Archive for October, 2010

Dawgs, Jackets win; Wisconsin upsets No. 1 Ohio State

The Fearless Friday Forecast:

1. Arkansas at Auburn: This game features the two hottest quarterbacks in the SEC in Ryan Mallett of Arkansas and Cameron Newton of Auburn. I’m giving the edge to Auburn at home and because the Tigers will be able to run the ball with Newton and Michael Dyer and limit Mallett’s posssessions.  Auburn will also play a little more defense with Nick Fairley up front. Auburn 27, Arkansas 21.

2. Vanderbilt at Georgia: The Bulldogs finally showed some signs of life last week in beating Tennessee 41-14 and should be able to take care of a Vanderbilt team  that is still having some issues on offense (11th in the SEC in scoring) when running back Warren Norman does not have a big game.  UGA VIII starts with a win. Georgia 28, Vanderbilt 10.

3. Middle Tennessee State at Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets take a break from conference action to play the Blue Raiders of Rick Stockstill. MTSU will be playing its second game with quarterback Dwight Dasher, who sat …

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Can South Carolina handle success?

Five burning questions as we head into the weekend:

1. Can South Carolina handle success? Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before: South Carolina wins a big game and puts itself in a serious position to contend for the SEC East title. But the Gamecocks come out sloppy the next week and get beat. That is what faces head coach Steve Spurrier as he takes his 4-1 team on the road to play a 3-3 Kentucky  team that really needs a win after losing three straight conference games. The South Carolina players are saying all the right things this week, but after watching Kentucky run up and down the field on Auburn (in a 37-34 loss) Spurrier knows that Kentucky can beat his Gamecocks. Spurrier, as you know, is not big on talk. He is big on results. “We’re going to find out,” said Spurrier, when asked if his team is ready to handle a game like this. “I don’t know how we’re going to react. But we certainly know that Kentucky is capable of beating us.”

2. Is Clemson ready to get this thing …

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Would you vote for a 16-team playoff?

I promised myself I would read the book with an open mind and I did. There is a lot I don’t agree with in the book but Dan Wetzel’s “Death to the BCS” is required reading for college football fans.

Wetzel’s book, which hits the store shelves on Thursday, makes the case through exhaustive interviews and research that many of the accepted truths about the BCS are simply not true and have been perpetuated by the major conferences who want to remain in complete control of post-season football.

Example: That the BCS is “lucrative” because it receives about $125 million per year from ESPN to show the games. Wetzel points out through numerous interviews that the a 16-team playoff would generate well over $750 million per year. So conservatively, he argues, the power structure is willing to leave $500 million on the table per year in order to stay in power.

Another example: If the BCS goes away, then the conferences will go back to the old bowl system: Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany …

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Would 12-0 Boise go to the BCS title game over a 12-1 SEC champ?

I had Jerry Palm of collegebcs.com on my radio show Monday. I believe that Jerry and Brad Edwards of ESPN.com are the best two numbers crunchers out there when it comes to the BCS.

The first BCS Standings will be released on Sunday and if everybody at the top of the polls wins, Jerry says he believes the first set of standings will look something like this:

1. Boise State

2. Oregon

3. TCU

4. Oklahoma

5. Ohio State

It will be fun having Boise State at No. 1 for the entertainment value alone. But Palm pointed out that if the big boys keep winning, Boise State will not stay there.

“You have to understand that the bigger conferences are just now getting into the meat of their schedules,” he said. “Their schedules will get better  as the season goes on but Boise’s is only going to get worse.”

I wondered aloud yesterday if Alabama’s loss to South Carolina would cost the SEC a chance at a fifth straight national championship. I still believe that if an SEC team (Auburn or LSU) goes …

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Will the SEC get shut out of the BCS championship game?

The first BCS Standings are six days away. So what did we learn this weekend?

1. After four straight national championships, will the SEC get shut out of  the BCS title game? There is no way to understate what Alabama’s loss to South Carolina meant in the big picture. Just when a lot of people (this writer included) were convinced that the Crimson Tide was going to Glendale, they lose in Columbia and it throws the door open for just about anything.

This morning, with the first BCS Standings set to be released on Sunday, the SEC has three teams in the Top 10 of the coaches poll (No. 7 Auburn, No. 8 Alabama, and No. 9 LSU.) Those three teams all have to play one another in October and November. We don’t know a whole lot but this much we do know: Like it or not, if No. 1 Ohio State runs the table, the Buckeyes will be in the big game. So unless Ohio State loses at Wisconsin on Saturday or at Iowa on Nov. 20, everybody is playing for No. 2. Of course, we said the same thing about …

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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 …

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Head Ball Coach can make history against Bama

Five things to look for this weekend in college football:

1. The Head Ball Coach has another chance to make history: Steve Spurrier hasn’t been able to recapture the success he had at Florida (six SEC championships) since coming to South Carolina in 2005. But the HBC has a chance to make some history on Saturday if the Gamecocks can upset No. 1 Alabama. First of all, South Carolina has never beaten the No. 1 team in the nation. They beat No. 4 Ole Miss early last season. But a win over Alabama would give Steve Spurrier his 107th SEC win in 18 years as a head coach in the league. That would move him into second place behind Bear Bryant (159) and ahead of John Vaught (106) and Vince Dooley (105).

2. Mike Pouncey will remain at center for Gators. Deal with it: Brady Ackerman, my broadcast partner on CSS, made this point and it’s a good one. Last season Florida fans became experts on concussions when Tim Tebow got his bell rung. When center Mike Pouncey had some issues with the …

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Hey look, A.J.! Nebraska is having a jersey sale!

Nobody asked me but…..

1. Hey look, A.J.! Nebraska is having a jersey sale!:  Georgia’s A.J. Green was suspended for four games for selling one of his game jerseys for $1,000. Hey, that’s against the rules. I know it. You know it and, more importantly, A.J. Green knows it.

But here at Mr. College Football we love irony. Nebraska has announced on its website that it will sell about 157 jerseys that will be worn by members of the Cornhusker team during its Oct. 16 game with Texas in Lincoln. In fact, Big Red fans can go on line right now and bid for the jersey of their choice. The No. 3 jersey of Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is already going for $999.99. Nebraska officials told me they were going to take the names off the jerseys before selling them to the public.

2. It’s really starting to get ugly at North Carolina: ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel reported this week that former North Carolina assistant coach John Blake made contact with Alabama defensive end Marcel Dareus and …

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Has Mark Richt earned the right to fix the problem at Georgia?

 I’m not going to sugarcoat this. What I see from the football team at the University of Georgia is not good. I picked Colorado to win last Saturday because I really wondered how much fight was left in this team. To Georgia’s credit, and I trust Tim Tucker’s judgment on this, effort was not the issue Saturday night in Boulder. The inability to execute basic plays in pressure situations and the inability to play defense at the most fundamental level was the problem.

Based on my mail and the folks who call in to my radio show, there are a lot of people who are convinced that the Georgia football program after 10 years under  Mark Richt has lost the necessary edge of coaching,  talent and game day savvy to compete at the very top of the SEC.

I get all that and when a team is 1-4 all those arguments can be made and they are fair. Still,  I am not backing away from this position: I believe that Mark Richt will be head coach at Georgia next season. But if this season continues to go …

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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 …

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