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

Atlanta Gator

September 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

Welcome back, sports fans.

My comments in response to Tony’s predictions:

1. Yawn. Georgia. My graduate degree programs didn’t teach me to count that high.

2. Yawn. Georgia Tech. Ditto.

3. LSU by only 7 over UNC? Tony, did you write this column before they announced 12 Tar Heel players have been declared ineligible? The Tigers may have some issues, but I expect this will be a 2 or 3 touchdown win by LSU.

4. Tony’s predicted score, 21-20, I accept, but I expect Boise State to beat Virginia Tech.

5. Kentucky over Louisville by 4? Sounds about right.

6. Florida vs. Miami University (i.e. “Miami of Ohio”)? Last time these teams met, it was the 1973 Tangerine Bowl, Doug Dickey was the Gators’ coach, the Miami Redhawks were still called the Miami Redskins, and Miami won 16-7. Times have changed. This game will be a lot like Custer’s-last-stand-in-reverse, by more scalped bodies . . . er, points, than I can count. And, no, I will not watch: it’s another Gators preseason game and the Atlanta weather is predicted to be beautiful this Labor Day weekend.

7. Auburn. Yawn. Gene Chizik and his Tigers gain some self-esteem by beating the crap out of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

8. Alabama. Yawn. See Auburn comments, but unfortunately for “San Joe State,” the Crimson Tide already has plenty of self-esteem. Bring on the Christians; the lions are hungry.

9. Tennessee (Knoxville). Yawn. See Auburn comments.

10. Florida State in the Bowden Alumni Bowl. Yawn.

Good luck to all the teams for whom you cheer, and may the best teams win. (They usually do.)

DIT

September 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

Thanks DawginLex
What happened to that the defensive guru? Monte is good, but I bet he almost had a heart attack after that one. Is Hawaii suppose to be any good this year?

atlvol55

September 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

DIT:

49-36 USC…Espn is acting like USC killed Hawaii. I watched the game; USC secondary is horrible. They couldn’t stop Hawaii. Unfortunately, some of Hawaii’s tackling was some of the most pathetic I have ever seen. Barkley’s first pass was an 8 year out route and the USC receiver just stiff arm the tiny db to the ground and walk in from 45 yards out…its just too bad that the Pac 10 is so weak, cause Kiffin’s USC team would be lucky to win 7 games with TN schedule this year

5IML

September 3rd, 2010
11:32 am

Dawgin,

What is your source? Please post the link to the article.

To outsiders, it appears that UGA tried to hire Smart and Muschamp but settled for Grantham.

DP

September 3rd, 2010
11:32 am

I’ve actually liked Mark Richt and had a lot of respect for him as a football coach. But after watching that clip with Jim Rome from 3 YEARS AGO saying there wasn’t a discipline problem at Georgia and acting offended at the suggestion, followed by a constant barrage of arrests and undisciplined play on the field, I don’t think Richt has it in him to get his team under control.

Mutt Nonsense

September 3rd, 2010
11:34 am

5IML,

Yeah, I know, I just figured DawginLex messed up his excuse so I went ahead and corrected him. He couldn’t have possibly meant Adams because everyone knows Adams has messed up everything at that fine, storied university. I mean, he won’t let them trash their entire north campus every Saturday for crying out loud. And if he did mean Damon, then we all know unequivocably that he’s a puppet too and that Adams is the worst thing that’s happened to UGA. I mean, if it wasn’t for Adams: (1) Dooley would still be there, (2) UGA would have multiple national championships (that wouldn’t be mythical anymore, because it’s real once UGA wins it), (3) there’d be an award, trophy, and fan payout for most 10 win seasons, and finally (4) the rest of the SEC would run and hide from the big bad Junkyard Dawgs.

That darn Adams…

Old Tech & Mountaineer fan in NC

September 3rd, 2010
11:35 am

Doginlex seems to be correct in his assessment of Davis…put a fork in him….SO, why in the world would he try to be so “clean” and not play the guys that “might” be on suspension? Why not play’em and try to win…either way he probably is gone…go out a winner or loser?

404

September 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

Richt played at The U, and coached at F$U.

What the hell did you expect ?

Quality Florida Education - Go Gator!

September 3rd, 2010
11:37 am

“Yawn. Georgia. My graduate degree programs didn’t teach me to count that high.”

'Coolest in the Clutch'

September 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

`
I’m keeping an eye on the South Carolina State at Georgia Tech game,
to see what kind of start QB Joshua Nesbitt has.
This guy will probably win the Heisman Trophy,
especially leading the most powerful offense in the ACC.

DIT

September 3rd, 2010
11:39 am

atlvol55
Yea, I think that we(UGA) can even win the Pac 10 with all of our arrests still. Thanks for the update. Good luck to the Vols tomorrow. That’s another team under the radar this year. UT will do better than what most think.

Mutt Nonsense

September 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

DawginLex,

Oh sorry, didn’t realize my learning disability and comprehension issue was the problem.

Please help me. I still can’t seem to understand the reasoning that Mark Richt in his infinite wisdom actually preferred to not hire a big name, proven college DC for his staff, but instead wanted an unproven college DC, who was fired from his DL coach positiion in the NFL, and lead a horrible Browns defense a few years prior. Then CMR went through the charade of trying to hire those proven guys, who he would’ve been disappointed to land, and is now secretly overjoyed that he ‘got his man’ FOUR names down the list.

Any assistance you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Paul in RDU

September 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

Old Tech &….
If Davis tried to play any of those players he would be the one not getting on the bus to ATL.
Holden Thorp and Dick Baddour are in charge.

DawginLex

September 3rd, 2010
11:42 am

51ML,

It can appear that way. The reality is Evans would have hired any of the 3 big names if they bit. They didn’t bite.

I know for a fact that Grantham was who Richt wanted. He got his guy in the end. There is no link. The perception is going to remain that he “settled”. He didn’t. He did as he was told. It just worked out the way he wanted it.

Coolest in the Clutch

September 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

.
————————–
Nesbitt for Heisman
————————–
.

CharlotteGator

September 3rd, 2010
11:44 am

Good to have you back my friend.

I wish you all could here the UNC fans up here. Comical/ludicrous doesn’t begin to describe.

DawginLex

September 3rd, 2010
11:45 am

nonsense,

If you just step back a minute and look at where Richt is, with the pressure that is on him, who would you want as your DC?

Someone who is perceived as a DC only?

Someone who is already labeled HC in waiting or potential HC material?

Old Tech & Mountaineer fan in NC

September 3rd, 2010
11:47 am

@ Paul in Raleigh….10/4 on others making the call. Do you think any of those
guys will be playing against Tech?

5IML

September 3rd, 2010
11:52 am

Mutt & Dawgin,

Let’s call a truce and move on. Regardless of who wanted whom, Grantham is now the DC at UGA. Facing a vastly improved Garcia, Grantham will have his hands full next weekend. I think we can all agree on that, right?

Damon Evans

September 3rd, 2010
11:54 am

Red panties anyone?

DawginLex

September 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

Yes sir. It is not Grantham’s first rodeo but it’s his first one at UGA in the SEC running a defense. I hope he learned from Saban

Paul in RDU

September 3rd, 2010
11:55 am

Old Tech…
Austin is done for the year. Little probably won’t make the GT game.
Of the other 8 defensive starters who won’t play against LSU, I’d guess that several of the guys who are suspended (Quinn, McAdoo, Burney) will not play but that Carter and Sturdivant (not suspended but not playing vs LSU) may.

Butch’s big problem is that he used the tutor for his son (starting QB at E. Chapel Hill HS). If he knew anything about the tutor helping the players UNC will terminate him – they take their academic image VERY seriously.

DIT

September 3rd, 2010
11:57 am

I agree 5IML
I don’t think any fan from which ever institute/university would care if their DC was 28th on the pecking order. If the DC turns out to be a great DC… who cares!

DP

September 3rd, 2010
11:58 am

DawginLex, I’ll grant that your point in the 11:45 post is plausible, but if it’s accurate the talk about Richt needing a big year to stay off the hot seat isn’t as far fetched as I thought it was.

5IML

September 3rd, 2010
11:59 am

Paul,

This whole ordeal is extremely embarrassing for UNC. In essence, Butch is already gone.

Paul in RDU

September 3rd, 2010
12:00 pm

Paul in RDU

September 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

5IML
You could be correct on Butch. At the news conference last week with Baddour and Thorp, Davis looked like a man walking to the electric chair

5IML

September 3rd, 2010
12:03 pm

DIT,

That’s not quite what I meant. Right now, it’s embarrassing to be turned down my Smart and Muschamp but, if Grantham turns it around fairly quickly, all will be forgotten. For example, it was extremely embarrassing when RichRod used BAMA to get a raise from WVU. Of course, that whole situation is quite funny, now. (I just chuckled to myself.)

NERDS!!!! 30-24!!!!

September 3rd, 2010
12:07 pm

Wake up call, tech Nerds: Georgia State RUNS THIS CITY!!!

Meanwhile, GO DAWGS!!!!

DIT

September 3rd, 2010
12:09 pm

I see your point.

DIT

September 3rd, 2010
12:10 pm

NERDS!!!! 30-24!!!! – Why?

NERDS!!!! 30-24!!!!

September 3rd, 2010
12:18 pm

NERDS!!!! NERDS!!!! NERDS!!!! NERDS!!!! NERDS!!!!

In conclusion: NERDS!!!!

DawginLex

September 3rd, 2010
12:18 pm

DP,

Richt actually caught a break with McGarrity coming on board. He better win though.

Ed in Roswell

September 3rd, 2010
12:44 pm

Whats the over under for UGA player arrest this week? I’m glad UGA has such a good man coaching these players and making them better people…

404

September 3rd, 2010
12:52 pm

Marc Richt: Hear No Evil See No Evil Speak No Evil

Evil: “Marc, the players and I want to thank you.”

GT Sambo

September 3rd, 2010
12:55 pm

I think DawginLex and some other UGA fans have a realistic view of what Todd Grantham is. He IS NOT a proven DC. He could be a great DC in time, but there is no way that that is going to be determined this year. Totally new scheme will certainly have growing pains. By the way, the same can be said for Tech. Totally new scheme will have growing pains. The difference between Tech and UGA this year is you have Mike Bobo calling the offensive plays and we ahve Paul Johnson… I don’t even need to say anything else.

Nine Bulldogs Arrested This Calendar Year

September 3rd, 2010
1:01 pm

THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!
THUGA = More arrests than wins in 2010!!!!

Cracker Jacket

September 3rd, 2010
1:08 pm

Great nerd gathering in town this weekend!

Frontman

September 3rd, 2010
1:17 pm

Tony,
You and Wes are truly class acts and I look forward to listening to you guys. You are much appreciated for the job you do!

bamafan

September 3rd, 2010
1:20 pm

SCAR looked good last night, but I wonder about Sou Miss. This was not the Sou Miss teams of years back when they regularly scared the hell out of Bama and Auburn and others and won several of them too, including a the first game of the season in Athens in 1997. Gotta believe SCAR won’t always look that good…….certainly hope they are beginning to run down by the time Bama goes to Columbia on 9 October. I will be pulling for VaTech even though I don’t like them or Beamer……but if Boise State wins, I guess they will automatically be in the BCS championship game…..but have you looked at their schedule? the only other real team is Oregon State…….the rest of their opponents make Little Sisters of the Poor look powerful.

Tide Rising

September 3rd, 2010
1:23 pm

Great to see Atlanta Gator back today. Not much to say about the opening weekend’s games. A smattering of good games with most of us starting out the season with a bunch of yawners.

Seems the biggest news is mostly about what’s opening off the field and not on it.

1) UNC having all those players suspended means what would have been a great game may turn into a rout.

2) Yet another Georgia player about to be arrested? Not to pile on the dawgs but does this ever end? Dawg fans have just got to be sick of this stuff.

3) Marcel Dareus-2 game suspension. I’m glad the NCAA said he is one of the most truthful student athletes they’ve ever dealt with. Unfortunately it doesn’t help us that he will miss the all important Penn State game in week 2. Such is life.

4) Todd Grantham- Could perceptions not be any more different about this guy? Other fans point to his failure at his only shot as a Cleveland D-coordinator-30th out of 32 teams in 2 years and his subsequent demotion as a position coach, his well documented status as Richt’s 4th or 5th choice, etc.

To hear dawg fans tell it Saban tried to hire Grantham numerous times and a couple of dawg posters even insist that Grantham comes over and teaches the 3-4 D to bama players during the spring and the offseason. Saban did in fact try to hire him several years ago when he went to the dolphins and Saban did in fact hire him to come in and help run some football clinics during the offseason. But then he hires a lot of coaches to come in and do football clinics for the benefit of camps and high school coaches.

The truth about Grantham is somewhere in between. He’s not the all world in demand D-coordinator that some dawg fans think he is. But he aint chopped liver either. He does know the 3-4 and his previous failure in the NFL is irrelevant. Overall there should be a lot of defensive improvement for the dawgs under Grantham. Put another way could his defenses possibly be any worse than Martinez defenses? Hell no. Dawgs will certainly be better on D. How much better we’ll all know as the season plays out and from what Carolina showed last night he’s got his work cut out for him one week from tomorrow.

jumbeauxtiger

September 3rd, 2010
1:24 pm

Kelin Johnson is reporting on his site, kelinjohnson.com, that Les Miles offered Mettenberger(sp) a scholly for 2011.

Dawg Trainer

September 3rd, 2010
1:25 pm

NERDS!!!! 30-24!!!!

It’s football season again. Was wondering where NERDS!!!! 30-24!!!! went (or was it 30-24!!!! NERDS!!!!)

404

September 3rd, 2010
1:28 pm

Who is more delusional ??

Mark Richt: “We dont have a discipline problem here at Georgia”

or

Barack Obama: “We’re moving the economy in the right direction”

jumbeauxtiger

September 3rd, 2010
1:28 pm

Dawgs 38 ULL 3
Ga Tech 56 SC St 7
LSU 27 UNC 17
Boise St 28 Va Tech 24
Fl 51 Mi Ohio 0
Auburn 38 Ark St 10
Bama 44 San Jose St 3
UT 33 Martin 10
FSU 37 Samford 10

jumbeauxtiger

September 3rd, 2010
1:30 pm

Louisville 34 UK 31

5IML

September 3rd, 2010
1:31 pm

bamafan,

If had never heard a disparaging word towards Beamer until your post. I, myself, am indifferent towards him. Why don’t you like Beamer? If you have a decent reason, I may decide to dislike him, too.

Did everyone (i.e. fellow BAMA fans) remember that today is College Colors Day?

Gatorzone

September 3rd, 2010
1:32 pm

Good luck to all my SEC brethren. You guys have a fun, safe weekend!
GZ Out!

jumbeauxtiger

September 3rd, 2010
1:39 pm

5IML,

While passing through Birmingham last December, my wife and I were sitting at a bar at a fine restaurant and up walks Beamer. He spoke to us for at least 15 minutes as we were watching a bowl game. Very nice and classy guy. Had good things to say about “Nick” as he called him.

DawginLex

September 3rd, 2010
1:47 pm

Kentucky is gonna kill louisville