There’s Alabama, and then there is everybody else

 It is a wonderful, COOL Monday morning. Hope you had a good weekend.

FYI. I will not be writing anything about the University of Georgia football program this morning. There is too much to say so I will dedicate all of  Tuesday’s entry to the Bulldogs.

But elsewhere,  what did we learn on the first Saturday in October?

1. There is Alabama and then there is everybody else:  A year ago it was clear that Florida and Alabama had separated themselves from the rest of the SEC. After Florida got its act together and beat Kentucky last week, I had people telling me that Florida was still in the same class with Alabama, the nation’s No. 1 team. I was told that Florida’s players were embarrassed by their beat down in last December’s SEC championship game in Atlanta. I was told that Florida couldn’t wait to march into Bryant-Denny Stadium and get some revenge.

Nope. Not even close. Alabama looked at the Florida threat and barely broke a sweat Saturday night. I still have people who are telling me that Alabama can’t go 12-0 for the third straight consecutive regular season? So I’ll ask you: Who is going to beat this team? Nobody in college football is playing with as much talent, power, coaching, and attitude as the Crimson Tide right now. Again, look at the Alabama schedule and tell me who is going to beat them? Auburn is a candidate but that game is in Tuscaloosa.

2. Florida will get another shot at Alabama: As tough as that beating was for the Gators, Florida coach Urban Meyer has the best possible teaching tool to keep his team engaged. They will get another shot at Alabama in the SEC championship game on Dec. 4 if they take care of business. We’re making some huge assumptions but here is what I see: Even though Florida has clearly slipped and is a work in progress, I don’t see anybody else in the SEC who can beat them.  South Carolina may have a shot but the Gamecocks play at Florida on Nov. 13. It’s hard to see the Gators losing that one if a division championship is on the line. Florida and Alabama played twice in 1999 with the Crimson Tide winning the regular season game 40-39 and the dominating the Gators in a rematch in the SEC championship game. That could happen again in 2010.

3. Les Miles’s luck is about to run out: One of my colleagues wrote that Les Miles doesn’t have nine lives. He has 99 lives. I agree. I have never seen a team with such a bad, poorly coached offense, continue to win games. LSU is 5-0 and ranked No. 9 in the coaches’ poll because the Tigers have a great defense (coached by John Chavis) and outstanding special teams (with Patrick Peterson).  They have been good enough to win five ugly football games and needed a huge dose of luck to beat Tennessee at home on Saturday (More on that in the next item). But now the Big Boy part of the schedule kicks in and LSU fans are rightfully concerned. LSU goes to Florida this week and still has Auburn (Oct. 23), Alabama (Nov. 6), and Arkansas (Nov. 27) left to play. This could still end very badly for the Man in the Hat.

4. Give the SEC officials credit. They got it right in the LSU-Tennessee game: I beat on the officials a bunch last season when it appeared they were getting one big call wrong almost every week. But they got it right at the end of the Tennessee-LSU game. I talked to Rogers Redding, the SEC supervisors of officials once on Saturday night and again on Sunday. If you missed it, find the clip and take a look. LSU trailed 14-10 and was driving in the closing seconds for what would be a winning touchdown. Mass chaos reigned on the LSU bench in the final 30 seconds (Haven’t we read this before?) and as a result the snap flew by quarterback Jordan Jefferson and the clock ran out. Tennessee was celebrating because they had just upset the No. 10 team in the nation on the road. But back in the secondary there were three flags. Tennessee’s defense had 13—that’s right—13 players on the field. LSU got an untimed down and scored to win 17-14.

 As painful as it was for Tennessee, the officials got it right. Tennessee got caught trying to sub too many players and trying to match LSU’s personnel when they should have stayed put, because LSU was self-destructing. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he didn’t have time to get his players on the field. But Redding read the rule to me and it is clear that there is not an ulimited amount of time to get defensive substitutions on the field. The Tennessee defense got set but unfortunately it was set with 13 players. The official can’t stand over the ball forever  or the clock would just run out. Then you have another set of issues.

I looked at the tape several times on Sunday and they got it right. Also, to those of you writing about the LSU player (T-Bob Hebert) snatching his helmet off during the fray:  Understand that since the excessive celebration call last year in the Georgia-LSU game, the SEC is not going to let something like that determine the outcome of a game. It did not impact play and is not going to get called in that situation.

 5. Oregon looks like the No. 2 team to me:  Oregon jumped over Boise State into the No. 3 spot in Sunday’s coaches poll. I think the Ducks should have jumped over Ohio State to No. 2. We’re talking a team that went to an SEC venue (Tennessee) on Sept. 11 and ran off 45 unanswered points to win 48-13. We’re talking about a team that fell behind 21-3 to No. 9 Stanford, which was seemingly imposing their will on the Ducks. But quicker than you could say “onsides kick” Oregon turned on the switch again and outscored Stanford 49-10 the rest of the way. I look at all that speed with running back LaMichael James and quarterback Darron Thomas. I see a really good coach in Chip Kelly. And I’ve decided that while  a bunch of people think No. 3 Boise might get cheated of a shot at the big game, it’s the Ducks who may really be the odd man out if No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State keep winning. With all due respect to Boise and Ohio State, the Oregon Ducks are the No. 2 team in the country. Alabama-Oregon in Glendale would be an incredible national championship game.

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Programming Note: Among our guests on “The Barnhart and Durham Show” this morning will be SEC supervisor of officials Rogers Redding to break down the end of the Tennessee-LSU game. We will also be ready to hear from the Bulldog Nation who are not very happy today. Please join us starting at 10 a.m. www.790thezone.com.

369 comments Add your comment

jeffvol

October 4th, 2010
9:32 am

Hey Tony…Got an EASY question for you. If the “helmet throw” didn’t “effect the outcome of the game” tell me EXACTLY how our 13 men on the field did??????? NOT ONE of our guys touched the errant snap. We would’ve won with 6 men on the field on the last play. A rule is a rule, right? Only when it works for the “chosen few” I guess.

T3

October 4th, 2010
9:34 am

At this stage it is possible (maybe not probable) to have the following teams at 12-0 / 13-0 at the end of the season/conference championships:

Alabama
Ohio State
Oregon
Boise State
Oklahoma/Nebraska (Big 12 Winner)
Utah

If we get to the end of the season with 5 undefeated teams,
it will be the ULTIMATE EPIC FAIL of the BCS, and will surely
bring about its much-needed end.

We can only hope.

JackB

October 4th, 2010
9:34 am

Admittedly I would like to see Boise State get its shot if it goes unbeaten a second straight year, but I’ll point out that Oregon was beaten last year by BSU which is essentially the same team but a year older this year. Of course, Standord beat Oregon last year too. I just wonder how many times a team must go unbeaten, including against BSC competition when it gets the chance, before it plays in the big game. Maybe we could let Oregon and BSU play in the BCS #2 game and just give the NC to Alabama (they are going to win it anyway.

3rdn8

October 4th, 2010
9:37 am

I was talking with a fellow Bama fan the other day, who was speculating about Saban going to the NFL. He thought that Jerry Jones would offer Saban half of Dallas County to come coach the Cowboys.

I don’t read tea leaves, and I never say never, but can’t imagine this one happening. Jones and Saban are two prime examples of the alpha male. Both are control freeks, and would play well together for about seven minutes.

cry me a river

October 4th, 2010
9:38 am

Hey atlvol55 – I will send you some tissues since you can’t quit crying. UT sucks as bad as UGA. D Dooley may be as bad as Richt and even Bobo

[...] Per Barnhart. 4. Give the SEC officials credit. They got it right in the LSU-Tennessee game: I beat on the officials a bunch last season when it appeared they were getting one big call wrong almost every week. But they got it right at the end of the Tennessee-LSU game. I talked to Rogers Redding, the SEC supervisors of officials once on Saturday night and again on Sunday. If you missed it, find the clip and take a look. LSU trailed 14-10 and was driving in the closing seconds for what would be a winning touchdown. Mass chaos reigned on the LSU bench in the final 30 seconds (Haven’t we read this before?) and as a result the snap flew by quarterback Jordan Jefferson and the clock ran out. Tennessee was celebrating because they had just upset the No. 10 team in the nation on the road. But back in the secondary there were three flags. Tennessee’s defense had 13—that’s right—13 players on the field. LSU got an untimed down and scored to win 17-14. As painful as it was for Tennessee, the officials got it right. Tennessee got caught trying to sub too many players and trying to match LSU’s personnel when they should have stayed put, because LSU was self-destructing. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he didn’t have time to get his players on the field. But Redding read the rule to me and it is clear that there is not an ulimited amount of time to get defensive substitutions on the field. The Tennessee defense got set but unfortunately it was set with 13 players. The official can’t stand over the ball forever or the clock would just run out. Then you have another set of issues. I looked at the tape several times on Sunday and they got it right. Also, to those of you writing about the LSU player (T-Bob Hebert) snatching his helmet off during the fray: Understand that since the excessive celebration call last year in the Georgia-LSU game, the SEC is not going to let something like that determine the outcome of a game. It did not impact play and is not going to get called in that situation. There’s Alabama, and then there is everybody else | Mr. College Football [...]

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:40 am

“Auburn is a candidate but that game is in Tuscaloosa.”

Don’t underestimate the power of the Cam. Yes Bama is great and yes they will probably win from here on out but that doesn’t mean they can not be beaten.

Look back at the Bill Curry days where Bama would go undefeated right up into the Iron Bowl only to be beaten.

T3

October 4th, 2010
9:40 am

If we get to season’s end with 5-6 undefeated teams, each
demanding their spot in a BCS-CG, THERE WILL BE LAWSUITS !!!!

It wold make for a fitting end to the BCS: Bowl Cartel System.

3rdn8

October 4th, 2010
9:41 am

I try never to look back at the Bill Curry days.

Runnwild

October 4th, 2010
9:42 am

I am trying to understand all the hype around south Carolina. They may turn out to be a good team but what have they done so far? They beat Georgia at home but so did one of the worst teams in the big 12.

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:42 am

5IML

Auburn’s defense and offense is a lot better than last year and this team has already beaten a ranked team.

5IML

October 4th, 2010
9:44 am

Yep, 3rd.

Saban has (nearly) complete autonomy at BAMA. I doubt he gives that up to become Jerry’s do-boy. But, enough with dispelling silly rumors.

The D-line had its best game of the year against UF. It appears the coaches have found the player combo that works best. Besides the occasional blown coverages by our LB’s (not picking up RB’s) and DB’s, we look almost unbeatable.

Kenny Powers

October 4th, 2010
9:45 am

Alabama is a machine. Oregon went on a 42-10 run against a great Standford. I still believe Ohio State is a top football team. Auburn has been playing good but they haven’t proved they’re a top 10 team yet.

Also, I loved the post-game reaction on CBS sports. Yall looked about as stunned as me and my buddies. Remember the Ole Miss- LSU game last yr? Time freaking management. How in the world do you let 20 sec. run off the clock…esp when you’re on the1 yrd line? Boggles the mind.

Kudos to UT for playing with so much heart. UT exposed LSU for what they really are…….

Runnwild

October 4th, 2010
9:46 am

Do you auburn people realize how pathetic you sound, “war cam eagle” and “don’t underestimate the cam”! Just shows what your team is, one guy. Live with one die with one

Palladin

October 4th, 2010
9:46 am

Football Fan

October 4th, 2010
9:47 am

As an LSU season ticket holder, I can assure you that I do not know of one LSU fan who has any confidence in our head coach or our offensive coaching staff.
I will give them credit for being 14 & 4 over two seasons without a quarterback, but hold them accountable for not having a QB on the roster knowing what happened last year.
A headcoach’s job is to manage the game & put his team in position to win – he consistantly does not do that – Les Miles should be fired & LSU should move on.

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:48 am

Runnwild

Do you realize how stupid Bama people look when they name their kids after Nick Saban?

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:49 am

Palladin

Not sure what you are talking about with, Living in the Past, but I will say that this years team is better than last years team.

5IML

October 4th, 2010
9:49 am

Auburn guy,

Playing 11 straight games is not good for any college team. Add that to your other inconsistencies, and I don’t see Aub coming to Tuscaloosa undefeated. I could care less if you’re 11-0 on Thanksgiving but, it’s a long shot.

I would like to engage you in intelligent discourse regarding your team.

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:50 am

“Auburn has been playing good but they haven’t proved they’re a top 10 team yet.”

IF we beat LSU and Arkansas, we will have proved to be a top ten team.

JB

October 4th, 2010
9:51 am

I would rather keep Mark with a New OC than bring in Kirby Smart….I’m just not sold on Kirby as our HC……. Auburn’s “no name” hire has done a pretty good job….That ball club could end up 10-2 or 11-1…………That’s a galaxy away from where my Dawgs are Now………I’m concerned about Grantham also….although maybe too early for that concern. I’m afraid something in Athens has caused these players in Athens to not “man up”. I can’t put my finger on it for the life of me, but CMR is accountable at the end of the day.

3rdn8

October 4th, 2010
9:53 am

@ Auburn guy, straight up yo

my wife thought it was silly when I named my oldest son Bobby Bear Burton. Guess who’s laughing now?

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:53 am

5IML,

Interesting. Three years ago Saban took over a terrible Bama program and brought it back from the dead. Take him out of the equation and your school is a mediocre football team.

Chizek took over and is gradually turning Auburn back around. I never said that we would go 11-0 but yes it could happen. Last year, a mediocre Auburn team led for 4 quarters over your “superior” Bama team up until .52 seconds.

Ed

October 4th, 2010
9:53 am

I am no LSU fan. What I cannot understand is all this garbage about the Vols outplaying LSU. Stats are funny things. While the Vols essentially won the game-then gave it back, the stats show one thing clearly: LSU dominated.
Total yards: LSU 434, Tenn. 217
First downs: LSU 20, Tenn. 12
Biggest stat: turnovers with LSU 4, Tenn. 0.

Of course stats do not determine who wins/loses. We have all seen games where one team dominates in every phase of the game yet loses. This would have been the case Saturday.

I don’t know if Tennessee is headed in the right direction or if they got lucky by playing Miles and he did his usual. Is he a mental case?

Bryant-Denny Stadium 4th largest on campus

October 4th, 2010
9:54 am

Alabama Recruiting: Barry Sanders Jr. interested in Crimson Tide.

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:54 am

“Auburn’s “no name” hire”

That no name happened to help run two schools 13-0 for two straight years along with beating the best team ever, according to ESPN.

Palladin

October 4th, 2010
9:54 am

@Auburn guy, straight up yo

What I’m talking about is the fact that the majority of the people on this blog don’t hardly know who Bill Curry is, much less remember his short-lived coaching stint at Alabama. Lets talk about Coach Barfield instead…

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:55 am

“Guess who’s laughing now?”

Normal people

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:56 am

@ Palladin

Well, I’m a hard nosed SEC guy who knows Bama and Auburn very very well. I can also name some old UGA coaches as well.

jeff

October 4th, 2010
9:56 am

yes palladin exactly. It would be a big upset for them to lose any game on the regular season schedule the rest of the way. But even the Steelers got beat yesterday lol…

Auburn guy, straight up yo

October 4th, 2010
9:57 am

Ed

Tennessee made a stupid mistake and ended up losing to LSU. LSU did not look like a powerhouse SEC team like they normally do.

jeff

October 4th, 2010
9:57 am

who was the best team ever according to espn? i guess espn never saw 1995 nebraska?

Palladin

October 4th, 2010
9:59 am

@jeff

All you can do is play the games. I feel pretty good about Bama’s odds of winning any game they play. But yeah… They’ll lose one — eventually.

Driving Ms Dooley

October 4th, 2010
10:00 am

The reason there was so much chaos on the field was because the Hat made the bonehead decision of not killing the clock AND making substitutions. Dooley had to substitute to get another D back on the field. The rule is in place to protect the defense in this case–and it didn’t. Yes, you have to put it on the UT coaches, but to their credit, no one expected such a stupid move from LSU. Unbelievable.

The bad officiating however, was on display on the previous play. A very questionable call on the pass interference. In the stadium after the game, there were alot of LSU fans telling the Vol fans that they were railroaded. I think Vol fans feel better about their coach and their future than LSU fans do.

Good call Tony–on Alabama and Oregon. Easily the best two teams in the country. Let Ohio State play BoyZ state. If Alabama slips, it will either be SC or Auburn who both look very good right now.

5IML

October 4th, 2010
10:01 am

Auburn guy,

There is a big difference between Saban taking over a BAMA team in shambles and Chizik (in your post, you misspelled your coach’s name) taking over a team in shambles. Its not just the head coaches themselves but the staffs.

Last year, BAMA was looking ahead to UF in the SECCG game and almost lost the Iron Bowl. Lack of concentration and urgency on BAMA’s part was a bigger factor then Auburn’s play that day. With that said, you guys played with a lot of heart and determination.

3rdn8

October 4th, 2010
10:01 am

@ Auburn guy, straight up yo

you know……as November draws closer……it seems to be harder to joke with AU people.

Tightly clinched sphincters won’t help you win football games.

You need to go some where and relax. Just not next to me.

CalGatorBrotha

October 4th, 2010
10:02 am

Let me get this right here….Mr. College Football….Mr. UGA lover…failed to mentioned how horrible his beloved Dawgs are this year?….hmmm wonder why

Bare Bryant

October 4th, 2010
10:03 am

oh pulllezee. Alabama’s education ranks in the bottom 5 and the best it can show is the football team. What a lousy world we live in. The kids in the great state of alabama needs more robust education.

GeneralNeyland96

October 4th, 2010
10:04 am

Tony,

You’re absolutely right that UT had 13 men on the field for that last play and LSU deserved to have an untimed down because of it.

However, you’re absolutely WRONG that the uncalled unsportsmanlike conduct penalty had no bearing on the outcome….that untimed down would have looked a lot different if taken from the 15.5 yardline!

If instant replay is going to be used to review a play, they should review the ENTIRE play, not selective portions.

It doesn’t surprise me that the majority of the officiating crew at LSU on Saturday had been suspended at one point last year for poor performance. It DOES surprise me that they’re still allowed to participate in games together in such concentrations.

Palladin

October 4th, 2010
10:04 am

After Auburn squeaking past both MSU and SC, I would have thought that we would hear the end of Auburn fans bragging about winning the first three quarters of a game last year. The final score is the only score that counts.

brokeback jacket

October 4th, 2010
10:04 am

There’s the 50 people in the stands at tech’s ugly little stadium, and then there’s everyone else on Earth.

3rdn8

October 4th, 2010
10:06 am

@ Bare Bryant

think I see a trend here.

(a) get your fannies’ waxed on Saturday.
(b) jump on little kid’s education standards on Monday.

If your world is so lousy…….there’s an exit door to your left.

Palladin

October 4th, 2010
10:06 am

@5IML

“Patty” always misspells Chizik’s name.

David

October 4th, 2010
10:06 am

Smart not talking about GA. You being a Ga homer, it might be very difficult.
Rogers Redding is very good at politics, but the game passed him by along time ago.
He still brags about the time he got suspended and it made it’s way to ESPN.
Don’t give his ego anymore publicity. The game passed him by about the same time as it did for CMR.

Gator Mike

October 4th, 2010
10:08 am

GATORS simply got clobbered because the offense is milk toast and the play calling is very prdictable to everyone. Tery Austin’s Defense is steadily improving, but the team is not balanced. Coach Meyer has some tough decisions to make, and maybe he should move Pouncey back to Guard where he is great because he is not a very good Center. Brantly running the spread offense is getting to be sickening because the other teams seem to know that he will not run it properly.
Unless some changes are made quickly, LSU will will also beat the Gators no matter how many dumb decisions are made by the LSU coaches.
I suspect it will be very tense in the Swamp on Saturday night; therefore, I will pack some Rolaids.
Go Gators!

Tony ...

October 4th, 2010
10:09 am

LOL… no mention of your beloved Dawgs? LOL.. its killing you isnt it

sjt18

October 4th, 2010
10:09 am

Let me get this right… a player yanking a helmet off and an LSU player throwing a helmet after the last play were not calls that should be made because they didn’t effect the outcome of the game… BUT having 13 on the field which ultimately also didn’t effect the original outcome of the game should be called?

How is that? I’m not suggesting that the sub infraction shouldn’t have been called. It should have… half the distance to the goal. Then the unsportsmanlike conduct flag for throwing a helment should have marched the ball back to the 15.

Buford Sowega

October 4th, 2010
10:09 am

Auburn’s Defense might be mediocre, but they play with heart for four quarters. You can’t ask for more than that. Playing with unrelenting zeal and determination will keep an average team in the game.

Runnwild

October 4th, 2010
10:10 am

Hey auburn guy, too bad you have to play the game for 60 full minutes. But ya’ll keep hanging onto that moral victory.

bamafan

October 4th, 2010
10:13 am

Not again!! – Why do the Auburn fans get on the blog and pick a fight every day? Grow up. Auburn is 5-0, playing well, and ranked in the top ten. Bad mouthing other teams, players, and coaches doesn’t make Auburn any better, and it doesn’t make the other teams worse.