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College football predictions: Coach Prime Time would shine at Auburn

David Whitley
Gator Sports
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Auburn finally put the Bryan Harsin Era out of its misery this week. Now what time is it?

PRIME TIME!

That would be former North Fort Myers High Red Knight, FSU Seminole, Atlanta Falcon, Atlanta Brave, San Francisco 49er, Dallas Cowboy, New York Yankee, Washington Redskin, Cincinnati Red, Baltimore Raven, San Francisco Giant and current Jackson State Tiger coach Deion Sanders.

Sure, he doesn’t have the SEC bona fides of Lane Kiffin and other potential candidates. But on behalf of neutral observers throughout the land, I say so what?

Wherever he’s gone, Sanders has brought unparalleled curiosity, excitement, exhilaration, agitation, attention and all-around buzz.

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“60 Minutes” just did a piece on the resurrection job Sanders is doing at Jackson State. Not even Bear Bryant ever rated a sit down with Mike Wallace or Morley Safer, though “60 Minutes” did a segment on Nick Saban.

Watching Sanders set up shop between his Aflac pal in Tuscaloosa and Kirby Smart in Athens would be fascinating. We know he’d recruit. We know his press conferences will be must-see TV. We know he’d immediately set the SEC record for most jewelry worn by a coach.

But the power of personality only goes so far. Is Sanders ready to be the CEO of a Power Five program?

Nobody knows, but pass the popcorn, it would sure be amusing finding out. Besides, we also know how the usual Auburn soap opera plays out.

The Tigers will hire some guy, fire that guy and pay that guy a mega-million buyout.  And if Auburn doesn’t scoop up Coach Prime, somebody else is going to.

Don’t we want the Deion drama to play out in the SEC? Sanders is certainly open to a Power Five offer.

“I’m gonna have to entertain it,” he said on "60 Minutes."

"Straight up. I’d be a fool not to.”

Please, Auburn, don’t you be a fool. After Kiffin turns you down, do the world an entertainment favor.

Give us Prime Time.

One-loss Whitley makes this week's picks

Speaking of fools, I picked Kentucky to beat Tennessee last week. Otherwise, I was a scintillating 9-1. I promise to never pick against the mighty Volunteers. Maybe.

Florida at Texas A&M: These teams are a combined 2-8 in the SEC, but at least Billy Napier has the excuse of being in Year 1 of a rebuild. Jimbo Fisher is in Year 5. As dysfunctional as the Aggies are, it’s hard to imagine them losing a fifth straight game, especially when they’re at home and may have finally found a competent QB in freshman Conner Weigman. Texas A&M 28-23.

Tennessee at Georgia: The College Football Playoff Committee just ranked Rocky Top No. 11, though it’s No. 1 if you throw out all the Taylor Swift songs. If the Vols can beat the defending national champs in Athens, I promise to never pick against them again unless they’re playing the 1985 Chicago Bears. Georgia 36-31.

Auburn at Mississippi State: The Post-Harsin Era begins under interim coach Cadillac Williams. By mid-November, Auburn boosters will be calling Yugo Williams and driving him out of the Loveliest Buyout Village on the Plains. Mississippi State 36-20.

Alabama at LSU: Who’s laughing now at Brian Kelly trying to sound like a guy from “Duck Dynasty”? If the Tigers beat Saban and take the lead in the SEC West, fans might start trying to speak in Boston-Irish accents. The world isn’t ready for that. Alabama 34-20.

Beatles over Taylor Swift

CFP Clarification: Taylor Swift had the top 10 singles on Billboard’s Hot 100. I’ll still take the Beatles when they owned the top 5 in 1964. Though, I’d pick Swift over TCU for this year’s playoff.

Liberty at Arkansas: Consider this Hugh Freeze’s SEC audition for the Auburn job. He’s done a remarkable job at Jerry Falwell U., but beating the Hogs at home would be SEC blasphemy. Arkansas 28-27.

Northern State at Bemidji State – We have officially adopted the Beavers as our pet team. I don’t know much about Northern State, other than it’s probably located in a northern state. I’m not certain which state Bemidji State is in, either, but I know the Beavs have won seven in a row. Bemidji State 38-23.

Kentucky at Missouri: If Mizzou extends the Wildcats’ tailspin, Mark Stoops will officially regain his position as John Calipari’s valet in Kentucky. Oh, Jeeves! Missouri 24-21.

Clemson at Notre Dame: The Irish have won 14 straight home games against ACC teams, and they have never lost in South Bend to a coach named Dabo. It just feels like the No. 4 Tigers have been living on borrowed time. Upset Special – Notre Dabo 23-17.

Auburn Fiscal Report: With Harsin’s $15.3 million buyout, Auburn has now paid its last three coaches $37 million to go away. That’s $36 million more than Bemidji State’s entire football budget and $33 million more than Auburn paid Charles Barkley to enroll.

FSU at Miami: The Aflac duck scored as many touchdowns last week as the Hurricanes. They will need at least three TDs to beat the Seminoles. Quack, quack. FSU 27-17.

South Carolina at Vanderbilt: The Commodores have lost 24 straight SEC games, but they’ve also paid only $6.49 in coaching buyouts since 1972. South Carolina 34-15.

David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley

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