The Fearless Friday Forecast

Here, and not a moment too soon I might add,  is the first Fearless Friday Forecast for 2010:

1. Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia: Georgia fans are looking for two things in the opener against the Ragin’ Cajuns from the Sun Belt Conference.  Both deal with reassurance. No. 1, does redshirt freshman Aaron Murray look like a college quarterback? No. 2,  will it be clear that the Georgia defense knows what it is doing? If the answer to both questions is yes, then there will optimism in the air when the Bulldog Nation leaves Sanford Stadium and starts thinking about that Sept. 11 trip to South Carolina. The Gamecocks certainly gave Georgia something to think about with the ease in which they dispatched Southern Miss (41-13) last night. Georgia 31, Louisiana-Lafayette 7.

2. S.C. State at Georgia Tech: There are no questions at quarterback, where senior Joshua Nesbitt returns. But there are questions on defense where Al Groh debuts as defensive coordinator. Now the Bulldogs from Orangeburg are no pushover, having won straight MEAC championships. But I think S.C. State quarterback Malcolm Long will see pressure from a lot of different places and he’ll find that tough to handle. Georgia Tech 35, S.C. State 10.

3. LSU vs. North Carolina (Georgia Dome): For an opening game, both teams arrive in Atlanta a little on the desperate side. North Carolina needs a win to change the subject from a couple of different NCAA investigations. The Tar Heels are expected to challenge in the ACC Coastal but those plans could be derailed if the NCAA finds academic misconduct. We know DT Marvin Austin and RB Greg Little won’t play. There could be a lot more who don’t suit up.  We could hear something on that today.

For a guy who is 51-15 with a national championship, Les Miles sure does hear his name and the words “hot seat” in the same sentence a lot. I picked North Carolina to win this game about a month ago but I sure can’t pick them now. Too many distractions. LSU 17, North Carolina 10.

4. Virginia Tech vs. Boise State (Monday, Landover, Md.): This is a huge opener for Boise State, which returns 21 of 22 starters from a 14-0 team. For if the Broncos, rated No. 5 in the preseason coaches poll, can find a way to beat the ACC favorite then they have a real shot of going undefeated and playing in a BCS bowl for the second consecutive year. Some believe the Broncos can make it all the way to the BCS championship game. I don’t think they can get out of FedEx field with a win. Virginia Tech 21, Boise State 20.

5. Kentucky at Louisville: A lot going on here. Former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong has his debut as the head coach at Louisvillle. Ditto for Joker Phillips, the former Kentucky offensive coodinator who takes over for Rich Brooks. Both sides have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. I think Kentucky has a little bit more with Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke. Kentucky 28, Louisville 24.

6. Miami (Ohio) at Florida: Life after Tim Tebow begins and John Brantley will be the man in the spotlight. The Redhawks from the MAC return every starter from a team that went 1-11 last season and won’t pose much of a threat in the Florida heat. But fans want to see Brantley run what will be a different Florida offense. They also want to see if the defense takes a step back after losing five NFL draft choices and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. The Gators get South Florida at home next week. Florida 51, Miami (Ohio) 10.

7. Arkansas State at Auburn: Yet another quarterback in the SEC will make his debut. Cameron Newton won a JUCO national championship and then transferred to Auburn. He has all the physical gifts (6-6, 243) you could ask for in a quarterback and should shine in Gus Malzahn’s offense. This game is about getting ready for a short turnaround and playing at Mississippi State on Sept. 9. Auburn 31, Arkansas State 10.

8.  San Jose State at Alabama: The Crimson Tide begins the pursuit of its second straight national championship and over 100,000 will turn out at newly-enlarged Bryant Denny Stadium. This game will be a continuation of the celebration that begin last January in Pasadena. Then it will be all business as Alabama gets ready to host Joe Paterno and Penn State on Sept. 11. It will be interesting to see how many times QB Greg McElroy throws the ball down the field to a healthy Julio Jones. Alabama will be without DE Marcell Dareus, who has been suspended for two games by the NCAA . Alabama 45, San Joe State 7.

9. Tennessee-Martin at Tennessee: Derek Dooley, son of Barbara and Vince, makes his debut as the head football coach of the Volunteers. Since Dooley became coach in January he has preached patience and building for the long haul. With a bunch of freshmen on the offensive line and not much experience anywhere else, for that matter, Dooley needs to give the Volunteer faithful some reason to hope. Tennessee may not be a talented team, but they need to look well coached against an overmatched foe, particularly with Oregon coming to Knoxville next week. Tennessee 31, UT-Martin 3.

10. Samford at Florida State: For the first time since 1976 Florida State will play a football game with somebody other than Bobby Bowden as head coach. Jimbo Fisher makes his debut and the Seminoles fans also want some reason to believe that things are going to be better sooner rather than later. I’m keeping an eye on this game to see what kind of start QB Christian Ponder has. This guy is capable of winning the Heisman Trophy, especially playing behind a veteran offensive line. Florida State 42, Samford 17.

 

Programming Note

**–The first “Barnhart and Durham Show” begins today at 10 a.m. on 790 The Zone. We’ll talk about all the action from last night and look ahead to the first full weekend of college football. Among our guests are Georgia State coach Bill Curry, former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, and the great Larry Munson. Gary Stokan will join us to talk about the third Chick-fil-A Kickoff game. You can listen online at www.790thezone.com.

 

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

303 comments Add your comment

Beast from the East

September 3rd, 2010
7:21 am

I agree with all your oicks (pretty easy) except for two. Boise State will beat VT and Louisville beats Kentucky.
Go Gators!!!!!!

Beast from the East

September 3rd, 2010
7:21 am

Typo….picks not oicks!

Beast from the East

September 3rd, 2010
7:26 am

By the way, it sure looks like a three horse race in the East now. USC looked pretty good on both sides of the ball last night. Spurrier has some playmakers on offense. That makes them VERY dangerous!

david

September 3rd, 2010
7:30 am

No pick on UW vs BYU?

[...] The Fearless Friday ForecastAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)They also want to see if the defense takes a step back after losing five NFL draft choices and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. …and more » [...]

TommyP

September 3rd, 2010
7:34 am

Fearless, huh? Wow….just wow. Those were some pretty damn easy picks. I can see picking all the SEC games but wait ’til next week to do that. Then adding FSU and Furman?

SC State is no pushover? Maybe at their level but look at what has happened when they played DI schools. I want to say they average giving up 62 points a game. Please.

You don’t think Boise can get out of there with a win yet you have them losing by 1. Seems you do think they could win this game.

Give us something, man.

Dawg_Mike

September 3rd, 2010
7:34 am

Tony,

I agree with all your picks except Louisville will beat Kentucky.

On another note, I will be pulling hard for VT to slap that little smurf team back to reality.

Dawg Trainer

September 3rd, 2010
7:37 am

Thanks, Tony. The Vols will continue to cruise under the radar and beat somebody they shouldn’t (Georgia, anyone?)

JWalker

September 3rd, 2010
7:38 am

South Carolina has some serious athletes I saw last night. As neither a UGA or Tech fan (in other words objective), I seriously doubt UGA can go into Columbia next week and win.

Question to Dawgs: how mad will you be if you lose to them even if this is a much better South Carolina team than usual?

Joe D.

September 3rd, 2010
7:39 am

Florida’s offense will be better this year…They will get back to using all that speed instead of running their QB off-tackle for four yards.

JB

September 3rd, 2010
7:41 am

FWIW, I think we beat LaL something more like 44-10.

On a side note, UT will be horrible and very lucky to win 5, UGA will not be one of them.

SC looked good but shouldn’t they, considering who they played?

HBTD!!!!

Learn Something Everyday

September 3rd, 2010
7:53 am

JWalker – I for one am not happy that SC has seemingly found a running game, it is the main thing Spurrier has been missing since he got there… So now he is dangerous.

But, I don’t doubt UGA can go into Columbia next week and win. Its usually pretty close so it could go either way. But my logic here is simple. SC has no film to watch on georgias defense yet, they will get some tomorrow and I fully expect that to be very vanilla.

To answer your question: Not mad, disapointed, and mindful of Ark the next week. At best win both, At worst loose both, at least split them.

joe

September 3rd, 2010
7:53 am

After watching the SC game last night, the fleabags have gotta be nervous nelly’s today. An 0-1 or 0-2 start in the SEC just around the bend…

Beast from the East

September 3rd, 2010
7:53 am

JB,
USM is picked to win their conference if I’m not mistaken. Don’t take USC lightly. They look like the real deal to me.

Lewis Grizzard

September 3rd, 2010
7:55 am

Dawg_Mike, Don’t hold your breathe on VT beating Boise. Remember, they are at the top of the ACC… but as someone said her several weeks ago. Having the fastest car in the Ford Pinto 500 is not saying much.

Dog Trainer, No chance for UT.

JWalker, Dawgs will not be mad at all if SC really is ‘all that’ and wins. I mean, better them go to the SEC CG then Florida. ;-)

And Tony… don’t bet the farm on LSU. Remember, Les Miles is still coaching.

McDawg

September 3rd, 2010
7:59 am

USC looked preety good -Receivers are HUGE–our corners need to buckle down-Lattimore is going to be great but Southern Miss was small-lets see how USC handles the MEAN BEAN and the rest of our D-USCs O-Line looked confused all night

82Dawg

September 3rd, 2010
8:01 am

Dawg Trainer …not this year, that game has been circled since last year.

Cracker Jacket

September 3rd, 2010
8:04 am

PJ should have recruited Jaybo’s little brother, Conner, Man, that kid looks like he’s gonna be a good one. SC looks pretty solid. Could there be another disaster on 9/11?

82Dawg

September 3rd, 2010
8:05 am

SC looked good last night, but they were not playing someone with the same quality of athlete as they have like they will next week. Should be a good game next week, they will not get anything from UGA’s game tomorrow to build on.

Gatorbait 17-3

September 3rd, 2010
8:06 am

The dawgs and Gators both have warm up games. It will be interesting to see how the
QB’s from each school compare.

My prediction, Brantley at least doubles every stat of Murray’s, except INT’s.

82Dawg

September 3rd, 2010
8:07 am

Gatorbait 17-3 …save the trash until you have something to go on…………

Gen Neyland

September 3rd, 2010
8:08 am

JWalker : The face-off between UGA-USCe is usually great entertainment for those of us off both reservations. A tone setter that pits brother against brother, so to speak.

JB : Tennessee is jam packed with youth and new faces, especially on the O side. If you’re gonna take advantage of that youth, this will be the year to seek your revenge for those recent past whippings that weren’t suppose to happen but did…

Beast : I kinda like oicks. Thought it somewhat fitting for most these opening day picks.

TopShelfDore

September 3rd, 2010
8:09 am

Tony, afraid to pick Vanderbilt over another academic school–Northwestern?

24-17 Commodores…

GO ‘DORES!

Gatorbait 17-3

September 3rd, 2010
8:10 am

Beast from the East

You are right about So. Miss, they are a much better team than what UGA
faces tomorrow. Can’t wait to see those 6′5″ recievers (3 or 4 of them) of SC go up against those Georgia corners. Can you spell mismatch?

Purple Drank

September 3rd, 2010
8:10 am

Florida’s offense will be better this year…They will get back to using all that speed instead of running their QB off-tackle for four yards.

Amen Joe, been saying that for a while. Tebow definitely stunted the development of the offense.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 3rd, 2010
8:12 am

Enter your comments here

Gatorbait 17-3

September 3rd, 2010
8:12 am

82Dawg

We will both have plenty to go on Sat night——-I just think a 4th year junior will out play
a redshirt freshman—just a prediction not trash-don’t be so touchy.

Reality Stinks

September 3rd, 2010
8:14 am

Gatorbait 17-3

September 3rd, 2010
8:14 am

Purple Drank

Dittto

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 3rd, 2010
8:15 am

I hope you play Mason tommorrow because if Murry cant handle it someone better step up or we are going to lose

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 3rd, 2010
8:15 am

Against South Carolina

JB

September 3rd, 2010
8:16 am

Most of those players on the Southern Miss team, and I said most, would be one and two star players on the Bama,Auburn, Fla., UGA etc recruiting board. With that said, Southern plays their “type” opponents well…….Carolina is above that pay grade of player. Now, don’t get me wrong, Southern is Athletic and plays pretty good football, but not SEC type football. Yes, Carolina looked pretty good, but anyone who gets on here and say’s Georgia will lose WITH OUT HAVEN SEEN US PLAY is just a hater. I’ll take our chances. Georgia Athletes are heads and shoulders above Southerns, and I think even Spurrier would tell you that.

82Dawg

September 3rd, 2010
8:17 am

Purple Drank …How can you say Tebow stunted Florida’s offense? He is one of the best college football players ever. That is a joke and I am not a Florida fan….

JB

September 3rd, 2010
8:18 am

That’s Having seen us play………………..good grief, it’s early…

JB

September 3rd, 2010
8:22 am

I don’t take SC lightly. How can I? The games are always close but to think I’m scared after what I saw last nite… No. To that end, who cares if USM is picked to win their conf. I mean it aint like it’s a conf that is of any note.

HBTD!!!

CedricTheCommodore

September 3rd, 2010
8:22 am

Wow…picking a toughie like UT-Martin and Tennessee, but not picking one of the few SEC games involving two FBS schools, Vandy and Northwestern?

C’mon, Tony.

Joseph Hansel

September 3rd, 2010
8:23 am

Louisville ain’t beatin’ Kentucky and you can go to the bank with that!

dagadawgs

September 3rd, 2010
8:26 am

Gatorbait 17-3 why do you come on here? You are absolutely pathetic. I have never once went to any board associated with the Gators, yet you comment everyday on our blogs. Get a life ya douce! Nobody on this board cares about that flat, hill-less dump of a state your beloved team plays for.

Southern Miss

September 3rd, 2010
8:28 am

Let’s face it, SouMiss has slipped since they forced Jeff Bower out. Their defense used to be downright salty, not anymore. Didn’t Houston put up over 700 yards on them last season? MTSU ran wild against the Southern D in the bowl game.

I think the Dogs whip SC on both lines of scrimmage, and pull the game out.

beatdowns galore

September 3rd, 2010
8:30 am

Dawgs are in big big trouble next Saturday. You can Bank on it ! CMR has been asleep at the wheel in recruiting and also the strength and conditioning program isn’t all that either. Boo Boo is gonna look silly in his play calling against the chickens.

5IML

September 3rd, 2010
8:30 am

Georgia State and S. Carolina looked extremely impressive last night.

Am I the only one who thinks Tony’s and Wes’ voices sound very similar? I may have difficulty following their show on radio.

coach smith

September 3rd, 2010
8:30 am

Anyone who puts ANY stock into what South Carolina did vs So Miss, waht Georgia will do against LALA, what Florida will do against Miami Ohio, etc doesn’t know much about college football!

When the real bullets start flying we’ll see who can play and who can’t

And please spare me the “this is SCAR’s year” CRAP! THEY HAVE NEVER WON THE SEC!!!!!!!!!!!

KR

September 3rd, 2010
8:30 am

At least in last night’s game, Garcia did not look much like his former self, which is a good thing for USC. At this point, I wouldn’t want to try picking the winner of UGA vs. USC. Let’s see what Richt and company bring to the table tomorrow.

Congratulations to my “other” alma mater (grad school), Georgia State, on their victory in their inaugural game last night.

WAR EAGLE!

Rolaids salesman

September 3rd, 2010
8:33 am

Hey Dawg fans…… Please do not take Tums to Williams Brice next weekend ! It aint gonna do y’all any good.

dagadawgs

September 3rd, 2010
8:33 am

I hope Southern Miss is really that weak. With S. Cackalac having a running game now, it’s a little scary.

Gatorbait 17-3

September 3rd, 2010
8:34 am

dagadawgs

September 3rd, 2010
8:26 am
Gatorbait 17-3 why do you come on here?

To irrate losers like you.

Alphare

September 3rd, 2010
8:35 am

SC is good. The Lattimore kid is unbelievalbe, so is Garcia. UGA will have a hard time.

SC uniforms look horrible. Players look locked up somehow in those things. It’s quite opposite to the gator uniforms, which look light weight to me.

JB

September 3rd, 2010
8:39 am

Lattimore avg 3.9 ypc, last nite. He is good but I don’t think last nite’s game makes him all that, just yet.

17-3, can you tell me what the record was for the previous 20 games?

HBTD!!!

Gatorbait 17-3

September 3rd, 2010
8:40 am

Going on 18-3

Gamec0ck Pete

September 3rd, 2010
8:40 am

Here little puppy dogs….. your luck has run out against the mighty Gamec0cks ! Get ready for the sandstorm in your eyes….. Carolina 27 puppy dogs 16 !!!!!