Breaking down the SEC Bowls

 

 

Let’s give Urban Meyer a day off and look at nine of the SEC bowl games. We’re not going to include the BCS championship game between Alabama and Texas today. We’ll have plenty of time to write about that later.

Clemson 21, Kentucky 13 (Music City): We may have seen Kentucky’s Rich Brooks coach his last game. If so, that will be a shame because Brooks has done one of the great coaching jobs in this league, getting the Wildcats to four straight bowls, winning three. With QB Morgan Newton, WR Randall Cobb, and TB Derrick Locke all returning, there is a future if Joker Phillips takes over.

 

Georgia 44, Texas A&M 20 (Independence): Mark Richt has now won 90 games in nine years as Georgia’s head coach. Now he faces the biggest offseason of his time in Athens as he must hire a new defensive coordinator and develop a starting quarterback for 2010. This was a very good win to start that process.

 

Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech (Chick-fil-A, Thursday): Both teams will want to run the ball and play defense. Don’t ask Jonathon Crompton to do too much against a defense ranked sixth in the country. Tennessee RB Montario Hardesty (1,306 yards rushing) vs. Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams (1,538) will be worth watching. I’m giving a slight edge to Virginia Tech, because DC Bud Foster will force Crompton to make plays. Virginia Tech 17, Tennessee 14.

 

Auburn vs. Northwestern (Outback, Friday): Auburn’s offensive balance will be too much for the Wildcats. The Tigers scored 30 or more points in seven of their 12 games. If freshman running back Onterio McCalebb comes back for this game at full speed, Northwestern won’t be able to stop them. Auburn 31, Northwestern 21.

 

LSU vs. Penn State (Capital One, Friday): Look at the record and you’ll see that Penn State only beat one team (Northwestern) in the Big Ten with a winning record. LSU has too many athletes and wants to get to 10 wins. LSU 28, Penn State 14.

 

Florida vs. Cincinnati (Sugar, Friday): This looks like a repeat of the Georgia-Hawaii Sugar Bowl blowout of 2007. Aside from the emotion of Urban Meyer leaving/not leaving, Florida is just too athletic, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Cincinnati does not have its head coach, the interim head coach is leaving after this game, and the defense is not very good. They had to outscore people all season. It is SEC power and speed against a finesse team. While the Meyer flip-flop may be criticized elsewhere, it has served to refocus the Florida team after the loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. Florida 38, Cincinnati 14.

 

Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State (Cotton, Saturday): Based on preseason expectations, Ole Miss underachieved in 2009. The loss to Mississippi State was a huge disappointment and probably kept the Rebels out of a Florida Bowl. Now they are in the Cotton for the second straight season. The key is whether or not an Oklahoma State rushing defense (No. 6 nationally at 87.67 ypg, but that figure is misleading because Cowboys are 93rd in passing defense) can control Dexter McCluster. If McCluster goes over 100, the Rebels win. Ole Miss 24, Oklahoma State 20.

 

Arkansas vs. East Carolina (Liberty, Saturday):  Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett will use this game to stage his run at the Heisman Trophy in 2010. The key will be the Arkansas defense, which was last in the SEC, allowing 401.8 yards per game. East Carolina, coached by Skip Holtz, beat a high flying quarterback (Houston’s Case Keenum) for the Conference USA championship. Holtz has 22 seniors on this team which represents his first signing class. This will be a very good game. Let’s go against the grain and pick the Pirates. East Carolina 31, Arkansas 30.

 

 South Carolina vs. UConn (Papajohns.com, Saturday):  After three straight losses to Tennessee, Arkansas, and Florida, South Carolina salvaged its season with an impressive win over Clemson (34-17), which played in the ACC championship game. South Carolina is a very young team with 15 freshmen and redshirt freshmen in the two deep. Coach Steve Spurrier believed that this year was going to turn a corner from a talent standpoint. South Carolina needs to win this game to set the table for next season. UConn has been through a tough season with the death of teammate Jasper Howard. The Huskies have a great running game with junior Jordan Todman (1,152 yards) and senior
Andre Dixon (967). South Carolina 24, UConn 20.

  

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211 comments Add your comment

Hatfieldgeoff

December 29th, 2009
3:05 pm

Hey Scott, you don’t have any say in who you play in the bowl games and if I were you I would just be happy you are playing Iowa. Because they are one of the few BCS teams I think you can beat (Cincinnati, Boise St perhaps) and we will see if you can take Iowa. Alabama, Texas, Florida, Oregon, Ohio State and TCU would all handle Tech, not to mention several “average” sec teams.

Reality

December 29th, 2009
3:10 pm

GA Tech fans are collectively known as TechVillage or A Gaggle of NERDS!

One thing is for sure…there are not enough Georgia Tech fans to be called ‘Nation.

Chris

December 29th, 2009
3:35 pm

Peemon are you serious? An easy drive right down I-20? 7,000 is pretty good considering the location, DAY OF THE WEEK, time, and how short it was after Christmas. How about you check out UGA ticket sales for every bowl since 2002? Moron.

Its a Gator World

December 29th, 2009
3:36 pm

I’m not a Bama fan but Bamaboss has it right. You dawg fans have a vastly distorted view of your program. I’ve traveled a lot around the country and in other parts when they think of big time football in the south they think of Florida more recently but they think of Alabama as the big boy tradition in the south. They never talk about Georgia. Its a middle of the road program.

I consider us the most dominant team of the last 20 years but Alabama is without question the most dominant southern program all time. They’re the only team that’s been competitive with us over the last 20 years and I certainly respect them as do a lot of gator fans.

But the dawgs. What a dam joke. And everybody seems to know it except dog fans. I look forward to many great battles in the future with Bama for conference championships. Whupping Georgia’s behind for me is now just an afterthought. Simmer down and quit your barking. Judging by your number of championships you guys are all bark and no bite.

Its a Gator World

December 29th, 2009
3:40 pm

That was funny the post about Bama had Bear and Georgia had Vince. Vince’s big thing is that he is a passionate gardner. How dam gay is that? But tell him congrats on those prize winning rosebushes. Vince Dooley wouldn’t be worthy of shining bear bryant’s shoes. Or Spurrier. Or Urban Meyer.

URBAN MEYER

December 29th, 2009
3:53 pm

I not getting any attention after the SEC championship…I quit…wait I am just joking..sombody send me some flowers!

Go DOGS

December 29th, 2009
3:58 pm

When did ATL allow bama and Uf scuz to slither into our city?

No homo

December 29th, 2009
4:01 pm

But I love Its a Gator World and Bamaboss telling UGA fans what its like, and the same thing I have been saying since I was born. Thankfully it wasn’t around the early 80s when Hershel was running back at Georgia. If UGA fans talk about their team this much NOW, I can’t imagine what it was like back then.

Publicity Stunt?

December 29th, 2009
4:21 pm

Are we just sweeping the Urban “Publicity Stunt” Meyer story under the rug?

GT

December 29th, 2009
4:48 pm

How does Georgia manage always to play these big hat and no cattle schools when they go out of conference. The problem is they now think they have some gunpowder instead of the wet noodle they are operating with with. That was not a very good team they played last night and like all year the spin is way out in front of the performance.

jarvis

December 29th, 2009
4:52 pm

Isn’t dam spelled with an “n” unless it’s built by a beaver?

jarvis

December 29th, 2009
4:53 pm

GT I agree. Our last two out of conference games have been against garbage.

brucemac

December 29th, 2009
4:53 pm

Its a Gator World, can’t we just all get along. Usually when you are on top of the world, proper educate is to be nice to us underling Dawgs. I still will pull hard for your Gators in the Sugar Bowl even though you are a self righteous snob.

Shane

December 29th, 2009
5:11 pm

They never talk about Georgia. Its a middle of the road program.

Nice Try. Fans everywhere know all about UGA. I have traveled around the country and everyone has heard of

1. Athens
2. UGA famous mascot
3. The great football tradition at UGA

90 wins in 9 years isnt middle of the road my friend. Its leading the pack.

GT

December 29th, 2009
5:17 pm

I noticed a guy saying Alabama was the ticket and nobody talks about Georgia outside this area. I respectfully disagree. Georgia under Vince Dooley was as good as any program in the country. Dooley was there for a long time and is Georgia’s equivalent of Bobby Dodd. You didn’t want them on your schedule if you had national or conference ambitions. Somehow Bama and Georgia kept away from each other when Bear was there, and I got to think that was more Bear than Vince. If Bear wanted to play em they would have played em. I wish Tech could have figured out how not to play them, I think Dodd retired early seeing the writing on the wall. Georgia is weak now only because of coaching. Coming off the bus they are as talented as any team in the country always have been. They have got to get more disciplined, stop getting so excited about how hard they hit somebody even if it is at the end of a 50 yard run. One of the most penalize teams in the country, and doing so in order to make the highlight film instead of helping the team. I am sure that is how they arrived at Georgia, five stars that got a lot of that rating showboating and drawing attention to themselves. The press including Tony just feeds that, overstating and being blind to poor conduct on the field by them but not by the other team. A good coach like Bear or Vince or Bobby would not let the players heads get that big. You never see a Spurrier or Johnson letting the reality get beyond the healthy level. This much I know, and the talent is there when ever someone decides to coach it.

Dostoyevskiy

December 29th, 2009
5:40 pm

Tech’s defense may be weak, but not UNC’s. They gave up 19 points to #17 Pitt, and held them under 300 total yards. Pitt needed a last minute FG to win. UNC appeared to me to be Pitt’s equal. Only one team scored as many as 30 points (FlState 30) against UNC’s defense this year. And, all members of the UNC will be back next year.

Preston

December 29th, 2009
6:10 pm

Bamaboss, the only reason you say that our fans are over biased is because you come to the AJC blogs to talk about college football. Now think about that. Which team do you think will have the most fans blogging on an Atlanta newspaper’s website? I know you’re from Alabama but surely you can figure this one out. BTW, do you know how they perform circumcisions in Alabama? They kick their sister in the mouth. LOL!

Preston

December 29th, 2009
6:11 pm

I am pulling for Bama though. Roll SEC!

Sonny Clusters, I'd really like:

December 29th, 2009
6:36 pm

your take on all this about the Bowl Games and which Conference is stronger. I think I would trust your opinion better than the ones above my post.

IMA BAMA FUTBAWL FAN!

December 29th, 2009
6:39 pm

Bamaboss: If we payed our coach $4million a year, we’d be pretty good too. Nice to see academics is such a priority at your fine institution. Your football program might be better than ours, but our university and our state are light years ahead of yours, and our overall athletic program is better than Bama’s as well. Quick, name a sport besides football that Bama is good at? Yeah I can’t think of one either. Enjoy Nick Saban while you have him.

2dawgs

December 29th, 2009
6:46 pm

s.c. is going to a bowl that pays $300K, while the the others are in the $1.m’s.

Some how this fits for a mediocre sports program and an academic ‘wasteland’…

Preston

December 29th, 2009
6:49 pm

I think urban crier wants to quit because he knows his butt buddy teblow is leaving. he was gonna have some commas rearranged in his contract if he walked so he’s forced to stay. doesn’t look good for uf at all.

Can You Dig It

December 29th, 2009
6:58 pm

Hey Bamaboss are you kidding me?…where has Bama been the last ten years. Granted Bear Bryant was a great coach but he lost his mojo during his last years as a coach. Vince Dooley out coached Bear twice when he faced him…Nobody was scared of Bama the last five years Bear coached them. Did you forget that a Saban coached Bama team lost at home to La. Monroe two years ago…La. Monroe…come on man…even the great Bama should never lose to them …ever. Saban has done a great job turning the Bama program around and they should win the NC this year but they are beatable..Auburn proved that.For you to get on this blog and tell everybody else in the SEC that their team sucks is a joke…that just shows how narrow minded you are. Do you really think that Bama is gods gift to college football..please remember last years Sugar bowl ass kicking Utah gave your team. Great teams don’t lose bowl games…they stay motivated and beat the teams they should beat. So grow up …..at least act like you have a set of balls. Because when Bama does eventually lose …and they will.. you have set yourself up for a major verbal beat down by everyone on this blog that supports other teams……..but you probably don’t care…most guys like you that are hung like a field mouse ……don’t know how to spell class. Can You Dig It !

Too Funny

December 29th, 2009
7:00 pm

Hey 2dawgs…USC has as good of an academic program as UGA…they also will own you in football for the next several years.

Alphare

December 29th, 2009
7:03 pm

Can you guys please stop talking about how much money your football programs make?

Yes, football does bring some money, but that money is chump change compared good academics. Let’s take Tech as an example: Tech is 1/4 of UGA in size, but Tech’s endowment is nearly twice as big as UGS’s. How much is Tech’s endownment you may ask? 1.4billion US$. It’s billion, not million. Does Tech admire UGA’s 40million brought in thru the football program? not much I’d say.

How come a small Tech has a much bigger endowment than UGA? It’s academics, not games.

jesse james

December 29th, 2009
7:22 pm

Alphare – I agree that a degree from Tech carries alot of weight. But it really irks me that the Jackets brag about academics for their athletes. But my son asked a good question at the UGA-Tech game. He asked why did they give the majors of the Senior Band members, but they didn’t the Senior Football players. This was on the Jumbo Tron. Just Curious.

mason

December 29th, 2009
7:27 pm

(( 30-24 ))
hahahahahAAAAA

Go Hawkeyes!!

just a fan

December 29th, 2009
7:27 pm

Enter your comments here

mason

December 29th, 2009
7:31 pm

>>>That was not a very good team they played last night

LOL It just chapps yer hiney doesn’t it that the dawgs whipped Texas A&M. Glad it hurts.

Almost as much as this hurts:

(( 30-24 ))
hahahahahahahahahaha

Excuse me...

December 29th, 2009
7:31 pm

Is this the spelling bee blog?

Scott's Big Brother

December 29th, 2009
7:43 pm

Scott

December 29th, 2009
10:33 am
And stan lets just look at the teams the acc has played in bowl games so far.

clemon beats kty. who beat you.
bc plays usc. i don’t care this was a down year. it’s still usc with future nfl players.
and unc played pitt. who was ranked 8th before they lost to cincy.

and your conf has played that 6 loss power a&m and clemson.
clemson is just as good as the top 3-5 teams in the sec. yes they are not fla or bama.
and next you have e carolina…wow tough. uconn who unc beat. tough. northwestern? good gosh. auburn will easily beat them. and then fla gets stuck with cincy. of course they will win that.

penn st lsu i think will be a good game. lsu will lose imo.
vt tenn is a coin flip.

Scotty,

You DO realize that the Iowa Hawkeyes recently LOST to Northwestern, right? Yeah… right. That’s the Iowa that plays the ACC Champions in the Orange Bowl. The one’s who recently lost at home to Auburn’s bowl opponent. I’ve tried to tell you not to start this head-to-head crap! Now go home and eat your supper!

Barack Dawg

December 29th, 2009
7:44 pm

Hey Bamaboss – don’t get all hyped up just yet. You got your ass kicked last year by Utah. You were weak in the SEC bowl rounds last year. Don’t let that happen against Texas. Come back after you win and pound about SEC dominance.

SC Rules!!!

December 29th, 2009
7:56 pm

bamaboss;

Hey dudette when you put away the crayons and actually read an article or two on the history of college football MAYBE you’ll realize that cr@p you’ve been shovelin’ is just that! Everyone on the planet knows the SEC is the best OVERALL conference; even us out here on the West (BEST Coast! But Bama ISN’T all alone in that conf; they are but ONE team!

Then again, we really don’t care much about ANY conference as we’ll (SC) PLAY ANYONE ANYWHERE ANYTIME they want too! Too bad y’all refuse to sign on the dotted line to set up a game; but time is on our side, EVENTUALLY y’all will have to play us in a bowl game. Then the PAIN will reign! Until then, be happy that y’all have had the success y’all have and go win your bowl matchups and we’ll be waiting. Coach Carroll isn’t going anywhere, he is a patient man.

Fight On!!!

p.s. Bama don’t forget that Texas is a damned fine team; they have enjoyed some success in the Rose Bowl. (’04/’05) Don’t go countin’ yer chickens ’till them eggs hatch!

SC Rules!!!

December 29th, 2009
8:07 pm

To that UGA Fan who was taking a shot at the great state of ALABAMA!

Stop right there! Now I think the world of Georgia; it’s a beautiful state with many great things to be proud of, but SO TOO is ALABAMA! Without the contributions those good people in Huntsville have made over the past several decades we wouldn’t have beatin the Soviets too the Moon! Think (Saturn V) The shuttle program wouldn’t have gotten off the ground and the ISS (Space Station) wouldn’t be orbiting Earth right now! Y’all BOTH have great states that y’all should both be proud of!!

Fight On!!

Bamaboss is a Poseur

December 29th, 2009
8:20 pm

Alabama should be better prepared for post-season play this year. They were out of place last year sitting at the No.1 spot for half the season. They were ahead of schedule. It’s true that Bama has seen some rough times lately, but there is more to their football history than just the Bear Bryant era. You may not care about undefeated seasons and Rose Bowl victories in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but it’s a part of the tradition and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Alabama doesn’t claim all 17 of their recorded National Championships — only the ones which were considered a consensus Championship at the time when it was awarded. Since the AP Poll started, they don’t claim UPI titles unless they also won the AP title. Otherwise, they would have already won three in a row.

Alabama hasn’t been as terrible as some suggest even in the dark, dark past decade. They’ve posted ten win seasons about every three years and spent a fair amount of time in the Top Ten. Georgia did beat Bama in 2007, but it was hardly a blowout. The regulation game ended in a tie, which pretty well represented the difference between the two teams. Georgia was fortunate to escape OT with a win in that game. You don’t want to talk about last years Bama vs. Georgia game.

Texas has an excellent football team and an excellent coaching staff. If Alabama wins this game and secures a National Championship it will be a game on par with those Rose Bowl games of old. I hope that they do well. I expect Texas to be ready to play. That said, I think that Alabama will win if both teams play their very best game.

RTR!!!

Call It Like It Is

December 29th, 2009
8:29 pm

AMEN Can You Dig It

There sure are a lot of bandwagon Bama fans in this area as before this season, we hardly ever saw Bama flags on cars or on blogs.

Gators win the East again 2010!

Enough Said!

Joe Rox

December 29th, 2009
8:31 pm

IMA BAMA FUTBAWL FAN!

December 29th, 2009
6:39 pm
Bamaboss: If we payed our coach $4million a year, we’d be pretty good too. Nice to see academics is such a priority at your fine institution. Your football program might be better than ours, but our university and our state are light years ahead of yours, and our overall athletic program is better than Bama’s as well. Quick, name a sport besides football that Bama is good at? Yeah I can’t think of one either. Enjoy Nick Saban while you have him

There you go, another Dawg fan green with envy. December 28, 5 P.M., ESPN…………2, Go Gators! Get Up And Goooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dawg Mike

December 29th, 2009
8:52 pm

Gator Mike

Thanks for the congrats. Good luck to the Gators in the Sugar. I know they’ll represent the conference well. Go SEC…run the table!

P.S. as a Falcon fan I sure would like to see Joe Haden in the Birds’ secondary next year.

Bamaboss is a Poseur

December 29th, 2009
8:55 pm

Mr. IMA BAMA FUTBAWL FAN!
December 29th, 2009
6:39 pm

Look Bubba, It’s not like I’ve never been to Georgia. So don’t try to tell me all about how “superior” it is. The University of Alabama is proud of it’s accomplishments in academics and sports. We do enjoy having Nick Saban as our Head Football Coach, thank you very much, and he’s worth every penny that he’s paid. He is free to leave whenever he wants, but I can’t imagine why he’d want to.

RTR!!!

Big L

December 29th, 2009
9:41 pm

Two really good things outta yesterday’s bowl win. One-defense kept us in it. Line got after Johnson and secondary played fast. Two-adjustments at half time. Vince Vance stnkin up line, in comes Anderson and , viola. We running the ball. Make no mistake, A&M is a tuff team who coulda made us look bad yesterday. But Richt did what an elite coach does , adjust to put players in best position to display the better talent.

DawginLex

December 29th, 2009
10:08 pm

Cheeseheads 17
Miami 7

Oh, that ACC speed and dominance……………………..

Florida Down Big in 2010

December 29th, 2009
10:17 pm

Florida gave up 490 yards to the #29 ranked team in total yards, Bama.

UGA gave up less yards to the #5 ranked team in total yards, Texas a & m.

DawginLex

December 29th, 2009
10:39 pm

If Alabama has 12 true national titles, I’m George W Bush……..

Read the history idiot. 5 guys at Tuscaloosa Drug Emporium voting you national champions doesn’t count.

45ACP

December 29th, 2009
11:02 pm

Looks like Wisconson has beat the big bad U.

45ACP

December 29th, 2009
11:10 pm

Wisconsin, that is.

jughead

December 29th, 2009
11:28 pm

The only SEC team he picked to lose was TN. Why am I not suprised? He picked against them all year!

whitedawg

December 29th, 2009
11:32 pm

The U goes down and goes down hard to the cheeseheads.

Red Dog 77

December 30th, 2009
12:35 am

Tony, I would agree with you on all but two games : Oklahoma St. rolls over a mentally drained Ol Miss team 31- 21 and a fired up Northwestern team tired of hearing about the fast and furious SEC will dismantle Auburn 28- 17. Congratulations to Coach Mark Ritcht on 90 wins in 9 seasons, As for Rich Brooks leaving Kentucky having turned that program into something special, What a shame ! But ol Rich might just want to go out leaving Joker Phillips a little to work with , he is a classy enough guy to do just that, but i will tell you one more thing . Joker Phillips wont need alot of help , I think Joker will take Kentucky to even higer ground. As a Bulldog the man sure has my respect!

gcs

December 30th, 2009
12:53 am

East Carolina over Arkansas? I’ll take that bet!

.

Red Dog 77

December 30th, 2009
12:55 am

Big L where you been hidin your bad self, I have enjoyed your plain talk wisdom the last couple days.You are dead on about our win over AM . Owens, Westin, and Atkins had a great game putting pressure on their QB . The poor boy looked like he was about to mess himself, if you got a good look at his face. But did you see De Angelo Tyson flying all over the field? he comes back next year along with Abry Jones, Kwamee Gathers, Garrison Smith, Justin Houstin , and a host of SEC man eaters . AH it is great to be me ! Im a GEORGIA BULLDOG !!!! GO DOGS..!!!