Archive for November, 2009

Georgia Tech-Clemson rematch could be a classic


So what did we learn over the weekend?


1.  Georgia Tech should be concerned if it gets a rematch with Clemson: Clemson’s 14-10 loss to TCU at home (a game where Clemson had the ball inside the TCU 20-yard line with 1:55 left left) looks better and better. Clemson (7-3) can clinch the ACC Atlantic Division title with a win at home on Saturday against Virginia (3-7). Georgia Tech, which had to rally to beat Clemson 30-27 on Sept. 10, will really have to control the ball and keep it out of the hands of C.J. Spiller. Spiller is the hottest college football player in the country right now. Saturday against N.C. State Spiller ran 16 yards for a touchdown, caught a 34-yard touchdown pass, and threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Dye. It would be Clemson’s first-ever trip to the ACC championship game. With the excitement level at Clemson and Georgia Tech, the ACC championship game in Tampa will get its much-needed sellout.


2. TCU is for real: I had a chance to work …

Continue reading Georgia Tech-Clemson rematch could be a classic »

Georgia Tech wraps up the division at Duke



Last week was a tough one because I believed Duke could beat North Carolina, Oklahoma could beat Nebraska, Notre Dame could beat Navy (what was I thinking there?) and Penn State could beat Ohio State.


That puts us at 73-27 for the season. We’ll try to do better this week as we get on the Fearless Friday Forecast:


1. Georgia Tech at Duke: Georgia Tech should be able to go up to Wallace Wade Stadium and take care of business and clinch the ACC Coastal. The Duke defense is banged up and I don’t see the Blue Devils stopping the Jackets at any point in this game. But the Yellow Jackets could stop themselves. If Tech lays the ball on the ground, this one could get a little scary. Georgia Tech 38, Duke 24.


2. Auburn at Georgia: Georgia gets back to basics behind running back Washaun Ealey, who looks more and more like the answer at tailback. The Bulldogs control the ball and limit the possessions of the Auburn offense. If Georgia can’t run the ball against the SEC’s No. 10 …

Continue reading Georgia Tech wraps up the division at Duke »

Is Georgia Tech D ready for Duke’s Lewis, Cutcliffe?



Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:


1. Is the Georgia Tech D ready for Thaddeus Lewis/David Cutcliffe? The way the Georgia Tech offense is playing, the No. 7 Yellow Jackets should be able to go up to Duke and take care of business. A win gives Georgia Tech the ACC Coastal Division championship. A loss would throw the division into chaos. Duke certainly has a shot in this game because the Blue Devils have Thaddeus Lewis, the ACC’s No. 2 passer with 2,428 yards (only five interceptions) and with David Cutcliffe calling the plays. Georgia Tech’s pass defense is ranked No. 68 nationally and 10th in the ACC (226.7 ypg). The Yellow Jackets have only eight interceptions (Clemson leads the league with 19) and is ninth in the ACC in quarterback sacks with 1.8 per game. If Tech doesn’t turn the ball over several times, the Jackets will be fine. But if they lay the ball on the ground this will be a 60-minute game.



2. Does the HBC have an upset left in him? South …

Continue reading Is Georgia Tech D ready for Duke’s Lewis, Cutcliffe? »

Slive may have to adjust rule on coaches


Nobody asked me, but SEC Commissioner Mike Slive may eventually have to rethink and readjust his position on the coaches and their comments on officiating.

When Slive decided to get tough on coaches who commented negatively on officiating, it was absolutely the right thing to do at the time. And for the rest of this season the threat of fines and/or suspensions should stay in place. The atmosphere is just too toxic and every time there is a controversial call, like the one in last Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game, it just gets worse. So the rule needs to stay in place to keep a lid on things for the rest of this season.

But in the offseason when things calm down, the commissioner may need to take a second look at this policy. Here’s why. Somebody I respect a great deal in this business made this point to me. He didn’t give me permission to use his name so I won’t. But he did change my thinking on this issue.

When their teams get the short end of a bad officiating call, coaches …

Continue reading Slive may have to adjust rule on coaches »

Projecting the BCS bowls



We’re getting down to crunch time, so let’s a take minute to project the five BCS bowls and explain why the matchups will occur.

Just remember that the two bowls that lose their designated conference champs to the BCS title game go to the head of the line when it comes time to pick. The bowl that loses the No. 1 team picks first. The bowl that loses the No. 2 team picks second.

Then remaining conference champs are placed in their designated bowls: Big Ten/Pac-10 to Rose; Big 12 to Fiesta, SEC to Sugar, ACC to Orange.

Then the remaining slots in the games are filled with this order of selection: Orange, Fiesta, Sugar.

So here we go. If you disagree, please tell me why,.




Matchup: Alabama vs. Texas

How it happened: Florida and Alabama are locked into the SEC championship game on Dec. 5. They could be ranked 1-2. As was the case a year ago, the winner goes to the big game.  With Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M left, Texas should cruise to the …

Continue reading Projecting the BCS bowls »

There will be an SEC team in BCS championship

It looked like it was going to be an uneventful weekend. Then the games started.  No. 4 Iowa lost. No. 8 Oregon lost. No. 9 LSU lost but moved up to No. 8. Georgia Tech won in overtime and jumped from No. 10 to No. 7. No. 5 Cincinnati almost lost (47-45 to UConn). Ditto for No. 6 Boise State, that beat Derek Dooley’s Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 45-35.


So what did we learn?


1. There will be an SEC team in the BCS championship game. Before the weekend there was a possibility that if No. 4 Iowa finished 12-0, it could jump a one-loss SEC champion and get into the BCS title game. But with Iowa’s 17-10 loss to Northwestern, that question is now moot. With Alabama rallying to beat LSU on Saturday, I don’t think we’re stepping out on a limb to say that both Florida and Alabama will get to Atlanta undefeated. Now some will argue that if either No. 4 TCU (9-0) or No. 5 Cincinnati (9-0), who have tough games remaining, finish 12-0 they should go ahead of a 12-1 Florida or Alabama. I’m …

Continue reading There will be an SEC team in BCS championship »

SEC made right call on Meyer

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive made his point Friday when he fined Urban Meyer $30,000 for comments the Florida head coach made about officiating on Wednesday. Was it the right decision or should Slive have suspended Meyer?

Last week Slive brought the hammer down on the coaches after a rash of public criticisms of officiating. He put everybody on notice that there would be no more reprimands. Future public criticisms of officials would be met with fines, suspensions or both. He had the full backing of the league’s coaches and athletics directors.

Let me give you some insight into how the decision was made.

Meyer did violate the letter of the law. On Wednesday’s coaches conference call he was specifically asked about a piece of video he sent to the conference office showing what he believed was a late hit on quarterback Tim Tebow by Georgia’s Nick Williams.

Meyer couched his words but this is what he said:  “That should have been a penalty, in my opinion. Obviously, it should have …

Continue reading SEC made right call on Meyer »

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 …

Continue reading Georgia Tech moves one step closer to ACC title game »

Spikes will sit whole game. Will Meyer be joining him?



Normally on Thursdays we have Five Burning Questions. Today, we only have two:


1. Brandon Spikes will sit out the whole game against Vanderbilt. Will Urban Meyer be joining him?  Florida’s Spikes was suspended for trying to poke Georgia’s Washaun Ealey in the eye last Saturday in Jacksonville. Originally, coach Urban Meyer suspended Spikes for one half of the Vanderbilt game. After a national media backlash against the punishment as being inadequate, it was announced after practice on Wednesday that Spikes would sit the entire game. Spikes said he asked that his punishment be extended because he didn’t want to be a “distraction” to the team.

We’ll deal more with that decision in the next note. But here is what I want to know. Did Urban Meyer break the SEC commissioner’s rule on not publicly criticizing officials? If so, could he be sitting out the Vanderbilt game with Spikes?

On Wednesday’s SEC conference call the Florida head coach said he sent video of what he believed …

Continue reading Spikes will sit whole game. Will Meyer be joining him? »

Five questions facing Georgia’s Mark Richt


The AJC did a good job this morning of breaking down issues that have contributed to Georgia’s 4-4 season. I thought Jeff Schultz made the central point when he wrote that Mark Richt didn’t suddenly become a bad coach after winning two SEC championships (2002, 2005) and playing for another (2003). When football teams have a bad season like this, the head coach has to be willing to look at everything and everybody in the offseason. In the final analysis, it really comes down to five questions that Richt musk ask and answer:


1. Despite what the recruiting services say, is Georgia recruiting the caliber of athlete that allows the Bulldogs to compete for the SEC championship? A big part of coaching that fans rarely talk about is the ability of a staff to evaluate talent and make decisions on players. If you are signing the players you want but still getting bad results, then maybe you have a problem in evaluating talent. Example: A couple of years ago the Georgia staff had to …

Continue reading Five questions facing Georgia’s Mark Richt »