blew a chance to get back in BCS title picture, but should beat tough Cyclones. I really like Paul Rhoads at ISU though – good guy. PP: OK

12:00 PM ET No. 13 Georgia at No. 23 Georgia Tech … Dogs defense will have its hands full with Tech triple option, so UGA offense better step up (which it typically does in Atlanta). Tech coach Paul Johnson is crusty as week old bread, so if the Jackets lose steer clear. PP: Georgia

12:00 PM ET Ohio State at No. 15 Michigan … Wolverine fans are counting on turning this rivalry back toward Big Blue in the Big House (with a probable BCS bid in the offing); UM better get it done this year because a new sheriff will man the sideline in Columbus next year and it will in all likelihood be Urban Meyer. PP: Michigan

12:21 PM ET Tennessee at Kentucky … Two of the most personable head coaches in the SEC meet and things aren’t going great for either. Big Orange has owned the series the past three decades and another win Saturday may spell big trouble for Joker. PP: UT

3:30 PM ET No. 2 Alabama at No. 24 Auburn … many expect a Tide rout in the Iron Bowl, but I’m not sure it will be that bad because Auburn plays looser than Bama in this game (don’t get me wrong – if Nick Saban can win big he will). PP: Alabama

3:30 PM ET No. 5 Virginia Tech at Virginia … trip to ACC title game on the line in beautiful Charlottesville. Mr. Jefferson’s U will be happy. PP: Virginia

3:30 PM ET No. 19 Penn State at No. 16 Wisconsin … Wisonsin is two fluke plays away from playing for a national title. Bucky is Big Ten’s best. PP: Wisconsin

3:30 PM ET Vanderbilt at Wake Forest … bowl eligibility is on the line for Vanderbilt and first year coach James Franklin. Commodores defense is just good enough to slow Demon Deacon passing attack. PP: Vanderbilt

7:00 PM ET Florida State at Florida … Sunshine State showdown has lost some glamour but athletes still abound. This would be a big win for rookie Gator coach Will Muschamp. Much more was expected of Noles this season. PP: Florida

7:00 PM ET Ole Miss at Mississippi State … the Egg Bowl should be played Thanksgiving night, but Ole Miss fans just want this season over no matter the day. PP: MSU

7:45 PM ET No. 17 Clemson at No. 12 South Carolina … the Tigers may have too much offense for the Gamecocks, but are they tough enough to handle the Columbia crowd? Should be exciting. PP: Clemson

8:00 PM ET No. 22 Notre Dame at No. 6 Stanford … cannot agree with the way Brian Kelly handled the Irish QB situation this year. No such worries on the Farm. PP: Stanford

See you at kickoff!

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