Daily Archives: September 12, 2013

Hi, meme! Been waiting for you to show.

I told a buddy of mine after hearing the news about Miami upsetting Florida that it was just a matter of time before we started hearing this drum beat:

After watching Florida fall last week at Miami and Georgia stumble to open the season at Clemson, the anybody-but-the-SEC crowd is starting to rev its engines and ponder the possibilities.

Maybe the big, bad SEC is showing a few cracks in its foundation, and just maybe this is the year that a BCS National Championship — the last one, as fate would have it — is played without an SEC team as a participant.

There are still so many ways this season could go, but the feeling coming in was that the surest way for the SEC’s seven-year national championship streak to end was for the league to beat up on itself.

Stay tuned on that front, but it certainly looks like everybody in the SEC has a few warts.

Now college football is a game of small sample size, but, still, this seems a trifle premature.  Unless you’re working for ESPN, of course.

Stewart Mandel offers a more nuanced analysis.

The SEC takes so much flak for lightweight, out-of-conference schedules, but three of the league’s four nonconference losses so far this season have come against ranked opponents (Clemson, Oklahoma State and Miami). Contrast that with the Big 12, which also has four losses, but three to North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and unranked BYU. Has the SEC proved mortal? Absolutely. It’s 3-3 to date against the other AQ conferences. Barring a pair of miracle upsets, the league is going to add at least two more losses this weekend (Tennessee at Oregon and Kentucky against Louisville). But I wouldn’t draw any definitive conclusions for another couple of weeks due to the disparities in how many such games each conference has played to this point.

To me, the more interesting development has been the ACC’s early head-to-head success against the SEC, both because it’s been so rare for the ACC to win big national games in recent years and because of the potential implications going forward. Last season, Clemson and Florida State were effectively eliminated from the national title discussion once they suffered their first losses because their conference schedules presented almost no opportunities to distinguish themselves. This year, with Clemson beating a top-10 Georgia team and Miami beating a top-15 Florida team, both those squads and Florida State (by virtue of playing both Clemson and Miami) will be taken much more seriously and might even survive a loss. That would get particularly interesting if, come Dec. 7, a one-loss SEC and one-loss ACC team are vying for a BCS title game berth. The SEC champ gets in no matter what, right? Well, what if the two teams are 12-1 Georgia and 12-1 Clemson?

That would be a fun debate, especially if it turns out in that scenario that Clemson’s one loss is to South Carolina.  But it’s a long way until then.  Not that that’s going to stop this sort of talk in the short run.

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53 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

I’m shocked, shocked to learn that drug use is going on here.

The third chapter of SI‘s Oklahoma State exposé doesn’t exactly tell us anything we didn’t already know goes on at almost every big campus in America.

But, hey, we’re about to learn tomorrow that football players have sex just like the rest of us do.

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

Get in the buffet line.

30 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Spurrier thinks Vanderbilt’s dumbing it down.

He’s not exactly pulling any punches here.

For years and years, Vanderbilt didn’t have the talent to compete — much less beat — other SEC teams. Nicknamed the Harvard of the South, the university has long prided itself on stringent academic requirements.

On Tuesday, Spurrier wondered if that had begun to change.

“I don’t know all the academic requirements they have there at Vanderbilt, but if you’re going to play in the SEC you’ve got to recruit very closely to the standards everybody else has,” Spurrier said. “I would think they’ve relaxed them a little bit, but I don’t know exactly.”

“They want to play,” Spurrier said. “They want to play football, and they want to be competitive, and to do that you almost have to have the requirements pretty close to the other schools. Pretty close.”

It’s interesting that Spurrier doesn’t mind giving James Franklin some obvious bulletin board material for this week’s game.  At least he didn’t bring up the suspensions from the rape charges.

19 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble, The Evil Genius

Reading the defensive bye week tea leaves

Based on what I’m reading from Emerson and Dasher, it looks like:

  1. The coaches are sticking with Brendan Langley, despite his shaky performance against South Carolina.
  2. The coaches are looking for a rotation at one of the inside linebacker slots – Ramik Wilson’s.
  3. The coaches are pondering a change at strong safety.

Neither of the last two points should come as a surprise.  Yes, Wilson’s made a lot of tackles, but it seems like he’s doing a lot of chasing out there, particularly in pass coverage.  Herrera, however, has been the most consistent player on defense through the first two games.  The first freshman ILB who can stay in position sounds like he’ll be in line for a bunch of playing time.

Strong safety’s been an area of weakness.  Norman is supposed to be the one who knows the defense backwards and forwards, but he got exposed at Clemson on that Sammy Watkins’ TD reception.  And part of what made Langley’s day last Saturday so tough was that he seemed to get little safety support in coverage.  (Moore looked lost on one of those TD passes.)

I get that the coaches see a lot of potential in Langley.  What makes me a little nervous at this point is that I thought he looked better in the opener than he did against South Carolina.  Some of that may just be due to Spurrier’s skill as a play caller, true.  But I also wonder why Sheldon Dawson isn’t seeing much playing time so far.

Needless to say, it would be good to see the Dawgs open up a lead against North Texas comfortable enough to allow Grantham to rotate some players out there to check who can contribute, because it’s starting to look like LSU may be competent on offense this season.

46 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football