Category Archives: SEC

SEC Football: Week 1 Preview


I can’t quit you. Let’s do this.

All lines via Caesars Palace accessed Via OddsShark.com Monday AM.

 

North Carolina vs. South Carolina (Thursday, 6 P.M., ESPN)

Absolut Carolina. Absolut denim.

People talk the “Battle of Carolinas” as if anyone cares. Within the context of college football there isn’t a “Carolina.” There are just two states who house multiple football programs none of which deserve to claim an entire region as its own. With that out of the way, this game could be wildly entertaining. Carolina comes in with what should be a prolific offensive attack and a former national champion at DC. Yes, Gene Chizik won a national championship. Theoretically that balance should really threaten Carolina, but let’s not forget that Carolina is still Carolina relative to Carolina and the last time Carolina played Carolina in a season opener, things got out of hand relatively quickly on a Thursday night opener. And apparently Steve Spurrier isn’t a day older than he was this time last year, mathematics be damned!

My Pick: South Carolina -3

 

Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt (Thursday, 8 P.M., ESPN)

For my money, this is one of only four potentially winnable games for Vanderbilt (along with Austin Peay, MTSU and Houston), and I’d be stunned if the Commies won on the road against both Middle Tennessee and Houston. That bleak lack of optimism for a team that is just one full season (and one head coach) removed from knocking on the door of 10 wins is exacerbated by the fact that I’d be stunned to see Vanderbilt cover the spread on this. Sure, the outcome should never be in doubt, but to expect the Hilltoppers to lose by 17.5 (the opening line) means you need to expect Vanderbilt to score at least 18 points. And it’s unreasonably to think Western Kentucky can’t throw up at least 3 points on accident. So with a coverage need of at least 21 points scored, who likes Vandy? Context: Vanderbilt scored more than 21 points just twice against FBS opposition last season (34 against UMass and 34 vs. South Carolina…all the LOLz). Oh but you want to know what’s a really, really, really bad thing for Vanderbilt? The 17.5 line referenced here was the opening line from OddsShark. This sucker has moved all the way to Western Kentucky -1.5 at Caesars. Damnation. Nobody likes you Vanderbilt. And nobody’s asking for your permission to dislike you either! But Vandy can cover that.

My Pick: Vanderbilt +1.5

 

Louisiana Monroe at #9 Georgia (Saturday, 12 P.M., SEC Network)

One could make a strong case for Louisiana Monroe joining the SEC. And I’m not kidding here. Last year, LA Mo went 0-3 in SEC play, but none of the last three teams to go all-defeated in the conference play (2013 Arkansas, 2013 Kentucky, 2014 Vanderbilt) fired their coaches. Further, a 31-0 loss at LSU wasn’t any worse than the 41-3 thrashing the Tigers put on Kentucky at home. LA Mo lost 48-14 to Kentucky, but Kentucky is a program on the rise (as evidenced by Mark Stoops $3 milly+/year extension). And Funroe lost to Texas A&M by just five points last season. South Carolina and Arkansas lost by wider margins to the Aggies. And don’t forget, this is the same Warhawks program that beat Arkansas to open the 2012 season before taking Auburn to OT. Also of note: Georgia should be much better than UL-M this season. But 35 points better when two QBs are getting attention and Chubb is spending some time on the sideline? Not taking that.

My Pick: Louisiana Monroe +35

 

Tennessee-Martin at #17 Ole Miss (Saturday, 12 P.M., SEC Network)

Serious question: which game is the SEC Network going to show at noon? Because if it’s the shitty-ass Ole Miss team that opens the season ranked lower than Georgia (17th) and closed last year with losses to Auburn (Georgia destroyed Auburn), Arkansas (Georgia destroyed Arkansas) and a 39-point loss in a Bowl “game” to TCU, we’re gonna have issues. Yes, Ole Miss is talented, but depth is still an issue there and people seem to be so wrapped up with righteous indignation about a “too low ranking” because the Rebels are recruiting like an SEC program that they’ve forgotten that a handful of programs are recruiting at an SEC level. The major difference: some programs are recruiting at an SEC level and not closing the season with a 1-4 record vs FBS opposition while being outscored 148-58.

No line for this game.

 

UTEP at #18 Arkansas (Saturday, 3:30 P.M., ESPNU)

The Razorbacks are favored by 33 points. That’s insane. So insane that I like it. Remember the dump I just took on Ole Miss a few moments ago? Well Arkansas was one of the programs that dismantled the Rebels down the stretch last year. Contrast how OM folded to what Arky did:

  • Defeated UAB 45-17
  • Lost on the road vs. (then No.1) Miss State by 7
  • Defeated #17 LSU in a shutout
  • Defeated #8 Ole Miss 30-0
  • Lost on the road to SEC East Champ Mizzou by 7
  • Defeated Texas in Bowl Game by 24 points.

Arkansas will roll in this contest.

My pick: Arkansas -33

 

Louisville vs. #6 Auburn (Saturday, 3:30 P.M., CBS)

prayerjordanhare

All three players from the Prayer at Jordan Hare will play in this game. Ricardo Louis (#5) and Tray Matthews (#28) will suit up for Louisville. Josh Harvey-Clemons (#25) will play for Louisville.

Are we all totally sold out for Auburn? I’m not saying I’m not, but I’m asking for a friend. Nick Marshall was no scrub and it seems like we’re devaluing his 6,425 yards of offense and 57 TDs over the past two seasons awfully quickly. And sure, he was a perfect fit for Malzahn’s system, but being a system QB doesn’t mean anyone on the roster can be a system QB. And Jeremy Johnson has looked fantastic at times, but the dude has run for 40 yards on 11 career carries. At the very least he’s a different style of QB than Marshall which should make the offense a tidbit easier to defend. And I know we’re all convinced that Muschamp is the “greatest defensive mind in the whole wide world,” but the last time he was a DC (2010 at Texas), his squad ranked 49th in scoring defense. Oh, and Auburn’s defense has been unintentionally hilarious for the past few years. Over the past four seasons, Auburn has allowed an average of 41.125 points per game to its two biggest rivals (Alabama and Georgia). Don’t get me wrong, I think Auburn is good. But again, this is a team that lost its final four FBS games and was 13 combined points away (theoretically negating a four point win vs. Ole Miss and a seven point win vs. South Carolina) from finishing the season with a 7-game FBS losing streak. This team lost five games down the stretch and its best offensive weapon to the Draft. Does Muschamp change that? And then there’s Louisville. I don’t know why and maybe it’s because Josh Harvey-Clemons is there, but I’m high on the Cardinals.

My pick: Louisville +10.5 points

 

Southeast Missouri State vs. #24 Missouri (Saturday, 4 P.M., SEC Network)

I never felt like Missouri was in the Southeast or belongs in the Southeaster Conference, but apparently Mizzou is a Southeast State (at least according to Southeast Missouri State). That’s all.

No line for this game.

 

Bowling Green at #25 Tennessee (4 P.M., SEC Network)

Brick by Brick, baby! I’m not evne being sarcastic about Tennessee’s rebuilding job when I say that I fully expect the Volunteers to win this football game. The Vols are back baby! #VFL #VawlSoHard #BrickbyBrick #ButchJones2016 #ButtchugOrDieTryin

My pick: Tennessee -20.5

 

#15 Arizona State at Texas A&M (Saturday, 7 P.M., ESPN)

This is the part of the day when I’ll pull my brisket off the BGE, switch from beer to bourbon and wait. And I’m legitimately excited about these night games for a handful of reasons. So, I’m switching gears and giving three things to watch in each of these contests:

  1. Arizona State’s Uniforms: These sumbitches should be fire. How’s that for analysis?
  2. Texas A&M’s Defense: Don’t tell Auburn I said this or I’ll draw the first “Butthurt” insult of the year, but John Chavis is a better defensive mind than Will Muschamp. He also looks like he should own a pizzeria.
  3. SEC! Chants. They will happen as the nation’s best conference swings its manhood for the first time this season and pulls off an upset (at least in the rankings).
Don't tell me you wouldn't eat there.

Don’t tell me you wouldn’t eat there.

My pick: Texas A&M -3

 

Louisiana-Lafayette at Kentucky (Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPNU)

  1. Does Kentucky’s offense justify Mark Stoops earning $18.75 million between now and the end of the 2019 season?
  2. Does Kentucky’s defense justify Mark Stoops earning $18.75 million between now and the end of the 2019 season?
  3. Does Kentucky’s special teams justify Mark Stoops earning $18.75 million between now and the end of the 2019 season?

Back story: Stoops signed an extension in October of last year that will yield the following salaries at Kentucky:

  • 2015: $3.25 million
  • 2016: $3.5 million
  • 2017: 3.75 million
  • 2018: $4 million
  • 2019: $4.25 million

The extension (which bumped his pay to an even $3 million last season) came on the arly side of a six-game winning streak as Kentucky turned a 5-1 start into another bowl-less season. Since he arrived in Lexington, Kentucky is 7-17 overall and 2-14 in SEC play. In the two seasons preceding his arrival, former head coach Joker Phillips was 7-17 overall and 2-14 in SEC play. So non-progress is being rewarded handomely.

My pick: Louisiana-Lafayette +17

 

McNeese State at #14 LSU (Saturday, 7:30 P.M., SEC Network)

  1. Les Miles checked into the hospital on Monday. For his sake and for the sake of the game, let’s hope we can watch him on the sidelines.
  2. Leonard Fournette is going to run for 300 yards. That just seems like a possibility.
  3. You’re playing QB1 for LSU. Seriously, do you want to?

No line for this game.

 

New Mexico State at Florida (Saturday, 7:30 P.M., SEC Network)

  1. Let’s pay close attention to @NMStateFootball on Twitter. I mean that’s gold right there.
  2. New Mexico State ain’t afraid to give up some points. Is Florida still afraid to score ’em?
  3. Seriously, Florida has to score 40 in Jim McElwain’s debut right?

My pick: New Mexico State +37

 

#20 Wisconsin vs. #3 Alabama (Saturday, 8:00 P.M., ABC)

  1. For the first time since 2009 Wisconsin doesn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher on its roster. Corey Clement ran for 949 last year, but can he be “the man” this year the way Melvin Gordon, James White and Montee Ball have been the past few years?
  2. Also absent from Wisconsin: running backs coach Thomas Brown. He’s at Georgia. Seriously, this run game could take a step back.
  3. The QB race with Bama is the sexy offensive topic, but I want to see pace. How fast is Lane Kiffin prepared to move?

My Pick: Alabama -10

 

Mississippi State at Southern Mississippi (Saturday, 10 P.M., FoxSports1)

  1. Know how I know Miss. State’s success in 2014 wasn’t sustainable? The Bulldogs open at Southern Mississippi at 10 PM on damn FoxSports 1.
  2. Per my admittedly quick scan, Southern Miss hasn’t defeated a Power 5 opponent since a 31-16 win over Kansas on September 17, 2010. It would be hilarious if it happened against Miss State.
  3. Did this Miss State team fall back to reality hella fast or are we all wrong? I mean think about it: On November 28 of last year this team was 11-1, recently ranked first and holding a single loss at the hands of perennial contender Alabama on the road. A road loss to a ranked rival and a ranked opponent in a meaningless bowl game later and this team isn’t even ranked in preseason despite a Heisman candidate at QB.

My pick: Southern Miss +21

VIEWING GUIDE BACK, Y’ALL! The DYC CFB Viewing Guide, Week 1


Sweet Hosanna! Here’s hoping those with significant others have accomplished all of their husbandly/boyfriendly duties in preparation for this weekend, because it’s time for some college football!

The proliferation of neutral-site games has really gone a long way towards making Week 1 extremely watchable. Though the schedules normally hit a little bit of a lull the following weeks before conference play, we get a chance to establish new stars (Kenny Hill, anyone? …Oh. Oops.) and strong units (Ole Miss’ D) against solid competition before the FCS exhibitions and Vanderbilts of the world.

THIRSTY THURSDAY

North Carolina vs. South Carolina, 6pm, ESPN: For the second time in three years, my alma mater opens with my least favorite SEC team, albeit this time in Charlotte and against a Cock team not expected to contend for the SEC title. Logical to assume that my nerves and energy are shot by about noon on the 3rd. It’s the first game of the season. Enough said.

#2 TCU at Minnesota, 9pm, ESPN: I’m not as high on TCU as most, but Gary Patterson’s defenses have always been a joy to watch. And that Trevone Boykin guy is pretty good. Turns out, Minnesota isn’t TERRIBLE, either. Let’s see how the Horned Frogs do after last year’s CFP snub and with the targets on their back.

See also: Alcorn State at #16 Georgia Tech is in Atlanta at 7:30 on ESPN3 for those interested. Most notably, friend of the podcast Patrick Dron. Also, Michigan at Utah on FS1 at 8:30, where we should all cheer for the Utes in order to avoid the “IS JIM HARBAUGH BETTER THAN JESUS” talks on the Worldwide Leader this week.

FRIDAY: WEIRD IN-STATE ROAD GAMES FOR TOP-5 TEAMS

A couple of “I didn’t read the iTunes terms and conditions” games here.

#5 Michigan State at Western Michigan, 7, ESPNU: I love the hype around some B1G QB’s, notably Sparty’s Connor Cook and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg. A lot of “they have the tools to be top-10 picks” without the production to show for it.

#4 Baylor at SMU, 7, ESPN: Speaking of QB’s, Baylor’s Seth Russell can probably get a free trip to New York by being an average one this year at Baylor. Oh, and SMU is playing its first game under former Clemson OC Chad Morris. Queue the fireworks.

Washington at #23 Boise State, 9:45, ESPN: Another power-5 team on the road, but this one should lose. A lot of interesting things happening here– Chris Petersen’s return to Boise, the Pac-12’s return to Boise, where weird things happen.

SATURDAY: ENJOY GEORGIA AS AN APP, THEN GET READY FOR THE FEAST

The Dawgs are on the SEC Network vs. ULM at noon. Set your DVRs accordingly. Other games of interest for the noon slate:

Mid-afternoon:

The main dish is Louisville vs. #6 Auburn from Atlanta at 3:30 on CBS (Welcome back, Verne and Gary!). Storylines include: Bobby Petrino’s return to the Georgia Dome, JHC and Shaq “I need someone to let me be myself” Wiggins’ debuts for UL, Tray Matthews’ debut for Auburn…hell, let’s just call this the “Georgia Dismissal Bowl”.

For breaks in the action, I’m going to keep an eye on Virginia at #13 UCLA (3:30, FOX), because UVA’s D is sneaky good and going against a true freshman quarterback. UCLA, as a top-1o team last year, won at Virginia by eight. Additionally, we have Nice-Guy-Mike-Riley-Replacing-Jerk-Bo-Pelini’s debut at Nebraska, as BYU at Nebraska is on ABC at 3:30.

Both #25 Tennessee and #24 Mizzou open their runs at the SEC East at 4, both on the SEC Network, both in easy wins.

Evening, where there are three imminently watchable games:

Herein lies the strength of week 1.

#15 Arizona State vs. Texas A&M, 7, ESPN, from Houston: Probably the game where I have no dogs in the fight that I’m most excited to see. A&M can solidify itself as either a darkhorse or a week 1 overachiever, and ASU is my pick to win the Pac-12 South.

Texas at #11 Notre Dame, 7:30, NBC: Chances are, you DESPISE one (or both) of these teams. Schadenfruede accordingly.

#20 Wisconsin vs. #3 Alabama, from Dallas: This…could be problematic for a confusing Wisconsin team. However, a win means they’re 2-0 in 2015. Their wins? Auburn and Alabama. I so badly want to tweet something with the hashtag #WisconsinownsthestateofAlabama. Go Badgers. Go cheese.

Go football.

 

Let’s Beat Georgia Tech at Technology


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For those who didn’t know, our friends at The UGA Vault are doing big things. Currently, our favorite Georgia football highlight app is up for an award at the Atlanta Mobile Marketing Awards.

Please go here and vote for The UGA Vault so that a few Bulldogs can edge out the techie types.

 

Georgia Fans Are Stupid and Other Things We Learned from Greyson Lambert Getting the Starting Nod


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As I said on the DudeYouPodcast last night, Lambert starting is neither good news nor bad news in and of itself. And Richt naming him a starter isn’t all that enlightening. But here’s what we know:

  1. At this moment Greyson Lambert has separated himself as the most viable option at quarterback. We learned that on Monday. If we’re reading a little bit into this then we can assume that Lambert was more consistent than Brice Ramsey (who looked downright mediocre at times last year) and Faton Bauta (whose calling card is versatility). If we’re reading a lot into this then the gap between Lambert and Ramsey (presumably QB2) might be wider than some might expect given Richt’s historical favoring of the more tenured Georgia QB to open the season (Greene over Shockley, JT3 over Stafford, Cox over Murray, Mason over Ramsey, etc.).
  2. The Georgia fans clamoring for more Brice Ramsey in 2014 were/are idiots. We know that now more than ever. Remember that after a 3-1 start to the 2014 season, a large number of faithful Georgia fans wanted Hutson Mason benched in favor of Brice Ramsey. The reason for this desired change remains a mystery to me, but apparently Ramsey’s 4 of 8 passing performance for 66 yards and a touchdown against Troy merited a change. Apparently, it did not. And apparently Ramsey was not only ill-prepared to take ownership of the starting spot in 2014 (as evidenced by Hutson Mason keeping his job), but he also was unable to fend off the rise of a transfer who struggled at Virginia. So once and for all we should be able to squash the contrived beef between Ramsey and Mason from last season. After all, if Ramsey (after one more year at Georgia) isn’t decidedly better than a QB who couldn’t keep his job at 5-7 Virginia, he definitely wasn’t better than the quarterback that led Georgia to 10 wins.
  3. Lastly, we now know that Lambert was brought in to contend for this job and that when surrounded by a high level of talent he emerged as a serviceable quarterback. This isn’t how anyone would have drawn it up, but it’s not entirely surprising either. Remember, Georgia fans wanted Ramsey last year because of the hype that surrounded him as a recruit. In the class of 2013, Ramsey was the 6th best Pro-Style QB (per 247Sports)  in the country and he held offers from all the big dogs (Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, etc.). Lambert showed just as much potential as a recruit. In 2012, he was the 8th best Pro-Style QB in the nation (per 247Sports) and boasted offers from the likes of Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, Miami, Louisville, etc. The knock on Ramsey, at least in my mind, has been that after enrolling early, redshirting. playing a season and surviving a spring and summer (he’s been on campus for 32 months!) he still struggled with inconsistency and appeared inexperienced. Greyson Lambert, for better or worse, can’t claim the same level of inexperience given his 336 career collegiate pass attempts and 16 game appearances. I don’t think Lambert “lost potential” and I given his physical skills (huge frame, cannon for an arm), it’s hard to say his potential was miscast. That should excite Georgia fans because no matter who plays QB, Georgia’s offense should be prolific.

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

SECual Healing, 8/28: Quick Hits and QB Battles


Happy last Friday before football starts!

A few updates from the SEC quarterback races, no real surprises.

South Carolina: Connor Mitch, of six career pass attempts, has been named the starter for next Thursday’s bout with UNC. Also, someone in COLA is pretending to be him at bars.

Texas A&M: Sophomore Kyle Allen, unsurprisingly, has been named the starter. True freshman Kyler Murray will definitely see action, though.

LSU: No real news, but I heard on XM that Brandon Harris is ‘trending slightly ahead’ of Anthony Jennings. Harris looked good in mop-up duty in the near-comeback against Mississippi State last year, but the rest of his freshman season was pretty much a wash.

Florida: No real news, but both Will Grier and Treon Harris will see snaps against New Mexico State.

Alabama, Ole Miss, and Georgia: All quiet on the Western (and Eastern) fronts.

In other news…

Speaking of Florida, who broke spring ball with SIX scholarship offensive linemen, freshman stud tackle Martez Ivey is getting his knee scoped and is expected to miss about half of the season. Definitely hurts their chance to gain early momentum early in SEC play, where their longstanding winning streaks against Kentucky (28 games) and Tennessee (10) are on the line.

And really, that’s it. I’m ready for some damn football.

 

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