Friday, October 15, 2010

80's Music Video of the Week, 2 for 1: Ozzy & Mike + The Mechanics

Short on time this week, but we do have two wonderful selections for you since there's been an absence of videos stemming from our trip to Colorado.

Your get two treats today come from a metal god and pop/soft rock all-stars of the 1980's:

Ozzy Osbourne's 1983 hit, "Bark At The Moon," (fitting for this weekend's coronation).

Mike + The Mechanics 1986 gem, "All I Need Is A Miracle," (fitting, given our performance this year).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BNE 3rd Annual Pick 'Em: Week 6

Well, its the half-way point of the 2010 season. Six games down, and only 7 more to go to find out who will be making the trek to Atlanta in December. Week 6 proved to be a deciding factor in the race to the top, with only Auburn and LSU escaping unscathed and undefeated. Both Tigers now represent the SEC's best shot of having a contender in the BCS Title provided one remains undefeated. If Auburn wins this week, and assuming LSU can overcome FCS McNeese State, Jordan-Hare Stadium will turn into "Thunderdome" on October 23rd. "Two men enter, one man leave." Then again, if no one remains undefeated after Atlanta, there is a high likelihood of the SEC missing out at a shot for another BCS title.
Can he lead the Tigers and the SEC to the promised land?
Outside of an undefeated Tiger team running the tables (i.e. 2004 Auburn), who will we see emerge from the SEC East? Going into the season, Florida looked like a re-loaded title contender, with a SUC team not far behind followed by a fresh crop of talent at UGA. Six games in and Florida looks to be facing an identity crisis and out of the hunt, UGA is facing a probable break-even record at best, and SUC has risen to the top after stunning #1 Bama. But who knows what can happen? Can SUC hold on and make it to the Dome, or will UGA's win and offensive spark start a fire and send UGA to the top? Maybe the presence of new Uga VIII, Big Bad Bruce, will help lay to rest the ghost of uncertainty in Athens.
11 month old, 55lb, Big Bad Bruce will be collared as Uga VIII this weekend
In the rest of the college football world, I have to say that Air Force is one of the most underrated teams. Each Saturday, this team manages to win games using only the spread option and a speedy yet small defense. The Falcon nearly upset OU, are 5-1 and dominating everyone in front of them with the #1 rushing attack in the country. If that doesn't impress you, don't forget that each of these players will continue on into military service after graduating. Look for Air Force to keep rolling and pose a serious threat for upset champion in the Mountain West.
Asher Clark is carrying the Falcons to wins
In the Big 12, the race is down to OU and Nebraska in my mind. I'll give the Huskers the edge for the same reason I like the Falcons: fast offensive football and a tough D. Nebraska owns the second best rushing attach in FBS and their defense is ranked 4th in points allowed. After seeing Oklahoma squeak by lesser opponents, I can see the Sooners being stopped cold by the Husker's D. Count on Tom Osbourne and Nebraska for the rest of the season.
True freshman Taylor Martinez: 660 yds passing, 737 yds rushing. Boo-yah!
When the rest of the Midwest isn't watching the Big 12 dissolve, they're watching the Big 10-11-12. Michigan looked like it was going to run away on the back of Denard Robinson before being stopped by rival Michigan State. Now its Sparty and Brutus rolling towards an undefeated season and a shot at the National Title. But let's be honest, both of these teams will fall before the end of the year, and I leave it to you to call the upset.
Its inevitable
Outside of the Big conferences, we find FSU running wild in a weak and mediocre ACC. Yeah, nothing much else to say there. Even more depressing is the Big East. In the Big East we have...the Big East is being dominated by...Seriously? Syracuse?! Um, right. Moving right along...

The Pac 10. Oh the Pac 10! Sarkisian and the purple Kool-aid drunk Huskie nation. Lame Kiffin and his Lame-duck Trojans and their beaten and bruised defense are still a young team finding their way. Stanford and Arizona had promise only to slip up to the top two teams of the West: Oregon State and Oregon. Since OSU is 3-2, we know who is the real top of the heap. Say it with me now, "I believe in Chip Kelly, I love Nike Pro Combat, I envy uniform variations to the Nth degree, my favorite colors is forest green, and I love fast attack football". The Ducks are the team to beat. Chip Kelly has the Ducks running on the 4th best rushing attack, scoring more points per game than any other team, while allowing an average of 16 points per game. By the end of the season, the Ducks and their uniforms of metal, winged, logo covered, neon yellow, green, black...oh forget it! Look for the Quack Attack in Glendale and don't pick against them.
Come on, embrace the Duck...and his friend.
I have to say, I'm very proud of our readers for how well everyone has done thus far in the pick 'em. An average of 972 points and more than half of the group has a winning record. This is by far the best year of picks. Let's keep it up!

And now for our top 5 leaders for the week followed by our overall leaders:
  1. Bubba with 176 points and a 15-7 record
  2. ugafan13 just two points behind at 174 points at 13-9
  3. Silver Britches with 172 points and 15-7
  4. Earl's Girl with 171 points and also 15-7
  5. WarriorDawg with 169 points and a 14-8 record
Our overall leaders:
  1. woof woof with 1386 points and a 101-37 record
  2.  AUMav's Picks with 1341 points and a 101-37 record
  3.  Silver Britches with 1336 points going 102-36
  4.  BLACKOUT with 1300 points going 100-38 
  5. allyugadawg with 1325 points and a 100-38 record
I'd also like to give an honorable mention to BNE's Streit, who has managed to compile a league-best 103-35 record so far this season, placing him 2nd overall from the BNE staff, and the top 15 of all pickers.

Moving from our warm and fuzzy honorable mention, we come to our weekly dishonorable mention, The Bottom Feeder of the Week,  which is sponsored by Capitol Nashville's new album, Charleston, SC 1966 by Darius Rucker. Moving into the bottom position this week is G.D.. You managed only 129 points on an 11-11 record. I know 'We All Fall Down' and I know you thought you 'Might Get Lucky' by picking Washington over Arizona, but you need to stop drinking the purple Kool-aid 'In a Big Way'. Secondly, 'The Craziest Thing' and 'Things I'd Never Do' is continue picking BYU, especially 'This' week. Its not too late, you can turn things around. Give a listen to Darius's new album Charleston, SC 1966 and listen to the lyrics and the soulful voice describe his soul searching as he matures and moves into his prime. Give it a shot and this week might just be your 'Come Back Song'.
This album is great to listen to on the way to games
Keep it going folks. Don't forget to get your picks in and I'll be back next week after we make the turn.

A Sort of Homecoming: A Brief Vanderbilt Preview

Normally, the Dawgs enter the month of October in the middle of the SEC race with annual showdown in Jacksonville just a few weeks a way. While all the pagentry associated with Homecoming is taking place, the Dawgs often struggle to put their overmatched opponent (usually Vanderbilt or a bad out of conference school) away. But something is different this year.

With a 2-4 record, any hopes of a Georgia bowl game this year pretty much hang on every contest. While Georgia typically handles Vanderbilt year in and year out, we can't forget 2006 when a struggling Georgia team lost to Vandy on homecoming.

After the drubbing of Tennessee last week, I feel somewhat safe to say that the team will once again handle Vanderbilt without issue this week. Aaron Murray has played great thus far, but has yet notched his first 300 yard passing game. With Caleb King suspended, the Georgia passing game will carry more of the load this weekend. The defense should continue to play well against the run, but that doesn't mean the big pass plays will end.

My prediction: Georgia 38, Vanderbilt 17

Monday, October 11, 2010

Struggle Bowl 2010: Thoughts on Tennessee

Coming into the game on Saturday, Tennessee and Georgia looked to be two teams with bad records who had major issues with their teams. After the Dawgs 41-14 victory, it is clear as bad as the Georgie Bulldogs may be this season, they have no where near the issues that Tennessee has right now. Tennessee is a bad football team, plain and simple, but let's not discount the performance that the Georgia Bulldogs put up on Saturday.

A common complaint of Georgia football over the last few years has been that despite its overall success in the won-loss department, the Dawgs rarely beat bad teams as badly as they should. Games against school like UAB, Marshall, and Georgia Southern immediately come to mind when I think about Georgia underachieving against an inferior opponent. And while Georgia was playing Tennessee, a conference rival who destroyed the Dawgs in Knoxville last year, they did exactly what you are supposed to do to a bad team: get out to an early lead and never look back.

I've already written a lot this season about Aaron Murray. The kid is an amazing talent and he definitely seems to have "it". The 35 yard touchdown run was great for two reasons:
1. All of receivers were covered. Instead of trying to squeeze a pass into coverage, he made the logical choice to tuck the ball and run
2. It really showed his athleticism. He blew right past a couple of defenders and found his was into the end zone. Stafford could run a little bit, but he had no where near the quickness that Murray has.
I can honestly say, Murray really only made one bad throw all day (when he missed an open Orson Charles over the middle of the field). the pass that was almost picked off was tipped by AJ and Tavarres King dropped an easy touchdown in the end zone. If there wasn't a kid named Lattimore over at South Carolina, we would be talking about the leader for SEC freshman of the year.

We all have criticized Bobo's playcalling in recent weeks, but this was an excellently called game. Recievers over the middle, 3 and 4 wide sets, and running the ball outside of the tackles. Because of the Tennessee turnovers, Georgia had a short field for much of the first half, or the offensive numbers may have been a lot higher than they ended up.

Grantham's defense also showed that they can definitely stop teams from running it down our throats. Even if you took out the -20 yards on the bad snap, the Vols would only have around 30 yards rushing. The thing I like most was the tackling. We did not see the plague of missed tackles we had seen in recent weeks.

While there were a lot of positives, Georgia still needs a lot of work if we hope to get bowl eligible this year. When Justin Houston missed a sack on Matt Simms, a receiver was left wide open for one of the two Tennessee touchdowns. We still can't cover the wheel route and for some reason, there still seems to be way too many wide open targets. On offense, the running game struggled to get going again. King looked good, but his arrest for failing to appear in court puts his status in question for next week. Ealey once again fumbled the ball inside the 5 yards line (luckily, it went out of bounds this time).

This game was about redemption for Georgia. They got a little revenge for the beating in Knoxville last year and finally beat a team that clearly has less talent. While this doesn't heal all wounds, it certainly helps. I would expect the same intesity this Saturday with Vandy coming to town, but unfortunately with this team, you never know.