November 10, 2009 · 4:00 PM
I really, truly am tired of whining about the officiating… but then I come across this blurb from David Hale’s blog,
Cox also said that what Tennessee Tech was doing to get Georgia to jump was clearly against the rules and that Georgia’s players pointed it out to the refs several times, but the refs refused to call it. So during practice this week, Cox said that Stacy Searels is making a point of mimicking Cox’s cadence to try to get the line to jump…
and can’t help but wonder what Penn Wagers and Co. are getting paid to do exactly.
The reason I find that exasperating is because it fed right into the team policy of benching players who committed penalties. That’s fine, but there’s a price you pay when the offensive line is getting killed with false start calls.
The policy of pulling a player from the game after a penalty will continue again this week, Richt said, but he wasn’t sure if he would stick to keeping players out for the entire series. Joe Cox said the constant changes last week made thing particularly problematic on the offensive line, with A.J. Harmon coming in at one point having no idea what was going on.
Well, that would hardly make him the only one on the field last Saturday with that problem.
November 10, 2009 · 3:00 PM
||Votes (top five)
- Overall, this strikes me as a rational set of results, particularly with regard to the placement of Oregon and Southern Cal.
- 330 total ballots cast this week, which is a drop of slightly less than 10% from the previous vote. But at least there are two teams this time around which appeared on all of the ballots.
- As you might expect, the number of teams we see as elite has slipped to seven, but the number of what I’d refer to as middle tier schools has increased.
- Miami was the highest ranked team this week to receive no top five consideration by the voters. Penn State was the lowest ranked team in the top 25 to gain top five approval.
- Things must be getting clearer – over 70% of the voters this week compiled their ballots in fifteen minutes or less.
- Bias watch: Still no votes for Tennessee from the UT faithful.
November 10, 2009 · 8:20 AM
For a game that has absolutely no ramifications either in the SEC or nationally, this year’s meeting is still a fairly big deal for the two programs. Georgia is chasing bowl eligibility and a loss Saturday night makes the chances for a winning record in 2009 somewhat dicey. Auburn has done better than most people were willing to credit in Chizik’s first season, but a win in either of its last two games would validate the decision to can Tuberville.
Taking an early look at Auburn, let’s do the bullet point thingy, shall we?
- Auburn’s schedule. Auburn is 7-3 at present (3-3 in the conference). The Georgia game makes the eleventh straight week the Tigers have played. Fortunately for them, there’s been a decent sprinkling of cupcakes throughout (Sagarin has the Tigers ranked a decent, but not great, 48th in strength of schedule). What’s more interesting is that Auburn’s only been on the road for three games so far this season – and the Tigers have lost two of those.
- Auburn’s injuries. A thin squad to start with, particularly on defense, Auburn’s struggled with injuries all season. Not having an off week to date doesn’t help.
- Auburn’s offense, statistically speaking. They’re first in the conference in total offense and second in scoring offense, which is obviously light years from where Georgia finds itself. But the split stats tell a very interesting story. Auburn averages 150 yards less per game on the road than at home, a nearly two yards per play difference. The splits for conference vs. non-conference games and games against teams with winning records vs. teams with losing records are even bigger. In short, this is an offense that’s feasted against lousy teams in its home games.
- Auburn’s defense, statistically speaking. When you look at scoring defense and total defense, Auburn is worse than Georgia, which, given the contrast in scheduling, is fairly remarkable. I’ve never been impressed with Ted Roof’s prowess as a defensive coordinator and this season isn’t doing anything to change my mind. The split stats don’t contain any surprises here – Auburn does better against weaker teams at home.
- Special teams. Wes Byrum is having an outstanding season. He’s matched Walsh on PAT percentage and field goal percentage. Other than that, Auburn is inferior in its special teams play to Georgia. If the game comes down to that, you have to like Georgia’s chances.
- Turnover margin. Unfortunately, this is more likely where the balance of the game will hang. And that’s not a good thing for the home team. For the season, Auburn is +4 in this category, but the splits show that it’s plus-nine in its wins and minus-five in its losses. (Georgia, as you might surmise, pretty much sucks equally in TO margin whether it’s winning or losing.) So if the Dawgs choose to play their first game of the year with a positive TO margin Saturday night, it probably couldn’t come at a better time.
November 10, 2009 · 7:15 AM
I came across this quick hit at Mr. Irrelevant worth sharing.
It hasn’t been an easy season to be a Washington Redskins fan, so when I saw this item on his winners list from his Redskins-Falcons summary, I laughed out loud:
Knob Creek – It helps.
Brother, I’ve been there and done that. I just haven’t said it as well.
November 10, 2009 · 7:04 AM
Lots of goodies to pick from today:
- You wonder how long David Hale has been sitting on this pun. Nicely played, sir. [UPDATE: Hale isn’t taking credit for the headline.]
- “I am the athletic director, I can go in.” That’s the kind of year it’s been at Michigan.
- Notre Dame hasn’t won a national championship in two decades. It hasn’t won a BCS game – ever. Yet only now is Stewart Mandel coming to grips with the reality that the program is no longer special. Don’t they get cable in Montana?
- Then again, maybe no coach is up for the task in South Bend.
- Jeebus, haven’t we milked every drop imaginable from this story (h/t Team Speed Kills)? Give it a rest already.
- Michael Elkon explains why the gap between Georgia Tech and Georgia this year isn’t as big as you think.
- “Breaking down the SEC race”? Seriously?
- Casey Clausen’s failure to become an NFL draft pick scarred little Jimmy for life. I bet he was haunted by that during the limousine ride to his announcement to attend Notre Dame.
- Kentrell Lockett on Coach O and the Peter Principle: “Great guy, but he just wasn’t that head coach. He was a great D-line coach but he wasn’t that head coach.” That should make for a fun post-game howdy.
- In conference play, Vanderbilt scores a touchdown once every 128 plays. Wow.
November 10, 2009 · 6:22 AM
Three at the top, one at the bottom and a scrum in the middle – that’s the current state of the Southeastern Conference.
- Alabama. It should remain a 1 and 1-A race with Florida all the way to the SECCG. One more quality win than the Gators is what puts the Tide here for now.
- Florida. All they do is win.
- LSU. None of the top three teams have what you’d call a great offense. But these guys don’t even have an above-average one.
- Tennessee. For all of the hype and douchebaggery (an onside kick against Memphis?) that is Lane Kiffin, he’s made Jonathan Crompton into a functional quarterback. Now there’s something to beat your chest about on the recruiting trail, Junior.
- Ole Miss. I’m not thrilled moving the Rebels here, but they’ll certainly clear up their place in the conference in the next three games.
- Georgia. Before you completely dismiss the results against Tennessee Tech, you may want to recall how Georgia’s cupcake games played out in 2008.
- Auburn. There’s no appreciable gap between Auburn and Georgia right now. That’s what Saturday night is for.
- Arkansas. The Hogs are fairly stout at home and worthless in opponents’ stadiums this year. That projects to a 7-5 finish, which looks about right.
- South Carolina. Same song, different verse. It’s looking like another sad finish under the OBC. How many more of these can he stand?
- Mississippi State. I don’t think bowl eligibility is in the cards for the ‘Dogs, but you have to be impressed with the job Mullen’s done with the least talented squad in the conference this year.
- Kentucky. Some of the walking wounded return this week, although it probably won’t make much of a difference.
- Vanderbilt. To add insult to injury, guess which SEC team played the only schedule without a bye week? They’re probably grateful to finish a week early, though.