Two things about David Wunderlich’s piece on every Dawg fan’s favorite meteor game…
First off, “best shot” is Georgia’s meme, damn it.
Second, and seriously, I think David’s premise is spot on. It’s something I’ve thought about as well. Let’s face it, even if you think Jeremy Pruitt’s a stone football genius, the roster he’s inherited is the weakest group he’s had to work with since he left the high school ranks. It’s going to be a good year in Knoxville if the Vols wind up bowl eligible.
UT isn’t winning the division, let alone the conference. Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are likely to win comfortably. The opener against West Virginia is going to be a real challenge, to put it mildly. Beating the Kentuckys and the Vandys on the schedule would merely be a return to normalcy, more a cause for relief than celebration.
That leaves beating the Gators as the most likely opportunity to make a mark. The game’s in Knoxville. Florida is coming off a year almost as disappointing as Tennessee’s was. UF is in a coaching transition, too. If there’s a legitimate shot to give the fan base a dose of excitement for the program’s future, this is it.
I do think this is the game where Pruitt has his team totally sell out physically and emotionally. Will that be enough to win? I can’t say. Will there be anything left in the tank the next week when Tennessee travels to Athens? I hope not.
That pundit who said this might be Auburn’s year meant to say that it might not be Auburn’s year.
I remember the days not too long ago when some of the gloomier commenters here used to see Auburn’s ups and downs as a superior ride to the steadier course Georgia had under Richt. Good times, eh?
And when I say downs, this is what I’m referring to.
Can you call it a throwaway year when you’re not trying to throw the year away?
This is an incredible statistic.
Thirty-eight? There were post-death penalty rosters healthier than that.
The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing gullible athletic directors that Charlie Weis had a clue about being a successful head coach.
Georgia, as you would expect, is the overwhelming favorite to win the division.
I can’t wait to hear from the guy who voted for UT.
UPDATE: You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that ‘Bama is picked to win the conference.
Somebody will have to explain to me how Mizzou didn’t get a vote to win the division, but did to win the SEC.
Yeah, you could say that.
A helpful reader let us know that the list of kids who have decommitted from the Gators is actually rated higher than the list of players who are committed.
Florida’s current commits (11): 5-stars: 0 | 4-stars: 4 | 3-stars: 7 | Total stars: 37 | Average stars: 3.4
Florida’s decommitments (9): 5-stars: 1 | 4-stars: 5 | 3-stars: 3 | Total stars: 34 | Average stars: 3.8
Turns out this is true. Florida’s decommitment list would be rated higher as a class than its commitments, despite having two fewer. That’s because the quality of the players Florida has lost is higher than the commitments it has added.
True, it’s only July. But that’s still a fun thing to see.
One of the most delightful consequences of last season was the redirection of the Denial River. For years, it was Georgia who talked the great “woulda, coulda, shoulda” game, but now that proverbial shoe is on other feet. We heard from Florida players at SEC Media Days about how the Cocktail Party was a much closer affair than the ultimate five-touchdown spread indicated to rational humans.
Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis has thought about the SECCG and wants you to know that wasn’t about Georgia.
“I don’t think we played our best the second game, and I don’t know if it was because they made us not play our best, or if we weren’t locked in or focused,” said Davis. The Auburn linebacker told reporters at the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday that “If you watch the tape from the first game to the second game, it was two different teams, and not just because we won the first time.”
“You pop in any other time we actually played Auburn football, and you match it with the SEC Championship Game, it simply wasn’t us,” he continued.
He’s got a teammate who agrees.
Auburn defensive lineman Dontavious Russell, once a 2013 Georgia commit from Carrollton who then flipped to Auburn, mentioned the adversity his team was facing, referencing star running back Kerryon Johnson’s rib injury suffered against Alabama.
“Toward the end of the Georgia game, we faced adverse situations, being that Kerryon was out, it was something we didn’t respond as well to.”
Hunh. Funny, I thought the adverse situation you faced was a Georgia team that got after it.
Here’s to another great season of deflection.
… it’s about the money.
While some universities look into possible revenue from legalized sports betting, the NCAA says it remains opposed to that and is focused on protecting student-athletes and the integrity of the games through education and consistent national guidelines.
The NCAA announced Thursday that an internal team of experts has started examining the long-term effect legalized sports betting could have on college sports, including officiating, rules and the use of integrity services.
It may take a couple of years, but five’ll get you ten (see what I did there?) that at some point the NCAA will announce a safe path to raking in those new bucks. Can you say Official March Madness Bracket Pool, sponsored by the NCAA? Sure you can.