Week Four Preview, Georgia vs. Vandy Preview
We, we, we, we so excited about this weekend’s games! After a real barn-burner between Boise State and BYU last night (the Broncos dominated in true 7-6 fashion) that saw over 460 yards of offense between the two teams I think the nation is ready for some real football.
Here’s what is shaking in the SEC this weekend…
Kentucky travels to Florida in what would be a terrific basketball matchup but could very well be a blood bath in this sport. The Wildcats look like they might be bad even by Blue Grass State Football standards and Florida is (allegedly) the 14th best team in the nation. I’m not quite on the “Florida is back” campaign yet, but to start winning me over the Gators need to decimate Kentucky – and I think that will happen. Florida wins by a score comparable to that of the Alabama-Arkansas game last week (never forget!).
Ole Miss will be taking on Tulane in a battle of football programs that America has forgotten about. I can see why everyone forgets about Ole Miss: the Rebels are bottom-feeders in an attention-heavy conference and they pretty much win eve3ry game they should (very few) and lose every game they should. But I don’t understand how Tulane is overlooked. The Green Wave is in the bottom 20 of the nation in scoring offense and scoring defense. That is hard to do. Only eight teams in the country have managed that kind of consistency on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately that consistency is going to yield a loss for Tulane as Ole Miss moves to 3-1 before heading into conference play (or, an eight-game losing streak as I like to call it).
Alabama gets Georgia’s sloppy seconds as the Crimson Tide gets to take on Florida Atlantic this week. Not to worry college football fans this won’t be another massacre. FAU defensive end Cory Henry says Alabama can be beat. Now, if you’re wondering what credentials Cory Henry has besides two first names, fear not: he knows a thing or two about SEC football. You see, Cory Henry played in an SEC game against Georgia last week and he recorded one entire tackle – so he’s pretty well established in big-boy football. In fact one writer said recently that Cory Henry was a favorite for SEC Defensive Player of the Year for his single-tackle performance, but he’s just not eligible since he plays in another conference. In totality Cory Henry said the following:
They ain’t what people think. They’re good and everything, but they can (be) beat, too. They just execute well. The just execute and beat you.”
I’m confused as to how Alabama “ain’t” what people think. I’m a person and I think (as Cory Henry himself insists) that Alabama is “good and everything.” I talked to another person earlier today who said he agrees that “They just execute well.” Yet another character who could best be described as a person agreed that Alabama executes well and beats you. So what part of Cory Henry’s qualifying statements is contrary to “what people think?” And, what more could you want outside of the following:
1. A good team
2. A team that executes well
3. A team that beats other team
Can everyone please stop trying to talk trash about the SEC? Please. I’m tired of trolling. Oh yeah, and Alabama executes like a good team and wins this game.
Missouri gets to travel from Columbia to Columbia to take on South Carolina in what is probably the Tigers first visit to Hell’s Armpit. If Mizzou can survive they humidity…who am I kidding? Nobody survives Columbia’s humidity. I think South Carolina and their lack of an offense continues into the 432nd year but the Gamecocks win.
Arkansas gets a chance to show that things could be worse in Fayetteville as they take on Rutgers in a game that will send a resounding, “See, at least we aren’t in the Big East” across the state.
Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Tennessee will roll against South Carolina State, and South Alabama – in some order.
The LSU / Auburn game is shaping up to be a real cat fight at Jordan-Hare stadium The scrap will pit the Tigers from LSU against the raggedy feral cats of Auburn and when nature plays out LSU will have killed every last kitty.
Georgia vs. Vanderbilt
Last year Vanderbilt’s coach James “Benjamin” Franklin (he needs a nickname to set him apart from the Missouri quarterback) thought it in his best interest to show his hind parts whenever possible. This culminated in him acting like a jackass after Georgia pulled out a victory and then implying that Georgia defensive coordinator was acting like a jackass. I sincerely hope that tomfoolery was enough to make Georgia take this game seriously.
Much like the Missouri game earlier this season I will point out that there is a significant talent gap between Vandy and UGA. In fact, that gap is much wider than the schism presented by Missouri. I hope that Georgia comes out and plays with a tenacity that shuts James “Benjamin” Franklin up early and shuts him up hard. I want any messages he has for Georgia to be written on his head with a dry-erase marker because I don’t want to see his whining to the refs about “no calls” as the Commodores chop block and threaten the safety of Georgia’s defensive linemen.
I ride Georgia fans for lack of intensity often, but I hope that the fans all leave the stadium at the end of the third quarter having seen enough of Georgia’s domination.
Here are some tidbits:
Vandy has played three opponents this season: South Carolina, Northwestern and Presbyterian. Against FBS schools that are not Vanderbilt those three opponents have averaged 32.8 points per game. Against Vandy they averaged 13.33 points. Defensively speaking, those teams have surrendered 25.8 points per game against other FBS opponents. Against Vandy they gave up an average of 28 points. So what does this tell us? Well, for starters Vanderbilt’s offense and defense have outperformed what would be expected of their competition based on this season’s averages. But, the fact that Vanderbilts opponents are (on the same average) giving up more points than they are scoring says a lot about Vandy’s schedule thus far.
The same can be said thus far about Georgia as the Bulldogs’ opponents have scored an average of 18.33 points against UGA and 16 points aall other FBS opponents. And, defensively Georgia has scored an average 47.3 points against the teams’ outside average of 32.
A Vandy fan could easily point to the close loss to South Carolina as a sign of hope against UGA, but that was a miserable game by both teams hardly a loss to hang a hat on. Similarly though, I’m not sure that Vandy can be dismissed just for a loss to Northwestern as the purple Wildcats are actually 3-0 this season and have defeated three BCS Conference opponents.
So, if you’re looking for evidence as to why Georgia will win this game or as to how big the margin will be, I’m not sure what to tell you. I do think the Las Vegas line of 16 is about right, but gamblers are undoubtedly terrified of a line bigger than 15 or 16 for a traditionally underperforming Bulldogs team that is taking on an SEC opponent. That is telling. Truthfully I think both teams playing their A-game would result in a 21+ point W for Georgia. I hope we get Georgia’s A-game and Vanderbilt’s B or C-game. I hope “Benjamin” cries. I can’t wait for his excuses!
This is James Franklin after last year’s loss to Georgia. He tries to address the post-game scuttle-butt. Don’t watch it or it might make you believe in Vanderbilt football.
If you do watch it note the following:
· He stresses that Vandy will “Compete and Play with Class.” Note that he is unable to mention “Winning with Class.”
· He makes it clear that he has respect for Mark Richt, but not so much for other coaches.
· Starting at 1:15 Franklin stresses that he was upset about “things that were said” on the football field. Yes, this is a guy who coaches grown athletes upset about trash talk.
· At 1:40 he goes into his “We’re also going to fight…I want to make sure everyone understands that.” The rant culminates with him saying “we’re not going to take stuff from anyone…those days are long gone.” Two weeks later Arkansas “gave” Vandy a loss and Florida did so the following week. On November 19 Tennessee “gave” Vandy some stuff. Cincinnati also “gave” them stuff on December 31st in the Liberty Bowl.
· Starting at the 1:20 mark Franklin uses either “emotional” or “passionate” five times in sixty seconds to describe the game of football. Not sure if that was plagiarized from the back of a romance novel or what.
If you didn’t notice ESPN is pretty excited about the Florida State/Clemson game. College Gameday is there and as ESPN.com reads, “To emerge from the SEC’s shadow, theACC needs a title contender to call its own.”
There are so many things wrong with that notion that I am left with no choice but to expose them all.
First of all to “emerge from the SEC’s shadow” the ACC needs to be a damn good conference. The ACC needs to emerge from the shadow of the Pac-12 before emerging from the shadow of the Big 10 before emerging from the shadow of the Big XII before it can begin to consider emerging from the shadow of the SEC. Please don’t act like the ACC is just thiiiiiiiis close to being the best league in the country. Child, please..
Secondly, one title “contender” won’t do the conference any good. Last time I checked the ACC had a title contender. In fact, doesn’t the conference actually have two contenders that are playing each other? Isn’t that why this game matters? Don’t act like the media hasn’t been able to label a “contender” out of the ACC in recent past. Last November Clemson was that “contender” before getting beaten by the same Georgia Tech team that lost to Georgia and then losing to South Carolina. The notion that the conference needs a contender is ridiculous.
The conference needs depth. Only two teams in the ACC are undefeated through the first three weeks of the season. Three Big East teams are undefeated. Three Big Ten teams are undefeated. Four Pac-12 teams are undefeated. Six SEC teams are undefeated. Eight Big XII teams are undefeated. Obviously both teams can’t win in a conference match up, but ACC teams have lost games to the following out-of-conference opponents: Connecticut, Tennessee, Kansas State, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Louisville and Northwestern. Within their respective conferences those teams combine for one conference win. The ACC needs depth to become relevant.
ESPN is just giddy over the ACC’s rare top-ten matchup. But, consider this:
· 5th ranked UGA takes on 7th Ranked South Carolina on October 6th.
· That same day 2nd ranked LSU squares off against a Florida team that is currently 14th and could move into the top 10.
· South Carolina and LSU then turn right around to play each other the next weekend.
· South Carolina plays Florida on October 20th and both could be top-10 teams.
· Georgia plays Florida on November 3rd when both teams could be in the top-10.
As many as five top-10 matchups will take place over the course of this season pitting at least one team from the SEC East against another conference opponent. The ACC’s annual matchup up of half-decent teams just can’t match that. And, I didn’t even mention the potential 1 vs. 2 in Alabama / LSU.
If you don’t want an ACC team in the national championship game rooting for Clemson is in your best interest. The Tigers tend to slip up late in the season and will have to play South Carolina late in the year. FSU hasn’t been great in several years, so I don’t know what to expect of them when expectations are high – but I know Clemson tends to falter. So root for Clemson.
That’s all I got/