Georgia Tech moves one step closer to ACC title game

 

Made a couple of mistakes last week when I thought Ole Miss had figured things out and would beat Auburn and that Kentucky would win at home against Mississippi State. That gave us a record of 8-2 on the week and 67-23 on the season.

So let’s get on with the Fearless Friday Forecast for the first Saturday in November:

 

1. Wake Forest at Georgia Tech: It’s tough for any team to get ready to play Georgia Tech in just four days. Deacons’ quarterback Riley Skinner (concussion) was cleared to play on Friday which gives them a chance to control the football and keep the Tech offense off the field.  Still, Georgia Tech is a hot team that is at the top of its game. Jackets take one step closer to the ACC championship game in Tampa. Georgia Tech 31, Wake Forest 17.

 

2. Tennessee Tech at Georgia: It has not been a fun week to be a Bulldog. Coach Mark Richt has decided to stick with quarterback Joe Cox for a stretch drive that also includes Auburn, Kentucky and Georgia Tech. This game has to help Cox with his confidence, which can’t be very high right now. Georgia 42, Tennessee Tech 13.

 

3. LSU at Alabama: No question in my mind that LSU has a shot here because the Tigers have the athletes to match up with the No. 3 Crimson Tide. Both teams will use the same defensive game plan: Stop the run and force the quarterback to make plays. But I think the Alabama defensive front is better and can put more pressure on LSU’s Jordan Jefferson. LSU has to take some chances and throw the ball down the field. Alabama will intercept at least two passes and win a tough, vintage SEC game. Alabama 17, LSU 13.

 

4. South Carolina at Arkansas: The Head Ball Coach at South Carolina (6-3) really could use this game. After last week’s loss to Tennessee, where the Gamecocks gave away too many points with turnovers, Steve Spurrier is facing the real possibility of a very tough finish. South Carolina hosts No. 1 Florida next week and finishes with Clemson in Columbia. I just think Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett is playing better right now than Stephen Garcia. The Hogs win at home. Arkansas 24, South Carolina 17.

 

5. Vanderbilt at Florida: We know Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes will sit out this game. Today we should find out if head coach Urban Meyer will be joining him for his comments about officiating. If Meyer sits it will give defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who should have been a head coach long ago, to improve his head coaching record to 1-1. Strong was the interim coach in the 2004 Chick-fil-A Bowl after Ron Zook was fired. Florida lost to Miami. Gators roll and get ready to go to Columbia. Florida 42, Vanderbilt 6.

 

6. Florida State at Clemson: This one is basically an elimination game in the ACC Atlantic. Clemson has played well the past three weeks thanks to the big plays by C.J. Spiller. Florida State QB Christian Ponder has been a warrior, keeping the Seminoles in the game while the defense struggles. I’m giving the edge to Clemson at home. Clemson 38, Florida State 35.

 

7. Duke at North Carolina: Duke (5-3) still needs two wins to become bowl eligible because the Blue Devils played Division II team N.C. Central. But more importantly, they need another ACC win to set up next week’s Coastal Division showdown with Georgia Tech. David Cutcliffe has significantly improved the program in less than two years. Beating the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill would be his signature victory to date. This week’s upset special. Duke 31, North Carolina 30.

 

8. Ohio State at Penn State: Ohio State (7-2) can still go to the Rose Bowl if the Buckeyes can win their final three games against Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan. But the Buckeyes still have an issue with sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor. He is a wonderful athlete who has yet to learn how to play the position. Pryor, a Pennsylvania native, will not have a good Homecoming. Penn State 20, Ohio State 10.

 

9. Oklahoma at Nebraska: Remember when we used to look forward to this game? After losing three games by a total of five points to BYU, Miami, and Texas, and losing its Heisman Trophy quarterback (Sam Bradford) to injury, Oklahoma (5-3) wants to finish 9-3 and go to the Cotton Bowl. Nebraska is struggling on offense, big time. Both have great defenses but Oklahoma has more guys who can make plays. Oklahoma 24, Nebraska 20.

 

10. Navy at Notre Dame: I’m not a big believer in the Irish (6-2), who can still go to a BCS bowl if they finish 10-2. Navy is finally healthy and will get quarterback Ricky Dobbs (16 TD rushing) back for this game. It is tempting to go with the Middies but I believe Jimmy Clausen will be able to throw the ball on the Navy defense. Notre Dame 31, Navy 21.

 

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154 comments Add your comment

daveo

November 6th, 2009
8:26 am

GTMike

November 6th, 2009
8:32 am

Florida will NOT score 42 on Vandy…’course, Vandy won’t score at all, but their D is much better than GT made them look last week.

Dog Island Gator

November 6th, 2009
8:33 am

Commish Barnheart makes Myer and Spikes sit out a game. Jeezz Don’t you have enough to worry about with your bulldogs?

Trade School Junkie

November 6th, 2009
8:36 am

GT:31 Wake:17…if Skinner plays.
If Skinner does not play, then more like GT:70 Wake:12

dawgday

November 6th, 2009
8:37 am

weak slate. LSU BAma should be good but besides that…

Will be in Athens to support my Dawgs! They need it.

GA Tech Insider

November 6th, 2009
8:38 am

Skinner plays tomorrow.

Brad

November 6th, 2009
8:38 am

Wow Tony… Your bitterness against the Gators and Urban Meyer is palpable… you can practically taste it… Not that it matters against hapless Vandy. And you’re right about Charlie Strong’s head coaching prospects… I hear the Dawgs may need a new HC soon.

MalibuGT

November 6th, 2009
8:40 am

agree with all your picks (surprisingly) except I don’t see Duke & UNC scoring that many points

Coach O

November 6th, 2009
8:42 am

I agree GTMike. Vandy is the unsung hero of the SEC. It is only media bias (and their 0 for 5 SEC record) that keeps them locked out of the SECCG in December. GT makes ALL SEC teams look bad. Too bad they can’t play the Gators — they’d show them a thing or two!

All kidding aside though, you’re right about one thing: Vandy probably won’t score any points in this game. They rarely do when facing even a mediocre defense.

RickyatTech

November 6th, 2009
8:44 am

Wake Forest doesn’t hold Georgia Tech to 31. That would also mean Georgia Tech kicks a field goal on 4th down instead of going for it. Not gonna happen.

Tech 49
Wake 17

UGA plays sisters of the poor this weekend coached by Mack Brown…oh, i’m sorry…it’s Watson Brown….the OTHER Brown. UGA wins…but doesn’t blow the doors off anyone.

UGA 31
Tenn Tech 20

Grecian Formula

November 6th, 2009
8:52 am

I wonder who wins the worst hair color job on CBS? Tony or Tim Brando?
I say, it’s Tim 65, Tony 63. Both are pretty bad.

RonnieGarDner

November 6th, 2009
8:53 am

The way I see it is this: Lane Kiffin must have not given Tony B. a good sound bite or something.The Vols do have a game and you would figure they could at least get a part of the Friday forecast.Couple that with the fact that Tony never really mentioned the Tenn Alabama game even though he said he would talk more about it later in the week after. I guess ole Kiff must not have kissed up to Tony enough.

Jake

November 6th, 2009
8:55 am

I don’t see much gray in Tony’s hair,, so somthing is going on. Tim is just lucky to have hair.

roylee13

November 6th, 2009
8:57 am

It looks like UGA and UF posters have something in common. It seems they are both obsessed with the Bulldogs.

Jake

November 6th, 2009
8:57 am

Ronniegardner, Yeah, where is the follow-up from Tony. Maybe it will come after New Years.

Jake

November 6th, 2009
8:57 am

Enter your comments here

RogerDawg

November 6th, 2009
8:59 am

Enter your comments here

Trade School Junkie

November 6th, 2009
9:02 am

Clemson will beat FSU. Clemson has the overall best D in the ACC.
FSU’s D cant stop ANYONE.

I’ll go WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY out on a limb and make this HIGHLY IMPROBABLE prediction:

Florida Satte will upset Florida at The Swamp on November 28th.

In what will be Mickey Andrews last game
(and most likely Bowden’s last game)FSU will SHOCK THE WORLD.

Spurrier NEVER won at Doak-Campbell.

And, ABSOLUTELY NOBODY ever would have believed Ron Zook could go
to Doak-Campbell…in his last game…and do what Spurrier could NEVER do…and beat FSU either.

Crazier things have happened.

But THIS is THE ONE…no one is expecting.

GatorG

November 6th, 2009
9:03 am

“2. Tennessee Tech at Georgia: It has not been a fun week to be a Bulldog.”

Yes, Tony, we can see that from your incessant harping on the Spikes situation.

Thanks for finally writing a column about FOOTBALL. I still think you need to suspend yourself for at least one week, though, for a serious journalistic integrity infraction.

RonnieGarDner

November 6th, 2009
9:03 am

I think Tony has been snubbed by Kiffin. Or as we say in the south He gave him the “high hat”. Or possibly even that Tony thinks by not even giving Kiffin or the Vols a mention it will somehow help his beloved Dogs recruiting.

RogerDawg

November 6th, 2009
9:03 am

Good points Tony. I agree with the winners/losers..disagree with the scores.

Tech and Wake are pretty similar….I think Tech wins in a dogfight.

GT 24 Wake 21

Georgia gets back on track this week Tony. Big game for a bunch of the guys.

Georgia 48
T Tech 10

jambee

November 6th, 2009
9:08 am

Tony – you will actually count in your tally this week Florida beating Vanderbilt and Georgia beating Tennnessee Tech? These are really tough calls straight up without points. Don’t go out on a limb here, Mr. SEC Fooball.

I Hate trailer trash

November 6th, 2009
9:08 am

I think ROger Dawg is high as CMR. UGAY will squeak by as usual. Tech will roll big time. Face it trailer monkeys your days are over.

Tony Barnhart

November 6th, 2009
9:11 am

Granted jambee, it is a thin slate of games. But I’ve never done point spreads. Not going to start now.

CharlotteGator

November 6th, 2009
9:12 am

RonnieGarDner,

“Couple that with the fact that Tony never really mentioned the Tenn Alabama game even though he said he would talk more about it later in the week”

I have to agree with you on this comment. Very said that this game didn’t get mentioned at all this week. It’s a huge game that I’m actually really looking forward to watching. It may not have the offensive fireworks that get great ratings, but you know that pads will be popping in T-town. This will be a straight up street fight in pads and I for one am glad I can just enjoy it without having my team involved. It would be interesting if the offenses came out and surprised us (i.e. UGA vs. USC), but I think I’d enjoy a more physical game with tension throughout. Again probably because UF isn’t involved.

In any case, good luck to the Bammers and Tigers both. Great teams that will make formidable opponents in a month or so. Really looking forward to going to the Dome against whoever we play.

Will be fun to watch P-Pat and C. Jones take on Julio, Maze, and Peek. Richardson is a wildcard and Ingram is always fun to watch. If Jefferson has a break out game, watch out, and you never know when the two LSU receivers will go off. They’re great and make the tough catches look easy. Because of the celebration nonsense, it’s easily forgotten just how good they played against the Dawgs. They made incredible grabs all day. Any chance we have a Reuben and/or Sheppard sighting?

Alphare

November 6th, 2009
9:13 am

Bama is rested, McElroy was good with short pass(he did pretty well against Tennessee actually), and LSU’s defense is not as good as Tennessee. They should be better than 17-13.

People gave McElroy too much pressure to throw to Julio while Julio is not his healthy self. That’s how McElroy got messed up.

ratherBgambling

November 6th, 2009
9:17 am

Not sure why the SEC would suspend Meyer for his first offense. Bozo has popped off a few times without penalty.

Like the picks but “The Hat” pulls out a miracle and finally lets Russell Shepard loose ina big game.

LSU 17
Bama 16

Atlanta Gator

November 6th, 2009
9:17 am

Tony—-Rarely have I disagreed more with the emphasis of your weekly columns than this week. While I understand the need of your readership to see the Spikes-Ealey controversy addressed, you have done a great disservice to your SEC fan readership be ignoring the Alabama-LSU game all week. It IS the game of the week, and it rates substantially more commentary than the brief paragraph above.

How about a supplemental column about No. 9 LSU and No. 3 ‘Bama later today or tomorrow morning?

Just a suggestion from one of your loyal readers.

Exposed

November 6th, 2009
9:18 am

Grabbing a ringside seat can’t wait for the show to really get
going. Tony you mentioned Meyer again Spikes again now the blue and
orange face paint complete with big nose, bow tie and oversized
shoes a$$ clowns formerly known as Gator nation will begin their
repetetious critique of your media credentials. ROFLMAO!!!
Go get em Gators . I am sure you can be a little more pissy
and paranoid than you showed yesterday. Dog Island Gator already
got you off to a great start. Let’s see the fine examples of
Gator reasoning we’ve all come to know and expect. I’ll help
get you off to good beginning …start off by reminding everyone
that the Gators own the Dawgs . Yeah that is a good starting point
and we have only read that once so far today. Everybody always loves
a good ” your team sucks so my lack of character issues don’t matter
argument”. And wait, there is the old “you’re just jealous” arguments
one of my personal favorites. C’mon think creatively , you can
do it and we need the free entertainment. Let the show begin !

ha

November 6th, 2009
9:22 am

GT and Florida co-own UGA.

ratherBgambling

November 6th, 2009
9:23 am

When character is mentioned by UGA fans, their 20+ arrests come to mind.

Slick Willard

November 6th, 2009
9:25 am

TradeSchoolJunkie, you really must be a meth or crack junkie to make such an asinine prediction on the FSU/UF game.

Trade School Junkie

November 6th, 2009
9:31 am

If GT players choose the Blue Jerseys with White pants,
(same combo GT used in 2006 ACC-CG) then you can take it to the bank, that the GT players have decided to make it an A-1 Azz-Whoopin.

If these uniforms, then GT will score at 50+
…whether Skinner plays or not.

FYI…GT beat Wake 63-35 in 1998.
GT could beat that score tomorrow.

GatorG

November 6th, 2009
9:45 am

So, Exposed, you agree with Tony that the only two relevant questions in the world of college football yesterday were about Spikes and Meyer?

Black Out

November 6th, 2009
9:46 am

Trade School Junkie, yeah, we’ve already seen how significant uniforms are when it comes to victories. Brilliant statement.

Anonymous

November 6th, 2009
9:47 am

ha,

Your “ownership” of UGA is of relatively recent vintage. Before you claim Tech’s co-ownership of UGA with Florida, perhaps Tech should be allowed to “win a decade” by going 6-4 or 7-3 against the Dawgs.

Besides, I don’t think Florida plans to give up or share its majority ownership interest in UGA any time soon.

Trolling

November 6th, 2009
9:49 am

Nice try, Exposed. The horse is dead and buried.

Exposed

November 6th, 2009
9:49 am

Yeah ratherBgambling is was 20+ Georgia fans that got arrested.

Another brilliant observation . Might want to take a seat now

and leave trying to make a cogent point to others a little more capable.

Clown observations are always welcome but that doesn’t even meet

Gator standards.

collegeballfan

November 6th, 2009
9:52 am

Sure hope you are correct re the GT game with Wake. It has me worried.

I will take NC over Duke. (1) The season finally catches up with Duke;
or, (2) Duke is looking ahead to GT; take your pick.

Gen Neyland

November 6th, 2009
9:55 am

Atlanta Gator : The point is valid but this week has been an AJC sactioned Group Therapy Session bringing a huge number of ‘hits’ on the subject matter discussed. Now, let’s all line up at the window for our meds…

Polls

November 6th, 2009
9:55 am

Top 25 – Georgia where are you?
Top 35 – They ain’t here. Ain’t seen ‘em in a while!
Top 50 – They quit, went on vacation, said they didn’t have enough money, facilities or fan support to keep up with Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia Tech or even Oklahoma State.

Atlanta Gator

November 6th, 2009
9:56 am

For you Gator alumni and fans who may be new or infrequent visitors to Tony Barnhart’s “Mr. College Football” column the AJC and his sports blog, I can assure your that Tony plays it down the middle when reporting on the ACC and SEC, and cannot generally be called a “homer” for either UGA or Tech.

Georgia and Georgia Tech do get their share of coverage in the AJC, but this IS an Atlanta, Georgia newspaper after all.

Anonymous is right

November 6th, 2009
9:59 am

You Tech fans may whip Georgia for 5 straight years or more with Paul Johnson, but you’re still only renting. Florida owns their whole program.

Over Exposed

November 6th, 2009
9:59 am

Dang, if I’d lost 17 out of the last 20 to a team that is supposed to be a rivalry (sorry – Florida would rather be rivals with someone who can compete), I’d feel pretty exposed, too!

GA Tech Insider

November 6th, 2009
10:00 am

Anyone who thinks that Wake Forest is coming to Atlanta and is planning on rolling over and playing dead needs to have their head examined. Wake needs a couple of wins to become bowl eligible, their Coach is top-notch, and they have an explosive passing offense, which plays into the heart of GA Tech’s defensive weakness. Don’t go around fooling yourselves, this game is no cakewalk. I can assure you, Paul Johnson isn’t going in thinking that it will be.

Atlanta Gator

November 6th, 2009
10:02 am

Gen Neyland—-I have noted that you have been unusually pointed and a little edgier in your blog observations as of late. I like it. Good to see you come out of your shell to defend your opinions and your Volunteers.

Good luck to your kids against Memphis this weekend.

Miles

November 6th, 2009
10:06 am

According to one of Alabama’s most respected criminal lawyers, whose practice is in Tuscaloosa, there will be approximately 300 public intoxication arrests this weekend. ROLL TIDE!

The Govenor

November 6th, 2009
10:06 am

What’s the big deal about playing in the ACC Championship Game? No one will be there and hardly anyone will be watching.

They should just meet half way and flip a coin.

The ACC is sooooo insignificant to college football.

It’s a travesty that the ACC even has a single automatic bowl bid.

Just look at the crap teams the bowls could possibly get stuck with.

Christian Dior

November 6th, 2009
10:07 am

What kind of ensemble will the Bulldogs be sporting this weekend?

Will they don their jaunty black chapeaus once again?

How about some red and white pinstriped pants with pink jerseys and charcoal socks?

There are so many things they can do with their basic color scheme!

Miles

November 6th, 2009
10:07 am

Point spreads are for bettors. College football is for FANS!