Archive for October, 2009

Georgia Tech beats Hokies in an ACC classic


We only had two misses last week but they were pretty bad ones as Georgia missed its wakeup call for the game at Tennessee and Auburn’s undefeated record came crashing down at Arkansas. So that’s 8-2 on the week and 43-17 on the season which, incredibly, has reached the halfway point.

Man that was fast.


Let’s get on with the Fearless Friday Forecast for Oct. 16.


1. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Since getting thumped at Miami (33-17) on Sept. 17, Georgia Tech has done what well-coached teams do. They adjusted, executed a little better, and now they are getting ready to play one of the biggest home games in recent memory. This one comes down to the quarterbacks. If both Josh Nesbitt (Georgia Tech) and Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech) keep playing at their current level, this could be one for the ages. I’m giving the edge to the guy from Greene County, Mr. Nesbitt. Georgia Tech 24, Virginia Tech 21.


2. Georgia at Vanderbilt: Vandy has been a tough out for Georgia for the …

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Mr. CFB will be back on Friday


I’m  sorry but I can’t be with you today. We lost my wife’s mother this week and this morning I am attending the funeral.

She was a fine lady and we will miss her. I have been asked by the family to give the eulogy. I hope I can get through it.

I’ll see you again on Friday with our predictions.





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Some things to think about at Georgia



One of the things I learned a long time ago is that in football, you should never overreact to a good win or a bad loss.


Don’t think you are better than you are because you played well on a particularly Saturday (see Florida State’s win over BYU).


Conversely, don’t beat yourself up or panic after a bad loss. And make no mistake about it. Georgia’s thumping at Tennessee on Saturday was a bad, bad loss.


Fans look at these things emotionally. That’s what they do and that’s why the South has the best college football fans in the world. They are emotionally invested in their team.


But Mark Richt and Damon Evans don’t have that luxury. They have to be pretty calm and rational because if you make a football decision based on emotion, chances are it is going to be a bad one. Here are some things they have to consider:


**–Georgia is very fortunate to be 3-3: When Georgia was 3-1, the Bulldogs were like a stock that was overvalued because the fundamentals didn’t back up …

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Will SEC championship also be the national championship?


Here’s a simple question for you to ponder this morning: Florida and Alabama are ranked 1-2 in the Associated Press media poll. Based on what you have seen thus far, if Florida and Alabama both run the table, will the SEC championship game ALSO be the national championship game as well?


We know that technically it won’t be because the SEC champ will have to play somebody in Pasadena in January to get the crystal football. But if Florida and Alabama are both 12-0 on Dec. 5, will that decide the national championship in your mind?


Here is the final question: Knowing the history of the SEC, it is crazy to even suggest that both of these teams can run the table between now and then? Here are the schedules. You decide:


Oct. 17– vs. Arkansas. Hogs have a great offense with Ryan Mallett.

Oct.  24—at Miss. State. Urban Meyer and Tebow vs. Dan Mullen, their old OC

Oct. 31—vs. Georgia in Jacksonville. Don’t see much of a threat from Dawgs.

Nov. 7—vs. Vanderbilt. Vandy is …

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Bisher was the best. He still is.


We’re going to take a 24-hour break today from the college football chatter.

We’re not going to talk about how bad Georgia was on Saturday against Tennessee (very).

We’re not going to talk about Who’s No. 1, Florida or Alabama? Sorry, Longhorns. You have to do more to impress people.

We’re not going to talk about Ole Miss and the burden of great expectations.

We’re not even going to talk about Tim Tebow. But if you aren’t impressed by now, you’ve got no heart.

We’re going to carve out a few calm moments in the wonderful chaos that is college football season to talk about my friend and mentor, Furman Bisher.

On rare occasions I ask for your indulgence to bring you something that is deeply personal. And when Bisher announced yesterday that he was retiring his Royal typewriter after 59 years at the AJC, anybody who knows and who has worked with the man felt it to their very core.

That’s because when each of us begins to chart a career path, or a life path for that matter, there …

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The Fearless Friday Forecast




Your Fearless Forecaster went 5-5 last week because he didn’t know that:

**–An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (they’ve asked us not to call it excessive celebration) could be called for players looking into the stands or pointing to the sky. Nevertheless, LSU made the plays at the end of the game and deserved to beat Georgia.


**–The Tennessee offense could get any worse than it was. Auburn, to its credit, took advantage of that.


**–Miami would bounce back from an embarrassing loss at Virginia Tech and show a lot of heart to beat banged-up Oklahoma. Randy Shannon’s team is looking at 11-1.


**–Florida State’s football program could become more dysfunctional than it already was and lose on the road to Boston College.


**–Clemson could lose to a 1-3 Maryland team whose only win was against James Madison (38-35) in overtime.


That leaves us at 35-15 after five weeks. We’ll hope to do better this time out.


1. Georgia Tech at Florida State: If I’m Paul Johnson, I …

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Can Kiffin, Tennessee hold it together and beat Georgia?



Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:


1. Can Lane Kiffin, Tennessee hold it together and beat Georgia? If Tennessee loses to Georgia on Saturday in Knoxville, the Volunteers will go into next week’s open date with a record of 2-4, 0-3 in the SEC. With the ineffectiveness of the offense, there are some signs of strain starting to show. Wide receiver Brandon Warren, a transfer from Florida State, was kicked off the team this week after a sideline confrontation with an assistant coach during Saturday night’s 26-22 loss to Auburn in Knoxville. Published reports said Warren had had other issues with the staff and that the incident during the game was simply the last straw. Wide receiver Gerald Jones also had a blowup during the previous week’s game with Ohio. Jones apologized for his actions. Coaching transitions, particularly when a school replaces someone (Phillip Fulmer) who had been head coach for 17 years, are rarely easy. Right now is when Lane Kiffin and …

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Will Tebow play? Should Tebow play?

I never knew there were so many doctors out there.

That is the only conclusion I can draw because since Florida’s Tim Tebow suffered a concussion against Kentucky on Sept. 26, everybody seems to have a medical opinion on whether or not he should play for the No. 1 Gators in Saturday’s big game at No. 4 LSU.

Tebow returned to practice on Tuesday. He went through drills but did not have any contact. Tebow has a medical team that would be the envy of the Mayo Clinic watching his every move, testing him and re-testing him. I’ve been told Florida is going to do everything humanly possible to make sure the evaluation, whatever it turns out to be, is the best that the medical community has to offer.

I don’t know if Tim Tebow should play on Saturday. Neither do you. I’ve spoken to enough people only to know that unless you are there and watching the testing and know what you’re looking for, you can’t possibly know anything. We are all free to speculate as long as we’re honest about …

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FSU needs clarity on Bowden, future

Let me say this up front: I take a back seat to no one in my respect and admiration for Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. The man is already in the College Football Hall of Fame and will end his career as no worse than the No. 2 winner in the history of Division I-A football. He holds a special place in the history of the game.

I will also say this: Based on what he has given to Florida State over the 34 years he has been the head coach, Bobby Bowden has earned the right to decide his own exit strategy. If the people who run Florida State University shove this man out the door because he’s not winning enough games, then shame on them. Yes, believe it or not, there are some things that are more important than winning football games.

But having said all that, there is no denying this: There are some serious problems and uncertainties in the Florida State football program that need to be addressed. Someone in a position of leadership needs to step forward and offer some clarity. …

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It’s time to eliminate the “excessive celebration” rule


I understand that I run the risk of being called a “homer” for bringing this up. This blog is based in Atlanta, Ga. The issue I am about to raise is one that negatively impacted the University of Georgia. I attended the University of Georgia. My daughter has two degrees from the University of Georgia.


I get all that. But you have to realize that I’m talking about the big picture here and not the winner and loser of one football game. I am raising an issue that I believe strikes at the credibility of a game that we all love.


I have been covering college football as a professional journalist for 32 years and, without being too dramatic here, there is a good chance that the excessive celebration call on Georgia’s A.J. Green last Saturday against LSU is the single worst officiating mistake I have seen in my three decades of covering the sport.


First of all, the penalty did not have to be called. I was in New York working for CBS on Saturday and because I had access to the …

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