Monthly Archives: August 2011

The 2011 Basement Dweller Handicapping Competition

This season the guys will be going at it in a season-long handicapping competition to decide which of the four actually knows the most about what goes on on the field.  Each Thursday, we’ll bring you our picks for the weekend, and hopefully help some of you make some money.  With every competition, there has to be some ground rules, so let’s get down to brass tax…

  • Each person will start the season with an imaginary bankroll of $3,000.
  • Selections can be made on the spread or moneyline, and juice will be taken into account on all selections.
  • The minimum amount for each selection must be enough to win $100, or in the case of moneyline selections, $100 flat.  There is no maximum amount on selections.
  • There must be a minimum of two selections from games involving a team from the SEC each week.
  • The competition will last from Week 1 through the BCS Championship Game.
  • If someone goes broke, they don’t get their legs broke, they’re just out of the competition.

We will be have an area on the main page to keep track of the current standings.  We hope this competition is fun and informative for our readers.  Stay tuned to the Dweller for all of your college football handicapping needs–and best of all, it’s FREE!

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The Best of #secapplicationquestions

In case you missed it last night, twitter was blowing up with SEC application questions.  Not sure exactly where it all started, at least 4 different people are claiming credit, but I waded through all the tweets to find the best of #secapplicationquestions so you wouldn’t have to.  You’re welcome.  First a few that the Dwellers came up with.

Has the roar from your stadium ever registered as an earthquake?

Have you ever had a coach retire twice for post-game heart conditions?

Are “g”s on the ends of words optional?

Does the population of your city double on Saturdays?

Do you have children named after players or coaches?

In an avg restaurant in ur city/state someone asks for sweet tea, is the A: “Yes”, or “We have sugar on the table”?

And now, in no particular order, the best of the rest…
@BamaEd How quickly can you go from profanity to leading a prayer in the locker room?
@wesrucker247 what’s the difference between Jefferson pilot, Lincoln financial, raycom, and the sec network?
@BarrettSallee Do you have a source in the FBI or NCAA that can confirm your rival is cheating?
@DanWolken Do your students wear coat and tie to football games and sweats to class?
@Mengus22 What year did your state secede from the union?
@CarsonC5 How much money, hypothetically, would you have offered Cam Newton?
@BlueWorkhorse Win or lose, we still booze?
@JustinAbrotsky Where do you display title trophies? 1) Alumni hall 2) Arena 3) Athletic offices 4) Wal-Mart
@johnclayiv Do your fans buy season basketball tickets just to remain on the waiting list for season football tickets?
@NDeal13 Do you promise to tell the truth,the whole truth,and nothing but the truth, unless talking to an NCAA investigator?

If you missed out last night you only have yourself to blame.  How many times do we have to say it, follow us on twitter @SEC_Dweller

Please add your favorites in the comments if we missed them.

-Jeff

Players to Watch in 2011: Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews

The last couple of years have been rough for the Commodores.  Having a 2-10 record the previous two seasons with only one SEC win is nothing to smile about.  But there is a buzz surrounding this years team.  New Head Coach James Franklin brings a high energy and positive thinking that is a much needed shot in the arm.  New Offensive Coordinator John Donovan has 10 starters from last year returning, so even with a new system in place there will still be some continuity hold over from last season.  The bad news of course, is last years team was not very good.  Last year the Dores ranked 110th in total offense, and gave up an average of over three sacks a game.  To have any sort of magical turnaround Vandy is going to need some type of explosive play maker.  Insert So. WR Jordan Matthews.

Matthews finished last season strong.  After coming off the bench he scored touchdowns in each of the final four games to end the season, and had 12 receptions for 136 yards in the final two.  Those four touchdowns were enough to lead the team in TD receptions last year.  His size at 6’3″ makes him an ideal red zone target, and he has the ability to get up and get the ball before the much shorter corners in the SEC can make a play on it.  His physical presence alone will limit safeties from walking up in the box and hopefully open up some running lanes for Vandy’s trio of tailbacks.

Matthews brings the type of play making ability not often seen in black and gold, and is the type of player that must be accounted for on every play.  If the good feelings are going to continue on West End Jordan Matthews will have to be a big part, watch for him.

-Jeff

Like what you saw?  Check out some of our other Players to Watch.            Vandy’s Chris MarveMSU’s Fletcher Cox                                                               And, follow us on twitter @SEC_Dweller or like us on Facebook for updates.

Everybody Hates Arkansas

“This is going to be our year.”

How many times have you heard those words come out of the mouth of an Arkansas fan?  Granted, the Hogs field a fairly competitive team annually.  They limp into a bowl game just about every season, being mainstays in the Cotton, Liberty, and Independence Bowls.  But let’s look at some of the facts Woopig fans.  You’ve had a winning record in SEC play only three times this century, and seven of the last 20 seasons.  You’ve made it to Atlanta to represent the West in the SEC Championship game a whopping three times, being completely ran off the field in two of those three appearances, and losing by 10 in the other.  That’s including 2002 when Alabama would’ve gone to Atlanta had they not been banned from post-season play.  Lastly, what about the Hogs’ wonderful bowl record of 12-23-3?  That pretty much speaks for itself.

Do you know this man?

There are some things that a sane human being just would not do—wearing a “hog hat” is one of them.  Seriously, this thing has to be the most ridiculous piece of fan attire to ever be created.  Sure, they’re fine to make in children’s sizes for the kids to wear, but the problem is the only people I’ve seen wearing these things are grown men.  Please stop making these things…please.

Arkansas plays two or three of their “home” games every season at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.  Now, I’ve never heard of a reason that the Hogs play games in Little Rock, but I’ve managed to come up with a couple of theories on my own.  One, the University is so ashamed of the hell hole that is Fayetteville that they don’t want to disgrace the fans any more than they have to.  Two, Little Rock is literally the only city in Arkansas.  The rest of the state consists of nothing.  It might as well not even be a state—just break it up and give each of the surrounding states a fourth of it.  Lastly, the main reason they play games at War Memorial is because when you type in “Fayetteville, AR” on your GPS system, all it does is laugh and ask you why in the living hell you would want to go there.

If you’ve never talked to an Arkansas fan before, I suggest you give yourself the opportunity to do so at least once in your lifetime.  More often than not, you’ll come away with the perception that they could very well be the most delusional fan base in the history of the world.  Your team will be belittled and picked apart, position by position, and you will be told why a player at that position for Arkansas is better than the player on your team, even if your player is a Preseason All-American and the player from Arkansas has never played a down at the college level.  Also, Arkansas’s coach, no matter who it is at the time, is better than your coach.  After years of being “the best big game coach in the SEC”, Houston Nutt was fired for–you guessed it–not winning enough “big games”.  Now Bobby Petrino is the savior in Fayetteville.  I’ll spare you my opinion on the fact that this man up and left the Atlanta Falcons with three games remaining in their season.  Albeit, Arky’s record has improved since Petrino arrived, but with Ryan Mallett now gone, how good will the Hogs really be?

I could go on for days listing some of the most ridiculous comments regarding Arkansas’s football team that you will ever hear.  The saddest part about it is that Arkansas fans actually think fans of other schools are delusional.  Here is my request to the “Hog Nation”:

Arkansas fans—please wake up.  Snap out of it.  You’re living in a dream world.  Let us know when you win something that actually makes you relevant.

-Chris

This article is part of the “Everybody Hates” Series. Check out the other parts here:
Vanderbilt
Ole Miss
Tennessee
LSU
Kentucky

Everybody Hates Vandy

 

This article is part of the “Everybody Hates” Series.  Check out other parts here:
Ole Miss
Tennessee
LSU
Kentucky

On my way home from Pasadena, where I attended the BCS Championship Game in January 2010, I struck up a conversation with an older man in a nice suit, overcoat, and top hat while waiting for my flight from Atlanta to Nashville.  He had noticed the Bama attire I had on, and began to explain to me that he was a professor from Vanderbilt that had been to a conference about a subject so boring I can’t begin to remember what it could’ve possibly been.  We were talking about the SEC, and about how we, as a conference, have dominated just about every sport they can come up with.  The only part of the conversation that I can remember with this man was when he told me that “you should be happy we let you stay in our conference”.  Now, being in the festive mood that I was in since we had just won the Championship (and I had made a lot of money in Vegas), I just let the guy blabber on and eventually go on his merry way thinking he had educated me on how Vanderbilt runs the conference.  What I really wanted to say would’ve been a mixture of some of the facts to come in this article, without a few other choice words.

Here’s a look at Vanderbilt’s football program’s pathetic existence by the numbers:

1—The number of bowl appearances for the Dores since 1982.

2—The number of wins for Vandy in each of the last two seasons.

3—The number of different head coaches over the last three seasons.

4—Their total number of bowl appearances.

5—The best single-season win total amassed by the “great” Jay Cutler while at Vanderbilt.

**WILD CARD NUMBER** 11—Surprisingly, the number of Vanderbilt alum currently playing in the NFL.

It’s hard for a fan of college football to look at a schedule every year and wonder why this school is still fielding a team under the SEC banner.  The only way they sell out their stadium is if the visiting team is within a reasonable driving distance.  The only time I have been to a Vanderbilt football game is when the Tide visited Vanderbilt Stadium (yes, they don’t even have anyone significant enough to dedicate the stadium to), and the capacity crowd had to be made up of at least 75% Alabama fans.  I lay awake at night sometimes wondering if anyone in the SEC office will ever have the gall to bring up the fact that Vanderbilt football is the only thing responsible for any respect that we don’t get.  You have to ask yourself, is it really worth keeping a junior varsity team in our league just so our academic numbers look better?  Do we really want to keep giving this school a share of the money that is earned via bowl games won by teams that actually compete every season?

I plan on starting a petition to rid the SEC of Vanderbilt’s football program.  Why can’t they just be like Notre Dame and be Independents during football season, and included in the SEC for other sports?  My only hope is that someone from Vanderbilt will read this article and come to a realization that it is just not ethically responsible to continue to steal money from the rest of the conference.  However, you and I both know that’s just wishful thinking.

-Chris

SEC Key Games: September 24–Arkansas at Alabama

Bobby Petrino hopes he doesn't have to continue to empty his pocket book to get a call or two.

The fourth weekend of the NCAA football season always provides one of the best games of the year in Arkansas vs. Alabama.  These two teams have routinely played some of the more memorable games of the past 10 years.  Multiple overtimes, last-second touchdowns, and running through eight defenders on the way to the end zone have are some of the many things that have highlighted a series that both head coaches will tell you can make or break their team’s attitude very early in the season.  Tyler Wilson will be at the helm of the Arkansas offense this year after putting up some good numbers last season in relief of the departed Ryan Mallett.  Bobby Petrino hopes that Wilson will be able to lead this offense down the field numerous times this year on their way to another possible berth in the Sugar Bowl or beyond.  However, on this day they will face an Alabama defense that returns just about every starter and key player from a squad that allowed only 13.5 points per game last season.  Courtney Upshaw and Donta’ Hightower will once again lead a relentless pass-rush, while the Tide’s depth in the defensive backfield continues to grow with the incoming Hasean Clinton-Dix looking to contribute this season.  Nick Saban also reeled in four 4-star defensive ends to provide a vast amount of depth across the defensive line.  This game will also expose just how bad the Razorbacks will miss Knile Davis, who will miss a significant amount of time, if not the entire season, with a broken ankle.  The SEC’s leading rusher at the running back position last year, Davis was going to be relied upon to provide balance to what has become a pass-heavy offense since the departure of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones from Fayetteville.  His shoes must now be filled by a fairly inexperienced duo of Ronnie Wingo, Jr. and Dennis Johnson.  With the absence of Davis, look for the Tide to bring the heat on Wilson all day long.

Nick Saban may literally kill someone if the Tide loses to Arkansas.

The Tide returns a veteran offensive line with a running back that’s already being mentioned in the Heisman Trophy race.  The only question mark for Nick Saban’s team at the moment is the same question that many have had since the final seconds of the Capital One Bowl fell off the clock—which quarterback will be taking the majority of the snaps?  The only test the Tide will have before this game is in Happy Valley in the second half of a home-and-home series with Penn State.  The quarterback that emerges from that game as the clear-cut starter will likely be the one who leads the Tide through the rest of the season.  However, with Trent Richardson accompanying the Tide’s QB in the backfield, it might not really matter who is handing him the ball.  Richardson leads a fierce rushing attack, along with Eddie Lacy, who was rumored to be out for the season but has since shown he will be able to play through the injury.  Jalston Fowler, a wrecking ball with legs, could also handle some important carries against the Hogs.  Jake Bequette and company may try to disrupt the running game early and often in order to test the Tide’s passing game.  However, Arkansas’s extremely inexperienced defensive backfield could ultimately cost them even greater than Richardson running for 200 yards.  It will be interesting to see what kind of defensive game plan is put together to stop the Tide’s offense.

Some “experts” say this game could decide who wins the SEC West.  With LSU’s quarterback currently suspended, that assumption may well be more fact than fiction.  It should be a very interesting 60 minutes of football in Tuscaloosa when the Hogs come to town.  History has taught us that the football gods wouldn’t have it any other way.

-Chris

Check out the other SEC Key Games:
September 15–LSU at Mississippi State
September 10–South Carolina at Georgia

Player To Watch: Alabama RB Trent Richardson

Beast

Mark Ingram was the first player from the University of Alabama to ever win the Heisman Trophy, and within two seasons experts are already saying that the school may have a chance to have their second Heisman winner.  Trent Richardson comes into the season as the guy for the first time in his career despite the fact that even last year people were predicting that he may end up being better than his predecessor before he is done.

Richardson is a freak of a human being, a punishing 224 pound straight-line runner who can punish defenders but still has good speed and the ability to move well in space.  The junior from Pensacola has been compared to Emmitt Smith, who went to the same high school as Richardson, an incredible compliment for a player who has been a backup for his entire career so far.

During his sophomore season, Richardson rushed for 700 yards on 112 carries, and in the two games that Mark Ingram missed with a knee injury, Richardson filled in admirably.  Against San Jose State, in limited action before the game turned into a blowout, Richardson carried the ball 10 times for 66 yards and had 3 catches for 46 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.  Against Penn State he rushed 22 times for 141 yards and caught 4 passes for 46 yards.  Richardson also added impressive games against Arkansas, Tennessee and Ole Miss to name a few.

This year, however, Richardson is the guy, and nobody in the country is expecting anything less than a great year from him.  Most pundits will agree that he is on the short list for the Heisman trophy, and with the Tide expected to be playing for the SEC Championship in December, many believe that he may end up being the front runner by the end of the season, similar to how Mark Ingram captured the trophy in 2009.

The Tide will go only as far as Richardson can take them on offense, and odds are that will be pretty far.

-Sadler

Also, check out some of our other Players to Watch:  Arkansas RB Ronnie Wingo, Jr. and Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw

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