Archive for September, 2010

Weekend watch: Florida needs Demps to have a shot at the Tide

Five things to look for this weekend in college football:

1. Jeff Demps, Florida: Demps is the best offensive weapon Florida has. He averages 6.9 yards per carry and is averaging 32.5 yards per kick return. He has also caught 11 passes for 61 yards.  Any team that hopes to beat Alabama is going to have to do it with big plays. You are not going to grind it out against that defense. Demps bruised his left foot at Tennessee on Sept. 18 and wore a protective boot until Wednesday. He had limited practice yesterday and is expected to practice today. Florida needs Demps to stretch the defense if the Gators hope to have a shot at the nation’s No. 1 team on the road.

2. Patrick Peterson vs. Gerald Jones: Jones, the Tennessee wide receiver, says he’s 100 percent and ready to go after missing three games with a broken bone in his left hand. Jones picked a good time to get well because the Volunteers will play their first road game of the season at LSU after four straight home games. In …

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Florida’s Meyer rolling the dice with Chris Rainey

Nobody asked me but:

1. Urban Meyer is rolling the dice with Chris Rainey: The Florida wide receiver had his felony stalking charge knocked down to a misdemeanor and will not be prosecuted for this text message threat to a Gainesville woman. I know that Meyer likes this kid and has tried to work with him, but if Rainey is allowed back on the team and something goes wrong, the University is going to be in a very vulnerable position from a liability standpoint. Meyer knows the kid. I don’t.  Local authorities have assessed the situation and don’t believe there is a threat. The woman involved is not pressing charges and issued a public statement saying that she does not believe there is a threat. That’s all well and good.

All I know is that since the Virginia lacrosse case (where a male member of the lacrosse team killed a female member of a team in the same sport by beating her head against a wall), the wisest policy is zero tolerance when it comes to threats towards …

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First round of “playoffs” begins on Saturday

The first BCS Standings will be released two weeks from this Sunday. And right now it’s pretty clear that if they keep winning, Alabama and Ohio State are going to be 1-2.

But after that I’m not so sure. Will Boise State, the Cinderella, be No. 3?

And for all of you folks who want a playoff (and for the record, I want a four-team playoff),  just consider that a whole lot can happen between now and Oct. 17. Before the first BCS Standings are released:

No. 1 Alabama, which just escaped with a close win at Arkansas, will play No. 7 Florida (4-0) at home and No. 22 South Carolina (3-1) on the road.

No. 2 Ohio State will play No. 9 Wisconsin (4-0) on the road and at night.

No. 3 Boise State will play New Mexico State (0-3), Toledo (3-1), and San Jose State (1-3). The computers won’t like that.

No. 4 Oregon will play No. 13 Stanford (4-0) on Saturday  in a monster game.

No. 5 TCU willl play Colorado State (1-3), Wyoming (1-3), and BYU (1-3). Speaking of  BYU, the Cougars …

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The reality: Georgia is just not very good

Wow! September has flown by! So what did we learn on Saturday?

1. Georgia is just not very good: I could spin it for you Bulldog fans, but I won’t. You could rationalize the South Carolina loss.  It was on the road and Georgia was playing a new defense against a great, young running back. You can explain the Arkansas loss and praise Georgia’s comeback to tie the game in the fourth quarter. But after Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State in Starkville, I can only come to one conclusion: Georgia is just not very good.

I see an offensive line that has underachieved. I see running backs that are pretty average. I see a defense that really doesn’t have the personnel to run the scheme that is being employed. Yeah, Georgia was missing its star player (A.J. Green) who finally returns this week. That is a factor, but it doesn’t explain everything.

Mississippi State played hard and deserved to win the game. I’m not taking anything away from them. They played with a sense of urgency …

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Tech wins a squeaker; Georgia survives in Starkville

The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. N.C. State at Georgia Tech: The last time the Wolfpack was 3-0 (2002) they eventually got to 9-0 before the run was stopped by Georgia Tech in Raleigh. As a Tech fan you need to be concerned that N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson is just now knocking off the rust after playing minor league baseball all summer–and he threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in his last outing against Cincinnati. Wilson has thrown 101 passes this season without an interception. That will change at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. Georgia Tech 21, N.C. State 20.

2. Georgia at Miss. State: Don’t worry about the cowbells, Bulldog fans. They are loud. It’s life on the road in the SEC. The thing to worry about is that the Mississippi State quarterbacks–Chris Relf and Tyler Russell–are due for a breakout game. And after giving up just less than four bills against Arkansas last week, the Georgia secondary is not going to put a lot of fear into anyone. My advice to …

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Is Arkansas’s Mallett ready for Alabama?

Five things to look for as we close out September:

1. Ryan Mallett versus the Alabama defense: A year ago the Arkansas quarterback was simply overwhelmed when the Hogs went to Alabama. He completed only 12 of 35 passes, was sacked three times and rushed eight others. The result was a 35-7 victory by Alabama. Now Mallett has the confidence of winning an SEC game on the road (where he was 0-4 last season). He threw for 380 yards against Gerogia and won the game on a last-second touchdown pass. Will he be able to handle what Alabama’s defense is going to throw at him Saturday in Fayetteville?

2. Streaks by Florida and Kentucky: There have been some close calls along the way, but Florida has beaten Kentucky 23 straight times heading into Saturday’s showdown in the Swamp. Kentucky has played token opposition in its first three games but has not turned the ball over once. That’s hard to do even against tall grass. Will either of those streaks come to an end on Saturday? I don’t …

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RIP, Kenny McKinley

 

Nobody asked me but…..

1. RIP, Kenny McKinley. The first time Steve Spurrier saw Kenny McKinley he wondered to himself: “Are we actually recruiting this guy?” McKinley, a quarterback at South Cobb High School, was so skinny that a stiff breeze would blow him away, Spurrier told me. But on that visit to the South Carolina campus McKinley made it clear that he wanted to play for Spurrier. He had seen how Spurrier had taken another high school quarterback, Jacquez Green of Fort Valley, and turned him into a top flight receiver at Florida.  McKinley turned out of be one of Spurrier’s favorites, breaking most of South Carolina’s receiving records. He was great player and a very good kid. It’s heartbreaking to think that someone that young would take his own life.

2. There are bad injuries. There are devastating injuries.  And then there is Houston: Your heart has to go out to Case Keenum, the quarterback at Houston. Keenum is one of only two quarterbacks in …

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Sorry, Reggie. You can’t have it both ways

I’d have a lot more respect for Reggie Bush if he had stood up last week and said the following:

“I won the Heisman Trophy because of what I did on the field. In case you didn’t notice, I was a pretty damn good player on a team that won the national championship in 2004 and came within a few seconds of winning it again in 2005.

“Yeah, my family and I took a bunch of money and stuff. So what? USC made millions off of me and my teammates. I don’t see anybody asking THEM to give that money back!

“I’m not giving up the Heisman Trophy. And if those folks at the Heisman Trust  want it back they are going to have to come to my house and get it. So, in the immortal words of Les Miles: ‘Have a great day!”

But no, Reggie Bush didn’t take a stand.  I was with you, Reggie, until you went to great pains to say that returning the Heisman was “definitely not an admission of guilt. It’s just me showing respect to the Heisman Trophy.”

Please.

So let me see if I have this straight. You, Mr. …

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UGA’s Murray fine; it’s the O-line I’m not sure about

Another crazy weekend: So what did we learn?

1. Georgia’s Aaron Murray is going to be fine. It’s the offensive line I’m not sure about: Georgia’s 31-24 loss to Arkansas proved once again that in the SEC, the difference between winning and losing is very small. Georgia made a good comeback to tie the game and put itself in a position to win. It had the ball on what should have been the final possession. The worst thing that should have happened is that Georgia didn’t score and the game went to overtime.

But on third down the running back whiffs on a pass block and the quarterback gets sacked. Arkansas gets the ball back and  a safety takes the wrong angle on a tackle and Arkansas breaks free for the winning touchdown. Two plays. Arkansas made them. Georgia didn’t. That’s it.

But here is the good news for Georgia. The Bulldogs have a quarterback. Everyone I talk to in this league likes the upside of Aaron Murray. He’s learning the position and is going to make mistakes. …

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Georgia and Georgia Tech win because they GOTTA win

The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. Georgia Tech at North Carolina: There is no nice way to say it. Last week at Kansas was a bad loss for the men of The Institute. But there is a sense of urgency at Georgia Tech as it prepares to go to Chapel Hill because every game in tightly-bunched Coastal Division will be crucial. There is also a sense of frustration at North Carolina as a promising season may soon start to unravel if the Tar Heels don’t win this one. If the Tar Heels had all of their talented defenders, I’d be tempted to go with the home team. Barring some last minute announcement on Friday or Saturday, those seven defensive starters won’t be there for this game. I’m going with the Jackets. Georgia Tech 28, North Carolina 21.

2. Arkansas at Georgia: There isn’t a whole lot of positive energy coming out of Athens today. The Bulldogs got manhandled on both lines of scrimmage at South Carolina. The offensive line couldn’t run block and the defense could not tackle. My friend …

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