Monthly Archives: October 2011

First look at this years BCS rankings: LSU #1

Mr Garrison and Les Miles are clearly stoked

Yesterday the Bowl Championship Series released their first rankings for the 2011 season and the Tigers from LSU top the list.  No big surprise here as LSU is also #1 in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls.  Through 7 games they are undefeated including impressive wins over Oregon, West Virginia, and Florida.

Bama, Oklahoma, OK St, and Boise St round out the top 5.  Other SEC teams making appearances are Arkansas (9), South Carolina (14), Auburn (20), and future SEC school Texas A&M (17).

The difference between LSU and Alabama right now in the BCS computers is 0.0003.  I do not know exactly what that means but I know that is a very small number.  I have never gotten along with computers and have disagreed with the computers’ champion in many seasons.  Hopefully that will not be the case this year.  #1 LSU and #2 Alabama are set to play in Tuscaloosa in 2 weeks, and #3 Oklahoma will play #4 Oklahoma State in Stillwater in the final week of the season.  Assuming that these teams do not lose before or after these games there will be a clear-cut #1 vs. #2 match-up.  If not then Boise could sneak into the championship game.

-Jeff

Games of the Week: Week 7

Alright, I’m back this week with my games of the week.  I took a couple weeks off because A) I’m lazy and B) two weeks ago I knew that the Alabama/Florida game was the game of the week and I didn’t want to have to pick a score.  So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to this week’s best (and worst) SEC games.

Games of the Week

Florida at #24 Auburn

This game doesn’t have nearly the appeal that either fanbase would like for it to.  The Gators are coming off of two humiliating losses to Alabama and LSU.  Before those two games it appeared that Will Muschamp had them on the path back to success but after being outscored by a combined 79-21, it’s hard to really know what to make of the Gators.  The fact that they will start their third string QB in this one doesn’t help matters much.

Auburn finally lost a game to Clemson but appeared to have righted the ship with the upset of South Carolina.  Then Arkansas pulled a Toby Keith and put a boot where it didn’t belong last weekend.  Auburn is young and they will be good in the future but right now, they have serious quarterback issues and a porous defense.  If Florida’s speedy backs can get loose, they can win this game.  I don’t think they will, though.

Pick:  Florida 27  Auburn 34

#15 South Carolina at Mississippi State

If you don’t know what to make of this game, join the club.  On the one hand, South Carolina absolutely dismantled Kentucky last weekend with Connor Shaw at the helm and no longer has the distraction of Stephen Garcia hanging over the team.  On the other hand, it was Kentucky.

For some weird reason, I think that Mississippi State makes a statement in this game and Dan Mullen will get some of the haters off of his back.  The West is ridiculous this year and Mississippi State needs this win.  I think that the Bulldogs will pull the upset in Starkville.

Pick:  South Carolina 24  Mississippi State 27

Dry Games of the Week

#2 Alabama at Ole Miss

While typing the matchup, I almost put #2 Ole Miss.  Hahahahahahahahahahaha.  Yeah right.  As if this game wasn’t already probably going to be bad enough for the Black Bears, they suspended pretty much their best player (Brandon Bolden) and their starting center, and two other players whose names I don’t feel like looking up right now.

Note to Houston Nutt:  don’t pick a game where you are already drastically outmatched to take a stand on moral matters with some of your most important players.  Maybe wait a few weeks until the Kentucky game.

Pick:  Alabama 45  Ole Miss 3

Georgia at Vanderbilt

Look, I don’t like picking Vanderbilt most weeks as one of the worst games of the week.  I really don’t.  I think James Franklin has the ‘Dores on the right track and I felt that while they got blown out in Tuscaloosa last week, they actually looked pretty good on offense for a while before the Bama D buckled down and smothered them.  The fact is, though, that it was between this game and LSU at Tennessee for the final spot in the Dry Games this week.  And Vandy don’t got the Honeybadger to keep it interesting.

Even though I picked Georgia to cover the spread in our handicapping contest, it’s probably my least favorite pick I made this week.  I’ll stick with it for the sake of not being wishy-washy but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if A) Vandy made this a game or B) actually won it outright.

Pick:  Georgia 21  Vandy 9

Week 7 SEC Preview

11:21 AM CT – No. 15 South Carolina (5-1, 3-1 SEC) at Mississippi State (3-3, 0-3 SEC) – The “post Garcia” era begins for the Gamecocks as they travel to Starkville to take on the Bulldogs who are also dealing with QB issues.  Tyler Russell put on a solid performance and could start in place of Chris Relf.  South Carolina is now hoping Connor Shaw can come in and get them to the SEC Championship.  Expect a lot of carries for Lattimore early on.

2:30 PM CT – No. 1 LSU (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC)  – The LSU Tigers look to continue their dominance while the Volunteers will be playing without starting QB Tyler Bray, who is several weeks with a broken thumb.  The Vols will start senior QB Matt Simms against a defense that is only allowing 12.5 points per game and a secondary that features one of the SEC’s top players so far in Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu.  UT fans hope to get some karma from last year’s controversial loss to LSU – a game in which Simms started.

5:00 PM CT – No. 2 Alabama (6-0, 3-0 SEC) at Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2 SEC) – Alabama will head to Oxford to take on the struggling Rebels.  Getting first downs are going to be tough for the Rebs after losing several players this past week, including RB Brandon Bolden, for breaking “team rules”.  Alabama will try and take care of business, knowing that the “Big One” is right around the corner against LSU.

6:00 PM CT Florida (4-2, 2-2 SEC) at No. 24 Auburn (4-2, 2-1 SEC) – Should be an interesting game with true freshmen QB Jacoby Brissett starting for the Gators and freshmen Kiehl Frazier taking more and more reps at QB for Auburn.  Florida started the season “on fire” but were exposed against Bama and LSU the last two weeks.  Auburn was also dealt a tough loss, last week, against Arkansas.  Both will look to rebound and add a 5th win to the record.

6:00 PM CT Georgia (4-2, 3-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt – (3-2, 1-2 SEC) – Mark Richt, and the Dawgs, head to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt in what could be a trap game for Georgia.  Vandy has played well defensively against the run and will need to continue if they are going to stop Georgia RB Isaiah Crowell.  Georgia will try and continue its surprising run to the top of the East in hopes of getting to Atlanta.

The Dweller’s Week 7 Handicapping Competition Selections

Here are who the guys are rolling with for Week 7:

Sadler
Auburn +2 (vs. Florida), risking $275 to win $250
LSU -17 (at Tennessee), risking $330 to win $300
Georgia -11 (at Vandy), risking $165 to win $150
Oklahoma State -7 (at Texas), risking $550 to win $500

Darrin
Alabama -27.5 (at Ole Miss), risking $550 to win $500
LSU -17 (at Tennessee), risking $1100 to win $1000
South Carolina -2.5 (at Miss. St.), risking $385 to win $350

Jeff
BYU +3 (at Oregon State), risking $220 to win $200
Alabama -27.5 (at Ole Miss), risking $220 to win $200
LSU -17 (at Tennessee), risking $220 to win $200

Chris
South Carolina -2.5 (at Miss. St.), risking $550 to win $500
Georgia -11 (at Vandy), risking $550 to win $500
South Florida -7 (at South Carolina), risking $330 to win $300

Auburn’s In the Clear; An Alabama Fan’s Take

A begrudging acknowledgement of Auburn’s clearance by the NCAA, from an Alabama fan:

In the clear, FOR NOW

If you haven’t already heard, Auburn University has been cleared by the NCAA of any wrong doing in the Cam Newton recruitment case.  This bombshell comes as a serious blow to Alabama fans across the state and the nation in general who have devoted the past year and a half, or so, of their lives to spewing out conspiracy theories.  I may or may not have been one of                                                                                                                  these people.

At this point, I am willing to admit that Auburn really is “God’s team” and this truly is a “God thing”.  There is absolutely no other way to explain it.  Down on the Plains, the fambly is celebrating, as they should.  Whoever was in charge of buying Cam obviously used cash and was smart about it, so props to them.

To all of us who have talked about this for the past year and used any variation of the phrase “well, it ain’t gonna count anyway”, we better get used to having it rubbed in our faces.  By my count, Auburn’s now closed the gap from 13-1 to 13-2 and it’s gonna stay that way for now, so let them have their moment.  We’re just gonna have to shut up and take it for a while.   Don’t forget, it’s only a matter of time before they start talking about Trent Richardson’s choice in vehicles as much as we talked about Cam’s bagman, so we’ll have plenty more time to argue.

-Sadler

Stephen Garcia Dismissed from Gamecocks

Garcia (left) just wants to party.

Somewhere, somebody probably just won a good chunk of change.  Stephen Garcia has been dismissed from the South Carolina Gamecock football program.  If you had under seven games, you won.  The move has been confirmed by numerous sources close to the program.  This comes as no surprise to those familiar with the Garcia story.  Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier made it clear throughout the off-season that Garcia’s partying would absolutely have to stop if he planned to remain a part of the team.  Apparently that threat was just not enough.  Spurrier even threw what some consider to be a parting shot at Garcia at his Tuesday press conference.  When talking about new starting QB Connor Shaw, Spurrier said “He’s a smart young man. His dad’s a high school coach. His brother is quarterback at Georgia Southern. He’s all football and school. I think he has around a 3.0 (GPA) as a business major. He’s a good student. You’re not going to hear about him downtown in the bars I don’t think.”

Coming off the heels of an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Auburn Tigers, in which the Gamecock offense had absolutely no flow whatsoever,  Garcia did not take one snap in the 54-3 demolishing of Kentucky last weekend.  Connor Shaw got the start for Spurrier, throwing for 311 of South Carolina’s amazing 639 yards of total offense, as well as 4 TDs.  Shaw will obviously remain “the guy” going forward for the Gamecocks the rest of the season, who still have a great shot to get back to Atlanta in December.

-Chris

Week 6 Recap

This weekend did little to add any clarity to the SEC title chase, at least not in the West.  LSU and Alabama still appear to be headed on a collision course to one of the better regular season games in the conference within recent memory.

Alabama looked bored by Vanderbilt for the first half and only mustered 14 measly points while allowing a few big plays before bowing up in the redzone and getting lucky with a couple of Vanderbilt missed field goals.  The Tide continues

Alabama knocked yet another QB out

to absolutely dominate on the defensive side of the ball, to the point that I told my wife this weekend that I’m not sure it’s possible to have that many good athletes on one defense without cheating.   Here’s hoping I’m wrong.  They managed to knock out a third quarterback in two weeks and Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray decided to go ahead and get hurt this week to avoid the inevitable.

The Honeybadger don't care

LSU and Tyrann “the honeybadger” Mathieu were opportunistic again but owe the Tide a little thank you card for knocking Florida’s first two quarterbacks out.  The Tigers would have dominated this game even if John Brantley had played but it certainly didn’t hurt that he didn’t play.  Trey Burton was asked following the game who had the better defense, Alabama or LSU, and he said that it was Alabama’s.  LSU fans can be mad about this but the guy did just play both teams in consecutive weeks, so there’s probably some legitimacy to his comments.

In other news, Arkansas let Auburn score 14 first quarter points and then shut them down for the rest of the game and came away with a dominating

Kiehl Frazier is probably the guy going forward at Auburn

performance.  Auburn has found ways to win consistently but their youth finally caught up with them in this one.  Kiehl Frazier will more than likely be a quality player in the future but if he becomes the starter right now, Auburn fans can most likely expect some growing pains over the next couple of months.

Georgia and Tennessee played a mediocre game that could well decide the SEC East and it’s only fitting that the game was nothing spectacular.  Georgia won and in the process returned themselves into the discussion of teams that could win the East but South Carolina, behind Connor Shaw, blew past Kentucky and re-asserted themselves as the favorite.  Kentucky is nothing special, obviously, but I’d be surprised to see Shaw replaced by Stephen Garcia in the near future.  Who knows, though, Steve Spurrier apparently has a weakness for Garcia’s impeccable hair and beard.