Monthly Archives: August 2012
Oh my gosh! It’s here! It’s really, really here! I’m so excited! What should I expect?
No, I’m not talking about the Republican National Convention and whether or not Chris ate Christie to form New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I’m talking about the start of college football. So, what should you expect? I’m glad you asked. Let’s jump into it…
South Carolina travels to Vanderbilt tonight to kick off the season (well assuming UCF/Akron, Eastern Michigan/Ball State, SE Missouri State/Central Michigan or Towson/Kent State don’t transition from the coin toss to kickoff faster than the teams in Nashville). What am I feeling? In a brief and perverse-if-out-of-context response: I’m feeling the Cocks. If you’ve read my stuff from the offseason you know I’m “iffy” on both of these teams. But, here’s where the separation occurs:
- I’m wondering if Vanderbilt can win close games and take the next step forward to becoming a top-half SEC squad.
- On the other hand, I’m wondering if South Carolina can take the next step to a BCS Bowl.
That’s a pretty substantial difference – one that could see Vandy progress and S.Car digress and still yield a victory for the traveling team. I’m taking South Carolina.
Texas A&M was supposed to play at Louisiana Tech later tonight but the game has been postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. On a light note: I will not miss the pick on this game this week, I’ll have to wait until early October. On a serious note: say a prayer for those in the path of the storm.
Tomorrow night we’ll get to see Tennessee take on NC State in the Georgia Dome in the first of two SEC/ACC Chick-fil-A kickoff classic games in Atlanta. Tennessee opened as a 7 point favorite and with the help of Da’Rick Rogers’ dismissal that line has move to 3 or 3.5 depending on who you ask. From what I’ve heard on the radio (very official research) NC State has a pretty sick pass defense so Bray may struggle to throw the ball. But, at the end of the day Tennessee simply has to improve on last year’s campaign and needs this win to do so. I’m taking the Vols – not necessarily because they’re the better team (although they may be), but because they’re the more desperate team.
Georgia takes on Buffalo and I’m taking the Dawgs but tune in tomorrow for more on that.
The Florida Gators are playing host to the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday afternoon and I expect Florida’s super-awesome-never-works two-armed QB monster to cruise.
You can take this to the bank: LSU will beat North Texas, Arkansas will beat Jacksonville State, Mississippi State will be victorious over Jackson State and Missouri will take down Southeastern Louisiana.
Auburn is taking on the Clemson Tigers in the Georgia Dome. I’ve said several times that I think Auburn is down this year, but man I’d love to see them beat an ACC foe. That being said, I just don’t think it happens. Clemson takes this one.
Ole Miss is going to start the season with a perfect record after escaping Central Arkansas on Saturday. Can their perfect season last? Well, they haven’t lost a game since November 26, 2011.
Alabama is squaring off against the teen-wolfs of Michigan in a stadium that is pretty large out in Texas. I refuse to let Alabama lose this. SEC! SEC! SEC!
On Sunday Kentucky travels to Louisville to play football which is an interesting statement because Louisville is in Kentucky. That’s the equivalent of saying the restroom traveled to the urinal to take a leak. And, I do expect the Wildcats to pee all over themselves in a loss.
Other Games of Interest:
Boise State and Michigan State – the two teams who bookended Georgia’s 2011 season with losses – are squaring off in a sick and twisted grudge match to see who is the 2011 Dawgs’ Daddy. I hate Boise State but even without my anti-blue glasses I truly believe the Spartans are the better team here. Michigan State wins.
Top-ranked USC is hosting Hawaii on Saturday. That could get ugly for the once-Rainbowed Warriors.
Georgia Tech travels to Virginia Tech in a game that is made intriguing by VA Tech’s habitual early season screw-up game. The Hokies are the better team – or at least they will be at season’s end – but can they hold off the Yellow Jacket middle school option attack? This time, I think they can. VA Tech takes down GA Tech for the buzzkill.
Each week DudeYouCrazy presents one college football related YouTube video and urges you not to watch it.
This classic features a very sad Clemson fan after an early season loss to Georgia Tech. Can the Tigers avoid that fate on Saturday? Can you avoid watching the video? Only time and view counts will tell.
If I Had to Bet
Every week I’m going to look into a few theoretical bets. Each week I’ll take on the lines on the following:
· Five individual games
· One two-game parlay
· One three-game parlay
· One three-game “recycled” parlay featuring games I’ve already bet on
Here’s what I’m taking this week:
South Carolina (-6.5) at Vanderbilt: For all of the reasons discussed above I’d expect the Gamecocks to win by more than a TD.
Penn State (-6.5) vs. Ohio: This line opened at 10.5 and was tempting, but 6.5 seems like a steel. I have to believe that a program with as much pride (and simultaneously shame) will want to bounce back with a meaningful season and that starts at home week one.
Miami (-1) at Boston College: I like one-point spreads in conferences like the ACC where home-field is less advantageous than the SEC. This seems like a classic “stay-away” to some, but Miami is significantly more talented than BC and could pounce on them.
Southern Miss (+20) at Nebraska: Southern Miss had the nation’s 26th best scoring defense last season, returns 8 starters (3 on the line, 3 at LB and 2 in the secondary) and just brought in a defensive-minded head coach in Ellis Johnson. Nebraska returns only five offensive starters on a run-heavy offense that finished 50th in scoring in 2011. To cut to the chase: I don’t think Nebraska will score enough points to beat Southern Miss by 20 points.
UNLV (+8.5) vs. Minnesota: Why? You got me here. It’s too early for me to know much about either but in name alone Minnesota should be better – but I don’t trust a gopher!.
Two-Game Parlay: UCLA (-14) at Rice. San Jose State (+25.5) at Stanford.
Three-Game Parlay: California (-10.5) vs Nevada. Iowa (-10) at Northern Illinois. Iowa State (+1) vs Tulsa.
Three-Game Recycled Parlay: Southern Miss (+20), Penn State (-6.5), Miami (-1).
That’s all I got/
The Georgia Bulldogs will play host to Buffalo in the first ever meeting between the two teams. Here is what you need to know about Buffalo:
After finishing with the league’s 26th best defense in 2011, Buffalo added big-name free agent defensive end Mario Williams and drafted former South Carolina Gamecock Stephon Gilmore in the first round. The hope is to obviously improve on last year’s defensive outing. Although, to Buffalo’s credit they did force over 30 turnovers last season.
On the offensive side of the ball Buffalo will tout a number of “Oh I’ve heard of that guy” type players on Saturday. Fred Jackson returns and hopes to build on a fantastic Fantasy Football season in 2011 while Stevie Johnson has promised to catch balls in the endzone and to stop blaming God when he doesn’t. The Bills offense will once be lead by Wonderlic-acing Ryan Fitzpatrick.
My apologies. I just noticed that Georgia is playing the Buffalo Bulls, not the Buffalo Bills. This is awkward. I guess that picture doesn’t really make sense now. On to Plan B.
Here’s what I do know about the Bulls:
· The Bulls play in the MAC, and I work with a man named Mac.
· Last season the Bulls failed to beat any team from a BCS Conference. My Middle School failed in that regard as well.
· Georgia is paying Buffalo $975,000 to play the game. I’d love to round up 15 guys (we can play both ways until injured) and play the Bulldogs for a per-head purse of $65,000. Why hasn’t this happened before?
In all seriousness, this is a typical “We’ll pay you to come warm us up” game. With all due disrespect to Buffalo, I just don’t know what to tell you about them. Buffalo, it’s not me; it’s you.
The DudeYouConfident Scale
Before games I like to express my confidence in the Georgia Bulldogs with the DudeYouConfident Scale. (Note: I realize DudeYouCocky flows better, but I don’t want people to think I’m the dancing mascot for the University of South Carolina.) The scale is relative so each week I explain what a “One” looks like and what a “Ten” looks like before pinpointing my sentiment.
A One on the scale would look a whole lot like the Georgia Bulldogs embarrassing me for my arrogance/ignorance in a second straight season-opener. Georgia would come out wearing some ridiculously ridiculous Nike crap and the whole crowd with cringe. Much like last year’s “effort” against Boise State some player on the defensive unit would get hurt (probably Jarvis Jones) and every other player on the field would act like he had never played before (seriously, remember when Alec Ogletree got hurt and everybody freaked?) . All hell would break loose on the defensive side of the ball. Branden Smith would get a single carry for 80+ yards and then the Dawgs would abandon offense all together. I would have no voice for the next four days.
A Ten would mean the Georgia Bulldogs winning by 35 points – just less than the spread – but getting lots of playing time for lots of young guys. Ken Malcome would run for 60 yards, catch a decent pass for a TD and do enough to remain the starter for an SEC road game next week. Freshmen backs Keith Marshal and Todd Gurley would combine for 150 yards and three scores. Aaron Murray would throw for 150 and 2 TDs before clearing the way for Christian LeMay’s 2 TD passes. Defensively the entire roster would play. Most importantly: nobody would get hurt.
I’m at about a nine for this game. Frankly, somebody will get hurt. It happens every single year in the opener. I hate it every single year. I’m never rooting for an injury but here’s my “I Could Live With That” Injury Hierarchy
1. A back up Special Teams guy: Stuff happens
2. A back up Linebacker: The Dawgs are super deep at LB
3. A Special Teams stud: The lesser of several evils
4. A Defensive Lineman: I just really, really like our DLs…like on a personal level. They just “get” me.
5. A Wideout: UGA is deeper at WR than they get credit for, but I like that depth.
6. A Runningback: UGA needs its full stable until a leader emerges.
7. A Defensive Back: Georgia is not deep at DB, and assuming suspensions hold up this could really hurt the Dawgs – especially in the short-term against Mizzou.
8. Malcolm Mitchell, Jarvis Jones: This guy going down is the equivalent of losing a WR and a DB and a Special Teams player. He is his own threesome of talent. Jarvis Jones is even more vital to the team.
9. An Offensive Lineman: Georgia only has 8 players to cover these 5 positions per Richt’s press conference last week. 8 > 7.
10. Aaron Murray: CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP.
Over the past few seasons I’ve been a little disappointed with the “Atmosphere” inside of Sanford Stadium. Yes, some people drink too much and others don’t pay attention to the game. But, a lot of the problems stem from poor audio and video operating. For instance, when Georgia comes out of half-time nursing an embarrassingly small 12-10 lead against lowly Kentucky, DON’T PLAY SUGARLAND IN AN ATTEMPT TO FIRE UP THE CROWD!!! This really happened last year. With travesties like that in mind I’ll be periodically making suggestions to the powers that be – none of whom read this blog.
I love watching Herschel Walker run through Tennessee as much as the next guy. But rather than showing memories of yore, why not incite a little anger in the crowd at Sanford Stadium? Why not make the Dawgs a bit rabid? What’s wrong with rabies, baby? Show this video on the Jumbotron and I guarantee you will have 90,000+ ticked off Georgia fans ready to see absolute decimation at the expense of Buffalo. Would it be the worst thing in the world to have that type of environment every single week? The answer is no.
All in all I’m looking forward to heading back over to The Classic City with WifeYouCrazy and getting a little breakfast tailgating on before Committing to the G with 92,745 of my closest friends. Go Dawgs!
That’s all I got/
Last year I presumptively gave the First Annual State of the Dude Address. You see, it is grammatically improper to label something as “The First Annual” unless plans for the Second event are already initiated. So, a less sure DudeYouCrazy should have given an “Inaugural” address, but I worked on the assumption that I’d be back for a little more in 2012. My assumption proved correct as today I paid my $10 domain registration a full eight days early, and obviously I am back for more.
Last year I encouraged fans to take a step back from the scandals – Cam Newton rumors, Tattoo trading, etc. – and get back to the root of college football fanmanship, the commonality of cheering for the collective greatness that is college football, college campuses, tailgating, fellowship of sport and competition. I hope that you were able to do so in 2011 even as the corruption of college football set new precedents (Penn State).
If last year’s address was a call to “re-focus” so to speak, this year’s monologue is a demand for a little bit of fun. I’m not asking you to harden your souls to the downtrodden ill-effects of corruption. I’m not asking you to be insensitive to cheating and self-promotion. I’m just asking you to take the next step towards fully enjoying the sport.
In that spirit here is what DudeYouCrazy wants to see fans do this season.
1. Give the coaches a little slack. If you dislike your coach, then focus on some things you do like about your program. It’s one thing to be critical, it’s another to be cynical. I’ve wasted more than my fair share of words critiquing professionals (Mark Richt and Mike Bobo come to mind) and all I ever gained from such remarks was a disdain for the team I claim to love. As cheesy as it may sound, if you can embrace the positive and even some ugly losses can at least be entertaining – the South Carolina game in 2011 was one such game for me. And, for what it’s worth you can save the “he’s getting paid millions of dollars to not lose games like that” arguments because that’s just not accurate. He’s getting paid millions of dollars because there is a limited supply and a high demand for experienced coaches. The market is dictating salaries much more so than wins and losses.
2. Stop complaining about “the system.” We all wanted a playoff and we are going to get one. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not sure that the new system is going to be any better. It may merely give credence to more “honorable mention” teams, but in any event what we said we wanted is coming to fruition. Wait for that time to come, and wait patiently. If you have a problem with your team’s strength of schedule ranking or are tired of certain conferences being favored contact your school’s Athletic Director before complaining about the system as a whole. If the “system” is so unbelievably, obviously broken, then why isn’t your school smart enough to play by its out-of-whack standards? If you have a problem with the media or coaches voting for a school over yours remember that they are paid to be experts and you aren’t. Consider becoming a media contributor or a college football coach if you think you know better. Or consider cheering for a team that wins when it matters most. But please, for the love of all things good, stop bashing the BCS as it continues to do exactly what it’s supposed to do – crown a national champion.
3. Get into the games. Start watching some random schools. Even try to go to a game of two unaffiliated teams if you can swing it. As much as WifeYouCrazy hates it, the more college football I watch the more I love the game. If you think the media influences who makes it to BCS Bowls and who gets the big-time recruits balk the system and watch a few random games. Find a kid from a local high school that is contributing to an off-the-radar program and follow his team. Pick a random “also receiving votes” team out of the polls and try to track the next breakthrough squad. Just switch it up a bit. Don’t wait around all Saturday just to root for your team and cheer against your rival. That puts your school on a pedestal and downgrades all other competition. I’m as guilty of this as the next guy. I didn’t want to give Oklahoma State a chance last year largely because I hadn’t seen them play. I’m not saying they should have gotten into the BCS National Championship game, but I am saying that I never gave them a shot. I was ignorant to them. Don’t be ignorant; it’s not a good look for anyone – and that’s science.
4. Make fun of Jesse Palmer’s hair. Honestly, if you ever start to lose your passion for college football turn on ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday morning or College Football Today some afternoon and ask yourself, “How does a guy with hair like that get taken seriously anywhere, let alone as a sports analyst?” Then, start out-smarting Jesse. If he says something you don’t agree with – look into it. Open up the stats, sort through some playbooks (Smart Football is great for this) and prove him wrong. The more you know the worse Jesse looks and the more you’ll enjoy the game. Be a nerd with it. That’s half of what I do here!
5. Read more DudeYouCrazy. When I started this blog I had two goals: 1. To write about college football rather than boring WifeYouCrazy to death with my own thoughts and 2. To entertain and inform a few readers. Well, I still drive WifeYouCrazy crazy for lack of a better term with my rambling, but I have somehow managed to succeed on the second point of emphasis. Over the last year readership has taken off (thanks in no small part to sites like TheDawgBone.com) and the site has developed a bit of a following (the Facebook page should be rolling over 600 fans any minute, and Twitter hovers around 200). I have modest ambitions for the site, but I remain humbled by each and every reader and am glad to say that I now have more readers than I have immediate family members. In light of that: I am committed to writing a bit more often as long as people continue to read. Furthermore, if there is a topic you want to read about, I want to cover it and I’ll do all I can to do justice to any suggested content.
Here are some things that you can look forward to (or at least expect) over the coming college football season. These are tentative guidelines and the schedule will most certainly vary, but for the most part this is the site’s outline for the coming weeks.
· On Thursdays I’ll be doing the weekly preview post. I’ll preview SEC games and meaningful games around the country. I’ll post some hypothetical betting lines and predictions. I’ll rant about upcoming events. I’ll even post a few YouTube videos for our non-readers out there.
· On Fridays I’ll take a closer look at Georgia’s matchup each week. I’ll discuss my confidence level, what to watch for and make a prediction for the outcome.
· On Saturdays I’ll be live-tweeting games and bringing coverage from UGA games via the Twitter machine.
· On Sundays I will go to church and then lunch before taking a nap on the couch while the pros play.
· On Mondays I’ll recap the Georgia game, get some reactions from other fans and otherwise breakdown the Dawgs.
· On Tuesdays I’ll have a national recap including a review of my own predictions and major storylines.
· On Wednesdays I’ll do absolutely riveting interest pieces covering anything from Aaron Murray’s Heisman campaign to the nation’s ugliest players.
I hope that you can ignore all the shameless plugging I’ve done here – but rest assured that this only happens once a year. Have a great season, have some fun and please come back often.
That’s all I got/