Awesome, baby! Vitale joins panel
I just scrapped my original column.
I had written some garble about my momentum-gaining pursuit of that physics-loving, computer calculations-using Soren Sorensen and some blah-blah-blah about our 'Bama-hating student picker, Micheal Jacobs.
But fortunately for you, you'll never see it.
Because fortunately for me, I got the call.
It came at approximately 3:34 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and my jaw dropped at approximately 3:35.
If you were anywhere around campus during that time yesterday, you probably heard the conversation.
And if you've been anywhere on this planet during the last 20 years, you probably recognized the voice.
Yelling on the other end of my cell phone was none other than the king of college basketball himself, Dick Vitale.
Yes, that one.
In ESPN's latest attempt to get out of the picks' panel cellar, the network has turned to its flamboyant and legendary hoops announcer. You might remember him from his cameo appearances in such Hollywood classics as "Blue Chips" and "Jury Duty."
Oh, but what's that you say? Don't think the basketball bobblehead knows anything about college football?
Well, I don't think I care.
When Dickie V. calls, Brettie E. listens - even if Dickie V. spends half the time hyping up his new book, "Living a Dream: Reflections of 25 Years Sitting in the Best Seat in the House."
Because hey, when Dickie V. offers to send a free copy, you better believe Brettie E. will continue to listen.
And so I did.
All in all, my ear drum and I survived more than six minutes of Vitalisms, including four "awesomes," two "fantastics" and one "oh, baby!"
And I still got about seven words in.

Now onto my attempt to be a super, sensational, sizzlin' PTPer ...
Tennessee at Alabama: The third Saturday in October: The Bear. The General. The pageantry. The passion. The fourth Saturday in October: The strippers. The boosters. The message boards. The credit lines.
Prediction: UT, 28-20
Purdue at Michigan: I know there's like a nine-way tie for first place, but I just can't get into this Big 10 excitement. It just seems like most of the teams are exactly the same (decent, not great) and so are most of the games (crappy, not horrible). Parity? Yeah, I'll pass.
Prediction: You fall asleep and the Wolverines win, 24-20
Arkansas at Ole Miss: Please tell me you looked at last week's SI on Campus and
saw the two candidates to replace Colonel Reb. "Rowdy Rebel" is a freakish, bald-headed goon that looks like a bad laboratory experiment. "Rebel Bruiser" is the same ol' white-haired Colonel, but with bulging muscles and a spandex shirt that cuts off above the bellybutton. I couldn't make this stuff up, people.
Prediction: Hogs, 30-27
USC at Washington: Last spring, former Husky coach Rick Neuheisel was fired by the university's president for joining a pool and picking a few games. But I'm thinking Phillip Fulmer and his NCAA brackets are safe (see picks panel, second from right).
Prediction: USC, 41-23
Auburn at LSU: I could be really lame and tell you that I guarantee the Tigers will win. But I'd rather not have to punch myself in the face after reading it in print. So I'm going with the Bayou Bengals. Back in August, the Beacon stood alone and picked 'em to win the West. No point in changing now.
Prediction: LSU, 20-17
Northern Illinois at Bowling Green: Don't laugh, you Mid-American Conference-neophyte. The Bowling Green um, whatevers, won at Purdue and kept it close at Ohio St. The Northern Illinois uh, team, has already beaten Alabama and Maryland this season. And surely you remember the Terps and Tide from last year.
Prediction: Bo Green, 27-21

-Brett Edgerton is sports editor of the Daily Beacon and a senior in journalism. He can be reached at fromtheedge@utk.edu.