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

3rdn8

October 8th, 2010
9:38 am

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more critical week for a coaching staff than UGA is facing this week.

There is the perception that the UGA program is spinning out of control. That perception is starting to make some blue-chippers reconsider.

I like Mark Richt and Derek Dooley, so hope both do well. Unfortunately CFB doesn’t work that way.

Douglas

October 8th, 2010
9:41 am

UT: Please beat my hometown team, UGA, badly…help us fire Richt so we can get a new coaching staff. Run up the score…cheat…do whatever you can to destroy us.

brokebackvol

October 8th, 2010
9:42 am

C’mon Tony – LSU’s “Great” defense?? They let the weakest UT team in recent memory hang close enough to win at the end (sad they couldn’t count to 11) but don’t be fooled by that thumping by Bama. The Gators may not be able to be Bama in Tuscaloosa, but they sure can beat the Bayou Bungles in Gatorville.

As far as the VOLS – DAWGS, I agree with some who are claiming it’s a “pick ‘em” game – VOLS still have yet to put together a complete game against an average team (UT Martin does not count), and the Dawgies are still trying to figure out who they are this year. 11 point spread is a JOKE – but I agree Dawgs have a kicking game advantage with the VOLS depending on the kicking of a freshman (Palardy.)

GO BIG ORANGE!

Sean

October 8th, 2010
9:42 am

Auburn is going to use Kentucky as another scrimmage. And there’s no way A&M keeps it that close against Arkansas.

http://thebubblescreen.blogspot.com/2010/10/week-6-picks-alabama-lsu-miami-and.html

The Count of MonteFisto

October 8th, 2010
9:43 am

Working the heavy bag this morning. Telling the O line to just line up and knock down the Georgia guy in front of them, then move to the next. Punch ‘em in the mouth on the first drive and use ‘em for a sparring partner the rest of the game. Told the boys if Poole doesn’t get 200+ yards…the Count will not be happy!

DawginLex

October 8th, 2010
9:45 am

Hey herbie,

You must have attended Tech as well as OSU. I said nothing about UGA winning titles. I said my comment about the SEC, where titles are won. The last 4 national titles as a matter of fact.

JB

October 8th, 2010
9:45 am

Will, This game will be close….Tennessee will probably look better than us, but the score will be close and go either way. Maybe a field goal.

Paul in RDU

October 8th, 2010
9:46 am

I agree with all of Tony’s picks apart from Clemson-UNC. UNC in a close one – TJ Yates has 1 INT all year, Parker had 3 last week.

RxDawg

October 8th, 2010
9:47 am

Will
October 8th, 2010
9:32 am

Good post will. I’ll reiterate, please Dawg fans don’t boo your own team. They work hard, they’re just not good. It happens.

McDawg

October 8th, 2010
9:48 am

embarrassed to state this but the game i’m most interested in this weekend is the Michigan-MSU game

Slive

October 8th, 2010
9:49 am

UT 45 UGA 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

David

October 8th, 2010
9:49 am

Ga hasn’t beaten Tn in 4 years,why would they start now?
. Tony and Ga fans, please stop kissing Buck’s butt. It has been 30 years and the only one you should be kissing is Hershel Walker. I think there is a little racism right there. Buck handed the ball off to Hershel, so why kiss Buck’s butt?

Gen Neyland

October 8th, 2010
9:50 am

UT-UGA is only a desperation game for the Dawgs. If either team in Neyland South feels the pressure of a must win, it’s Georgia. With Alabama and USCe still looming in October, CDD’s options are narrowing down to nil and none for an October surprise before Vandy and Kentucky. We Atop Rocky expected this kind of season. Those around Athensville and college football didn’t expect UGA to be 1-4 at this point. All variables point to UGA winning, but like Mr CFB has a hard time picking against his Dawgs (he’s 2-3 with his Dawg picks I think), I too will not predict a Tennessee loss in my score prediction ( Hey, I’m 2-3 with Tennessee also )… UT 23 UGA 22 … GBO

Dontavius Supremo

October 8th, 2010
9:51 am

You’re right except for Georgia. My heart is there too Tony, but my brain tells me that Dolley brings his Vols into Athens sky high and takes the Dawgs by the neck. Georgia Tech will struggle, but will, I believe, prevail. If I were a betting man, I’d take S Carolina and the points; close one. Best game of the day? Michigan/Michigan State. Two classy teams. GREAT setting.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 8th, 2010
9:51 am

For the love of God, please beat UT this year.

G8R GRAD

October 8th, 2010
9:53 am

Nope.
UT gives Richt all he can handle and UF wins convincingly.

RxDawg

October 8th, 2010
9:53 am

David, for one Buck hangs around the progam and talks with people in the program. Thus his “butt” is around to kiss. Herschel kind of does his own thing. But when he does return to Athens he gets treated like royalty. So….troll harder.

MURPHY

October 8th, 2010
9:54 am

Gen Neyland,

I wish you luck on sat. Ut will out physical my dawgs.
UT-28 DAWGS-13

RxDawg

October 8th, 2010
9:55 am

Gen, pass some of that solvent bruda.

DawginLex

October 8th, 2010
9:58 am

UT will score 17

UGA can score more or less than 17 depending on Murray’s passing. UT secondary is the weak link on the D.

25-37 327 yards 4 TD’s 0 Int 31-17 UGA

14-22 178 yards 1 TD 0 Int 17-14 UT

Richt walks warily down the street, with the brim pulled way down low

October 8th, 2010
9:59 am

DawginLex

You’re a really optimistic guy

JB

October 8th, 2010
10:01 am

One big concern I have….LSU has a pretty good D, lot’s better than Georgia, and UT moved the ball pretty well….

gdawginkalamazoo

October 8th, 2010
10:03 am

For the love of God just get off the damn bus against UT this year. We have failed to do that in recent years.

Gen Neyland, I think Derek sleeps in his childhood bedroom while in Athens. His poster of Herschel comes to life and tells “little D” (as Herschel used to call him) to lose this game or face him in an MMA match on Sunday.

DawginLex

October 8th, 2010
10:04 am

Optimistic? No.

It is obviously all on bobo and Richt and the playcalling/aggressiveness. Come out playing to win and utilize your best football players-WIN

Go huddle in a corner and suck your thumb and hope that we can run the ball-LOSE

Murray is light years better than anyone else on the team. Throw the ball all over the place.

GatorBoy

October 8th, 2010
10:04 am

Les Miles is a Homeaux

GatorBoy

October 8th, 2010
10:05 am

cantondawg

October 8th, 2010
10:09 am

CMR does not have a 10 year contract. The contract terms are as follow.

2011- 2.8 million
2012 2.8 million
2013- 2.8 million

He has 8.4 million left on his contract. Buyout of 8.4 million unless the lawyers on both side reach a settlement. Either way, CMR will be set for life.

Vulture

October 8th, 2010
10:10 am

Anybody tired of living off of how great the SEC is? It doesn’t make me feel any better if Alabama or Florida wins a championship.

cantondawg

October 8th, 2010
10:10 am

I wasn’t suggesting that we should fire CMR. I was just giving the contract terms. I think he deserves one more year and if huge improvement is not shown then we should make a change.

BAMA dude

October 8th, 2010
10:11 am

1- Alabama winds kinda big. I’d say 14-17 points.

2- UGA wins a close one

3- Meh. GT I guess.

4- Crocs over the Hat by 7 or so.

5- Auburn in a semi-close one, 7-10 pts.

6- Miami wins the used-to-be-relevant-nationally bowl

7- Clempson survives a close one.

8- Who cares? MSU contains the kid enough to pull it out.

9- Arky by 10 or so over TAMiflu.

10- Smart guys whip So Cal.

dawgdawgdawg

October 8th, 2010
10:11 am

Florida wins the East, Bama dominates them in the SEC Championship, then wins the National, again….Bama is rolling and I don’t see anyone that can take them out

McDawg

October 8th, 2010
10:11 am

put the ball in Orson Charles’ hands-is Bruce Figgins playing at all? double tight end split charles out open up the field

i think UT will run all over us

cantondawg

October 8th, 2010
10:12 am

The OL started slowly last year and really picked it up in the second half of the year. Hopefully, we can do the same thing this year starting with Tennessee. T

cantondawg

October 8th, 2010
10:15 am

I think AJ playing the whole game will make a big difference. If we can get him on a couple of early scores then it will be the confidence of the team which is sorely needed. We have the talent and ability but we’re just lacking confidence right now.

Barkin'Dog

October 8th, 2010
10:16 am

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Will

October 8th, 2010
10:22 am

cantondawg,

No offense to your post but the O Line didn’t really pick up until the Tech game. We actually got killed in this same game last year 47-19 or something like that. We played OK during the Auburn game but looked like crap against Kentucky. Please don’t let the coaches or media fool you, The O line has underperformed going on 3 years.

BAMA dude

October 8th, 2010
10:26 am

cantondawg, it’s more than that. Yes, UGA has talent. Problem is that many other SEC schools come up with top five recruiting classes year after year. The UGA kids don’t seem to be developing at the pace they need to be since Saban, Meyer, and even Petrino took over. The coaching they were getting was plenty to compete for SEC titles up until a few short years ago. The problem is that now you have a point of reference to compare to.

It’s kinda like the old couple I heard about. One day the wife gets up out of the blue and smacks the husband right across the chops. “Why’d you do that?” he asked. She said, “That was for bad bed lovin’ for the last forty years.”

A couple days later, the husband returned the favor, smacking the wife out of the blue. When she asked why he said “That’s for finding out the difference.”

Until the better coaches came around, Richt’s mediocre development programs were enough. Now recruits, fans, and media can see the difference and his program is being exposed for what it is. Poor discipline and individual player development.

Saint Simons

October 8th, 2010
10:26 am

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, i guess the next thugg at uga will be put on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION !!! hahahahahahaha

Les W. Moore

October 8th, 2010
10:26 am

This is a fact that all in mutt nation don’t want to hear: Vince Dooley will be sitting alone in his den and he’ll be vocally cheering for the Volunteers to win.

Richt walks warily down the street, with the brim pulled way down low

October 8th, 2010
10:26 am

DawginLex

You’re optimistic in that you think UGA’s god awful defense has a shot at stopping UT when UT moved the ball on the road against the #6 total defense in the NCAA.

UGA’s total defense = 39

ratherBgambling

October 8th, 2010
10:27 am

I am Les Miles and I am the village idiot.

DawginLex

October 8th, 2010
10:27 am

It will be entertaining that’s for sure.

Richt walks warily down the street, with the brim pulled way down low

October 8th, 2010
10:32 am

i agree – they always are

T3

October 8th, 2010
10:32 am

Christian Ponder > Jacory Harris

Noles win in Miami !!

JB

October 8th, 2010
10:33 am

My Dawgs biggest problem………….Nurturing,coddling, feeling good, too much rope………..All before football…………………Now, we read they hit and tackled hard Monday and Tuesday and Richt said that was the FIRST time he had done that…….We’ll see Saturday….The word on us is to punch first, hard and often and we wilt…..

Richt walks warily down the street, with the brim pulled way down low

October 8th, 2010
10:34 am

T3

I agree – how do you think you will do with NC ST, Clem as far as getting to the ACC CG?

PMC

October 8th, 2010
10:36 am

Michigan State will hand Michigan their first loss.

Michigan is deplorable on defense. Michigan hasn’t seen a defense like the Spartans all year.

The General Feeling

October 8th, 2010
10:36 am

The vegas odds on UGA v. UT is a head scratcher, indeed. Dawgs have failed to stop anyone’s ground attack, so far. Dawgs will be pressed to make plays but mistakes and turnovers will plague them. Dawg fans will wake up on Sunday morning wondering who is Taccoa’s Taurean Poole and how did he get away to Tennessee.

Vols continue to use the David Cutcliffe playbook. Not so much more points, but for field position and control of the clock.

Come Sunday, Dawgs will be the best 1-5 team in the nation.

pbj

October 8th, 2010
10:36 am

From this morning’s AJC

The coach’s contract

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.

RxDawg

October 8th, 2010
10:37 am

Barkin’Dog
October 8th, 2010
10:16 am

NICE!