Archive for October, 2010

Georgia wins; Mizzou, Michigan State, Utah lose

The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville): Yes, I’ve seen and written the numbers about Urban Meyer and what he has done with more than a week to prepare a team. But as many of you pointed out, those numbers tend to be pretty good when you’ve got better players than the team you’re facing after the open date. Georgia has better players at quarterback (Aaron Murray), wide receiver (A.J. Green), running back (Washaun Ealey) and the offensive line is way better. Great quarterbacks are defined by this game and Murray, the redshirt freshman  from Tampa, puts his stamp on his first Georgia-Florida game by leading the Bulldogs to a victory. Georgia 24, Florida 20.

2. Auburn at Ole Miss: Yes, it’s okay for Auburn to be a little nervous about this road trip because in each of the past three weeks No. 1 has gotten beat away from home. This won’t be a dominating performance by Auburn because the last two weeks against Arkansas and LSU have been pretty draining. …

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Will the open date be magical again for Urban Meyer?

Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:

1. Will the open date be magical again for Urban Meyer? Florida has won 17 of its last 20 meetings with Georgia but on paper, Georgia should win Saturday’s game in Jacksonville. The Bulldogs are finally playing with some confidence after three straight wins. Florida seems to be struggling on so many different fronts. But the Gators had last week off. The importance of that can’t be overstated. It is also a fact that over his career, Florida coach Urban Meyer has been pretty good when he’s had extra time to prepare his team. These stats come from Brady Ackerman, my CSS broadcast partner. As a head coach Urban Meyer is:

**–5-0 after an open date at Florida.

**–15-1 at Florida when he’s had more than one week to prepare his team.

**–31-3 overall at Florida, Utah, and Bowling Green when he’s had more than one week to prepare his team.

When I look at the Florida roster I really don’t see a whole lot of ways he can tweak this …

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Alabama can jump over Boise, but can it jump over Michigan State, Missouri?

Here are some of the BCS questions I’ve gotten since the new standings came out on Sunday. Included are my best answers after talking to a bunch of people smarter than me:

1. If No.1 Auburn and No. 2 Oregon win out, will they play in the BCS title game regardless of what everyone else does?  The answer appears to be yes. Oregon is a solid No. 1 in the human polls and that doesn’t figure to change as long as the Ducks keep winning and winning impressively. Oregon is No. 8 in the computer polls but its numbers should improve with games against USC, Cal, and Oregon State down the stretch. Auburn’s a lock to stay No. 1 in the BCS Standings as long as the Tigers win.  They are already No. 1 in the computers and that won’t change with a date looming against No. 7 Alabama on Nov. 26.

2. We have seven undefeated teams left. What are the odds that we will still have four or more when the season is over? It would say the odds are pretty long. First of all, two of the undefeated …

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Georgia can beat Gators, lose to Auburn, and still win SEC East

 I  put this list together yesterday as sort of a sanity check of what could happen in the whacky SEC East as we move into the stretch drive. It doesn’t include every scenario, such as Kentucky winning its last three conference games with Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee to finish 4-4. If that happens, I will gladly stand corrected.

Here are SOME possibilities, not all, of what could happen to determine a champion in the SEC East race.  The most fascinating one is that if Georgia beats Florida, the Bulldogs could still lose to Auburn and go to the SEC championship game in Atlanta. In that respect, the game in Jacksonville is huge to both teams.

Have fun.

First, the teams:

SOUTH CAROLINA (3-2 SEC)

Wins: Georgia, Alabama, Vanderbilt

Losses: Auburn, Kentucky

Games left: vs. Tennessee (Saturday), vs. Arkansas (Nov. 6), at Florida (Nov. 13)

 

FLORIDA (2-3)

Wins: Tennessee, Kentucky

Losses: Alabama, LSU, Miss. State

Games left: Georgia (Jacksonville, Saturday), at …

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Now it’s Auburn’s turn to wear No. 1 crown

We are headed into the final week of October. So what did we learn over the weekend?

1. Uneasy lies the head that wears the No. 1 crown: On Oct. 9 No. 1 Alabama went on the road and lost to South Carolina after 29 straight regular-season wins. On Oct. 16 Ohio State moved to No. 1 and promptly lost on the road at Wisconsin. Then Oklahoma took over  as the BCS No. 1 and got beat last Saturday night at Missouri. Now Auburn, fresh off an impressive win over previously No. 6 LSU, has moved to No. 1 in the BCS Standings. After a schedule that has included one tough, emotional game after another, Auburn must go to Ole Miss (3-4) on Saturday. Auburn has four games remaining (Ole Miss, Chattanooga, Georgia, Alabama). Win them all and the Tigers get some retribution for 2004, when they went 13-0 and did not play for the national championship. Can they do it now that the whole world is watching?

2. If Cameron Newton is not at the top of your Heisman list, you need to take another look: I …

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Auburn, Georgia, and Georgia Tech all win tough games

 The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. LSU at Auburn: A classic matchup between the SEC’s best offense (Auburn’s 38.5 ppg) and most productive offensive player (QB Cameron Newton, 25 touchdowns) and the league’s best defense which is holding opponents to only 13.2 points per game in conference play. I’m interested to see what LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis comes up with to stop Newton’s ability to run the ball (122.9 ypg), particularly between the tackles. I usually go with defense in big games but I don’t think LSU can throw the ball well enough to exploit the Auburn secondary, which is struggling.  Auburn 27, LSU 24.

2. Georgia Tech at Clemson: These two teams certainly know each other as they meet for the third time in 13 months. This is basically an elimination game for both teams. It would be Clemson’s (3-3, 1-2 ACC) third conference loss and would just about eliminate any hope of winning the  Atlantic Division. Georgia Tech (5-2, 3-1), needs a victory because the …

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Can Cam Newton break Pat Sullivan’s record against LSU?

 

Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:

1. Can Cameron Newton break Pat Sullivan’s 40-year record? In 1970, the year before he won the Heisman Trophy, Pat Sullivan ran for nine touchdowns and threw for 17 more to set the Auburn record for touchdowns responsible for a season at 26. Sullivan set the record in 11 games. With two touchdowns Saturday against No. 6 LSU, Newton will set a new  record in only eight games. Newton, who leads the SEC in rushing, will try to do it against one of the best defenses in college football. LSU is No. 1 in the SEC and sixth nationally in rushing defense at 83.57 yards per game. Newton leads the SEC in rushing and is 11th nationally at 122.86 ypg.

2. Can Joshua Nesbitt break Woodrow Dantzler’s rushing record for QBs ? Dantzler set the ACC’s career record for rushing by a quarterback when he posted 2,761 yards from 1998-2001. Dantzler’s offensive coordinator, by the way, was Rich Rodriguez,  now the head coach at Michigan. Nesbitt …

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Can any team in the Big Six conferences go undefeated?

My CBS buddy Tim Brando made this call in July and  so if it happens, he deserves the credit. Brando said that no team in the Big Six conferences would go undefeated this season. He said the only possible undefeated teams left come championship Saturday (Dec. 4) would be Boise State and–maybe–TCU.

I thought the idea was a stretch back in the summer. I don’t think that way any more because I’ve looked at the schedule.

Remember 2007? That was the craziest year on record. It began with Appalachian State winning at Michigan and ended with No. 1 and No. 2 both losing on championship Saturday. That was the year when 13 different teams in the top five got beat by unranked teams. It was also the season that the nation’s No. 2 team lost seven times.

When you look at the top eight teams in the first BCS Standings, you see the potential for another 2007. That’s because every team will have to win at least one game on the road against a very good opponent to get to the BCS championship …

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The Humans Love Boise; the computers don’t

In 2003 USC finished No. 1 in the two human polls used in the BCS Standings (AP and Coaches). But when the final numbers were crunched, LSU and Oklahoma were the top two teams in the BCS standings and played for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl. USC won the Rose Bowl and finished No. 1 in the AP poll and was decared national champs by that news service.

Not wanting to have split national champions again,  the BCS changed its formula so that the human polls would count two thirds while the computers only accounted for one third. The thinking was that if the human polls agreed on the top two teams, the computers  would not override the will of the voters. The powers that be talked about making it a rule where the computers would only be used if the human polls did not agree. They ultimately decided not to put that language in the rules.

But right now  Boise State is No. 2 in the human polls but No. 3 in the BCS Standings. And Boise’s computer rankings (No. 7 average …

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The SEC will need some help in the BCS

For the second straight week No. 1 has gotten beat. The first BCS Standings are now in the books. So What Did We Learn?

1. The SEC is going to need some help: You’d have to say that the SEC is in pretty good shape in the first BCS Standings with No. 4 Auburn (7-0), No. 6 LSU (7-0), and No. 8 (6-1) all in the mix and all scheduled to play each other between now and Nov. 26. But the SEC is going to need a little help to get a team to No. 2. I think either No. 1 Oklahoma or No. 2 Oregon is going to have to lose somewhere down the stretch (more on this tomorrow) in order for the SEC  team that emerges from that Auburn-LSU-Alabama round robin to get into one of the top two spots.

What’s the problem, SEC fans ask? The problem is that if one of those three teams wins the SEC championship, it will do it against an SEC East team that will likely have three or more losses. I think an undefeated Auburn or LSU gets there. A one-loss team will be more difficult if Oklahoma and Oregon do …

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