Category Archives: Florida Gators

Georgia Football- How They’ll Finish: A Game-By-Game Breakdown of the SEC


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There’s one day left until college football. It’s time to put my proverbial (not actual!) neck on the line.

This is never a fun project. With the picks below, I will inevitably piss off every single fanbase in the SEC, including my own. Going game-by-game, one has to go back and figure out why there are somehow more SEC wins than losses, determine what the heck happened in projecting Missouri to win 9 games (this happened to me last year), and try to be somewhat vague while providing some meaningful analysis.

In case you were wondering what the process was for this (for you do-it-yourselfers):

1) Print the SEC helmet schedule (yes, its part of my real estate mailer. Shameless self-promotion alert, tell your friends and family.)
2) Grab two highlighters. One for wins, one for losses.
3) Go through and highlight the nonconference games. For what it’s worth, I have the SEC going 50-6 in nonconference games. Nice scheduling, as there are maybe 13-15 games that are remotely in question. A grand total of 11 power conference opponents among 14 teams. So, yeah.
4) Start going game-by-game, week-by-week. That way you can pick out trends like, “lucky for Tennessee they get Chattanooga after Oklahoma/Georgia/Florida.”
5) Hedge. I don’t think South Carolina is going to go 12-0 this year, but I have them as a favorite in every game. I like the fact that they go to Auburn, so I’ll give the Warm Beagles the slight edge.

SEC East: Cocks, Dawgs, then chaos

1) South Carolina 11-1 (7-1)- like I said, I can’t pick them to go unbeaten, but I can pick them to win the East by way of beating a young Georgia secondary at home in 17 days. My hedge loss for them is a late-season stumble at Florida, because HEY WHY NOT. Auburn, Georgia, and Clemson (who’s losing by 17 per in the past 5 to SC) rank as 1-3 on what I’d call the ‘most likely loss’ scale.
2) Georgia 10-2 (6-2)- Outright loss to South Cack, hedge loss to Auburn. I reserve the right to reverse the 2 and 0 in the overall record if the secondary and o-line show out on Saturday.
3) Florida 7-5 (4-4)- The beneficiary of the hedge win against SC, they are one of Vanderbilt’s 3 SEC victims on the other side of the ledger. Do seven wins over Idaho, EMU, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mizzou, SC, and Eastern Kentucky save Will Muschamp’s job?
4) Vanderbilt 7-5 (3-5)- For me, they were the toughest team to peg. They have upperclassman talent left from the James Franklin era, and could keep right on (anchoring?) but I think a slight step back is in order. They did schedule 4 nonconference wins, so I expect them to go bowling either way.
5) Missouri 6-6 (3-5)- Either UCF or Indiana knocks them off nonconference. Then they open SEC play with SC, Georgia and Florida in consecutive games. After establishing momentum with home wins over Vandy and UK, they get a bye, after which I’d pick them to beat Texas A&M if they were at home. But hey, they get Arkansas to make for probably the easiest cross-conference schedule in the East.
6) Tennessee 5-7 (2-6)- BUTCH JONES GON (almost) GET DEM DERE VAWLS BOWLING Y’ALL! The team is talented enough to go bowling, just not with this schedule. Week 1 is a tricky game against Utah State. Over a 7-game stretch, they play Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, and South Carolina (all losses!). I think they beat Kentucky and Missouri, but fall just short yet again.
7) Kentucky 4-8 (1-7)- UT Martin, Ohio, a hedge win over Vandy, and Funroe. And a bunch of pain outside of that.

SEC West: It’s really hard to distinguish between Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, and A&M

1) Alabama 11-1 (7-1)- Should be favored in every game they play, with a hedge loss at Ole Miss. Of which I’m like, 25% confident. Oh well.
2) LSU 10-2 (6-2)- Apparently Les Miles is in my head, as the experience on this team calls for 6 or 7 wins. Losses at Auburn and at home against Bama seem about right, although Wisconsin, Florida and A&M could all give them trouble away from Baton Rouge.
3) Ole Miss 9-3 (5-3)- So with the extreme hedge win over Bama, they got the EXTREME hedge loss to Arkansas. I think they’re a 5-win SEC team either way, although the second stretch of their schedule (Alabama, at A&M, Tennessee, at LSU, Auburn) borders on brutal. Thank god for Tennessee.
4) Auburn 8-4 (5-3)- The shame of it is, I have Auburn losing 3 SEC games and beating Georgia. PROVE ME WRONG, DAWGS (and perhaps unreasonably tempered expectations). Weird things happen on Thursday nights, especially in desolate places such as Manhattan, KS, so I have K-State beating them. South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Bama make it 4, because these guys are not as good as they showed last year. I think. I hope.
5) Texas A&M 8-4 (4-4)- Tough to nail down sans Johnny Football, I’m taking a slight leap of faith on their talent. Three road losses to South Carolina, Bama, and Auburn seem obvious, and LSU was the toss-up I have going not-their-way.
6) Mississippi St. 6-6 (2-6)- I refuse to believe that this is better than a 7-8 win program, and Dan Mullen’s hilarious record against the SEC West (7-21) scares me from getting to excited about their easy East slate of Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
7) Arkansas 4-8 (1-7)- I firmly believe that this is too good a team to not win at LEAST 1 game, although they’re still quite bad. Unfortunately, most of their winnable games are on the road. Hence the late-season ‘nothing to lose’ Ole Miss hedge. They almost did it at LSU last year.

SEC Championship Game/Postseason Picture

Obviously, I have Alabama/South Carolina playing for a playoff bid. Alabama wins it, but its a fairly close game. Call it 27-19 Tide. Since the rest of the league so sufficiently beat up on each other, AND since the selection committee is likely to lean towards conference champions in the first year of the CFP, the SEC will not get two teams in. Repeat, accept, repeat. The. SEC. Will. Not. Get. Two. Teams. Into. The. Playoff.*

* Frankly, they totally could in a scenario where the B1G beats up on a depleted Ohio State and still not-that-talented Michigan State, the big boys in the Pac-12 (UCLA/Stanford/Oregon) hand each other multiple losses, and the Big XII well, Big XII’s.

CFP Semifinal- Alabama (12-1)
Orange Bowl (or maybe Peach, depending on how the B1G and Notre Dame shake out)- Georgia (10-2)
Capitol One- South Carolina (11-2)
Outback- Ole Miss (9-3) by virtue of LSU having gone the past two years.
Gator- NOT GEORGIA V. NEBRASKA! LSU (10-2)
Music City- Auburn (8-4)
Liberty-
Texas A&M (8-4)
Belk-
Florida (7-5)
Texas- 
Vanderbilt (7-5)

Obviously, any bowl-eligible SEC team will find a spot somewhere, so beyond the SEC tie-ins Missouri and Mississippi State will be playing somewhere.

 

College Football Back Y’all: The Week 1 Viewing Guide


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It’s only Wednesday, but it’s game week. Your concentration at work isn’t up to your normal standards, because you’re set on breaking to your significant other that, for the next three months, yardwork isn’t happening, weddings are out, and Saturdays aren’t good days for you to operate a motor vehicle.

The goal of the Viewing Guide, back for its second year after some spotty duty last year, is to help you adjust your ‘Favorites’ channels and DVR settings to get the most from your college football weekend, whether on your couch or in Sanford Stadium.

Without further ado…

Thirsty Thursday: A Little Overlap

6pm, SEC Network: #21 Texas A&M at #9 South Carolina For what seems like the forever-th year in a row, USC-E gets the first game of the season (actually a deal from ESPN to satiate them losing a home game vs. North Carolina in 2010 so UNC could play LSU) and take on Texas A&M in the first post-Johnny game for the Aggies. While I’m super disgustingly high on SC, I think this is a game that A&M can compete in and possibly win. This is your five-star, must-watch game of the night.

8pm, ESPN: Boise St. vs. #18 Ole Miss: This has a chance to be the most fun game of the week, as new Boise coach Bryan Harsin debuts against the (overrated? underrated? properly rated?) Ole Miss Rebels, a sleeper contender in the SEC. Andrew and I will be there for s***s and giggles (thanks, Chick-Fil-A!) and we’ll see if Dr. Bo can operate on the Bronco defense. This is your SC/aTm second half commercial break previous channel flipper game.

If that’s not enough, you have a few more options (again, worth 10 minutes to set favorites for optimum channel-flipping now): Wake Forest visits UL-Funroe for some reason, and kicks off at 7 on ESPNU. Never miss an opportunity to see Funroe in action. At 9:15 on the SEC Network, we get our first look at David Mason’s Vanderbilt squad as they host Temple. And at 10, FS1 carries Rutgers at Washington State, if you want some late night Mike Leach-ness carrying you on that magic carpet to sleepytown.

Friday: Why?

The only possibly compelling game is prohibitive new Big Ten favorite #8 Michigan St. hosting Jacksonville St., but its on the Big Ten Network, which nobody gets (Jim Delany, you’re still doing it wrong). Villanova visits Syracuse in a game that would be slightly-compelling basketball, but again, is on ESPN3, so unless you have no life, you’re out. On ESPN, BYU travels to Storrs to take on one of the worst FBS teams from a year ago, 1-11 Connecticut. Your only excuse for watching college football on Friday night is as background bar fodder, and I’m a man who loves his college football.

Saturday Before Gameday, Barring Volcanoes

College football should go all NFL on us and expand overseas, because I am not a huge fan of Gameday and the 10-12 teams it profiles each week. How many times per year do we really need to hear Herby compare A.J. McCarron to quarterbacks of the past? Instead, we get Fiesta Bowl Champ UCF against James Franklin’s Penn State at 8:30 on ESPN2. I am compelled to watch.

Noon: Switching from Bloodies to Buddies

There are a few wildcards in the noon slate, including an App State/Michigan rematch on ESPN2. The two best games involve quarterbacks for contenders. On ESPN, #7 UCLA and Brett Hundley visit Virginia, who seems to get annihilated by one Pac-12 team every year (recent memory recalls losses to Oregon and USC). And on CBS, Braxton Miller-less #5 Ohio State and Navy play on a neutral site somewhere.

Anything else, and you’re either a) a glutton for punishment b) an active avoider of tailgates and social life or c) a graduate. I’m looking at you Georgia Southern fans, as you go to Raleigh and upset N.C. State, which renders your program a lot less legitimacy than your win at Florida with no passing yards a year ago (Georgia Southern won at Florida despite 0 passing yards last year. This will never get old.)

Mid-afternoon: You’re Not Hungover, You’re Just Sweating Faster Than You Can Drink

Some redemption from a boring noon slate, highlighted by West Virginia/#2 Alabama on ABC at 3:30, and Arkansas/#6 Auburn on the SEC at 4. Those two are worth flipping between exclusively. Unless…

…YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I am obligated by college football writer law to tell you that #24 Notre Dame hosts Rice on NBC at 3:30, and if you don’t watch it you won’t miss anything err, you shall suffer eternal misery if you don’t tune in.

In what we can call late-mid afternoon, we have our game of the week, one which all of my friends reading this will be attending: #16 Clemson at #12 Georgia, ESPN. If you’re not aware, get aware, as this is serious.

Early Evening, Where You Should Still Be On Clemson/Georgia

The biggest news is that Florida has a chance for its first win in 8 games as it faces Idaho on ESPNU at 7. I’d be remiss not to mention Fresno State/#15 USC at 7:30 on FOX, as both of those teams could end up being sneaky-good this year.

drunkflorida

At 8, ABC gets defending national champ #1 Florida State plays Oklahoma State (inexplicably unranked, considering my Tar Heels are ranked) at JerryWorld. I will be watching from bar-to-be-named in Athens starting at about the 5 minute mark of the first quarter.

At 9, we get the second-best game of the week, as ESPN and Houston play host to #14 Wisconsin/#13 LSU in a Big Ten/SEC matchup I actually give the B1G a shot to win. There, I said it.

Latenight, you get the debut of Chris Peterson at #25 Washington at Hawai’i on CBS Sports Network, as well as Marcus Mariota’s run to the Heisman against South Dakota if you get the Pac-12 Network.

There Are Two Good Games on Sunday, Because Why Not? 

We get our first look at year 2 of the Butch Jones era on Rocky Top at 7 on the SEC Network, as Tennessee takes on Utah State. Aggies QB Chuckie Keeton? Imminently watchable, and Tennessee returns zero DL. At 7:30, you get a good flip option as SMU visits #10 Baylor, who is debuting a new stadium and still boasts a speedboat-wielding mascot.

Monday Night #ACCtion

Miami at Louisville. Nevin Shapiro vs. Bobby Petrino. Two teams the ACC poached from the Big East who never simultaneously played in the Big East. 8PM. ESPN.

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Florida Gators Can’t Sell Tickets and I’m Buying the Arkansas Football Team Pizza – News from Around the SEC


 

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Ticket Trouble at Florida

Tebow

Florida is a two-time BCS Champion, perennial top 10 recruiting classes, and yet they cannot sellout their student tickets. I understand they just came off the worst season in recent memory for the program, but with the longest tenured QB in the SEC returning, and the SEC East theoretically up for grabs, how can the Gator faithful not get excited? With the new offensive coordinator this should be a turn around year for the Gators. Muschamp will throw the kitchen sink at the cocktail party this year or it wont matter how many games he wins, he will be out the door. See how far they have undersold here.

 

 

Spurrier Gets a Banner

Listen, I go to the University of Alabama. Nick Saban is the most powerful man in the state, and I do not think anyone has a problem with that. Steve Spurrier has not won a championship at South Carolina. Entering into his 10th season, he has one SEC East title, which is code for “We finished second to the SEC Champion”. So the fact that the Gamecock faithful has put an 80 foot banner of the Ole’ Ball Coach outside of Williams-Bryce Stadium is just comical. If the Gamecocks ever win a National Title with Spurrier, they plan on naming the entire school after him. Check out the banner here.

 

 

 

Arkansas, DO SOMETHING!

Arkansas, I have never asked you for anything before now. Could you please put Auburn in its place week one? I know you guys have not been very good as of late, but I am just so tired of watching Kick-Six, and the Miracle and Jordan-Hare.  As a bonus a local pizza place is going to offer penny pizzas if you do win! I would be willing to buy the entire team pizza if you make this happen. That is a promise Coach Bielema. If any of you want to help me out on flipping the bill, here are the details.

 

-Alex

 

2014 Florida Preview: Can the Gators Beat Georgia This Year? And Other Thoughts from the DudeYouCrazy Staff


In a super-scientific poll, contributors to DudeYouCrazy were asked one question: What percentage chance does Florida have of beating Georgia in 2014?  Their responses:

  • Daniel Palmer: 0%
  • Ashley Barnett: 60%, no 55%
  • Jason Smith: 100%
  • Chad Floyd: “Somewhere in the middle.”

 

Now, more of their thoughts.

Ashley Barnett

I think going 4-8 last year was the wake up call Will Muschamp needed to get the Gators’ program back on track. As much as I loved seeing Florida blocking each other, I don’t think we’ll be seeing that this season. With the hiring of Kurt Roper as the new offensive coordinator (Muschamp’s third OC in 4 years), I think it’ll go in favor of the Gators. As the saying goes, third time is a charm.

A spread offense is what will get the Gators going. It’s the type of offense that is better suited towards Jeff Driskel’s skillset. In high school, Driskel was part of a shotgun formation that gave him the ability to dominate as a dual-threat quarterback. Wide receiver Andre Debose, who was once said to be the next Percy Harvin, ran a type of offense much like this in high school. It’s the type of offense he was recruited for by Urban Meyer. The confidence level in Florida’s offense already seems different prior to the past three years.

Driskel will see help in the backfield from starting tailback Kelvin Taylor. Running back Matt Jones will also be returning after a season-ending knee injury. Running back Mack Brown, who led the Gators last year with 543 rushing yards, will be returning as well.

A huge advantage for the Gators is that their entire starting defensive line is back. Duo ends Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Ballard are predicted to be one of the best in the SEC this season.

Last year the Gators were rocked by injuries. If they can manage to stay healthy, I think they’ll make a comeback in the SEC East. I believe the Gators will go 9-3, losing to Alabama and Florida State; their third loss being a toss-up between Georgia or South Carolina.

 

Chad Floyd

In the words of Bill Simmons, entities can become “so underrated they’re overrated”, and vice versa. This year’s Florida team falls into one of those two categories, and I’m not sure which.

On one hand, a downright Ebola-esque plague of injuries crippled the team on both sides of the ball, poor offensive schemes caused further hilarious ineptitude on that side of the ball, and a schedule featuring the SEC and the National Champs was the icing on the cake.

On the flipside, new OC Kurt Roper has a perfect QB for his hurry-up scheme in the returning Jeff Driskel, a stout DL leads a defense bringing back six very good starters, and the schedule sets up for an EASY 3-0 start.

At least one SEC coach thinks they’re this year’s Auburn, while Daniel Palmer thinks there is still a 0% chance Coach Boom can beat Georgia. For me, the truth is somewhere in the middle, as on paper the Gators should win 9-11 games, but given the schedule may only win 6 or 7.

 

Five Players to Watch

  1. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB: Was one of the top five DB’s in the league last year, and is about to make the next step to Patrick Peterson/Champ Bailey levels. They need him on offense too.
  2. Jeff Driskel, QB: This is a little bit of a trite answer, but under the guy who worked under the guy who tutored both Manning brothers, Driskel should be poised for the breakout year we’ve all been expecting.
  3. Jonathan Bullard/Dante Fowler, DE: A couple of absolute brutes on either side of the line, these guys are probably Boom’s favorite players and its not even close.
  4. Antonio Morrison, MLB: Did I mention they had a ton of NFL talent on defense?
  5. D.J. Humphries, LT: Another guy they lost for the year in the middle of the season, this junior was #1 in his class on the offensive line and could be another NFL first round type.

Seriously, if Driskel were to explode, all of the guys mentioned could be 1st rounders in an upcoming NFL Draft.

 

Random Betting Tidbit

Florida has no real interesting betting trends. Like, seriously, none. They were 1-5-1 against the spread coming off a straight up loss last year. Which should surprise nobody.

 

Jason Smith

I think Florida will be much better this year. In fact, I really think they will be the surprise team in the SEC this year and win the East.
I know they are unproven at Quarterback. I also know that Will Muschamp couldn’t tell an effective offensive gameplan from his ass. But I also know that Muschamp has one of the best defenses in the country coming back for this year. Frankly, the East will be very down when it comes to offensive proficiency. That defense may be enough to win it.
Looking at the schedule may seem, at first glance, to be a sure nail in the coffin for their Division Title hopes, but look closer. Sure they will lose at Bama. They might lose at home to LSU. But other than that they get every significant team at home—in one of the toughest home environments in the country. I also count UGA in that “at home” status because everyone knows our run of good luck is gonna end one of these days.
Hold serve at home and you can win this thing.
I think they will, not because I believe in Muschamp, but because I believe the world hates UGA. And that means Florida can’t be bad forever.

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SEC Preseason: What Do Other Coaches Say About Your Program?


Unfortunately, we live in a politically correct world where only Steve Spurrier relishes taking gratuitous potshots at his opponents. Most live in fear of the fictitious boogieman that is “bulletin board material”, and stay a course that makes press conferences, public appearances, and even golf games boring.

Fear no more, as Athlon Sports (kinda…these would still register as garlic Parmesan on a scale of wing flavors) has gotten anonymous quotes from coaches throughout the league on other schools. Some interesting tidbits to be found here, which I will be paraphrasing (note the difference, UNC whistleblower Mary Willingham) from the original article:

Georgia: There is absolutely nothing we don’t know coming from this report. We lost a lot of our secondary, Todd Gurley is a beast, Aaron Murray will be missed, et al. Coaches seem to think Georgia recruits at a top-of-the-league level, and that the defense is ‘stockpiled’ and ‘loaded’ with talent, but Todd Grantham couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get them to play hard. He was too happy-go-lucky to reel in all that talent.

Whereas the Georgia commentary was pretty mundane, there were some interesting things said about Florida: 

If they can stay healthy offensively, they can have a quick turnaround. They’ve got a lot of talent on defense I’m not saying they’ll make it to a national championship game, but they could have an Auburn-like turnaround.

Strong words, but not ALTOGETHER impossible to imagine. Andrew and I discussed the potential stoutness of their defense and the addition of Kurt Roper to the offense on the DudeYouPodcast.

They also echo our sentiments on Vernon Hargreaves III, who is called “one of the best young players I’ve seen in the game in a long, long time.”

Funny tidbits about Kentucky’s recruiting are worth reading, as well as the seeming consensus that Maty Mauk at Missouri is going to be a standout as a sophomore.

Most of the South Carolina comments reference the losses of Connor Shaw, Kelcy Quarles, and of course Jadeveon Clowney. I like the following summary:

Most will say Clowney was this or that – I’ll tell you, you had to gameplan for him. You had to have a special plan for him, anybody who said they didn’t was full of (expletive).

Tennessee and Vanderbilt both face questions about their quarterback and offensive line play.

The real intrigue came from coaches talking about the West, as Alabama is an eight-win team on paper. Bret Bielema clearly got in front of the interviewer for that one. Bielema’s boys, the Arkansas Razorbacks…coaches are as high on them as DudeYouCrazy.net is, which is to say “not very”. Two coaches hate on their secondary, and many compliment their running backs but hedge by saying “they can’t be your whole offense.” Playcalling diversity is still important, apparently.

Want to feel the sting of a narrow loss in recruiting? Look no further than Auburn:

Up front, I think they’ll have the best defensive linemen. Montravius Adams, he’s gonna be the next Glenn Dorsey.

:(

I don’t think these coaches pay much attention to what Les Miles has done at LSU, as they all assume he doesn’t have the talented depth to stay in the upper tier of the SEC in 2014. Coaches Mason, Stoops, Bielema (AGAIN!), Jones: you don’t get how the SEC program evolution cycle works yet, do you?

The same guy who said Alabama was going to be down has Ole Miss winning the SEC West. Who game Bielema the key to the minibar, and SERIOUSLY SOMEBODY TAKE AWAY BRET’S KEY TO THE MINIBAR! Something I did notice was the universal praise for the ‘big four’ Rebel recruits from last year: Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil (another guy who’d be useful to the Dawgs, damnit), Laquon Treadwell, and Tony Connor all get major props, which tells me that Coach Hugh Freeze isn’t letting good five-star talent go to waste.

I’ll be watching the Rebs with an increased interest starting August 28th. (SIDEBAR: Andrew, Ashley, and I will be reporting/tweeting/whatever LIVE from Ole Miss/Boise State to kick off the season from the Georgia Dome. More details to come. Ole Miss readers, feel free to grant some Grove-like hospitality.)

Nothing new really to report on Texas A&M (who needs new, young guys to step up) Mississippi State, who is boring and needs better QB play to be successful.

Pretty much everything said by the coaches somewhat echoes what we have said in our SEC Preview countdown thus far, but it’s always interesting to get a professional perspective.

 

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