3 Georgia running backs suspended for this weeks game vs. New Mexico St

Georgia will have to do without Isiah Crowell this week

Bad news out of Athens for all the bulldog fans out there.  Three running backs have been suspended by head coach Mark Richt for the match up this weekend, including starter and lead rusher Isiah Crowell.  According to Richt, Crowell, as well as Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome have been suspended for violating team rules. The bulldogs were already thin at tail back after Richard Samuel IV had surgery to stabilize his ankle that was injured in the final play against Florida.  He will be out for at least four weeks.  There are two full backs listed on the depth chart, but neither Bruce Figgins nor Alexander Ogletree have carried the ball even once this season.

Brandon Harton could be leaned on heavily this week

Redshirt sophomore Brandon Harton, whose only action this season has been limited to eleven carries is next up on the depth chart at tail back.  However, he is no guarantee to start, as Richt stated that “everybody else who resembles a running back will be competing” for the starting role.  That is not a very resounding endorsement from your coach and it looks like Georgia could be scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to running the ball this week.

Whoever ends up carrying the rock, the bulk of the offense will no doubt be through the air, and Aaron Murray’s arm.  This should sit just fine with UGA fans as Murray has a passer rating of 142.9 on the season and a completion percentage just over 60% at home.  Look for him to build on his impressive start here against the Aggies.

-Jeff

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Pictured: extremely important, pressing matters

Sorry for the lack of posts the past couple of weeks.  All the dwellers have been a bit busy with extremely important, pressing matters.  It would have to be important to keep us from doing what we do best, interjecting our opinions into SEC stories, recaps, and previews.

As a peace offering, in addition to the usual posts, we will be having a few extras to help get you ready for this weekends big game in Tuscaloosa (and even the next entry into our ‘hate’ series).  Get ready, it is going to be a great game and a great week for SEC football in general.  Let’s do this!

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