Daily Archives: June 18, 2019

Factoid of the day

Georgia is on a cumulative 34-game winning streak against its entire slate of 2019 regular season opponents.

GEORGIA: 34-0

2019 schedule: at Vanderbilt, FCS Murray State, Arkansas State, Notre Dame, at Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, vs. Florida (at Jacksonville, Fla.), Missouri, at Auburn, Texas A&M and at Georgia Tech.

Georgia has won two-straight games vs. Vanderbilt, Arkansas State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, Texas A&M and Georgia Tech. It’s won four-straight over South Carolina, five-straight vs. Missouri and nine-straight vs. Kentucky.

Not only have the Bulldogs never lost to Arkansas State or Notre Dame, they’ve never fallen to a current Independent or Sun Belt member. The last time they lost to Texas A&M was 65 years ago, in 1954.

The most recent loss to a 2019 foe came two years ago, when then-No. 2 Georgia traveled to No. 10 Auburn and lost, 40-17. It managed to beat the same Tiger team three weeks later, 28-7, in the 2017 SEC title game.

Not too shabby, Dawgs.

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Your daily Gator

From Major Wager:

I was heavy on Florida entering last season.

I figured QB Feleipe Franks would improve under Dan Mullen, and that replacing Jim McElwain’s embarrassing strength program would boost an experienced, inherently talented offensive line. The Gators also were due some better injury luck.

That one worked out well as Florida finished 10-3.

Now, Lindy’s Sports (No. 6), Athlon Sports (No. 8), Street & Smith (No. 8) and Phil Steele (No. 10) all project the Gators as a top 10 team and a College Football Playoff contender in 2019.

To that, I say not so fast.

Florida was fortunate to finish 3-0 in one-possession games against Mississippi State, LSU and South Carolina.

The Gators also had tremendous turnover luck, recovering 21 of 33 fumbles (63.6 percent), leading to a plus-12 turnover margin, the team’s best mark since 2012 and tied for seventh nationally.

That’s unlikely to happen again.

Then look at the schedule.

Florida figures to get revenge on Kentucky, which finally broke through in 2018. But Georgia is a monster, as is LSU in Baton Rouge. Tennessee, Florida State and Auburn could be much improved. A game at Missouri isn’t a guarantee.

Plus, the Gators replace a home game against Colorado State with a neutral-site game against a Miami team that also should be much better than it was in 2018.

Florida ranks No. 6 nationally in the 247Sports five-year recruiting rankings. But Georgia (No. 2), LSU (No. 3), Auburn (No. 7), Florida State (No. 15), Tennessee (No. 17), South Carolina (No. 19) and Miami (No. 23) are right there.

Mullen has done an excellent job in his career of beating lesser talented teams, but he’s struggled against ranked opponents with similar or better talent.

Five Florida players left early for the NFL draft. The team also lost transfers in buckets, and must rebuild its offensive line.

Depth could be a significant issue if Florida faces injuries.

The Play: BetOnline lists Florida’s season win total at 9, with significant juice on the under at -125. That’s not enough value for me to play. But if I can find a friend who really believes in the Gators, I’d be happy to bet on Florida not finishing inside the final Associated Press Top 10 this season.

You always look for the underlying reasons in a team’s big swing in record from one season to the next.  There is no doubt Mullen deserves credit for things like cleaning up the toxic shape McElwain left the program in and Franks’ improvement, such as it was.  But that turnover margin number catches my eye, big time, as well.  (It was minus-3 in 2017.)  Gators, ignore regression to the mean at your peril.

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“When you hear that beat, it really is something.”

Nick Saban and I shared a concert venue in 2015?  Who knew?

Like most boomer dads, Saban marvels at the fact that the septuagenarian Stones—Jagger (75), Keith Richards (75), Charlie Watts (78), and Ronnie Wood (72)—can still shred. The last time he saw them live was in 2015 at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. “The first thing is ‘Start Me Up,’” he said.

He probably had better seats, though.

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“You know, Gary, people around Tennessee talk about you like the one that got away.”

Here’s a story ($$) that, back in the day, would have had the boys at Sports and Grits shaking their heads in disbelief.

Ten years ago, Tennessee decided Lane Kiffin was the right man to replace Phillip Fulmer and said thanks but no thanks to Patterson, who had won 41 games in the previous four seasons and led TCU to a pair of top-10 finishes…

“They thought I was too much of a football coach,” Patterson told The Athletic.

I thought about Jeremy Pruitt, the man who currently occupies Tennessee’s head football coach position. Later that day, I submitted Patterson’s quote to Dictionary.com to replace the current definition of irony.

“They didn’t think I could handle the spotlight,” Patterson said.

Junior sure could.

Every time I hear a Mike Hamilton story, I come away thinking he’s the Reggie Ball of SEC athletic directors.  He certainly did a number on Tennessee football, for which we should all be grateful.

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UPDATE:

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Running the gauntlet

It’s not just that South Carolina’s 2019 schedule is formidable.  The ‘Cocks play ten teams from the SEC and ACC combined.  Only one of those ten teams looks to be running out a quarterback this season with no previous collegiate starting experience.

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“It was certainly something that I always dreamt about, coaching at the University of Georgia.”

That’s funny.  I always dreamt about having somebody like Sam Pittman coaching at the University of Georgia.

Although I have to admit my dreams were never this over the top.

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