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The Line King: When in doubt, pick teams with old-school coaches

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  • What We Learned from the SEC in Week 1

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    For a while, it looked like the college football world was going to be upended in the first week of play, but it all worked out according to plan in the end.

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The following column is satire and intended for entertainment purposes.

College football coaches don't use the words "chicken" and "coward" so much in the brave, new politically correct world of college athletics, and saying that those in power wear "panties" usually results in a few weeks of sensitivity training.

So it was really nostalgic to hear Larry Blakeney, the Troy (AL) Trojans head coach of 23 years, sound off and tell Savannah Now exactly what he thought about Auburn and Alabama refusing to play his team, which travels to Mississippi State on Saturday.

Blakeney is among the last of the old-school college football coaches. He still says things like "We need to just keep choppin' wood," "we'll have to sit down under a tree and figure it out," "we've got to go out there and punch them in the mouth," and "you're darn tootin'."

He oversells the opposition and downplays his team's success better than Lou Holtz. He talks less about recruiting and more about raising "his" young men. His on-field, fully armed entourage includes an Alabama State Trooper and members of the Troy PD and Troy University PD. It's been that way ever since he walked on campus back when Troy was playing West Georgia and Valdosta State instead of LSU and Georgia.

Blakeney reluctantly started wearing headsets about five years ago – his coach and mentor Shug Jordan didn't, so why should he?

He comes from a world where honor, tradition and loyalty mean something and where a reporter is told he "can print that" – like anyone still reads a real newspaper these days.

Well, maybe Larry does.

Week Two: 5-5

Season: 17-14

Sept. 21

North Texas @ Georgia -36½: SunBelt castoff UNT is 1-1 against the MAC this season. The Line King doesn't like their chances in the $EC this week. Dawgs take them behind the hedges for an old school, Vince Dooley-style whupping.

Vanderbilt @ Massachusetts +36: When was Vandy ever a 36-point favorite on the road? For the second week in a row, The Line King can't sit with his friend the Vandy fan, plus the UMass coach looks and dresses like Pat Riley, and nobody outdressed Pat Riley.

Tennessee -15½ @ Florida: Perfect contrarian play. All of the $EC homers think Florida is like Oregon without those crazy uniforms. Ha! Oregon is the antithesis of old school.

Rice +4 @ Houston: The Line King's mother saw Bammer's Tommy Lewis tackle the Owls' Dicky Moegle in the 1954 Cotton Bowl. Unfortunately, Lewis was sitting on the bench while Moegle ran by on his way to a 95-yard TD. Ooops!

Moegle ended up with 265 yards that game. My grandfather wore a suit to the game, smoked a pack of cigarettes in the stands and Rice stomped Bammer, too. Houston isn't Bammer, Rice doesn't have Moegle and heaven help you if you light up in the parking lot. Although Rice is back to being pretty competitive these days.

Troy +13.5 @ Mississippi State: Ole Mississippi State is barely 2-1 against Troy, including using turnovers to win in dominating fashion, 11-8 in 2003, and using a fourth-down 25-yard TD to "pull away" to a 30-24 win in Troy last year.

Old school coaches always trump whiteout games. They need to ban whiteout/blackout games altogether. How about encouraging fans to wear a suit and tie to the game? Maybe allow them to smoke in the stands.

Colorado State +36.5 @ Alabama: This is CFB's version of soccer's international "friendly." One would think that $aban has an ounce of loyalty in him and doesn't run up the score on his former offensive coordinator. This is the first meeting between the two schools. Well, duh!

SMU @ Texas A&M -26.5: Peruna is getting a lot of help this weekend, but The Line King isn't sold on June Jones. Bring back Forest Gregg! Bring back the SWC! Johnny Football needs a bounce-back game, and he gets it here.

Auburn @ LSU -14: Contrarian thinking here would say take Barn, but LSUAMC didn't cover last week (as predicted), so The Line King is going anti-contrarian and saying the Tigers (the purple ones) come out swinging. Oh, remember when this matchup meant something, and Mike Archer was the coach at LSUAMC?

Missouri -5½ @ Indiana: This would have been a good rivalry in the Big Ten. It might take three decades before people actually remember Mizzou is part of the $EC. By then there will only be four 30-team conferences and a bowl game in Montgomery, AL. Wait, that's another story for another day.

Western Michigan @ Iowa -19: The Line King's dad's high school idol was a senior named Hayden Frye. Now that's old school. He doesn't coach anymore, but no way does Western Michigan cover two straight weeks against the Big Ten. They lost to Nicholls State, for goodness sake!

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