August 27, 2007 · 2:03 PM
Little factoid from CBS Sportsline’s Dennis Dodd:
So how tough is the SEC? It’s easier to win back-to-back national championships these days than it is to defend an SEC title. [Emphasis added.] Nebraska (1994-1995) and USC (2003-2004) have won consecutive AP titles in the last 12 years.
There hasn’t been a repeat winner in the SEC since 1998. Only once in the past eight years has the SEC champion finished first in its division the next season.
That’s a little misleading in that if he’s using the period 1994 to present, he needs to account for Florida’s consecutive conference championships from ’94-’96. But coming forward from ’98, it’s pretty impressive, nonetheless.
August 27, 2007 · 11:05 AM
Rivals has a list up showing the class of 2007 recruits who did not enroll or have not yet enrolled in school for the fall.
There are a whopping 44 SEC signees on the list, led by Auburn with 10 (!). That’s the most from any BCS conference by far. (The next closest conference is the Big XII, at 22.) Only three SEC schools managed to enroll their entire classes – Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt.
I guess those recruiting rankings will need to be revisited.
(h/t The Wizard of Odds)
UPDATE: LD takes offense at the implications of The Wiz’ post and runs with the ball from there. It’s a worthy rant.
August 27, 2007 · 9:13 AM
You know, the Ol’ Ball Coach wears a lot of hats… er, visors. Head coach. Offensive coordinator. Internet media mogul. We all know the man’s a genius, but still, sometimes you wonder how he keeps everything straight.
The short answer would appear to be that he doesn’t.
… On Thursday morning, Spurrier first revealed that some USC players, including starting quarterback Blake Mitchell, were suspended for missing classes during summer school on his site.He did so before the school’s sports information staff was aware. He did so after The State’s Joe Person had asked him Wednesday night about Mitchell’s status. At that time, Spurrier said he wasn’t sure where Mitchell stood.
Shortly after Spurrier broke the news on his website, he told Person that it wasn’t his intention to do so and that the information wasn’t confirmed until Thursday morning.
Even so, it certainly appears like the start of a trip down a slippery slope.
The public institution that pays Spurrier’s salary also pays a sports information staff to disseminate information on the school-supported Website. Instead, this news was confirmed on Spurrier’s Website, which unlike uscsports.com or gogamecocks.com, charges $29.95 for three months or $99 for a yearly subscription.
In major college sports, the appetite for draining cash from the wallets of obsessed fans knows no bounds.
Shoot, it sounds like the media may have to buy subscriptions, too.
August 27, 2007 · 7:30 AM
With the season opener less than a week away, what can we say at present about the Dawgs in ’07? There’s a great amount of talent on the field and in the coaching staff, but there’s significant inexperience and uncertainty to go with that.
I’ve got more questions than answers at this point. Here are ten that went through my head this weekend waiting for the start of the season:
- How much of a difference will Stacey Searels make in 2007? For my money, the biggest question of the year. As Paul Westerdawg notes, a comparison of this year’s offensive line to that of 2003’s may not be an apt one in that the glue that held the ’03 team together (defensive stalwarts like Pollack, Thurman and Davis) isn’t there – at least not apparently right now – for the offense to rely on in ’07.
- Is this the year the receivers show up? Coach Eason is getting tough with this bunch about holding onto the ball as a requirement to earn playing time. On paper, the depth looks impressive, but the reality is that each of Georgia’s three starters at the position have question marks in that one is coming off of a serious injury, one is seriously undersized and one was a bit inconsistent last year. Georgia wants to throw some four and five WR looks out there this year. Will it be a credible threat?
- Is Marcus Howard big enough to be a starting DE in the SEC? On paper, I’m hesitant to believe a sub-240 pound DE can hold up in this conference. But the game ain’t played on paper. That being said, there aren’t a lot of schools in the conference that start similarly sized guys at the position.
- Which offensive coordinator has the greater success against Georgia’s defense – OSU’s Larry Fedora or UF’s Dan Mullen (/Urban Meyer)? Perhaps this will be the definitive laboratory test for HP’s “Gang of Six” theory this year.
- Will the stars align in Jacksonville? All the whining about the weather and site neutrality aside, the Gators have as many holes to fill as Georgia this year. And for once the schedule is set up favorably for the Dawgs, as it’s Georgia that has the open week before the WLOCP this time.
- Is Rennie Curran going to be as good as I hope? I really like this kid. Forget the size; he just makes plays.
- How much does the offense improve under Bobo? As I pointed out previously, Georgia finished tenth in the conference last year in total offense. For Georgia to compete for a chance to return to Atlanta, Bobo needs to make that production rise by about 70 ypg. Given the inexperience of the offensive line, that’s a tall order.
- Can Knowshon Moreno pick up the blitz? He may be a gifted runner, but if he can’t be counted on to save Stafford’s body (especially early), he won’t play as much as we might like.
- How much will Stafford’s game improve? I don’t believe he has to be all-SEC for the Dawgs to have a chance. I do think he has to reverse his TD/INT ratio from ’06 and average at least 225 ypg passing for Georgia to contend. For the record, I think he’ll step up.
- Do Jancek and the linebackers step up? I have no idea. There’s lots of physical talent, no doubt. But there’s been a decline in production in this area ever since VanGorder departed. The now-ended Brandon Miller experiment at middle LB didn’t exactly increase my confidence, either.
August 27, 2007 · 6:29 AM
South Carolina has a very tough road schedule in 2007. On September 22, the Gamecocks travel to Baton Rouge. They’ve struggled with LSU, to put it mildly.
SC is 2-14-1 vs. LSU with an average score of LSU 24-10. The Gamecocks’ only win (1-9) in Baton Rouge was in 1994 (18-17).