Mr. AP voter: It’s bad enough you vote Appy State into your top 25.
But it’s even worse to vote the Mountaineers thirteenth. In the country.
Here’s the topper, though. You knew it was a reach when you did it: “I might have put them a little high this week because they weren’t eligible last week,” Goren said.
Hey – at least you got quoted in USA Today for your troubles…
There seems to be one early trend emerging in the wake of moving kickoffs to the 30 yard line:
So far in 2007, a significantly higher percentage of kickoffs into the end zone are being returned rather than downed. So, not only are fewer kickoffs landing in the end zone this season, but more of the kickoffs that do land in the end zone are being returned. This tells me that teams have decided to be more aggressive in the return game because of the five extra yards of space provided by the new rule.
The trend looks to have accelerated, in that teams were more aggressive returning kicks into the end zone in the second week of the season than they were in the first (experience factor, maybe?). Interestingly, none of this is translating into more returns for touchdowns.
I mentioned yesterday, as did others, the strange story (more a picture than a story, actually) of the arrest of a member of the SEC crew that worked the Georgia-South Carolina game, and wondered what was going on.
Well, mystery solved.
I don’t know what impresses me more – the obviously high standards involved in the process of hiring sideline crew (it sounds like it’s one step above going out and hiring Hispanic day laborers off the street corner), or the fact that this guy was dumb enough to return to the county where he faced an outstanding warrant and to do so in plain view in a venue where 90,000+ people are gathered, including a helluva lot of law enforcement types.
Call it a tie.
I’m keeping track of seven SEC statistical categories, all of which have in common that the Dawgs excelled in each in the three years the team went to the SECCG.
Just to remind you, these are the statistical goals, based on what those teams accomplished:
- Hold opponents under 17 points per game.
- Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.
- Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.
- Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.
- Finish in the top three in first downs.
- Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.
- Finish at least third in sacks.
Obviously, some of the offensive stats took a bit of a hit in the wake of the South Carolina game, but not as much as I thought. Here’s where Georgia stands in these categories right now:
- Points allowed per game: 15.
- Turnover margin: 0
- Total offense per game: 358.5 yards
- Total defense per game: 290 yards, 4th in the conference
- First downs: 38, 8th in the conference
- Passing yardage per game: 223.5, 7th in the conference
- Sacks: 7, 1st in the conference
Western Carolina should be a good opportunity for Georgia to fatten some of those numbers.