Friday, November 5, 2010

Who ya got? -- Week 10

Unlike Tony Barnhart, the EXPATS won't let CAMGATE distract us from our appointed tasks. There are games to be dissected, winners and losers to be picked, championship dreams that will be emboldened, others that will be crushed.

Given that buildup, too bad it's a slate of mostly really bad games. Happily, there are two exceptions. (Besides, we'll keep you up to date with the all the developments on the NCAA investigation into Newton's recruitment). So here we go:

Alabama vs. LSU. Once upon a time in a universe far, far away, Nick Saban coached at LSU. He returns to Baton Rouge for the second time as Alabama's coach. Two years ago, he was burned in effigy before kickoff. During the game, LSU put the torch to itself, with five interceptions aiding and abetting Alabama's overtime victory.

This time around, LSU is coming off a mauling by Auburn, and Alabama appears to be regaining strength after its debilitating performance at South Carolina. Again, quarterback play will be key. If LSU's tandem can play reasonably well, the Tigers will be in this one to the end. Alabama's Greg McElroy faces a big pass rush and the best group of DBs in the conference. Unlike other SEC QBs, he will test Patrick Peterson. Can he get the ball to Julio Jones and his other receivers?

This game will turn on the line play and special teams. If these are a wash, it again puts the game in the hands of the quarterbacks. In the end, Messrs. Jefferson and Lee will be forced to make plays they haven't made all year. Bama, 21-14.

Arkansas vs. South Carolina: South Carolina can still go to Atlanta if they lose Saturday -- as long as they beat Florida in The Swamp. Based on their level of play as of late, the Gamecocks should be underdogs in both games. Something is amiss in Columbia, and today we'll find out if it's something Steve Spurrier can fix.

For all the attention being heaped on Bobby Petrino's and Spurrier's offenses, the defensive play by both teams will decide who wins. Playing before the home crowd, the Gamecocks make the last stop. Carolina, 35-31

Florida at Vandy Stranger things have happened, sure. And given the weirdness of the Gator season, and the fact that Florida coach Urban Meyer appears to have played a key role in the timing of the Cam Newton investigation bombshell, who knows where his team's head will be? Vandy will take this one into the third quarter. Better players will take over from there. Florida, 24-14

Given the level of opponents the other schools are playing this week, we'll skip the rest.

MG

Tommy T.:

You guys can talk about Cam Newton amongst yourselves. I want to talk about gutpunches.

There's no crying in baseball, but there's damn sure crying in football. Deadspin.com had a video this week of a poor South Carolina coed crying over the Gamecocks' loss to Kentucky. Through her tears, she is deeply logical: We just beat Alabama and lost to Kentucky? This isn't basketball!

Her boyfriend, who filmed the whole meltdown, has taken the video off YouTube (putting it up in the first place probably didn't help the relationship, bud). But if you're an SEC fan you have felt that special despair of that loss that turns the world into a place that no longer makes sense.

Georgia had Florida on the ropes last week. Tied going into overtime, all the momentum, right on the edge of beating the team we want to beat the most (and the team that has beaten us into dust for most of the last 20 years). At that moment, it didn't matter that neither team is headed anywhere this season. What mattered was two rivals going at it, and 80,000 fans going nuts, and fans kneeling in front of their TVs, and 100 years of history, and everything that makes sports so maddening and wonderful.

Then: Interception. Field goal attempt. We gave the choke sign, their kicker blew us a kiss, and he put the ball through the uprights.

I didn't cry. But, South Carolina girl, I feel your pain.

Alabama at LSU: Mr. Gordon has given you his dissertation already, and (for once) he's pretty much on the ball. The most important player in this game is Alabama's punter; if he gives Patrick Peterson something to run back, it might make all the difference. Barring that, Alabama is just a little bit better. Tide, 26-20.

Arkansas at South Carolina: The Gamecocks can't stand success. They have the inside track to the SEC championship game if they can just win here and next week at Florida. Everybody thinks they'll stumble against the Gators. But I think they're already looking toward Gainesville and won't notice all those Arkansas receivers sprinting downfield until it's too late. South Carolina girl, stock up on tissues. Razorbacks, 31-24.

Florida at Vandy: My only hope now is that Florida backs into the SEC title game and loses to Auburn by six touchdowns. A small bus wreck on the way back from the stadium would be nice, too. But even a bus wreck won't matter this week. Gators, 33-13.















3 comments:

J said...

It’s been a very interesting week. A special teams coach and his boss treat his child-like actions in last week’s game like any good Christian Scientist would – stand there and confess that it didn’t happen. Then we learned that a scumbag “agent” whom the NFLPA won’t touch with at 39½-foot pole allegedly told schools that it would take some serious jack – try $200k – to sign his man. Of course, “his man” had never met him until just before the alleged sale price was verbalized. The “agent’s” claim to fame is being a scab player during the ’87 NFL strike. Dude has about the same level of credibility as Ted Bundy, except that Bundy was a nicer guy. But let’s not let silly little facts get in the way. It’s a post-Reggie Bush world! We must take the word of every sleezeball that crawls out from under a rock spewing nonsense as GOSPEL!!!!!

Another question: Why does “gate” have to be attached to the end of every scandal? Memo to all you crusty old men: Watergate was nearly 40 years ago. It’s time to move on.

On the field, week 10 is littered with non-conference games against FCS opponents and severely inferior FBS ones. There are only 2 true SEC matchups. No, Vandy-Florida doesn’t count. Can this practice be outlawed, please? SEC teams should have all 4 non-conference games completed before league play begins. Yes, there are benefits – Auburn’s prolific offense will give them a 40-point lead and all the starters will take the second half off, essentially giving Auburn a bye week before Georgia and a bye week before The Evil Empire. But I don’t need to see this garbage in November. Relegate it to September where it belongs.

Off soap box, on to the games:

‘Bama at LSU – Here goes Gordon again with his “Last Stand,” Lou Holtz poor-mouthing, Chicken Little sounding nonsense. LSU has a very good secondary and a halfway decent D-line carrying it. ‘Bama’s 2 running backs will find inspiration watching the Auburn-LSU tape, and the David Hasselhoff of college QBs finds a way as he usually does. As Gordon comes in from the ledge, I’ll be there to make fun of him. Just something to keep myself from blowing a head gasket as the national media continues to discuss BCS scenarios with ‘Bama winning the Iron Bowl as a given. The Evil Empire 28, LSU 13

Ar-Kansas at South Carolina – I see a track meet coming. Mallett and his merry band of WRs against another outstanding WR corps and (gawd, I hate to say this) the best freshman RB in the SEC. The larger-than usual home field advantage will be a difference-maker, as is the fact that the pigs best receiver is out for the year. The Visor stays on TOBC’s head. Fightin’ Chickens 38, Ar-Kansas 31

Florida at Vanderbilt – UF is just like ‘Bama. Everyone is screaming that they control their own destiny and everyone is assuming that running the table is a given. Both have games with a division rival that is NOT a given win. For UF, no need to worry about that until next week. Reptiles 21, Vandy 6

Tennessee at Memphis – Facing a vastly inferior opponent gives Vols fans a chance to remember when their school used to have a football team. The Orange Shirts That Used To Be Vols 34, Memphis 7

Idaho State at Georgia – See third paragraph of monologue above. Big Ol’ Hairy Dawgs 49, Idaho State 3

Charleston Southern at Kentucky – See Idaho St at Georgia above. Randall Cobb 37, Chuck-town Southern 0

Louisiana-Lafayette at Misipi – See Charleston Southern at Kentucky above. The Right Reverend’s Band of Rebel Bears 38, ULL 7

Chattanooga at Auburn – See Louisiana-Lafayette at Misipi above. No Maalox needed for a change. WAR EAGLE 55, Chattanooga 7

Last week’s record: 5-0
Season record: 54-13

Michael said...

J: For the sake of your Maalox stock, you better hope you're right.

From this crusty old man's perspective, we've both seen far weirder tales turn out to be true than what's being said now about the Newtons. Besides, his dad says he met the scumbag just after his son left Florida.

One last thing: As with UA, it's not as if AU doesn't have a longstanding relationship with the NCAA compliance goons.

Time for me to get back on the ledge. Keep it down home, cuz.

Michael said...

J: For the sake of your Maalox stock, you better hope you're right.

From this crusty old man's perspective, we've both seen far weirder tales turn out to be true than what's being said now about the Newtons. Besides, his dad says he met the scumbag just after his son left Florida.

One last thing: As with UA, it's not as if AU doesn't have a longstanding relationship with the NCAA compliance goons.

Time for me to get back on the ledge. Keep it down home, cuz.