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 Georgia? Just run the football and wear this team down. It’s time for the offensive line to man up and win a game for Georgia. Georgia 24, Miss. State 17.

3. Alabama at Arkansas: This summer I asked Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett about Saturday’s date with No. 1 Alabama and how excited the Hogs’ fans would be. He smiled: “I hear we’ve sold all the tickets and will probably draw a big crowd.” Yep. With both teams in the Top 10, it’s the second biggest game ever played at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. In 1969 No. 1 Texas beat No. 2 Arkansas 15-14 in a game that decided the national championship. Arkansas will have the crowd but Alabama still has that massive offensive line and the best running back combo on the planet in Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. I could be wrong.  But I think Alabama starts to pull away in the fourth quarter. Alabama 34, Arkansas 21.

4. South Carolina at Auburn: First of all, I wonder how much Auburn has left in the tank after last week’s very physical overtime win against Clemson. South Carolina is going to come to Jordan-Hare Stadium for its first road of the season and try to beat Auburn by using the Georgia game plan: That’s a heavy dose of running back Marcus Lattimore and just enough passing to keep the defense honest. Look for Auburn to put an extra defender in the box and to force the Head Ball Coach to air it out with quarterback Stephen Garcia. Then what happens is anybody’s guess. I like the Gamecocks in this one because Ellis Johnson’s defense is going to cause some problems for Auburn’s quarterback, Cameron Newton. South Carolina 17, Auburn 14.

5. Kentucky at Florida: So how many times have we said this: Kentucky has the best offense in the SEC East? Right now the Wildcats are certainly better on offense than Florida. Kentucky needs to keep one streak going: The Wildcats have not given up a turnover in three games. If the Wildcats can do that, then they have a puncher’s chance to end their 23-game losing streak to the Gators. All I know is that the Florida defense already has 10 interceptions. UK quarterback Mike Hartline must take care of  the football. Florida 21, Kentucky 10.

6. Oregon State at Boise State: The Broncos are ranked No. 3 and the release of the first BCS standings don’t come until Oct. 17. In the meantime Boise must keep winning and do it with style points. I’ve got Oregon State as my darkhorse pick to win the Pac-10. The Beavers (1-1) lost to No. 4 TCU  (30-21) and almost lost to Louisville (35-28) last week. College Game Day is coming to Boise and the world will be watching. The Broncos need to put on a show. Boise State 42, Oregon State 27.

7. Stanford at Notre Dame: Stanford has won its first three games (Sacremento State, UCLA, Wake Forest) by a combined score of 155-41. Quarterback Andrew Luck has already thrown for 674 yards with no interceptions. Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh has got a little bit of an attitude about him and his fans like that. I know this sounds crazy but I have it on good authority that Stanford was really jacked up to play Wake Forest after losing to the Deacons last year in Winston-Salem. Could the Cardinal have a let down at Notre Dame (1-2), which needs a win after two straight losses at the buzzer? I’ll go with Stanford and the hot quarterback. Stanford 35, Notre Dame 27.

8. UAB at Tennessee: It’s obvious now that Tennessee is going to have to take baby steps (two steps forward, one step back) in this first season under Derek Dooley. The good news is that Tennessee played the full 60 minutes against Florida before losing 31-17. The week before the Volunteers basically packed it in after falling behind in the second half against Oregon. Here is why Saturday’s game with UAB is so important. A win gives the Volunteers a 2-2 record with games coming up at LSU, at Georgia, Alabama in Knoxville, and at South Carolina. You have to figure Tennessee will be 2-6 heading into November. They will still be able to get to 6-6 and Dooley can point to a tangible goal. Having a goal is important to a struggling team. Tennessee 27, UAB 10.

9. Virginia Tech at Boston College: After a tough three weeks to open the season, the Hokies (1-2) open ACC play on the road. My buddy Bill Roth, the radio voice of Virginia Tech, tells me that no Hokie has scored a rushing touchdown at Boston College since Lee Suggs did it in 2002. In fact, Boston College has beaten Virginia Tech in five of its last six meetings, including a 14-10 win at Virginia Tech in 2007 led by Matt Ryan. I think Boston College beats the Hokies again. Boston College 21, Virginia Tech 17.

10. West Virginia at LSU: It’s a non-conference game. It will also be the best party in all of college football this weekend. LSU (3-0) needs to keep winning because the Tigers want to be 5-0 when they go to Florida on Oct. 9. West Virginia (3-0) may be the class of the Big East now that Pittsburgh is 1-2. The Mountaineers have some playmakers in QB Geno Smith (800 yards passing, 7 TD) and Noel Devine (118 yards rushing per game). But I see LSU’s defense as too big and quick. Both sides win the party. LSU wins the game. LSU 24, West Virginia 14.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

Programming note: Today on the “Barnhart and Durham Show” we’ll welcome Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley to give us an update on the Florida Gators. Sports agent Pat Dye, Jr. will join us as well as Bob Behler, the radio voice of Boise State. We’ll also replay an interview I did with Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino as he talks about Saturday’s big game with Alabama. The fun starts at 10 a.m. on 790 The Zone. www.790thezone.com.

520 comments Add your comment

OldFan

September 24th, 2010
10:03 am

Word across the SEC is that good guy CMR has played out his hand and not much will change at UGA from current situation. The fact is any team in the conference now not only believes it ought to whip UGA, but goes into the game expecting to do just that. This game is clearly in the players’ hands. The coaching staff won’t coach them to the win. I agree with Tony. It’s time for the OL to step up and win this one.

Charlie Weis

September 24th, 2010
10:04 am

`
When is that great Coach Brian Kelly going to get his

” SIGNATURE WIN ” at Notre Dame ?

NoGaGator

September 24th, 2010
10:05 am

DawgInLex -

Boy, you’re really going out there with those picks. Can I be your bookie?

kimmer

September 24th, 2010
10:09 am

David @9:27 lets look at the whole history here. The SEC actually banned cowbells in 1974 after they had already become an established tradition since the 1930s. This ban wasn’t the result of an uprising across the conference. It was honchoed by one man. Shug Jordan. Sure he got the rule passed but the reason it wasn’t enforced is because nobody else really cared that much. At the time this special rule was passed there were crowd noise rules in the NCAA rulebook that have long since been taken out. Sure MSU fans have thumbed there noses at a rule aimed only at them but opposing players and coaches have repeatedly said the bells make no difference because ALL SEC stadiums are too noisy to hear and once you can’t hear it doesn’t matter why. Incidentally, sound studies have proven that the noise at field level is no higher with cowbells in use than at any other stadium in the conference. So, putting the rule aside for a minute and looking at the basis for it, if making noise with cowbells is ‘cheating’ in that it gives one team an unfair advantage then logically an equal level of noise made by ANY means imparts this same unfair advantage. Thus, the cowbell rule is exposed as hypocritical.

Tony B ROCKS!

September 24th, 2010
10:09 am

Red Man Reaction

September 24th, 2010
10:09 am

Jason, Matt, and Scott…I think you’re all the same dude. Maybe even Hut(d)son Mason.

Give it up and support Murray. The kid has heart.

Alex

September 24th, 2010
10:14 am

Keep picking GA, you’re bound to be right someday.

JW

September 24th, 2010
10:16 am

dawgfan

you’re 1-2; GT has double the national championships as you do; GT is a better academic school

End of discussion. Your only claim to fame is that you play in a conference where 3 teams carry the banner for being tough and UGA, Tenn, USCe, Vandy, UK, Ole Miss, MSU, Ark, AU are all pretenders holding on to LSU’s Bama’s and FL’s j.ock straps

Not the Florida model

September 24th, 2010
10:17 am

TUSCALOOSA — It hasn’t been announced officially, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Thursday night on his radio show, but he announced it anyway: Alabama will play Michigan in 2012 in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Crimson Tide also will play games in Atlanta in 2013 and 2014 against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, Saban said.

The Crimson Tide will visit Penn State on Sept. 10 next year, and it will host Georgia Southern on Nov. 19.

On Sept. 3, 2016, Alabama will host Michigan State. On Sept. 2, 2017 — the last year of Saban’s latest contract extension — the Tide will visit Michigan State, where Saban coached from 1995 through ‘99.

UGAY REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT

September 24th, 2010
10:18 am

Rufus, you don’t have a clue. Did you see how many times UNC had the ball in the entire 2nd half last week? Did you see GT keep the ball for the final 10 minutes of the 2nd quarter dummy? NC STATE will have few touches saturday and they must score every time they touch it. Too much pressure and they are on the road in atlanta where CPJ has only lost twice since he has been here at GT and only 1 ACC conference loss at home as well. We win this by at least 10 points and score 30 plus. We started last year a bit slow on offense as well, but we are cranking this party up. The tar heels had only 1 1st down in the 2nd half and that was because of a penalty on 3rd down to extend it. Wilson is a good QB, but they won’t beat GT in atlanta. BANK ON IT!

THWG

Not the Florida model

September 24th, 2010
10:19 am

We are going to raid Texas for recruits just like we do Georgia.

sccatfan1

September 24th, 2010
10:20 am

–One constant in the universe, is Tony picking UGA. I went against them the first two weeks, but actually agree with him this time. UGA 27-17. If you’re a betting man (which I am), this is the pick of the week. LOL, I didn’t even charge you for it either.
–GT 31-21
–Auburn is a bit overrated IMHO…their run defense is nothing special, and it appears Newton is somewhat one dimensional. SC has offensive balance, decent defense, and the Ol Ball Coach. Also, it’s not November yet. SC 24-17.
–I can almost guarantee my Cats will score more than 10 against UF. I can also guarantee UF will score more than 21. Run defense is KY’s achilles heel. UF 38-27.
–UA gets a serious test against a terrific ARK offense. Let’s go with the upset special…ARK 28-27.
–LSU 31-17…The Big Least troubles continue.

how2fish

September 24th, 2010
10:22 am

kimmer good points….I’ve always wondered if it “cheating” a team that has to go to a away game and face 90,000 plus if their stadium only holds 50,000 seems that would be a much bigger advantage than a cowbell. Crowd noise in the SEC is nuts all over. And I’m glad Miss St has carried on with the cowbells, what next outlaw crys of War Eagle or quit playing Rocky Top ?

Paul in RDU

September 24th, 2010
10:27 am

UGAY really stands for….

I don’t know which GT-UNC game you were watching last week, but in the one I was at, UNC had plenty of 1st downs in the 2nd half.

Paul in RDU

September 24th, 2010
10:28 am

how2fish – I’d vote for outlawing the playing of Rocky Top.

how2fish

September 24th, 2010
10:29 am

UGAY REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT .really how do you explain losing to Kansas? If the Wattle Neck Goon is All That..how is it possible to lose to Kansas. JW our other claim to fame is that we are 8-1 vs the Bugs. Oh yeah and we stomped a mudhole in you AZZES the year you were ACC “Champs”.

SEC Fan

September 24th, 2010
10:29 am

Barnhart:

To claim to be Mr. CFB, you sure do miss a very obvious key to your strategy for UGA: THERE IS NO RUNNING GAME! We have played two of the weakest defenses we will see this year and have yet to have a 100-yard game from the almost average running backs. You just reiterate the Bobo way of thought, the delusion that UGA is a strong running team.

Also, regarding the GT game, why will NC State have an interception this week. There is no mention of a DB dominating his receiver in a one-on-one. Are you just assuming that an interception is due since there has not been on so far?

MURPHY

September 24th, 2010
10:31 am

how3fish,

Leave the cowbells and war eagle but please limit the playing of Rocky Top to 3 maybe 4 times a game,not the avg of 38 times a game!

Dawg Fud

September 24th, 2010
10:33 am

Georgia will win, huh, Tony? Haven’t you predicted this every game so far?

This is why everyone thinks you are a homer….

GTFan

September 24th, 2010
10:34 am

Loyalty is an issue for some….

September 24th, 2010
7:33 am

The only thing guaranteed this weekend is the 2 or 300 fans in attendance at the Tech game will be screaming “To Hell with Georgia”, despite the Dawgs being 2 states away. Expect NC State fans to look at you funny………

LOL!!! I think Georgia need not worry about how many fans will have in attendance, especially when they’re are in 0-3 in their conference.

GTFan

September 24th, 2010
10:35 am

Well, in reality 1-2!!!

Dawg Fud

September 24th, 2010
10:35 am

Jason, you are crazy. Murray is the starter…deal with it.

how2fish

September 24th, 2010
10:36 am

MURPHY it does get old but it won’t be UT football without it…but yeah 38 times is nuts.

UGAY REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT

September 24th, 2010
10:36 am

Dawgfan, i think you mean that you HIT AND RUN THIS STATE LOSER!!!! How things have changed in athens, you are not favored vs the worst program in the SEC! James madison is ranked ahead of you guys right now. Just look at the polls! 1-2 and your fan base is in chaos in week 4! Enjoy your pathetic season and perhaps you will end up in the toilet bowl this season with a 5 or 6 loss year on the horizon! Another top 10 recruiting class is really paying off huh dawgfan? You guys ARE WORLD BEATERS!!!

THWG

ramblinman

September 24th, 2010
10:37 am

Hey Gomdawg…before you start trashing Tech and the ACC, maybe UGA needs to learn to handle the “truth” (0-2 in the SEC!)

dagadawgs

September 24th, 2010
10:37 am

For the last time. The SEC is not tied into that garbage bowl in Shreveport this year, yet everyday some moron comments about enjoy Shreveport.

Reality Check

September 24th, 2010
10:38 am

UGA vs. Miss State should be named the catfish bowl…..two bottom feeders in the SEC East and West. That says enough about how far UGA has fallen that all their fans are hyped up to beat another winless team in the conference. After that you Dawg fans can get lathered up about playing Colorado, Tenn and Vanderbilt, three more awlful teams that will be pickem games for the Dawgs. If GT had no academic standards, recruited thugs and had been an embarrassment over the last 30 years we would probably have more wins head to head but no integrity just like UGA.

Charlie Bama

September 24th, 2010
10:38 am

Hey, I understand no team will play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport (se the first 20 comment with this column). It’s not accuracy that counts–it’s the implied insult and disrespect. You info/data honchos need a life. Seriously. Auburn, enjoy Shreveport!

how2fish

September 24th, 2010
10:39 am

GTFan you didn’t really take a shot at UGA attendance did you….Bug there were more Bugs at Dragon Con than the home opener at the Joke by Coke and you were starting the defense of you ACC title.

Old Dawg

September 24th, 2010
10:41 am

David: Even though I’ve joked about “More Cow Bell” all week, I agree with you. Miss State has whined and whined about the cowbell for so long that the SEC caved. In every sense of the word, the Cow Bell is the only real tradition to the school has.

It’s time for the other school in the conference to man up and say … No more cow bell!

dagadawgs

September 24th, 2010
10:42 am

Charlie Bama at least pick a relevant garbage bowl for Auburn and I don’t even like Auburn. Not a info/data honcho either.

GTFan

September 24th, 2010
10:43 am

No, I was just saying that UGA needs to worry about things that are more important, and not be so obsessed with how many fans attend our games!

GTFan

September 24th, 2010
10:45 am

UGA and Tech both need work…..so neither teams are at their best of their ability!

JW

September 24th, 2010
10:45 am

how2fish

You don’t defend your conference title in an OOC game – GT’s ACC title defense started last week in Chapel Hill.

Speaking of conference games, how many of those have you won infront of you 90K+ in the last 10 tries?

Dawg Tired

September 24th, 2010
10:45 am

Tony – if winning this game against MSU depends upon our o-line “manning up,” we are in deep trouble. While I agree that would be nice, I just don’t see it happening. Murray will need to pass well and scramble well for us to win. Thankfully, I am more confident that might actually happen.

UGAY REALLY STANDS FOR JOE DIRT

September 24th, 2010
10:45 am

How 2 pick your nose, how do you explain losing to kentucky at home which had not happened since jimmy carter was president? I will wait while you sort that out.

Paul, you must have been on crack while you were at the game my friend. Unc only had the ball 4 times in the 2nd half and didn’t manage a 1st down until their last drive on a penalty courtesy of the defense. You want to come over and watch the game i still have on my dvr to remind you what you seem to have imagined?? I think you need to be in one of those ” this is what happens when your brain is on drugs” commercials paul. You were at the game? That is funny man, i needed a good laugh today paul, thanks for providing me with perhaps the most brain dead post of the day!

CalGatorBrotha

September 24th, 2010
10:46 am

Tony B is going to pick UGA to beat everyone but Florida….btw this is a break out game for the Gators offensively….38-10 Go Gators…

crackDaddy

September 24th, 2010
10:47 am

Paul in RDU, I have another take on the UNC situation. First, I’m confident that BD will be the coach at UNC for years to come. Secondly, I believe that most of UNC’s players will be reinstated within 2-3 weeks, and if so, UNC will be a factor by season’s end. They will have greater depth and experience than if this whole thing had not happened. Just picture their defense in this case. Their recruiting is still very strong, and I think that UNC, other than the hit they have sustained to date, will continue to rise in the football world.

Me

September 24th, 2010
10:47 am

Enter your comments here

GeneralNeyland96

September 24th, 2010
10:52 am

How2fish…There’s one guy in the band (at least there was when I was there) who has a clicker-counter and keeps track of the number of times Rocky Top is played (practices included)…by the end of football season, they’re usually at around 700-750…
Our fans love it, other fans hate it…They can play it ALL THEY WANT

Bonus fun fact – other (non-SEC) teams have requested the music from UT for when they play an SEC opponent….that’s just too funny!

BAMA dude

September 24th, 2010
10:52 am

Anybody else having a hard time getting posts to show up?

Charlie Bama

September 24th, 2010
10:53 am

dagadawgs – You pick one for Auburn; I don’t keep up with trash bowls, I keep up with where Bama plays.

Dawg H8R

September 24th, 2010
10:54 am

Tony,why are you still calling out the O-Line? Do they call plays? Do they coach? Bobo and Richt are the culprits for you guys coming back to Earth! Plus, I’m still waiting to be impressed with your
pro coach Grantham!

Stop blaming the kids.

BAMA dude

September 24th, 2010
10:54 am

Why would anybody love hearing any sone 700 times in three months? I get that it’s associated with good plays for the puke orange, but still…

Nix_2_Sanders

September 24th, 2010
10:54 am

Mississippi State has WAY TOO MANY TURNOVERS

Elementary Math Teacher

September 24th, 2010
10:56 am

Hey GeneralNeyland96 — Clickers to count? Seriously? Where is your pride?

Ray Goff

September 24th, 2010
10:57 am

Honk if you miss me.

UGAUGAUGA

September 24th, 2010
11:01 am

Ray Goff

September 24th, 2010
11:02 am

blazerdawg

September 24th, 2010
11:05 am

BTTECHF @ 8:56 – I agree with everyone of your predictions. If the Dawgs do not score more than 20 points Saturday night then something immediate and drastic must be done….there really is nothing that compares to the Ark/AL game this weekend, man that is going to be a war.