Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rivalry Weekend Thoughts

Rivalry Week Record: 8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS, 2-8 O/U
Season: 36-26 SU, 34-24-1 ATS, 28-32-1

Mark Richt has done the best coaching job in the country since October 14th. This is very, very early, but Georgia is setting up very nicely for next year and a national title run.

It is not totally inconceivable that Georgia can be in the BCS Championship. They need for Pitt to win, Oklahoma to win, and Tennessee to win. However, in my opinion you should have to win your conference to play for the MNC. See Nebraska 2001.

With the Tennessee win, the Georgia Tech game became a $10+ million game for the Bulldogs because with a win they are likely headed to a BCS bowl game in the clubhouse at 10-2.

Georgia Tech had 3 golden opportunities in their loss to Georgia to score 3 touchdowns. Georgia recovered two fumbles and knocked another out to get 3 touch backs. The biggest swing was on a fumble recovery by Tech which they fumbled out of the end zone to give Georgia the ball on their own 20 early in the 3rd quarter.

I think Georgia Tech will move quickly on a coaching decision and by that I mean whether or not Chan Gailey will be back next year. If you are a Yellow Jacket fan you hope if a change is made, it is not made just because the fan base largely wants it. Ask Nebraska and Ole Miss how that worked out. Of course you could also ask how it worked out for Georgia and Ohio State.

I don't really know why Clemson is even considering firing Tommy Bowden. He has 9 wins, could have 10 this year and, most importantly, is 7-2 against South Carolina. How do you fire a guy who has won over 75% of his games against your biggest rival. I wonder which is more successful season in Death Valley? An ACC Title with a loss to South Carolina or no title, but a win over South Carolina?

Same goes for Arkansas and Houston Nutt. I know many Razorback fans are upset with Nutt, but you don't fire a guy who has been to 2 SECCG games and won 8 games this year, including a win at #1 LSU. The SEC is a very tough conference and I don't want to tell Arkansas fans where there place is in the SEC, but LSU doesn't win the west every year, neither does Auburn nor Alabama.

This guy disagrees with me...

Darren McFadden had a heisman like effort on Friday and got that signature win over the #1 LSU Tigers. He hasn't played great in every game, but neither has Tebow. You can't go wrong with either guy and the SEC must be giddy about it.

Speaking of Tebow, he was marvelous again yesterday, but the win did come with its price as the Heisman hopeful has a broken hand and will have a cast on for two weeks. The Gator QB is such a valuable weapon, but his having to run the ball so much this year cost the Gators the SEC East title. Urban Meyer cannot run him that much (and Tebow cannot call his own number so much) next year if the Gators want to get back in the national title race because defense whether intentionally or not will be gunning for him.

Ole Miss fired Ed Orgeron after 3 years. The Rebels finished 0-8 in the SEC for the first time ever and lost a 14 point lead in the 4th quarter to arch rival Mississippi State. Ole Miss gave Florida all they could handle and nearly beat Alabama, but in the ultra competitive SEC almost doesn't get it done.

Year 1 of the Nick Saban era and 1 more loss to Auburn. The Tigers have won 6 in a row which is there longest streak in the series history. Alabama is now hoping for a bowl game, but at 6-6 and 4 straight losses they don't look that attractive. Then again its Alabama and there is always interest in Alabama football.

I think the QB switching finally came back to byte the Ol Ball Coach this year. The 5 game slide started with Spurrier annoucing that Blake Mitchell, the backup at the time, would get some snaps in the Vanderbilt game. Current starter, Chris Smelley, who replaced Mitchell because of poor play, was obviously shaken up and never seemed to recover. It may come down to South Carolina or Alabama for a bowl bid.

Miami does have a reason to look forward to next year with a great recruiting class coming in next year.. if they can hold onto them. Also, Randy Shannon needs to get back to basics. Lack of fundamentals are killing Miami.

The ACC office can rest easier now that Virginia Tech will be in Jacksonville. You had to think a Virginia-Boston College matchup was not going to bring very many fans.

LSU got a reprieve when Tennessee had to play 4OTs. You will have two very tired teams in Atlanta. It is not totally out of the picture of LSU playing in the BCS title game. They have to beat Tennessee, hope Oklahoma beats Missouri, Pitt beats West Virginia. Oklahoma would need to scrape by Missouri though. Nobody has two losses as tough as LSU's with both coming in 3 OT.

Speaking of Tennessee, they don't appear to be the best team in the East. In my opinion, they are the 3rd best team in the East. But you have to give them credit because they won every game they had to, including beating Georgia 35-14.

I hope the Fire Rich Brooks mantra doesn't start in Lexington. You can fire a coach for "mediocrity" and should in basketball at UK, but not at football.

Around the country...
The atmosphere at the Missouri and Kansas game looked awesome on TV. They will do it again next year in KC. I wish more teams would do this once in a while, but the money of having home games is too much of a draw. Games like Georgia-Florida, Texas-Oklahoma are so special because of the neutral field atmosphere.

Can you believe UCLA has a shot at the Pac 10 title and the Rose Bowl? They need to beat USC and have Arizona beat Arizona St. It could happen.

The Big 10 is really missing out by not having ANY games Thanksgiving weekend. Then their teams get to have a nice month and a half off before a bowl game while other conferences have 3-4 weeks off.

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