Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Kansas/Nebraska, Kansas/Mizzou, & Texas/A&M are all getting lost in realignment. That's a darn shame. After next year, only Minnesota/Wisconsin, Miami (oh)/Cincy, & UNC/UVa will be older.
Kinda sad on this rivalry week.
And you thought I was crazy a few weeks ago…So, here's what we're looking at as far as the BCS.
1. LSU - Arkansas & SECCG
2. OSU - OU
3. Bama - @ Auburn
4. Oregon - Oregon St.
5. OU - Iowa St, @ OSU
6. Arkansas - @ LSU
7. Clemson - @ USCjr.
8. VaTech - @ UVA & possibly vs. Clemson in ACCCG
9. Stanford - Notre Dame
10. Boise St. - Wyoming, New Mexico
11. Houston - @ Tulsa, C-USC champ game
12. South Carolina - Clemson
13. Kansas St. - Iowa St.
14. UGA - you got that one
15. Mich. St. - @ Northwestern, BIG 10 CG vs. Wisconsin or PSU
16. Nebraska - who cares, they got blown out
17. Wisconsin - PSU, prob. Vs. Mich. St. in Big 10 CG
Why do Mich. St. and Wisconsin matter? Strangely the middle section of the USA Today (used for the BCS) looks crazy.
12. Michigan St.
14. South Carolina
Auburn to beat Bama
Virginia or Clemson to beat VaTech
LSU to beat Arkansas
OU to beat OSU
Clemson to beat South Carolina
Someone to beat Stanford
Houston to lose
Something crazy to happen in the Big-10, like their champion having 3 losses, but it probably doesn't matter there.
You don't really need all those things to happen, but we need most of them. Like I said, "We gotta play somebody." We just have to get to #2, not #1. NC State winning was huge. Clemson getting their act together and beating South Carolina and UVA would knock 2 teams out ahead of us, and VaTech still only has one loss.
2 weeks to go, and it's just getting fun!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Chaos got a slow start this weekend, but it started a little. So, here's a rundown of those in the mix ahead of us and what they've got left. Mind you, I'm not saying we're going to end up playing on Jan. 9. I'm just saying that it might get crazy here at the end.
These are their losable games
K-State - @ Texas
Mich. St - @ NW, BIG 10 champ.
Wisc. - @ Ill, Penn St, Big 10 champ.
South Carolina - Clemson
Boise has essentially no tough tests left
Houston - SMU, @ Tulsa
Clemson - @ NC State, @ South Carolina
Stanford - Cal, ND
VT - UNC, @ UVA, ACC champ.
Arky - Miss St., @ LSU
OU - @ Baylor, @ Okie St.
Oregon - USC, Oregon St.
Bama - @ Auburn
Okie St. - @ Iowa St, OU
LSU - @ Ole Miss, Arkansas
So, there's a few ways to look at it.
LSU or Arky is going to lose
South Carolina or Clemson is going to lose
Wisconsin or Mich. St. is going to lose
Oklahoma or Okie St. is going to lose
Va Tech or Clemson is going to lose
So, if you take the chalk in those games. We end up ranked ahead of Arky, South Carolina, Mich. St, Oklahoma, and Va Tech by Dec. 4. That puts us at 9. I feel like a few other crazy things are going to happen and, if we win out, we're going to end up on that Sunday night at about 5 and be talking about 'What if?' Here's the games to watch if you want absolute chaos to transpire:
USC over Oregon
SMU over Houston
ND over Stanford
Texas over K-State
Illinois over Wisconsin, then Wisc. Beats Mich. St.
Va Tech or Clemson drop a game, then the one w/ 2 losses wins the SECCG
Baylor over OU, the OU beats OSU
That looks a lot like 2007 and probably won't happen. But, we've got 3 weeks left and only 2 teams left. I don't think we're gonna have 2 teams undefeated left when it's all said and done.
The game for us to really watch is SMU/Houston. I don't want to play vs. Houston in the Sugar Bowl. Case Keenum really does not want to play Jarvis Jones in the Sugar Bowl. We've seen that movie already. If Houston loses, then that frees up 4 at-large bids for the power conferences. The SEC would be guaranteed one and Stanford looks like a lock to get one. I'd love to see VT win the SEC and us play a 11-2 Clemson in N.O. Would be fun for my family…till game time. Who else gets one, then? Does the Fiesta really want a 10-2 OU? They go there every year and would their fans travel after just losing their conference title? The Big 10 championship game loser is going to have 3 losses. Do they go? Who gets stuck playing Cincinnati?
It sure is nice to be able to think about big bowls.
If you haven't looked at the stat line from Saturday, do yourself a favor and savor it. I still can't believe we whipped Auburn like that. I have literally gone to sleep smiling the past 3 nights. We did what I asked of us in mid-September. We beat our rivals. One more SEC game to go. One more rival to go. One more championship to go. I'm really interested to see how Saturday plays out. Will we be a little listless knowing we've got a hate game and a championship war on the horizon? I just hope we're efficient. Even with a division title on the line, I don't expect us to have that edge. I just want us to be efficient. Heck, what do I know? Hopefully, we'll have the attitude we had vs. NMSU, which seemed to be, "Hey, let's let everyone score a touchdown!" Just a couple random thoughts:
- This sure is fun. I gotta admit, I was in a very dark spot after Boise. After the Cocks we were 6-9 in our last 15 games. Hard to believe we pulled it together. Probably the best coaching job by Richt in his career. That he pulled us out of this is remarkable.
- Jarvis Jones is very, very good. Why, exactly, didn't they want him in Los Angeles?
- And Alec Ogletree is also very, very good.
- And, boy, it is a great feeling to excited about our D on the field.
- At what point to people start talking about how lucky LSU and Bama were to not have to play UGA and South Carolina?
- Grantham is worth every penny. Mike Bobo deserves a raise.
- All-SEC is going to be littered w/ Dawgs. Rambo, Jarvis, Murray, Jones, and maybe Boykin are locks. We'll have some D-lineman in consideration, along w/ maybe Cordy, and you gotta wonder about a WR. Crowell's gonna come close, probably 2nd team. The interesting thing is that our virtual locks, Butler and Walsh, will be nowhere to be found.
What I'm most excited about is personnel improvement and use this year. Gilliard continued to start after Robinson got healthy. Rambo has gotten incredibly better. We pushed to get Shawn Williams on the field, even if it meant pushing Branden Smith off it. Carlton eased ahead of Samuel on the depth chart during the season. And we finally had enough with our all-world kicker. There truly is a new attitude in Athens.
My favorite moment from Saturday was Rambo's pick six. A wild moment in the stadium. After Boulder, Colorado…we deserved that. What was your favorite part?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
HERSCHEL vs BO
Anyone who's watched SEC football for the past, oh, 50 years knows that when it comes to running backs, there's Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson, and everyone else. So who's the better college running back? Bo? Herschel? There are a few ways you can look at this one.
1. Freshman impact. No contest here. Herschel set the freshman rushing record at 1,616 yards - and he did that in the equivalent of 9 games (he missed the bulk of the Ole Miss game, and a half against both UT and TCU). Bo? 829 yards. Ho hum. Or let me put it this way: Bo rushed for fewer yards as a freshman than Jasper Sanks did as a sophomore. Herschel should have won the Heisman as a freshman. Bo? Bo wasn't diddly as a freshman. Advantage: Herschel, and Bo doesn't really deserve to be mentioned in his company here.
2. Season rushing stats. Let's take a look at their seasons in terms of yards gained per season and put them in order.
1. 1,891 yards. Herschel, 1981.
2. 1,786 yards. Bo, 1985.
3. 1,752 yards. Herschel, 1982.
4. 1,616 yards. Herschel, 1980.
5. 1,213 yards. Bo, 1983.
6. 829 yards. Bo, 1982.
7. 475 yards. Bo, 1984.
Auburn fans will quickly remind you that Bo's 1984 season was shortened by injury. I will remind Auburn fans that Herschel missed a game and a half his freshman year and a game his junior year based on injury. OK, so let's go ahead and play the "what if" game. What if Bo and Herschel hadn't missed any time due to injury? To let you know how I came up with these numbers, I did it like this. Herschel missed 1.5 games in 1980 due to injury. Take 1,616, divide by 9.5, multiply by 11 for the revised total. Here are the "no injuries" numbers:
1. 1,936 yards. Herschel, 1982.
2. 1,891 yards. Herschel, 1981.
3. 1,871 yards. Herschel, 1980.
4. 1,786 yards. Bo, 1985.
5. 1,213 yards. Bo, 1983.
6. 1,045 yards. Bo, 1984.
7. 829 yards. Bo, 1982.
Bo don't know Herschel's yards. Put another way, Herschel's 3 years are 3 of the top 5 rushing totals in SEC history. Bo's second best year doesn't even make the top 20.
Advantage: Herschel, and it's not close.
3. Career rushing stats.
Herschel: 5,259 yards in 3 years
Bo: 4,303 yards in 4 years.
Some Auburn fans will tell you that a healthy Bo Jackson would have outrushed Herschel over 4 years. Fine. Let's play that game, too. I'll even give Bo a 1984 equivalent to his best season, 1985. Don't forget, though, that Herschel had another full year to play when he left. Giving Herschel the equivalent of his best year, you get these numbers:
Herschel: 7,150 yards
Bo: 5,614 yards
Sorry, Aubies. Advantage: Herschel, and again, it's not even close.
4. Durability. To make it through the always-brutal SEC schedule, a running back must have durability. The best home-run running back in the world doesn't do squat from the bench.
Per game: Herschel has two of the top 4 rush attempts in a game. Bo doesn't even make the list.
Per season: Herschel has the top 2 seasons. Bo's best season is at #15.
Career: Herschel had more rushes in 3 years than anyone in SEC history had in 4.
No contest here. Compared to Herschel, Bo was a china doll. Bo took himself out of games. Herschel put himself back in them. Advantage: Herschel, and Bo isn't in the same class.
5. Team impact. Good players get good stats. Great players get great stats. Elite players lift the teams around them. Let's look at the team records and accomplishments.
National championships: In Herschel's 3 years, Georgia won a national championship and played for another. In Bo's 4, Auburn won none and played for none.
SEC championships: Georgia won 3 in Herschel's 3 years. Auburn won 1 in Auburn's 4.
Georgia: .917 (33-3), Auburn: .755 (37-12)
At home: Georgia: 1.000 (19-0), Auburn: .846 (22-4)
Away: Georgia: .909 (10-1), Auburn: .714 (10-4)
SEC: Georgia: 1.000 (18-0), Auburn: .708 (17-7)
Home: Georgia: 19, Auburn: 10
SEC: Georgia: 18, Auburn: 9
AP final ranking:
Georgia: 1, 6, 4, Auburn: 14, 3, 14, unranked
Georgia: Sugar, Sugar, Sugar, Auburn: Tangerine, Sugar, Liberty, Cotton
Advantage: Herschel, and Bo is nowhere near.
6. Heisman balloting:
1980: 3rd (highest ever point total for a freshman)
1982: 1st (margin, 695 votes over John Elway)
Herschel beat out such names as John Elway, Eric Dickerson, Anthony Carter, and Dan Marino.
1982: not on the ballot
1983: not on the ballot
1984: not on the ballot
1985: 1st (margin, 45 votes over Chuck Long, the closest vote ever)
Bo beat out such names as Chuck Long, Robbie Bosco, Vinny Testaverde, and Allan Pinckett.
Advantage: Herschel, and Bo doesn't approach him.
7. Other arguments.
Bo was a great baseball player. So was Nolan Ryan, but no one mistook him for a football player.
Bo had a better pro career. By what standards? Consider this:
Bo never had over 1,000 yards. Herschel did it for two different teams.
Bo never finished in the league's top 10 in any statistic in any season. Herschel was in the top 10 in rushing yards twice, rushing scores 5 times, receptions twice, yards from scrimmage 4 times, and rush/recieve TD's twice.
Bo never finished in the top 50 for any stat in his career. Herschel is in 5 categories. Herschel is the only player to have 10,000+ yards gained on offense and 5,000+ yards on kickoff returns. Herschel is one of only six players to exceed 60 TDs rushing and 20 TDs receiving.
Bo is only one of two players with two 90+ yard rushing TDs, but Herschel is the only player in NFL history to score a 90+ yard TD rushing, receiving, and kickoff return in the same season, and he did it in his 30's.
The SEC has seen a lot of great players, and a lot of great running backs. None of them have been better in four years than Herschel Walker was in three, and that includes Bo Jackson. Bo had one great year. So did Charles Alexander from LSU and Kentucky's Mo Williams, who both exceeded 1,600 yards in a season. So did Florida's Emmitt Smith, Auburn's Rudi Johnson, and Georgia's Garrison Hearst, who all exceeded 1,500 yards in a season. No one, however, has had the sustained excellence that Herschel had throughout his career.
No one comes close. Not even Bo.
Just some thoughts on bowls. We really want Florida to win and win out. An 8-4 Florida would be awful attractive to the Outback, even though they went last year. You know the Outback, they don't care. Of course, a 9-3 or 8-4 USCe might be attractive, too. That might leave us with a shot at Dallas if we get 'upset' in the SECCG.
Just thinking BCS if things hold true to form. Who's getting 2 in? Big 10 is not. They stink and their highest ranked team is at, like 12, right now. And that's Penn St, who has a few more losses on that schedule. Plus, that conference is going to enjoy the ol' extra loss in the Championship game syndrome the SEC loser has experienced a time or 2. Pac 12 probably won't if Oregon gets beat this weekend. They could, but they'll drop to about 12 or 13 after losing. SEC certainly will. Boise St. will most likely be in. Big 12 looks to get 2 in, even if OSU beats OU. OU probably goes somewhere at 10-2. They'll still be highly ranked. It's a no brainer for them if OU beats OSU. Now, if OSU drops another one somewhere…could get interesting. Big East should thank God and the BCS they get in. Their leader, Cincy, got boatraced in Knoxville. So that leaves the ACC. Is this the year they get 2 in. Interesting thing here. Is the ACC better off if Clemson goes 11-1, then loses in the ACCCG? An 11-2 would be very attractive to the Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl, I would think. But, a 9-4 GaTech coming off losses to UGA and Clemson has no shot at getting a bid. Just interesting to see what happens there. It's between the ACC and Pac 12, it looks like, with the Big 10 having an outside chance.
Speaking of the BCS, what in the world happens if Arkansas beats LSU. Figuring out who gets to Atlanta would be a royal mess. It would come down to BCS rank. I wonder if the pollsters would give the inside track to Arky because they would have been the only team to have lost on the road. Bama lost at home to LSU, and LSU would have lost at home to Arky. Arky lost in T-town. Just an idea. What if Arkansas beats LSU, Oregon beats Stanford and OU has their annual depants-ing of OSU? What in the world happens? You probably go SEC 1-loss champ vs. Boise. All that is very, very possible.
I'm not predicting this, but what if a few other things happen that are in the same vein.
-OU beats OSU
-LSU wins out regular season, looking impressive vs. Arky
-Oregon or ND beats Stanford and Oregon loses to USC
-Clemson loses to South Carolina or Ga Tech, again
-Boise wins out
Most of those things will happen. I'm not sure Clemmons is 12-1 team. I'll believe OSU is the real deal when they stop somebody. And LSU will probably beat Arky. The rub there is Stanford. But, something's gotta happen. We go into championship Saturday with rankings that look something like this:
No, I'm not smoking what Isaiah was smoking. Stanford will drop considerably after they lose because their schedule has been so weak. Oregon's gonna lose to either USC or Stanford, maybe both. Arkansas is out due to loss to LSU, VaTech will be out after losing to Tech this Thursday. Penn St has a lot of losses on their calendar left, as does K-State. The pollsters are just waiting to see if we can win a game against a real opponent this weekend to bump us up over USCe. What if that happens and Aaron Murray does his best DJ Shockley impression in the dome and we beat LSU 31-10? That's what you call a mess. Do we have a shot at the BCS game? Probably not. Stuff crazier than '07 would have to happen. But we might come real close. The best news for us is that we'll get a shot to play the undisputed #1 team in the land to win our league. And doing that will be enough. The question is, "Is a 2 loss SEC champion better than a 1 loss Pac-12 or Big 12 champion?" The last 5 years has taught us that the SEC is about 1 loss better than the rest of the leagues. It would be a very, very interesting scenario. Remember '02? People weren't talking about us sneaking into the game…it was 2 loss USC who started the season 0-2 or 1-2. If nothing else, we would bust up the formula and make for an exciting Sunday. Ain't scheduling crazy? That first weekend. We can't go ahead of Boise. Oregon can't go ahead of LSU.
Just chewed on that at the bar tonight. This thing could get crazy down the stretch. I'm not sure OSU or Stanford have "undefeated" on them.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Hard to believe after that debacle on Sept. 10 that we control our own destiny going into Auburn week. It's really hard to believe after what we saw in the Dome. For the life of me, I have no idea what we were doing in that game. But that's water under the bridge. We've won 7 in a row, which seemed impossible 8 weeks ago. And, we've already won more than we did all of last year, so there's that. Couple thoughts:
-When that Arkansas kicker missed that FG before halftime, after the TD drop, that's easily the most disgusted I've ever been watching a game that didn't involve UGA. I just thought, "Here we go." Alas, the Cocks offense is terrible. And it might get worse if Shaw doesn't play on Saturday. I'm predicting the typical November swoon for the Cocks. Florida wins and we clinch on Saturday. We're going to look back at 2010 as an aberration of winning the East w/ a 5-3 record. It won't happen again.
-Hey, you could be a USCe fan. They'll have to travel to Mizzou and Fayetteville BOTH every other year. Ouch.
-I'll say it once. Brandon Harton is better than Richard Samuel. Now, we needed Richard vs. Florida. We needed to run right at them and Harton can't do that. But, Harton's vision and balance are on another planet compared to Richard. It will be interesting to see how it plays out over the next few games with Carlton and Harton.
-After watching all of the Arky game, it is crystal clear that Murray is far and away the best QB in the conference. No one else is close. I thought Wilson was a little better that what I saw on Saturday, but he's not in Murray's league. I hope our fans can learn to appreciate it the next 2 1/2 years. The kid is going to break every UGA record and probably every SEC record, maybe even get close to Weurffel's career TD record, which I thought would never get touched.
-I don't know that I've ever actually seen a 3rd team defense on the field in a game. I did Saturday.
-I think we're going to roll Auburn. I think they've been playing above their heads, and I just don't think they're that good. It's about time we put it together. We are back to being relevant, but Mark Richt couldn't ask for much more. CBS game at home against your oldest rival to essentially clinch the East. Time to get it done.
-USCe vs. UF is on at 12 on CBS. We could know what we're up against before we even start. It sure would be fun to clinch it in a big game and not against UK.
-Derek Dooley needs a win in Fayetteville in a bad, bad way.
-As for the Game of the Century…it went about how I expected. I was encouraged. I'd be excited about playing LSU or Bama. It'd be Murray's game because they'd stop Crowell, but Murray can beat them. We'd get lots of one on one coverage, and Mitchell would have to play the role of Sean Bailey. If that team got down by 14, I don't know if they could catch up. They've got talent all over, but Jordan Jefferson has no idea what to do when he drops back to pass…even as a senior. I'm not predicting a win, but I'd love to get our shot.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Whew, I just watched that pass to Conley again. If it's incomplete, we're at 3rd and 9 from the 36 and the clock is stopped at 2:23. Florida had one timeout left. It would have put us in an obvious passing down, and another incompletion would have given the ball to Florida with one timeout and about 2:10 left. Ballsy call after a 9 incompletions in a row streak. Maybe I was focused on other things, but being in the stadium and not hearing the commentators or seeing stats, but I never would have thought Murray had missed on 9 in a row at that point. I'd have said something like 5 or 6 maybe.
That's how you win big ball games. Kudos to Bobo and Murray for calling the play and making the play. And thank goodness we took Conley's shirt off. Looking back, maybe we should have played Justin Scott-Wesley this year, too. We hadn't really had a receiver like Conley. I can't figure him out. He's not a burner. He's big, though, and catches the ball really well. If people can get off comparing guys based on race, Conley is actually a lot more like Kris Durham and Bennett is a lot more like Michael Moore.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
...That need to be brought into light. Blutarsky linked to a fantastic article on cbssports.com by Brett McMurphy. What we find is what we found about UGA in the '80s-'90s when it came to academics: UGA simply has a stricter policy than just about every other program in major college football. Michigan, Ohio St., Penn St., Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Texas A & M, Clemson, FSU, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Arizona St., West Va, Tennessee, Florida, LSU, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, and South Carolina all DO NOT suspend players nor report when a player fails a drug test for the first time. Kentucky and UGA are the only teams in the SEC to have manatory suspensions of 10% of the season after 1 failed drug test. Virginia Tech is the only other 'big time' public program that has a similar policy. Some of the also rans in other conference have a similar policy.
What does that tell us? LSU's boys had failed a couple of drug test to get suspended. This would have been a non story, not reported and a non-issue just about everywhere else. Once again, we are lambasted because we actually have stricter policies that we abide by rather than looser policies that allow us to work things however we want. Just kind of interesting. If McGarity really wants to help our program succeed at the highest level, he should be using the media (aka, the AJC) to help push for conference-wide policy reform on 2 major issues in which we are ahead of the curve:
1. 4-year scholarships and oversigning.
2. Standard drug testing procedures and suspension policies.
If we got those 2 things straight across our conference, it would change the landscape pretty quick for UGA and the SEC…in our favor.
On to Saturday, if you haven't heard or read about Kyle Karempelis, do your homework before Saturday. He's going to play, a lot. I'm actually kind of excited about watching it. I've seen Harton run in practice and the guy is good. The interesting thing is Karempelis. He was a standout at Wesleyan and rushed for over 5,000 yards. They knocked Nick Marshall's crew out of the playoffs. He is a true freshman and on track to redshirt, of course, as a preferred walk-on who would never see the field. The media didn't even really know he was on the roster. But, here we are 8 games in, and because of circumstances, they're pulling his redshirt faster than you can say "Karempelis". This tells me a few things.
1. He's good. Wes Van Dyke has played spot duty this year, but Bobo said he's not in the mix, meaning, he's not as good as Karempelis, even though Karempelis hasn't played a snap.
2. We're committed to putting the best guys on the field. The kid can always redshirt next year, but we want to win now…even if it is New Mex. St.
3. We're looking for guys to help us. There is no telling what we'll need in the 3 weeks following this game with Richard out. We might need Karempelis or Harton to carry it 3-4 times against Auburn or Tech, and we're committed to getting them meaningful snaps to see who might be ready.
I also can't wait to see Nick Marshall or Damian Swann take a toss sweep. It's going to be like watching a really, really good high school game. I think Harton might star on Saturday, but look out for Karempelis. You don't rush for 5,000 yards without knowing how to run the football. Great vision and feel for running. He might be a surprise. Boy, you come walk-on at UGA and you never think you'll get this chance. Good for this kid. I'll be his parents are throwing up daily this week.
There's a YouTube bit on him with highlights and interviews with him and his high school coach. You should watch it. And, yes, he is a Caucasian brother. Been a long time since we've seen that in Athens. The ol' Brett Millican days.