Thursday, September 30, 2010
On a side note, I always find these charts very interesting. I am sure ABC/ESPN has statistics showing them which alumni live where. How on earth they decided to give the Fort Myers area of Florida the Michigan State-Wisconsin game while the rest of the state gets Texas-Oklahoma is beyond me.
Link to the maps
Yet this year, Tech seems to have trouble getting up for games, not playing with intensity.
Press Conference Transcript and Video
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Jaz's Twitter Account
"When Richt was coaching the Bulldogs without Urban Meyer at Florida, Nick Saban at Alabama and Les Miles at LSU, Georgia was stellar in the Southeastern Conference from 2001-04. In those four seasons, Richt won two SEC Championships while losing in the SEC title game another year.
He was an impressive 42-10 over and 22-8 in the league and it looked like UGA was finally on the brink of breaking through the glass ceiling that’s forever plagued the Bulldog program.
Then Florida hired Meyer."
One correction though...Nick Saban was at LSU though during that same period.
"The Bulldogs have the donors, geographic recruiting base, amenable admission standards, facilities, fan support and national profile to contend for a national championship consistently. Unlike many SEC schools and otherwise, the Bulldogs have no inherent disadvantages preventing them from becoming what Florida is right now. Or Alabama.
Except their current coach."
Agreed on all accounts. I don't think Richt is as good of a coach as Meyer or Saban, but not many coaches are.
The problem is that Richt has not maintained third placed instead letting others with lesser credentials and less advantages pass him.
Pollack says no matter if it's Al Groh or Nick Saban the defense is going to struggle because they practice against an unconventional offense.
He has some ammo with the way the defense has played the last three years, but doesn't he realize that Tech's defense goes against the scout team offense in practice and not the regular first team?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Grobe's team took the Yellow Jackets to overtime last year before losing 30-27.
Audio interview on 680 The Fan
Monken talks about his teacher, how things are going at Ga. Southern in his first year, and the possibility of playing Johnson's Georgia Tech team.
Monken interview audio on Chuck and Chernoff
Monken interview audio on Barnhart and Durham radio show
Richt takes calls on fumbling, recruiting, tackling.
"Jerry in Waycross – why does it seem so hard to correct problems, like tackling? Why can’t we correct it?
Richt doesn’t think we have a problem with tackling .. the only game we had that problem was South Carolina. Every so often a guy will try to knock a guy back instead of wrapping up. People don’t want to give anyone else credit. They have pretty good players too. We’ve got to make the plays we’re supposed to make. We’ve just got to get the train out of the station. It takes a lot of energy and force, then once you get it rolling it isn’t so hard."
Recap from the Anti-Orange Page
Here it is.
Greg McElroy got knocked around a little bit on Saturday. So much so it actually jogged his memory to the last time he lost a game as starter.
Either Auburn has the most uplifting crowd in the country or the Tigers are the best conditioned team in the nation. I didn't think the Tigers could do it again after playing a very physical game the previous week.
Florida's performance on Saturday makes me wonder if the Gators were just playing coy until they absolutely had to with Alabama next week.
Saturday's game stayed true to form. Champions win game. Contenders lose them. Although improved Arkansas is still just a contender.
5. South Carolina
Quote from a coworker today: "Yeah South Carolina always has one of those games that slips away every year. Kinda makes a bitter fan"
Hey Les, they were booing Jordan Jefferson, not you. Ok, they were probably booing you too.
7. Miss State
Was the win over UGA a turning point in Dan Mullen's transformation of Miss State football? Or is UGA just bad?
Florida was just a slight up from opponents like Akron and Western Kentucky and it showed.
Don't bother going to the store because all the milk and bread are gone from the shelves in Athens. Start building the fallout shelter. UGA is 0-3 in the SEC.
If Robbie Caldwell is talking, I am listening. I hope he stays around just for the sound bites.
I really thought Tennessee would cover the 14 point spread and I was even more certain at halftime. Too bad for Tennessee you have to play two halves in a game. If not they might be 4-0 right now.
12. Ole Miss
Thank you for not embarrassing the SEC this week.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
"The NFL looks to the Big Ten for blockers and the SEC for speed. It looks to the Pac 10 for safeties and the Big 12 for receivers. But the NFL looks to the ACC for its leaders. "
The ACC has 26 team captains in the NFL followed by the SEC with 20. The Big East has just four.
Georgia leads all schools with 6 captains. One of those, the Lions Matthew Stafford, gives credit to Mark Richt.
“We have a great coach, a great leader at Georgia (Mark Richt),” Stafford said. “It probably rubs off on us.”
Richt's leadership qualities are being pushed now more than ever with a 0-3 start in the SEC.
Line of Scrimmage
Pressure on the offense
Saturday, September 25, 2010
UGA and Miss State both need wins on Saturday to salvage their young seasons. Georgia needs a win to prevent a 1-3 start and the first time in Mark Richt's career he has lost three games in a row. It would also be a clear signal that their talent is not living up to expectations.
Miss State needs a win to keep the momentum moving forward early in the Dan Mullen era. Last year was a good step forward keeping teams close. Now, Mullen's club must learn how to win those close games.
I think this game boils down to key four areas: Talent, Coaching, Emotion, and Matchups
I already discussed how much better UGA's recruiting rankings have been than Miss State's, but Georgia lost to an Arkansas team with similar rankings last week at home.
Eventually, UGA has to play up to their talent level if their coaching is worth their salt.
I like Dan Mullen alot. I think he has brought excitement and optimism to Starkville. But he needs to begin to win games if he is going to keep the program going the right direction. He said to compete in the SEC you have to win your home games and right now they are 0-1.
Mark Richt made changes on the defensive staff after last season, but so far the results have been much the same. With a young QB, the offense looks stagnant at times and the running game has been disappointing with such an experienced line. Still, Richt has 91 games in now his 11th season.
What Starkville lacks in number of fans, they make up for in noise with the cowbells. The home Bulldog crowd smells blood with a program formerly considered part of the SEC elite fallen on tough times
UGA's backs are against the wall with a 1-2 start. These players are used to playing with the best of the best and if they have any pride they come out and play like mad men.
UGA Offense vs Miss State Defense
Like I mentioned before, the most perplexing part of UGA's offense is their lack of a running game. Caleb King should be back at running back this week giving Richt's club another solid option. Aaron Murray has grown up a lot in just two games at QB.
Miss State's defense has been aggressive under new coordinator Manny Diaz in a bend, not break society. They held Auburn to just 17 and forced five field goals from LSU last week
Miss State Offense vs Georgia Defense
After much preseason hype, Mullen is still searching for a QB to run his offense. Miss State doesn't have much of an identity on offense and they really struggle to pass the ball.
UGA's defense has been up and down so far giving up the run too easily against South Carolina and then the pass last week versus Arkansas. This offense they will face in Starkville is not as good as those two.
Before the season I thought this would be a trap game for Georgia coming off two hard fought games against South Carolina and Arkansas. But I also thought UGA would win both of those games.
Eventually, UGA's talent has to play close to its potential.
Georgia 20 Miss State 17
Georgia Covers +1
Friday, September 24, 2010
NC State tries to take down Georgia Tech Saturday in Atlanta and break the Yellow Jackets eight game ACC winning streak.
Here are the four keys areas to the game and who has the advantage.
GT 4 Year Average Ranking: 35.5
NC State 4 Year Avg. Ranking: 41
(Rivals does not rank teams beyond the top 50).
Georgia Tech has a slight edge in the recruiting rankings over the last four years, but we have also seen Paul Johnson's teams play above their supposed talent level the last two seasons.
Edge: Georgia Tech
Paul Johnson's record speaks for itself. The guy has a system and knows how to teach it
I have a ton of respect for what Tom O'Brien did at Boston College, but his slow start at NC State has been perplexing. With a 3-0 start this season, maybe the Navy alum is finally getting the Wolfpack on track but I want to see more before I say the corner has been turned. That could start Saturday.
Edge: Georgia Tech
The Wolfpack are the underdogs and not many people are picking them despite a 3-0 start. They have a road win over UCF and a home thrashing of Cincinnati. They want to earn some respect in the ACC.
Georgia Tech bounced back last week with a win over UNC after a dreadful performance at Kansas. The question about the Yellow Jackets this year is their intensity level. Last week, was the first week they really played with it.
Edge: NC State
Georgia Tech Offense vs NC State Defense
Nobody has consistently been able to stop Georgia Tech's offense in the ACC and I don't expect that to stop Saturday. NC State LB coach Jon Tenuta is known for his blitzing, aggressive style but if he plays true to form, the Wolpack defense could give up some huge plays.
NC State Offense vs Georgia Tech Defense
Georgia Tech's offense is hard to stop and their defense has a hard time stopping anyone. UNC moved the ball at will for two and a half quarters last week and only a few turnovers saved the Yellow Jacket defense.
NC State's offense was clicking on all cylinders for most of last week. Their dink and dunk type offense could give Al Groh's defense a lot of trouble because Tech has really had trouble tackling.
It seems like this one could be a high scoring affair and normally when everyone thinks one way it ends up being the opposite.
But it is hard to think that NC State will keep Georgia Tech under 21 and same with the Jackets defense.
If I was the Wolfpack, I would fire the cornerbacks on defense and make Joshua Nesbitt beat me with his arm. This is what Kansas did in their upset.
If Groh's unit can make one or two stops in the second half and Tech wins the turnover battle they should be able to ice this game late in 4th Quarter.
Georgia Tech 34 NC State 27
NC State Covers +8.5
They got Alabama-Arkansas, Oregon St-Boise St, South Carolina-Auburn, UCLA-Texas, and West Virginia-LSU
I agree with all of their picks except 1.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Mississippi State hosts Georgia this Saturday at 7pm
Link to audio
Despite the lack of recent meetings, these two programs fortunes may have been greatly altered by what happened in December of 2006 after State fired Chuck Amato.
Read More on my story at ChuckOliver.net
Year.....UGA....Miss State....UGA....Miss State
Georgia 4 year average ranking: 10.5
Miss State 4 year average ranking: 32.9
UGA faced an Arkansas team at home last week with four year average ranking of 30.6. Miss State faced an Auburn team at home two weeks ago that had an average ranking of 12, similar to UGA.
Both teams lost those games.
Of course, UGA is missing WR A.J Green who was a five star recruit, but even without him they should have significantly more talent.
Yet, the Bulldogs of Starkville are the favored team on Saturday night.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
First up was the Iron Bowl.
"The winning team of the Iron Bowl takes home the ODK-Foy Sportsmanship Award, named after James E. Foy-who ironically has ties to both schools, as he graduated from Alabama before filling the role of Dean of Students for Alabama and then Auburn-and the honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, which has a chapter at each school. The award has been presented since 1948."
Didn't know that.
Auburn saw a lot of this in 41-0 loss topping the actual 36-0 loss in 2008. But what should really sting Tiger fans is Alabama kicked a FG will 0:01 to go just to pad the stats.
I am sure Paul Finebaum will have much to say on this game. In fact, here he is.
Go to the right side and click 'Head Coach Paul Johnson Press Conference'
Johnson discusses NC State, improvement needed on the defense, and Mark Dantonio's heart attack.
EDSBS has a translation of the press conference in layman's terms since Johnson can be....uh... a little short sometimes with questions.
Just go to the right and click on 'Mark Richt Press Conference'.
The UGA Head Coach discussed the preparations for Miss State including "crowd noise", an update on the status of injured players, and the difficulty of not having AJ Green amongst other things.
The much more organized participants have their compiled results up here.
Here would have been rankings anyways.
When push comes to shove, the Gators still find a way. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt right now until proven otherwise.
Went on the road and beat UGA. That looks better than beating them at home...
4. South Carolina
...which the Gamecocks did the previous week. South Carolina missed the spread against Furman by 14 points which I was very happy about (because I took Furman).
Gene Chizik's club showed a lot of fight coming back from down 17 to beat Clemson in overtime.
Tigers actually beat Miss State by much more than I thought, but it was hard to tell if LSU was that much better or Miss State just played that badly.
Victim of a tough schedule or just a mediocre team in the SEC? I think it's a little bit of both
You have looked great and haven't really played anyone.
9. Miss State
You have looked not very good, but have actually played a pretty schedule.
Same as Miss State though I don't see as much upside based on the QB and a first year SEC coach.
I was very wrong that Vandy was worse than Ole Miss
12. Houston Nutt & Jeremiah Masoli
I am not even sure Ole Miss deserves to even be mentioned in an SEC power ranking right now.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
For those that don't know, Tenuta was Defensive Coordinator at Georgia Tech from 2003-2007 under Chan Gailey and was the Interim Head Coach in the 2007 bowl game.
He left to be Notre Dame's DC shortly afterwards. Supposedly he was offered the DC position by Johnson, but turned it down. Murky water there I think.
Tech fans will remember Tenuta's boom or bust defensive style of zone fire blitzes nearly every play that would result in a tackle for a loss or a big play by the offense.
He is just the LB coach at State, but I think he is more involved in the defense than just a position coach.
His blitzing style will be very interesting going up against Paul Johnson's spread. I have not seen a team try to blitz it yet on a non-obvious passing down.
Former UT Coach Johnny Majors was also on discussing his dislike for Phil Fulmer (more on that in a minute) and liking to Lane Kiffin.
I think Kiffin gets kind of a bad rap. He is not a bad coach. And yes his dad's pedigree has probably helped him land the jobs he has, but so had Derek Dooley's. Kiffin did what he had to do to get people talking about the Volunteer program again after Fulmer nearly ran it into the ground.
And Kiffin's wife ain't bad looking either.
Back to Fulmer. He and Majors probably aren't sending Christmas cards to each other after what transpired at the end of Majors' coaching career in Knoxvile.
Related: Johnny Majors interview in the AJC where he discusses Paul Johnson's offense
Questions about the state of the program, passes to the TE (or lack thereof), play calling, and changing jersey numbers to read amongst others.
Unfortunately, WSB who carries the show here in Atlanta does not post an audio version to download.
North Carolina plays at Rutgers this Saturday.
Read More at Gobbler Country
Monday, September 20, 2010
Seems to me if the Nets thought Favors was going to be a superstar they would want have him actually play a game that counts for them.
Tom Mulhern dropped the Yellow Jackets from 17th to 25th. Desmond Conner had Tech ranked 19th last week, this week he didn't rank them at all.
Even Georgia Tech beat writer Coley Harvey from the Macon Telegraph dropped the Jackets two spots from 23 to 25.
How they voted September 12
How they voted September 19
The new DC complained his players didn't execute the game plan on Saturday.
"Grantham put it all on the players, seemingly accepting no blame. Quote: “Guys have to do what the calls tell them to do. If you don’t do that, that’s why there’s inconsistency."
The Dawgcast, one of my favorite college football listens, didn't take too kindly to it and one of them is calling for Grantham to pack his bags three games in! (See link to podcast below.)
What happened to all the enthusiasm for Grantham? Has his fiery attitude worn thin already?
No. It comes down to what Al Davis said: "Just win baby".
You can be fiery like Will Muschamp or cool, calm and collective like Iowa's Norm Parker (he missed the Arizona game with an illness and the Hawkeyes defense still only gave up 17 points).
Right now, Grantham is not like either of them because he is not winning.
Dawgcast Podcast (Grantham discussion begins around 30 minutes in)
Continuing the negative them, the Grit Tree discusses how Richt's good guy attitude isn't getting it done.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Parker has health concerns has been in the hospital with back pain since September 10.
- I watched Hot Tub Time Machine last night (unedited version - highly recommended). UGA set the clock back to the Ray Goff era starting 0-2 in the SEC for the first time since 1993.
- "People might be able to say some long-term goals are out of [reach] now," linebacker Christian Robinson said, "but I think we still can do some great things" said to the AJC. I still see beating Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech as potential accomplishments, but winning the SEC is likely out because....
- Chris Low points out that no team has won the SEC East starting 0-2
- "It was one of those something’s-wrong-with-Georgia discussions, which was fine, but the two proceeded to get into an argument started by moron #1′s assertion that teams aren’t afraid to play Georgia. With all due respect to the intellectual power on display, that ain’t Georgia’s problem right now. Georgia’s problem is the exact opposite, in fact. Georgia’s afraid of taking risks." Senator Blutarsky weighs in. Always a must read.
- “Sometimes he likes to hold onto the ball a little bit. That’s being young,” said Bobo, Georgia’s offensive coordinator. “You got to drop back there. You got to look at it. You got to cut it loose. He’s going to learn." Mike Bobo kinda throws Aaron Murray under the bus and forgets its his job to teach the QB what to do.
- Photos of the game
- "The head coach (Mark Richt) is 2-6 in his past eight SEC games. The vaunted offensive line coach (Stacy Searels) frankly hasn’t done bupkis since his arrival." I agree, Searles has been a big disappointment outside of the Georgia Tech game last year.
- "Georgia's locker room stayed closed for longer than usual after the game. After most of the team was excused, the players and coaches requested by the media stayed in the room, and it didn't open again for about another 10 minutes. When we did get in, we encountered a team clearly refocusing its goals." Macon's Seth Emerson does his best Ines Sainz imitation with locker room reporting.
- "But here are the facts: the Hogs just notched their first road win in nearly two years. They just notched a road win against one of the SEC's signature programs. They just won a game that many of us said they had to win in order for them to have the season that we all want them to." Arkansas Expats Blog gives their take.
- Sorry about the Ines Sainz link
- Slideshow from the Charlotte Observer
- "Hey, where have I seen that score before? Oh, that’s right! It was the last game UNC played." The Tar Heel Fan Blog weighs in on the game.
- "They played hard; they played like they wanted to win," said coach Paul Johnson, who hasn't lost back-to-back games since he took over at Tech. The AJC Game Report.
- "In light of Saturday’s 30-24 win at North Carolina, in which they got to watch 57 of 69 plays in one extended stretch from the solace of the sideline, the members of the Georgia Tech defense just might treat the ball-hogging offense to a steak dinner." AJC story on Tech offense.
- “The encouraging thing,” Paul Johnson said, “was that we played like Georgia Tech.” AJC Columnist Mark Bradley weighs in.
- “Anytime you win I’m happy. It’s hard to win. Anybody that takes winning for granted isn’t very smart because it’s hard to win. I don’t think in my three years here we’ve ever had any easy wins. They’re all hard.” Quotes from Johnson, Butch Davis, Tech players after the game.
- “I guess you could say that,” Jones said. “As A-backs, you could be blocking one minute and going out for a pass the next. You’ve got to be ready.” Jones had not caught a pass in a long, long time.
- "It's become clear that Carolina fans are going to be watching a lot games this season and wondering what could have been." Carolina March weighs in.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Red Raider head coach talks about the Big 12, Texas' lack of a running game, and lusts over Will Muschamp.
Arkansas used two drives before the end of each half that were both under a minute giving them 10 points, including the winning touchdown in just three plays. The Razorbacks averaged 7.7 yards per play to the Bulldogs 5.8
The Razorbacks used the second quarter to gain a lead they would never relinquish. Here's a recap of that stretch:
- Both teams had the ball twice and score was tied 7-7
- Arkansas got the ball back after a UGA punt and went 71 yards in 7 plays for a TD
- UGA punted their next two possessions
- Arkansas got a FG right before the half to increase their lead to 10 points
- UGA got the ball first in the second half and threw an interception
- Arkansas got 10 points in those three possessions and UGA got zero
Overall, the stats were not dominating either way. Arkansas outgained Georgia by just 41 yards.
Georgia's rush defense played very well allowing just 53 yards rushing and 2.3 yards per rush.
Aaron Murrary's interception was more of a lost opportunity for Georgia to get back into the game than a gain for Arkansas. The Razorbacks punted the next possession.
Going back to the first half when Arkansas took the lead, UGA was just 2 for 7 on 3rd down while Arkansas was 3 for 6. The Bulldogs did much better on offense and defense in 3rd downs in the second half.
What's next for Georgia?
A road game at Mississippi State which is becoming a more difficult place to play.
The defense will not face near the passing attack that they did this weekend. It will be there first look at an option based offense. The performance against the run this week would have to give you confidence heading into next week.
On offense, the line play has to get much better. This unit was supposed to be on the best in the nation but cannot blow what looks to be an average defense off the line.
Aaron Murray is progressing, but is still very new to SEC Football and Mark Richt and Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo are bring him along slowly.
I think the training wheels need to come off and Murray has to hop on a ten speed in Starkville next week for UGA to win.
But just in case the teams split the home and home, they will play a third time in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome in 2012 according to the AJC.
The game will be apart of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff alongside NC State-Tennessee on Labor Day Weekend.
Both teams recruit the Atlanta area heavily, especially Auburn who gets almost as many kids from Georgia as Alabama.
The kickoff game had its third contest this year pitting ACC vs SEC with the SEC winning all three.
The 2011 game is open and the Atlanta Sports Council is in discussions with Georgia Tech and Georgia for the opening.
Head Coach Mark Richt even called out his players on a call in show this saying "timid" was being nice in describing how his team played last week against South Carolina.
Vegas has UGA pegged as 2.5 point favorite and the line has stayed there all week.
Inside The Numbers...
- Mark Richt is 20-5 straight up after a loss at UGA
- But UGA is 0-3-1 ATS since 2005 coming off their first loss (played FCS team in 2007)
- As a Home Favorite, UGA is 20-28-1 ATS
- Under Bobby Petrino, Arkansas is 4-4 ATS as an Away Underdog
- On the road Arkansas is just 1-8 straight up the last two seasons
- The Razorbacks are 2-7 straight up in their last nine SEC openers including a 52-41 loss last season to Georgia
Coaching - Even
Emotion - Slight Edge Georgia
Home Field - Edge Georgia
Prediction: Georgia 24 Arkansas 23
Arkansas Covers +2.5
Some of the Yellow Jacket players probably caught a glimpse of the game, most know the score.
I think it helps Tech today. Makes them a little more mad to erase the memory of last week with a win this week. UNC players are probably feeling a little more confident now about their chances having seen the Kansas score.
On to the numbers...
Vegas has finally installed the Tar Heels as 1.5 point favorites after taking the game off the board due to suspensions at UNC still under review by the NCAA and the school.
- Butch Davis is 11-13 in ACC play in three seasons in Chapel Hill.
- Under Davis, UNC is 6-7 ATS as a Home Favorite. Against the ACC they are 12-12 ATS and coming off a straight up loss they are 8-6.
- Carolina had an extra week to prepare for Paul Johnson's spread offense which should help, but Butch Davis is only 2-4 SU coming off a bye the last three seasons.
- UNC has lost its last nine ACC openers SU
- Georgia Tech is 4-2 ATS as an Away Dog under Paul Johnson
- Going back to his days at Navy, Johnson is 18-6 ATS as an Away Dog
- Off a loss, GT is 5-0 ATS the last two seasons and Johnson is 20-10-1 since 2002
- The Yellow Jackets are 8-4 straight up on the road the last two seasons
- The visitor is just 1-6 straight up in the last seven meetings
Coaching - Edge Georgia Tech
Emotion - Edge Georgia Tech
Home Field - Edge North Carolina
Prediction: Georgia Tech 31 North Carolina 27
We all know how Paul Johnson is undefeated following a loss for Tech, but just how dominant have those wins been?
Read More at ChuckOliver.net
Friday, September 17, 2010
Clemson is used to handling South Carolina having won four of the last six against the Gamecocks, but they have lost 13 straight against Auburn since 1952.
Both Auburn and Clemson are forces to be reckoned with in the recruiting world, but who has done the better job according to the major services?
Auburn 4 year average ranking: 12
Clemson 4 year average ranking: 22.9
Clemson signed just 12 players in 2009. The Tigers average ranking is 17.3 if you take out 2009.
But even with that, the talent disadvantage coupled with a home field advantage for Auburn seems like it would be hard to overcome for Clemson.
Georgia 4 year average ranking: 10.5
Arkansas 4 year average ranking: 30.6
Even with Mallett, UGA has a clear talent advantage and should win this game. Unless Bobby Petrino is that much of a better coach than Mark Richt.
Lets take a look at the talent on each team as determined by the major recruiting services over the last four seasons.
GT 4 Year Average Ranking: 35.5
UNC 4 Year Average Ranking: 21.9
Interestingly, Scout ranks Georgia Tech better each year over the past four and UNC three out of the last four.
But the Tar Heels clearly have more talent than the Yellow Jackets, yet Georgia Tech has two out of the last three.
I am going to go out on a limb and say Paul Johnson is a better head coach than Butch Davis, but is Johnson good enough to overcome the talent disparity this year?
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Blue Devil head coach David Cutcliffe played at Alabama and coached under Bear Bryant. Now he tries to pull off the impossible and beat the heavily favored Alabama Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium.
Back in 1930, the impossible did happen when Alabama's head football coach left Tuscaloosa for Durham. The site of Saturday's game bears the name Wallace Wade who left Alabama for Duke after winning three national championships.
"From 1923-30, Wade was 61-13-3 at Alabama and led the Crimson Tide to three Rose Bowls and three national championships (1925, 1926 and 1930). A 20-19 victory over heavily favored Washington in the 1926 Rose Bowl is considered a watershed event for Southern college football."
Don Kausler Jr. has more at AL.com on the impact Wallace Wade had at the two schools.
But just as today, Wade fell under the 'what have you done for me lately' mentality and left to take to the Duke job after two straight 6-3 seasons.
Before Spurrier there was Wade who went 110-36-7 games in 16 seasons at Duke.
While Wade was winning in Durham, some guy named Bear Bryant had taken over for him at Alabama and the rest is history.
A win against the Bearcats could set the stage for a run in the wide open ACC Atlantic that would ease concerns about the temperature of O'Brien's seat.
Here are three reasons to like each team on Thursday night.
3 Reasons To Like NC State
1. Home Field Advantage
But more than just the home field, NC State also has a preparation time advantage. The Bearcats played on Saturday and will have to spend Wednesday traveling to Raleigh leaving just three days for Cincinnati to prepare.
2. Success Against the Big East
Despite finishing 5-7, State beat Big East runner up Pitt at home last year. Cincinnati is just 8-29 against the ACC.
3. More Offense, More Defense
Tom O'Brien's team is averaging more points and yards on offense this season and less points and yards on defense than Cincinnati is against a similar strength of schedule.
3 Reason to Like Cincinnati
1. Less Wear and Tear
The Bearcats played Indiana State on Saturday in a relatively easy contest. Meanwhile, State had a tough contest against Central Florida on the road. O'Brien was none too pleased with the scheduling by the ACC who caved to ESPN's desires.
2. UCF Win Was Misleading
The Knights out gained the Wolfpack by 69 yards, but still lost by seven points.
3. ATS Trends
Jones was 5-2 as an Away Dog in his last two seasons at Central Michigan. Meanwhile, O'Brien is just 2-4 ATS as a home favorite.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
In the interview, Hawkins denies being an agent or a runner.
Yet, news has now broken that the former UNC football player was arrested on drug charges back in 2009.
What did Hawkins have to say to ESPN's Joe Schad about drug charges?
"I'm not involved with any kind of drugs," Hawkins told ESPN's Joe Schad. "Never have in the past and never will be. And no one I'm associated with is involved in any such thing. I'm innocent."
UGA hopes to have a hearing on Green's eligibility this Friday. The potential top NFL Draft pick next season has been suspended for the first four games because of the interaction with Hawkins who the NCAA has deemed an agent.
UGA's offensive line returned 137 career starts, but rank last in the SEC in rushing yards per game.
If you remember, the Bulldogs started off slow in the ground game last year before kicking it into high gear late with seven straight game rushing for more than 120 yards.
Full Story Here
-Bulldog Hotline recap. These things are never fun after a loss for the coach
-10 Things You Need to Know About Arkansas
-"I'd say it was maybe a little effort and a little shell-shocked at being there. The first SEC game - a lot of guys weren't ready for it."
UGA LB Daryl Gamble describing the Bulldog defense
-Video of Mark Richt's weekly Press Conference
"When asked if Georgia Tech’s seniors had anything to say to the other players on the plane ride back from Kansas, Johnson said he’d rather see the players lead with their actions on the field"
“It’s easy to talk. I don’t want to see anybody talking,” he said. “I tell them, ‘Show me, don’t tell me.’ We’ll see what they can do on Saturday."
Full story here
*I still maintain that blocking is Georgia Tech's biggest weakness right now on offense
*“We’ve played two games now, and it’s never as good or as bad as it seems; either way,” Johnson said. “When you win, it’s probably not as good as it should be and when we lost, well, it’s probably not as bad.”
He had to be hot after the loss, but now Johnson needs his team to recollect and focus on the next task at hand.Macon Telegraph has more
*Georgia Tech is hoping to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in the Paul Johnson era. The Yellow Jackets have not lost consecutive games since the final regular season game and bowl game in 2007. Tech is 7-0 under Johnson following a loss. The Yellow Jackets have won both ACC openers under Johnson and five of their last six.
This and another notes on the UNC-Georgia Tech game.
*Former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach compares his offense to Paul Johnson's (audio - link will open window to listen)
*“If I am going to send my son to Georgia Tech, I want to know that [Hewitt] will be there,” said Royal’s father, Charles. “You hear all kinds of things from the man on the street, so we asked him about everything we could think of.”
Basketball coach Paul Hewitt had an in home visit with one of the top prospects in the state, Julian Royal. UGA head coach Mark Fox visited the next night and Royal has already visited Athens and will visit Tech and Wake Forest.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"I don't know of any coach in the country that does a better job of trying to keep his boys out of trouble than Mark"
"To me, one of the biggest problems we've got, some of them are not getting the training at home. Just think about it. Here's a kid that's raised by his parents 17, 18 years. Then he comes to Florida State, gets in trouble.
The parents say, ‘Why can't you keep my kid out of trouble?' I say, ‘Look, you had him for 18 years. I've had him one. Give me time. I'll get it straightened out.' That's kind of the way it's going now."
UGA won the Fulmer Cup this year for an arrest tally that reached nine players in the off season.
Bobby says Richt is as good as there is in discipline. Most of the off season problems were minor incidents, but this is not the first Summer UGA had issues with the law.
So is Mark Richt recruiting undisciplined kids? Is the Athens police unfairly targeting athletes? Or is Bowden simply sticking up for one of his own?
Monday, September 13, 2010
The first thing I notice from their screen shots is how far off the line of scrimmage - nearly 7 yards back. I think this is to give the linebackers more room to roam and make a tackle. But you wonder why Tech was not able to run the dive better with Anthony Allen.
Second thing is how far off the corners are. Last year, this would be an immediate pass to Demaryius Thomas who would likely break a tackle for a first down gain.
Now this is just one play dissected, but I consistently noticed how Kansas' linebackers were getting off blocks and making plays. I also noticed how Tech did not use the quick pass when corners were firing from the side.
Rock Chalk continues.
"The result was a gamble based on the assumption that Tech couldn't consistently pass. It wasn't perfect and Tech still put up some yards, but it was effective enough in a bend but don't break style and came up with several big stops throughout the game"
I think it was more so Tech's poor blocking at the second level and on the edge that allowed Kansas to have so many tacklers running free, but...
I would love to hear more from those who know more about the spread offense Tech uses and how Kansas defended it.
Friday, September 10, 2010
My latest contribution at Chuckoliver.net is up discussing why Tech's run defense, not the passing game, is the biggest worry of the young season.
UGA has won 7 of the last 8 meetings, including the last 4 in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Both teams were impressive in their openers, albeit against much weaker competition.
Here are three questions that have me intrigued for this game:
1. How will Redshirt Freshman QB Aaron Murray do in his first road start?
Murray looked sharp in the opener against La-Lafayette, but this is whole different ball game going on the road to face a much tougher defense. He has the pedigree ranking as the third best QB coming out of high school in 2008, but will his lack of experience make him crumble under the pressure of the South Carolina's crowd?
2. Can South Carolina repeat last week's performance on the ground?
The Gamecocks have been woeful in rushing yards the last few years, but had 224 yards against Southern Miss last Thursday. That yardage amount was 103 yards better than their 2009 average. Leading the way was true freshman Marcus Lattimore, the #2 ranked running back recruit last year.
3. Who will make the play that saves or wins the game?
It seems like this game always come down to a fourth down or goalline stand. Last year, the Gamecocks were attempting a go ahead score and UGA LB Rennie Curran knocked down a sure TD pass. The year before South Carolina fumbled going into Georgia's endzone. Four of the last five meetings have been decided by seven points or less.
UGA will again be without their star wideout A. J. Green who has been suspended four games by the NCAA.
Fear not Bulldog fans because TE Orson Charles will become Murray's safety valve and have a huge game. Georgia also gets back their leading returning rusher Washaun Ealey off suspension.
UGA's defense under new coordinator Todd Grantham will stuff the run enough to force QB Stephen Garcia to win the game with his arm.
Georgia 24 South Carolina 17
UGA Covers +3
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Over the last four recruiting classes, the Tigers average rank by Rivals and Scout is 12 compared to 33 for the Bulldogs.
Auburn has had four consensus top 20 classes and two consensus top 10 class, while Miss State broke the top 20 just one time in Scout's 2009 rankings.
Yet, Auburn has moved from a 2.5 point favorite down to 1.5 on gameday.
Year...Auburn Miss State Auburn Miss State
2010....4............. 38.............. 6............... 38
2009...19........... 25.............. 16.............. 19
2008....20........... 44............. 18.............. 33
2007....7.............. 39............. 6................ 27
Avg....12.5......... 36.5.......... 11.5.......... 29.25
ESPN’s Colin Cowherd Calls Tech’s Offense "Clever, Goofy" And He is Right - Chuckoliver.net Contribution
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
And surprisingly I was not the only person to vote Ole Miss above Vanderbilt.
Poll Result with my ranking in parentheses
1. Alabama Crimson Tide, (1)
2. South Carolina Gamecocks, (4)
3. Georgia Bulldogs, (3)
4. Arkansas Razorbacks, (8)
5. Auburn Tigers, (5)
6. Mississippi St. Bulldogs, (7)
7. LSU Tigers, (6)
8. Florida Gators, (2)
9. Kentucky Wildcats, (9)
10. Tennessee Volunteers, (10)
11. Vanderbilt Commodores, (12)
12. Mississippi Rebels, (11)
Rock Chalk Talk gives Jayhawk fans a look at Tech's offense and defense briefly breaking down how the offense works.
"The easiest way to beat Tech's offense is for the entire defense to stay disciplined and stay in their respective lane, because chasing after the ball will leave you open for a loooong touchdown run on some misdirection. "
..Gives some tips to the Kansas defense
"Now, obviously, you don't want to put 11 people in the box, but if I were the coach, I'd probably come with a standard 4-4 defense with a single safety responsible for the entire backend. Risky, sure, but if you stop 7/8ths of the plays more effectively, it's okay to take a risk or two for the other eighth of the snaps. "
...and gives a little reason for hope
"Maybe we'll pull a reverse of last Saturday and come out with enough intensity to play up to the competition, not down to it. Maybe the offensive line won't look like crap and the quarterback (whoever ends up back there) will play in a more competent fashion. Maybe our defense will have a gameplan for the flexbone and JoshUA Nesbitt won't be able to get the Yellow Jackets' offense off of the ground. "
I think this line will continue to rise another point or two and here three good reasons why:
9-2 ATS on the road
8-3 SU on the road
5-0 ATS & SU as a road favorite
Those are Tech's ATS and SU records on the road and as a favorite in two season under Paul Johnson.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
North Carolina was missing 15 players against LSU on Saturday night, including nearly half of their starting lineup, and almost beat the 21st ranked Tigers with two chances from the six yard line to win.
Bettors jumped on LSU once word came out about the amount and quality of players the Tar Heels would be without moving the line from even to -6.5. And I would bet that spread was not close to even money around game time.
So UNC covers the spread and nearly wins the game and what is their reward? Dropping from 18th all the way to 30th.
Meanwhile, Michigan went from 0 votes last week to 71 this week and is knocking on the door at #26. That jump was propelled by beating the 31st ranked team last week, UConn.
Pollspeak.com has names (but not addresses or cell phones) of who bamboozled the Heels (and no, it is not John Blake)
Royal's father on his son's visit:
“It was a great visit to Georgia, as Coach [Mark] Fox and his staff were very cordial,” said his father, Charles Royal. “We went to the football game, and anytime the Bulldogs kill somebody like that, it’s a great day in the Bulldog Country.”
While the visit went well, Royal is going to take all three visits before making a decision. He plans to visit Tech on Oct. 1 and Wake on Oct. 3
Interesting that Tech is bringing the 6'9" forward on an away football weekend when UGA brought him on a home one. Ironically, Tech is playing at Wake on October 2nd.
I would not count Wake out yet because they have pulled elite talent out of the Atlanta area recently, including recent NBA Lottery pick Al-Farouq Aminu.
But this battle likely comes down to Tech and UGA for Royal's choice. He has had longer contact with Paul Hewitt's staff, but the turnaround underway by Mark Fox has the young man listening.
The early signing period for basketball is November 10-17 and it looks like by the schedule of his visits Royal will have a decision by then.
Royal's father on the 3 schools back in August
4. South Carolina
7. Miss State
11. Ole Miss
I will probably be the only one not to pick Ole Miss #12, but I still feel the Rebels are better than Vandy even after the embarrassing loss to Jacksonville State.
I basically covered my comments for the other teams here.
2. Florida and John Brantley looked lost at times, well most of the first half, on Saturday. Lets just say that was opening game jitters until proven otherwise.
3. Todd Grantham gave Georgia fans more hope in one game than former Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez ever did. And did you see how bad Oklahoma’s pass defense (Martinez is DB coach) looked against Utah State?
4. Auburn looked exactly the same as they did last year except their QB is faster. The defense has a long ways to go still.
5. Either South Carolina’s offensive line improved a lot in the off season or Marcus Lattimore is just that good.
6. LSU should not feel that good about their win over UNC. Their defense was the first unit to make T. J. Yates look good in two seasons.
7. Derek Dooley did exactly what he need to do on Saturday, give Tennessee fans hope. Reality comes this Saturday with Oregon coming to Knoxville.
8. Joker Phillips gets off to a good start beating Charlie Strong and Louisville. This Commonwealth rivalry will be an interesting one in the next few years.
9. Mississippi State blew out Memphis by a much larger margin than I or the public expected. From the looks of week one, Dan Mullen has something cooking in Starkville.
10. Think Houston Nutt’s focus should have been somewhere else besides Jeremiah Masoli’s eligibility?
2. Miami now carries the banner for the ACC national title hopes and they have a great opportunity this weekend at Ohio State, a team they can match in talent.
3. Georgia Tech was uninspiring in their opener and did not answer any questions. Being inspired for week two just got tougher as opponent Kansas lost at home to North Dakota State.
4. I give North Carolina and especially their QB T.J. Yates credit for fighting back from 30-10 deficit and nearly beating LSU. Unfortunately, it looks the NCAA stuff is not close to over with assistant John Blake’s resignation.
5. FSU sent a message on Saturday that they can beat up on their former coach’s alma mater. The season begins this Saturday in Norman against Oklahoma.
6. Thunder and Lightning struck in Clemson Saturday in the form of Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington. Could Clemson actually be better running the ball this year with two contributors?
7. It was great to see Mark Herzlich back on the field for Boston College. He needs to be on the field a lot more for BC’s defense to improve.
8. Maryland was lucky to beat Navy. Maybe the luck is on the Terps side this year. It certainly was not last year.
9. Virginia’s new coach beat his old team – Richmond -a good start for a team that lost to William & Mary to open last year.
10. Wake Forest won the game but lost the battle of trick plays against Presbyterian
Monday, September 6, 2010
The lack of excitement over the opening victory is not so much about nerves Tech fans may have about the season after watching, but more so expectations that the program now has.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Shouldn't be a big loss considering the Bulldogs are playing Louisiana-Lafeyette (formerly called SW Louisiana).
The arrest and subsequent suspensions illustrates why it is smart to play a patsy in your first game. Especially in the SEC where you are already playing the toughest conference schedule in the nation.
College coaches are under immense pressure to be accountable for each of their players' actions, and while I agree with the AJC's Jeff Schultz the situation at UGA has gotten out of hand, most programs have very little problems.
If this were the NFL, a minor infraction would result in a fine and the situation is resolved. Well, you can't fine a college player because they are not being paid (cough).
More importantly, the NFL has pre season games that dont' count to get your team ready for the regular season.
Your first live scrimmage in college is a regular season game that could determine your season's fate. I would want a little tuneup regardless of any suspensions before I go play an Ohio State or Virginia Tech team.
Sometimes a player slips up and makes a dumb mistake. Then a coach has to suspend his player for the first game if not more.
If a team schedules a BCS contender for their opener they have no tuneup to get prepared and could possibly be without a star due to infractions.
Until the BCS truly factors in strength of schedule, and not mostly preseason rankings, expect more patsies from smart coaches and Athletic Directors.
Related: New UGA AD Greg McGarity discusses future non-conference schedules