Watch a college football coaches show on Sundays and you take your chances.
Before he came to Clemson, Ken Hatfield on his Arkansas show tried to make sense of a 51-7 loss to Miami. “Jesus wept,” Hatfield said.
Tommy West, the man who replaced Hatfield at Clemson, had a win or lose routine: “Running backs, I want you to run through those lines like a Ford Mustang! Defense, I want you to break through their line like a Ford F-150 pickup!”
The late, former South Carolina coach Joe Morrison was the most boring.
“Nice throw by Todd (Ellis). Nice catch by Sterling (Sharpe),” he would say, and not much else.
And Steve Spurrier rambled, more or less, last Sunday. The show featuring USC-Central Florida highlights was “jerked,” he said, because “I was way too negative.”
Of course, bootleg copies made for a social media circus.
Most coaches are exhausted when they tape these shows either soon after games or in wee hours upon returning home from road trips. The whole concept, above all, is a way for schools to funnel non-base salary cash into fat contracts.
It’s not like the old days before DVR tech when coaches shows were your highlight film oasis. In Alabama in the early 1960s, “The Bear Bryant Show” was appointment viewing. Bear munched on Golden Flakes potato chips and analyzed.
“I don’t normally try to identify the other team’s players,” he said during a 1961 show after an Auburn game, “because I have enough trouble … I miss ours about half the time. But they all play well so it really doesn’t make a great deal of difference.”
By the way, Warren Peper hosts our weekly video version of Pigskin Picks. So far, we haven’t had to jerk a show.
Kentucky at South Carolina
Look for the Gamecocks to finish strong or get yelled at — by coaches and fans — while trying.
Gene Sapakoff pick: South Carolina, 42-13
Warren Peper pick: South Carolina, 35-12
Clemson at Syracuse
Just another division game inside a basketball building between Cooperstown and Niagara Falls.
Sapakoff pick: Clemson, 34-17
Peper pick: Clemson, 31-20
Appalachian State at The Citadel
I have picked The Citadel to win every game this season and, together, we have gone 1-4. Sapakoff pick: The Citadel, 27-24
Peper pick: The Citadel, 20-17
North Greenville at CSU
Does CSU stand for Charleston Southern University? Or Cinderella Season Unleashed? In this chapter, the Bucs win one for injured quarterback Malcolm Dixon.
Sapakoff pick: CSU, 35-18
Peper pick: CSU, 24-21
S.C. State vs. N.C. A&T
S.C. State reminds fans to wear garnet to today’s Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome. Dondre Lewis-Freeman wore Hampton out last week with a career-high 140 yards on 18 carries in a 30-6 win.
Sapakoff pick: S.C. State, 35-14
Peper pick: S.C. State, 31-24
Georgia at Tennessee
Spurrier said he “really thought LSU would beat (Georgia).” But now we know Aaron Murray can win big games.
Sapakoff pick: Georgia, 35-14
Peper pick: Georgia, 30-20
UNC at Virginia Tech
Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster is having one of his best seasons (No. 1 in the ACC in total defense including 206 yards against Alabama).
Sapakoff pick: Virginia Tech, 28-24
Peper pick: Virginia Tech, 27-14
Georgia Tech at Miami
Stephen Morris called South Florida a “dirty team” for twisting his ankle during Miami’s 49-21 victory last week. But the Hurricanes’ quarterback looks good to go against Georgia Tech.
Sapakoff pick: Miami, 31-28
Peper pick: Miami, 27-21
N.C. State at Wake Forest
The Deacons went 2-for-14 on third down in last week’s 56-7 loss at Clemson.
Sapakoff pick: N.C. State, 28-17
Peper pick: N.C. State, 30-17
Ohio State at Northwestern
An early edition of “The Pat Fitzgerald Show” this season featured a “special inside look” at Northwestern players training with Navy SEALS. No need to jerk that one.
Sapakoff pick: Ohio State, 24-17
Peper pick: Ohio State, 27-21
Last week: Gene Sapakoff 7-3, Warren Peper 7-3
Season: Peper 37-13, Sapakoff 36-14
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff