Originally created 08/29/00

Vick's reel won't star Jackets



Tuesday Morning Quarterback returns from a summer siesta ready to bless the upcoming football season.

There is a good side to Sunday's Noah's Ark lightning fest that canceled Georgia Tech's and Virginia Tech's opening game: When Vick's Heisman highlight package gets looped over and over, there won't be any Yellow Jackets being posterized.

Divine intervention? ESPN's Lee Corso's rental car was struck by lightning Sunday. He tried to drive it, but it went not so fast.

They said it: "We looked good in warm-ups." -- Georgia Tech's George O'Leary on his Jackets

Attn: South Carolina. No team from the SEC has ever lost to a team from the Big West (42-0), nor has any SEC team ever lost to a team from New Mexico.

The last time the Gamecocks were favored by more than a touchdown, as they are against New Mexico State, they beat Ball State to open the 1998 season. Their other three forays as favorites the past two years -- vs. Marshall, at Vanderbilt, vs. East Carolina -- all ended in losses.

They said it, part two: "The main thing I found here was hopelessness. People here thought winning couldn't happen to them. That anybody, anywhere had to be better than they were." -- New Mexico State coach Tony Samuel talking about his first impressions taking over the Aggies program

If you had played this three-team parlay this past weekend -- Glascock County (losers of 81 consecutive till 1999), South Aiken (vanquished 27 straight times) and Laney (defeated 24 times from 1996-98) -- you would have moved into a different tax bracket. All three won, and in convincing fashion.

Does that mean Glenn Hills is next?

This being TMQ's first edition, it's time for some predictions.

Georgia has a tendency to lose a game it shouldn't. Always happens. Danger points this year include a road trip to Arkansas, where Houston Nutt has yet to lose at home, and versus Ole Miss in late November.

You heard it here: The Dogs should beat the Volunteers, maybe by three touchdowns.

Prediction: 11-2. Win the SEC East, lose to Alabama in Atlanta, beat Wisconsin in the Citrus Bowl.

A 200 percent increase in wins for South Carolina is possible this year. For non-math majors, that means two victories. Don't know if Lou Holtz has the personnel for the spread offense, as this team's talent struggles to reach mediocrity.

You heard it here: The number of people in Williams-Brice who believe the Gamecocks will win seven and challenge for the SEC East will severely outnumber those who are hoping they can scratch out one.

Prediction: 1-10, the streak breaker being versus Eastern Michigan in week three.

Joe Hamilton is a Buccaneer, not a Yellow Jacket. This means a possible long season for Georgia Tech fans accustomed to pinball shootouts. The defensive players are talking about how improved they are, but until they can hold a certifiable opponent under four touchdowns, it's all talk.

You heard it here: Don't be surprised if George O'Leary becomes a front-runner for the Notre Dame job at season's end.

Prediction: 5-6, a loss to Georgia in final game, ending bowl hopes. Would be 5-7, but lightning spared some Rambling Wreckage.

Tommy Bowden wants his Clemson Tigers to play faster football. The coach even wrote to the ACC's office complaining that opponents' chain crews were intentionally slowing them down. With Woody Dantzler doing his best Joe Hamilton imitation, it'll be hard to slow the Tigers' rise up the ranks.

You heard it here: With seven home games, no Marshall and no Virginia Tech, the Tigers will be undefeated heading into the Nov. 4 game at Florida State.

Prediction: 10-2, with losses to Seminoles and Virginia Tech in Gator Bowl.

Adrian Peterson will become Georgia Southern's first Heisman Trophy hopeful, though a top-five finish will be the best he can do. For the Eagles to repeat as I-AA champs, J.R. Revere needs to quarterback the triple-option as precisely as Greg Hill did. They're almost identical in styles.

You heard it here: Peterson's string of 30 games rushing for more than 100 yards will be in jeopardy against Georgia.

Prediction: 14-1, repeating as I-AA national champs.

TMQ's BCS games (in lieu of a needed playoff): Orange Bowl -- Nebraska beats Alabama; Sugar Bowl -- Miami beats Kansas State; Fiesta Bowl -- Florida State beats Texas; Rose Bowl -- Southern Cal (the real USC) beats Michigan.

Reach Rick Dorsey at (706) 823-3219.