Nobody asked me but:
1. Logically, there is no way Georgia should be 3-1: I believe that turnover margin is the most important statistic in football. Turnover margin is the number of turnovers you have created compared to the number that you have given up. Good teams are almost always in the plus territory in turnover margin. Through four games, Georgia is minus-9 in turnover margin (12 giveaways versus 3 takeaways). Georgia is also 115th nationally in penalties with 41 in four games.
Coach Mark Richt told me on Tuesday that he was confident that his Bulldogs could turn those stats around. “The important thing to know about stats like that is what happens in the past does not matter,” Richt said. “What matters is what happens on Saturday against LSU.” He’s right. If Georgia keeps its turnovers to two or fewer, I think the Bulldogs have a very good chance to win. If they stick to their average of three turnovers and 10 penalties per game, they won’t.
2. Florida can beat LSU without Tebow: Everybody seems to have an opinion on whether or not Tim Tebow should play on Oct. 10 against LSU. Concussions are a tricky thing, to be sure. And there are people who seem to believe that there will be pressure to put Tebow back into action before it is safe to do so. If you know the Florida medical staff, you know that is not going to happen. If you know Tebow’s dad, Bob, you know that is not going to happen. If you know Urban Meyer and his relationship with the Tebows, you know that it is not going to happen. How about this? Instead of worrying what Florida is going to do with Tebow, let’s talk about whether or not the Gators can win in Baton Rouge without him. The answer is yes. I’ll explain next week but know that it has to do with defense.
3. Florida State has to win at Boston College: Here is a great stat from Corey Clark of the Tallahassee Democrat. In 2005 Florida State was ranked No. 4 in the nation when it was upset by unranked Virginia. Since then Florida State has played 48 games against Division I-A competition. In those games Florida State, which was once the most dominant program in college football, is 25-23. Here is another big stat from Corey: In its last 16 games against teams from the six BCS conferences (excluding Duke), Florida State is 5-11. That is staggering. A team at this level that almost loses to Jacksonville State and loses to a USF team with a brand new quarterback has big issues. It is an issue of focus. Coaches get paid to get their team ready to play. I have a great amount of respect and admiration for Bobby Bowden. But his team was not well coached last week.
4. Oklahoma has to win at Miami: Miami is a young, talented football team that got a lot of love after impressively beating Georgia Tech. Then Miami went on the road against a veteran Virginia Tech team and was exposed as a young team not quite ready for prime time. I expect them to bounce back and play well against Oklahoma. But it is Oklahoma that really has to win Saturday’s game at Miami. Because of its 14-13 loss to BYU on Sept. 5, the Sooners have absolutely no margin for error if they want to stay in the national championship race. Obviously Bob Stoops and company want to still be a factor when they face No. 2 Texas in Dallas on Oct. 17. If Oklahoma loses at Land Shark Stadium then the Sooners can only play the role of spoiler for Texas. They would hate to be in that position.
5. Ole Miss does not have a gimme at Vanderbilt: Ole Miss was knocked out of the No. 4 ranking last week with a loss to South Carolina. But the Rebels will still win the SEC West if they run the table. They have Alabama coming to Oxford on Oct. 10, Arkansas on Oct. 24, Tennessee on Nov. 14 and LSU on Nov. 21. So the schedule is set up for Ole Miss to make a nice run. But there is a problem. Vanderbilt tends to play Ole Miss tough. In fact, the Commodores beat the Rebels last season in Oxford. If Ole Miss gets caught looking ahead to Alabama, the Rebels could be out of the SEC West race by the first Saturday in October.
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