Thank you, Michael Elkon.
I’m trying to sit here and figure out the reasons behind the improbable rise of the Zooker and the Illini in the Big Ten to date and I’m scratching my head so hard it hurts.
And there’s the answer: it’s the coaching, stupid. He’s an upgrade in that department in that conference. As Elkon puts it,
It’s much easier to succeed when you need to get a big win and the guy on the other sideline is Joe Paterno as opposed to Nick Saban.
Better that than those fast athletes Mr. Delany admires so much…
Nobody’s chasing him now. (photo courtesy Athens Banner-Herald)
Evidently the good folks at the University of Minnesota weren’t willing to concede the ugliest college football uniform of 2007 award to Syracuse.
Feel free to compare and contrast the contender…
… with the current leader.
Damn, I think my screen just melted.
I suspect that the prognosticatin’ will be a little less assured this week. There were some pretty absurd pronouncements last week, particularly regarding the Auburn-Florida game (let’s just say that if a certain talk host on 790 The
Fan Zone put his money where his mouth was Saturday evening before the game, he’d be out looking for a new place to live today).
Anyway, a few more thoughts on Georgia-Mississippi, the SEC this week and other college football thingys:
- After watching the coaches’ shows yesterday, my respect for Orgeron and his program has increased. Sure, it’s easy to make fun of the guy over the way he talks, but that team played seven tough quarters against Florida and Georgia and looked prepared doing it. The staff scouted well and drew up game plans that were competent and the Ole Miss offense did a good job executing. The Rebels lost because they’re short in the personnel department, but with recruiting supposedly being Orgeron’s strong suit, these guys could very well improve with another season or so’s effort.
- One thing Coach O said on his show that’s worth taking note of if you’re a Georgia fan is that his staff noticed that on defense Georgia was susceptible to spread formations with a single back. Orgeron felt that Mississippi did some damage out of that formation on Saturday. (Tennessee did last year as well, if I recall.)
- Martinez went very passive in the secondary after Allen was beaten on the long TD pass to Wallace early. Unfortunately, there was no pressure from the Georgia defensive line most of the day – no sacks and not many hurries – which meant that Adams had plenty of time to sit back and either wait for receivers to find holes in the zone or calmly check down to an outlet back if his receivers didn’t come open. He still missed guys quite a few times. If Georgia plays the same way against Ainge, he’ll eat the defense alive.
- Every team in the SEC East plays a conference game this week. Richt may want to pooh-pooh it, but for all intents and purposes, Georgia-Tennessee is an elimination game for either school in terms of winning the East in ’07. The loser of the UK-USC game Thursday night is going to be in a tough spot, too. If Florida loses to LSU, its national title hopes would be gone. The Gators, if they ran the table from there, though, would likely still wind up in Atlanta, since they would have Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia remaining on the schedule, but they’d have no margin for error left. It should make for interesting times over the next month or so.
- I’m having a hard time getting my brain wrapped around the concept of the seventh ranked Kentucky Wildcats, who, by the way, have never beaten a Steve Spurrier-coached team. But I will say that if UK does pull off the win in Columbia this week, I’ll be ready to give credit where credit is due. Watch the turnover battle in that game.
- What is with ESPN’s annoying habit of naming every college football weekend? Last Saturday is now dubbed “Insanity Saturday” – geez. More likely, the WWL would prefer to call it “They interfered with our chance to promote next week as ‘Blockbuster Saturday'” Saturday.
- And there’s this blurb from College GameDay Final: “But if there is one thing we did get out of the weekend, it is further proof of the absurdity of preseason polls. We just now are completing our first month of college football and already the preseason top 10 looks as dated as the fumblerooski. Other than USC, LSU and Wisconsin, no top 10 team made it out of September without at least one loss. Two of them (Michigan and Louisville) lost twice.” I’d probably have a lot more respect for that sentiment if ESPN had refused to publicize the preseason polls when they came out in the first place.
- Urban Meyer’s strategery in trying to ice Auburn’s freshman kicker with the winning field goal has drawn some attention. You wonder what gets said the first time a kid gets hurt on a play that doesn’t wind up counting. Not that any Auburn folks are complaining in the aftermath.