Author Archives: tardawg1014
Weeks like this cheapen the sport of college football. I hope you got your DVR recordin’ like I told you to last week, because this is brutal.
Thursday is the Best Timeslot All Week
Two games of light intrigue takes the cake for…whatever award we can possibly give this week.
1) #12 K-State at West Virginia (7, FS1): Bill Snyder, Dana Holgerson, and the likelihood of couches being set on fire? Sign me up.
2) North Carolina at Duke (7:30, ESPN): Ok, bear with me here. Duke is playing for an ACC Coastal championship, UNC QB Marquise Williams is quickly reaching ‘best player you’ve never heard of’ status, and UNC has both scored AND allowed 40 points five times this season! That’s preposterous.
Noon: Go Dawgs.
1) Charleston Southern at #10 Georgia (noon, SECN): Familiarize yourself with the young players, or something.
2) Indiana at #6 Ohio State (noon, B1G): Yeah, none of us in the Atlanta area get B1G network, but now that Notre Dame is done we need to get rid of the other stupid Midwest teams.
3) Welp, you techincally have a ranked-vs-ranked in #25 Minnesota at #23 Nebraska, but that’s an exercise in masochism or snowporn.
3:30 Slate (Not even coming up with names for this)
1) #8 Ole Miss at Arkansas (3:30, CBS): An SEC/national contender who could actually lose a game (which I say with more confidence after Arkansas’ win last week). Also, what an SEC home slate for Arky this year: Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss. Not bad.
2) Boston College at #3 Florida State (3:30, ABC): Getting frustrating watching FSU squeak by every week. My dream scenario involves them losing to Florida, who rehires Will Muschamp.
3) #16 Wisconsin at Iowa (3:30, ESPN2): Melvin Gordon is now must-watch football. 408 against children of the corn team A, now another shot!
4) #15 Arizona at #17 Utah (3:30, ESPN): It’s #PACtion so this should probably be #1. Catch the highlights of last week’s Zona/Washington game if you don’t believe me.
Night Games, Where You’re Already Asleep on the Couch
1) #19 USC at #9 UCLA (8, ABC): The Battle of Los Angeles is always compelling to me. Odds of a fight exceed even South Carolina/Clemson. That, my friends, is beautiful.
2) #20 Mizzou at Tennessee (8, ESPN): Go Vols.
3) Vanderbilt at #4 Mississippi State (7:30, SECN): ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Enjoy the games, if possible folks!
Devil’s advocate me has long felt that a major reason for the SEC’s dominance in the polls is that it does a great job of boosting itself by avoiding nonconference losses. “Oh, Texas A&M was 5-0 (with wins over Rice, SMU, and Lamar, mind you) and Mississippi State beat them? BETTER MOVE THEM FROM 15 to 6!” The league has created a model for itself where it can’t lose for…losing.
This week, moreso than any other week, is a demonstration of that system at play. I’m not faulting it, I’m just amazed nobody has ever called the league out on it.
In fact, I generally hear the opposite. Just this morning, Tim Brando was on his XM show with one of the EP’s of the SEC Network. As if trolling us all, he called this week’s slate of games ‘compelling’. To prove his point, this week the league is ranked in order of strength of opposition (Vanderbilt finally leaves the gutter!)
1) Vanderbilt (plays Mississippi State): They got a conference game in SEC bye week. This just ain’t Vandy’s year.
2) Arkansas (plays Ole Miss): So, teams we generally don’t care about, plus the state of Mississippi (see: teams we don’t generally care about) play conference games this week. Neat.
3) Ole Miss (plays Arkansas): Arkansas shut out LSU, is who I thought they were for much of the season, and Bieliemaball is now upon us. Just don’t let them get a Melvin Gordon.
4) Tennessee (plays Mizzou): Teams we don’t care about, 2007-present. Other than the little factor of Georgia’s SEC chances.
5) Mizzou (plays Tennessee): My disdain for Mizzou has gone from “not a good fit in the conference” to “but seriously, f*** these guys” this year. I’m not convinced they’d even escape the quagmire that is the ACC Coastal more than once or twice in ten tries this year. Unfortunately, the season is only played once.
6) Florida (plays Eastern Kentucky): How fitting would it be for Bobby Petrino’s old team to beat Bobby Petrino’s NEXT team? EKU is 9-2 and 6-2 in the Sun Belt, so one can’t objectively say they’re that bad. Easily the toughest nonconference opponent for this week’s SEC.
7) Mississippi State (plays Vanderbilt): Mississippi State gets credit for a conference win during SEC bye week. Great hustle, Mississippi State.
8) LSU (bye): Tougher than any of the games available for public consumption this week.
9) Texas A&M (bye): Same as LSU, except not as physical, so less chance for injury.
10) Kentucky (bye): Same as LSU and Texas A&M, except not as good, compelling, or bowl-eligible.
11) South Carolina (plays South Alabama): There’s a Bowden at USA I think, and their ESPN score box acronym is USA. BOWDENS AND AMERICA: TWO THINGS THAT HAVE SOUTH CAROLINA’S NUMBER! (That was a secession joke too, kindof, if it didn’t land.)
12) Auburn (plays Samford): Facts about Samford: Coming in on a four-game win streak. Team nickname is Bulldogs (against whom Auburn is 0-2 this year). GO DAWGS!
13) Georgia (plays Charleston Southern): CMR/EMR’s comments about not limiting snaps for Nick Chubb “because that’s how you get beat” are why I hate coachspeak.
14) Alabama (plays Western Carolina): WCU is not ECU. It is a collection of mountain men from the 828 area code that coaches couldn’t recruit because of bad roads and worse cell reception.
And that, my friends, is how you exercise futility.
At 6-2, Georgia has done its part to position itself as well as possible for a trip to the SEC title game in Atlanta. Due to the rarity of mollywoppings of top 10 rivals, it was difficult to accurately gauge Georgia’s title chances without feeling like some kind of jinx would be in order.
With no more SEC tilts on the schedule, however, it’s time to see what needs to happen for Georgia to win the conference, and who the Dawgs could see in Atlanta.
Winning the East
This Missouri thing has gone on long enough. In conference play, their total scoring margin is plus-23 points. Take away the strange aberration that was the Florida game, and they’re actually being outscored in SEC play. Hell, take away the Georgia game and their average margin of victory in six wins is a pedestrian 9.5. Missouri is so across the board unimpressive that it is incomprehensible that they could go 7-1.
|Strength of Schedule||29th||16th|
|Rushing Yards Per Att||4.61||6.09|
*Bangs head against wall*
Coming up for Mizzou are two interesting opponents, both of whom are peaking (in the most liberal interpretation of the word) at the right time. A trip to Rocky Top looms this Saturday, where Tennessee has won two in row following a brutal stretch of schedule that saw them go 0-for-October. Josh Dobbs has saved the Butch Jones honeymoon in Tennessee, and the Vols will be playing for their first bowl appearance since 2010. These are all positive developments for Georgia’s chances.
This should be a low-scoring game in Knoxville, and Maty Mauk’s propensity to turn the ball over will face off with his propensity to inexplicably win on the road (where he is now 6-0, 5-0 in SEC play). Something’s gotta give.
Failing a Tennessee win, Georgia’s last chance to go to the title game is via an Arkansas win the Friday after Thanksgiving. For a team who, until last Saturday, had lost 17 straight SEC games, I’ve been pretty high on the Hogs this year. Their 17-0 win over LSU vindicated that feeling.
Arkansas’ gameplan is to lean on you with the run until you break, which only works if you have a competent defense. Well, since the Georgia game, the ‘Backs have given up 34 points in 3 contests, moving to 27th overall in scoring defense at 22.2 points a game. Without going too in-depth, the two-headed monster of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins should be able to amass more than 22 points.
Beating the West
With the river card to be played, Alabama holds by far the best hand in the SEC West. Additionally, Alabama is playing like 2008-2013 Alabama again, and that is not the best news for anyone hoping to romp through the SEC Championship.
The Tide plays host to Western Carolina this week as a tuneup before the Iron Bowl against an Auburn team whom I personally believe has been figured out by the SEC in the past two weeks (reverse jinx alert).
As it stands, Alabama is my pick for the national champion from where we sit today.
If the inexplicable happens and Auburn beats Alabama again, one needs to start prepping for Mississippians to invade Atlanta.
With an Alabama loss in the Iron Bowl, the best-case scenario for the SEC, Georgia, and both entities’ playoff chances is for Mississippi State to win out. For the SEC, a two-loss champion (with recent losses) does itself no favors in the eyes of the playoff committee. For Georgia, a quality win over a team that would be ranked #2 or #3 going in could boost them into said playoff.
Ole Miss has a tricky road game at Arkansas before the Egg Bowl, but winning out provides them the head-to-head tiebreaker over 6-2 Alabama and Mississippi State (this, of course, assumes Mississippi State beats Vanderbilt this Saturday. I LIKE THEIR CHANCES.) What’s funny is this is the chaos scenario I wrote about three weeks ago, and we sit here today with it looking a LOT more likely than it did then.
We’ll break this down in more detail once Mizzou clinches us the East. Failing a Missouri loss, the last six paragraphs are irrelevant, as the SEC would play its least exciting championship game in over a decade. Nobody got time for that.
You want em? We got em.
I’m Tired of People Writing Off the Gurley Injury as ‘Chubb is better anyway’
This is simply not true. Chubb is an exceptional talent, but Todd Gurley is a generational talent. We’re going to miss #3 a lot, and I still have trouble not choking up about how it ended for him.
Case in point: upon rewatch, it turns out Gurley had 100 yards on 25 carries this year…ON PLAYS IN WHICH HE WAS HIT IN THE BACKFIELD. That’s…just…stupid. And you will never see a stat like that again.
The Score? Could’ve Been So Much Worse
34-7 was not indicative, in my mind, of how dominant Georgia was in that game. Auburn had their chances, but outside of a Sammy Coates drop on a third quarter 3rd down never lost points on anything.
- Opening kick: Gurley goes house and it’s called back.
- Opening drive: McKenzie dropped TD.
- Opening drive: fake punt with the worst ineligible receiver call I’ve ever seen. (Ironically, Auburn’s offense works because linemen get a couple of yards downfield on their play action passes.)
- Chris Conley drops x 2. Which is bizarre to type.
- Pre-halftime, a penalty forces Georgia to leave a few points on the field.
This felt more like a 52-7 type game than a 34-7, and Georgia could use the style points if the nation’s top teams continue to implode.
Jeremy Pruitt Got the Best Eleven Players on the Field.
There was a little personnel adjustment on D. Instead of playing three true D-linemen, Jordan Jenkins and his team leading 23 quarterback hurries was playing with a hand on the ground, and he was a monster on Saturday. Leonard Floyd, after a week off (in which I can only presume he was learning the Star position) took over and had a great game as the read-and-react cleanup guy. Marlo and Ramik were Marlo and Ramik.
And, of course, ‘the best eleven’ implies that Lorenzo Carter got extensive playing time for the second straight week. He’s gonna be a GREAT one folks.
Brandon Kublanow: A Cursed Individual
BK has had an incredible first season as the starting LG on the Georgia offensive line (which has likewise been ungodly). But you wouldn’t know it, as his two most famous plays early in his Georgia career are questionable gaffes.
After the phantom hold that more or less cost Georgia the South Carolina game, he was called for ineligible downfield on the fake punt in the first quarter (s/o to Evil Mark Richt).
Kublanow never exceeded three yards beyond the line of scrimmage, and the general rule is that you get 4-5 on punts.
Terrible call, terrible timing, but luckily this one didn’t cost the Dawgs.
Keanu Reeves is not, historically, a great actor. Sure, he has Point Break and The Matrix to his name, but he also has a LOT of movies that just make you go, “huh”?
Well, his new movie John Wick was awesome. I can’t say enough about it. The most memorable line from the trailer (fast forward to 1:55) made you think it was typical bad Keanu acting, but hey, it coincides with the return of our own cold-blooded killer.
I present to you #ToddWickThursday.