Monday, November 16, 2009

What we learned from Saturday . . .

*If Dan Mullen can recruit, watch out for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were overmatched by Alabama, but they never stopped hitting or playing at full speed. MSU has glaring needs, but Mullen has effort isn't one of them. He also has Mississippi's amazing high school talent to draw from, provided he can claim his share from Ole Miss and Southern Miss, and beat back the traditional poachers, Alabama, LSU and Tennessee. Freshman already play key roles for the Bullies, but Mullen needs impact performers in every recruiting class to become competitive.

*Can Jansen Jackson be that good? Vol coach Lane Kiffin sure made it sound that way, contending that Ole Miss's torching of his formerly staunch defense was due in large part to the absence of his star freshman safety. Jackson and two teammates did not play Saturday after being arrested last week on attempted armed robbery charges. Jackson's attorney say his client was in the car and did not participate in the alleged crime. One rumor circulating the boards last week said Kiffin wanted to take Jackson's to Oxford but was overruled by his athletic director. If he's innocent, one wonders why Jackson, his team's last line of defense, couldn't have provided the same protection for his idiotic teammates or his own career.

*Is there a more entertaining football player in the country than Dexter McClusker? Still, Houston Nutt bet the house on quarterback Jevan Sneed. Where would the Rebels be if, after Sneed's shaky early performances, he had been downsized and McClusker given twice his regular touches?

*Steve Spurrier must have mixed emotions after his team's 24-14 loss to top-ranked Florida. Carolina carried the game well into the fourth quarter and had the Gators on their heels in what should have been at least a game-tying drive. Then, Stephen Garcia threw a third-down interception that quickly led to Florida's clinching touchdown. On the key play, Spurrier sent in a call, and Garcia changed it based on something he saw in the Florida defense.
Ooops. TOBC can't be happy how things turned out, but at least he has a quarterback confident enough to change a play based on what he's seeing on the field. Executing that vision remains a work in progress, and I'm sure The Visor has a few thoughts he plans to share.

*Referee Conspiracy Part V: Mississippi State fans claim the zebras jobbed them out of a long kickoff return against Alabama. Tell you what guys, we'll give you the Chad Bumphis' TD. Does 31-10 feel better?

*Florida still does more things well than any team in the country, but Alabama has begun playing its best football at just the right time. Still ahead for the Tide: a glorified scrimmage against UT-Chattanooga and then a short-rest range war with Auburn. With two weeks to scheme, the Tigers will be preparing the ultimate trap game. But it's hard to see AU standing up to the Tidal pounding it will face. Ben Tate's declaration that he's a better runner than Mark Ingram puts a couple of extra logs on the fire for the Alabama defense. Still, I get nervous even writing about this game. Alabama will have only six days between kickoffs, and too many seasons on both sides have been ruined by college football's most vicious rivalry.

Michael Gordon


bama brother said...

Put in a tall, rangy, fleetfooted QB in that Mississippi State lineup - Jordan Jefferson comes to mind - and it would be interesting to see what Coach Mullen could do with that Bulldog offense.
Alabama made a statement in Starkville, but they will need their A-game for Jordan-Hare. Gene Chizik's first year has not gone like Terry Bowden's did, but them Tiguhs is still dangerous.

Bigdawg said...

Just thought I'd mention since it's not mentioned elsewhere above: Dawgs secured 2nd place in the East with their 31-24 victory over Auburn Saturday. We have now beaten the Tigers 4 years in a row. Haven't done that since 1948. Georgia's win also took Auburn out of any chance to finish 2nd in the West. As you know it's been a tough year in Athens. This was the Dawgs 3rd "satisfying" win of the year, the other 2 being our victories over the Gamecocks and Razorbacks. There's still a chance to close out the season with a strong run if we can avoid the upset by Kentucky next week and spoil Georgia Tech's championship season the week after, but the inconsistency with which UGA has played this year means we could just as easily lose the last 2.

Anonymous said...

Uh, not quite on that UGA 2nd place thing. If UGA loses to UK that would make them 4-4. If UK or UT wins out, either of them would be 4-4 with wins over UGA. While UGA will finish with the 2nd best record in the SEC East, they could tie with a team that has beaten them.

Bigdawg said...

Anony, you're right! Guess we have to beat KY after all.

Anonymous said...

We learned, again, that being an Auburn fan is hazardous to your health.