John Kaltefleiter of the Athens Banner-Herald takes a look at the upcoming season for Georgia and gives some reasons for why the Dawgs may win or lose each of the games (except for the Troy and Western Carolina gimmes).
Assuming he’s got his facts straight – contrary to what he says, Georgia won the last time it played in Tuscaloosa – he cites some interesting trends in some of the games:
- Georgia is 13-7 all time against teams currently in the Big 12. The Bulldogs’ average margin of victory is 11.2 points. What’s more, the Bulldogs haven’t lost a home opener since 1996, and they are 16-4 in home openers the last 20 years.
- Since Spurrier took over in Columbia, the Gamecocks have averaged just 39 yards rushing and 7.5 points against Georgia.
- Since winning the SEC title in 1999, Alabama is 14-13 in SEC games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and has beaten one of the consistent SEC powers (Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Tennessee) just twice there. Those two wins came in 2005.
- Since 1967, Georgia has beaten Auburn in consecutive years just five times. It’s only happened twice in the last 20 years.
- And, of course, the 800 pound gorilla, er, Gator: The Bulldogs are 2-15 since 1989.
It’s still too early to predict how this season will go, but if you put a gun to my head right now, I’d chalk Florida and Auburn up as losses because of the history.
I bet I’d have a different rating if I’d started my blog before last year’s Vandy game.
It’s gratifying to see someone else wax poetic over Phil Steele.
… The 328-page publication is the only one that has attained full reference status for me, meaning it must be saved from year to year. Steele isn’t much worried about aesthetics. The print is tiny. Copy juts nearly to the end of the page and right to the borders of pictures. The front trumpets the magazine as “jampacked” with information. There’s no such word. But Steele has no time for hyphens.
Inside, Steele uses 143 abbreviations, including “B2B” for “back-to-back” and the well-known “VHT” for “very highly touted.” Paragraphs? He doesn’t need any stinking paragraphs. In one back-of-the-book stretch, Steele goes five pages without so much as an indentation, just tiny lines of straight-up prognosticative goodies.
And this guy wrote for one of Steele’s competitors.
UPDATE: ESPN‘s Pat Forde chimes in, too.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wants to know: HOW SOON BEFORE WE HAVE A COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF OF SOME SORT?
Skipping the obvious snappy retort – that some of us believe there already is a playoff of “some sort” with the BCS title game - I read and reread FSU prez T. K. Wetherell’s answer with some dismay:
“The sooner the better. I believe it will start with a plus-1 play-in game. Evolve to an eight-team playoff system that drops the 12th [regular-season] game and mandates an academic graduation standard to qualify. Initially, the Big Ten and Pac-10 will stay out but come to realize that will do for college football what splitting up Champ Car racing did for Indy. There will be a reshuffling of the bowls and respect for the final exam schedules on campus.”
Champ Car racing and Indy? WTF?
Basically, this guy is jonesing for a D-1 football playoff so badly he’s prepared to blow everything up to get it. Why would anyone in his right mind think that a playoff without participation by two major conferences (which have as members two schools which have played in something like five of the last six MNC games) would be more meaningful than what we have now, however flawed it may be? And what does Wetherell propose to tell all the schools that are forced to drop the revenue from the twelfth game?
Plus, keep in mind that this is a guy who’s said before that he’s “amenable” to a sixteen team playoff.
Those of you who keep insisting that a playoff will cure all ills need to get your heads out of the sand on this. You aren’t going to get the neat little four team playoff, or the ‘conference champs only’ formats you want. We’re going to wind up with a bastardized twelve or sixteen school playoff – at least – that creates as many issues as it purports to solve – and, as usual, we’ll be the worse for it.