This is the eleventh article reviewing the topics I deemed most important to the SEC before the season began.
The previous articles in this series can be found here:
- Storyline 10: The Return of Marcus Lattimore
- Storyline 9: Derek Dooley’s Hot Seat
- Storyline 8: Georgia’s Defense
- Storyline 7: Is Vanderbilt any good?
- Storyline 6: Picking on the New Kids – Texas A&M and Missouri
- Storyline 5: Divisional Powershift Courtesy of Auburn and Florida
- Storyline 4: The Decline of Arkansas and Mississippi State
- Storyline 3: The SEC’s Heisman Candidates
- Storyline 2: Alabama
- Storyline 1: Reviewing the Experts Picks
- Today: Handicapping the SEC East
- Tomorrow: Handicapping the SEC West
In August I spent some time handicapping the possible outcomes for each and every team in the SEC. Here is how all of that turned out and how some of the projections could have made you some money in Las Vegas (keep in mind this only includes regular season wins):
The SEC East
|Team||DYC Projected Wins||Actual Wins||Vegas Spot||Dude Win $?|
In general, I used the following process for determining a Vegas “Win”: If one number was reached by me, I used that relative to the spot of Vegas, if a range was found be me, I split the middle and compared to Vegas. Vegas offered two ranges (Vandy and Kentucky) but both ends of the ranges were clearly above and below where I was, so there was no gray area.
Tennessee was the lone “off” bet, as my range yielded a 7.5 and the Vegas spot was 7.5.
So, betting on seven games with clear differentiation would have yielded you seven wins.
I’ll put up the figures for the SEC West tomorrow.
That’s all I got/
This is the seventh of fourteen Post-Season Game Reviews focusing on the Dawgs’ performance.
Be sure to check out the other games in the series here:
Georgia at Kentucky
The Georgia Bulldogs took full advantage of an off-week following the disappointing outing in Columbia, South Carolina. Unfortunately, the trip to Kentucky on October 20th resembled on off game in more ways than one.
What We Saw:
- Georgia’s defense continued to disappoint allowing 206 yards on the ground to the less than formidable Wildcats.
- Aaron Murray was brilliant connecting on 30 of 38 passes for 427 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs.
- Gurshall struggled combining for just 70 yards on 18 carries.
What We Learned:
Aaron Murray won this game for the Dawgs. It was unfortunate that it came down to him – Kentucky won only 1 game against FBS opposition in 2012 – but it did, and he handled business. We learned that in a bind (even a bind that should never have occurred) Murray could lead the offense as the running game struggled. Tavarres King had 188 yards and two TDs, Malcolm Mitchell hauled in another 103 yards and Artie Lynch and Christian Conley also added TD grabs.
Depending on the defense – week to week – was not in the best interest of Georgia fans this year. This much was evident.
What We Should Have Learned:
Somebody needed to step up. A few days later Shawn Williams would be that somebody, but immediately following the Kentucky game it was hard to know what to expect from the defense. With a recent loss to South Carolina in the rear-view and a cat-fight with Kentucky just passed, optimism was low heading into the Florida game.
Shawn Williams happened. Playing like men happened. Beating Florida happened. The embarrassing effort in Lexington was a huge factor in the Dawg’s change in mentality.
Kentucky has a new coaching staff in place heading into 2013. The short-lived Bowl-eligible era of Wildcat football now seems a distant memory. Let’s hope games like this are too.
That’s all I got/
I didn’t watch much football this weekend. Occasional DudeYouCrazy contributor Casey Carpenter tied the knot, and between tearing up the dance floor with WifeYouCrazy and otherwise making a fool of myself with other familiar names like Andy Crawford (he wrote once, I swear) and Jason Smith (Vandy Guy, but true UGA fan) I didn’t have a whole lot of time to soak in gridiron action other than via my cell phone. So, I apologize as this will not be my best work.
Georgia vs. Kentucky
I didn’t mind missing the Georgia / Kentucky game. I think it would have bothered me the way surrendering 24 points to a team that’s averaging just 9.5 points in conference play tends to bother me. It would have perturbed me in the way that scoring 29 points against a defense that is surrendering 38 points per game in conference play tends to perturb me.
I haven’t read any blogs or recaps. I haven’t watched the replay. I haven’t absorbed the game, and frankly I’m not going to. Partially because I won’t like what I see, and partially because I want to devote significant time to the looming matchup with the Florida Gators.
The negative is this: That game should not have been close. As I said on Friday, Kentucky sucks at pretty much everything that is statistically measured by the SEC. I don’t like that one bit. Georgia gave up far too many yards for a Kentucky squad that is in the bottom-10 in the nation in scoring – even after a relative scoring outburst against the Dawgs.
The positive is this: Aaron Murray bounced back from South Carolina in a big-way. The kid went through a hell of a weekend (spent a game on his back, suffered an embarrassing defeat, learned his father had cancer, had his car egged) two weeks ago and responded in a big way. I’m not asserting that Kentucky’s defense is remotely fierce or on par with that of Carolina or Florida. But any time you hit on 79% of your passes and throw for 427 yards and 4 TDs with no INTs in rate to a QB rating of 208.1, you’ve done something right. Georgia will need a confident and poised Aaron Murray in Jacksonville, and I think they’ll have him.
What I’d like to know is this: How exactly was the game close? Again, I didn’t watch the game. I didn’t read recaps. Nobody that I normally discuss the game with watched it (most of my buddies were at this wedding and DadYouCrazy was running a conference at the church house). When I look at the box score I see a 504 yard performance by Georgia’s offense – certainly a respectable figure, and a 326 yard performance by Kentucky – impressive for them, but not necessarily a figure that screams “Disaster!” Somehow 175 more yards, over 32 minutes of possession and 0 turnovers only yielded four more points than Kentucky with a measly 29-point figure for the Bulldogs. Was Georgia inconsistent in moving the ball? I know they got several big plays that would account for large chunks of yardage, so that could have created a mis-match in the stats. But, Georgia is averaging fewer than 20 first downs in conference play and put up 25, which seems to imply they moved the ball pretty well.
Readers: give me some answers if you watched the game so I can stop guessing. And be specific.
LSU vs. Texas A&M
LSU you took their ugly brand of football on the road and welcomed the Aggies to the SEC with a 24-19 victory that saw the Tigers run up 219 yards rushing and effectively remove Johnny “Football” / “Fake ID” Manziel from Heisman contention by limiting him to 4.93 yards per pass attempt, a whopping 27 yards on 17 carries (I mean that’s Connor Shaw level right there) and forcing 3 INTs. Texas A&M was ranked 18th in last week’s BCS Rankings and I said that I anticipated they would lose to LSU and Alabama but finish the season right around 18th. They lost and only slipped to 20th so I think I’m on to something there. LSU, meanwhile, continues to claw but remains just out of the top-5.
Auburn vs. Vanderbilt
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I bet on James Franklin’s squad and he pulled me through! Chizik is now 7-14 against SEC teams when playing with a QB who was not under serious NCAA investigation.
South Carolina vs. Florida
On October 8th a few of you looked through your tears and disappointment to read an article on this site entitled “All is not Lost for Georgia, Georgia Fans Need to Wake Up.” In the article I pointed out that the loss to South Carolina would not doom the Dawgs’ season in and of itself and made the case that South Carolina had a difficult two week stretch ahead and that it was likely they would lose one or both of the games. I said, and I quote, “There is a lot of room for the Cocks to slip up, and frankly, they always do. Prior to this season South Carolina had defeated Georgia in three of the last five matchups, but following those head-to-head games Georgia had outperformed South Carolina against the rest of the Conference in four of the past five years.”
Most of you thought I was crazy, but perhaps the name of this site is a misnomer after all. I’m not that crazy. I know a thing or two about college football. I know quite a bit about South Carolina (aside from Georgia they’re the team I follow most closely) and I know a lot about Gamecock meltdowns (spoiler alert: they happen every single year).
The next day I pointed out that on October 9, 2010 South Carolina put up an equally outlier-esque effort in an upset of Alabama (then ranked 1st in the country). I pointed out that the Gamecocks followed that unparalleled success with a lost to Kentucky. The culmination of all of this is an assertion that South Carolina will not win the SEC East, because as I anticipated, they lost to Florida. And, more importantly for Bulldogs fans, Georgia can still win the East.
We rooted for the Gators last week, and now it’s time to hate them. But, we shouldn’t be stunned that Georgia is in a position to win the division (essentially) this weekend. None of the players or coaches are. If you don’t think Georgia players were looking ahead this past Saturday for that very reason then you are the crazy one.
Mississippi State is now 7-0 thanks to a beat down of MTSU. My question is this: If Mississippi State loses it’s next three games – which I fully expect because I’m either stubborn or I’m right – how far do they drop in the BCS rankings? Me thinks out of the top-25, but are three losses to Alabama, A&M and LSU that bad? Is it worse if they come in a row? Just a few questions Starkville should start asking.
Alabama vs. Tennessee
“I’m stunned!” – No one.
That’s all I got/
Last week the University of Kentucky spent $300,000 on lights for Midnight Madness, a glorified basketball practice. The Widlcats’ football recruiting budget last year was $336,000. If that doesn’t give you insight into this weekend’s game then I don’t know that I can either.
Stats are for losers, but the Wildcats will be losers so the following is applicable.
Kentucky is in the bottom-half of the SEC in the following categories:
- Scoring Offense*
- Scoring Defense**
- Total Offense*
- Total Defense*
- Rushing Offense**
- Rushing Defense*
- Pass Offense*
- Pass Defense*
- Pass Efficiency*
- Pass Defense Efficiency**
- Punt Return Average*
- Field Goals**
- Sacks By
- Sacks Against
- First Downs
- Opponent First Downs**
- Opponent 3rd Down Conversions**
- 4th Down Conversions**
- Opponent Penalties**
- Time of Possession**
- Turnover Margin*
- Red Zone Offense**
- Red Zone Defense
* = Bottom Four in the Conference ** = Last in the Conference
In 24 of the team statistical categories listed on the SEC’s website the Wildcats are in the bottom-half. Twenty of those represent bottom-four placings and nine represent the worst number in the league. The Wildcats are only in the top-half in nine categories (Kickoff Returns – 7th, Punting – 6th, Kickoff Coverage – 7th, PAT – 9-way tie for 1st, 3rd Down Conversions – 7th, Opponent 4th Down Conversions – 3rd =, Penalties – 2nd, On-Side Kicks – 1st, On-Side Kicks against – 12-way tie for 1st).
There’s no way this team beats the Georgia Bulldogs. Mark Richt’s squad should be looking to knock of a little rust and knock off an SEC East opponent in the process. When it’s all said and done there will be no doubt that the Southeastern portion of the SEC is the strength of the division as Georgia will have rolled through Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt with great success.
That’s all I got/