It’s Grab Bag Monday. Let’s see what we have left in here . . .
In case you missed it, former Penn State quarterback and ESPN commentator Todd Blackledge had some interesting comments about the whole SEC vs. ACC thing, leading up to Saturday’s game between Alabama and Virginia Tech. Feel free to catch up here. What I did not include in that column were his observations about Georgia and Georgia Tech.
Blackledge believes the Bulldogs have a good chance to defeat Oklahoma State Saturday, which runs contrary to what oddsmakers think. I’m not sure if this is enough for Georgia fans to forgive him for leading Penn State past the Dogs in the Sugar Bowl for the 1982 national championship. But it’s something.
“I’m anxious to see Georgia this year,” he said. “I really think they have a good chance to go into Stillwater and win. I think they’re going to be a lot better than people expect. The way they played defense last year is not the way they’re used to playing there, and I don’t think that’s going to continue. And Joe Cox — I know from day one Mark [Richt] has liked him. I’ve always liked the stories of those guys who had to wait their turn. They had one there in [D.J.] Shockley. Penn State had one with Michael Robinson [who led the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten title and an Orange Bowl in 2005]. It’s fun to see when those guys get their chance and they take advantage of it.”
Blackledge on Tech: “They’re a handful. If you’re going to play Georgia Tech the first game of the year, when you have the whole summer to prepare, or in a bowl game, when you’ve got some time, you have a better chance to stop them. But from week to week during the season, they’re difficult. You can’t simulate what they do offensively with your scout team. And the thing that makes them different from Navy or Air Force is they have some great players as part of that system.”
I’m not sure what that means, and I’m guessing the losing coach will beg to differ. But there are some comments in the piece from Athens’ favorite punching bag, Willie Martinez, who says there’s advantages and disadvantages to playing a highly ranked opponent like Oklahoma State in the opener.
“The problem with the first game is you don’t know what new stuff they may give you. You’ve got to be careful that you don’t spend too much time chasing ghosts [from what you see on tape]. You feel better in that you have more time to ask questions. You’re constantly asking around [the office], ‘What do you think of these guys? What would you do here?’”
For what it’s worth, writer Stewart Mandel also has early BCS bowl projections and puts Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl against Penn State.
Look, what I found. It’s Jacksonville (Ala.) State coach Jack Crowe, pontificating on the upcoming Georgia Tech game and not looking or sounding terribly confident after a scrimmage Saturday. By the way, the Jacksonville State Athletics website has a series of videos with Crowe, if you really have nothing else to do — and I mean, if you REALLY have nothing else to do.
Here’s Jack Crowe, talking “glimpses”