Jason and the guys at Eleven Warriors have shifted allegiances this week.
If I thought Pitt had even the proverbial snowball’s chance, I’d likely do something similar at GTP. Alas, there will be no sighting of Wannstedt’s mustache here.
AOL Fanhouse’s Charles Rich absolutely nails Les Miles’ idiotic comment about how good his team’s season has been.
The thing is, I’m not sure that’s the dumbest remark Miles made at his weekly presser. Here’s what he said about Darren McFadden and the Tiger defense:
The Arkansas game in certain personnel, they didn’t have a chance. When they got to the running back personnel and started using (Darren) McFadden like they did, I have to admit they had us. Even when we could get an extra guy to the play, we still couldn’t make the tackle. That is Arkansas. I think it is unrealistic to look at a defense and think that they will hold them to 250 yards…
“They had us”? It’s “unrealistic” to hold Arky to 250 rushing yards? Jeebus. It happened in a third of the games Arkansas played this year.
Auburn held McFadden to 43 yards and the Arky rushing attack to a total of 67 yards. Tennessee only allowed 151 yards on the ground by the Hogs. Arkansas was held under 250 yards rushing in two other contests this season.
But not by LSU, which, by the way, is ranked higher in rushing defense than any of the teams that held Arky under that magical yardage figure that White Cap conceded. I’m impressed.
Toss in the fact that he’s already doing a little anti-Georgia lobbying on the BCS title game (not that it’s going to matter), and Miles has made me a Tennessee fan this week. You know, that Phil Fulmer fella’s not a bad looking guy…
Like we didn’t know that already.
Here’s all it takes to get thrown out of a game for flagrant clipping:
What’s a little thing like a right knee between friendly rivals?
Normally, I don’t like to dwell on Georgia’s verbals here, as I’m a “get ’em in the barn first” kind of person, but I have to admit to getting a little excited about the prospect of WR A. J. Green suiting up in the Red and Black.
(h/t Swains @ Online Athens Football Forum)
Tucked in at the very end of the Bulldog Hotline show from last night comes this pearl of wisdom from Georgia’s head coach:
William in Augusta said CMR has made it easy to be a Georgia fan the last seven years. College football is the greatest sport but the only one where the championship is not decided on the field. Presidents need to decide whether their loyalties are to their schools and teams or to a stodgy old bowl system. CMR – you may not like the answer .. the regular season is more exciting than any other sport ..because there is no playoff system. [Emphasis added.] If you had a playoff system, some of these games wouldn’t be as meaningful since teams that lost knew they could make the playoff.
Now, if we could just get him to see the light about keeping the WLOCP in Jacksonville…
UPDATE: Dan Wetzel, on the other hand, is about as clueless as a man can be. The “Wetzel Plan” (cool name, hunh) manages to combine just about every bad playoff concept ever conceived into one overarchingly stupid concept. So I guess it does have the virtue of being economical.
It’s not just the appearance of all the usual dumb ideas – 16 team playoff with all conference champions qualifying (Central Michigan, come on down!); the elimination of all of the major bowl games; the automatic assumption of massive increases in revenue; Cinderella and brackets (aka December Madness) – that makes his “Plan” so moronic. It’s the relentless, cheery detachment from reality that elevates it into something truly special. Such as when he writes
… Does anyone without direct rooting interest really care if USC wins the Pac-10 Saturday? How about the Virginia Tech-Boston College ACC title game?
Since when did “direct rooting interest” become dirt under our shoes? Christ, that’s the essence of college football.
My favorite part – after Wetzel complains that the current system is “illogical”, he goes on to say
… For even lower-rated conferences – the Sun Belts, the MACs – allowing annual access to the tournament would not only set off celebrations on small campuses but it would encourage investment in the sport at all levels. Suddenly, there would be a reason for teams in those leagues to really care. This would improve quality throughout the country…
Dude. No. Look at your brackets. You’ve got a 7-5 Central Michigan team playing in a tournament that excludes schools like Tennessee and Texas. However you may want to characterize that, logic ain’t part of the equation. Or your article, for that matter.
Looking at the final SEC regular season stats, how many of you out there expected before the start of the year that Georgia would end up (1) leading the conference in sacks and (2) finishing fourth in the conference in sacks allowed?
This strikes me as one of those articles you stick in the time capsule and come back and revisit in a month and a half or so.
And Ohio State and USC are better stories? Why, exactly?
Pete Fiutak at CFN kinda gets on my nerves this morning with a twofer.
First, there’s his open letter to Heisman voters about why Tebow should win the award over McFadden. Now, I disagree with that position, but I can certainly see an argument being made for it. Nor would I have a problem if Tebow won. He’s had a helluva year.
But then Fiutak writes this…
So how does McFadden have Tebow beat in the Heisman race this year? I’m looking for anyone to provide one cogent reason why and how No. 5 has been better than No. 15. A monster game against LSU isn’t enough.
Well, wait a minute. Why isn’t that LSU game a cogent reason? Where’s Tebow’s signature victory this year? Florida’s got almost as many losses as Arkansas and won’t be playing in a BCS bowl game, either, even though many would insist that the Gators are one of the elite teams in college football at this point in the season. So what have all of Tebow’s excellent statistics gotten his team this year that any number of other great (or even very good) QBs wouldn’t have accomplished?
If you extend this reasoning out to its logical conclusion, we’re going to risk reducing this whole thing down to a numbers game. There are a whole lot of kids at less than stellar programs who should have their names thrown in the mix each year if that’s where we want to follow Fiutak on this.
And just out of curiosity, why does Tebow’s GPA matter?
Moving on, Fiutak lays down the law. Georgia shouldn’t play in the BCS title game, because
… If you’re not going to have a playoff, then the regular season has to mean everything, and that means you cannot play for the national title if you can’t even win your own conference. Double that if you can’t even win your own division…
and in case you missed his point, he repeats it…
If you can’t even prove that you’re the best team in your own division, how can you even be considered among the two best teams in the country?
Well, first off, Georgia tied for the SEC East title. It didn’t lose the division; it lost the tiebreaker to play in the championship game. Ordinarily, that’s a distinction I could care less about, but if Fiutak’s gonna make an issue over it, he should at least be accurate about it.
But it’s Fiutak’s larger point that I have a problem with. To state that any team like Georgia that isn’t a conference champ should not be eligible to play for the MNC is fine – if that’s the rule going into the season. An ad hoc change on the fly as Fiutak suggests would be awfully unfair to schools that play in conferences that have championship games and, in some years, to schools not named Notre Dame.
You want to make certain that you devalue the meaning of the regular season? Tell every player on the Georgia team that the way he did his part to help his squad claw back in the national title picture isn’t going to make any difference now because of a rule you just implemented.
This isn’t a BCS vs. playoffs argument I’m making here. You could have this same issue with a four or eight team playoff format. It’s about being fair. As Mark Richt has said, there shouldn’t be a problem with Georgia being in the mix if that’s how the process has been arranged. If you don’t like it, fix it in the offseason, Pete.
The Nuttster deserves a little credit here. Coming off of a huge win to cap a disappointing, tumultuous season, he could have indulged in a little chest beating (he did outcoach Miles, after all) and nobody would have blamed him. Instead, he credited his team and then spoke movingly about his best player.
Moments like that are one reason I enjoy college football as much as I do.
By the way, Darren McFadden almost talks as fast as he runs, doesn’t he?
The conference regular season is now over. The SECCG will feature Tennessee and LSU. I thought I’d take a look back over how the teams finished out and compare that with how they started and progressed/regressed over the year. You can find my previous looks here, here, here and here.
Overall, I think you’d have to say the SEC looked much stronger in the middle of the year than where it finished. One big reason for that was the number of teams in the SEC East that returned a lot of players – Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt – and got off to good starts. As the season wore on the youth at Florida, Georgia and Tennessee got its footing and the traditional order was restored (the big three went 5-1 against the others, with the only loss being Georgia’s in the second week of the season).
All that being said, it was also one of the most entertaining seasons I can remember. LSU’s two losses were classics. Auburn’s win at Florida was a nailbiter. ‘Bama had two great games back to back with a last second win against Arky and a last play loss to Georgia. Tennessee and Kentucky played a four overtime game with everything on the line for the Vols. And you had to love Sylvester Croom’s reaction at the end of the Egg Bowl. Really, every team in the conference – except for Ole Miss – had at least one great moment during the season.