Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SEC Power Poll: End of Regular Season

1. LSU
When was the last time a unanimous number one team did not have a Heisman candidate? I think it shows how good of a TEAM this group is.

2. Alabama
The Crimson Tide is the second best team in the nation, but I am still not in favor of a rematch under the current system.

3. Arkansas
Good, but not good enough.

4. Georgia
The Bulldogs have won with the schedule present to them. Can't do anymore than that.

5. South Carolina
Connor Shaw went ham on Clemson's defense with the QB run.

6. Auburn
I really hope Auburn fans run Gus Malzahn out of town. That would be epic.

7. Miss State
Dan Mullen has gotten more mileage out of beating the SEC East than Steve Spurrier.

8. Florida
If Charlie Weis wasn't so stubborn about....oh forget it. Gators offense sucks.

9. Vanderbilt
The Commodores put an SEC type beat down on Wake Forest.

10. Kentucky
Joker Philips was known as an innovator on offense when he was coordinator. He pulled the rights tricks out of the bag Saturday to save his job.

11. Tennessee
One thing Tennessee is always going to do is beat Kentucky. Whoops!

12. Ole Miss
When Ole Miss fans care more about the football on the field than the tailgating at The Grove they will win more football games.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Georgia Tech Recruit Has Largest Drop In Updated Rivals Ranking

Rivals has come out with their updated Top 250 list with a lot of players making moves. The biggest move downward was for DE Faith Ekakitie who fell from 120 to completely out of the top 250.

In addition to Georgia Tech, the Illinois Defensive Line prospect is considering Iowa, Boston College, and Northwestern among others.

Ekakitie has been posting comments on his blog about his visits thus far and should have a post up soon about his recent visit to Atlanta.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why UGA Would Be Wise To Keep Their Passing Game Short vs LSU

We have all heard how good the LSU Secondary is this year.  Here are some stats to show how good.  On passes of 20 or more yards (not including yards after catch), opponents have completed just 6 of 45 and been intercepted eight times.

On the season, UGA has completed 35 passes of 20 yards or more good (including yards after catch) for 59th nationally which is tied with....Florida.

[via ESPN.com]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

BC Coach Frank Spaziani To Return?

That's the way it looks from the comments by Boston College AD Gene DeFillipo...as long as he doesn't interview for any other jobs of course.

Will Muschamp Florida State Post Game Press Conference



[Via Alligator Army/Gator Vision]

Georgia Plants Flag At Midfield After 6th Straight Win At Georgia Tech


The AJC offers "two sides" of the story with their columnists.

Mark Bradley: The Bulldogs didn’t just outplay Tech – they outcoached it, too

Jeff Schultz:Georgia Tech drilled, problems start with Al Groh’s defense

Bobby Petrino Does Not Like It When Teams Run Up The Score

I find this ironic. And I hate when coaches complain about RUTS. Its your job to stop the other team.



Petrino wasn't much in the mood for post game handshakes either.


Even the Cops at Bobby Dodd Stadium Were UGA Fans

HILL POLICE TACKLE

[via Gifulmination "Usually it’s a Georgia player that’s the one getting tackled by a cop"


Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Had To Laugh At This (Iron Bowl Sign)


Paul Johnson Georgia Post Game Press Conference (Video)



[via GT Athletics]

How A Loss To Texas Changed My Mind On Why Texas AM DOES Belong In The SEC

When it was first rumored and then confirmed that Texas A&M would be joining the SEC as the 13th member I was not a fan of the move.

I thought the SEC was perfect with the 12 members because of the tradition and geography of its current members. Adding more members would create further distances between the school and a very few schools could enhance the prestige of the football played.

Although the Aggies lost to Texas 27-25, I very much liked what I saw watching on TV Thursday night.

Ryan Tannehill's fiance convinced me that the Aggies belong in the SEC. Tradition be damned.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Clemson Tom Gives His South Carolina - Clemson Preview

Spoiler Alert: He thinks Clemson will win.



Georgia Third Down Defense vs Georgia Tech Third Down Offense

Arguably the biggest improvement form last year to this year for the Georgia Bulldogs is their third down defense.

In 2010, UGA allowed opponents to convert 42% of third downs ranking 79th nationally. This season they rank 2nd nationally giving up 28% conversions.

When asked about his run defense matching up against Georgia Tech, Mark Richt said third and short will be key.

In another #2 vs #2, Georgia's second ranked third down defense will be going up against Georgia Tech's second ranked third down offense which converts 56% of their attempts.

Delving deeper into third and short reveals this is when both units are at their best.

If we go ahead and assume Georgia Tech will be running the ball the majority of the time on third and short, the Yellow Jackets have been converting 3rd Down with 1-3 yards to go at a 73% conversion rate gaining 4.5 yards per carry. On 3rd and 4-6 yards Tech converts 61% of the time. When faced with 6 yards or less to go on 3rd Down, Georgia Tech is converting 68% of the time.

Georgia's Defense has allowed opponents to convert 13 of 21 (62%) times when running the ball on 3rd down with 1-3 yards to gain. Teams have not run much against UGA when faced with longer than 3 yards to gain attempting just 6 runs with 4-6 yards to gain. Third down and 7+ yards is when opponents are playing it safe not trying to force the ball down field by running it 29 times.

UGA's passing defense is at its best on third down with a 80.5 passer rating by opponents.

In their 8 wins, Georgia Tech is converting third downs 60.4% of the time but in their 3 losses they have made the line to gain just 45% of the time. That number is just 43.9% against ranked opponents.

Meanwhile, UGA's defense has been steady all season allowing 27.8% conversions in wins and just 30.8% in losses.

[Stats via CFBStats.com]

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Paul Johnson Says Georgia Has Been Able To Do "Whatever They Wanted"

Coach Paul Johnson on losing two straight to Georgia: “They've been able to do pretty much what they've wanted. Run the ball, throw it, whatever they wanted.” Georgia QB Aaron Murray went 15 of 19 for 271 yards and three TDs with no INTs in last year's 42-34 Bulldogs win.

[From CBSSports]





Mark Richt Sends A Warning Signal To Isaiah Crowell That The Next Guy Is On His Way

In meeting with the media Wednesday, Mark Richt was asked about the running back situation heading into the Georgia Tech game.

"...there's too much drama there, and it's not as settled as I'd like it to be. There's a tremendous opportunity at the University of Georgia for running backs in this class to make an impact. If I was a running back, if I was a great running back, I would want to come to Georgia, I would be so excited about my opportunity at Georgia."

[via georgiadogs.com]

These comments are coming on the heels of the suspension last week of backup Carlton Thomas. Starter Isaiah Crowell missed most of the game with an ankle injury and his durability has been a concern amongst the coaching staff and fan base.

It is rumored UGA has received a "silent" commitment from top running back prospect Todd Gurley. The North Carolina native is close friends with arguably the top running back prospect in the nation Keith Marshall who is considering the Bulldogs along with Florida, Clemson, and Notre Dame among others.

Is Carlton Thomas Going To Play Against Georgia Tech?

This report from OC Mike Bobo says the backup running back will but Head Coach Mark Richt has not said definitively if Thomas has been reinstated from a suspension last week. 

If Crowell cannot go or is limited and Thomas is still out UGA will be relying on Ken Malcome and walk on Brandon Harton to control the clock with the run game.

RB Thomas to play against Georgia Tech

Is An SEC Championship Or A State Championship More Important?

This has been an often discussed topic on radio shows, twitter, blogs, newspapers, and of course, message boards.

Looking for an uofficial poll of which game UGA fans would rather win? Here is one which seems to favor hardware over bragging rights.

Georgia Fans: Which would you rather win?

Georgia TE Orson Charles Feels Disrespected When He Plays Georgia Tech

"I feel like every time we play [the Yellow Jackets], they kind of disrespect us. ... We've got to continue to execute and practice and claim our state."

via AJC


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why Playing Keep Away Is A Prudent Strategy For Georgia Against Georgia Tech

The Georgia Bulldogs have the largest offensive line by weight in America. That includes the NFL.

UGA's line weighs an average of 329.4 lbs. The next highest is the Cincinnati Bengals at 325.8. Texas Tech has the second biggest line in college at 323.

Georgia Tech's defensive line has been maligned this year for giving up too many rush yards. The Yellow Jackets give up an average of 166 yards per game ranking just 71st in the nation; Tech is allowing 4.5 yards per rush from opponents good for 80th nationally.

Georgia Tech's defensive alignment features the 3-4 scheme. The average weight of the three defensive lineman is 287 lbs. Adding in the two inside linebackers who are 223 and 220 lbs. That drops the inside five defenders average weight to 261 lbs.

The blockers for UGA have on average a 68 lb advantage.

I fully expect the Bulldogs to run Power Right, Power Left, Stretch and Counter plays to take advantage of this size advantage.

A successful running game helps Georgia Tech's offense off the field and rests the Georgia defense something Mark Richt always likes.

Paul Johnson Appears On The Official Radio Station of the Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Tech Head Coach was on the Rude Awakening radio show on 680 The Fan Tuesday morning discussing the upcoming game with Georgia as well other news in college football.

Before the season, 680 The Fan became the Official Radio Station of the Georgia Bulldogs so it seems a bit ironic the Georgia Tech coach would do an interview but this Johnson's third or fourth time on the show this season.

Why?

Well if you listened to Georgia Tech's flagship station, 790 The Zone, this morning on Mayhem in the AM you would understand why.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Think This Video Accurately Describes The Ole Miss Season



In addition to spending money on a new coach, maybe better chairs on the sideline would help too. That chair looks like it is straight out of a Sunday School class.






















Why Georgia Tech Is Hoping For Rain Saturday Against UGA

The last two times Georgia Tech has beaten Georgia has been on rainy days (2000,2008). In between those years, one the Yellow Jackets best chances came in 2004 when they lost 19-13...on a rainy day.

Currently, the forecast for Saturday calls for clouds, but no rain.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No Look Ahead To SEC Championship Game For UGA

When asked if he might be peeking ahead to an SEC Championship Game with LSU, Alabama, or Arkansas, Georgia QB Aaron Murray had this to say:

"We have Georgia Tech next week before we play for the SEC," he said. "That's where all my focus is right now."


Two seasons ago UGA found themselves facing a Georgia Tech playing in the ACC Championship Game the following weekend. The Bulldogs upset the Yellow Jackets 30-24 in Atlanta.


From CBS Sports


Paul Johnson Duke Post Game Comments

Georgia Tech is usually pretty good at posting a video of the post game presser and I will do when I see it. But until then some comments from the head coach:

Opening Statement:
“Well it wasn’t always pretty. We had I don’t know how many penalties. The most we totaled was two the rest of the year and seven-for-59 doesn’t seem right … some really tough penalties, big penalties in the game. But we fought and found a way. Both sides were having a tough time stopping the other side and we turned it over twice and missed a scoring opportunity in the second half and let them hang around. It’s win No. 8. I’m glad to get it and now we focus on next week, which I know is a big game for everybody involved.”

On Jemea Thomas’ interception:
“It was a great play, made especially after they called him on the other one, to just walk up there and challenge the guy, get in his face and then make a nice play.”

On Tyler Melton:
“The one on third down there in that last drive before we fumbled the ball actually was huge and was a great catch.”

On the penalties:
“Yeah I was frustrated. You know when we come out and throw play-action pass, they were cross keying the slot. And so we told the guy, and the backside slot was getting right by him and they grabbed him around the waist and they don’t call it. Then they try to tell me the guy they threw it to didn’t get held. Well, they pulled the other guy. That was frustrating a little bit. The late hit penalties on the quarterback, you don’t really know until you see the tape. It’s a bit frustrating. I’m not saying they weren’t correct. I’m just saying it’s frustrating. Two weeks in a row, we’ve had guys back third-and-15, third-and-18 and we do something completely stupid to get them a first down.”

On the game turning into a shootout:

Especially after the first couple of possessions. It kind of became tough to get a stop there weren’t a lot punts in the second half. We missed our chances by turning the ball over and fortunately for us we got a pick there to be able to ice the game and then run the clock out.

On Duke quarterback Sean Renfree:

We had a hard time slowing him down, but we also had some turnovers that kept us from scoring. When you do that, you hurt yourself. Bottom line, like I say, it’s a team game. It doesn’t mater if it’s 38-31 or 7-6. You’ve got to score one more than they do to win the game.

On quarterback Tevin Washington:

I thought he played really well. After the first series, the very first series, where we dropped the snap and made a poor throw or two, but other than that, he made some big, big plays and hit some key plays for us. The long touchdown run was huge and then (he) was able get outside on a sprint out there at the end to get the first down to end the game.

On Duke playing nine in the box:

They did some things in run support that we should have been able even to take more advantage of. I’m anxious to see on the tape a couple other times that I felt like we had opportunities that we didn’t hit. We hit some things in the play-action action game. When we can throw for that much, it certainly helps the offense.

On the emphasis on character following the Virginia Tech loss:

A win’s a win and they can’t take it away. Like I said, it wasn’t always pretty but that’s No. 8. That’s more than anybody thought we were going to get and we’ve got a couple left. Our focus moves (forward). We’ll enjoy this tonight and tomorrow, we’ll start to get ready for Georgia. It’s a big, big game. Georgia’s got an awfully good football team, so it’ll be a big challenge.

On the plays in the passing game:

We threw it 13 times. I don’t think we threw it any more than we’ve been throwing it. It just seems like it when you compete some and when you hit a big play on it. We could run the ball fairly successfully. We had a hard time inside. Once we got on the perimeter, we did O.K. We didn’t do anything to mix the ball around. It just happened that way. That’s kind of who they took on the option.

On Embry Peeples:

I thought Embry did a nice job. The play right before halftime, he did a great job getting in the end zone. He had some nice runs. Certainly, we missed Orwin (Smith). Orwin’s a good player. I thought Robby Godhigh got in and played some, so did Tony Zenon. I’m not sure about Deon Hill. We played a lot of receivers, too. Stephen (Hill) was out in the second half. And I thought Tyler Melton made some nice plays. Like I said, the third down play was huge.

On if Hill and Smith will be back for the Georgia game:

I would think so. I don’t think it’s anything serious.

On treating the game as a business trip:

I don’t know. We’ve talked about it before, that’s not the first time we’ve talked about that it’s a business and it’s a business trip. I just wanted to do as much as I could to emphasize that.

On Charles Perkins‘ play:

I thought he did O.K. It’s disappointing. We had the fumble at the end. A guy got knocked back into him but it’s still no excuse. I thought he did some nice things. He made a nice catch on the wheel route on our sideline. I thought David (Sims) ran the ball hard. We still haven’t hit any real big plays out of that spot, and that’s what we needed.

On if Perkins’ playing time was related to Preston Lyons:

Preston is banged up; he’s hurt a little bit. You could tell in practice he was limping. And I wanted to give Charles a chance. He’d been practicing hard. I also wanted to play Synjyn Days. I apologized to him right after the game. I told him I was going to play him but you couldn’t let up. There was no way to put him in the game.

On lack of pressure on Renfree:

He gets rid of the ball quick, too. They’re in the gun and he gets rid of it quick and a lot of our games were coming from depth and even when they weren’t blocking them, they couldn’t get there. You’ve got to try to make them hold the ball a little bit. You’ve got to cover somebody a little bit. If they’re throwing four-yard crossing routes and we’re letting guys inside, then nobody’s going to get there. It’s been a problem, without blitzing, getting pressure.

On not covering “a little bit”:

At times it didn’t look like it.

On if he is frustrated with the defense:

Not anymore than I’m frustrated with the offense. We fumbled the ball, jumping offsides and doing that. You want to play as good as you can play, and until we can play as good as we can play, then I’m not going to be satisfied. I’m still happy we won the game, but I think you want to hold those kids to that standard. You don’t want to drop your standards. You want to point out the things that we’re not doing.



Mark Richt Kentucky Post Game Press Conference

Comments from Richt after UGA's 19-10 win over Kentucky

"I left the South Carolina game encouraged. I wasn't encouraged that we lost, but I was encouraged that as we moved forward that we could win. I knew we had good leaders, good players and good coaches. We had to protect the ball and get after it. It's hard to win nine in a row, especially when you need every single one to get back to the Dome. I'm just so proud of them right now."

"Today was definitely a team victory. Everybody had to do their part. I thought the special teams played extremely well. The offense made enough plays and the defense did their thing."

"Brandon Harton had to come through for us. Even though the ball came out a few times, he had over 100 yards. And Ken (Malcome) did a few things. Overall, the tailbacks protected pretty good. As the game went on, they made some plays."

"Our defense stoned them again. Twenty-three yards net, that's pretty fantastic. They didn't throw that well either. Our defense played lights out I thought."

"I am so proud of the guys for winning the SEC East. Guys could have quit, pointed fingers and found a way to fall apart. But they didn't do that. Last season was pretty horrible by record, but the players never gave up on the coaches and the coaches never gave up on the players. We maintained our unity. That's what carried us through the offseason and carried us through the early part of this year."

"Kentucky played hard. We missed some opportunities, but we kept fighting. I'm glad there was not a lot of drama at the end."

"You take it one game at a time, one play at a time, one practice at a time. It's hard to win nine in a row -- period. I'm just thankful that we did."

If you have really good speakers (I don't) you can listen to the entire post game press conference here.

The 9th Best Talent vs the 42nd Best Talent

This week is ACC vs SEC rivalry week, my favorite week of the season.

I am going to focus a lot on my home state rivalry between Georgia and Georgia Tech, also known as Clean Old Fashioned Hate.

We all know talent is a huge part of winning football games so I decided to look back at the recruiting rankings over the last four season for UGA and Tech.

I don't put a ton of stock in recruiting rankings when it comes to the stars or ranking for a particular player, but I do think they largely hold true on a team level.

From 2008 to 2011, UGA has 9th best recruited talent according to Rivals and Scout while Georgia Tech has just the 42nd best talent.

How many points is 33 spots in the recruiting rankings worth?

Based on these recruiting rankings, to pull off the upset Georgia Tech will have to outcoach, outsmart, and play with more intensity. Their margin of error is so much smaller because of that talent gap.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

This May Have Been Why Cincinnati Was Far Down The List of ACC Expansion Possibilties

Presbyterian was a Division II school just a few seasons ago.

Cincinnati gets Hosed, falls to Presbyterian

THIS IS WHY I LOVE LEE CORSO



This Stat Wins Ball Games And Todd Grantham Know This

What has been the biggest catalyst in UGA's 8 game winning streak? Is it Isaiah Crowell's emergence at running back? That has certainly helped. Is it the defensive line becoming dominant in the running game? Sure is a nice luxury. But the biggest reason is turnover margin.

Georgia is second in the SEC with a plus-9 in turnover margin. The defense has 13 INTs and recovered 10 fumbles, with the offense committing 14 turnovers. “We start every practice with ball disruption,” DC Todd Grantham said. “Everything from securing a fumble, getting it out of a runner, a receiver or a quarterback.”

The team that wins the turnover margin by one has an 80% chance to win, DC Todd Grantham said. Plus-2 means victory nearly 90% of the time. Grantham meticulously studied numbers and percentages during his 11-year stint in the NFL. “In pro ball you don't have to recruit,” he said. “You have to do something.”


From CBS Sports

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tedy Bruschi Talks About If The Option Offense Will Work In The NFL With Colin Cowherd

Go to the 28 minute mark to heard Bruschi talk about defending the option offense.

Thundering Herd Podcast: 11/16:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

David Cutcliffe Georgia Tech Week Press Conference

The Duke head coach says his team spends time defending the Yellow Jackets option offense in Spring and Fall practice and started working on the game plan for this game during their bye week.

Cutcliffe also talks about the injuries that have beset his team and what this group of seniors as his first in Durham means playing their final home game.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On The Verge of History: A Look Back At The Hiring Of Coach K

The Duke Hoop Blog takes a look back at Coach K's hiring. The Blue Devils hope to elevate their coach to the top of the all-time win list tonight against Michigan St.


Former Duke Athletics Director Tom Butters took Bobby Knight’s advice in 1980 and hired Michael William Krzyzewski away from West Point Academy when nobody had ever heard of him. Butters says: “There is no doubt in my mind that Mike is the brightest young coaching talent in America. This followed with his many personal qualities lead us to believe him to be the best possible choice to lead Duke’s Basketball program now and in the future.” Prophetic Words.


Watch this news story covering the introduction of a 33 year old Coach K as Duke’s new head basketball coach
A Look Back: Mike Krzyzewski Hired At Duke: 03.18.80:










UGA Defense Coming Around Under Todd Grantham

Against three perennial SEC programs - Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn (though you could argue the Vols have fallen off that list) - the Bulldog defense has allowed a combined 12 net rushing yards.

That stat probably won't bend too much against Kentucky this weekend.

But it sets up for a very interesting matchup in two weeks when Georgia plays at Georgia Tech who has the nation's 3rd best rushing attack.

If the Yellow Jackets can't run the ball against the Bulldogs they don't have a shot in hell of winning that game.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just How Bad Was The UGA Beatdown of Auburn?

Georgia's 45-7 win over Auburn was the largest defeat ever of a reigning national champion in 25 years. The Bulldog surpassed LSU's 35 point win earlier in the season.

Also, it was the biggest win in the series since 1946. With the 38 point win UGA now holds a 114 total point margin in the 116 game series which is now tied at 54-54-8.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Has UGA's SEC Schedule Really Been That Easy?

Take a look at these stats for Opponent SEC records:

UGA = 16-32

Alabama = 17-31

LSU = 15-25

The Bulldogs SEC schedule doesn't appears as easy as once thought.

I Always Enjoy Some Good Stats Analysis (UNC - Michigan St)

With basketball season starting (and college being the only ones playing now) its time to refresh our memory on things like Effective Field Goal % and Player Impact Rating.

UNC vs. Michigan State: Beyond the Box

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Should LSU Campus Monuments Be On Alert?

This sticker was placed on Bear Bryant's statue.

(hat tip throwtheflagblog.com)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Georgia Has Done Well When Favored vs Auburn

"Georgia opened as a 12.5-point favorite for this Saturday's game against Auburn, but the Bulldogs haven't had success as the heavy favorite against the Tigers. Georgia was a double-digit favorite against the Tigers in 1999 and lost 38-21. The Bulldogs are 5-2 as favorites in the series under Mark Richt -- with losses in 2001 and '05."

From CBSSports

UGA opened as a -12.5 point favorite over Auburn. The line has moved to -13 as of this morning. Both Bulldog and Tiger fans seem convinced that is too much which usually means...






The Importance of Offseason Motivation and Preparation

I finally got around to reading this SI article on the coaching career of Gary Patterson a few weeks ago.

The TCU head coach is the classic rags to riches story who once roomed with the writer of the SI article.

But the most interesting part of the story was Patterson's comments on how important having a motivated team is.

The next morning I stop at his office. The door opens, and a couple of assistants stalk out grim-faced: A good half-dozen key players have been flaking off, acting so unlike last season's players—a group so motivated that Patterson sometimes felt as if they were coaching him—that the coach can't help but fume. "Looks like it's going to be one of those years," he says.

The Horned Frogs started this season ranked 14th in the preseason AP Poll coming off an undefeated 2010 season in which they beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

But TCU lost their opener to Baylor giving up 50 points and then lost the Iron Skillet to crosstown rival SMU.  It seems the players this season may have been living off past glory and thinking by a little more than showing they could do it again.

If there is one thing college football coaches struggle with more than anything it is motivation.

Especially motivation coming off such great success.

Maybe that is why we have not had a consensus back to back national champion since 1995?

SEC Power Poll Week 10

LSU won the game of the century to hold onto the top spot while Ole Miss cemented their spot at the bottom.

1. LSU
I think we have heard the last of "yeah, but he's not Nick Saban" directed to Les Miles.

2. Alabama
I am surprised by the sour grapes coming out of Alabama's locker room after Saturday's loss.

3. Arkansas
The Razorbacks have LSU right where they want them.

4. Georgia
Just one hurdle left for getting Richt to the magical job saving SEC Championship (sorry, Kentucky)

5. Auburn
Tigers try to play spoiler this week in Athens.

6. South Carolina
The SEC East have been a slow death for the Gamecocks and it is nearing an end.

7. Florida
It doesn't matter who or how, a win feels good after a month of heartache.

8. Vanderbilt
So far James Franklin has experience 50 years of Vandy football crammed into the last three SEC games.

9. Miss State
Bulldogs get a wounded Crimson Tide team at home this week. Nah, it couldn't happen. Could it?

10. Tennessee
Volunteers complete part one of a Tennessee State Championship

11. Kentucky
Its hard to get excited about a win over Ole Miss when the fall basketball signing period is upon us.

12. Ole Miss
Rebels should call ESPN's bluff and hire Mike Leach.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bobby Cremins Truly Wants Georgia Tech Basketball To Be Successful

Pretty humble for a guy that Georgia Tech basically fired.
Q: Bobby Cremins came into the league in 1981 and he went from the absolute bottom to having them in the regional final in his third or fourth year. It’s one of the most amazing rebuilding jobs. So it’s been done.

A:“Yeah, Coach Cremins reminds me of that all the time. That it only took him three of four years.

Really?

“No. I’m joking.

“He’s been great. I knew him before because of our connection with Nike. And he was always great to me prior.

“He’s been unbelievable since I got the job. There are very few coaches that when they leave a place actually want that place to still be successful. There’s an ego involved in coaching. They may say (differently) but secretly they’re watching the ticker, hoping the team loses. Or that they never achieve the same level of success that they did under him. Coach Cremins is not one of those guys.”

Q:Does he call you or text you?

A:“He calls. He’s helped me in terms of connecting with some of the former players that I want to get a relationship with, important people in town.

“He wants Georgia Tech to be every bit as successful, if not more, than when he coached. And he’s sincere about that it. He really is. He means it and I can tell he means it.

“Out of all the stuff that’s happened in the six months since I’ve been there, to me, that’s been the best. Because there’s no great program in this country that doesn’t embrace its tradition and its past, and doesn’t have the support of its tradition and past. I can’t do it on my own. Coach Cremins has been a great ambassador for us trying to get that back rolling.”

Brian Gregory Interview with ACC Sports

Which ACC Head Coach Made This Revealing Comment About Their Job Duties?

In ESPN The Magazine's College Football Kickoff issue they did a survey asking college coaches various questions including who impacts the game more: Head Coaches or Assistants?


BACK IN JUNE, we started asking FBS coaches some tough questions about their sport. Assistants were easier to grab (of the 55 coaches we spoke to, 11 were head men, 44 were assistants). But based on the responses to WHO IMPACTS THE GAME MORE, THE HEAD COACH OR HIS ASSISTANTS? maybe we shouldn't have bothered with the big bosses at all -- 70.9 percent went with the assistants, including all 11 head coaches. In the words of one ACC front man, "We just go to all the meet-and-greets and decide whether to kick or go for it sometimes."

Which ACC Head Coach do you think said this?

ESPN Insider article ($)

Brian Wilson on ESPN Gameday In Case You Missed It

I don't watch Gameday nearly as much as I used to but I am glad I caught the tail end of it Saturday. San Francisco Giants Pitcher Brian Wilson set a new standard for celebrity pickers. And in case you wondering where the Wilson connection was to Alabama/LSU, he pitched at LSU in college.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Georgia Tech Better Hope They Are Favored Against Va Tech

Virginia Tech is a salty 22-4 ATS in November under Frank Beamer. One of those four ATS losses occurred last year against the Yellow Jackets.

This Quote Should Seal The Fate of Everett Withers As UNC Interim Head Coach

From UNC Running Back Gio Bernard about the Tar Heels preparation this week for Tobacco Road rival NC State:

“I don’t know that it’s being surprised, I think it’s just a matter of not feeling right. I didn’t feel right going into the game. I felt guys were just joking around and not taking this game seriously. I knew guys were just not really focused in.”

I guess not having one member of the current UNC team hold a win over NC State was enough either.  The Wolfpack made it five in a row with the win Saturday.

h/t: Tar Heel Fan Blog

Hey, Its Better Than Having A Brick Wall In The End Zone Like Tennessee

:

"Georgia receiver Tavares King slams into the hedges at Samford Stadium during the Bulldogs' game against New Mexico State"

via Wiz of Odds

NC State Really Does Not Like UNC Do They?

The Wolfpack made it 5 in a row against their Tobacco Road rival Saturday with a 13-0 win.

Did The SEC Really Need To Expand?

On Saturday Texas AM gets blown out by Oklahoma, no lead blowing necessary, to fall to 5-4.

And Missouri loses to Baylor (the week after beating Texas AM in College Station).

I kinda feel like the SEC messed with the formula of Coke on this expansion thing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

ESPN Tries To Give Texas Fans A Heart Attack

And me a moment of joy because I picked Texas Tech to cover 14 against Texas and figured it was over when I saw a 35-3 Longhorn lead in the 2nd quarter. Oh well at least I took the easy money with Iowa +4. Must keep betting against Michigan on the road.
via 30FPS

You Would Think Florida Fans Would Be Starving To See A Victory

Apparently not at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Hope Will Muschamp didn't make this a big recruiting weekend.

2011 November 5 12 28 11

via 30FPS

LSU - Alabama Preview and Prediction

In my opinion the BCS Championship may very well be decided in Tuscaloosa Saturday night.

I was listening to the ESPN College Football Podcast and the SEC Bloggers were discussing an interview with LSU QB Jarrett Lee and how aware and comfortable he is of his reputation.

After all the kid has been through with the pick sixes, the benching, taking over the starting job due to a suspension it would be a fairy tale story have him lead LSU down the field for a game winning drive against a Nick Saban.

Both of these teams are so good in so many areas, but two stick out to me as the difference in this game and no, it is not coaching. Not even close. Les Miles does not get near the credit he deserves.

I think LSU's defensive line is built more so for the speed rush and not as much for the power rush. I think Alabama's offensive line will be able to open some holes for Trent Richardson to peek through. Then you have arguably the toughest runner in college football to tackle on linebackers and safeties. I think the Tide will be able to get out to a lead and nurse it by running the ball.

On the other side, Alabama's front seven is so big I think they can slow down LSU's power running game. This will be the first time this season LSU has faced a defensive front seven close to the size and athleticism of Alabama. The Tigers have been able to over power teams until now.

If LSU is to make hay in the ground game I think they have to do it around the edge with guys like Russell Shepard.

I have ranked LSU higher in my SEC power poll almost all season because I think the Tigers have had more impressive wins over better teams than Alabama to date.

However, this is a revenge game and Saban is 13-1 in those as an SEC Head Coach.

When it comes down to playing each other on the field and that field being in Bryant-Denny Stadium I think the Tide will prove to be the better team on this day because of physical superiority in the trenches.

Alabama 24 LSU 17

SEC Picks For November 5th

Vanderbilt at Florida
Both teams are coming off losses last week, but the Gators are reeling from their fourth loss in a row. This is uncharted territory for the Florida program and especially with a first year head coach.

While not getting over the hump in the win column, Vandy has been playing good teams close.

Florida had no business being within four points of UGA as they were dominated on the stat sheet. QB John Brantley is still not 100% and since Charlie Weis refuses to run the option with Trey Burton the Gators are one-dimensional on offense.

Florida wins this one but closer than Vegas thinks.
Florida 27 Vanderbilt 17

New Mexico State at Georgia
The Bulldogs will be without their top four running backs for this game, but should still win easily.

However, a Florida hangover with a very important game against Auburn next week could mean UGA will pack it up early and allow the Aggies a cover.
Georgia 42 New Mexico State 14

Ole Miss at Kentucky
The two worst teams in the conference meet in Lexington. Sigh. Neither offense is very good nor is both teams defense. But this game will be close at the end.
Kentucky 28 Ole Miss 24

MTSU at Tennessee
The stats tell me the Blue Raiders actually have a shot in this one especially if Derek Dooley want to continue to work on the passing with his young QB Justin Worley. But UT should be able to maul MTSU on the line of scrimmage and get a running game going to put this one away.
Tennessee 35 MTSU 17

Tennessee-Martin at Miss State

This one shouldn't be close.
Miss State 35 Tennessee Martin 3

South Carolina at Arkansas
You wouldn't know if you watched ESPN all week but there are two top 10 matchups this week in the SEC. However, the way these two teams have been playing they don't look like top 10 teams.

The Gamecocks offense is obviously struggling since the loss of Marcus Lattimore, but maybe the defense is finally coming around. Playing a team like Arkansas who likes to throw more than run is a good matchup for Ellis Johnson's defensive line.

The Razorbacks are likely to make Connor Shaw beat them throwing by loading up the box. I like Arkansas in this spot, but Steve Spurrier makes it close with some late heroics.
Arkansas 27 South Carolina 24

Saturday ATS and ML Plays; Tide Will Roll But Will They Cover?

Here are some plays I like for Saturday. Feel free to leave games you like in the comments.

Iowa +4 vs Michigan
The Hawkeyes are not having a great season, but catch the Wolverines at a good time. Iowa pass offense is a respectable unit and Michigan lost two more defensive backs this week who left the team. Probably their best DB Jordan Kovacs is not 100% coming into this game either.

Also, Michigan has been downright awful in Big 10 games ATS the last several years while Iowa has been good at home over the last 3 seasons.

Brady Hoke has done a good job changing the culture in Ann Arbor, but I just don't trust this young team going on the road against a tough opponent with its back against the wall.  Another reason to really like Iowa is that 15-20 mph winds will be blowing through which will cut down on Michigan's pass game.  The last time they faced a windy day on the road they lost 28-14 to Michigan State.

I wouldn't be surprised at all for Iowa to win this one outright.

Texas Tech +14 at Texas
The Red Raiders are coming off a horrible showing against Iowa State last week after beating Oklahoma the previous week. This is typical Tommy Tuberville football.

Texas is the big name opponent Tuberville thrives on. The Red Raiders have also played better on the road than at home this season.

I think the Longhorns are getting more value than they should for dominating an awful Kansas team a week ago.

Houston -27.5 at UAB
The Cougars are a covering machine this year. Judging by their recent crowds this will not be much of a road threat to Houston.

Also, this week discussions began about whether UAB will be able to continue their football program after a new stadium was turned down. I wonder where the players heads are after hearing this news.

Stanford -21.5 at Oregon State
This is another big line for the Cardinal to cover. You always worry about teams going off long games, but USC does not seem to be affected Friday night at Colorado.

This is the worst Oregon State Mike Riley has ever had.

Alabama ML at LSU
Game of the Century. Football Armageddon. Whatever you want to call it. LSU has the more impressive wins, but Nick Saban's 13-1 SEC record in rematch games lends me to think he will find a way to win this one. Also, the Tide has lost just one home game in the last three seasons.

I worry that Alabama will get up and Saban may play close to the vest and not want to put A.J. McCarron in risky situations to extend the lead. Both of these teams are so good it is hard for me to put a number on a final score, but I think somehow Alabama finds a way to win.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Missouri Has Fared Much Better Against SEC Than Texas AM

And why not after they beat the Aggies in College Station last Saturday?

The Tigers recruit a lot of players from Texas and somehow they seem to get better ones than the home state Aggies (or they are just better coached)

If it wasn't for a few epic beat downs this season of UCLA, Texas AM would re assume their spot at the top of my most under achieving football programs list.

But back to Missouri in their new (ahem) conference

Missouri has met SEC teams 29 times and holds a 20-8-1 record for a .696 winning percentage.
 
"The Tigers have winning records against nine SEC schools: Alabama (2-1), Arkansas (3-2), Auburn (1-0), Florida (1-0), LSU (1-0), Mississippi State (2-0), Ole Miss (5-1), South Carolina (2-0), Vanderbilt (2-1-1). They have a losing record against Georgia (0-1)Kentucky (1-2), and no history against Tennessee (0-0)."

The Aggies have not fared nearly as well, but could not wait to get out of the Big 12 and out of the shadow of the Longhorns.

"The Aggies have a winning record against 3 SEC schools: Ole Miss (4-0), Georgia (3-2), and Auburn (2-0). They have a losing record against 4 SEC schools: Arkansas (24-40-3), LSU (20-27-3), Alabama (1-3), and Tennessee (0-2). The Aggies have not played South Carolina or Vandy and hold tie records against Florida (1-1), Kentucky (1-1), and Miss State (2-2)."

via: Auburn Blog Track Em Tigers: Texas A&M and Missouri's History vs. the SEC

Thursday, November 3, 2011

These Stats Really Make Me Think Alabama Is Going To Win (and cover) vs LSU

"Fool Saban once, congrats to you. Fool him a second time ... well, good luck with that.

Saban has a 13-1 record as an SEC coach in rematch games against opponents he lost to the previous season. In those 14 initial defeats, Saban lost by an average of 14.4 points; in those 14 rematches the next year, he won by an average of 14.7 points.

The coaches Saban has beaten one year after losing to them: Tommy Tuberville three times; Houston Nutt and Ron Zook twice (one of Zook's was a rematch of a Saban loss to Spurrier); and once each to Mike Shula (as a rematch of a Saban loss to Dennis Franchione), Urban Meyer, Mark Richt, David Cutcliffe, Sylvester Croom and [Les]Miles"


No one handles rematches like Nick Saban

(hat tip to RollBamaRoll)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

UNC Interim Head Coach Entering Unknown Territory (UPDATED)

Everett Withers is taking this Saturdays game against fellow Tobacco Road school NC State very seriously.

The Tar Heels hope to break a four game losing streak to the Wolfpack and accomplish something the vaunted Butch Davis could never do. 

For all the four and five star recruits he brought Davis was beaten soundly in the strategy department by Tom O'Brien over the last three meetings.

Speaking of O'Brien some State fans have turned sour on him much like how this season has gone.  It certainly has not helped that former QB Russell Wilson is doing so well and been in the Heisman discussion for much of the season (he can't help it if Badger DBs can't cover deep).

Saturdays winner may be around next season while the loser may not.

UPDATED 10:15PM
Looks like Withers is bringing out all the stops to help UNC Saturday, or at least to help them in recruiting by pointing out the Tar Heels graduation rates and APR score versus NC State's. 

I find this an interesting tactic considering North Carolina just had their NCAA hearing in which the NCAA is charging the University with what amounts to academic fraud.

Late Submission For Best Halloween Costume

Family Guy's Stewie in a 1992 Toledo Starter jacket


via 30FPS

Is This Jim Ross of WWE Calling Plays For Oklahoma?

I bet he called the "slobber knocker" play


So What If Mark Richt Knew About The Failed Drug Tests?

Mark Richt is paid (handsomely) to win football games.

We like to hear stories about developing young men and changing kids lives, but every BCS head coach is ultimately paid to win games.  This is why Randy Shannon was shown the door at Miami last year.

Three UGA players have been suspended for this Saturday's game against New Mexico State and according to ESPN sources the suspension stems from a failed drug test performed last Thursday.

Because internet rumors were flying on the Friday before the game within Bulldog and Gator circles that Isaiah Crowell had failed a drug test, I don't see how Richt did not know as well.

Where UGA gets off is in the realm of "false positive" or the "B" sample also testing positive.  Both of these instances would take longer 48 hours to verify and be impossible to determine before game time last Saturday.

Make no mistake that Richt is one of the "good guys" in the coaching world.  But did you really expect Richt to sit one of his best players and his top two backups for a game where his job was on the line on an inexact, instantaneous test result?

If UGA loses to Florida does Richt get the benefit of the doubt because some of his key players were suspended?  Of course not, he gets even more blame because he runs a "loose program".

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Internet Has Been A Great Invention...

For most people...


Give him some credit...he didn't back away from a post game video. A true fan.


(via From The Rumble Seat)

The Defining Circle of ACC Football

Each team has lost at least one game in the conference.


(via Stingtalk.com)