Kentucky’s in second place in this division, which says more about the division than it does about Kentucky. Onetime leader and national title contender Tennessee has collapsed on itself like a star. Top-10 recruiter Georgia is 4-4. Missouri isn’t even a dilapidated shell of what it was a few years ago, and Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt.
So far this year, the West is 7-1 against the East, with the only win by Kentucky against Mississippi State.
From SEC Country:
Should the East lose out, including for an eighth consecutive year in the SEC title game, it would continue the trend of declining success against the West every season since expansion in 2012. That year, the East went 7-8 against the West, then 6-9 in 2013, 4-11 in 2014 and 2-13 last fall.
Hard to understand, too.
Still, the East should never be this bad.
The SEC East has a handful of the country’s top recruiters. Florida and Georgia regularly recruit at a national championship level, and Tennessee hasn’t been so far behind. The division’s footprint includes some of the country’s best recruiting areas, several of its members throw tons of money at football, and all seven teams have made fresh coaching hires in the last few years.
Based on that, here’s the sobering thought about our perception of Kirby’s master plan, recruiting über alles. What if he succeeds in bringing in better classes and it doesn’t make any difference?
For as much as last year’s offense was a struggle, Georgia is on pace this year to have less total yards. It has 2,984 through eight games, needing 1,920 over the final four or five games to equal last year – which was the team’s lowest yardage total since 2009.
You read that right. Assuming Georgia goes bowling, it will have to average over ten yards better a game over the remainder of the season than it’s compiled so far to exceed last year’s per game rate. If the team whiffs on a bowl game, well… you don’t want to see the math on that.
The good news, if you want to call it such, is that here are the rankings in total defense for the opponents left in the regular season:
- Auburn: 31st
- Georgia Tech: 40th
- Louisiana – Lafayette: 50th
- Kentucky: 80th
No world beaters there. The bad news is that three of those four are holding opposing offenses to less yardage per game than Georgia’s offense needs to gain to better last year’s pace.
Ranking day. I think I’ll go back to bed, thanks.
Wake me when it’s over, ESPN. As in December.
Sigh. Me want that kind of attitude.
There are times when Smart’s policy, learned at Saban’s knee, of not letting the coaching staff meet with the press during the season is frustrating. Then there are occasions when you sit back and think it’s not such a bad idea.
It’s also safe the credit the Gamecocks for looking differently than they previously had on film, Vols offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said.
“South Carolina was trying to take away the long ball,” DeBord told members of the Knoxville Quarterback Club at Calhoun’s on the River on Monday. “They didn’t want to give up big plays and they didn’t. The other thing is what we see every week, and it’s been interesting, but what we’re seeing on film throughout the week, teams are changing it up. What you practice against is not always what you see in the game. That’s having to adjust with our players and things like that.”
Damn, son. I don’t think I would’ve said that.
If you’re looking for a shot of optimism this morning, MaconDawg serves one up for you in this post.
I am more confident in Kirby Smart than I was when he was hired because he has demonstrated to me that he is willing to forego results in the short term in order to build a team that should be better in 2017, and could be really, really, really good in 2018 if all goes according to plan. Because he clearly has a plan, it is a good plan, and I think that it is really the only plan capable of getting Georgia where it wants to go, even if I am less than sure that it will work.
I do think that’s Kirby Smart’s strongest point right now. I also think that the short term is painful because Georgia has chosen to take its lumps with a guy who’s learning on the job. It wouldn’t have been my way of doing things, but that’s water under the bridge right now.
This is how you go negative with political ads in Urnge Country.