Saturday, October 8, 2011

Who Ya Got? -- Week 6

We celebrate the halfway point of the season with the best run of weekend games yet. No, Giselle-like matchups, perhaps, but a run of really knockout games throughout the day that reminds the world just how deep this conference really is. And while we're waiting for the final papal dispensation regarding Missouri's entrance into the league . . . Go CARDINALS!!!

Auburn at Arkansas
A long, long time ago and in a universe far, far away ... an Auburn team just kept winning. Nobody really knew how, but they strung together one ugly victory after another, lost badly on the road, then went back to making one key play after another. This, of course, was "The Amazins," and way back in 1972 they -- this is starting to get painful here -- went on to block two punts in the last five minutes against Alabama, win their bowl game and finish 11-1. I'm not saying the 2011 Auburn team will follow the identical path. But there's something about the way Gene Chizik's God Thangs have gotten to 4-1 that speaks to a certain manifest destiny on The Plains. Now it's Arkansas, and a sane man would never bet against the Hogs at home. Still, this was supposed to be The Year of Payback for Auburn, the year when all the SEC teams that got body-slammed by Nick Fairley or took a collective whiff at the legs of Cam Newton were to inflict reciprocal pain. And only Clemson has. The Hogs are a 10-point favorite, but the young Tiger players are getting better by the week. Is this an Upset Special? This EXPAT won't go that far, but Arkansas better pay heed. Hogs, 35-31.

Florida at LSU

In the old days, this would be the perfect occasion for LSU to sleep-walk. The Bengals have been dominant. They're playing at home. And they get an opponent that last week lost its lunch money, its backpack, and its Ipod 5G to the school-yard bully. But Florida lost more than a game to Alabama, it lost its quarterback too. Jeff Driskel will play better this week against LSU, but all those "Look-at-me, I'm a 5-star-recruit" players on the Gator defense just don't like getting hit in the mouth. While there's always a chance Jarred Lee will fall off the wagon, Florida should schedule a Monday trip to the orthodontist now. LSU, 27-13.

Georgia at Tennessee

Barbara Dooley went on the radio again to defend her "Baby Boy" this week. Not that Derek Dooley's pants are on fire in Knoxville, but this a fanbase never known for its patience. What can we say about Tennessee up to now except Meh!! The Vols are not bad, just inconsequential, and it's hard to see how and when they'll regain their seat at the adult table. Georgia's Mark Richt and the Bulldogs has already been moved closer to Tennessee's side of the room, demonstrating that it's worse losing something than never having it at all. Georgia likes to think of itself as still being elite. Tennessee, playing its first complete game of the year, reminds them they're not. Mama will be proud. Vols, 27-24.

Vandy at Alabama
One of the Alabama boards did the Tide a favor this week. Someone put up an extended replay of the 1974 Vandy-Bama game in Tuscaloosa (I sat in the end zone, by the way). Alabama won by two touchdowns. But if Nick Saban's crew needed any reminder of the Commodores' tradition of playing UA hard, they got it in the grainy footage. Vanderbilt's defense is underrated, but overmatched by Alabama's size and numbers. This is supposedly a breather on the UA schedule, but it's a deceptively important week for Tide QB AJ McCarron. He still needs to show he can hit the long ball, and Vandy's DBs will make him work. Tide: 27-0

Kentucky at South Carolina
Kentucky football is like a small newspaper that some days can do pretty good work. But there's never enough people and the talent is always walking out the door. South Carolina is like owning a Toyota with an engineering flaw. Just when you least expect it, you and your Camry are upside down in a ditch. In this battle of dueling metaphors, the spotlight is one again on Steve Spurrier. Can he and his coaches salvage a season that has been belching smoke since the first snap? Fortunately the chickens get Kentucky, which, as the SEC's weakest team, can't get the paper out the door. USC, 20-7

Mississippi State at UAB
Almost overnight, the Bulldogs went from trendy pick to trending badly. The Magnolia State has had better falls. And now the state's best team goes on the road to play UAB? Oh, the humanity. Bullies, 21-10



Anonymous said...

"Georgia likes to think of itself as still being elite. Tennessee, playing its first complete game of the year, reminds them they're not."


After the last few season, especially last year, show me a UGA fan that thinks we're elite. I highly doubt, if you're honest, you'll find one. You will however find many, including myself, who are impressed with what we're seeing this season, especially given we're coming off Richt's 1st losing season and an 0-2 start against top 15 competition. All credit goes to Coach Richt, who by the way earned his 100th win against the Vols at Tennessee last night, as I'm sure you're no doubt aware.

UGA may not be elite by any stretch, but we damn sure aren't who you think we are either, as a much better prognosticator explains:

Looking forward to your rebuttal.


Bud said...

As a UGA grad myself I can tell you I don't know anybody who thinks we are elite. We are not. But damn it, we won, and sent Mama's Boy Derek to the showers still looking for an SEC win. I think the Dawgs' defense is looking pretty good these days, at least as compared to the past couple of years, which is to say it's still not on a par with Bama and LSU. After the last few UGA seasons I am still reluctant to be optimistic about this team, but in the oldest cliche of all we are taking the rest of our SEC schedule one game at a time.