Friday, December 5, 2008
In honor of this week's '80s video, Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al", and Chevy Chase's cameo in it, I thought it would be appropriate to post the best clip (in Earl's opinion) from one of the best movies of all-time, 1980's Caddyshack.
So, here's to Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ty Webb and Carl Spackler and to the end of the 2008 golfing season.
*Note: This is the average of all the scores and picks that the BNE staff has made.
Big XII Championship: Oklahoma 50, Missouri 31
ACC Championship: Boston College 24, Virginia Tech 18
Conference USA Championship: Tulsa 38, East Carolina 29
MAC Championship: Ball State 37, Buffalo 21
For the Pac-10 Championship: USC 58, UCLA 9
Military Classic: Navy 33, Army 17
As much as it pains the BNE crew to pick this SEC Championship Game, we will do it for the good of the blog.
BFR: Florida 37, Alabama 17. Gross, disgusting. I f***ing hate them [Gators].
Streit: Florida 38, Alabama 23. I think it will be a close game until the 2nd half, and Florida will tack on a score or two in the 4th quarter to put it out of reach. If Percy Harvin is limited or doesn't play, Alabama has more of a chance.
Earl: Florida 27, Alabama 23. The Gators win, but don't cover the spread. Alabama has been hearing about how good the Gators are for an entire month now. That's great motivation for Saban and Co. If Florida had a lesser coach, I would take Alabama to the bank. But Urban's excellent too. And Florida's talent puts them over the top as Tebow wills it at the end.
BulldawgJosh: Alabama 34, Florida 28. I hate both of these teams...I-hate-them-so-much...I can't encompass in written words how much I hate both of them, and I have to do it at the same time. These two groups combined means an arrogant and delusional apocalypse is upon us this weekend.
The Tide will not roll over, except to roll over on Teblowme. Rammer Jammer Yellow Bananer.
Bubba: Alabama 28, Florida 27. Logic would say pick Florida because Alabama isn't going to score over 30 points. It is going to take a strong defensive gameplan from Saban and Co. to deny the Gators. Look for Bama to make a couple of strong Red Zone stands and force a turnover or two. Florida may not be ready to take a couple of blows in the face, and the Tide should come out motivated and swinging.
Sarah Jessica Parker Wilson is terrible in the Jon England/Mike Usry mold. Hopefully, JPW can look forward to a career as a landlord as well.
Note: I've picked against Florida twice this season and they've made me look pretty bad by blowing out both Tennessee and LSU.
In Conclusion: Florida 3, Alabama 2 with an average score of
Florida 31, Alabama 25.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
1999 SEC Championship Game: Alabama 34, Florida 7. Alabama claimed its first SEC title since 1992 and defeated the favored Florida Gators for the second time that year, beating them earlier in the Swamp.
Obviously, the signature play of this game was Freddie Milons run at about 0:58 in which he lined up at QB in the shotgun. It was the play that gave Alabama the confidence to win this game. That, and they were playing against The Bachelor Jesse Palmer.
Will Alabama have such a play on Saturday? Or will they ride Glen Coffee and Mark Ingram like Shaun Alexander?
Hey, anybody who beat Steve Spurrier twice in one year is okay by me.
Alabama went on to lose the Orange Bowl to Michigan 35-34 in OT on a missed extra point. And Florida went to lose the Citrus Bowl (Capital One) to Michigan State and Plaxico Burress. Better times for Plaxico indeed.
By the way, Bobby Williams was the interim head coach of that Michigan State team as Nick Saban had already accepted the head coaching position at LSU for the 2000 season.
Looks like it all connects...
SEC Statistical Rankings
As expected, Florida and Alabama dominate as the statistical leaders in the SEC. Of the 31 major categories which are tracked on the SEC’s statistics web site, either Florida or Alabama ranks first in 21 of those categories. In the following categories, the teams hold the first and second spot:
Scoring Offense – Florida 1, Alabama 2 (tied with Georgia)
Scoring Defense – Alabama 1, Florida 2
Rushing Offense – Florida 1, Alabama 2
3rd Down Conversion % - Florida 1, Alabama 2
Turnover Margin – Florida 1, Alabama 2
Pass Efficiency Defense – Florida 1, Alabama 2
Opponents’ First Downs – Alabama 1, Florida 2
Fourth Down Conversions – Alabama 1, Florida 2
Other categories where the two teams were also ranked closely to each other were:
Total Defense: Alabama 1, Florida 3
Rushing Defense: Alabama 1, Florida 3
Pass Defense: Florida 3, Alabama 5
Punt Return Average: Florida 2, Alabama 3
Kickoff Coverage: Florida 6, Alabama 7
Sacks Allowed: Florida 3, Alabama 4
Alabama and Florida shared 6 common opponents during the 2008 season. Here’s a look at each of those games, how each divisional champion fared, and which team’s victory was more impressive.
- Alabama : Win, 41-30
- Florida : Win, 49-10
Both of these games were blowouts, with the Alabama and Florida each clearly dominating one half of the respective football game. The Crimson Tide opened a huge 31-0 lead on the Dawgs in the first half and cruised to victory (despite some late garbage time touchdowns for Georgia ). Florida turned a close game at half into a complete destruction and without a late touchdown pass from Joe Cox would have landed an almost 50 point victory.
The Georgia Blackout failed miserably against the Crimson Tide.
- Alabama : Win, 24-20
- Florida : Loss, 31-30
Both teams struggled with Houston Nutt’s surprising Rebels team. Alabama jumped out to a 24-3 lead at half and was able to hold off 17 unanswered points from Ole Miss to win 24-20. Florida struggled to find a rhythm with its offense and a missed extra point ended up being the difference as the Gators fell 31-30.
Ole Miss stopped Tebow on a fourth and 1 and the celebration was on.
- Alabama : Win, 27-21(OT)
- Florida : Win, 51-21
Florida destroyed the Tigers, building a huge first half lead and never looking back (and getting some revenge for the loss in Death Valley last year). Nick Saban’s first trip back to the Bayou was ugly, as the emotion was almost enough to push the Tigers to victory. But a costly mistake by Jarrett Lee in OT led to the winning TD for the Tide.
- Alabama : Win 49-14
- Florida : Win, 38-7
Alabama jumped out to a huge 35-7 lead at the half and cruised to a big victory over the Hogs. Florida struggled in the first half, but poured it on in the second half (scoring 21 points in the fourth after some careless Arkansas interceptions).
- Alabama : Win, 29-9
- Florida : Win, 30-6
Alabama kept the rival Vols from putting points on the board while earning a workman like 29-9 victory on the Third Saturday in October (that was actually the fourth Saturday in October). Florida scored 17 points in the first, but if not for two UT turnovers inside the Gators’ 5, the game might have been a different story.
- Alabama : Win, 17-14
- Florida : Win, 63-5
Alabama looked sluggish coming off the big win over Georgia and barely held on to defeat the Wildcats in Tuscaloosa. The Gators used multiple blocked kicks to set up touchdowns in a complete destruction of Kentucky in the Swamp.
Final Tally: Alabama 2, Florida 2, Push 2
On paper, these teams look to be very similar. No team holds a distinct advantage either statistically or in common opponent victories. This game will most likely come down to which team forces the other team to make mistakes. I look for a close game at half, but the Gators’ offense to be too strong in the second half.
Prediction: Florida 38, Alabama 23
The song describes a man going through an identity crisis and we can all agree the the UGA defense is going through an identity crisis right now. Chevy Chase is also my favorite movie star of the 1980's and I really wanted to use this music video.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The first being the inaugural SEC Championship Game in 1992. It was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. You know, the stadium in which Alabama used to play half their home games, and call it neutral when Auburn used to play them there every year. This neutral stadium for the SEC Championship Game had a statue of Bear Bryant just outside the front gates.
It was about as neutral as Jacksonville, Florida. (Now, I know you Georgia fans will jump all over me for that.)
Alabama would defeat Florida 28-21 in 1992 and go on to win the National Championship in the Sugar Bowl (remember when the SEC Champion went to the Sugar Bowl every year...good times) over Miami.
Alabama's 1992 defense was unlike any defense seen in the past 25 years. Dominating DE's Eric Curry and John Copeland took over games. And Antonio Langham was a stud DB as proven at the end of this clip from the 1992 SEC Championship Game.
Ironically, ABC's Bob Griese, at about 1:25, says that Alabama has "just too much speed" for Florida. And that's what analysts are saying in 2008, just vice versa.
Alabama would go on to forfeit all of its games from the 1992 season due to agent involvement with some of its players, particularly Antonio Langham.
This is a raw deal for Texas, but the Longhorns are doing a pretty good job of dealing with this situation. While they are sinking into madness in some instances, I think it is understandable to a point. Texas fans need to remember that the only thing they can do at this point is win their bowl game and then complain and hope the AP listens. As I said with Georgia last year, there's no reason to whine now and then lose your bowl game. Doing so will make you look like you didn't belong in the conversation in the first place (such as Michigan in 2006).
While I do think Texas being left out is ridiculous, I do not blame the BCS. It is not the BCS' job nor its intention to determine the participants in conference championships. This decision was the Big 12's, so they created their own problem. Every conference uses BCS rankings at some point for a tie breaker, and I think it's understandable that conferences would use it in some form in order to not leave this thing up to a coin flip (which I believe was next), or some sort of obstacle course game show tournament.
Again, I'm getting ahead of myself. Everyone lambasting the BCS for having failed this year reminds me that nothing's actually been decided yet
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
How can you take away a rivalry that included the "real" Game of the Century in 1971? Nebraska's Johnny Rodgers basically won the Heisman Trophy with this punt return.
The current Big XII system rotates teams on a 3-and-3 basis whereas Oklahoma, for example, plays three North division teams for two years, and then plays the other three North division teams the next two years and back and forth.
The Big XII made a big flaw without including the one old rivalry game like Oklahoma-Nebraska every year. I understand why though. The Big XII welcomed four teams in 1996, while the SEC welcomed only two teams in 1992. And all four new Big XII teams are located in the South division. So, the Big XII just didn't have as many old rivalries to preserve as the SEC.
However, I believe that Oklahoma-Nebraska trumps the idea of a 3-an-3 rotating Big XII schedule. The next step would be to ask Oklahoma State, as the only other South division school that was a former Big 8 member, to select a North division school to play every year. And then use the biggest overall traditions from there on out. For example, Texas would play whomever was left in the North with the greatest overall record historically.
Just a thought...at least Oklahoma and Nebraska played each other this year...
Some of the things I enjoy most about college football are things like the argument in the Big XII South this season. In college basketball, it wouldn't matter because each team involved in the three-way tie (Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech) would get into the 65-team postseason tournament. But, not so in college football, and I think that makes it great.
BulldawgJosh briefly posted something on the Big XII South last week in between rants against the Nerds. Most of his discussion centered around the BCS and how people yell and scream too much before everything has played out. And then he briefly gave his opinion about how Texas should play for the Big XII Championship, which I'm sure is an opinion that is held by many people because of the Longhorns' victory in Dallas this year.
I can respect that head-to-head opinion.
But, unfortunately for the Longhorns, it is a three-way tie not a two-way tie that so many Texas fans desparately want it to be. I'm of the opinion that all three teams have to be taken into account even if Texas Tech is the lowest ranked team in the BCS. You just can't simply ignore them. The Red Raiders might as well have not played the games then.
Should the Sooners, Longhorns or Red Raiders play Mizzou for this trophy?
And that's the reason why I like the Big XII BCS tiebreaker more than the SEC & ACC BCS tiebreaker. We all remember the SEC East race in 2003 when the BCS tiebreaker was first incorporated. The SEC tiebreaker states that it takes the top 2 teams in the BCS, and if they are separated by 5 spots or less, then it's a head-to-head matchup.
That would've led the Big XII to place Texas in its championship game. I just can't get by the third team, though. And Texas lost to them.
Let me also take the time to explain I don't like the BCS playing a role in determining conference champions at all. Non-conference games shouldn't be a factor in the conference standings. I thought college football did away with this attitude years ago when it eliminated the possibility of non-conference games like Georgia vs. Clemson sometimes counting towards the SEC standings when Georgia fell short of enough SEC games. (This sounds crazy, but it's true. And it happened quite frequently in the 1970s and earlier. SEC teams wouldn't always play the same number of SEC games as each other.) The idea of non-conference games playing a role in the conference standings was stupid then and it's stupid now.
I would much rather see conferences adopt another tiebreaker like the overall point differential in conference games only, something that ABC's Brent Musberger suggested on Saturday night during the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game. I can understand if you don't like Musberger, but I liked the idea. He probably stole it anyway.
I don't know who that would place as the winner of the Big XII South, although I would guess Oklahoma with the way they've been scoring points this season. (Writer's Note: It would place Oklahoma in the championship game. Oklahoma's Big XII point differential is 24.3; Texas is at 18.6; and Texas Tech is at 12.6.)
In the end, all three teams have legitimate arguments to be Big XII South Champion. Only one team can go, though, and I have no problem with Oklahoma respresenting its division.
Remember Texas fans, it's a THREE-way tie, not a two-way tie.
Texas won't be seeing this sign anytime soon, but it might see a "2008 National Champions" sign in Miami. And if that happens, the Georgia fans should be kicking and screaming about 2007.
Sidenote: If the Big XII had adopted the same rule as the SEC & ACC, then technically Oklahoma could've thrown its game against Oklahoma State, allowing Texas Tech to play in the Big XII Championship. Under that rule, Oklahoma wouldn't have had a shot at all of winning the South division given that Texas had already completed its season before Saturday night, and was already in position in the BCS Standings.
Who would Oklahoma rather have play in the Big XII Championship: Texas or Texas Tech? And Texas, Oklahoma's hated rival, would've had the chance to play for the National Championship too, wheras Texas Tech probably would not have had that same chance.
I'm not saying that Oklahoma would ever throw a football game, especially if it would knock them out of the National Championship hunt too. But, it does create a moral dilemma.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I'm listening to the Lane Kiffin press conference at the moment, and I gotta say I am thoroughly impressed so far with his answers to all of the questions being thrown at him.
He is showing a lot of respect to the university, the program, Fulmer, and the job itself.
He has repeatedly said how great everything is at UT, and that he is blown away by the facilities and alumni support this school has compared to when he first went to USC as an assistant.
He just said, "My agent won't want me to say this, but I'm not going back to the NFL. Not because of anything about the NFL, but because of Tennessee."
One of the biggest concerns I had with him coming into this job was that he would not view it as a destination job. I figured his background and youth would lead him somewhere else in a few years if he experience success.
Well, if you put weight into what he is saying at this press conference, he just completely shattered any thoughts of not understanding the magnitude of taking over a program like UT.
The biggest concern Vols fans have had is the ability for a new coach to recruit nationally. Kiffin is just throwing out candy to any Vols fans about how he wants to close off the state and build upon the national recruiting he did at Tennessee. He also had some great answers to a question about how he would recruit in the south and the SEC.
I have to think that his statement on closing off the state is a hint that he will not give up on Marlon Brown in Memphis, who is reportedly down to choosing between UGA and UT.
He also said that he couldn't wait to hear Rocky Top after a victory over Floriduh next year. Wow. Either he's as arrogant as Urban Meyer or he doesn't know what he's in for.
The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that he will have a 5 or 6 year contract worth $2 million a year, and that it will increase to $2.75 million by the end of the contract.
While I give my hats off to Tech's players and their coaching staff for playing great, never giving up, and showing a new determination and attitude on the field (as I said here last week that their confidence was the thing that worried me the most), Tech overall as a program is still inferior to us and other institutions.
When I read in articles like this about how their number one goal coming into the season wasn't to win their division or conference, but to beat an in-state rival that isn't in their conference, it just shows the lower status of their program.
I understand how badly Tech wanted to win this game. We have a similar situation with Floriduh. However, our priorities would be out of whack to want a win over the Gators versus a conference championship (except for wanting to beat them as a necessity to lead us to a conference title).
Furman Bisher even states it plainly here that they would prefer this victory over a trip to Tampa.
I truly understand their point, even if it is just a priority for this year. You don't want to lose this game again, and perhaps you didn't think you could win your division. Still, having this as their main priority shows that Tech's program isn't as great as they wish it would be, or as much as the AJC wants it to be.
I don't think Paul Johnson is a dumb man, and I don't believe he would state this as his goal because he truly values such a win instead of a division and/or conference title. However, I do believe he realized it was an easy way to play into the mindset of the Tech fan base and boosters, who have shown to have their priorities out of whack (such as not wishing to interview Muschamp because UGA was his alma mater).
Statements by pundits about how Tech has arrived, how they are the number one team in the ACC(obviously they aren't since they won't be playing this week), are pretty much invalid at this point.
I respect Tech's win on the field this year, and they should brag for winning after SEVEN long years of losing to their most hated rival.
However, Tech still hasn't made that next step because their own mindset is preventing them from doing so.
Johnson is the right coach to change that mindset and re-adjust their priorities to make their program legitimate again. However, it will ultimately be up to their fan base to realize they should listen to him, and that will be difficult. Delusion dies hard.
(Editor's Note: This can be classified as my bitterness post).
For every Dawg fan that didn't hate Tech, and thought of them as a little brother to smack around once a year, do you hate them now?
I've always felt that Bubba was one of the few Georgia fans I knew that had a huge hatred from the piss and white from North Avenue. Most disliked or hated Tech, but did so in a relaxed manner. Spoiled by winning and short memories, too many people began to take this game for granted. We all have our reasons for hating one team or another, but our 7 year domination caused too much content.
I hope the above picture shows why you should hate Tech and their non-female, nerd filled student population.
Once again, their team tore apart the hedges after a victory in Sanford. If only I had a ladder to reach the bowl game banners Tech holds so dear, then maybe there would be something actually worth taking from Bobby Dodd.
Hate Tech. Never Stop, not for even one day, one minute, or one second.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Mr. Massaquoi, thank you for all you have done for our university. Yesterday, you left everything out on that field. You put us ahead in the game, and you kept us in the game when things went rough (just as you did this entire year).
Over four years, you have come to epitomize what it means to be a Georgia Bulldawg and we just want to say THANK YOU for being a Bulldawg.
Thank you, MO MASS!!!