The Fearless Friday Forecast: Bama, Dawgs, and Jackets win

The Fearless Friday Forecast as we reach the midway point of the 2010 season (Man, that was fast!)

1. Alabama at South Carolina: South Carolina has never beaten the No. 1 team in the nation. ESPN’s College Game Day will be there. The game will be nationally televised on CBS. It’s certainly the biggest game in Steve Spurrier’s six years in Columbia. Some games are tough to break down. This one is not.  If South Carolina can slow down the running game just a little bit, the Gamecocks have a chance to put some pressure on Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy.  If McElroy, who had two interceptions against Arkansas, has an off day the Gamecocks have a shot.  There is a reason McElroy is undefeated as a starting quarterback. He knows how to win these kinds of games. Alabama 24, South Carolina 10.

2. Tennessee at Georgia: Let’s dub this one the “Desperation Bowl.” Both teams really need a win after very tough losses last week. I’m not sure how Georgia’s team is going to respond–if they respond at all–after four straight losses. I’m not sure if Tennessee is completely over last week’s crazy loss to LSU. Georgia gets the edge at home and wins with a Blair Walsh field goal at the buzzer. Georgia 17, Tennessee 14.

3. Virginia at Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech is very much a work in progress and will need to tighten up in several areas in order to beat the Cavaliers. The Yellow Jackets have to get pressure on Virginia quarterback Mark Verica and make him uncomfortable. They will. Georgia Tech 24, Virginia 14.

4. LSU at Florida: The Les Miles Traveling High Wire and Mass Confusion Show makes an appearance at The Swamp, where the Gators are still smarting from a beat down at Alabama last week. This is going to be a very ugly football game because neither team really has a coherent offense.  Florida is average. LSU is awful. LSU will be in this game all the way because the Tiger defense is so good. It will be a low scoring game because both coaches know their offense can lose the game and will thus be very conservative. Florida wins the game when LSU mismanages the clock and fails to kick a potential winning field goal. Florida 14 LSU 13.

5. Auburn at Kentucky: After a quality scrimmage last week against Louisiana-Monroe, Auburn starts a string of four straight SEC games against Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU, and Ole Miss. The Tigers have a rising star in quarterback Cameron Newton, the nation’s No. 2 most efficient passer. But it is the Auburn defense that is really exceeding expectations and will force three Kentucky turnovers. Auburn 35, Kentucky 24.

6. Florida State at Miami: It comes down to quarterback play. Jacory Harris of Miami makes big plays but he tends to throw interceptions. He has eight in only 119 passing attempts. Florida State’s Christian Ponder has only three interceptions in 129 attempts. It is tempting to go with Florida State because the Seminoles lead the nation with 25 quarterback sacks. But I just like Miami at home. Miami 24, Florida State 20.

7.  Clemson at North Carolina: Both teams have lost a conference game and so both need a win in order to stay competitive in their respective divisions. I just think that with all of the issues going on at North Carolina (five defensive starters are still out due to various investigations) the Tar Heels don’t have enough steam to beat a pretty good team like Clemson. Clemson 27, North Carolina 21.

8. Michigan State at Michigan:  Coach Mark Dantonio had a mild heart attack after Michigan State’s win over Notre Dame on Sept. 25 and was in a hospital bed for last week’s big win over Wisconsin. He returns and will coach in the press box at Michigan, who has the Heisman Trophy frontrunner in quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson has been unstoppable this season and is just 95 yards away from the 1,000-yard mark. This will be a shootout because the Wolverines can’t stop anybody. Michigan 38, Michigan State 35.

9. Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (Arlington, Tex.): This will be a battle of two very good quarterbacks. Ryan Mallett of Arkansas is second in the nation, averaging 359.5 yards passing per game. Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson has a gun for an arm but tends to throw a lot of interceptions.  He threw 62 passes in last week’s loss at Oklahoma State but had an interception to set up the winning field goal for the Cowboys. There will be at least 90 passes thrown in this game and the number could be closer to 100. The winner will be the team that can get a couple of defensive stops. That would be Arkansas.  Arkansas 42, Texas A&M 37.

10. Southern California at Stanford: USC (4-1) can’t win the Pac-10 because of NCAA probation but the Trojans can have someting to say about who does. USC  got beat at the buzzer last week by Washington and now has an opportunity to hand Stanford (4-1) it’s second Pac-10 loss of the season. The Cardinal had a 21-3 lead on Oregon last week and got beat 52-31. I just like Jim Harbaugh’s Stanford team to be tougher than the Boy Wonder who’s coaching the Trojans. Stanford 31, USC 24.

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336 comments Add your comment

jeff

October 8th, 2010
8:29 am

Sure would like to see Michigan St. win for their coach who has been through hell the last 2 weeks.

Innocent Bystander

October 8th, 2010
8:30 am

@DawginLex

Why would Bo leave Nebraska to come to Georgia? It would take mucho dinero to pry him away from that job. Is it true that Mark Richt has a 10 year contract? What is his buyout?

Alphare

October 8th, 2010
8:31 am

If UGA cannot beat Colorado, what do they make you think they can beat TN?

I think UGA will lead for most of the game until the last few minutes when AJGreen has a fake leg or arm cramp so that he won’t get injured for his upcoming NFL draft. Another show day for AJGreen for sure, everybody will have a glimpse of his talent. He will shutdown after the show. Knowshon used to do run-then-break, remember?

Coachin' Em Down

October 8th, 2010
8:32 am

OK, Tony… UGA’s 3-4 has given up 182 rushing to Marcus Lattimore, 174 to Mississippi State, and over 200 yards to the mighty Buffalos. How in the world are they going to stop Tauren Poole?

kirk herbstreit

October 8th, 2010
8:32 am

JB fact is “you” did lose all 4 games. That’s lose as it loser. Georgia lost…deal with it. The team isn’t very good and will be lucky to get whatever kind of bowl game they give to a 6-6 team.

Dawg_Mike

October 8th, 2010
8:32 am

I was down in Gainesville this week on business and man were there some long faces.
me thinks that the cat in the hat will defy the odds and make the long faces even longer tomorrow.
LSU 17
UF 10

MURPHY

October 8th, 2010
8:32 am

Dawgin LEX,

Yeah him and his brother both. Man they get after it on the sidelines.I dont see him leaving Nebraska anytime soon. That is a great place to coach-awesome fan base. This team is going to be in the BCS mix at the end of the year. They have Texas next and after they got screwed last year in the BIG 12 championship game,look for them to wear Texas out!

dean

October 8th, 2010
8:32 am

Ok. I’m going Homer. Dawgs win but ain’t no way I’m giving the 11 or whatever it is now.

Innocent Bystander

October 8th, 2010
8:33 am

@jeff

I’d like to see them win just to embarrass Rich Rod. ;-)

I think that they will win based upon an unbiased assessment of the two teams.

kirk herbstreit

October 8th, 2010
8:34 am

They only job Bo Pellini leaves Nebraska for is Ohio St. where he was a teammate of mine in the early 1990’s.

how2fish

October 8th, 2010
8:35 am

dawgsux my God what are you smoking? There was nothing short of divine intervention that could have given the Gators a win last week. They were weighted they were judged and they were found wanting…cry about turnovers all you want and granted 4 will normally get you beat even by a worse team…but Bama is head and shoulders a superior team this year.If the Gators play mistake free football they still get beat by 3 TD’s.

Dawg_Mike

October 8th, 2010
8:35 am

CMR’s contract, courtesy of Tim Tucker:

Richt’s contract — most recently amended in 2008 — runs through the 2013 season and pays him at least $2.9 million per year. That includes five sources of annual compensation: $378,000 in base salary, $1.12 million for radio and TV shows, $140,000 for operating a football camp, $742,000 for equipment endorsement efforts and $520,000 per year in longevity bonuses that would be payable at the end of the contract. The contract also includes incentive bonuses based on team performance.

The contract’s buyout provisions, which would determine the amount of money UGA would owe Richt if it fired him without cause, are complex.
For starters, he would be owed his full compensation during the first six months after notice of termination, except the portion attributed to operating a camp. Then, for the rest of the calendar year during which the termination became effective, he would be entitled to all five sources of compensation.
For each subsequent full calendar year left on the contract after that, Richt would be paid only — the word “only” is underlined in the contract — an amount equal to his base salary and equipment endorsement income.
According to calculations by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Richt would be owed approximately $5 million if he were to be dismissed shortly after this season.
That figure does not include longevity bonuses Richt would be due for years previously worked.
Under terms of his 2008 contract amendment, Richt will be due a longevity bonus of $3.12 million by Jan. 30, 2014, if he completes the contract. That would amount to $520,000 per season since the start of ‘08.
If he is dismissed without cause before the end of the contract, Richt would receive a portion of the longevity bonus based on seasons worked since the start of ‘08. According to the amended contract, the longevity bonus due Richt if he is terminated without cause would be $420,000 for each completed season (prorated for partial seasons) since the start of ‘08, plus an additional $600,000.

If the contract were terminated by UGA after this season, the longevity bonus due Richt would be $1.86 million, compared to the $3.12 million bonus he would receive for completing the deal.

Dixie Redcoat Band

October 8th, 2010
8:35 am

We think there are some MAC teams that can play with the DAWGS. We’ll be at The Big House…cheering for the Spartans, in a quiet way, wearing our UGA colors. The UM folks can be very obnoxious.

sunny purdue

October 8th, 2010
8:36 am

Where is the guy that wrote this last week: “I just talked myself out of picking Georgia. It’s time for this team to man up. I’ll believe it when I see it”? Well since they both GOTTA win go with Gomer Dooley. The other guys are spending too much time explaining what went wrong and not enough game planning.

DawginLex

October 8th, 2010
8:37 am

Been to Lincoln Nebraska in the winter?

Plus it’s the SEC.
Chance to compete in the league where national titles are won.

Money changes folks minds……………..

Innocent Bystander

October 8th, 2010
8:39 am

@how2fish

You make a valid point. Florida didn’t turn the ball over 4 times just to see what would happen. The Bama defense had some impact on those turnovers. This was Bama’s first game this season in which the defense didn’t have to be carried by the offense. If the Bama D keeps improving, it will be scary.

kirk herbstreit

October 8th, 2010
8:41 am

Dawg in Lex–Last time i check Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas have won plenty of titles. Hmmm, how many have the bulldogs won. Next year Nebraska moves into the Big 10, where let’s see, Ohio St. has won this decade and played for 2 others. The pull of the SEC is strong sure, but it’s Georgia, not Alabama or Florida.

JB

October 8th, 2010
8:44 am

The 5 million Dollar payoff of Richt would be chump change compared to a few more 6-6,5-7 seasons. That performance would cost the Athletic Assoc. 15-20 mil I’m guessing over the next 2-3 years. Money at UGA will NEVER be in an Equation to fire a coach…………Now at Tech, that’s a different story….There are 8 million reasons why Hewitt is still their Basketball coach, and they struggle financially most years athletically, according to this paper.

JB

October 8th, 2010
8:48 am

kirk herbstreit has ALL the answers.

Jake

October 8th, 2010
8:49 am

When Tony picks UGA to win, it comes up as a loss. I would leave Mark alone. If UGA gets rid of Mark, who would replace him? Seems to me he’s a good coach, per his won-loss record. Replace him and UGA may have a Tn type deal they now have in Knoxville.

MURPHY

October 8th, 2010
8:50 am

JB,

Good points. I remember everyone gasping when Bama paid Saban all that money. Look were they are at now!!!

kirk herbstreit

October 8th, 2010
8:52 am

JB–Of course I do…and I get to work with Brent Musberger!!

Jake

October 8th, 2010
8:53 am

Yeah, seems Bama paying Saban big money is now a good ROI.

JB

October 8th, 2010
8:53 am

I was not kidding……OK ,I was, put you do put out some good info, but leave the bashing out.
You’re too knowledgeable for that mess.

dawgfan

October 8th, 2010
8:56 am

I don’t think any objective person can say we will beat Tennessee this weekend. We have not demonstrated an ability to beat anyone yet. Tennessee should have beaten LSU, AT LSU no less. We couldn’t even win at Colorado. People seem to assume that Tennessee will be down in the dumps from last weekend. They could just as easily be severely pizzed off and ready to take out their frustrations on the SEC’s latest whipping boy, UGA. Tennessee looks much more physical than us. They’ll pop us in the mouth and we’ll fold. Tennessee will simply want the win more than UGA.

Have I given up on the 2010 Georgia Bulldogs? Yes I have. Its not about wins and losses. Its about effort. It isn’t there. Sorry.

RxDawg

October 8th, 2010
8:56 am

Vols at Dawgs – Well the best teams at losing T it up in Athens. Who would of thought this would be for the battle of last place in the SEC? How can I pick this one? Let’s refer to a coin toss……………… the coin says dawgs win.

Bama at Darth Visor’s lair – At the begining of the year I pointed to this game as one that would upset Bama. Bama is riding high, coming off a monster beating of Florida (thank you for that by the way). So all signs are pointing to an upset. Nah…. USC’s O-line will look like UGA’s on Saturday. Bama wins again.

UVA at GaTech – This one is interesting because Tech’s DC, Al Groh, was UVA’s head coach last year. I don’t know much about UVA, but the general consensus is they stink worse than Tech. Tech wins.

LSU at Florida – Holy smoly is Les Miles the luckiest guy on the planet or what? And he’s going to still start Jefferson….what!? The biggest idiot in the SEC continues to have games handed to him by the lords of football. I think Richt needs to call up Miles and see how many chickens he needs to sacrifice or whatever to get some of that luck our way. WTH, why should his luck stop now? LSU wins, and probably in some way we’ve never seen before.

Auburn at Kentucky – Kentucky wont be able to stop Newton. Big cats win.

FSU at Miami – One day we’ll tell our grandkids that this game used to be huge. Of course, I guess we’ll say the same about UGA/UT. Anyways, I saw a stat the other day where Harris has 8 int’s with 120 attempts and Ponder has 3 int’s with 140 attempts, or something close to it. That was all it took for me, Free Shoes gets it done.

Michigan St at Michigan – It’s tempting to go with MSU here, but Michigan is rolling on offense. Even if their QB goes down, they have 2 others that can do the job. Michigan wins, though I’ll be rooting for MSU and their head coach. What has two thumbs and passes up a pacemaker operation to go to a football game? That guy.

USC at Stanford – Stanford wins by sure will of the entire nation (excluding USC fans of course).

Arkansas vs Texas A&M – UGA beat A&M last year. Arkansas beat A&M last year. No reason for the trend to not be continued. Arkansas prevails.

JB

October 8th, 2010
8:58 am

football coach’s are like any business, you get what you pay for.Saban was a good investment. Richt HAS been, compared to where we were. Take the Buffalo Bill hiring Gailey.
If that guy really cared about winning, he would have lured Bill Cowher for 8-10 mil per, something he couldn’t turn down. Instead, he hired a care taker for 1.5 mil per, and he’ll get 1.5 mil worth of results.

1eyedJack

October 8th, 2010
8:59 am

I have always been a proponent of the philosophy that you play the way you practice.

“If Monday and Tuesday are any indication of the way we have responded to a 1-4 start,” McGarity said, “I think all of our fans and supporters would feel very good about things heading forward to this weekend.”

Hopefully, the Dawgs lose that 1st quarter funk they seem to obitually have and come out and “punch ‘em in the face”.

kirk herbstreit

October 8th, 2010
8:59 am

Ok sorry JB–thanks for the compliment though…I do enjoy this forum.

Mike

October 8th, 2010
8:59 am

Notre Dame 27
PITT 16

Jake

October 8th, 2010
9:02 am

Thanks Mike, but this is not an Altar Boys posting.

Rammer Jammer

October 8th, 2010
9:02 am

Bama beats sc a lot worse than 24-10. They will not be able to deal with Bama’s running game and J Jones. Bama 33 SC 10—book it.

dobearsbare

October 8th, 2010
9:02 am

Well, there’s a reason UGA is an 11 or 13 point or whatever it is favorite, and it’s not just because the oddsmakers want to level bets on both sides. Tennessee is at a severe deficit of talent right now. If it comes down to a one-play game, Georgia’s in trouble. I don’t really think it will, though. Dawgs win 27-9.

dawgfan

October 8th, 2010
9:05 am

1eyedjack, if memory serves, Richt had some pretty positive things to say about our teams’ effort in preseason camp this past summer. How is that working out? As Allen Iverson would say, PRACTICE? Y’all talkin’ about PRACTICE? Who gives a crap bro. I’m sick of all the empty talk. This team has been nothing but talk and hype since 2007.

#1 BAMA FAN

October 8th, 2010
9:06 am

Murphy…..saying for three weeks BAMA will lose dosen’t make it true. I am a dye hard fan but I realize that no one is unbeatable. That said I like our chances to send the banty rooster fans to the fair by 6pm Saturday night. This could be the week BAMA puts a complete game together. It is tough playing teams with two weeks to prepare but if BAMA keeps playing physical they will need the rest the week after.RTR

Charles Jackson

October 8th, 2010
9:06 am

Hey, Mr. College Football (ha ha ha): have you ever NOT picked GT & UGA? And when they lose, where are you?

3rdn8

October 8th, 2010
9:10 am

I’m looking for a close one in Columbia. USC played AU straight up. Couple of 4th quarter fumbles decided it. Spurrier finally has all of the pieces in place to make a run.

Bama is going to need a complete game, and they’ve yet to play one.

Predict Bama by 3

Michael

October 8th, 2010
9:12 am

Ok so MR CFB picks chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, chalk, and for the final game he picks chalk.

I guess Tony just looks at the lines and sees who is favored when making picks.

3rdn8

October 8th, 2010
9:14 am

@ Michael

is chalk more reliable than tea leaves?

michael moreau

October 8th, 2010
9:15 am

i like the 14-13 LSU at Florida thought process, but if it does come down to a field goal and Josh Jasper of LSU is kicking and it’s not more than 50 yards out. You almost HAVE to go with the Tigers, because he is that automatic. So, can you imagine the expression on Les Miles’ face after a second straight 16-14 victory?

3rdn8

October 8th, 2010
9:15 am

seems like it would be easier to carry in your pocket

1eyedJack

October 8th, 2010
9:16 am

dawgfan, I’d say it worked out great for week 1, but then CMR went to his in-season schedule of no live hitting and scrimmaging. That changed this week. Let’s see how that works out.

how2fish

October 8th, 2010
9:19 am

3rdn8 I agree Bama by 3….touchdowns. Lattimore can’t run against the Tide and they sure won’t beat Bama with Garcia’s arm. SC gave the SEC a blueprint on how to beat UGA run right at us..UGA gave the SEC a blueprint to beat SC..stop Lattimore I think the Tide will be more than equal to that test.

JB

October 8th, 2010
9:19 am

Bama will shut Lattimore down, which leaves Garcia to win it, and he normally folds like a cheap chair. Bama 31-17

Vulture

October 8th, 2010
9:20 am

Several good games this Saturday. GA vs TN, who knows. GA has gotten good at finding ways to lose.

Mr College Football?

October 8th, 2010
9:22 am

Don’t worry if your team is in his L column. He has no clue what he’s doing based on his track record. He just flips a coin so your team will probably end up winning. He is so far in saban’s derriere that he can’t see any other teams…I only follow this weekly projection to see how bad tony really is at what he “does”. AJC made the right decision on him, imho.

Barbara Dooley

October 8th, 2010
9:25 am

Wow what a surprise. Homer Barnhart picked Thuga to win.

3rdn8

October 8th, 2010
9:28 am

don’t think I’ve ever seen the SEC go this far into the season without somebody rising to the top. Bama appears to be that team, but I’m not so sure. They’ve shown flashes of being a great team, and have shown other flashes of being pretty average. IF Saban can ever get sixty minutes out of ‘em, they might be pretty good.

JB

October 8th, 2010
9:30 am

Quote from McGarity from his first Athletic Board meeting ever on the subject of Richt. ” I talk to him everyday…or every other day and ask him him what can I do to help”…

That’s the same approach I have with one of my struggling or under performing Salesmen while I’m giving him time to rebound OR replace him………Mark’s coaching for his job is what I’m hearing.

Will

October 8th, 2010
9:32 am

It seems that every coach get his signature win and every qb gets his offensive player of the week award against my UGA Bulldogs. That streak continues as Dooley gets on the map with a SEC win and Simms’ is voted SEC offensive player of the week. I don’t know what’s going to happen after that to the program. Also, please don’t boo if it gets ugly tomorrow afternoon….. There will be a ton of recruits there. Just sit there like me and take the agony like a man. USCe and Bama don’t start until later anyways. What else is there to do???