Man. VaTech didn't do ANYTHING last night. What a buncha bums. Not only did they not cover the spread for me, they didn't even win the damn game. This team is falling apart.
It looked very similar to Mark Ingram fumbling the football late in the Alabama-Tennessee game. Kinda weird how that works, right? I guess that's what championships are made of - spectacular plays making up for mistakes.
I'm looking forward to tonight's game - West Virginia against South Florida. I don't know if South Florida can stop this lil slide that they're on. They beat Florida St in Tallahassee, then got embarrassed at home by Cinci, who may very well be one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the country. I think WVU waxes em. Noel Devine is a playa.
I've decided I would like to see South Carolina wear their black jerseys tomorrow night in Neyland stadium. Start a new tradition - the Halloween game between Tennessee and South Carolina. Orange and Black. Hell yeah.
Anybody else noticing that Mark Ingram is still pretty much everybody's heisman frontrunner, even though he didn't hit 100 yards, didn't score a touchdown, and lost a fumble that almost cost us the ballgame last week? Weird what winning does, right?
¶ 9:57 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I had not heard this - Lane Kiffin told Coach Saban during the post-game handshake "We'll get you next year." Wow. Read more here.
Ahhhh yes. Thursday. And I don't have to worry one bit about a Bama game this weekend. No getting my blood pressure up. No planning on going to the game. Just relaxing. Enjoying a weekend without stress. Haha.
I used to do a thing called "The Picks" on Fridays. I haven't done it this year, but I'm gonna start it back up, but instead of Fridays, we'll do it on Thursdays. So, I present to you..."The Picks."
North Carolina at Virginia Tech (-16.5) Thursday - 7:00pm ESPN
--- North Carolina is 1-5 against the spread this year. Tied for worst in college football. Virginia Tech is at home, on a Thursday night, and is ready to kill somebody after getting knocked out of the national championship hunt by Georgia Tech two weeks ago. Not a good position for UNC, after they gave up a 24-6 lead and got beat, at home, by a crappy Florida St team last Thursday night.
Georgia Tech (-12) at Vanderbilt Saturday - 6:30pm CSS
--- Georgia Tech grinds people, and puts up HUGE numbers in the process. Lets just look at common opponents. GaTech put up 42 points on Mississippi State in Starkville, while Vandy put up 3 points on State in Nashville. Advantage - Georgia Tech. Vandy is used to pro-style offenses in the SEC. GaTech runs the Triple Option attack. I think the Yellow Jackets will win this one going away. We're talkin 42-14 style.
Rutgers at UConn (-8) Saturday - 11:00am ESPN Regional
--- Not only is UConn the best cover team in the country (5-0-1 ATS), but they're playing with a purpose this week. This is the first home game since Jasper Howard's murder, and the team will be playing with emotion after losing a heartbreaker at West Virginia last week. Rutgers has been a smoke-n-mirrors kinda good. They look great against awful opposition, but don't play so well when they play against a decent football team. UConn will be looking to prove something in this game, and I think they'll win by 2 touchdowns.
Central Michigan (+5) at Boston College Saturday - 2:30pm ESPNU
--- Central Michigan is 7-1 this season, including a win at Michigan State in the 2nd game of the year. Their only loss was at Arizona to open the season. This is one hell of a football team, and, honestly, Boston College isn't. They're far too sporadic. I'm gonna go with the consistent team with the better offense and the better defense. I think Central Michigan wins the game straight up.
San Jose St at Boise St (-35) Saturday - 2:00pm ESPN Gameplan
--- Boise is doing everything they can to make sure they don't slip anymore in the rankings. The only thing they can do is win. And win BIG. San Jose St doesn't have a prayer in this one, and I think Boise scores over 50 in a beating of epic proportions.
I'll be most interested in the Ole Miss - Auburn game and the Florida - Georgia game on Saturday, of course. I'm gonna watch LSU vs Tulane, but that's not going to show us anything that they're going to show against the Tide.
¶ 9:23 AM0 commentslinks to this post
Here's one from the archives that just seems to be so incredibly fitting, given that we've had to listen to Tennessee fans, and their coaches, etc, whine about the officiating in Saturday's game. This was my dad's first, and ONLY, post on MemphisTider.com. It comes from Oct 1st, 2008. You can follow the link here.
"For several years now we have seen the dumbing down of our fan base. From missed holding calls to excuses for lack of on field discipline, some of us have complained and cried and become no better than some of our conference brethren.
We have all made it convenient to believe that SEC officials are not very good.
This first post is to attempt to turn that thought process around. Not that it mattered, but I was left with my mouth hanging open at the missed call in the La. Tech – Boise game Wednesday night. It mirrored the call in the Bama – Ole Miss game last year and the replay official in Boise simply blew it. Not because he made a poor judgment but because he (like many Alabama and Mississippi sports writers and Ole Miss fans) doesn’t know the rule. The SEC officials know the rule, what they can review and what they can’t and why. The on field officials in Boise didn’t know and they got no help from the replay booth---even though they had plenty of time to go look up the rule if they wanted.
Be prepared to hear the Rebels whine even more now that they think they have a call that matches and was made for a team in their same position. Be prepared, as we get better and begin to show that the process is working, to listen to the taunts of the corndogs, bulldogs, tigers, and gators that some of us older fans endured while Coach Bryant was walking the sidelines-----“Ya’ll bought the refs!”
To review the play, a Boise receiver went out of bounds (with some minor contact) and came back in to make a catch. It was called a catch on the field and the replay showed he had gone out of bounds. At the point he left the field of play he is ineligible to be the first to touch the ball and he plainly came back in bounds and was the first to touch the ball. But the on-field official did not rule him out of bounds. When the replay showed he was out of bounds, he is not eligible. Because he was not “ruled” on the field to have been forced out, the only thing the replay official can rule on is whether he went out of bounds. Whether he was “forced” out is not something that can be reviewed. That is like pass interference and cannot be ruled on from the booth. The only review is if the receiver was out of bounds.
They blew it.
We’ll not notice it (until we hear the howls of the conquered). Us older guys expect it. It’s coming. On field discipline will yield respect. A knowledgeable staff, a disciplined team and respect will get you the benefit of the doubt. Lack of penalties leads to even less penalties and more frustration from the opponent---which leads to more mistakes for them. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to hear Tennessee complain about the conference office and the officials."
The Capstone Report has a great question about how the SEC and commissioner Mike Slive will deal with Tennessee - when will he end their questioning of his authority? This is a very serious issue. If the entire coaching staff is talking publicly about how they believe there's a conspiracy in the SEC office, it needs to be squashed immediately before it becomes an epidemic. Read his post here.
Also, Capstone Report has found out that the reason for UT's headset troubles was a tripped breaker - they plugged in ALL of their things onto one power unit instead of evenly distributing them across the numerous ones that the University of Alabama provided. Again proving that the University of Tennessee's employees are complete morons. Read more here.
I had to post this. It's the Tennessee call of the game. Bob Kessling gets so excited. And then is denied. Hahaha.
Dear Lane Kiffin, You are an annoying whiny little prick. Your blaming the officials for your loss to Alabama on Saturday is the most ridiculous crap I have ever heard in my life. To say the officiating was one sided in that game is ludicrous. I haven't gone back to see what all could have been called throughout the entire game, but I have two examples from the last drive alone.
Example 1: 1st down & 10 - 1:16 left in the 4th quarter
Notice #88, Luke Stocker, the TE for Tennessee, grab onto #55 Chavis Williams' jersey and just not let go. This is just a minor occurance because there's enough of a rush to fluster Crompson anyway. The play results in an incomplete pass, but rather than 1st and 20, they end up with 2nd and 10 at their own 41 again.
Example 2: 2nd down & 10 - 1:10 left in the 4th quarter
Again, please notice #88, Luke Stocker, the TE for Tennessee, grab onto #55 Chavis Williams' jersey and not let go. Again. This time right in the middle of the field in plain eyesight of EVERYBODY. Still a no call. So, rather than 2nd and at least 20, the pass is completed, and they now have a fresh set of downs at the Alabama 46 with 1:02 left in the game.
We all know how it plays out from there.
So, Lane, we just wanted to let you know that you're quite lucky that you were even in a position to be able to kick the field goal. Had holding been called on either of those plays, I am of the belief that you would have never gotten across midfield.
Enjoy your moral victory, you pompous asshat. See you in Knoxville for that "game (you'll) win next year."
Tennessee had one hell of a gameplan Saturday, and they played one helluva game. I won't sit here and tell you that I wasn't nervous about that last second kick, but I will say that I was curious why UT didn't attempt to get closer in the last 30+ seconds of the game. It just didn't make a lot of sense.
2) Saban's presser
Coach's press conference after the game basically told the whole story. He said that's how fragile a season can be. You've got the ball, at home, close to midfield, the other team only has one timeout, and you've got a 2-score lead. Your runs are getting at least 4 to 5 yards per attempt.
And then one mistake can cost you a ballgame.
Mark Ingram fumbles for the first time in his career at Alabama, Tennessee scores quickly (the first TD allowed in 3 ballgames, by the way), gets an onside kick, and then, the next thing you know, there's 4 seconds left, and UT is lining up for a game-winning kick from only 44-yards - at your house. That's why coaches preach for NO mistakes. Ever. Ever ever ever.
3) Couldn't have ended any more perfectly...
As I sat at Buffalo Wild Wings in Nashville, TN, surrounded by people with Orange jerseys and shirts and pants, I immediately thought how awesome it would be to watch the viles screw this up. I was admittedly nervous, but I was also thinking to myself that it couldn't have ended more perfectly if they were to miss the kick.
There's nothing better on the face of the earth than to allow those ignorant, hillbilly, inbred bastards to think they're going to win a football game, especially against their most hated rival, and then watch it blow up in their faces in a split second. The looks on their faces and the reactions of these SOBs was priceless, and I've thanked the good Lord a billion times since then that I was able to witness the game at a bar in Nashville, TN, surrounded by those idiots.
4) Good time for a bye week...
This is a football team that was tired and beat up and nicked up pretty good. Great time for a bye week to allow them to rest up and prepare for what should the most difficult test remaining on the schedule. It's the last conference home game, and it's against LSU, a top 10 team, and our main competition in the SEC West. We win this game, and we've secured a spot in the SEC Championship game. Not too shabby.
We already hold a 2 game lead over Ole Miss, and the tie-breaker, 3 games over Auburn, 3 games over Mississippi State, and 4 games over Arkansas. We beat LSU, and we've got at least a 2 game lead over everybody, with only two conference games left.
5) Auburn is officially flat
How they gave up 31 points to a very mediocre LSU team, I will never know. But that once promising offense looks suddenly like they couldn't score on Florida International. It's kinda scary how quickly things have gone sour on the plains, but it's definitely fun to watch. They're already crying for Tommy Tuberville to come back. Haha.
I'm seriously expecting a 3 to 4 touchdown win. Here's what I'm looking at - Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram carrying the ball about 15 times each, with Roy Upchurch coming on HUUUGE in the 4th quarter. By midway through the 3rd quarter, their defense, which has such a lack of depth, will be so worn down that it won't matter which running back is in the game. The Tide offense will be able to run for at least 5 yards a pop.
Tennessee's offense won't be able to run the football like they did against Florida to make the game shorter. Our defensive line outmans their offensive line just ridiculously, and the pressure that we'll bring on Crompton will be unlike anything he's seen all year. He was flustered against UCLA's defense, which was rushing only 4 and 5 at a time. Imagine what kinda mistakes he'll make when we bring 7.
Look for a blowout of epic proportions in this series. Nick Saban hates Tennessee with a passion, and this is one of those circle games that he sets up every year. We've only had one so far this year - Ole Miss. Then we have Tennessee, and of course Auburn. He knows that UT and AU are the two games he HAS to win every year to keep us happy. Same way Urban Meyer knew he had to beat UT, UGA, and Florida St every year.
Finebaum's getting a tad bit ahead of himself. Read today's article about skipping the rest of the season and just jumping to Dec. 5th.
The same officials that goofed up the UGA-LSU game, and the Ark-Fla game, will be in Tuscaloosa on Saturday for Bama-UT. Read more here. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. They seem to favor the higher-ranked teams, y'know?
There are only two teams that I'm going to bet on religiously for the rest of the year - Idaho is 7-0 against the spread so far, and Illinois is 0-5 against the spread. Guess which way I'm bettin. Haha.
¶ 9:05 AM0 commentslinks to this post
With 14:45 left in the first quarter and Alabama holding a 7-0 lead against South Carolina, Coach Jim McElwain put up his playbook. They put QB Greg McElroy in some awful positions all night to see how he would react to them. Didn't fare so well, but the ballgame was never in doubt. Watching that game, did anybody think that the Gamecocks would ever get into the endzone? Yeah, I didn't think so. If you don't think that they went vanilla, you're out of your mind. Coach Saban and the rest of the team have had the upcoming Tennessee game circled since January when Lance Thompson decided to bolt for Knoxville. Don't get too worried about how the offense played because when they needed yards, they could hand off the ball.
2) If it wasn't for Mark Ingram...
You know that if it wasn't Mark Ingram running the rock like he has, we'd have Trent back there doing it. If it wasn't Trent, it'd be Roy. If it wasn't Roy, it'd be Eddie Lacy. We have a stable FILLED with running backs, and they all could be starting for about 85% of other college football teams. What Mark Ingram has done is incredible, but don't forget about the other guys that are on his level as well. You'll see a lot more of them this weekend, and I'd almost guarantee it.
3) Florida looks...pedestrian?
The almighty Gators have looked very average lately. A home win over Arkansas on a last second field goal? And the only reason you were in the position is because Arky missed two chipshot field goals? Riiight. From what I'm reading about Brandon Spikes, he may not come back this year. And if that's the case, this team is in trouble. Lucky for them, they only play one decent football team for the rest of the season, and that's South Carolina. Biggest deal about that game? It's in Columbia... I think we could see an upset that weekend if they don't start clicking. Of course...I would much rather them be undefeated and still ranked #1 when they get to the Georgia Dome.
4) What the hell, Ohio St?
Ohio St was 5-1 against the spread this year. Purdue was 1-5 overall and just got shellacked by Northwestern at home. So of course I pick Ohio St -14 for this game. And of course, Ohio St responds by getting waxed by maybe the worst team in the Big Ten. Screw you, Senator Sweatervest.
5) Is it a classic if the two teams just ain't that good?
For those people that said USC vs. Notre Dame was an instant classic, ask yourself this question - if it had been UConn vs Louisville in the exact same game, would anybody give a damn? Didn't think so. USC and Notre Dame are not very good football teams this year. It was a fun game, if you like ping pong. Neither defense played worth a crap, and the fact that it came down to Little Jimmy making awful throws into coverage in the endzone only proves how bad these teams are. Count me as not impressed.
6) Auburn's officially out of gas
If you get a chance, go back and watch the 4th quarter of Auburn's game against Kentucky. Wow. Those players look like they're absolutely just worn out. Their conditioning must be awful. Kentucky did anything they wanted to in the 4th quarter, and used that to their advantage by scoring 14 points to win 21-14 on the plains. Chizik is now showing exactly what kinda coach he is, and now that people are catching on to Malzahn's offense, this team is in a lot of trouble. They've got LSU, Ole Miss, UGA, and Bama still left on the schedule...along with Furman. They'll get to 6 wins...but man. Who woulda thought after that Tennessee game that this team would look so bad. As Dennis Green would say - "They are who we thought they were."
¶ 9:44 AM0 commentslinks to this post
The worst part about the 6:45 kickoff is that we have to wait like 7 hours after ESPN Gameday before our team actually comes on. The good part is that it gives the fans down in Tuscaloosa plenty of time to get riled up and ready for the ballgame, so by the time we get to kickoff, Bryant-Denny Stadium should be extremely loud.
In the meanwhile, I'm watching Oklahoma and Texas, and I've already seen a screen pass to Demarco Murray take them from their own 30 down to the Texas 8 yard line.
I'm interested to see what's going to happen between Arkansas and Florida today. A lot of people seem to think that Ryan Mallet and the Hogs can give the Gators some real trouble. I think that Florida's defense may be just as good as ours, so I don't expect Arkansas to get much going at all. This is the only good offense that Florida will play for the rest of the season, so it may be the only shot to get them picked off before the SEC Championship game.
I'm curious to see what happens with Alabama and South Carolina tonight. Garcia has been known to make a lot of plays with his feet, and if the pocket collapses on him, like it has every other QB we've played so far this season, he will either make some absolutely huge plays, or he's gonna make some big mistakes and maybe end up in the hospital there in T-Town. I expect more turnovers, personally. I'm looking for 3 interceptions and a fumble at some point in the game.
I have a feeling we're going to get a lot of quick passes tonight. McElroy will have a TON of hot routes and screen passes because of two reasons. First, you want to slow down their pass rush with Eric Norwood from the edge, and two, I have a feeling that Ellis Johnson will probably put 9 in the box to try and stop the run because they've given up a total of about 400 yards rushing to South Carolina St and Kentucky. They know if they just try and play us with a base defense, we'll run for 5 yards a carry and grind out first down after first down.
We want our running backs involved, and our slot receivers to have a chance...so look for hot routes and screen passes.
An Evening with Coach Saban. Chris Low, ESPN's SEC blogger, has written one hell of an article about the "Hey Coach" show. Very good read.
Cincinnati looked like the real deal last night. They handled South Florida, in Tampa, with ease, and with a backup QB, no-less. I was very much impressed by their defense, and how efficient their offense was, even with a backup. Brian Kelly is, in my estimation, one of the best coaches in the country. He knows what it takes to win.
I don't think the betters are buying into Vegas's plot to get you to take South Carolina. The line opened at Alabama -17, which looked like a whole lot of points...but since then the line has risen to as much as -18.5. Wow.
Does anybody seem to think that Arkansas can hang with Florida? I think they'll give them a good ballgame.
South Carolina's gonna be missing some players. Their 2nd leading rusher, Jarvis Giles, has been suspended for this game due to unspecified team rules violations, and Heath Batchelor, their starting left guard, has left the team this week. Not good to come to Tuscaloosa without your full allotment of players, I would think.
I'm gonna start a lil thing on here, I believe, called "Who's a fraud?" Should be interesting. If you've got anyone for any particular week, just toss it in the comments.
1) Boise St Broncos
So really, they were down at Tulsa with not much time left in the ballgame, right? Same Tulsa that got handled 45-0 by a Sam Bradford-less Oklahoma team, at Tulsa, a few weeks ago. If you're Boise, and you're trying to set yourself up to play for a national championship game, you've gotta win that game convincingly.
2) Iowa Hawkeyes
There's no way this team has enough offense to play with the big boys, and their defense, while good, can be exploited. I think they'll lose to Wisconsin this weekend.
3) LSU Tigers
Yeah, they may have lost to the #1 team in the country last weekend, but it was proven that they have ZERO offense. Gary Crowton, even though he was just given an extension, will be run out of town sooner than later. The Hat's gonna have to get rid of somebody this year to eventually save his job, cause I have a feeling this season is about to spiral out of control the same way last year's did.
4) Ohio St Buckeyes
Ok, so they beat Wisconsin at home 31-13 last weekend. But...they had a special teams touchdown (kickoff return), and returned TWO interceptions for touchdowns. That's 21 points right there. Pryor only had 87 yards of offense. Wisconsin's defense shut this team down. In their own backyard. They'll lose a couple more before this season's over, and I'll go ahead and call it right now - they'll get beat by Michigan to close the season.
¶ 9:56 AM0 commentslinks to this post
I listened to a little bit of "Vol Calls" last night on 92.9 ESPN here in Memphis. I laughed so hard that I cried.
Now, I'm not overlooking South Carolina, but man, these UT fans are delusional. One bad win over a crappy Georgia team, and they're ready to dethrone Nick Saban. In Bryant-Denny, no less. They really think that they're going to win the game. Niiiice. Surely they realize that Saban has had this one circled ever since Lance Thompson decided to split to ol' Rocky Top.
Fishy betting lines
Alabama opened as a 17 point favorite over South Carolina. Does that not sound like Vegas is BEGGING you to take SoCar? This is a trap game, but Bama should beat this team by 4 touchdowns.
UConn opened -12.5 against Louisville, and the line immediately dropped to -10.5. Vegas is wanting you to take Louisville so bad in this game it's not even funny.
Illinois is favored AT Indiana by 3. Illinois has not covered a single spread this year. Hmmmm...
ESPN's SEC Rankings
SEC Power Poll - Chris Low thinks Bama's #1. He doesn't see a weakness. I see some, but not much.
I'm not sure if I like all of the media attention we're getting. It's always nice, but I don't know how it affects the team. The last thing we need is for them to actually think they're the best. Keep playin with a chip on their shoulder, and they are the best. Get a big head, and they lose a step.
¶ 9:05 AM1 commentslinks to this post
I seriously don't know the last time that I saw a team just get completely and totally dominated on their home field the way that Ole Miss got shut down against the Tide this past Saturday. A thorough ass kicking on an opponent's home field. It's gotta make you smile just thinkin about it. Haha.
If you'd like to watch the full game again, just head on over to SEC Digital Network to see the full game streaming without commercials. Great website.
The offensive playcalling Saturday was just weird. Especially inside the 10 yard line. We got inside the 10 six different times. One we had a fumble (Trent Richardson's in the 4th quarter). The other five we wasted a down trying to throw into double (and at least once, triple) coverage to Julio. We were forcing the issue down there so much that it reminded me of JPW looking for DJ Hall back in '06 and '07.
I've got a feeling this was Coach Saban's way of answering the critics who, every week, bring up the fact that Julio is not "involved" in the offense. Julio Jones does his job by blocking and drawing double teams, which opens up the offense to basically make it 10 on 9 at all times. That's his role. Same way with Terrence Cody on the defense. He doesn't make a ton of tackles or sacks or anything, but he eats up two blockers, making it 10 on 9 on that side of the ball. That's how you get mismatches. Julio doesn't have to touch the ball to be "involved." Hopefully it was just something else for the team to throw out there and make other teams think about.
2) LSU's an average football team
Florida didn't do anything special. They just beat the crap outta the Tigers. In Tiger Stadium. On a Saturday night. The Gators didn't really need the almighty Tebow. They just needed their defense. Very simple.
LSU is not a good football team. It's growing more and more obvious that the teams they've beaten to this point are incredibly pedestrian. Not much more you can say than that. Their defense isn't that great, their offense is poor, and, overall, it's just not a very well-disciplined football team. They'll lose more games this year, and possibly a lot more. Lester the Hat should have taken the train to Ann Arbor when he had the chance because his stock is about to plummet.
3) Who is the real South Carolina?
South Carolina is 5-1, with a last second loss at a mediocre Georgia team. They've beaten a weak NC State team, on the road, 7-3, a weak Ole Miss team, at home, 16-10, two small schools who have yet to win a ballgame between the two of them, and a bad Kentucky team that played part of the game with a backup quarterback, 28-26 at home.
So exactly who is South Carolina?
Are they one hell of a defensive team? Not sure. They gave up 41 to Georgia and 26 to Kentucky, but only 3 to NC State and 10 to Ole Miss. Are they an awesome offensive team? Well, they only scored 16 on Ole Miss and 7 at NC State, but scored 37 at Georgia and 28 at home on Kentucky.
Count me as wary of this weekend's opposition for the Tide. This is a trap game if I've ever seen one. With Ole Miss this past week and Tennessee next week, The Ol' Ball Coach could catch us napping. I doubt it'll happen, but I think this game will be closer than we want it to be.
4) Tennessee thinks they're ready.
The fans clad in orange were already screaming midway through the 4th quarter of Saturday's blowout against Georgia - "WE WANT BAMA! WE WANT BAMA!"
Are you guys sure about that?
I mean, you've already lost three ballgames, and two of them at home to mediocre competition. You beat a bad Georgia team and you're ready to start calling on us?
Hey Vols. I'd think long and hard before you start talking too much crap. It could be a long day in Bryant-Denny on the 24th if you boys are over-confident. One good smack in the mouth should cure that.
5) Mississippi State is still Mississippi State.
Tyson Lee. C'mon man.
Down 24-17 in the with about 4 and a half minutes left, Mississippi State is driving to tie the game, and Lee fumbles trying to hand the ball off. Houston recovers, scores in like 3 plays, and the game is over. That's what Mississippi State does. It's what they've always done. Mullen has a lot of work in front of him.
¶ 8:08 AM6 commentslinks to this post
I did 5 minute quarters last week for the Arkansas game, and Alabama won 42-10.
This week, I did the same thing, at Kentucky, with partly cloudy skies, 70 degree weather, and an 11:30am CST kickoff, and the Tide won 41-3. I think I'm diggin this.
¶ 4:51 PM0 commentslinks to this post