Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Final Regular Season SEC Power Poll

1. Auburn
I have never seen a team make so many halftime adjustments that work in one season as Auburn has done this year.

2. Arkansas
Forcing Houston Nutt out of town is looking like a pretty good move right now.  The question is will Bobby Petrino stay and ride out the good wave?

3. South Carolina

You wanna bet Steve Spurrier sticks with Stephen Garcia the whole game this time against Auburn and doesn't throw in a true freshman?

4. LSU
Everybody always says how lucky Les Miles is.  That looked turned when two Tiger defenders collided allowing a last second TD before the half.

5. Alabama
The Nick Saban script reads like this: Win a BCS Title, go 9-3 the following season.

6. Miss State
So far Dan Mullen has made life very good for Miss State fans in the Egg Bowl.

7. FloridaI felt like the clocks had been turned back to the 1980s watching FSU dominate the Gators.

8. Georgia
The Bulldogs are in their greatest 10 year stretch against Georgia Tech ever.

9. Tennessee
6-6. Bowl Game. Huge success in year one for Derek Dooley.

10. Kentucky
One of these days Kentucky will beat Tennessee.  I hope I am alive to see it.

11. Ole Miss
Houston Nutt has been linked the Ole Miss Rebels job though sources say he was not interested on Saturday night.

12. Vanderbilt
The Commodores should hire Mike Leach.  They have to do something no one else in the league is doing to consistently compete.

Some Great Photos From Georgia-Georgia Tech

I believe the picture of the dust up during pre game warmups has Paul Johnson on the left hand side and Todd Grantham close by. Correct me if I am wrong.

Josh D Weiss Photography

He has some links to other shoots at the end of the photos.

NC State-Maryland Controversy: ACC Head of Officials Underscores My Point About Ball Spots

On Monday, head ACC ref Doug Rhoads said that the NC State-Maryland officials handled the controversial spot on 4th down correctly.

And then Rhoads goes on to underscore the point I made yesterday about who is should be spotting the ball on running plays like we say between the Wolfpack and Terrapins.

"Rhoads said the line judge and head linesman ran in hard like they're supposed to after the play to mark the spot of the ball when Adams was stopped. He said on short-yardage plays where many large bodies are present, it's difficult to determine the spot of the ball."

Yes, Mr Rhoads it is difficult to spot the ball when you have a middle aged man running in from 60 feet plus to determine inches gained.  So why not let the umpire make the spot when he standing right over the ball?

I guess I should not expect the ACC office to ever admit they were wrong because it would be the first.

Here is another magnificent call by ACC officials that, again, the ACC office never admitted they were wrong


Monday, November 29, 2010

Miami Hurricanes Head Coaching Candidates By The Numbers

Forget all the rumors, the denials, the "I haven't been contacted" talk..might as well put your money where your mouth is.

Bodog.com has odds up as to who will be the next Miami head coach:

Jon Gruden EVEN (1/1)
Jim Leavitt 2/1
Brent Venebles 3/1
Gary Patterson 6/1
Marc Trestman 8/1
Mark Richt 10/1
Chris Petersen 12/1
Mike Bellotti 15/1
Jimmy Johnson 50

The first three are all viable options, but I don't see Gruden taking a college job when there will be NFL jobs open at the end of the season.

I think the likelihood of Gary Patterson leaving TCU with the their move to the BCS and the Big East is decreasing a lot.

I would be shocked if "The U" offered a CFL coach, Mark Trestman.  Shocked. 

I think Mark Richt will be offered the job, but he will turn it down.

My money is on Brent Venebles, the Oklahoma DC.

Georgia Tech Should Be Above Moral Victories

Georgia Tech lost on Saturday night to Georgia, but the theme I hear from North Avenue sounds like that of a moral victory.

Yes, the Yellow Jackets did play very well at times in Athens and I know how the missed extra point changed everything and skewed the final score, but the scoreboard at the end of the night still had more points for Georgia than Georgia Tech.

Tech was the better team in Sanford Stadium, but couldn’t get out of its own way which has been a consistent theme this season.

Continue reading why Georgia Tech should be above moral victories

Sunday, November 28, 2010

SEC Championship Game Line: Auburn -5 vs South Carolina

Most of the books are out with their opening line for the SEC Championship Game pitting BCS #1 Auburn vs South Carolina.

Books have the line anywhere from Auburn -4.5 to -5.5 depending on the book.

The Tigers were a 3 point favorite back in the September 25th meeting which they won 35-27.

Best Iron Bowls of All Time: Was 2010 Tops On Your List?

Alabama and Auburn have had some classic games in their rivalry and Friday's contest may rank right at the top (well, if you are a Tiger fan).

SI.com lists the 10 best Iron Bowls of all time.

Slideshow link

NC State-Maryland Spot Controversy Brings Up A Logical Rule Change

In case you missed it yesterday, NC State almost made a feverish comeback to at least tie Maryland and send the game into overtime.  A Wolfpack win would have given the school their first ACC Championship Game appearance.

Late in the game, Maryland was attempting a fourth down conversion to seal the game and appeared to be stopped short of the line to gain. I certainly thought so watching live.

From Sports By Brooks:
"Trailing 38-17, NC State staged a furious comeback in cutting the Maryland lead to 38-31 late in the fourth quarter. Facing a 4th-and-1 with 38 seconds left and the ball on the Wolfpack 32-yard-line, the Terps elected not to punt.

A dive play by Maryland running back D.J. Adams apparently gained the necessary single yard needed for officials to award the Terps a first down - ruining NC State’s comeback bid. But video replay of that 4th down play tells a different story."

But the Terps got a favorable spot from the line judge and gained the first down effectively ending the game.  Now I am a realist and I understand State would have needed to gain 68 yards in under a minute, but that is not the point of the argument.   

My beef is not with the spot Maryland was given, but who is giving it!

You have a line judge viewing the play from at least 70 feet away making the determination of how far the ball carrier gained.

If you haven't noticed, most officials are in the eyeglass wearing age category yet they need to have microscopic detail from 70 plus feet away on plays like this.  Its absurd! (Sports By Brooks has a great illustration here of the position of the referee making the call)

When the runner is downed inside the hash why can't the referee who is standing RIGHT OVER THE BALL make the spot!

It seems logical that the person closest to the action could make the best determination, right?

This need for a rule change on who spots the ball is further evidenced on goalline plays where, again, a referee must run in 70-80 feet to determine if the ball carrier crossed the plane.  While the eyeglass wearing, 50 year old official is running in to make the call players are eye gouging, clawing, and pushing.

The kind of stuff going on in that pile would make an adult film producer blush.

Again, there is a referee with a MUCH better angle standing right over the ball, but he cannot make the call.

The NFL is very much in tune as to what is fair and what is not and makes quick, decisive changes too rules as we have seen this season.

Sadly, College Football is way behind the times in this regard as evidenced by the delimiting power of the referees to make the correct call.

How All Other Georgia Tech Wins Are Being Diminished By Losses To UGA

The last 10 years of Georgia Tech football have been very prosperous for the Yellow Jackets except when it comes to playing UGA. The Bulldogs have won nine of the last 10 meetings which ties for the biggest disparity in a 10 year span since the Jackets went 9-1 from 1947-1956.

Many a young boy in Atlanta and the state of Georgia had their formative years watching and hearing about how Tech beat UGA in the 1950s and subsequently became Yellow Jacket followers.

But today many young boys/men are watching the Bulldogs dominate the series and this simple post game picture sent the message home loud and clear

Continue reading my article on how GT continues to fight an uphill battle in its own state

Why Was AJC's Jeff Schultz UGA-Georgia Tech Post Game Article Pulled?

Jeff Schultz originally penned (or typed) an article entitled "Georgia not more impressive in win than some losses" after the Georgia Tech game.

Yet, when you try to follow his Twitter link to it the article has been pulled and the comments section is closed.

Shortly after, Schultz wrote another (and presumably different) article with the title: "Georgia's win not art, but we've come to expect this" and the comments section is open.

What gives? Did he unfairly cast aside UGA's win? Did anyone get to see the first article?

See the multiple Twitter messages below, yet only 1 works.
# Georgia’s win not art, but we’ve come to expect this http://bit.ly/i5cHNq less than 20 seconds ago via twitterfeed

# Georgia not much more impressive in win than some losses http://bit.ly/ghRRho (TAKES YOU TO BLANK ARTICLE) about 2 hours ago via twitterfeed

Georgia-Georgia Tech Wrap: How The Yellow Jackets Blew This Game

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I will once again voice that Georgia Tech did not capitalize on opportunities and it again cost them a win.  This time it was the biggest game of the year.  Tech was not going to play for an ACC Championship this year, but they still had the state championship to play for.  However...
Continue reading my article at ChuckOliver.net

One Picture To Describe Georgia-GeorgiaTech

UGA TE Orson Charles would end up holding onto this ball and the Bulldogs would go in for a touchdown later in the drive.

Georgia Tech could not capitalize on Georgia miscues, including this potential drop, and that was the difference in the game.

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson UGA Postgame Press Conference

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Georgia-Georgia Tech Rivalry From A Yellow Jacket Perspective

Well, this rivalry is incredibly important for Georgia Tech. We've got beating Georgia in our fight songs sung at every game, function, and alumni wedding for Dodd's sake.

Georgia Tech fans hate UGA. There's no question. We see dog license plates everywhere, we work with dog fans, we may even sleep with dog alumni.

This is a quote from the Atlanta Journal after our first meeting with Georgia's football team in 1893:
"At one time early in the last half of the game, a stone was hurled at one of the Tech players, striking him a cruel blow in the head... At another time, one of the Athenians drew a knife and threatened one of the Techs' better players... The Techs were also poked and gouged with canes on plays toward the boundary lines... Some of the crowd had the privilege of the gridiron equally with the players."

The rock the UGA fans threw hit our first superstar,
Leonard Wood. Wood stitched up his own forehead and kept playing despite the injury. Tech won 28-6 with the help of Wood and quarterback John Kimball (a UGA transfer). They may have hurled the first stone but Tech has the first and most recent wins in the series, which is a huge talking point for Tech fans.

A win gives us gratification equivalent to say winning the lottery every day for a year until the next Thanksgiving game.

There's a long
history of why we hate them but it mostly stems from having to deal with their arrogance and bravado on a daily basis. There is not a happier fan base in America when the Bulldogs struggle.

A win is huge for a multitude of reasons. Since Mark Richt's arrival, he has dominated GT on the instate recruiting trail. He's also rebuilt the ravenous horde that is the UGA bandwagon.
A win shows that there isn't this gaping disparity between our two programs. A win constitutes a winning streak over the dogs - something Tech fans haven't known since 1998-2000.

In a slightly sick way, Tech fans want to win because we know it's driving Mark Richt out of Georgie. He's their best coach since Dooley but he happened to land a job during Tech's best coach since Bobby Ross' tenure and Florida's best coach ever. Hence, the comparisons in annual rivalry games are killing his reputation amongst the Bulldog faithful.

A Tech win distances the doggie fan base even more from Richt and may ultimately put their program back in the realm of Jim Donnan-esque futility if they force him out.

A loss would be the ultimate punch in the face to the ACC. It would say, "Tech won the ACC handily but couldn't beat a third tier SEC squad." A loss cannot happen. Tech has to pull it out. Tech's reputation is on the line as well as the ACC's.

A loss also confirms that Tech still hasn't reached the next level as a contender. Big out of conference, national television games are what winning programs feed off of.
If we can't win the state, there's no reason to believe Tech deserves any more than a division title this season.

Note: This post was originally made last year, but I feel the sentiments in this rivalry remain the same regardless of the year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Gary Stokan Discusses Georgia-Boise State

And he also talks about Georgia Tech vs USC - the matchup that almost was.  

The head of the Chick Fil A Kickoff Game, Gary Stokan, was on Barnhart & Durham on 790 The Zone in Atlanta discussing the recently announced 2011 matchup featuring UGA and Boise State.

Gary said the committee tried to get Georgia Tech and USC for next year, but the timing just didn't work out saying the Tech Athletic Department has an expressed an interest in participating in the game.  My guess is that USC couldn't get something moved on their schedule to make it happen next year.

Audio Link

Bobby Bowden's Memory Hurt FSU Recruiting

When Florida senior Mike Pouncey was asked why he decommitted from FSU and committed in in state rival Florida he had a very revealing answer. 

"Mike Pouncey said one major reason he decommitted from FSU and committed to UF was because Bobby Bowden forgot he and his brother's names."

True or just Rivalry Week fodder?

(h/t Tomahawk Nation)

Gambling Advice From A Sports Law Expert: ESPN's Behind The Bets Podcast

This is the last big week of college football and with rivalry games, bettors may be tempted to load up one last time. 

Sports Law Expert Jeffrey Standen talks with ESPN's Chad Millman about where sports gambling is legal and why as well as what the average consumer needs to know

Audio Link

Florida-FSU Rivalry From A Gator Perspective

From Alligator Army

This is our biggest rival. On the football side,
Florida and Florida State fight for the same recruits and each game is a chance to show the most talented high schools in America that Gainesville or Tallahassee is the best place to attend.

For those of us in the stands or alumni/students, this is class warfare. The histories of Georgia and Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Clemson are far more controversial than Florida and Florida State.
But, there is a much greater difference in academics and culture between UF and FSU than the previously mentioned rivalries.

The University of Florida is the Flagship University; Florida State is the Safety School.
We have an elite teaching hospital and brain research center; FSU has a circus and wanted a chiropractic school in a money grab to stay ahead of the surging USF and UCF medical programs. I will admit, UF grads can be snobs. But we've earned it.

FSU was originally the women's college and UF was the men's college. This changed after World War II. That is why older alums and fans still look at Miami and Auburn (former annual rivals) with more disdain than current generations.

The rivalry did not become a big deal until the 1970s and the success of Bowden, Florida's rebirth in the 1980's (and NCAA sanctions that followed), and Spurrier never defeating Bowden in Tallahassee.

Florida fans take a lot of pride in that Ron Zook's only victory against FSU was on the day they dedicated "Bobby Bowden Field" in Tallahassee.

The last time FSU won in the series was 2003, when an ACC officiating crew handed the game to FSU with six blown calls.
If you wonder why college football has the "review everything" replay system, that game is the reason.

Defeating FSU would be the sixth consecutive win in the series for Florida and might finally send Bobby Bowden to the retirement home, since he can't beat Urban Meyer.
Tim Tebow, the greatest player to come out of Florida's high schools, would finish 4-0 against the Seminoles, 3-0 as a starter. UF fans will be pleased, but Alabama is the bigger concern a week later in Atlanta.

A loss would be the worst in Florida's history. There is precedent as UF's upset victory in 1997 over FSU ended the Seminoles' undefeated season and chance at a National Championship.

If FSU wins, it would be payback for that game. It might finally send Bobby Bowden to the retirement home since he finally beat Urban Meyer. Yeah, win or lose, they all want Bowden gone.

Note: This post was originally made last year, but I felt the sentiments in this rivalry have not changed

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

State of Georgia Recruiting Analysis

Ingram Smith of ChuckOliver.net has done a very interesting  look at where the top players in the state of Georgia have signed from 2003-2010.

The premise of the article is to determine why UGA has fallen off in performance in the last few years, but also takes a general look at the recruiting landscape in the state.

Ingram answers the question whether Alabama has been taking over UGA's recruiting ground and has a very insightful look at why Georgia Tech is not doing better in its own state. 

Also, be sure to check out the audio file at the bottom of his post where he explains how he broke up the state into regions and the Tech recruiting nugget I mentioned above. 


Why Paul Johnson's Worst Loss At Georgia Tech Was To Georgia Last Year

Anybody that knows me and anyone that reads my work knows how much of a fan I am of Paul Johnson.  The man has done wonders at Georgia Tech in his first two seasons and despite a disappointing record can still accomplish a lot in year three.

This season hasn’t lived up to any one’s expectations surrounding the Tech program, especially Johnson’s. 

Many will say the worst loss of Johnson’s 12 at Tech was to Kansas earlier this year.  Yes, the Jayhawks are a really bad football team who had no business winning that game, but it didn’t hurt the Jackets in the ACC race and it won’t likely sway any recruits away from Atlanta.

Even though Tech won the ACC for the first time in 20 years the following week, the worse loss under Johnson from a program building standpoint was against Georgia last year.

Continue reading why I think Tech gave back ground vs UGA last year

Auburn-Alabama: Danny Sheridan Talks Iron Bowl Odds

Vaunted oddsmaker Danny Sheridan was on Paul Finebaum's radio show in Birmingham on Monday discussing the Iron Bowl odds and why Alabama opened as a -4 point favorite.

Sheridan explains to callers what the line means (i.e. it is set to get equal money on both sides and not who Vegas thinks will win). 

Sheridan Segment 1
Sheridan Segment 2
Sheridan Segment 3
Sheridan Segment 4

How The Georgia-Georgia Tech Rivalry Changed Course In 1964

Tech and Georgia fans don't agree on a whole lot.

The respective athletics departments can't even agree on the number of games the two have played against each other. The Bulldogs say this year is the 103rd meeting and the Yellow Jackets say this is the 105th meeting.

But one thing neither side can deny is how this rivalry changed course in 1964.

Up until that year, Tech held an edge in the series 27-26-5 (Yes, I am using the NCAA record book). Since that year, Georgia Tech has won just 12 times in 46 meetings.

Several events came together within a few years that would change the course of both programs and this rivalry.

First, was Vince Dooley's arrival to Athens in 1964. Dooley started with a bang winning his first 5 meetings with Tech. Dooley was subsequently hailed as hero in the state for dominating a program that had tormented UGA in the 50s. He went on to win six SEC titles and a national championship in his 25 seasons as head coach going 19-6 vs Georgia Tech.

Secondly, legendary Georgia Tech coach Bobby Dodd was winding down his career in Atlanta retiring in 1966. Dodd had a 12-7 record over UGA until a three game losing streak started in '64. Tech beat UGA eight times in a row from 1949-1956 under Dodd which still stands as the longest winning streak in the series.

Beating Tech in 1957 was so big for UGA they retired the number of Theron Sapp who simply recovered a fumble to secure the win for the Bulldogs.

Third, the Jackets had recently pulled out of the SEC in 1963 over disagreements in recruiting practices by some schools and became an Independent. Suddenly, Tech had no conference championship to play for and some SEC schools stopped scheduling the Jackets forcing them to look elsewhere for games.

Finally, around this time pro sports came to Atlanta and suddenly Georgia Tech had competition for the sports fans' eyes and wallets. Before now, Tech had been the only game in town and a successful one too taking a small alumni base and turning it into a national powerhouse post WWII. Being out of the SEC, Tech had to schedule less interesting opponents that couldn't draw fans from flocking to professional events.

Limited success against Georgia added on to the hurt with many fans growing up rooting for UGA instead of Tech.

Since 1964, Georgia Tech has enjoyed some moments in the spotlight most notably the three year winning streak from 1998-2000.

Mark Richt was hired at Georgia primarily to turn this rivalry around which he did winning his first seven tries.

Likewise, Paul Johnson was brought in to turn stop the red and black momentum which he did in year one with an upset victory.

Both schools have had disappointing seasons in 2010 but a win Saturday could easily change the course for the future.

FSU Will Beat Florida

That is according to EA Sports NCAA Football '11 who has run a simulation of some of the big rivalry week games for their blog.

FSU 28 Florida 23

Georgia-Georgia Tech Statistical Comparison: How Bulldogs Have Demonstrated Reasons For 13 Point Spread

Category.......................Georgia Tech............ Georgia
Record . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-6
Rushing offense . . . . . . .  319.4 (1) . . . . . . . .147.1 (72)
Passing offense . . . . . . . ..86.3 (119) . . . . . . .243.8 (41)
Total offense . . . . . . . . . ..405.6 (42) . . . . . . .390.9 (54)
Scoring offense . . . . . . ..27.0 (T-61) . . . . . . .33.5 (26)
Rushing defense . . . . . . . ..171.1 (81) . . . . . .125.4 (T-23)
Pass efficiency defense ..124.83 (56) . . . . .129.84 (70)
Total defense . . . . . . . .  . .374.5 (66) . . . . . . .319.8 (21)
Scoring defense . . . . . . .. .24.7 (58) . . . . . . .22.1 (T-40)
Net punting . . . . . . . . . . .32.4 (115) . . . . . . . .41.0 (3)
Punt returns . . . . . . . . . ... .6.2 (91) . . . . . . . . .10.9 (30)
Kickoff returns . . . . . . . . .21.2 (73) . . . . . . . .21.4 (71)
Turnover margin . . . . . ..00 (T-54) . . . . . . . ..73 (T-18)
Pass defense . . . . . . . . . ..203.4 (41) . . . . . . .194.5 (31)
Pass efficiency . . . . . . . .  108.21 (110) . . . . .154.93 (15)
Sacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..1.5 (T-94) . . . . . . . .2.2 (T-44)
Tackles for loss . . . . . . .4.9 (T-95) . . . . . . . .6.1 (T-49)
Sacks allowed . . . . . . . . .1.4 (T-29) . . . . . . . .1.9 (T-59)

I bolded the stats that jump out to me the most.
  • Georgia Tech out gains UGA by almost 16 yards per game yet they score 6.5 points less per game so in other words, UGA is much more efficient on offense and Tech is not cashing in on offense.
  • Georgia's defense on the surface appears to be no better than last year and especially on pass defense.  Too bad for Tech they don't pass the ball very well and you can't say it is only because they don't pass it very much.  The Jackets rank 110th nationally in pass efficiency this year; they ranked top 10 last year.
  • UGA's Drew Butler won the Ray Guy Award and his leg combined with a good cover unit has the Bulldogs ranked third nationally in net punting.  Meanwhile, Tech's cover unit is not very good and turnover at the punter position hasn't helped.  
  • Turnovers were the difference in last year's game with Tech turning it over twice to UGA's once.  More importantly, Georgia cashed in on their two opportunities.  The Bulldogs came into last year's game ranking near the bottom of FBS in turnovers.  This year they are much better ranking 18th while Tech is 54th.
  • Last week, I wrote about Tech's inability to get off blocks.  The tackles for loss ranking of 95th illustrates this perfectly. 

Clemson-South Carolina Rivalry From A Gamecock Perspective

Note: These posts were originally made last year but I think the sentiments in these in state rivals carry over each year.

From Garnet and Black Attack

This is the biggest game of the season for us. As in most big in-state rivalries, Carolina and Clemson people work together, go to school together, and sometimes are even part of the same family.

This dynamic is probably stronger in
South Carolina than other states, as South Carolina is a small state in which the fan bases aren't really all that divided by region. All of this means that along with victories comes the right to gloat to your friends and colleagues for a year, and losing means a year of suffering and humiliation.
One of the great stories of this rivalry occurred back in 1902. That year, an underdog Carolina team handed John Heisman's powerhouse Tigers their only loss on the year.

After the game, a group of triumphant Carolina students marched through the streets with a large banner that depicted a gamecock whipping a beaten tiger.
The students were assaulted by a group of Clemson students, and in fact there ended up being a showdown between the two student bodies on the Carolina campus that police had to intervene to stop. This incident apparently gave birth to the "Gamecocks" nickname.

As a Carolina fan, I should stress that because we've tended to struggle against Clemson--the Tigers own a 65-37-4 record against us and have absolutely dominated in the past 15 years or so--any win in this series is huge for us.

Victories are truly joyous occasions, and because Tigers fans think they're entitled to wins over us, it's fun to watch the utter meltdowns that ensure any time they lose to us. See 2006.

I'd argue that this one is as big as any in recent memory. This Carolina team needs a victory in this game to call this season a success; indeed, it needs it to erase the sting of the poor finishes of the past three two seasons. Steve Spurrier also needs a win here to win back the support of some of the more skeptical elements in the fan base.

Finally, all year our players have been talking about how this is a "New Carolina" that won't suffer the fate of teams past.
If they want to prove that's true, they're going to have to beat Clemson.

A win would equal positives on all of these fronts.
A loss would mean that this season would be deemed a complete failure, even if we go onto to win a lower-tier bowl game.

I don't think Spurrier would be fired or anyone would be ready to sell their season tickets if we lose, but the fan base would certainly be very unhappy with the way things are going.

The fact that this game is at home only adds to the gravity of the game; losing such a big game on our own turf would make matters all the worse. It's worth saying, though, that we've lost plenty of games to Clemson and suffered through many mediocre seasons, so a loss wouldn't be too surprising. Sad but true.

From Leftover Hot Dog

Winning in the Clemson and USC rivalry is everything to these two schools that lie 129 miles apart. Folks in South Carolina will tell you one thing with certainty—beating the rival is a must.

Most in South Carolina like one or other, rarely do you see a person that likes both so it creates a love/hate arrangement in the state. In the eyes of many, the biggest game of the year is about to take place in South Carolina.

The type of game that divides families or can ruin friendships; this is not just any old rivalry game but it is the “Battle of the Palmetto State.”

Clemson leads the football series 65-37-4, but approximately forty games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The USC/Clemson rivalry game is the longest uninterrupted series in the South, and the third longest uninterrupted series overall, having been played every year since 1909.

University of South Carolina football team is in desperate need of a win to reverse another late season slide, and at the same time create a new chapter in the “Palmetto State Rivalry” that has been dominated by Clemson of late, winning seven of the last nine games.

Saturday’s game is huge for South Carolina – “must win!” If the Gamecocks were to win they would finish the season 7-5 and avoid another late season total collapse. USC would end a two-game losing streak to Clemson and give its fans a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Spurrier would take a fairly positive attitude into the final stages of recruiting and onto the speaking circuit with Gamecock Club meetings. Spurrier would improve his record to 2-3 against Clemson and 1-1 against Dabo [Swinney].

A loss for South Carolina Saturday would mean another 6-6 season. It would mean another late season slide by losing four in a row and five of their six games.
It would mean Clemson would have beaten the Gamecocks 11 of the past 13 seasons.

Recruiting would be more difficult for the Class of 2011. The fan base would be depressed and I wonder what Spurrier could tell the faithful to inspire them to get excited about the 2010 season.
South Carolina cannot afford another poor effort against the Tigers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mark Richt Georgia Tech Press Conference

On what the Georgia Tech game means to him... "We haven't mentioned this much, and I should have mentioned it more, but there is also the Governor's Cup at stake. There is a trophy that travels to the team that wins the game and it gets to be displayed at your athletic complex year after year. It's also a very unique situation in that this game is not quite a bowl game, but it gets treated a little like a bowl game in that there are gifts that are being allowed to give out. Every senior of the winning team gets a trophy, and every senior who plays gets a watch to signify that they played in that game. Also, the head coach gets a trophy also with the names of all the seniors who played in the game. I really like those."


Full Transcript

Paul Johnson Georgia Press Conference

"We are working hard to try and get ready for the game on Saturday. I am sure that both of the teams would have liked to have a better record going into this but it is what it is and doesn't change that it is still a huge game. It is for the state championship and bragging rights and I know that if you picked one game on our schedule for our alumni, fans and everybody involved, this is the game that they would pick. I am sure that you will have two teams excited to play on Saturday night and we will see what happens. Georgia is a very talented football team and they have a lot of great individual players on their roster."

Audio Download


Full Transcript

Mark Richt's Job At Georgia Is Safe Unless...

This season has been a disappointment in Athens no doubt, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Beating Tech for the ninth time in 10 years to start and then the bowl game which will allow for crucial extra practice time.

UGA fans are discussing the bowl possibilities and looking ahead to the recently announced 2011 opener with Boise State. Georgia Tech is almost a given and why not when the Bulldogs are favored by 13 points?

Richt has been very successful against the North Avenue Trade School going 8-1 in his nine meetings. Last year, his team surprised the favored Jackets in Atlanta and some UGA fans would argue that Tech isn’t even that much of a rival considering the recent dominance.

Continue reading my article on Mark Richt at ChuckOliver.net

Related: The AJC's Jeff Schultz doesn't understand what a loss to Tech means to UGA fans and supporters.

Did Georgia Tech Peak Too Early?

The 2010 Georgia Tech football season has had more downs than ups considering the expectations coming into the year. The Yellow Jackets were hoping to defend their ACC Championship from a year ago, but instead are left with facing arch rival Georgia with a back up QB trying to avoid a 6-6 season.

While the offense is not scoring as much as a year ago it is not all their fault the record is where it is. Again, the defense has failed Tech for most of the year not being able to stop anybody from running the ball.

But the defense did step up big in one game this year and it is Tech’s best win to date.

Continue Reading my piece at ChuckOliver.net

Mark Richt Discusses Georgia Tech Game On The Bulldog Hotline

Scott in Grayson hopes everyone remembers what happened two years ago, with all those Tech players posing with pieces of the hedge. If we get a chance to put the pedal to the metal, do it. What are the differences defending the option with a 3-4 vs. a 4-3?

CMR – people have tried to defend it with both. The 3-4 is a more balanced look and we hope it causes them confusion. If you line up someone right on the nose and two tackles, it’s difficult for them to know what our intentions are. Bottom line – you’ve got to play assignment football, play physical, and play against cut blocks – get off those and make the play. If they block every guy they’re assigned to block, we’re going to have trouble. Guys have to defeat blocks and make plays.

Full Recap at The Anti-Orange Page

No Suprise: AJ Green Leads NFL Draft WR Class

"Green, a junior, is the most complete receiver prospect in the nation.  He’s an explosive athlete with the pass catching skills to control games while also possessing the speed to break contests open.  Expected to enter the draft, Green should be an immediate contributor on the NFL level."

SEC Power Rankings

1. Auburn
Cam Newton has all the highlights, but the real star of Auburn this year is their offensive line

2. LSU
Les Miles almost gave away all the good will he has re-built this season against Ole Miss

3. Alabama
The Tide still have a chance to play in the BCS if they beat Auburn and Arkansas gives them some help

4. Arkansas
Petrino getting things done at Arkansas this year

5. South Carolina
Gamecocks performance vs Troy makes me think having the pressure off allowed them to just go out and play

6. Miss State
That early season momentum is staring to fade away

7. Florida
Don't act like I am the only that thought Florida might struggle with Appy State

8. Georgia
Comes down one game to extend the Bulldog season and possibly save Mark Richt's job

9. Tennessee
The Volunteers have a one game season against a team they have beaten 25 straight times

10. Kentucky
I would say that if Kentucky is going to beat Tennessee, this is the year.  But I have also said that three or four times recently

11. Ole Miss
Houston Nutt sounded like a guy fighting for his job last wee and his team almost played like it too

12. Vanderbilt
At least basketball looks somewhat promising this year

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nebraska's New Recruiting Video

Way To Help Your Alma Mater: USC Alum Wants To Keep School On Probation

As everyone knows, USC is already on probation for the Reggie Bush and apparently one alum doesn't really care if they ever get off probation.  Teague Egan is much more concerned with his budding party planning/sports agency. 

Southern Cal warned a current student that is registered as an agent before he gave a golf cart ride that resulted in running back Dillon Baxter missing the team's loss to Oregon State.

A school official met with Teague Egan, who is the CEO of 1st Round Enterprises, and told him that driving players in his golf cart would be against NCAA rules. Baxter was seen Thursday getting a ride from Egan.

"Approximately one week [before Baxter's golf cart ride], USC officials saw Egan in a golf cart on campus and met with him to inquire into his contacts with USC student-athletes," USC vice president for athletic compliance David Roberts told ESPN. "At that time, Egan was asked not to provide any transportation or other benefits to student-athletes."

Full Story

Georgia-Georgia Tech: Battle In The Trenches

Last year, UGA ran all over Tech to the tune of 339 yards on the ground.  The Bulldogs weren't doing anything fancy, they were simply lining up and knocking the Yellow Jackets off the ball.  Georgia used a two tight, two wide to one side, with one back or a two back set both with great success.

Thus far this season, Georgia Tech has been giving up 171 rush yards per game which ranks 79th nationally.  I would fully expect UGA to run the ball early and often considering the success they had last year and size disparity in the front sevens.  Lineups taken from each team's most recent game.

Georgia Tech Front DL, LB............UGA O-Line, TE, FB
DE Jason Peters 271 lbs..............OT Josh Davis 300 lbs
NG Logan Walls 295 lbs...............OG Clint Boling 310 lbs
DE Izaan Cross 292 lbs...............C Ben Jones 300 lbs
OLB Anthony Egbuniwe 248 lbs.........OG Cordy Glenn 330 lbs
ILB Brad Jefferson 244 lbs...........OT Trinton Sturdivant 312 lbs
ILB Julian Burnett 222 lbs...........TE Orson Charles 235lbs
OLB Steven Sylvester 238 lbs.........FB Shaun Chapas 245 lbs

GT avg weight: 258.6 lbs................UGA avg weight: 290.3 lbs

UGA Line of Scrimmage Domination in 2009

How The Georgia-Boise State Game Came To Be

Chadd Scott of 680 The Fan and ChuckOliver.net has a great story on just the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff landed a matchup for the 2011 game pitting the Bulldogs and the Bronocos.

For starters, the game came together rapidly.  Georgia was scheduled to begin a home-and-home series with Louisville next season and UGA athletic director Greg McGarity was adamant about honoring the contract the two schools had signed.  Despite previous overtures from the Chick-fil-A people, McGarity does not believe in breaking contracts.  While an assistant A.D. at Florida, he had a contract broken by Kansas State which left a sour taste in his mouth.  He vowed never to do the same thing.

Without a willingness to break its contract with Louisville, how did Georgia get out of that game and into the meeting with Boise?
Continue reading Chadd's article

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rivalry Week Spreads: FSU, South Carolina, UGA Favored

Florida at FSU -2
South Carolina at Clemson +3
Georgia Tech at Georgia -13

Auburn at Alabama -4 (FRI)
Kentucky at Tennessee -3.5
LSU at Arkansas -4 (WOW!)

Boston College at Syracuse -2
Virginia at Virginia Tech -23.5
South Florida at Miami -12.5
NC State at Maryland +2
UNC at Duke +10

South Carolina-Clemson Line Prediction (UPDATED)

Last year it was the Tigers looking ahead to a conference championship game and falling to the Gamecocks on the road.  Could the same fate befell Steve Spurrier's club this year?

Historically, Clemson has dominated this series, but they are looking to exact revenge for a 34-17 last year.

Clemson has won 7 of the last 10 in the series and is 5-1 at home this year.  South Carolina surprised me with how focused they were in dismantling Troy.

Line Prediction: South Carolina -1

The opening lines should be out by halftime of the Sunday Night NFL Game (around 9:30 ET)

UPDATED: Odds are out now

Alabama-Auburn Line Prediction (Updated)

#2 Auburn takes its 11-0 record to Tuscaloosa Friday for a showdown with 10-2 Alabama. Its Tide who is trying to ruin a season this year after Auburn narrowly missed spoiling Alabama's road to the BCS Championship Game last year.

Alabama has not been an underdog all the season and I would expect that to continue in the lead up to this year's Iron Bowl.

I say Alabama will open as a -3.5 point favorite.

The opening lines should be out around halftime of the NFL Sunday Night Game (8:30 CT).  We'll see how close I am.

UPDATED: Odds are out now

UGA-Georgia Tech Line Prediction (Updated)

The lines for this weeks' games should be up by halftime of the NFL Sunday Night Game (about 9:30PM ET), but I will go ahead and take an educated guess at the line for Georgia-Georgia Tech.

UGA -15.5

UPDATED: Odds are out now

Les Miles Ole Miss Post Game Press Conference

Les Miles nearly gave back all the good will he has re built this season, but his LSU Tigers pulled out the victory against Ole Miss.  The Rebels had won the last two meetings against the Tigers.  If LSU beats Arkansas this week they are almost assured a BCS bowl.

5 Thoughts on Georgia Tech's Unglamourous Win Over Duke

Georgia Tech defeated Duke 30-20 and in the process became bowl eligible for the 14th straight year.  Tech fans were hoping this would be the game where everything would come together in a rout after last week’s dismal performance and a step down in competition this week.  Yet, Tech almost found themselves going to Athens next week in the same predicament as UGA: needing a win to become bowl eligible.  Here are five thoughts foremost in my mind about the Duke win.

1. The Front Seven Still Cannot Get Off Blocks
Duke came into Saturday’s game with the worst rushing offense in league games averaging 101 yards per game.  While Tech did “hold” Duke to 109 yards rushing the key stat to look at is the Blue Devils average per rush which was 4.4 on Saturday.  On the season, Duke has been gaining just 3.1 per rush.

Al Groh’s 3-4 defense uses a two gap alignment for the defensive line where each player is responsible for the gap on either side of him.  This scheme tries to keep the linebackers free to make plays, but since nobody in the front seven can consistently get off blocks then opposing teams continue to run at will.  Tech will somehow have to magically get better if they are going to hold UGA to under 300 yards rushing next weekend.
Continue Reading at ChuckOliver.net

Despite Win Things Don't Get Any Easier on Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly

Found this nugget on ESPN.com

A day after Notre Dame's decisive victory over rival Army at Yankee Stadium, Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly was peppered with questions about another controversy involving the northern Indiana university and its football program.
According to a Chicago Tribune story, 19-year-old Elizabeth Seeberg, a Northbrook native, died of an apparent suicide in September at neighboring St. Mary's College. The Tribune said Seeberg told Notre Dame police less than two weeks earlier that she had been sexually attacked by a ND football player.

Kelly is not talking about the situation right now. And he doesn't really have to.

"I saw the story," Kelly said during his Sunday teleconference. "But as you know, anything this article alleges, you know, would be a university matter."
The alleged incident took place on Aug. 31. Notre Dame officials have yet to publicly acknowledge the case. 

But what I find most interesting is this:
According to the Tribune, school authorities did not tell the St. Joseph County Police Department investigating Seeberg's death about her report of a sexual attack.

So even if the school had determined no attack took place, don't you think there would have been a mention of the reported incident?

After a tumultuous first season, Kelly has his club bowl eligible at 6-5 and travels to USC next week who could be without starting QB Matt Barkley who was injured in the Trojans blowout loss to Oregon State Saturday night.   USC has won 8 in a row in the series.

Paul Johnson Georgia Tech-Duke Post Game Press Conference

Johnson talks about the big plays by Stephen Hill and Mario Butler, Anthony Allen's carries, and on what the Georgia game means next week.

Press Conference Transcript

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Picks: Take Tennessee, Troy, Wisconsin To Cover

Here are the 3 games I feel most confident about for this weekend in this order.

Vanderbilt vs Tennessee
Tennessee is a much better team with Tyler Bray at QB the last few weeks. Their offense is scoring nearly at will now. Vandy's defense giving up a lot of points recently. UT still has a bowl to play for, Vandy has nothing to play for. Vandy will not have much of a home field advantage since UT fans will fill up nearly half the stadium.
Line: Tennessee -8.5
Stats: Tennessee -23; play Tennessee Cover

South Carolina vs Troy
South Carolina won their Super Bowl last week beating Florida and winning the SEC East. The team had a celebration late that night in the stadium so they didn't get off to a good start for the week on Sunday. Gamecocks know they play Auburn in SECCG and have rival Clemson next week so there is a look ahead factor. After a big win against UGA back in September, South Carolina didn't come close to covering against Furman the following week. Troy has shown they can play with BCS teams for a while in games and Spurrier will likely take out starters once he gets up to save for Clemson/Auburn.
Line: S. Carolina -22
Stats: S. Carolina -10; play Troy Cover

Michigan vs Wisconsin
Michigan's defense is terrible. Wisconsin scored 83 last week against Indiana even though they are primarily a running team. Bettors falsely fall in love with Michigan's offense because of Denard Robinson who gets banged up easily. Michigan has been consistently not covering this year
Line: Wisconsin -5
Stats: Wisconsin -15; play Wisconsin Cover

Friday, November 19, 2010

Georgia Tech Better Be Wary Of A Confident Duke Blue Devil Team

"Despite their 3-7 record, the Duke Blue Devils have plenty left to play for in the 2010 season. For starters, they can exact revenge on Georgia Tech who took them behind the woodshed last year in Durham. A win over the Jackets would give the Blue Devils a signature win for the season over the defending ACC Champs."

Continue reading my article at ChuckOliver.net

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alabama's Mark Ingram Leads NFL Draft RB Prospects

SI.com has their top 10 NFL Draft eligible running backs out and the defending Heisman Trophy winner is number one.

Ingram is the only representative from the SEC and Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams, who checks in at number five is the only ACC back listed.

SI Slideshow (starts with Ingram)

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe Interview Discussing Georgia Tech Game

Cutcliffe was on 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Tony Barnhart and Wes Durham discussing the upcoming game with Georgia Tech, what they have to play for now that they are not going to a bowl, and building a program at Duke among other things.

He even throws in a subtle shot at Ole Miss and how things ended!


Everyone Except For Auburn Fans Will Find This Funny

LSUFreek strikes again

Alabama-Georgia State: Bill Curry Returns To Tuscaloosa (UPDATED With Curry Interview)

The AJC's Jeff Schultz has a piece on Georgia State Head Coach Bill Curry who will be taking his first year football program to face the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide on Thursday night.

Besides the epic beat down that will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the other main storyline is the history Curry has at Alabama having coached there in the 80's leading the Tide to an SEC title. But he was also at Alabama the same time Bo Jackson was at Auburn and those three losses to the Tigers essentially got him fired.

Schultz continues...

A similar scene wasn’t going to happen in Tuscaloosa. Whereas Curry is celebrated at Georgia State, he often was vilified at Alabama.

Losing to Auburn three straight years didn’t help his cause. But he always was going to be viewed as an outsider there — a non-Bama guy from Georgia Tech. Even an SEC championship and two SEC coach of the year awards weren’t going to change that. So he left.

School officials made it clear they didn’t want him. The contract Curry was offered after the 1989 SEC title season did not include a raise and it stripped him of power to hire and fire assistants.

Curry: “The contract said, ‘We’d rather have somebody else as the football coach.’”

Curry came to Alabama from then rival Georgia Tech after resurrecting the Yellow Jacket program at death's door step in the early 80s. Tide fans never accepted him being an outsider and some Tech fans have never forgiven him for leaving Atlanta for Tuscaloosa. But Curry was told by his mentor and former coach Bobby Dodd that he had to leave if he ever wanted to win a national title.

FWIW, Alabama is a -52.5 point favorite, but that is down from opening at -57!

Update: Bill Curry talks to Barnhart & Durham about the game and Georgia State football (audio)

UGA Basketball Has 2 Top 20 NBA Prospects

That is according to SI.com who ranks Junior Trey Thompkins the 18th best NBA prospect and teammate Travis Leslie #20. Thompkins was voted SEC Preseason Player of the Year, but is currently sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

UNC's Harrison Barnes, a freshman, is SI's top rated prospect. Only two seniors make the cut and they both play for Duke - Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler.

SI Slideshow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paul Johnson Duke Press Conference

Like I said earlier this week, I think Johnson is walking a fine line with this team (especially the defense) as far as losing them or motivating them.

No embedded video, but click here for link



Paul Hewitt Press Conference Quotes

On getting better mental toughness/better effort from his team?
How do you get them to get there? That’s a good question.
There’s nothing magical. You’ve got to watch the tape and you’ve just got to make sure that guys understand that they’re held accountable for things. There’s no secret formula.

Coley Harvey at the Macon Telegraph has more quotes from the GT Head Coach...

Mark Richt Call In Show Recap - Bulldog Hotline

Callers tonight mostly discussed late hits by Auburn’s Nick Fairley and how to get the program back on track. Georgia fell to 5-6 after losing 49-31 at #2 Auburn on Saturday. Auburn broke away in the fourth quarter from what had been a back and forth scoring duel. Georgia must beat Ga. Tech on Nov. 27 to qualify for a bowl game. Kickoff time for the Tech game in Sanford Stadium was announced today – 7:45 pm, ESPN.
Full Recap

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Georgia Tech Needs More Of Julian Burnett

"Georgia Tech’s struggles on defense have been well chronicled this season. It is clear the Yellow Jackets really miss first round pick Derrick Morgan rushing the passer and Morgan Burnett in the secondary.

However, one bright spot has been the play of sophomore linebacker Julian Burnett. The Macon native is the second leading tackler on the team despite his small stature giving up five or six inches and 60 pounds against every lineman he goes up against. But what Burnett lacks in size he makes up for in heart; something that could rub off on his teammates. "
Continue Reading

Clint Boling Is The Smartest Bulldog

Watch #60 at 0:18. He gets an Auburn player suspended for the first half of the Alabama game while keeping himself out of trouble and playing in two weeks against Georgia Tech.

Why doesn't every player do this? Instead most retaliate and get a penalty or ejection themselves.

Mark Richt Interview After Auburn Loss

Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff of Atlanta's 680 The Fan interview the UGA Head Coach Monday after a 49-31 loss to Auburn.

Richt talked about facing Auburn QB Cam Newton, Aaron Murray’s knee injury, Nick Fairley’s play, the disappointing season, rumors linking his name to Colorado and the performance of his defense.


Paul Hewitt Kennesaw State Post Game Press Conference

Georgia Tech lost by 17 points on Monday night to newly minted Division I program Kennesaw State.

From the comments made by Hewitt and players, including McDonald's All American Iman Shumpert, it sounds like the Yellow Jackets just got out played.

November 20 Odds Posted: Alabama Opens -57, Moves to -54 Against Georgia State

Virginia at Boston College -7
NC State at North Carolina -2.5
Duke at Georgia Tech -12
Clemson -13 at Wake Forest
Virginia Tech -2.5 at Miami
FSU -4 at Maryland

Georgia State at Alabama -54 (Thur)
Troy at South Carolina -22.5
Appalachian State at Florida OFF
Ole Miss at LSU -16
Arkansas -3 at Miss State
Tennessee -9 at Vanderbilt

(Alabama/Georgia State opened at -57 but has moved down to -54. Wonder why?)

Other Notable Games - lots of home underdogs this week...
Fresno State at Boise State -31
Wisconsin -4.5 at Michigan
Ohio State -3 at Iowa
Stanford -7 at Cal
Nebraska -3 at Texas A&M
USC - 3 at Oregon State

Monday, November 15, 2010

Paul Johnson In Danger of Losing This Georgia Tech Team

It is Johnson’s job this week to relay the importance of qualifying for a bowl game this week by beating Duke. I know he always says the team must come up to his expectations, which means conference championships, but when that is out of reach you have to move down the list of goals.
Continue Reading

SEC Power Rankings Week 12

1. Auburn
Screw the bye week. If I am the Tigers I want to go ahead and play Alabama next week with the momentum I have right now.

2. LSU
No Alabama letdown for the Tigers who roll over La-Monroe.

3. Alabama
The Tide actually show up for a game after a devastating loss. I felt this trait was a big negative for Saban previously.

4. Arkansas
The Razorbacks hope to play spoiler in their final two games.

5. South Carolina
Elite players like Alshon Jeffrey and Marcus Lattimore will help break any curse. Even one of the Chicken variety.

6. Miss State
I think the Bulldogs had to be distracted with everything that has gone on surrounding their team the last two weeks.

7. Florida
Urban Meyer hates to lose and I think losing to Steve Spurrier, the guy who built the Florida program, is at the top of that list.

8. Georgia
Bulldogs must beat Georgia Tech to keep their 13 year bowl streak alive. That statement should never happen at UGA.

9. Tennessee
Maybe Derek Dooley should have gone to Tyler Bray earlier. Hindsight has never been wrong.

10. Kentucky
Joker Phillips walked out on his team during halftime of the Vanderbilt game. The Commodores walked out on Robbie Caldwell a long time ago.

11. Ole Miss
Remember when Tryone Nix was one of the hottest Defensive Coordinators in the SEC?

12. Vanderbilt
Why is Vanderbilt discussing a contract with Robbie Caldwell?

Steve Spurrier Florida Post Game Press Conference

South Carolina opened the stadium for a celebration after the Gamecocks returned from Gainesville having clinched their first trip to the SEC Championship Game.

Thanks to GamecockAnthemTube for the video.

Gene Chizik Georgia Post Game Press Conference

From AuburnChannel.com

UGA Head Coach Mark Richt Auburn Post Game Press Conference

Richt opens the presser by congratulating the Auburn Tigers for clinching their division and reminds the assembled media he knows how it feels.

Translation: Richt is pissed about the way the game played out and reminds the pundits he has won before too.

Richt Video

Paul Johnson Miami Postgame Press Conference

Something is not right at Georgia Tech. I have not seen Paul Johnson this "un-displeased" after a loss. Seems like he is at his wits end with this season.

Comparing this to his post game comments on the radio, in which the Tech head coach was very stern and forthright with what needs to happen, I wonder if he has lost the team.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is Auburn Now The Biggest Rival For Georgia?

The Auburn Tigers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 49-31 on Saturday ending a four game winning streak by UGA in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

Georgia fans also consider Florida and Georgia Tech big rivals as well, but the Bulldogs hold advantages in both series. Auburn's win this year gave the Tigers a two game advantage 54-52-8.

But even bigger than the win was how the game ended. Lets give a little background for qualification...

Auburn had the game won but with both teams still playing hard tempers flared after Tiger DT Nick Fairley went low on UGA QB Aaron Murray sending the redshirt freshman out of the game.

Fairley has developed a reputation as taking a little extra juice to QBs this year. The play on Murray was fairly harmless looking compared to others, but the injury sent the Georgia team over the edge likely as a culmination of earlier Fairley hits of the legal and illegal nature.

On the next play, the UGA offensive line targeted Fairley during and after Washaun's Ealey run. Georgia players even left the sideline before referees could get things under control. Two Auburn players were ejected because of their actions in the skirmish.

Emotional Tiger assistant Trooper Taylor corralled Fairley away from the scrum and the Auburn DT seemed to take Taylor's action as that of celebratory. I am sure that fueled the Bulldogs rage even more.

This game has always been one more on the friendly side with the two programs sharing so much history.

But after Saturday I am sure Bulldog players and fans will be looking to next year's game when Auburn travels to Athens. Fairley will likely be in the NFL by then, but the memory of his actions won't be forgotten.

Nick Fairley draws late hit penalty

Nick Fairley Hit Injures Aaron Murray

UGA-Auburn End of Game

UGA Falling In SEC, National Ranks - ChuckOliver.net Contribution

Georgia fell to Auburn 49-31 Saturday dropping their record to 5-6 on the season. Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

Even crazier is later that night South Carolina went into the Swamp and pummeled a Florida team to win the East. With the Gators down this year, the SEC East was ripe for the taking but Georgia fell far short this year.

You can look at prestige rankings any way you see fit, but nothing gets a fanbase more excited than what lies ahead. And right now that is a big question mark for the Georgia Bulldog football program with Mark Richt as head coach.

Continue Reading...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

SEC Storylines For Saturday November 13

1. You have to start with Cam Newton and Auburn taking on Georgia. Everyone has heard the stories about Newton's recruitment, but with Saturday's game how does that affect the Heisman front runner and his team?

The Tigers can go one of two ways: band together and take the "us against the world" mentality or let the distractions get the best of them and not focus on beating a Georgia team who is better than their 5-5 record suggests?

You would not think it by the opponent's record, but this is the biggest test Gene Chizik has faced yet on the Plains.

2. Speaking of Chizik, if he wins Saturday he will have gone 19-5 thus far at Auburn. That is a complete reversal of his head coaching record at Iowa State.

3. Speaking of teams in need of a reversal, Georgia has a great chance to salvage their season by beating Auburn for a fifth straight time. A win Saturday and UGA is bowl eligible for the 14th straight season and will have two weeks to prepare for Georgia Tech, a team they have beaten 8 out of the last 9 times.

4. South Carolina's football history is on the line in the Swamp Saturday With a win the Gamecocks will play for an SEC Championship for the first time ever. But after last week's uninspiring performance against Arkansas, in which Steve Spurrier's team looked very disinterested, can they just turn the switch on this week?

They face a Florida team that has turned the switch on their season. I like the Gators in this one and not because of the Chicken Curse.

5. With all the attention on Newton, Alabama's loss to LSU has been forgotten. Their opponent, Miss State has been dealing with the death of Nick Bell and being the source of the Newton allegations since they last played two weeks ago.

I am very interested to see how motivated Alabama is to play this game with their goals of the season on life support. In 2007 and 2008 Alabama collapsed after a big loss that effectively ended their season (2007 vs La-Monroe, 2008 - vs Utah).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Georgia Tech-MIami: Keys To Victory

Georgia Tech goes into Saturday’s contest with the Miami as a three point underdog to the Hurricanes. To pull off the upset, the Jacket will rely on backup QB, turned starter Tevin Washington in his first career start.

Tech also has a role reversal this week because instead of an opponent looking for revenge it is the Jackets hoping for payback from last year’s 33-17 Miami win.

But to gain revenge on the ‘Canes and stop a two game losing streak this season, Tech must do the following:

1. Convert 3rd Downs
I feel like I am beating a dead horse here, but I keeping seeing images of that dead horse in my nightmares. The Jackets are converting just 38% of their 3rd downs on the season, a far cry from the 52% mark of a year ago. To give some more perspective, Tech has only converted above 40% in two games, both of which were wins against SC State and North Carolina...
Continue Reading

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paul Johnson Radio Show

Georgia Tech's head coach discusses backup QB, turned starter Tevin Washington's week at practice, how recruiting is going, and answers questions on his play calling against Virginia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets face Miami this Saturday. The Hurricanes badly beat Tech last year and Johnson says he has not forgotten and hopes the players haven't either.

Audio Download

Mark Richt Auburn Press Conference

You may have forgotten with all the Cam Newton stories, but Georgia has a chance to ruin Auburn's perfect season on Saturday, extend their winning streak in the series to 5 in a row as well as become bowl eligible.

Richt talks about trying to simulate Auburn's offense, compares Cam Newton to Charlie Ward, and the allegations surrounding Cam Newton among other things.

Richt Press Conference Video

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cam Newton Allegations: The 10 Most Likely Suspects For The Source

Nobody seems to know where all these allegations about Cam Newton's recruitment and his activities at Florida are coming from yet they keep appearing.

Here are 10 candidates of interest who could have something to be gained or regained if Newton is indeed guilty.

LaMichael James
James has the most to gain individually if the Newton story is true because the Oregon running back is likely the runner up to the Heisman trophy right now.

Urban Meyer
Meyer's team is struggling and the obvious correlation is that Newton originally signed with Florida out of high school and said his heart is still there. The Gator coach could be absolved of his decision to release Newton if the now Auburn QB is shown in a bad light.

Mark Richt
Georgia plays Auburn this week and Richt could be fighting for his job if he loses this game. Richt could have known that the story would take a a week to get going into a full storm and he could cast Auburn's eye away from the Bulldogs this week.

Steve Spurrier
This one is a stretch, but the Ol' Ball Coach needs just one win to send South Carolina to their first SEC Championship Game ever. If you know anything about Gamecock football, you know that accomplishment would be the biggest in the history of the program. Spurrier would have a statue built to him outside of William-Brice Stadium. The former Florida coach could distract the current Gator staff from their game this weekend with the Gameococks by implicating them in the whole mess.

Dan Mullen
The Miss State head coach thought he had Newton's talents secured last Winter. The Bulldogs are 7-2, but would probably by 9-0 with the Heisman front runner. Not only did Mullen lose to him this year, that loss may have cost him a trip to the SEC Championship Game

Kenny Rogers
After his chicken chain failed....oh wait different Kenny Rogers. Well this one may have a failing sports academy and called on an old teammate to dream up a salacious story to get his product in the news.

Tommy Tuberville
Tubs wants to be the only undefeated Auburn coach this decade and he hates the Texas style BBQ in Lubbock.

Bobby Lowder
Dude flew a plane mid-season to Louisville to hire away Bobby Petrino and got caught. Nothing is out of his realm.

Alabama Fans
If there is one thing Alabama fans hate more than losing is Auburn winning and the Tigers have done that every Saturday this fall. To boot, the Heisman and BCS Championship trophies could be headed from Tuscaloosa to Auburn.

The "5 and 19" guy at the Auburn airport
Remember that guy who was yelling at Auburn AD Jay Jacbos upon his return from hiring Gene Chizik a few years back? (Video here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7TxIMAwc1k) That guy has to be pissed now that he (and most everyone not named Jay Jacobs) was wrong, myself included, about how Chizik would fare at Auburn. But if this guy can get rid of Cam Newton then Auburn might go down the tubes and he would be right.

Just think, if Auburn wins on Saturday against UGA Chizik will be 19-5 as head coach of the Tigers. A complete reversal of his record when he was hired.

Just some humor to break up the swirling Cam Newton rumor mill

Randy Shannon Georgia Tech Press Conference With A Chop Block Reference

Shannon makes a reference to Georgia Tech chop blocks saying 'they do it on the back side' and 'not sure if the refs can see it'.

Shannon is not trying to rile up Paul Johnson and the Yellow Jackets. He is simply trying to let the refs know before the game what to look for. Phil Jackson and other NBA coaches do this all the time to get in the officials head before a big game.

Continue reading my take on Shannon's comments

Shannon Presser (Video)

Miami Player interviews (Video)

Gene Chizik Press Conference For Cam Netwon...Er Georgia

Auburn Head Coach Gene Chizik talks a lot about the allegations surrounding Cam Newton and a little bit of time on this week's opponent Georgia.

Hat tip to Track 'Em Tigers for the link

Transcript here

Can Georiga Tech Turn Randy Shannon's Fuel Into Fire?

During his weekly press conference, Miami Head Coach Randy Shannon talked about Georgia Tech’s blocking schemes specifically mentioning how the Jackets use chop blocks effectively and out of referees’ eyesight.

Now many fans and some coaches will confuse chop blocks, which are illegal, and cut blocks which every offense uses. But Shannon clearly knows the difference inciting the idea that the officials cannot catch all of the chop blocks that he has seen on tape. The Hurricane head coach even points out exactly where Tech does it – on the back side.

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Paul Johnson Press Conference Video For Miami

Johnson discusses backup turned starting QB Tevin Washington's comfort level with the offense, motivation for the Miami game, and shows a brief moment of humility (very brief).

Bulldog Hotline Recap with Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt

"Steve in Watkinsville thanked CMR for his Christian leadership, and had an observation ..

CMR’s philosophy is rather conservative. He wants to challenge CMR to go for it in some big situation. CMR laughed and asked if Steve watched the Mad Hatter (Les Miles) this weekend? Steve wants CMR to expect the big reward.

CMR said there’s calculated risk involved. We went for some 4th downs in the Arkansas game. But when they don’t work out, you wonder if I didn’t do that, could we have won this game? There are times when you need to take the risk. Everyone wants the razzle dazzle. The bottom line is CMR is going to do what he thinks gives us the best chance to win every game."

More Q&A at the Anti-Orange Page

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SI's Top 10 Players In ACC Basketball

3 Dukies lead the list with UNC, Virginia Tech, Maryland, NC State, Boston College, FSU, and Miami all having 1.

Despite all the talent stockpiled before last season, SI says freshman Harrison Barnes is the Tar Heels best player, and second best in the league.

A little surprised not to see Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech on here, but after Friday night's exhibition performance it might be justified.

SI slide show of top ACC players

Early Thoughts On Georgia Tech-Miami - ChuckOliver.net Contribution

As Georgia Tech prepares for Miami this Saturday, these are three thoughts foremost in my mind.

1. Rebounding From RejectionWatching Paul Johnson’s post game press conference after the Virginia Tech game was the most dejected I had ever seen the Tech head coach after a loss. Being the competitor he is, Johnson will be ready to go on Saturday, but will his team?
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John Bond Discusses Cam Newton's Recruitment

The man at the center of the Cam Newton recruiting controversy was on 680 The Fan in Atlanta to talk about what we knew and why his name is just now surfacing.

Bond says he has not spoken to his former Miss State teammate Kenny Rogers, the alleged handler of Newton, in 20 years before last Spring.

Audio Link

Monday, November 8, 2010

Georgia Tech Basketball Preview

From ACCSports.com

"Georgia Tech’s basketball team will be as small and, in some areas, inexperienced as any from the decade-long Paul Hewitt era.

Yet Hewitt has never been more excited going into a season.

The Yellow Jackets embraced the underdog persona during the offseason. They rose early for grueling conditioning workouts. The veterans led intense drill sessions and pickup games. The coaches noticed an edge long missing from the program during individual workouts."
"Hewitt likes the chemistry of this team. As much as he believes in the mantra “it’s not about the Xs and Os but the Jimmies and the Joes,” the last five seasons have taught him the value of some key intangibles: drive, hustle, intelligence, camaraderie.

Tech’s program is one that exists at the extremes; the more star-studded teams tend to underachieve, and the less talented squads traditionally play over their heads. Given that history, this team’s shortcomings might bode well.

Hewitt and his players think so.

“No one in the locker room views anything less than going back to the NCAA Tournament as a successful season,” Hewitt said."

ACCSports.com has the Jackets picked 9th in the ACC, same as the media, finishing ahead of Clemson, Virginia, and Wake Forest.

After watching the team scrimmage a few weeks ago I think this team goes as far as Junior Iman Shumpert takes them.