Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Georgia Upends the Gators

Some final news and notes from the weekend..
Week: 1-3 SU, 3-0-1 ATS, 1-3 O/U
Season: 20-17 SU, 23-12-1 ATS, 18-18-1 O/U

Georgia 42 Florida 30
-"I told them if they didn't get a celebration penalty after the first touchdown I was going to run every one of them at 5:45am" - Coach Mark Richt describing his ordered celebration of the Bulldogs first TD
-Tim Tebow was sacked 6 times. He came in having been sacked 5 times all year
-The 6 sacks helped Tebow "achieve" minus -15 yards rushing for a guy averaging 80+ per game coming into the WLOCP
-Urban Meyer is a hit in Gainesville, largely because he was 7-0 vs the Gators three main rivals coming into Saturday (Tenn, Ga, FSU). Make that 7-1.
-Georgia's 42 points were its most in the rivalry since 1982

Clemson 30 Maryland 17
-Cullen Harper tied the Clemson single season record with his 21st TD pass of the season
-"I won't be doing that again, that's a lot of pressure" - Clemson RB James Davis in response to future guarantees after his came through on Saturday

NC State 29 Virginia 24
-The loss was the Cavs first since the opening weekend to Wyoming
-The loss also prevented Virginia from a school record 8th straight win
-The Wolfpack ended a 9 game ACC losing streak
-Donald Bowens lead the Pack with 202 receiving yards and 2 TDs

Miss St 31 Kentucky 14
-The Bulldogs forced 6 turnovers, including 3 INT from Andre Woodson in their second road win of the year.

Ohio State 37 Penn State 17
-The Buckeyes won their 19th straight Big Ten game, tying a mark set by Michigan from 1990-1992.

UConn 22 South Florida 15
-The Huskies beat a ranked opponent for the 1st time in school history using a late a goal line stand to thwart the Bulls

Texas 28 Nebraska 25
-Nebraska lost their fourth straight game for the first time since 1961.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Power Rankings

Another wild weekend of college football.... The East has been turned upside down again as the two favorites lost (South Carolina and Florida) and two teams suddenly find themselves in the drivers seat in what was thought to be disappointing years (Tennessee and Georgia). Miss State got a big win over a tired Kentucky team, but due to the depth of the SEC can't even crack the top 9. It is tough to make sense of it all when Tennessee whips Georgia, beats South Carolina, but gets killed by Alabama who couldn't beat Georgia or FSU. These power rankings are a mix of the previous week and the entire year.
-Last Week ()-

1. LSU (1)
Tigers had a bye week and prepare for what should a great match pitting Saban vs Miles
2. Auburn (3)
Auburn was not overly impressive, but they moved up mostly due to their play over the last month
3. Georgia (6)
Dawgs move ahead of Florida after impressive 12 pt win.
4. Florida (2)
Gators are best 3 loss team in the country, but Tebow is beat up right now.
5. Tennessee (8)
Held on by Smokey’s tail on Saturday; win out and they are East Champs
6. South Carolina (4)
Two losses in a row and former starter Chris Smelley has been demoted to 3rd team QB
7. Kentucky
Losing to Miss St is no shame after 2 incredibly tough games in a row
8. Alabama (7)
Bye Week; Saban has probably been up all night trying to figure out what Miles will do next
9. Arkansas (9)
Is it just a matter of time for Houston Nutt or can he still save his job against Tenn and LSU
10. Miss State (11)
Sly Croom is quietly moving up in the SEC with two road victories this year
11. Vanderbilt (10)
Commodores are 1 win shy of bowl eligible
12. Ole Miss (12)
The Rebels are still trying to find depth to compete week in and week out

BC fans will be talking about the Virginia Tech for a long time. It may not be in the same breath as Flutie, but if the Eagles keep winning it might. Wake has turned into the Ohio State of the ACC - they just keep winning. Maryland has fallen off the map after it looked like they might contend for a conference title. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech meet on Thursday night in what should be a defensive affair.

1. Boston College
Matt Ryan was Heisman like on those two drives; could be a rematch in Jax for ACCCG
2. Wake Forest (4)
Everybody wrote off the Deacs after an 0-2 start, but they have now won 6 straight
3. Virginia Tech (2)
They had the #2 team in the country stifled for 56 minutes. The QB battle should be interesting from here on out
4. Virginia (3)
Suffered first conference loss and may have lost QB Jameel Sewell
5. Georgia Tech (6)
Down two RBs and facing an angry VT team this Thursday
6. Clemson (7)
Starting to click again on offense as they opened up Maryland early
7. Maryland (5)
Where have you gone Terps running game?
8. Miami (8)
Bye week allowed some injured Canes to heal- mainly their two QBs
9. Florida State (9)
FSU looked the sharpest they have in a while, but it was against Duke
10. NC State (11)
Tom O’Brien gets his first ACC win at State behind an impressive pass-catch combo of Evans and Bowers
11. North Carolina (10)
UNC should have had more progress off a bye week than a 27 point defeat at weak
12. Duke (12)
The passing game future looks bright but not much else does

Top 10
1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Boston College
4. Oregon
5. Oklahoma
6. Arizona State
7. West Virginia
8. Kansas
9. Auburn
10. USC

SEC Basketball Media Predictions

Let's get right to the poll...

1. Tennessee - 180 points
2. Kentucky - 142 points
3. Florida - 103 points
4. Vanderbilt - 98 points
5. Georgia - 69 points
6. South Carolina - 38 points

1. Arkansas - 168 points
2. Miss St - 148 points
3. Alabama - 111 points
4. Auburn - 94 points
5. LSU - 63 points
6. Ole Miss - 46 points

The media thinks Florida will fall hard to 3rd in the East and they barely voted them ahead of Vandy. Tennessee hopes to finally break through this year as they matched the Gators head to head the last two years. Kentucky has high hopes this year with Billy Gillespie attempting to right the Kentucky ship. I think the East will get four teams in the NCAA Tournament. Georgia might have made it five, but with three key players suspended to start the year, the Bulldogs could be off to a rough start.

I think the SEC West is significantly weaker than the East. Arkansas will be lead by sophomore Patrick Beverly and they are hoping to make it back to the Tournament. Alabama looks to be taking a step back this year after a couple of preseason top 25 appearances. LSU looks to have taken the biggest fall though with the loss of Glen Davis.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Georgia Florida Highlights Action

A great weekend of college football all around the country. Georgia-Florida in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (sorry SEC), Spurrier vs Fulmer congers memories of the 90s, and Clemson is "guaranteed" a victory over the Terps. Not to mention Ohio State Penn State and USC Oregon, but I digress.

Georgia vs Florida 3:30 CBS

Line: Fla -7.5, 55

Both teams are still in the SEC East like the 3 other two loss teams. Florida has dominated this series as of late winning 15 out of 17. The last time Georgia beat Florida (2004) was the week after Ron Zook was fired. The line opened at -9, but has moved to 7.5 in the days leading up to Saturday.

Florida Season Recap:
Florida was concerned about the loss of starters off last year's National Championship team, but it didn't seem to be much of a concern after the drilling of Tennessee. A struggling Auburn team came into the Swamp and stunned the Gators. A week later, Florida held a ten point lead at LSU but could not hold on against the Tigers. Last week, Urban Meyer's club bounced back with a win at Kentucky to get back in the SEC race.

Georgia Season Recap:
The Bulldogs hit a bump in week two with a home loss to South Carolina. They rebounded nicely until suffering a blowout loss to Tennessee. Their last game, they needed a last second FG to escape at Vanderbilt. The Dawgs are still in the SEC East race, but need some help from Tennessee and South Carolina.

Florida Stats:
4-2 ATS 4-2 O/U
23rd in total offense (446.3); 24th in rush offense (198.3); 9th in points scored (40.4)
45th in total defense (351); 15th in rush defense (94.4); 46th in points allowed (23.3)

Georgia Stats:
3-3 ATS 2-4 O/U
81st in total offense (362.7); 52nd in rush offense (161); 56th in points scored (28.1)
27th in total offense (319.6); 13th in pass defense (181.9); 26th in points allowed (19.7)

Florida fans felt pretty good about their chances in this game until Tim Tebow came up a little gimpy with a bruised non-throwing shoulder against Kentucky. The sophomore is the Gator's leading rusher in yards and attempts and is in on 75% of their plays from scrimmage this year. Count on Georgia to hit Tebow every chance they get.

Matt Stafford came in just as heralded as Tim Tebow (more so by some "recruitniks"), but has struggled at times this year. The Bulldogs are down two tailbacks and will start redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno who has been splitting time with starter Thomas Brown. Drops has continued to plague the wide outs and Stafford is still looking for a go to target. But enough about an average offense - the Georgia defense has been very good for the most part this year. The defense does not have the star names of past defenses, but is allowing under 20 points per game and ranks 13th in pass defense.

Most things seem the same this year as in the past - Florida has played better than Georgia and has the same or more talent than the Dawgs. One thing that is different is that Florida had to play last week and expended a lot of energy in beating Kentucky. Meanwhile, Georgia was off last week and they are 22-8-1 after a week since 1992. Florida has been idle 13 of the past 14 seasons before Georgia while the Dawgs have played each week until this year. Mark Richt is 9-2 following bye weeks at Georgia. Is this enough to make a 7.5 point difference?
Florida Wins, Georgia Covers, Under

Tennessee vs South Carolina 7:45 ESPN
Line: Tenn -3, 53.5

This game opened as pick'em and had moved to the Vols favor during the week. Both teams are coming off of losses. South Carolina of the upset kind at home and Tennessee off of the blowout to a rival kind and your coach is on the "Hot Seat".

Odds Numbers:
So. Car 4-3 ATS 2-5 O/U
Tenn 4-3 ATS 6-1 O/U
Road team is 9-0-1 ATS in last 10

Football Stats:
Tennessee is avg 416.3 ypg and 31.9 points.
South Carolina is giving up just 16.6 points per game
South Carolina is averaging just 17.7 ppg on the road and just 285.7 ypg
Tennessee is avg 40.7 ppg at home and 467.7 ypg
Tennessee giving up 20.9 ppg at home vs 32.3 on the season.

A year unlike any other has not escaped South Carolina and Tennessee. Steve Spurrier is winning with defense at South Carolina and Tennessee is struggling on defense. The Gamecocks have some issues at QB - do we start Chris Smelley or Blake Mitchell. Neither has done enough to please Spurrier and rightfully so. I really thought South Carolina would be able to rush the ball better than they have. The Vols may be able to cure those ills as they are allowing over 150 ypg on the ground.

Tennessee has not been hurting for offense and Erik Ainge has had a pretty good on offense. The problem is they have not been able to stop anyone outside of the 1st half against Georgia. The secondary is especially of concern as their best player is a true freshman (Eric Berry). Spurrier is a master of the mismatch especially in the passing game, but does he have the horses to maximize this?

This could be a last stand for Phil Fulmer. The team responded well for the Georgia game and need to get it up again for this one after a 24 point loss to Alabama. Don't think that Spurrier is not aware of the heat on his old punch line in Knoxville. Where South Carolina can lose this game easily is getting behind big early or having sub par play from their QBs.
South Carolina Wins, Over

Maryland vs Clemson 3:30 ABC

Line: Clem -3.5, 48

James Davis guaranteed a Clemson victory over Maryland and it looks like the odds makers agree with the junior running back. Maryland let a 14-3 lead slip away against Virginia last week while Clemson racked up 70 points and over 600 yards of offense against Central Michigan.

ATS: Clemson 3-3 Maryland 2-4
O/U: Clemson 4-2 Maryland 3-3
Off YPG: Clem 436.4 Mary 330.9
Def YPG: Clem 292.9 Mary 358.6

Common Opponents
Georgia Tech - Clemson aL 3-13 Maryland hW 28-26

Clemson has made a lot of yards and points off of inferior teams with weak defenses this year. Cullen Harper has been a pleasant surprise at QB throwing 18TD to just 4 INT with a 63.8 completion percentage. The running game has not been nearly as explosive this year as the O-line is very young and suffering through injuries. If the Tigers can get their blocking going, they have two outstanding tailbacks in James Davis and CJ Spiller. Their defense has been pretty solid for the most part, but has not really been called upon in a big time spot as almost all of their games have been blowouts one way or another.

Maryland is having serious injury problems on the O-line is down to 3 walk ons and 2 true freshman as backups. Chris Turner is still playing for the injured Jordan Steffy and while he has not been spectacular, he has been able to manage games well. The Terps rely on Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball to carry the load from the backfield. The Clemson defense has been giving up some yards on the ground at 147 ypg. The Terps defense is not great statistically and has been relying a lot on turnover to give their offense good field position.

Clemson has the talent edge in this game, but I am still a little surprised by the 3 point line on the road. I don't put a whole lot of stock in Davis' guarantee, but it is about time for him and Spiller to step it up. Hopefully, Maryland has forgotten about the game last week and realizes what they still have to play for. I think the Terps have to be able to run the ball well and create turnovers to have a good chance.
Clemson Wins, Covers, Over

Virginia Tech vs Boston College

An ACC clash of top 10 teams as Boston College travels to Blacksburg to take on the #8 Virginia Tech Hokies. This Thursday Night ESPN affair could be a preview of the ACC Championship Game, though Virginia may have something to say about this.

Virginia Tech vs Boston College 7:30 ESPN
Line: VT -3, 41

BC Season Recap:

The Eagles started off with 3 straight conference wins. They beat the defending ACC champs (Wake Forest), their old coach (NC State), and Georgia Tech on the road. BC will be playing their first ACC game in over a month. The Eagles have risen to #2 in the nation largely by remaining undefeated while other teams have fallen. Their best win is either Wake Forest or Georgia Tech, both of which they beat by double digits but are average teams.

VT Season Recap:
The Hokies struggled early on against East Carolina and then got blown out by LSU on the road. Who knows how much weight they were carrying on their shoulders after the campus shootings last April. The Hokies have also risen into the top 10 by continuing to win after starting 1-1. Their best win was a win at Clemson where they scored on 2 returns and a defensive touchdown.

Common Opponents:

BC Statistics:
4-2 ATS 4-2 O/U
16th ranked total offense (455.4); 8th ranked pass offense (310.9); 29th total points (34.6)
30th ranked total defense (323.6); 1st in rush defense (46.4); 18th points allowed (17.7)

VT Statistics:
2-4 ATS 3-3 O/U
113th total offense (298.9); 92nd in rush offense (119.4); 57th total points (28.1)
14th in total defense (302.1); 17th in rush defense (98); 9th in points allowed (16.0)

A struggling Virginia Tech offense will have its hands full with a highly ranked BC defense. Frank Beamer has been tight lipped about the starting QB, but it is hard to believe freshman Tyrod Taylor will start after getting a cast on his ankle taken off just last week. The starter to begin the season, Sean Glennon, will have to face an opportunistic Eagle defense who have been stellar despite losing two of their best players before the season (Brian Toal and BJ Raji). The forecast is for heavy rain which could hamper the pass happy BC offense. KEY: Sean Glennon is searching for a big win as the starter as has his chance to hold onto the job with a good, turnover free game.

Matt Ryan will be facing his stiffest test yet in the Virginia Tech defense led by DE Chris Ellis and LB Xavier Adibi. A secret weapon to help slow the Hokie rush could be the BC running backs, Andre Callender and LV Whitworth. Ryan has been very successful because of great protection and Heisman like accuracy. KEY: The BC line is tall and quick but lacks size. If they can give Ryan protection he should be able to find holes in the Hokie defense.

Virginia Tech lives for Thursday games, especially at home as they are 13-2 all time home or away. The crowd and special teams will give 6-7 points. However, BC has about as a steady of a QB in Matt Ryan. The #2 team in the country has lost three straight weeks and this has been a year of upsets week after week. It may be BC's turn now.
Virginia Tech Wins, BC Covers, Under

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Power Rankings

Late this week, but here goes nothing...

1. LSU
2. Florida
3. Auburn
4. South Carolina
5. Kentucky
6. Georgia
7. Alabama
8. Tennessee
9. Arkansas
10. Vanderbilt
11. Miss St
12. Ole Miss

LSU remains in the top at their gutsy win over Auburn. I moved Auburn up after they were up on LSU for most of the game. Auburn is playing much better after a rocky start. Kentucky just didn’t have enough in the tank to beat a rested Florida team on Saturday, so they move down just 1 spot. Tennessee falls to number 8 after the embarrassing loss at Alabama. The only keeping them falling behind Arkansas was that the Razorbacks just got their first SEC win over Ole Miss. Vanderbilt at number 10 shows the depth of the SEC. Compare them to other conferences 10th best teams (North Carolina, Iowa, Nebraska, Stanford) and Vandy would be favored by a touchdown over all of those.

1. Boston College
2. Virginia Tech
3. Virginia
4. Wake Forest
5. Maryland
6. Georgia Tech
7. Clemson
8. Miami
9. Florida State
10. North Carolina
11. NC State
12. Duke

BC remains at the top of the league waiting for their showdown with Virginia Tech this Thursday. Virginia moves into #3 after a come from behind victory at Maryland. The Terps move down a few spots – they held a 14-3 lead at one point in the game. Miami’s win over in state rival moves them above the Seminoles whose 2 game winning streak in the series is over; FSU is really struggling at QB. The bottom 3 of the ACC is the best it has been in a couple of years though.

Top 10
1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Boston College
4. Oklahoma
5. Oregon
6. West Virginia
7. USC
8. Florida
9. Arizona State
10. Kansas

Ohio State keeps the top spot despite almost giving the game away to Michigan State on Saturday. LSU moves up to #2 after the thrilling victory Saturday night. The Tigers bye week could not come at a better time after 3 brutal games in a row. Oklahoma was mostly the beneficiary of teams above them losing only beating Iowa State by 10. USC travels to Oregon this weekend in what should be a shootout. Rounding out the top 10 are two new teams – Arizona State, Kansas. Arizona State hosts a struggling Cal team off 2 straight losses, but the Bears have owned ASU of late. Kansas goes to Texas A&M and has a decent shot at 12-0 during the regular season as they don’t play Texas or Oklahoma from the South.

ACC Basketball News

ACC Basketball writers picked how the ACC is going to finish... here it is
1. North Carolina
2. Duke
3. NC State
4. Clemson
5. Virginia
6. Maryland
7. Georgia Tech
8. Boston College
9. Florida State
10. Virginia Tech
11. Wake Forest
12. Miami

Interesting question asked to Tyler Hansbrough... Did he come back to get revenge on Gerald Henderson? C'mon get serious here. Maybe Hansbrough came back because he wanted to win a national title or maybe he came back because he likes playing college basketball.

Tuesday News and Notes

Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech's Tashard Choice had knee surgery on Tuesday. He will miss the Virginia Tech game on Nov 1, but could be back by Nov 10. However, I can't see the Jackets rushing him back with Duke and North Carolina before the rivalry game with Georgia. Choice needs just 136 yards to becomes Georgia Tech's first rusher with back to back 1,000 yard seasons.

The Bulldogs have the least amount of turnovers in the nation on offense (5). Problem is that they rank 118 out of 119 in takeaways with just 6.

Tim Tebow has a bruised right (non-throwing) shoulder. Shouldn't be a shocker with the beating he takes every week. I would expect Georgia to try and hit him every chance they get.

Game formerly known as the World's Largest Cocktail Party
The Gators streak of 15 out of 17 should not be a huge shock considering this series has largely been made of streaks. Found on dawgrun.com
From 1930 through 1951 (except in '43, when they didn't play) UGA
was 17-3-1 against Florida...losses were in '37, '40 and '49. The
tie was in 1930 in Savannah.
From 1952 through 1963, Florida ruled the series with a 10-2 mark.
From 1964 through 1973, it was 5-4-1 in favor of UGA. That was a
short period of some back and forth. The tie was in 1969.
From 1974 through 1989, it was 13-3 in favor of UGA.
From 1990 forward, everyone knows the score (15 out of 17 for UF)

The Atlanta Journal Constitution had an interesting article about how level the playing field is in the SEC East. The comment I thought to be the best was about Kentucky President Lee Todd who resisted firing Rich Brooks after the 2005 season. In the previous three years, Brooks had a 9-25 record in Lexington. Fans were calling him to be fired so much that Brooks famously said at the SEC Media Conference, "I'm Baaack!". It will be interesting to see how the Wildcats do next year when Andre Woodson departs for the NFL.

Florida State
Drew Weatherford is once again the starter in Tallahassee. Xavier Lee pretty much gave the Miami game away with 2 INT and 2 fumbles including one that gave the Hurricanes their 2nd TD in 11 seconds and sealed the game. After getting the ball back, Lee promptly under threw three curl routes to end the Seminoles hopes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday Wrap Up

Week: 4-3 SU, 5-2 ATS, 2-4-1 O/U
Season: 19-14 SU, 20-12-1 ATS, 17-15-1 O/U

After the Kentucky win, Urban Meyer is now 22-2 in games after a week off.

Kentucky out gained Florida by almost 100 yards (512 vs 421) and did not commit any turnovers, but still fell by 14.

Andre Woodson has an uphill battle to win the Heisman with two losses, but he completed 35-50 for 415 yards and 5TDs in the loss.

Auburn fans had reason to believe that the Tigers would hold for the win vs LSU. They had won 8 straight SEC road games and 9 of their past 10 against top 10 teams.

Miami scored two touchdowns in 11 seconds (pass, fumble recover) to secure Randy Shannon's first victory over rival Florida State. All of this came after the Canes were stuffed on 4th and 1 at the FSU 1 yard line with 5:29 left.

FSU won 71 of its first 73 ACC games, but has now lost 10 of its past 14.

South Carolina was ready for Vanderbilt or so thought Steve Spurrier. "Vanderbilt plays almost everyone down to the wire, so we'll have our hands full. That's all we need to worry about right now."
Vandy's win over #6 South Carolina was their first win over a team ranked as high as 6th in 70 years. It was also their first victory over a Steve Spurrier coached team in 15 tries.

Despite losing Tashard Choice in the 1st half, Georgia Tech rushed for 292 yards on 51 carries. The Yellow Jackets also fumbled 5 times losing 2 of them.

Alabama opened the Tennessee game with an onside kick and never looked back. The 41-17 victory was the most lopsided in the series since 1986.

Clemson allowed Central Michigan a 7-0 lead before racking up 656 total yards of offense en route to a 70-14.

Virginia had won four of their six wins by a total of 10 points coming into the weekend. Make that 5 wins by a total of 11 points after a come from behind 18-17 win at Maryland. The Cavs winning drive went 90 yards.

NC State's Daniel Evans passed for 335 yards in the Wolfpack's 34-20 victory over East Carolina.

5 teams remain undefeated and 3 of them face very tough tests this week. Ohio State at Penn State; Arizona State vs Cal; Boston College at Virginia Tech (Thur).

Friday, October 19, 2007

LSU Auburn Highlights This Week

Auburn @ LSU
LSU-10, 42.5

LSU is coming off a 3OT loss after just week at #1. Auburn has been on a roll since their loss to Miss State having won four in a row. The winner of this game has been to the SEC Championship Game 4 of the past 5 years.

LSU Offense vs Auburn Defense:
Some may wonder why Les Miles ran the ball on 4th and 2 last week. Looking at the stats, the Tiger had managed 5 ypc on 50 carries for over 250 yards prior to that run. I don’t think they will be able to repeat that against Auburn. I was a little miffed as to why Ryan Perrilloux did not play more in the late stages of the game especially after Flynn was seen hobbling on his ankle. Expect LSU to play both QBs extensively to keep this Auburn defense on their toes. Early Doucet should be back for LSU giving them another threat down the field. You cannot stack against the run or try to blitz this LSU team too much because they are so balanced. Historically, this has been a low scoring, defensive affair. I think Auburn will need a couple of turnovers to help slow the LSU O.

Auburn Offense vs LSU Defense:
A couple of week ago, Glenn Dorsey and the LSU D-line would have been licking their chops at this game. Brandon Cox was injury prone, the O-line was playing like turnstiles, and the running backs could not hold onto the ball. Times have changed on the Plains, and Cox has cemented his status as starting QB after a brief stint on the bench. Brad Lester, the leading returning rusher from last year is also back and the backups have held onto the ball much better in recent weeks. The top LSU CB, Chevous Jackson, went down last week and Kentucky really tried to exploit true freshman Jai Eugene. Jackson’s status is uncertain, so expect Auburn to go after Eugene. If the Tigers can get pressure on Cox, then it could be a long night for the senior. Kentucky did better than I thought in pass protection and these D-linemen are playing after a tough win vs Florida and 3OT in Lexington. I think fatigue and injuries will be the biggest obstacle LSU will have to over come on defense.

Campus Scene:
Everyone is a little down after going down after just one week as #1, but the national title hopes are still there (especially after the South Florida loss). The Auburn game has been one of the toughest and most meaningful over the last 5 years and this game is also at night where LSU has a much better home record (they are actually .500 during the day). LSU has to overcome a lot of bumps and bruises though after the last two games.

LSU Wins, Auburn Covers, Over

Florida @ Kentucky
Fla –6.5, 64

Florida travels to Kentucky the week after the 3OT win over then #1 LSU. This is a must win for both teams in the SEC East race. Florida has beaten Kentucky 20 straight times. The streak is the currently the third longest for a continuous series.

Florida Offense vs Kentucky Defense:
Florida utilizes Tim Tebow in every aspect of their offense. He will throw, run around you, run through you, run over you, fake the run and then pass, etc. The Gators have one of most dynamic players in college football in Percy Harvin. The sophomore will line up at HB, WR, H-back, and slot. Meyer will try to get the ball into Harvin’s hands as much possible. One of the reasons he plays some running back is that Florida still has not found a reliable running back. This lack of RB has led to Tebow getting beat up more than desired through the first 6 games. Kentucky gave up over 250 yards rushing last week against LSU and the Tigers also had success through the air. The best unit on the Wildcats D is their LB corps led by Wesley Woodyard. Kentucky will have its work cut out for them especially after playing 3OT last week, while the Gators were off.

Kentucky Offense vs Florida Defense:
By now, everybody knows about Andre Woodson. What everyone doesn’t know is that the Wildcat receiving corps is one of the best that you have never heard of. Eric Locke stepped in for the injured Rafael Little last week and was able to grind out some yards against a tough LSU defense. Locke came to Kentucky on a track scholarship and might be called upon this week again if Rafael Little is not 100%. Florida’s defense was just as beat up as their offense after three straight tough games in a row. This defense is very young, but has held up pretty well. The secondary is especially young starting two freshmen. I think Kentucky will be able to the move the ball pretty well, but they will have to guard against mistakes versus an aggressive defense.

Campus Scene:
Hysteria has hit Lexington. Basketball practice has started and the Wildcats are in the top 10 in football. It will be very tough to come back after beating #1 LSU last week in 3OT. While all that was going on, Florida had the week off to prepare.

Florida Wins, Covers, Under

Miami @ Florida State
FSU –5, 41

For the first time in 30 years, neither team is ranked in this game. FSU has won 2 in a row in the series after losing 5 straight to the U. Both teams’ struggles have been on the offensive side of the ball especially at QB.

FSU Offense vs Miami Defense
The Seminoles have gone back and forth between Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee. Lee made the start against Wake Forest last week, but Weatherford came off the bench after the offense sputtered in the second half. The Seminoles are not rushing the ball very well either. Much was anticipated from the offense after Jimbo Fisher came over from LSU, but there is not much of a difference so far. Defensively, Miami played has played pretty well except for the last two games where the allowed 187+ rushing on the ground in both. Ends Calais Campbell and Eric Moncur will need double teams to keep them out of the backfield. Kenny Philips is an All American safety, but is a notch below the great Hurricane safeties of past years. I expect FSU to not take many chances on offense outside of a few jump balls for 6’6” WR Greg Carr and play fairly conservatively.

Miami Offense vs FSU Defense
Kyle Wright regained his starting position after just two games under Kirby Freeman and has played better by and large this year. Javarris James and Graig Cooper lead the Hurricanes on offense from running back. Wright has not been helped much by his WR corps that has been plagued by drops. FSU is still very good on defensive, but the one area they have dropped off is at D-line; Andre Wadsworth and Reinard Wilson are not walking through that door. This is good news for a Miami O-line that has struggled also keeping Wright off his back. Miami has a new OC this year, Pat Nix, who likes a run first offense and to take shots downfield. Last week, Hurricane receivers were open, but Wright overthrew many of them. Like FSU, I expect Miami to play fairly conservatively on offense and let their defense (Miami’s) try and control the game.

Campus Scene:
This is still a fierce rivalry game and means a lot towards recruiting in the state of Florida. The word is still out on Randy Shannon in his first year, but Bobby’s Bowden’s days in this rivalry are numbered. I expect a lot of trash talking, penalties, and turnovers. The last one will likely determine the winner with two anemic offenses.

FSU Wins, Miami Covers, Under

Other games…
Alabama at Tennessee
Pick, 55

Why watch?
This will be Nick Saban’s first rivalry game in Tuscaloosa. Alabama didn’t pay Saban $4M per to have 3 point wins over Ole Miss AFTER a 5 minute delay to review a potential game winning catch for the Rebels.
What to expect?
Tennessee has new life after defeating Georgia and is “in control of their destiny” in the SEC East. Erik Ainge has been a very good road QB and he must out play the lesser John Parker Wilson. Alabama’s best win doesn’t look so good anymore (Arkansas).

Tennessee Wins, Under

Vanderbilt at South Carolina
SC –13.5, 47

Why Watch?
The Commodores were within 10 yards of beating Georgia last week before a fumble. South Carolina may be looking ahead to the showdown with Tennessee next week.
What to Expect?
I think this will be a low scoring affair matching two the of the better defenses in the SEC – South Carolina’s you know about, but you will find out about Vandy. Look for Spurrier to shake up the QB rotation and get Senior Blake Mitchell some snaps in the first half and if he plays well he may finish the game.

South Carolina Wins, Vandy Covers, Under

Army @ Georgia Tech
GT –23.5, 44

Why Watch?
Army gave BC fits earlier this year and BC gave Georgia Tech fits early this year as well.
What to Expect?
A heavy dose of Georgia Tech running backs. The Yellow Jackets would like to rest some of the starters in the second half, especially Tashard Choice, in preparation for Va Tech two weeks from now. I think Army will be able to pass against Tech’s soft zone if they can give the QB time.

Georgia Tech Wins, Army Covers, Over

Central Michigan @ Clemson
Clem –16.5, 62
Why watch?
James Davis and CJ Spiller are looking for redemption and it should come against a team last seen allowed 45+ to Purdue.
What to Expect?
I expect the Tigers to come out and try to establish the run early. They had a week to prepare, so they may throw in some new formations and trick plays early on. Central Michigan can put up points, but they couldn’t stop a Yankees postseason meltdown.

Clemson Wins, Covers, Under

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Predicting the Lines

Taking a stab at what lines would be for some of the big games left this season. This is what I think the line will be on game day, not if they played right now.

BC -2 @ Virginia Tech

Georgia vs Florida -5

South Carolina -1 @ Tennessee

Auburn @ Georgia -2.5

Virginia Tech -3.5 @ Georgia Tech

Florida @ South Carolina -5

Kentucky @ Georgia -2

LSU -4 @ Alabama

Georgia -1.5 @ Georgia Tech

Florida St @ Florida -10

Clemson @ South Carolina - 8

USC @ Cal -5

Ohio State -7 @ Michigan

Power Rankings

SEC Rankings
number in partheses is LW ranking

1. LSU (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. South Carolina (3)
4. Kentucky (5)
5. Auburn (7)
6. Tennessee (4)
7. Georgia (6)
8. Alabama (8)
9. Arkansas (9)
10. Vanderbilt (10)
11. Ole Miss (11)
12. Miss St (12)

Kept LSU at number one because despite the loss, I still think they are the best team in the SEC on any given Saturday. Kentucky moves up 1 spot after the win. Auburn jumped two spots with a big road win. The lackluster performance by Georgia needing a last second FG to beat Vandy dropped them one spot. Ole Miss moves up with a near victory over Alabama; the Rebels are very close to pulling off a big won. Miss St is the best #12 conference team I have seen in a long time.

ACC Rankings
1. Boston College (1)
2. Virginia Tech (2)
3. Maryland (3)
4. Virginia (4)
5. Wake Forest (8)
6. Georgia Tech (6)
7. Clemson (7)
8. Florida State (5)
9. North Carolina (10)
10. Miami (9)
11. NC State (11)
12. Duke (12)

The top 4 remain unchanged. Wake and FSU switch spots after the Deacs win over the Noles last Thursday. North Carolina jumps Miami and nearly coming from 18 points down to fall just short against South Carolina. Miami has a long way to go to get to the top of the ACC at this point. Duke is vastly improved over last year, but will have tough time getting out of the cellar.

National Top 10
1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. South Florida
4. Boston College
5. Oklahoma
6. Cal
7. Oregon
8. Florida
9. USC

10. West Virginia

Around The SEC and ACC

Weekly ESPN update...
ESPN's College Gameday will make its first ever trip to Lexington, KY this Saturday for the Florida-Kentucky Game.

SEC Strength or Parity...
The SEC is the only BCS conference not to have an undefeated team.

Trivia Question....
When was the last time FSU and Miami met and neither was ranked? Answer: 1977

Coach on the Hot Seat...
Think Houston Nutt is feeling the heat? If the 0-3 SEC start wasn't bad enough, the Razorbacks have led in the 4th quarter of all three of those losses (Alabama, Kentucky, Auburn)

Kentucky - LSU Aftermath...
At least 22 were arrested in Lexington following the triple over time Wildcat win. March Madness and beating the number 1 team in the land all within 24 hours. What a time to be in Bluegrass country.

Kentucky was fined $50,000 for the on the field celebration after the win. This is the second time this year. They were fined $25,000 after the Louisville win. The SEC instituted a much tougher stance after a Georgia-Florida basketball game where Gator F Matt Walsh said he was injured in the on court celebration by Georgia fans.

Luck of the Irish...?
BC beat Catholic rival Notre Dame for the fifth straight time. Only USC and Michigan have accomplished this feat.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Check Me Out On The Sports Tap

This past Friday, I was honored to be a guest on The Sports Tap discussing the upcoming South Carolina-North Carolina game. Check out the audio link.


Notes From Oct 13

Georgia Tech 17 Miami 14
- Tashard Choice had a career-high 204 yards rushing on 37 carries.
- Choice's 200 yards was the first against Miami in 10 years.
- Miami had just 122 yards of offense in the final 3 quarters.

Georgia 20 Vanderbilt 17
- Georgia avoided back to back losses versus Vanderbilt which would have been the first in 50 years.
-Vandy looked like it was going in for the win when Cassen Jackson-Garison fumbled and Georgia recovered on their own 7 with 2:43 left.

South Carolina 21 North Carolina 15
- "putrid offense" is what Steve Spurrier called the offensive effort of South Carolina in the 2nd half gaining just 62 yards.
- UNC has lost four games by sever or less points
- The Tar Heels had 398 yards of offense to the Gamecocks 282.

Kentucky 43 LSU 37 3OT
- "I saw the formation and knew pretty much what the play was going to be. The LSU right guard pulled, and he was supposed to kick me out. But I ducked under him and he missed me." Kentucky LB Braxton Kelley said about the 4th down stop in the 3rd OT
- Wonder why Les Miles went with a run on 4th and 2? LSU had 261 yards on 50 carries, good for 5+ yards a carry.

Virginia Tech 43 Duke 14
- Sean Glennon came off the bench to throw for 258 yards after starter Tyrod Taylor left the game with a high ankle sprain.

Boston College 27 Notre Dame
-BC had 15 penalties for 131 yards.

Around the Country
- Nebraska suffered its worst home loss since 1958. All of this on the afternoon the 1997 National Champion team was honored including Tom Osborne
- Iowa ended its 8 game Big 10 losing streak with a 10-6 win over Illinois.
- USC amassed just 276 yards of offense in a 20-13 win over Arizona

Thursday, October 11, 2007

October 13 Predictions

South Carolina @ North Carolina 3:30 ABC
Line: SC -7, 47.5

The setting..
A meeting between old ACC rivals. If you talk to South Carolina fans, you would be surprised to hear how big of a rival the Tar Heels are even though they hardly ever play them. South Carolina decided to leave the ACC in 70s and many theories have been tossed around as to why, including perceived favoritism towards the North Carolina schools.

Line of scrimmage..
SC Rush Off 130.7 ypg vs UNC Rush Def 152.0 ypg
UNC Rush Off 104.2 ypg vs SC Rush Def 193.8 ypg
SC Off 2.7 sacks per game vs UNC Def 2.3 sacks per game
UNC Off 2.8 sack per game vs SC Def 1.8 sacks per game

The Gamecocks have been soft against the run this year which is uncharacteristic of a Tyrone Nix coached team. Good think the Tar Heels running attack has been anemic at best. Both teams are prone to giving up sacks. The Heels defense has improved greatly under Davis and is making some modest strides from seasons past. The stats don't show it, but South Carolina has shown the ability to control the LOS (vs Georgia) though the loss of Jasper Brinkley at LB hurts.

Slight Edge South Carolina

QB Play
SC Chris Smelley 810 yards 54.2% 6TD/3INT; Team 10TD, 8INT
UNC TJ Yates 1386 yards 61.3% 9TD/8 INT

Both teams are hoping to get improved play from their QBs this week. Smelley took over for senior Blake Mitchell against LSU and played on par with Heisman candidate Andre Woodson last week. Yates has been a gunslinger for the Heels as many games they have forced to throw to come from behind.
Slight Edge South Carolina

SC is 4-1 ATS
UNC is 3-2 ATS
SC is 10-1 ATS in last 11 road games
SC is 8-1 ATS in last 9

North Carolina has always had talent as evidenced by their NFL list of players. Davis turned Miami around on the defensive side first and is attempting to do the same in Chapel Hill. The win by North Carolina last week assured that the Gamecocks will not be over looking this game. The Gamecocks are hot as of late and have been very good on the road ATS.
Slight Edge South Carolina

South Carolina Wins, Covers, Over

Georgia Tech @ Miami 12:00 ESPN
Line: Mia -2.5, 42.5

The setting…
The Yellow Jackets have won two in a row in this series. Both teams are coming off road losses as favorites. Both teams have had inconsistent QB play this year. Both teams have a lot of talent and speed on the defense. Both teams would rather run than pass. The Georgia Tech win in 2005 came when Miami was 8-1 and ranked #3 in the nation. Since then, GT is 13-10 and Miami is 12-10.

Line of Scrimmage
GT Rush Off 199.3 ypg vs Miami Rush Def 111.3 ypg
Miami Rush Off 156.2 ypg vs GT Rush Def 68.5
GT Off Sacks 0.7 pg vs Miami Def Sacks 3.7 pg
Miami Off Sacks 1.7 pg vs GT Def Sacks 4.2 pg

Both teams like to run the ball and both teams are good at stopping the run. Both teams can really get after the QB too. Georgia Tech leads the ACC in sacks with 25, but has only forced 2 INT meaning QBs are holding onto the ball rather than throwing it up. Neither QB will have much fun in the pocket as it will be the fastest defense each as faced so far and Bennett nor Wright are very nimble.
Advantage: Even

QB Play
GT Bennett 1016 yards 53.1% 2TD/2INT
Mia Wright 1096 yards 64.3% 8TD/8INT

Same story here. Neither team's QB is a world beater as they rely mostly on the run. Kyle Wright has played much better this year and needs some redemption after going 0-2 vs GT so far in his career. Taylor Bennett had a break out half against Maryland in the second half, but he has yet to put together two good halves of football. Neither of these teams is very good against the pass either ranking in the bottom 2 of the conference.
Advantage: Even

Intangibles/Coaching/ ATS
GT is 2-3 ATS, 2-3 O/U
Mia 2-4 ATS, 3-3 O/U
GT is 0-3 ATS as Fav
GT is 2-0 ATS as dog
GT been outscored 41-3 in the first quarter of games they have lost.

Randy Shannon has been through a lot in just 6 games as coach - blown out by Oklahoma, blowing out Texas A&M. The Canes responded nicely after being down 27-0 to UNC last week charging back to within 6. Georgia Tech's problem in their losses has been not playing with any emotion to start the game as evidenced by the 1st quarter scores in their losses. Can get GT get up for this game and play with emotion or will they let an average Miami offense jump out to 14 points in the first quarter?
Slight Advantage Miami

Prediction: Miami Wins, GT Covers, Under

Georgia @ Vanderbilt 6:00 ESPN2
Line: UGA -6, 45

The setting…
This season sets up just the way it did last year for Georgia. After a big loss to Tennessee last year, Georgia then lost at home to Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs lost by 21 last week in Knoxville and now comes Vanderbilt. The Commodores coaching staff have put starter Chris Nickson on notice that his job is in jeopardy by playing Mackenzie Adams, though most of the team including All-SEC WR Earl Bennett believe Nickson will bounce back and play well after a few bad weeks.

Line of Scrimmage
UGA Rush Off 160 ypg vs Vand Rush Def 145 ypg
Vand Rush Off 141.6 ypg vs UGA Rush Def 130 ypg
Vand Off Sacks 1.4 per game vs UGA Def Sacks 1.5 per game
UGA Off Sacks 1.5 per game vs Vand Def Sacks 2.2 per game

Mark Richt admitted that Tennessee whipped Georgia up front last week largely due to the inexperience of the Bulldog line. Vandy doesn't have the horses of Tennessee, but will be no pushover. The Bulldog rushing attack to a hit as Thomas Brown is out. Knowshon Moreno and Kregg Lumpkin will split carries. UGA is big up front and will slowly wear down the Commodore lines.
Slight Advantage UGA

QB Play
UGA Stafford 1163 yards, 55.9% 9TD/4INT
Vand Nickson 757 yards, 53.6% 6TD/5INT

Matt Stafford has had trouble living up to the sophomore hype so far this season outside of the winning pass vs Alabama. His completion % is not where he wants to be, but part of this is due to inconsistency at the WR position with drops. Vandy has had QB issues of their own. Chris Nickson started out with a lot of promise two years ago, but is being pushed by backup Mackenzie Adams. Expect both to play.
Slight Advantage UGA

UGA 3-2 ATS 2-3 O/U
Vand 2-2 ATS 0-4O/U
Road team is 9-3 ATS in last 12

Vandy gets to take on Georgia after a Tennessee loss again this year. If the Commodores can get out on top early, the Bulldogs may start to think back to last year. The key for Georgia will be to put Vandy away when they have the chance. They didn't do that last year and came back to hurt them in the end. Richt has been masterful on the road with just 4 losses since 2001.
Slight Advantage UGA

Georgia Wins, Covers, Under

Auburn @ Arkansas 7:45 ESPN
Line: Ark -3, 49.5

The setting…
Two disappointing starts for these two SEC West teams. Inconsistent QB play has plagued both though Auburn’s Brandon Cox has played much better the last two weeks after being benched. Auburns inconsistency has been at running the bal where a tailback by committee has not been able to hold onto the ball. The Tigers did get Brad Lester back last week, the leading returning rusher from a season ago. No secret to what Arkansas is going to do. Run with McFadden, Run with Jones, Pass with McFadden. Despite the “predictability” of this, the duo lead the nation in rushing.

Line of Scrimmage
Ark Rush Off 338.4 ypg vs Aub Rush Def 116.3 ypg
Aub Rush Off 161.7 ypg vs Ark Rush Def 151.1 ypg
Ark Off 0.8 sacks per game vs Aub Def 1.5 sacks per game
Aub Off 2.5 sacks per game vs Ark Def 1.2 sacks per game

Everybody knows Darren McFadden and Felix Jones are going to run the ball, but so far nobody has been able to slow them. It was against Auburn last year that McFadden burst onto the national stage and into the Heisman race as the Hogs destroyed Auburn on the Plains. The Razorbacks don't allow many sacks because they don't throw the ball that much. Meanwhile, Brandon Cox has appeared to be a sitting duck at times in the pocket with a shaky line, but there has been much improvement over the last two weeks from this unit.
Slight Advantage Arkansas

QB Play
Ark Dick 736 yards, 52.6% 7TD/4INT
Aub Cox 963 yards, 59.1%, 4TD/7INT

When talking about Arkansas QB position you have to consider McFadden out of the "Wildhog formation". Most of Brandon Cox's subpar numbers do not include the last two outings where he was very solid in two victories. Even with McFadden, the Razorbacks are very anemic in the passing game.
Slight Advantage Auburn

Ark 2-2 ATS 4-0 O/U
Aub 3-3 ATS 2-4 O/U

Houston's Nutt could buy himself some more time in Fayetteville with a win here. Auburn is hot right now, but Arkansas has had their number of late. McFadden and Jones are putting up incredible numbers, but the Hogs are having a tough time translating that into wins against good teams. Auburn looked very sharp last week against Vanderbilt and appear to have found a way around their turnover problem which cost them dearly in their two losses.
Advantage Even

Auburn Wins, Over

Other Interesting Games
South Florida -11.5 vs Central Florida
South Florida’s first game as being the hunted and playing a team with a chip on their shoulder. For the first 10 years of the program it was always the other way around, but the Bulls have reached a level now to where they have rivals looking up to them.

Purdue @ Michigan -5.5
The Boilers employ a spread offense that gave Michigan fits… make that nightmares in their first two games of the year. However, I don’t think Purdue has the team speed that Oregon had especially at QB running the draw. Joe Tiller’s club relies more on the short passing game to move the ball and draws with Kory Sheets. Still, this game should be interesting considering the Wolverines troubles against this type of offense in the past and that they are a 5.5 point favorite.

Boston College -13.5 @ Notre Dame
This is an underrated rivalry in college football (not in the religious cycles). BC has almost always been the underdog and I still remember when they beat the Irish after their big win over FSU in 1993 which knocked the Golden Domers out of the national title race (FSU went onto win the title that year ironically). Notre Dame got a lot of confidence in their 14 point win over UCLA last week and BC travels to Virginia Tech next week.

Wisconsin @ Penn State -6.5
Penn State hasn’t shown me anything to make me think they are a top 3 or 4 Big 10 team. I know they have the Badgers at home, but Anthony Morelli is struggling and the off field incidents are mounting in Happy Valley. Even Joe Pa got into the act this past week as a confrontation between him and another motorist was reported by police not too far from campus. I don’t think the Nittany Lions are entirely focused on the Badgers right now.

Louisville @ Cincinnati -10.5
The Cardinals of Bobby Petrino have flown the nest. I don’t think Louisville could stop a tortoise right now on offense and the Bearcats are riding high.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

News and Notes from Oct 6

Tennessee 35 Georgia 14
-"Its not surprising to see Tenn D-line handle our guys like that" - HC Mark Richt
-"The first thing I was thinking was, I hope they don't put up 51 like they did last year" - WR Mikey Henderson who caught the winning TD against Alabama
-Before Saturday, Tenn was 2-8 in the past 10 games vs ranked opponents and 7-16 against the SEC heavyweights (LSU, Florida, Auburn, Georgia)
-Georgia has now lost 6 straight to SEC East opponents
-"It put us back in the SEC race, and 35-14 doesn't even tell what happened" - UT QB Erik Ainge who is 3-0 vs Georgia

Maryland 28 Georgia Tech 26
-In GT's 3 losses, they have been outscored 41-3 in the first quarter
-Maryland entered the game leading the nation in time of possession, but held the ball for just 22 min and 41 sec in the win
-"Basically, we didn't execute the way we should have at the beginning. We came out sluggish and we just didn't play the way we're capable of playing." - Tech DE Darrell Robertson who recovered a fumble and returned it for a TD in the 2nd quarter.
-"If I knew what was going on, I'd do something about it" - HC Chan Gailey commenting on his team's slow start in games.
-GT rolled up 484 yds and crossed midfield on every poss except its first.

Virginia Tech 41 Clemson 23
-VT held Clemson w/o a first down for the first 21 minutes of the game
-Clemson's Cullen Harper set school records for completions and attempts in the loss

Around the nation...
Stanford 24 USC 23
-USC's 35 game home winning streak is over. The last team to the Trojans at the Coliseum? You guessed it, Stanford 21-16 on Sept 29, 2001.

Kansas is the Big 12's lone unbeaten and 5-0 for just the 3rd time in 39 years

Iowa has now lost 8 straight Big 10 games. Iowa led the Big 10 in conference victories from 2002-2005.

Texas is 0-2 in conference for the first time since 1956.


News Outside the South...
Vick'em is the battle cry for Texas Tech as they play Texas A&M this Saturday. Playing off of the Aggies “Gig’em” , Texas Tech has sold 300+ t-shirts with the slogan “Vick’em”. The shirt portrays a football playing holding the Texas A&M dog by her leash with the controversial slogan. The t-shirt production has been stopped due to the controversy. Not really sure what Gig’em means, but it made me think of Quagmire from Family Guy. Giggity Giggity.



Odds Makers:
South Carolina’s chances of winning the East?
50%. I think Either the Gamecocks or Gators will take the division and they are in a dead heat in my opinion. Winner in Columbia will go to Atlanta.

Virginia’s chances of winning the Coastal Division?
25%. The Cavs are in a great position with their conference record, but may have lost the #2 ACC rusher Cedric Peerman for an extended period. VT was left for dead after LSU, but still controls their destiny.

Boston College’s chances of going undefeated?
20%. BC is the best team in the ACC by a good margin. The non-blowout wins over 1-AA UMass and some lesser Div I-A opponents is a caution flag. Matt Ryan will have a sub par game eventually.

Georgia Tech’s chances of finishing ACC .500 currently at 1-3?
67%. Tech has UNC (home) and Duke (road) left on the schedule as well as Miami (road) and VT (home). They will beat UNC and Duke and will at least split with Miami and VT.

Over Under:
SEC Bowl Teams: 9.5

ACC Bowl Teams: 8.5

SEC Teams Ranked in Top 25 on Nov 5: 5.5

ACC Teams Ranked in Top 25 on Nov 5: 3.5

If they were played today…
Clemson @ South Carolina -8

Georgia -1.5 @ Georgia Tech

Florida State @ Florida -9

Monday, October 8, 2007

Power Rankings Week 6

I did the power rankings based on how good I think each team is. Head to head matchups, wins, and losses all play apart in the rankings, but I also rank on how I think the team is going to fare that week and by the end of the year. For example, I have Florida rated higher than Auburn in the SEC. But wait a minute, Auburn beat Florida at Florida! This is true, but if Florida and Auburn played 2 out 3, 3 out 5, etc, Florida would prove to be the better team in my opinion. It is very hard to this in each conference outside of the top team and the bottom 3. Anybody could beat anybody from 2-9 in the SEC and ACC.

You will also see this in my National Top 10. How do I put USC at #5 you ask? The Trojans had an aberration on Saturday night. They could play Stanford 5 more times this year and win all 5. They will be favored in every game they play the rest of the year except for Cal and I expect them to have at most 1 more loss in the regular season.

ACC Rankings
1. Boston College
Eagles have passed every test so far this season; Matt Ryan is the best QB in the ACC or SEC.
2. Virginia Tech
Hokies got back to Beamer Ball with Special Teams and INT en route to a big win over Clemson
3. Maryland
Terps should be undefeated in the ACC without the collapse at Wake
4. Virginia
Down 10 in the 2nd half was a game the Cavs would have lost in prior years
5. Florida State
Xavier Lee has provided a spark to a stagnant Seminole offense
6. Georgia Tech
Underachieving at 1-3 in the ACC with their talent
7. Clemson
Suddenly, Clemson cannot run or pass after blowing out opponents in their first 4 game
8. Wake Forest
Doesn’t appear they can overtake BC, but they can beat anyone else in the ACC
9. Miami
Hurricanes cannot afford to get down by 27 and expect to win with inconsistent QB play
10. North Carolina
11. NC State
12. Duke

SEC Rankings
1. LSU
Les Miles is the new Riverboat Gambler of the SEC with multiple 4th quarter 4th down conversions
2. Florida
Still think the Gators are best in the East, but little room for error with two conference losses
3. South Carolina
Gamecocks are in a great position to win the East this year if they can get better QB play.
4. Tennessee
Huge win for Vols over Georgia; defense was able to build some confidence shutting Bulldogs out in 1st half
5. Kentucky
It says something that Woodson played his worst game in two years and the Wildcats were still competitive in the 4th quarter
6. Georgia
East hopes are all but done; blowout loss on road was very uncharacteristic under the Richt regime.
7. Auburn
Two good wins in a row; looks like Tigers are back on track
8. Alabama
As of now, Tide do not appear to be much better than last year as they had to hold on against Houston
9. Arkansas
Razorbacks at #9 show depth of SEC
10. Vanderbilt
11. Miss St
12. Ole Miss

National Top 10
1. LSU
2. Cal
3. Ohio State
4. Oklahoma
5. USC
6. Boston College
7. South Florida
8. Florida
9. Oregon
10. West Virginia

LSU showed what they are made off with two 4th quarter TDs against Florida. Cal has been the beneficiary of all these teams above them losing. Offense is great, defense is still suspect. Ohio State just keeps winning with execution and coaching. A weak Big 10 helps could help them go undefeated. Oklahoma has played very well all year except for 1 quarter against Colorado. Already discussed USC. Boston College may do the most with the least amount of talent of any good team in the country. Matt Ryan could start for half a dozen NFL teams right now. South Florida is the epitome of ugly wins, but so was Ohio State in 2002. I still think Florida is a very tough out. They have to find a running game outside of Tebow though as he does everything on offense right now. Oregon was a ½ yard away from tying Cal late in that game and they will be very tough to beat at Autzen Stadium. West Virginia rolled up the yards against Syracuse, but Pat White went down again. The Mountaineers may have to adjust their scheme a little bit to keep him from getting banged up. My next team would be South Carolina.

10/6 Record: 1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS, 3-1 O/U
Season: 12-10 SU, 13-8-1 ATS, 13-9 O/U

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Shakedown Saturday

Georgia @ Tennessee 3:30 CBS
Line: Pickem, 56.5

Game setup....
Tennessee is not as bad as their record seems because both of their losses are to Top 10 teams (Cal, Florida). Mark Richt has never lost in Knoxville and is 23-3 in road games. A little bit of a revenge game for Georgia as Tennessee put 51 on the board last year. Key to Georgia's success so far is something that has been lacking in last few years - a solid running game.

Things that stick out....
Line for this game opened with Tenn -2, but has moved to a Pick with some books having the Vols as a 1 pt dog now.
Erik Ainge has completed 66% of his passes and has thrown 10 TD to 2 INT.
Vol defense allowing 37.5 ppg, 439 yards, 255 pypg, 188 rypg.

Spread Notes...
UGA is 3-1 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
Tenn is 2-2 ATS, 4-0 O/U in 2007
Tenn is 2-0 ATS at home

Key for Georgia...
Take advantage of a porous Tennessee defense especially with Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno on the ground.

Key for Tennessee...
The Vols will have to outscore Georgia and Erik Ainge needs a "legacy" game at home.

All Matt Stafford should have to do is hand the ball off and manage the game. He is not going to out play Ainge and just needs to play within himself. The Vols will have a home field advantage, but they need a much better performance from their defense to win this game.

Georgia Wins, Under

Georgia Tech @ Maryland 12:00 Lincoln Financial
Line: GT -3, 42

Game Setup...
Both teams coming off big wins last week in underdog roles. Under Chan Gailey, Georgia Tech typically plays well the week after a bounce back win. Tech has won 3 in a row against Maryland. The Fridge is trying to avoid his first 0-2 ACC start since taking over at his alma mater. The Maryland QB situation is up in the air with Jordan Steffy being knocked out last week. Chris Turner came on in relief and led the Terps to the upset.

Sore Thumbs...
Georgia Tech and Maryland rank 1 & 2 in rushing in the ACC so this game may be 2.5 hours long. Both teams have power running attacks utilizing two running backs.
Both teams have thrown more INT than TD. Maryland has thrown 2TD to 6 INT.
Georgia Tech is allowing just 64 ypg on the ground, but 230 ypg in the air.

Spread Notes....
GT is 2-2 ATS, 1-3 O/U in 2007
Maryland 1-3 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
Georgia Tech is 0-2 ATS as a favorite this year.
Road team is 6-2 ATS in last 8 meetings last year.

Key for Georgia Tech...
Start with same emotion that carried them in Clemson game.

Key for Maryland...
Make Taylor Bennett beat them.

GT as a 3 point favorite is a little surprising considering the Terps road win at Rutgers last week. I think Tech can slow Maryland's running game, but they will have trouble on the edge with Darius Heyward-Bey and the TEs. Taylor Bennett will have to make some throws and the WR will have to catch the ball to keep some crucial Jacket drives alive.

Georgia Tech Wins, Maryland Covers, Over

Florida @ LSU 8:00 CBS
Line: LSU -7.5, 47

Game Setup...
Florida found out last week how dependent they are on Tim Tebow to do everything. I think the Sophomore was not fully recovered from the beating he took at Ole Miss the prior week. Bubba Caldwell should be back to give the Gators another option in the passing game. LSU overtook USC in the AP Poll. Backup Ryan Perriloux will see significant action this week with a high ankle sprain still hampering Matt Flynn. Florida defensive leader Tony Joiner was arrested this week on a felony burglary charge for attempting to break his car out of a tow lot.

Stats of Note...
LSU's defense allowed just 32 points total this year
Teams allow just over 100 yards total on the ground combined
Both teams average over 200 yards per game on the ground offensively
Gators allow 247 pypg and have allowed at least 20 points to Div I-A teams.

Spread Notes:
Florida is 2-2 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
LSU is 3-2 ATS, 2-3 O/U in 2007
Florida is 3-7 ATS vs teams with winning record

Florida Key to the Game...
Spread the ball around and diffuse the crowd early

LSU Key to the Game...
Limit turnovers and control line of scrimmage

LSU could be coming into this game a little over confident with their number 1 ranking and the Florida loss. Tebow will have to have a Heisman like performance to give Florida a good shot at winning. Many people feel LSU lost last year because of turnovers. I like Florida to bounce back, but come up just short.

LSU Wins, Florida Covers, Under

Virginia Tech @ Clemson 6:00 ESPN
Line: Clem -5.5, 41

Game Setup...
The Tigers had their annual toe stubbing last week at Ga Tech as James Davis and CJ Spiller were held to under 100 yards total. This is bounce back and revenge game for Clemson as the VT loss last year started their year end slide. VT has not played anyone since the debacle at LSU and has not looked overly impressive in their wins. The biggest disappointment has been 2006 1st team All ACC back Branden Ore who has yet to gain 100 yards in a game this year.

Stats of Note...
VT averaging just 285 ypg on offense
Cullen Harper has thrown 12 TD to 1 INT

Spread Notes...
VT is 0-4 ATS, 1-3 O/U in 2007
Clemson 2-2 ATS, 2-2 O/U in 2007
Tigers are favorite despite being ranked 8 spots lower in AP Poll
VT is 10-3 ATS in last 13 road games

Clemson Key to the Game...
Offensive line must open holes and protect Harper (6 sacks last week)

Va Tech Key to the Game...
Allow their defense to get some turnovers and turn them into points

Va Tech is struggling on offense with a freshman QB and an under performing o-line. Clemson is very tough at home and the crowd will be rocking for an evening game. I think the crowd and offensive talent will be too much for the Hokies.

Clemson Wins, Covers, Over