Lou Holtz has never been one to hold his tongue.
@Normal:He might be wishing he'd done just that when his South Carolina Gamecocks visit Neyland Stadium on Saturday.
After spouting off earlier in the week that his team wouldn't come out of the huddle if the crowd got too boisterous, even if the 'Cocks were penalized to the "1-inch line," the 62-year-old might have awoken a sleeping giant and its 108,000 residents.
A couple of nice letters from UT students that I received this week pointed this out, saying that fans - students especially - have become increasingly apathetic and quiet lately. They said Holtz's unofficial call to arms might be just what the fans needed to get riled up.
UT coach Phillip Fulmer said he thought the fans were quite capable of making Neyland a hostile place for the 'Cocks to play, especially after Carolina had trouble at Arkansas' 53,715-seat facility two weeks ago in a 10-7 loss.
"I'm sure our fans will be into it," Fulmer said. "Certainly if they had some difficulties at Arkansas, it might be pretty difficult here."
No. 2 Oklahoma at No. 3 Nebraska, noon (ABC)
Some are labeling the game between OU and NU this year's version of "The Game of the Century."
Who cares?
The BCS' No. 1 (Oklahoma) versus No. 2 (Nebraska).
Big whoop.
I don't even think this one is close after Nebraska stumbled to a 10 point win over Texas Tech last week and lost five starters to injury.
Oklahoma's defense will elevate the Sooners and keep them at the No. 1 slot in those "esteemed" BCS ranks.
Sooners 34, Huskers 17
No. 10 Maryland at No. 19 Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
This is the high-water game for Ralph Fridgen and Maryland.
Too bad the Fightin' Turtles would need Boomer Esiason to come back to play quarterback before they beat Florida State in Tallawacky.
A newly discovered FSU running game will work wonders while quarterback Chris Rix tries to figure out how to get the ball to a group of talented receivers.
Seminoles 41, Terps 24
No. 15 Georgia at No. 6 Florida, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
I've never really understood why Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., is considered a neutral site for the "Largest Cocktail Party."
The distance from Alltel to the University of Florida: 72 miles; the mileage to UGA: 362 miles.
Rowdy Gators fans and the absence of Dogs running back Musa Smith spells trouble for Mark Richt in his first SEC encounter with Steve Spurrier.
Gators 45, Bulldogs 17
No. 11 Oregon at No. 14 Washington State, 7 p.m. (ABC regional)
I apologize for complimenting Oregon last week. I realize now that I placed a wacky voodoo hex on the Ducks after seeing them blow a substantial fourth-quarter lead against Stanford last week.
I'm still taking the Quackers this week, though. Washington State, despite having a pretty darn good defense, will become just another late-season undefeated team finally getting what's coming to them. (See: Maryland)
Ducks 35, Cougars 30
No. 4 UCLA at No. 20 Stanford, 3:30 p.m. (ABC regional)
Fresh off that upset of then-No. 5 Oregon last week, Stanford is looking for two straight weekends of top-five upendings.
But that task will be made all the more tough after the Cardinal's Mr. Everything, quarterback Randy Fasani, went down with an injury.
The Bruins, behind the old school running style of DeShaun Foster, will make it 7-0 on Saturday.
Bruins 37, Cardinal 23
No. 12 South Carolina at No. 9 Tennessee, 6 p.m. (espn2)
Need one player to watch in this weekend's game between the Vols and 'Cocks?
Pick Tennessee tailback Travis Stephens.
His name has been casually tossed around in conjunction with Heisman and All-America consideration this week, but he needs a big game against a snazzy defense like South Carolina's in front of another national television audience.
I think the Gamecocks will keep Stephens somewhat in check (circa 100 yards), but the Vols still get the win thanks to a healthy cast of receivers and Casey Clausen Version 2.0 (a more stable, upgraded version of last year's quarterback).
Vols 28, Cocks 18
(Last week: 15-5, Season: 107-24)