Monthly Archives: July 2010

SEC East: optimist or pessimist?

Okay, we did the West yesterday.  Now it’s Georgia’s division’s turn.

Florida is the other team which has a whole number win total.  It’s the only SEC team which Football Outsiders probability chart assigned a 50% likelihood to a win total.

Here we go:

FLORIDA:  11 wins

I’m sorry, but you don’t lose the SEC’s player of the decade, someone who was born to run Urban Meyer’s offense, and Charlie Strong without taking a step backwards.  You just don’t.  Add in playing Alabama on the road and I can’t see this team losing only once.  (Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I can’t see the Gators back in Atlanta, but that’s another story.)

GEORGIA:  8.5 wins

If you’ve read my posts for the past few months, you know my formula for 2010 is something like this:  easier schedule + regression to the mean in turnover margin = more than last year’s win total.

KENTUCKY:  5.5 wins

This team looks like it might be decent on defense, and it has at least two elite players on offense who ought to be touching the ball a lot (Joker Phillips ain’t stupid).  When I look at the schedule, though, it seems to come down to the last game of the season, at Tennessee.  History is against the ‘Cats, but I think Tennessee’s lack of depth lets UK get the job done this year and gets them in a bowl.


It’s the schedule that makes me hesitate on this call.  The ‘Cocks will be good enough on defense and I don’t think Garcia is going to be worse than mediocre, no matter how often his coach denigrates him.  But if they don’t beat Georgia in week two and have their usual second half swoon, those last four games are a tough row to hoe (even Troy may be a pain in the ass).  I can’t point to anything specific, but something tells me South Carolina gets its eight.

TENNESSEE:  7.5 wins

Derek Dooley coached his team to a losing record in the WAC last year.  He’s got a team that seriously lacking in talented depth at positions where you can’t survive in the SEC without.  You can make a reasonable argument that Tennessee will struggle to win five games this year, let alone eight.  No way, no how the Vols hit the over here.

VANDERBILT:  2.5 wins

It’s a good thing Robbie Caldwell has a sense of humor.  He’s going to need it.  If there are more than two wins on Vandy’s schedule, I don’t see where.



Filed under SEC Football

SEC West: optimist or pessimist?

SEC Media Days are over.  The preseason selections have been made.  You’ve gotten a taste of the conventional wisdom.  Fall camps start next week.

It’s a perfect time to take your temperature about how you see the conference schools doing this year.

Here’s how we’ll do it:  I’ll post Football Outsiders most likely projected regular season win total for each school (per their College Football Almanac 2010) with a little commentary and then give you the chance in a poll to call that number too high or too low.  I’ll give you the West today and the East tomorrow.

A little bit about the methodology behind the projected win numbers:  Football Outsiders provides probabilities for a range of win totals for each school.  What I’ve done is to select the sweet spot where the highest percentage lies.  In all cases but two, that’s between two numbers, which is why you’ll see most wins expressed in halves.  Arkansas is one exception to that, because the win probabilities wound up being equally distributed around eight.  So you’ll get three choices for the Hogs and two for the other five SEC West schools.

Don’t forget to leave your comments.

ALABAMA:  11.5 wins

I don’t think the Tide will run the table this season, but when you look at their schedule, it’s hard to see them losing more than once without there being a big upset along the way.  Color me slightly pessimistic.

ARKANSAS:  8 wins

Looking at the schedule, Arkansas only plays four road games, plus one neutral site game against Texas A&M.  That’s good, because the Hogs haven’t shown themselves to be very good performers on the road in conference games.  To get to eight wins means they have to win at least one of the four (Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina and Mississippi State) or beat LSU or Alabama at home.  That looks doable.  More would mean that the defense and special teams improved over last year’s versions and that regression to the mean didn’t bite them in the butt as to their +15 turnover margin in 2009.  That’s a bigger stretch.  I’m gonna stick with eight, although I bet I’m in the minority on that.

AUBURN:  7.5 wins

I have questions about Newton, Roof and depth on defense.  But I don’t have questions about what Malzahn’s offense will do going into its second year.  And I really don’t have questions about Auburn’s schedule.  These guys look to get nine wins, easy.  (Unless Newton is the second coming of Brent Schaeffer, which, I admit, is a possibility.)

LSU:  8.5 wins

Ugh, tough call.  I have a hard time understanding how a team with this much talent struggles, but they did it last year and look to do the same this year unless Gary Crowton gets his act together.  I think the key to the Tigers’ year will be the opener:  lose to North Carolina and they won’t do better than eight wins.  Since I think they win that game, I’ll go with them to improve on the 8.5.

MISSISSIPPI:  8.5 wins

Don’t snicker.  This one’s closer than you think when you look at Ole Miss’ schedule.  They miss Georgia, Florida and South Carolina out of the East and shouldn’t lose any of the non-conference games.  To get to nine, they’ll have to get a win out of one of their road games with Alabama, LSU or Arkansas or the home game against Auburn and hold serve against the rest.  I’m not sure if there’s enough on offense for that, so count me as a pessimist here.


Dan Mullen is a confident guy and this is a team that won five games last year, so my initial response is to say that number’s on the low side.  But when you look at the schedule and start counting wins, you can make a case that MSU won’t do better than four.  These Dogs are going to miss Anthony Dixon.  But I think they’ll be better on the defensive side of the ball and that’s why I’ll pick ’em to do better than the 4.5.


Filed under SEC Football

The “64” Poll

I thought I’d let you guys take one last pot shot at Andrea Adelson’s absurd #64 preseason ranking of the Georgia program with this poll designed in her honor.

It’s real simple.  Look over this list of teams – all of which she’s bestowed or is in the process of bestowing higher preseason rankings on than the Dawgs – and predict a won/loss record if they comprised Georgia’s 2010 schedule (don’t forget to randomly assign half of them as road games):

  • Troy
  • Central Florida
  • Ohio
  • Southern Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • Northern Illinois
  • Fresno State
  • Temple
  • Army
  • Idaho
  • Middle Tennessee
  • SMU

Even Adelson thinks Georgia won’t do any worse than 6-6 with its real world 2010 schedule, so I won’t ask anyone to go lower than six wins, although you could argue that since she assesses all those teams as Georgia’s betters, a losing record would be a realistic proposition.

Have fun and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

It’s a long way down the holiday road.

I’m off to the hills of North Georgia for a brief vacation this week.  No Internet access, other than my trusty Blackberry, so posting will be limited.

That’s not to say I’m neglecting you guys.  I’ve got some stuff saved up that will be dribbled out during the week.  Reader polls will be involved.

Have a good time in my absence and try not to spill anything on the carpet.


Filed under GTP Stuff

Monday morning buffet

Fall practice is just a week away.

  • Michael Elkon ponders Les Miles, CEO Coach.
  • It’s kind of scary, but Matt Hinton’s predictive summary of Georgia’s season is exactly what I’ve thought for the past month or so:  Mark Richt‘s record against Florida will fall to 2-8. But Georgia will ultimately return to the 10-win club and finish the season as one of the conference’s hottest teams, using an impressive Jan. 1 win as a springboard to becoming a chic pick to knock off the loaded Gators in 2011.”
  • Here’s this week’s tempest in a teapot.
  • Notice he didn’t say “wouldn’t” “… SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Wednesday there still could be inter­est by other leagues to expand, but money shouldn’t be the driving force.”
  • Dan Beebe has gone from idiot to savior?  Riiiight.
  • Georgia Tech is so cool, even the team chaplain has a street cred nickname.  Heavy, man.
  • Excellent Junior-inspired lede, although I would have tossed a NASCAR reference in somewhere.
  • I’m reading all these Jeremiah Masoli-to-Ole Miss rumors all of a sudden, but without a waiver, how would the Nuttster get around the SEC rule prohibiting schools from taking players with less than two years of eligibility left?
  • Mark Richt is on the verge of a rare accomplishment.  (h/t The Wiz of Odds)


Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, The Blogosphere

He’s no Steve Taneyhill, that’s for sure.

Sounds like it’s been a fun offseason for Stephen Garcia and his coaches:

“I can’t go have a sandwich . . . without someone coming up and saying, ‘How’s that (expletive) Garcia doing?’ ” Mangus says. “There’s always a negative connotation toward him all the time.”


Filed under 'Cock Envy

You know you’re trolling for blog hits when…

you lead off a post with this:

An anonymous person for the Bleacher Report recently listed his top-five most overrated players heading into the 2010 college football season. [Emphasis added.]

Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt checked in at No. 3…

Outsourcing stupidity like that?  Pathetic.  At least Mark Bradley fishes with his own opinions.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Kiffin watch: I am shocked, shocked to find that coach poaching is going on in Tennessee!

The Laner alienates somebody new:

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,’’ Fisher said. “Typically speaking, when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs, there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voicemail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.’’

At least he didn’t act surprised.

Maybe as a make-up gesture Junior will propose that the Titans play USC in the Kickoff Classic.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

The flukey dagger to Mike Bianchi’s heart

All that separates the program from South Carolina:


Filed under Georgia Football

Reason #4891 not to take the SEC media seriously.

Some clown in Hoover cast a vote for Kentucky to win the SEC… without winning the SEC East.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football