OPINION — Like It Is

OPINION | WALLY HALL: Hogs’ long, loathsome road trip continues


When Arkansas and Alabama kick off Saturday, it will be both teams' seventh consecutive game and neither gets an off date until they have played their eighth games of the season.

Only LSU and Missouri will have played eight games without a break. Of those four, the Razorbacks should be the most road-weary as they have played only three home games and that includes the season-opener in Little Rock.

The Hogs don't often catch a scheduling break from the SEC, although next season when Texas and Oklahoma join the league, Arkansas won't play Alabama, a team it last beat in 2006 when Nick Saban was coaching the Miami Dolphins.

All the SEC games are conference games this week.

Last week had a rare flawless day, going 7-0 on picks to bring the season record to 55-10.

Here's this weeks picks:

Arkansas at Alabama

Slowly but surely, the Crimson Tide are improving and no doubt will be hoping to make a big step up this week against the Razorbacks. The Arkansas defense has seemed to improve with each outing, at least enough to cover the point spread. But the question remains, can the Hogs run the ball against an SEC team? If not, they won't be getting an upset and the skid will be five losses in a row. The line opened at 19.5 points and has grown to 20.5 in favor of Alabama, and unless there are turnovers or pick-sixes, the guess here is the Tide don't cover -- partly because of the Razorback defense and partly because Nick Saban doesn't like to run up the score. Alabama 31-17

Auburn at LSU

A Tiger fight in Death Valley. The LSU Tigers are trying to stay in the SEC West title hunt with the most powerful offense in the conference. In league play, LSU is averaging more than 42 points per game while giving up almost 35. Auburn started out fast but has hit a bit of a wall since SEC play started. It has been outscored 54-30 in losses to Texas A&M and Georgia, which are quality losses. LSU 38-24

Missouri at Kentucky

The Tigers are coming off a disappointing loss to LSU and the Wildcats off a thumping at the hands of Georgia. Missouri is still a bit of a mystery at 5-1 overall and the win over Kansas State is not as impressive after it fell to Oklahoma State. In the not-too-distant past, Wildcat fans would already be talking about basketball, but those days have come and gone. Kentucky 35-27

Florida at South Carolina

Gators Coach Billy Napier has been optimistic this week for a change and said he and his team are well aware of the problems Gamecock quarterback Spencer Rattler presents. However, both of Florida's losses were on the road and dating back to last season it is 1-7 in road games. South Carolina 24-21

Georgia at Vanderbilt

There should be lots of Bulldogs running around Nashville on Saturday as the No. 1 football team in the nation, the two-time defending Nattys, take on an outstanding academic school that has lost its past five games. This game may see Georgia walk-ons getting in the action and by the end there will be more spilled popcorn in the stands than fans. Georgia 56-13

Texas A&M at Tennessee

Neither school has done anything to strike fear in the hearts of the other. The Aggies are coming in off a heartbreaker, 26-20 to Alabama. The Vols an easy win over South Carolina before an open date and seemed to have washed the taste out of their mouths caused by the loss to Florida, their only setback of the season. "Rocky Top" will be sung long into the night. Tennessee 31-28