Friday, September 30, 2011

Bruce Feldman Talks SEC Expansion

Totally agree with Bruce that Missouri just doesn't excite me as an SEC follower.

If I was the SEC I would pursue Florida State the hardest and try to convince Florida it is the best move the league. The SEC does not need new markets as they are already national with CBS and ESPN Prime Time, they need more viewers. The Seminoles are the only team within the geographic area that can bring a significant amount of new viewers.

PFRN Bruce Feldman 9.29.2011

Biggest Reason Miss State Offense Struggling This Season?

You cannot have an option/running QB averaging just 2.9 yards per carry.


Mississippi State QB Chis Relf leads the team with 65 rushes this season. Despite Relf's 2.9 average per carry [Emphasis Added], Georgia defenders say he's dangerous. “We have to make sure to contain him and not let him get in the open,” OLB Chase Vasser said. “If he gets in the open, he can make plays.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Will Decimated NC State Defensive Line Hold Up Against Georgia Tech Ground Game?

The Wolfpack will be without 4 of their top 8 defensive lineman when facing the nation's second rushing attack.

Pack's decimated defense awaits Yellow Jackets

What We Thought Would Be A Huge Asset For UGA This Season Has Not Been

Blair Walsh said his confidence is fine after missing three FGs against Ole Miss. “I looked at a couple of technique stuff, and I figured out what I need to fix,” Walsh said. “It's something really simple, and I'm going to fix it. It's nothing drastic, just a couple of approach things.”: K Blair Walsh said his confidence is fine after missing three FGs against Ole Miss. “I looked at a couple of technique stuff, and I figured out what I need to fix,” Walsh said. “It's something really simple, and I'm going to fix it. It's nothing drastic, just a couple of approach things.”


Pat Dooley: This is a Crossroads Game For John Brantley

Gainesville Sun columnist discusses the mindset of the underdog Florida Gators heading into their matchup with Alabama with Atlanta's 790 The Zone.

Pat Dooley (Audio Download)

ESPNU Analyst Danny Kanell Thinks Clemson or Virginia Tech Could Be BCS Championship Contenders Due To Easy Remaining Schedules

Clemson and Virginia Tech meet in Blacksburg this Saturday matching two the highest ranked ACC teams. Even with a loss, Kanell thinks both are still in very good shape to win out due to the relative ease of their remaining schedules.

Skip ahead to 11 minutes in for this particular discussion

ESPNU College Football: 9/27 (Audio download)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dan Mullen Discusses His First Visit To Athens

The Miss State head coach also talks about where he is in building the Bulldog program to a championship level and what it is like playing in the toughest division in college football with Atlanta's 680 The Fan

Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen (Audio Download)

Former Georgia Tech QB Reggie Ball Spoke at Fan Pep Rally Last Friday

In somewhat related news, Chan Gailey is 3-0 with the Buffalo Bills after beating New England on Sunday.

Ball Talks to Tech Fans

ACC Power Rankings Week 4

As I have written on here before I don't really like ranking teams until four weeks of play so that most everyone (looking at Va Tech) has played a team of significance.

So now that four weeks are up lets rank the ACC.

1. Clemson
You could say they beat an overrated team and a short handed team and you would be right, but they have also won both of those games which is saying something for Dabo Swinney

2. Virginia Tech
Now the real games begin for the Hokies

3. Florida State
It was nice of Clint Trickett to skip his gig on the NASCAR circuit this week and play pretty well at Clemson all things considered

4. Georgia Tech
First real test was passed and the Yellow Jackets should have won by more than the score showed

5. North Carolina
It is something about Atlanta that makes the Tar Heels not able to win (in basketball too)

6. Vacant
The bottom half of the ACC is so bad I could not put any of those teams in this spot

7. Miami
Kansas State gets leftover recruits from South Florida that Miami doesn't want and still beat the Hurricanes

8. Wake Forest
Bye week

9. Virginia
Southern Miss at home. Really?

10. NC State
Wolfpack running backs are appearing on the back of milk cartons circulating Raleigh this week

11. Duke
Two in a row baby

12. Boston College
A win is a win is a win

13. Maryland
This is mostly just a punishment position for getting run over by Temple who was kicked out of the Big East (obviously Terps beat Miami in week 1)

Monday, September 26, 2011

SEC Power Poll Week 4: LSU Remains At The Top

Hard to believe the regular season is a third over already.

1. LSU
I looked up play maker on Wikipedia and Tyrann Mathieu's picture was there

2. Alabama
Nick Saban took down an offensive mastermind last week can he do it this week too?

Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey are kinda fast

4. South Carolina
Would Georgia not like another crack at the Stephen Garcia we saw Saturday or what?

5. Arkansas
There goes all the prognostications that Tyler Wilson would be an upgrade from Ryan Malley from day one

6. Georgia
With every win the seat under Mark Richt gets a little bit cooler and the Bulldogs have a lot of winnable games left

7. Auburn
Is it just me or is the AD Jay Jacobs hitting the panic button a little too early on 2011?

8. Vanderbilt
Scientists at Vandy have created a magnet which you can place on defensive backs hands to attract pigskin

9. Tennessee
I wonder what Derek Dooley wore on his off Saturday?

10. Miss State
Maybe Miss State just should not schedule La. Tech anymore

11. Kentucky
Kentucky hasn't seen speed like that since (insert Kentucky Derby joke here)

12. Ole Miss
Outside of my top 2 of LSU and Alabama, the 12 spot for Ole Miss was my only other instantaneous decision I had in my rankings

Country Roads Take Me Home: LSU Has A Long Night in West Virginia After Beating Moutaineers

LSU defeated West Virginia late Saturday night 47-21. Afterwards was the obligatory hello to the traveling Tiger fans, press conferences, showers, and Tyrann Mathieu meetings with ESPN Gameday before beginning their trek back to Cajun country.

First up on LSU's odyssey was a bus ride to Clarksburg, WV.

The Tigers flew into Pittsburgh on Friday, but decided to fly out of the small town in the middle of the Mountaineer state.

Clarksburg is a 35 minute ride from Mountaineer field through the hills of West Virginia. LSU Assistant SID Bill Martin chronicled the journey.

Les Miles and his band of Tigers finally made it to North West Central West Virginia Airport around 2:30 ET

From there they boarded their plane back to Baton Rouge landing at around.....?

Yes, LSU did make it back home way of a country road (and a 757).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Alabama Opens as -3.5 Point Favorites At Florida And Other Week 5 Lines

Other odds of note are Va Tech -7 hosting Clemson, South Carolina a -10.5 favorites against Auburn.

Covers:  College football odds: Week 5 opening line report

Georgia Bulldog Beat Writer Offers Explantion For Leaving Georgia Tech Out of His Top 25

The AP Top 25 is out so that means everyone's ballot is out as well.

After defeating North Carolina on Saturday, Georgia Tech is now ranked 21st in the poll.

The overwhelming majority of voters now have the Yellow Jackets in their top 25 save for four, one of whom is Seth Emerson the UGA Beat Writer for the Macon Telegraph.

Figuring some controversy may arise from leaving an in state team out, Emerson offered his explanation for leaving Georgia Tech out:

"Why not Georgia Tech? I’m just not there yet. While North Carolina had been unbeaten too, the Tar Heels hadn’t rolled over Rutgers or Virginia. So I still need to be convinced on the Yellow Jackets."

Brian Gregory, Mark Fox Trying To Rebuild Tech, UGA With Local Talent

The Yellow Jackets already have two in state commits in Chris Bolden and Marcus Hunt and are working on numbers three and four.

According to the AJC, potential McDonald's All American Tony Parker was scheduled to visit Tech on Saturday. The Lithonia, Ga. product has never seriously considered the Jackets until recently. The AJC also notes Parker may visit UGA with committed teammate Brandon Morris in a few weeks.

Speaking of UGA they have two other in state commits to go along with Morris.  Mark Fox garnered the pledge of point guard Charles Mann and combo guard Kenny Gaines over the summer to bolster the Bulldogs back court of the future.

Georgia very likely has four scholarships to give out in 2012 and UGA is targeting an inside player with the final offer.  Along with Parker, the Bulldogs are going after Shaq Goodwin and Robert Carter, whom the Jackets are also pursuing heavily.

I still think Parker is headed out of state, but the fact that he taking time out to visit Georgia Tech out of his own pocket (it is an unofficial visit) says something.

If Gregory doesn't land Parker he still may have a solid inside presence on the way if he can land Carter who recently transferred from Thomasville in South Georgia to the metro Atlanta putting him much closer to Tech and further away from another one of his favorites FSU.

The basketball talent in the Atlanta area has exploded in the last five years putting it up there with New York, Chicago and LA as one of the top places to recruit. Despite plenty of talent in their own backyard, UCLA hired away the Atlanta Celtics AAU coach in the off season to help recruit the area.

Surprise! Tony Parker will visit Georgia Tech on Saturday, and UGA may be next:

South Carolina Baseball Opens Fall Practice Looking For A Three Peat

Paul Johnson North Carolina Post Game Press Conference Audio

The Georgia Tech Head Coach talks about how UNC's defense played his offense, his end of game strategy kicking the ball back to the Tar Heels, and if he calls different plays for Tevin Washington than Joshua Nesbitt among other items.

Stephen Hill Explains What Went Wrong on the Sure Touchdown Pass Drop

Hill and QB Tevin Washington talk to reporters after the game and the first question goes to Hill and the dropped pass that would have put the Yellow Jackets up 35-21 in the 4th Quarter.

The Junior left the game for a series after the drop with a leg injury.

Washington talks about how UNC was playing the option leaving him one on one with the middle linebacker.

The Real Reason Georgia Tech's Passing Offense Is Better This Season Featured on

The protection by the offensive line. 

Nobody is within four yards of Tevin Washington from UNC's highly regarded defensive front.

Stephen Hill's high wire act catch is featured on Yahoo this morning (along with a story from Dr. Saturday) with this screenshot. 

Yes, the wide receivers are doing a better job catching the ball and Washington has been more accurate than his predecessor, but the real reason is the time he has been afforded in the pocket.

If you don't think comfort in the pocket isn't a big deal, ask anyone who has played LSU.

Mark Richt Ole Miss Post Game Comments

The UGA Head Coach talks about how well his defense finished, the missed field goals, and what it means to get a road win in the SEC among other items.

Link to Presser (UGA site does not allow downloads unless you know something I don't)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sporting News Picks Up ACC SEC Blog Story on Former UNC Player Calling Out Georgia Tech

Former Tar Heel player Deems May called Georgia Tech "the dirtiest team in college football" in an interview he did with the site Inside Carolina.

Sporting News picked up on the story

Deems full answer about how to beat Georgia Tech

Friday, September 23, 2011

Some Saturday Storylines Around The Top 25 With Some Thoughts on Michigan and Notre Dame

Michigan vs San Diego State
Current Wolverine head coach Brady Hoke faces his former team in the Big House.

I think the Wolverines are an overrated 3-0 right now, but nobody knows the Aztecs personnel better than Hoke. Will that be a significant enough advantage to cover 10.5 points?

Notre Dame vs Pitt
Two teams after week 3 going in completely opposite directions.

The Irish had their confidence restored after drumming Michigan State last week. Meanwhile, Pitt must have been distracted by the move to the ACC because they let a three touchdown lead slip away at Iowa turning the Hawkeyes into an offensive juggernaut in the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame has more talent than Pitt and despite playing on the road may have more fans at Heinz Field.  Irish are favored by 6.5

Oklahoma State vs Texas AM
Hey look, there is a top 10 matchup in the Big 12 and nobody seems to care because everybody in that league is hoping has super conference goggles on and is really horny.

I think the Aggies win this one by slowing down Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden.

Tulsa at Boise State
This line has moved against the Broncos staring at -32.5 and down to -28. Boise State is a remarkable 28-12 ATS in the last three plus seasons.

Auburn Fans Give It To Danny Sheridan Over His Latest Comments on the Tigers Program

The best one starts about 7 minutes in. "You look like a vampire, dude!"

PFRN DANNY SHERIDAN 9.23.2011 Segment 3

Some Ole Miss Stats By Half For Those Interested in Halftime Action

Story from Get The Picture...

A statistical look at Ole Miss’ season to date shows a defense which starts out strong but fades over the course of the game…

•In the first halves, Ole Miss’ opponents have rushed for 224 yards on 59 carries (3.8 yards). In the second halves? On the same amount of carries, 371 yards (6.29). Take that a step further, and isolate just the first quarter – 30 carries for 58 yards (1.93).

… and a struggling offense.

•In the first halves of the first three games, Ole Miss has completed a combined 14 of 30 passes, for 146 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

•On third downs, Ole Miss has run the ball 15 times, for negative-34 yards.

•The average starting position for the opposition after a turnover is the Ole Miss 40.5-yard line.

Pretty Good Betting Podcast If You Are Looking For Some Last Minute Action

On the Line Podcast – LSU/West Va – FSU/Clemson – Bama/Arkansas:

"Bud Elliott from and Adam Kramer from the Kegs N' Eggs Blog have teamed up with Drew Collins to discuss handicapping in the world of college football. On this week's ON THE LINE podcast the guys discuss all the big games coming up this weekend and recap the big ones from last Saturday. Does Arkansas have a shot against Alabama? How will Clemson and Florida State respond after emotional games? Is this Georgia Tech team for real? And will the crew bet against Memphis once again? All this and much more on this week's podcast."

Been Meaning To Post This For A While (Georgia Tech Preseason Predictions)

AJC Beat Writer Ken Sugiura did a nice job getting the predictions of some prominent Atlanta media on how Georgia Tech would do this season.

Everyone predicted a 3-0 start, but Chuck Oliver and Steak Shapiro each thought the Jackets would lose to UNC. Everyone in the group thought Tech would lose in two weeks at NC State and the home finale against UGA.

I listed out what I thought would be Tech's toughest games ( before the season expecting an 8-4 record.

Breakdown of Tech in 2011 by Atlanta Media

Principle Is Not Going To Win Football Games at NC State

Tom O'Brien is a highly respected head coach because of the discipline and dedication he expects from this players.

After winning 28 games from 2004-2006 at Boston College, O'Brien left Chesnut Hill to take over NC State.

His first three years were rough winning just 16 games and no winning seasons.

Last season, NC State finally broke through winning nine games including beating West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Leading the Wolfpack was All-ACC QB Russel Wilson who threw 28 touchdowns and over 3,500 yards. Although Wilson had begun to play baseball in the off season with the Colorado Rockies it was thought he would return for his senior season and give State a chance at an ACC Championship.

O'Brien never gave him that chance.

Wilson was told if he stuck around in the Spring and Summer he would have a CHANCE TO COMPETE for the starting job with his backup from last season Mike Glennon.

A bold move by O'Brien who wanted Wilson to give his full attention to football. The Naval Academy graduate also felt Glennon was ready to take over if necessary.

When Wilson decided to play baseball with the Rockies he was released from his scholarship. After visiting several schools, Wilson decided to play his final season at Wisconsin.

After their 44-14 loss to a middle of the road Big East team Cincinnati, NC State is 2-2.

Meanwhile, Wilson has Wisconsin at 3-0 churning out over 500 yards and 45 points per game.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Like Georgia Against Ole Miss on Saturday But Not As Much As I Did Earlier in the Week

The UGA-Ole Miss line opened with the Bulldogs just a 6.5 point favorite.

Everybody quickly saw what I did and moved the line to -10. I still liked UGA.

Then came multiple losses on the offensive line, arguably Georgia's weakest position group.

The anchor of the line, Center Ben Jones, will move to Guard and true freshman David Andrews will start at Center. To make matters worse Jones didn't even practice fully on Wednesday due to Montezuma's revenge. Is Peria Jerry still playing in Oxford? Thankfully, not for Mark Richt.

So despite all this I still like UGA to win this game and if you make me I would take UGA against the spread. Here's why:

1. Georgia has way more talent than Ole Miss

The recruiting rankings tell me so. And before you say UGA hasn't lived up to those rankings, has Ole Miss done any better?

2. Despite all the bickering about OC Mike Bobo, UGA has a very good offense

The Bulldogs are averaging 41 points per game and 427 yards of offense this season. Their 10.5 Yards Per Point is one of the best in the conference and that includes the turnover debacle against South Carolina. In fact, this offense has a chance to break some school records at the pace they are setting.

3. Ole Miss Run Defense Is Not Very Good

UGA wants to get Isaiah Crowell more touches. If he stays healthy Saturday he should have a really good day against the Rebels who yield almost 200 yards per game on the ground.  Crowell churning out yards will allow UGA to control the clock and take the crowd out of it.

4. Georgia Has Played a Much Tougher Schedule

Even with the game against Coastal Carolina last week, the Bulldogs have played the 19th toughest schedule according to the Sagarin ratings. Ole Miss has played the 62nd toughest.

This should be a relatively easy win for Georgia. Before all this movement on the offensive line I even liked UGA at a -10.

Former North Carolina Player Calls Georgia Tech "The Dirtiest Team In College Football"

UNC's site Inside Carolina runs a neat feature asking former letterman about the Tar Heels performance and what they need to do to get ready for their next opponent.

One of the contributors is Deems May:
BIO: Deems May excelled at tight end for UNC and was drafted in 1992, playing eight seasons in the NFL. He's since become a fan favorite for his candid commentary on the Tar Heel Sports Network.

The IC staff asked the former letterman what UNC needed to do to beat Ga. Tech and keep their win streak alive?

Deems: Long, sustained, time-consuming touchdown drives on offense. Defensively, I think we need to take some chances. I’d like to see us put everybody up in the box, shoot gaps, slant, disrupt timing, cause havoc. Shoot, as a changeup, I would go so far as even stand all four guys up on the DL about 1 ½ yards off the ball, read and react with our speed. If we get beat deep, so be it. Allowing 10 play, 80 yard drives with 4-8 yards a chunk can be de-moralizing. (See Kansas last week, I haven’t seen the tape but if Kansas gave up 66 points to a triple-option team, they flat-out quit, there just isn’t enough time in a game to score that much running the ball without a team quitting). I am excited about having Charles Brown and Tre Boston on the corners for run support. Those guys are as good as there is against the run and I believe will be the keys to getting some big stops and beating the cut blocks by their wide receivers. Lastly, we can’t get frustrated up front. Georgia Tech is the dirtiest team in college football. Their coach takes pride in it and they do too. Referees just can’t call over 2-3 illegal blocks a game and they know this. They are willing to give up 2-3 illegal chop block penalties and get away with 20-25 more. They want you to take a swing at them and get thrown out. We have to be disciplined and poised. Many people have counted us out in this game, not me. I feel like I did two years ago when I couldn’t get anyone to ride with me to Blacksburg on a Thursday night. If you see a white pickup with a Carolina football sticker on the back heading south on 85 early Saturday morning, honk!

Some NC State - Cincinnati Stats To Ponder

The Wolfpack and Bearcats kick the weekend action of in the Queen City Thursday night in a return game from last season which NC State won 30-19.

Here are some notes from that game and both programs to help you make your decision on who may win and/or cover the spread.

The line opened with Cincy -7 and has moved to -7.5 as of Wednesday night.

- Last season, neither offense was as efficient in their head to head matchup than on the season as a whole

- NC State's Yards Per Point (a key metric I like because it takes into account turnovers) was 16.4 which is below average for a BCS team; on the season the Wolfpack had a respectable 12.7 YPP

- Cincinnati's was even further off their season average; in this game a year ago the Bearcats took 20.3 YPP vs 15.4 on the season

- So far in 2011, State has a 10.8 YPP but Cincy has an astounding 8.4 meaning their average touchdown drive is about 60 yards

- Such a low YPP tells me likely at least two of these are occurring:
a)Cincinnati's offense does a good job of scoring TDs and not field goals
b)their defense has forced some turnovers to give them short fields
c)their defense does not allow other teams to move the ball over midfield much
d)their punt return game is outstanding

- Both defenses are pretty good giving up 16.6 YPP (NCSU) and 16.8 (UC)

- According to the Sagarin ratings NC State's schedule ranks 132nd amongst FBS and FCS teams while Cincinnati's ranks 215 which is in the bottom 15%

- Cincinnati ranks 67th in the latest Sagarin rankings and State has already lost to the 62nd ranked team Wake Forest on the road by seven

Sports Illustrated's Top Sports Blowouts Features Georgia

One of SI's many slide shows features their Top Sports Blowouts. The only entry for college is the 2008 Sugar Bowl where UGA dominated 12-0 Hawaii 41-10.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How The ACC Makes Expansion With Pitt, Syracuse Work

With the Pac-12 deciding to stay put at 12 schools, it appears the super conference idea is dead for the time being.

The ACC has already expanded to 14 wanting to protect itselft from any defections anticipating a move to super conferences. I don't know if the league can de invite Pitt and Syracuse (doubt they could and not sure they would want to anyways) so we have to assume in 27 months the two schools will be joining the ACC.

As the only BCS conference at 14 teams, this is how the ACC can make it work and strengthen the conference.

1. Go To a 9 Game Conference Schedule
I don't think the ACC deserves all the bad press it gets about its teams being terrible and not able to compete with the "big boys" of college football. The league suffers from being the neighbor of the SEC (which noone can compete with) and also the league has a much greater porportion of small, private schools than other BCS leagues. Miami, Wake Forest, Duke, and Boston College are all private. Georgia Tech is a public school, but is highly specialized in Engineering and Technology degrees. When you have smaller, highly academic schools your proportion of rabid football fans drops dramatically.

So what does this have to do with playing one more conference game? The overwhelming majority of ACC teams need help filling their stadiums, especially when playing non-conference, non-rivalry games. Only FSU, Clemson, and Virginia Tech can fill their stadiums with regularity and even the Seminoles and Tigers have had trouble in recent years. The ACC could go out and schedule more big time, non conference opponents to generate fan interest but that would likely lead to even more non-conference losses and lower the league's standing amongst the national scene even more.

Let a 9th conference game be that "big time" opponent. An extra conference game would also help...

2. Generate More Rivalries
Going to a 9 game league schedule would certainly help this. As it stands, teams go up to four years without playing each other. With the move to 14, it will be five years. Some teams in different leagues play more often than that. You cannot feel any sense of a rivalry when you play a school twice a decade The ACC doesn't need the Clemson vs Wofford games played gaining on Clemson vs Virginia games played all time.

3. Keep The Championship Game in Charlotte
You would think the league would have already figured this out when they saw the attendance last year and buzz in the city, but this is the league that put their first championship game in a city with zero ties to the conference.

Charlotte was originally left out due to climate, but this is football and the chance of snow or ice in early December is pretty small. The city is so much closer to the majority of ACC teams and the city wants the game to work unlike Jacksonville or Tampa. If the league wants to have warmer temperatures for the game then they should move it to a Noon or 1PM start.

4. Play More Conference Games in Basketball and Start Them in December
Basketball revenue pales in comparison to football at most every school expect UNC, Duke, and Syracuse but that two additions to the league clearly help basketball more than football.

To maximize this addition the league needs to have all of these great basketball schools play each other instead of scheduling creampuffs in December to pad their win totals.

Basketball is the one sport where playing tough competition is rewarded, In football you just get sent down the polls when you lose regardless.

Attendance is dropping in college basketball at the non-elite schools because the masses cannot figure who is on the team anymore with so many defections to the NBA. Throw in 10 cupcakes a year and why pay to see a product where you know the outcome and don't know the cast playing?

The college sports scene is dead after the first week in December. Why not take advantage of this down time by grabbing the spotlight with some marquee matchups in the league?

I layed out four proposals for the ACC to make the move to 14 work. What other proposals do you have?

Georgia Tech Win Is Far From A Sure Thing Saturday Against North Carolina

The Yellow Jackets are six point favorites against the Tar Heels on Saturday and after blowing away the last three spreads as favorites Georgia Tech may be feeling this game will be another easy win.

Here are five reasons why it may not be:

1. Georgia Tech's Team and Fan Base Feels Invincible Now
After scoring 66 points and running up 768 yards last Saturday, not to mention 49 against MTSU and 63 versus Western Carolina in prior weeks I wonder if the team thinks they can roll their helmets out and score 40+ points on UNC?

Continuing on the invincibility train Georgia Tech is selling shirts proclaiming their offensive prowess against Kansas. These stats were against Kansas, not the New York Jets.

2. Speaking of That Schedule
The Jackets have rolled up nearly 700 yards per game of offense against the 146th ranked scheduled in the nation.

3. North Carolina Has Five NFL Prospects In Their Front Seven
The strength of this Tar Heel defense is on the defensive line. Disruption in the backfield is the best way to stop Tech's spread option offense. Just ask LSU (2008) or Miami (2009 and 2010) or Clemson (2010)

4. The Yellow Jackets Offense Is Masking Their Problems on Defense
Tech ranks 49th in total defense and scoring defense. Not bad, but not great either. Other stats are less impressive though.

The Jackets are allowing opponents to complete 62% of their passes. UNC is completing 81% thus far.

Georgia Tech's defense is allowing a 48% conversions on third down,good for 102nd in the nation. Despite such blowouts forcing opponents to play one-dimensional, the Yellow Jackets rank just 88th in tackle for loss.

As long as opponents are converting third downs that means Tech's high powered offense remains on the sideline.

5.UNC Has Lost 6 Straight in Atlanta, But 4 Games Have Been Decided By A Touchdown Or Less.
You know the old saying if you keep knocking on the door it will finally open? And Butch Davis is no longer on the sideline to screw it up.

However, despite all this if Georgia Tech comes to play and executes like they have thus far then they will win this game. If they just roll their helmets out and expect it to be like last week they will be sent crashing back to earth.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SEC Power Poll Week 3

1. LSU
LSU's rush defense is that more impressive when you consider they have played two top 20 rush offense teams from 2010

2. Alabama
Trent Richardson is pretty good.

3. Arkansas

4. South Carolina
Vegas lost a ton of money on the Gamecocks this week at they gained 3 points on the spread vs Navy and still didn't cover and still lost

5. Florida
The Fighting Chris Rainey's may be the surprise team in the East, if its possible for Florida to be a surprise team.

6. Georgia
Mark Richt feels bad for Houston Nutt

7. Auburn
Is there some kind of punishment coming to Auburn for losing to an ACC team?

8. Vanderbilt
The Commodores have no business blowing out Ole Miss by 3 touchdowns. Maybe James Franklin is the real deal?

9. Miss State
Is Dan Mullen overrated or just a victim of circumstances being in Starkville?

10. Tennessee
I am starting to believe in this idea that Tennessee is just cursed in sports. Loses Justin Hunter on the first play of the game in a non-contact injury.

11. Kentucky
Joker Philips used to be the offensive coordinator at Kentucky.

12. Ole Miss
Houston Nutt needs a doughnut just sit down at his desk right now

Monday, September 19, 2011

Craig James Put 1-2 Notre Dame In His Top 25

At least he put Michigan and South Florida ahead of them. No votes for Texas Tech from James. Should Tommy Tuberville be worried about his job?

Craig James Top 25 from

Only One Thing Went Wrong For Georgia Tech Saturday...

Paul Johnson got a serious sunburn (video below)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SquidBillies Homage to Auburn DC Ted Roof

This Stat Will Get A Serious Test This Week

And so will the Georgia Tech defense.

The Yellow Jackets opponent last week (Kansas) still ranks 6th nationally in passing efficiency and this week's opponents ranks 8th (UNC).

Georgia Tech - North Carolina figures to be a shootout this Saturday.

NCAA Passing Efficiency Stats

Whatever Works I Guess: Fabricated Bulletin Board Material Fuels Gators

"All week long Tennessee’s receivers talked trash to the Florida secondary, at least that’s what head coach Will Muchamp told them.

Muschamp made sure his team didn’t take too kindly to their comments. He made a poster that had a (fabricated) quote from Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter."

It read:

“Throw a jump-ball or something like that. I’ll come down with it over the Florida DBs.”

From Gator Country

"I’m actually used to their offense, because that’s the offense we ran in high school, and it isn’t too complicated "

This was a quote from Kansas LB Steven Johnson last week when talking about facing Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets amassed 768 total yards en route to a 66-24 demolition of the Jayhawks.

ACC Will Not Stop At 14: Who Are Their Next Two Targets On The Road To A Super Conference?

With the additions of Syracuse and Pitt on Sunday, the ACC is poised to become the first new super conference.

These two northern additions sure up the conference's spot as the number one basketball league but as we all know this consolidation effort amongst leagues is ultimately driven by money.

I hope the ACC only goes to 16 as a last resort because geographic rivalries are what makes college sports so great, but since that seems to be disregarded...

Here are the next likely additions to the ACC:

The Longhorns make no sense geographically, but their ability to generate revenue from football is unquestioned. Texas would bring top level academics to the league as well something that is very important to the ACC. The thing that could prevent UT is their unwillingness to share revenue.

The Scarlet Knights are the closest BCS school to New York City and the number one media market. Their academics will again fit in nicely into the ACC. But Rutgers sports success is paltry and the ACC may be satisfied in NYC with Syracuse.

I personally disagree would disagree this addition but it would complete a northern tier of the league that would include BC, Syracuse, Pitt and possibly one other team. The Huskies are one of the elite basketball programs and their academics would not be at the bottom, but they add almost zero in football.

West Virginia
The only thing keeping the Mountaineers from joining the ACC is academics.

WVU has natural rivalries with Maryland, Virginia Tech, and new members Pitt and Syracuse. West Virginia has been the best football program in the league over the last decade and has by far the biggest following in the league.

The ACC can afford to add West Virginia to the league because they have institutions like Duke, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Virginia to balance out their academics.

Alas, I think the Mountaineers are down the list solely due to their 164 (tied) ranking in US News and World Report which would be by far the lowest in the league.

The Cardinals bring a strong tradition in basketball and a good medium size media market. The football program has shown glimmers of promise as well. Gaining Louisville would make the in state matchup with Kentucky an ACC vs SEC affair.

However, like WVU Louisville's academic rankings (164 tied) are a black eye on their admission.

Who would you take as members 15 and 16 into the ACC?

ACC Adds Pitt, Syracuse: How ACC Expansion Might Affect Divisional Alignment

The ACC has formally extended invitations to Syracuse and Pitt for membership into the conference.

This move towards expansion indicates the ACC wanted to protect itself from other leagues raiding their members as well as secure their place in the new super conference world that is coming (sadly IMO).

Currently, the league has two division - Atlantic and Coastal. Bonus points if you can name the teams in each division.

When the ACC expanded to 12 back in 2005 it went with a competitive balance approach to divisions instead of geographical. This has caused much confusion amongst the average college football fan since it is not easily identifiable which team is in which division.

Adding two new members gives the league an opportunity to hit the reset button on the divisional alignment if they want to.

North and South are the most obvious divisions geographically. Here is how that alignment may look.

Boston College
Virginia Tech
One of the NC schools (UNC would make the most sense)

Other 3 NC schools - Likely Wake Forest, Duke, NC State
Georgia Tech

From a competitive standpoint I think you have to put UNC or NC State in the North division.

However, the ACC has competitive balance currently in the divisions and could add Pitt and Syracuse to the current alignment. That move would make minimal disruption in future schedules.

In this scenario, adding Syracuse to the Coastal and Pitt to the Atlantic would make sense. I think the Coastal is slightly stronger than the Atlantic with four straight league titles.

Despite the current confusion in division membership, I think the ACC sticks with the current alignment slotting Pitt and Syracuse into opposite divisions with each other being the yearly opponent.

Personally, I think college football is losing a little bit of luster going to this super conference alignment. The feel of conference camaraderie is lessened greatly when you have 14 or 16 teams in a league because you cannot play each other enough.

Whatever your feelings are on super conferences we at least know the ACC is the first to arrive at the party.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Clemson Takes The Championship Belt And Dabo Swinney Goes Ric Flair On Us

Saturday Picks ATS

Today I like...
Wisconsin - 17 vs Northern Illinois
Michigan State + 5 at Notre Dame
Virginia + 10 at North Carolina
Arkansas - 23 vs Troy
Stanford -9.5 at Arizona

Who do you like today?

Coastal Carolina Head Football Coach David Bennett Should Be Mark Richt's PR Man

The You Tube sensation talks about how Georgia fans need to get off the back of Mark Richt using Joe Paterno's struggles with Penn State as an example.

If Richt does lose his job after this season he certainly has one lined up in Conway.

Audio with 680 The Fan

Audio with 790 The Zone

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oklahoma Beat Writer Who Saw FSU Rise A Year Ago

Former South Carolina beat writer Travis Haney covered the Gamecocks bowl loss to the Seminoles in the Chick Fil A Bowl last year. A game where the promise of this season began for FSU.

Haney talks about how players like Greg Reid must set the tone for Florida State on defense. The new Sooners' reporter also talks about how Bob Stoops has embraced this season's high expectations for Oklahoma.

Audio: Travis Haney of the Oklahoman

Derek Dooley Talks About Tennessee's Preparation For Florida

The Volunteers head coach also talks about controlling his mother, what her thoughts were on his orange pants, and playing a true freshman for the first time at punt returner in the Swamp

Audio w/ Barnhart and Durham on 790 The Zone: Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley:

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney Is Anxious About Facing Auburn

Swinney talks about the Auburn game last year, the Tigers struggles against Wofford last week, and how Auburn's offense is difference this year than last year among other things with Barnhart and Durham.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Good Offseason College Baseball Article

5 questions for the SEC including defending national champion South Carolina, as well as Florida, Vandy, LSU, and Kentucky from College Baseball Daily.

CBD Column: Five Questions for the SEC Teams

Texas to the ACC Makes Sense On Two Conditions

So if the Big 12 folds it is sounding more and more like Texas will be looking for a conference than going out as an Independent.

And the conference that makes the most sense for Texas appears to be the ACC for one simple reason. Texas would not have to give up the Longhorn Network.

If the Longhorns moved to the Pac 12 then Fox Sports could have a legitimate beef with the tv deal since they share rights with ESPN for the conference. The B1G would likely force the LHN to fold into the B1G Network already running.

I am still in favor of the Big 12 adding a BYU or Boise State to replace Texas A&M and hold the league together. But if Texas was so dead set on saving the Big 12 they would simply agree to equal revenue sharing (along with Oklahoma). It isn't like the UT will suddenly lose any revenue advantage with an equal piece of the pie so spare me any sympathy if the Big 12 does fold and Texas displays anger or sadness from the move.

But back to Texas in the ACC.

This move sounds really good on paper. The ACC needs a school with "national" appeal in football to help their image in athletics. That used to be FSU and Miami's jobs but those teams have fallen on hard times for nearly all of the life of a 12 team ACC.

Texas to the ACC makes sense on two conditions:
1. Equal Revenue Sharing

The first order of business is discussions with Texas must be revenue sharing. The Longhorns can keep their network (which nobody can watch anyways) but all other revenue MUST be shared equally. I don't care that Texas would generate eight times the football revenue that Wake Forest does for the conference you cannot run a league that way (as Texas is finding out right now).

2. Texas' buyout to get out of the league is the same as everyone else

Many ACC fans think John Swofford is too reactive when it comes to conference issues. But selling out the rest of the conference just to gain the favor of Texas for a few years would outweigh all of his other issues combined.

If I was negotiating on the ACC's behalf I would test Texas' commitment to the ACC by making their buyout higher than other members for a short amount of time after joining the league. The Longhorns would likely balk, but at least you make the impression.

Below are some other pros and cons to Texas joining the ACC, but I feel the two issues raised above must be resolved first before making a deal. If they cannot be resolved then I think the ACC would be making a mistake by adding Texas.

Marquee football program with national appeal
Ability to tap better into Texas recruiting market
Give conference a much better chance at two BCS spots
Academics are on par with rest of conference
ACC Basketball, Baseball and other sports would benefit from Texas on the schedule

Make it harder for everybody not named Duke to win the conference
Geographically and culturally awkward fit
No one can remember the divisional alignment now, how is it going to work with 13 teams?

(I didn't take into account other potential negatives like travel costs because it doesn't matter for football and it is only trip a year for current ACC teams who already travel to places outside the conference anyways).

Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seats Lists Their Pros and Cons for Texas joining the ACC
Rumor Mill: The Texas Longhorns Interested In The Atlantic Coast Conference. Is The ACC Being Proactive?:

LSU Mississippi State Preview

Pretty good look from LSU Blog And The Valley Shook.

Reading this it dawned on me that LSU has already face a similar offense to Miss State when the played Oregon.  The Bulldogs will feature more of a power attack than the Ducks. 

Another interesting note is Dan Mullen's visit with Chip Kelly this summer to view the Oregon hurry up offense.

I think this game comes down to whether or not the Miss State defense can capitalize on LSU mistakes.
The line opened as LSU -3 but has since moved to -3.5 indicating action on the Tigers.

ATVS has detail on likely plays Miss State will run on offense as well as individual matchups.

LSU vs. Mississippi State: What to Watch For

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Head of Caesar's Palace Sports Book Talks About Their Rules Regarding USC-Utah Controversy

House Rules are the key here. I have a feeling the new celebration penalty will be overturned next season and events like USC-Utah will be part of the reason why

Schools Like Stanford, Notre Dame (and Not UGA) Are Georgia Tech's Biggest Recruiting Rivals

One of the most highly recruited defensive players from Georgia is leaving the state for Palo Alto.

Sound familiar? Last season Stanford plucked arguably the state's best linebacker James Vaughters and this season snagged one of the best defensive lineman Jordan Watkins.

Watkins chose Stanford over UGA in the end but it was initially thought he would be a near lock for Georgia Tech having grown up a Yellow Jacket fan. Alas, Tech does not offer Watkins desired major of Broadcast Journalism (despite having two major television outlets bordering the campus - CNN and Turner). The staff sold Watkins on internships at CNN and Turner but that was not enough in his eyes.

Last recruiting season, the Jackets lost out on other thought to be near lock when Stephon Tuitt chose Notre Dame over Georgia Tech.

Despite being in the same state UGA and Tech do not go head to head on a large number of prospects like you would see in neighboring states like Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina.

For one, the offenses are very different so you have different QBs, linemen, and running backs. The defenses are the same, but Georgia Tech's academic requirement lessens their pool as does the pull towards the hometown Bulldogs. Tech has almost zero chance of pulling a rural kid away from UGA if both are offering; their best chances are more so in the metro Atlanta area where academics tend to be higher on average.

The problem with Georgia Tech's recruiting is that schools like Stanford and Notre Dame want some of those same kids with high academics. The Cardinal and Irish have bigger national names and offer a much wider variety of majors to kids like Watkins who may not want to do Business or Engineering.

Until Georgia Tech expands its academic offerings expect more than a few kids with high academics to go out of state.

More from the AJC on Watkins' commitment
Surprise! DT Jordan Watkins commits to Stanford over UGA:

"Watkins is one of the state’s most well-rounded student-athletes. He was valedictorian of his kindergarten class and has been on the Honor Roll ever since, sporting a 3.7 GPA at Woodward."

SEC Power Poll Week 2

Tigers are still the most impressive team in the nation thus far

The Crimson Tide was not able to blow by Penn State with its speed but it certainly over powered the Nittany Lions

South Carolina
Melvin Ingram's athleticism on the defensive line is why the SEC has won five straight BCS titles

The Razorbacks did what they were supposed to do against New Mexico

Count me as one who didn't think Auburn had much of a chance against Mississppi State

Nothing to complain about so far but that could change with the first real test against Tennessee

Miss State
Dan Mullen is just 2-9 against the SEC West. I got a feeling this is his last season in Starkville because he needs an easier gig.

UGA and Notre Dame fans know how the other feels

Volunteers get their first big test this week and those conference leading stats may drop

A very nice win over a UConn team that won the Big East last year

A much better performance on offense this week though that is not saying much

Ole Miss
Houston Nutt would like to schedule more of Southern Illinois and less of eveyone else

Week 1 Group Results

Monday, September 12, 2011

UGA Site One of Five Started By ESPN

Dawg Nation is up and running as part of ESPN's push into the recruiting world.

Georgia was one of five sites launched and the only one in the SEC. The site has former beat writer David Ching and two former reporters Kipp Adams and Radi Nabulsi among others.

The exposure certainly can't hurt the program even with an 0-2 start.

Other sites are: Michigan, Texas, USC, and Oklahoma

Saturday, September 10, 2011

AJC Georgia Tech Beat Writer Q&A With MTSU Beat Writer

Pretty good writeup. The Blue Raiders running a no huddle offense makes me like the over of 56.5 that much more.

5 questions about MTSU

Comparing Isaiah Crowell and Marcus Lattimore

Before you think I am crazy...ponder these stats.

Crowell 1st collegiate game vs Boise St - 15 car, 60 yds
Lattimore 1st collegiate game vs So. Miss - 14 car, 54 yds

Lattimore 2nd collegiate game vs UGA - 37 car, 182 yds

Crowell's biggest comparison heading into this season was Lattimore and the impact he had on South Carolina's offense. As you can see Lattimore did not set the world on fire in his first game either against weaker competition than Crowell faced.

I think UGA's only chance in this game is to ride Crowell all, day (and night) long

(h/t to ESPN)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who Has The Most NFL players in the ACC?

U already know. Miami has a league high 44 players on the opening day, active rosters (practice squad not included).  However, 15 of those players never played in the ACC having been Hurricanes when they were in the Big East.

The next highest amount for an ACC team was 28 and it was a surprising team to me.

While Miami has not seen a dropoff in NFL talent during lesser seasons, FSU has placing just 25 players on active rosters.  The Seminoles had 46 in 2006.

The total of 249 players is a six year low for the ACC. 

Full list of ACC players in the NFL

We Will See How Long This Lasts...

My Fun Office Pools entry with the Dawgcast.

Why ESPN ACC Blogger Keeps Picking Against Georgia Tech

Pride. It is something we all have. Most of us take pride in what we do for a living.

When someone questions our ability to do our "job" correctly we get defensive and lose sight of clear judgment towards that person.

ESPN's ACC Blogger Heather Dinich has picked Middle Tennessee State to beat Georgia Tech this Saturday despite picking the Yellow Jackets as the fifth best team in the ACC in her power rankings earlier this week.

Does this mean that MTSU is better than seven ACC teams?

No. I think Dinich is simply using situational evidence and little bit of a grudge in her selection.

The situational items are easy to understand. Tech is traveling to Murfreesboro for the biggest home game in MTSU history. The Jackets did not handle their first road game against an inferior opponent last season either falling to Kansas. Speaking of the Jayhawks, Tech faces them next week and players may be looking ahead in anticipation of exacting revenge and overlooking a team they beat 42-14 last season.  And despite that 28 point win Georgia Tech did not exactly set the world on fire in 2010. 

All of that is perfectly reasonable assumptions as to why the Jackets may struggle in this one.
I also get the idea of making a bold pick to get headlines. Dinich has the Tech fanbase stirred up with a wild, but not crazy prediction.

If she is right then she gets all the kudos for a bold pick. If she is wrong then she did not lose anything with a fan base that already discredits her work.

But back to the second reason why Dinich picked MTSU to win.

She does not care much for Paul Johnson.

The rift goes back to 2009 when the ESPN Blogger picked against Georgia Tech in consecutive weeks. First was the program changing win over fourth ranked Virginia Tech at home.

The next week, GT played at Virginia where they had not won since 1990. Again Dinich picked against Tech citing the series history.

Johnson says he does not pay attention to the media, but he obviously did that week considering his comment to Dinich after the game.

"Everybody keeps doubting them, and every time they doubt them, they come back and try to answer the call."

Wait, does he really think people are still doubting Georgia Tech?

"Oh, I think so. Right, Heather?" Johnson said with a smile, looking at reporter Heather Dinich, who picked the Yellow Jackets to lose to Virginia Tech and Virginia the past two weeks.

Later that season, the ESPN Blogger picked against Tech again in the ACC Championship Game which the Yellow Jackets won*.

Until Georgia Tech proves 2010 is behind them (and that may take all season) and Johnson and Dinich kiss and make up her opinion of Georgia Tech will not change.

Georgia Has Already Shown Their Game Plan for Beating South Carolina

UGA Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo is feeling a lot of heat this week in Athens. The only place where the temperature is hotter is under head coach Mark Richt's seat. That heat will be ratcheted up even higher with a loss Saturday against South Carolina. However, that heat could be turned down significantly with a win.

I think Georgia has a game plan for beating South Carolina; something they have used before when their backs were against the wall.

Richt is at the bottom point of his career at UGA. The only game that comes close to this was Georgia Tech in 2009. The Bulldogs were coming off a home loss to Kentucky and staring at 6-6 season traveling to Atlanta to face a Yellow Jacket team who was 10-1 and ranked in the top ten.

Bobo and Richt need to dust off that game plan because it is how they win Saturday.

In that game vs Tech, the Bulldogs used a punishing ground game and clock control to squeeze Tech's chances on offense and shorten the game. That plan led to an upsetwin and got the heat off Richt (temporarily).

UGA does not have the weapons on offense to hang with the Gamecocks score after score. Same thing with defense as Todd Grantham's unit cannot expect to stop Steve Spurrier's offense all night.

The rebuttal here is Georgia's offensive line did not do a great job of run blocking last week, which is true. But it was better than their pass protection and South Carolina has even better pass rushers than Boise State. The Bulldogs offensive line has the size and strength to run the ball.

Defensively, I think the Bulldogs' defense has to make Stephen Garcia beat them with his arm. Stack the box and stopping Marcus Lattimore should be UGA's first priority.

The feeling in Athens is overwhelmingly negative right now and a victory seems unlikely. But South Carolina is beatable if UGA follows this game plan.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SEC Power Poll: Week 1

The SEC Power Poll members asked me back for another year and I happily obliged. Below is my submitted poll for week 1.

I thought Les Miles was crazy scheduling Oregon on top of the SEC West. At this point I am tuning out people who say he is just lucky.

How the heck did I not jump on that Kent State line when it opened -32?

South Carolina
Stephen Garcia calmly led the Gamecocks to a come from behind win. I never thought I would say that.

The Razorbacks sure like to schedule teams from Missouri early in the season (you hear that Mike Slive?)

Miss State
Dan Mullen is my hero for faking a punt in his own territory while up four touchdowns

I think the Gators could win the SEC or they could be 7-5 and I am no closer to a decision after the win over Fla. Atlantic

Bulldog fans are REALLY upset at Mark Richt right now but that could be a 180 if they beat South Carolina at home this Saturday

I love the orange pants worn by Derek Dooley. That is a color you have to own.

Gene Chizik can be glad that Utah State had no idea how to play the onside kick

You didn't embarass yourself in win or a loss so the Commodores are mostly here by default

You had Western Kentucky believing they were going to beat your for close to three quarters

Ole Miss
When Rebel fans sober up from last weekend maybe they will realize Houston Nutt is not that good of a coach

What are your thoughts? Was LSU's win impressive enough to jump Alabama? How do you think the bottom half of the conference shakes out?