Several of you haven’t made your pick for tonight’s game yet. Don’t forget!
Category Archives: GTP Stuff
It’s that time again to take stock of my preseason assessments of how every conference team would do in 2014. As before, schools are listed in the same order as they were in the preseason post, with this season’s won-loss totals.
AUBURN (8-5, 4-4)
- What I said: Historically, Auburn doesn’t do well when it’s a preseason front-runner, but I don’t foresee a huge drop off from last season. On the other hand, there’s got to be some regression to the mean, luckwise. No worse than two, maybe three conference losses.
- How I did: Regression to the mean? Sure. But there was just some plain old regression, too.
- Grade: C-
ALABAMA (12-2, 7-1)
- What I said: Let’s say the Tide will slip up and lose a regular season game, but there’s a reason everyone is putting them in Atlanta and the new CFP. If they don’t make it, I’m blaming Junior.
- How I did: The Tide made it to Atlanta and to the national semi-finals, but Saban will be watching the championship game like the rest of us. Not sure how much blame Kiffin deserves for that, but Alabama’s secondary deserves some.
- Grade: A-
LSU (8-5, 4-4)
- What I said: My default position on Les Miles – pencil in two regular season losses – feels right. This is a very talented team, but the Tigers have a lot of experience to replace, especially at the offensive skill spots.
- How I did: LSU lost more than I expected, it seems. Nobody in Baton Rouge had a clue how to jump-start the passing game.
- Grade: D+
TEXAS A & M (8-5, 3-5)
- What I said: I guess the question to ask is if TAMU is at the point where it reloads. They’ll likely be okay on offense, but I’m still not thrilled with that defense. I’m seeing a similar number of regular season losses in 2014.
- How I did: Pretty spot on.
- Grade: A-
MISSISSIPPI (9-4, 5-3)
- What I said: Defense should be excellent; offense, not so much. With that schedule, I think Ole Miss is probably looking at a four-loss regular season.
- How I did: Overall, Ole Miss was just a little better than I anticipated.
- Grade: B+
MISSISSIPPI STATE (10-3, 6-2)
- What I said: I still think this is the hardest team to handicap in the SEC. I can’t help but be impressed with what MSU brings on the defensive side of the ball, but the offense makes me nervous, mainly because of the quarterback situation. If Mullen can coach Prescott up to the next level, the Bulldogs could be the surprise team of the West. But I’m seeing four losses in the regular season at present.
- How I did: It turned out that Prescott was able to turn his game up and the team followed suit.
- Grade: C+
ARKANSAS (7-6, 2-6)
- What I said: Can it get better in Bielema’s second year? It can’t get worse. But I’m having a hard time figuring out where the Hogs grab that fourth win.
- How I did: Wrong, bacon breath. It got a lot better once Arkansas hit its stride mid-season.
- Grade: D+
MISSOURI (11-3, 7-1)
- What I said: The schedule shapes up to be Missouri’s biggest friend, with only three preseason ranked opponents. Pinkel knows what he’s doing and Mauk is a promising quarterback. But depth is a concern in several areas. Four regular season losses wouldn’t surprise me, although I think three is a more likely result.
- How I did: Once again, a pleasant surprise. As I wrote the year before, if I had a vote for conference coach of the year, Pinkel would get it.
- Grade: C-
SOUTH CAROLINA (7-6, 3-5)
- What I said: Hard to see the ‘Cocks doing worse from a win/loss standpoint than they did last season. But will another two-loss regular season be enough to win the division?
- How I did: Neither Steve Spurrier nor I saw what was coming. My biggest preseason whiff.
- Grade: F
GEORGIA (10-3, 6-2)
- What I said: The record will be improved because the Dawgs will be healthier, but the season will come down to competence in the secondary, on special teams and turnover margin improvement. I expect this team to improve over the course of the season, but there will be two or three regular season losses, depending on how they get out of the gate.
- How I did: Accurate. So why do I feel disappointed?
- Grade: A-
VANDERBILT (3-9, 0-8)
- What I said: People don’t realize it, but Franklin did Mason a big favor by redshirting a ton of kids from a very good recruiting class. That’s going to help, although not as much as the softest schedule in the SEC will. Vandy’s biggest problem is that the offense won’t be very good. I can’t see anything close to another nine-win season, but bowl eligibility is certainly a realistic goal.
- How I did: Hoo, boy, that sucks.
- Grade: D+
FLORIDA (7-5, 4-4)
- What I said: Yes, the Gators will improve from last season’s record. But with six preseason ranked opponents on the schedule, I’m looking at something in the neighborhood of 8-4. And that’s only if Driskel stays on his feet.
- How I did: Well, I didn’t know they’d go and outright cancel a game. So I was pretty close.
- Grade: B-
TENNESSEE (7-6, 3-5)
- What I said: I’m having a hard time finding a sixth win on this team’s schedule. But they upset South Carolina last year, so who knows?
- How I did: That’s pretty much what happened.
- Grade: A-
KENTUCKY (5-7, 2-6)
- What I said: As the Beatles once sang, I have to admit it’s getting better. But not that quickly. Overall win total can improve a little from 2013’s, but without Arkansas on the schedule, the ‘Cats are going to have to steal a win from the likes of Vandy or Tennessee to get off the conference schneid.
- How I did: The ‘Cats benefited from the collapses of South Carolina and Vanderbilt. But reality set in over the last six games of the season
- Grade: B-
So what do you think? Too easy on myself? Too harsh?
It wound up being a weird year, that’s for sure.
Hope it’s a great one for all of you.
Meanwhile, let me share a number with you: 5,310,507. That’s the number of hits recorded at the blog in 2014. It represents better than a 25% increase in traffic over 2013. That kind of increase is great in the early years, when you’re in the process of establishing an audience, but to record that in the eighth year of a college football blog? Don’t know about you, but I’m well and truly impressed.
And grateful, of course. It’s wonderful to have the traffic, but I’m also most appreciative of what a stout commenting group GTP enjoys. Agree with me, disagree with me – it’s all good, because it’s the give and take of intelligent discussion that makes this such a great place to stop at and keep up with Georgia football and its surrounding environment.
If I don’t say it enough, you guys are the best. Long may you run.
I always bounce between my two favorite Christmas songs. This year, you get the Pogues.
Enjoy the day, y’all.
All the spreads are posted now, except for the title game, so feel free to jump in any time to make your picks.
I’ve just set the bowl pool up and sent out your invitations to take part. Sign up, but don’t both to make your picks yet, because not all the lines have been set.
Since we don’t know which teams will play in the national championship game, I’ve decided to allow picks on every individual game to run until the start of each.
Format remains the same – picks against the spread, tiebreaker based on total points scored and which team wins.
The season ends, not with a bang, but a tiebreaker in the last weekly results.
STANDINGS for WEEK 14 Rank Selection Name Standings
W-L Pts Tie Breaker Game
1 Mayor of Dawgtown Adj 8-2 8 21-27** 1 4boysbrew Adj 8-2 8 28-35
And we are now ready to proclaim a regular season champ. Or, in a first, co-champs.
SEASON STANDINGS through Week 14 Rank You Selection Name W-L Pts 1 Second String Secondary 82-58 82 1 Valley Dawg 82-58 82
Kudos to both. Take a victory lap in the comments section.
Again, that concludes the pick ’ems for the regular season. I expect to have the bowl pool up in ten days or so. Stay tuned.