Friday, September 23, 2011

10 Things About Ole Miss and This Week's Prediction

Georgia will be in Oxford tomorrow to take on the lowly Rebels of Mississippi. Is it fair to call them lowly? When you just got drubbed 30-7 by Vanderbilt and you don't play in division 1-AA or the WAC, then yes. Here are 10 things to know about Ole Miss:

1. Their mascot is now the Ole Miss Black Bear. This is after they got rid of Colonel Reb and they had students vote on who the new mascot should be. The bear won over the likes of the land shark. They should have went with Admiral Ackbar (damn you George Lucas!)

2. They haven't won a conference championship since 1963. That is a long time for a team that some consider to be a good football school.

3. They replaced Coach O with Houston Nutt and after winning back to back Cotton Bowls after the 2008 and 2009 seasons, the Rebels have looked terrible. Maybe they should have kept Coach O and the wild boyz.

4. While I have never been to the Grove, I have heard it is amazing. Too bad the campus administrators took away Georgia's only area that was even remotely close (North Campus).

5. That being said, why the hell do Ole Miss fans hang chandeliers under the tents at tailgates. It just seems strange.

6. Eli Manning was better than college than he has been in the NFL, but in college they couldn't win a conference championship, let alone a national title. In the NFL, Eli helped the Giants beat the undefeated Patriots.

7. Dexter McCluster and Patrick Willis are two of my favorite SEC players of all time. I loved watching Willis club people with the cast on his hand during his senior year.

8. Ole Miss has put up horrible numbers on both offense and defense this year against pathetic competition. They are probably better than the numbers indicate. But Georgia's defense is also much better than the statistics indicate (especially scoring defense).

9. I can't name a single current Ole Miss player off the top of my head right now. That is how bad they are.

10. Georgia should not lose this game. This would be about on the level of losing to Colorado last year.

Georgia 41, Ole Miss 20

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Streit’s Radical Realignment

Conference expansion is clearly the hottest topic in college football these days. And while it is fun to speculate about who will be the 14th team in the SEC or how the heck the Big East is going to survive, I think it is more fun to think of how things would be done different if there was a clean slate. Between the BCS vs. Playoff debate and the calls to blow up the NCAA all together, here is my radical take on what college football could look like if they did away with the current conferences.

A couple of notes:

  • The “conferences” are created based strictly on geographical location. I tried to group states together providing a good balance of strong teams and weaker ones.

  • States that have multiple D1 schools in them will always see those schools in the same conference. For example, if there were two teams from Vermont, one would not be in conference A while the other in conference B.

  • There are a total of 11 conferences, featuring 10 schools. A total of 110 schools are represented, with 108 being current FBS schools. The other two schools are programs I could see as moving to D1 in the near future (Georgia Southern and Appalachian State).

  • Each conference will be divided into two divisions.

The conferences

  • Southeast (Georgia and Florida): Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Florida, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida International

  • Tobacco Road (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina): Virginia, Virginia Tech, UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina, Appalachian State, South Carolina, Clemson

  • Deep South (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana): Alabama, Auburn, Troy, UAB, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, LSU, Tulane, Louisiana Tech

  • Red River (Texas and Oklahoma): Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, SMU, Baylor, UTEP, Rice, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Tulsa

  • Southwestern (New Mexico, Arizona, California): New Mexico, New Mexico State, Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Fresno State, San Diego State, USC, Stanford, UCLA

  • Pacific (Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada): Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Boise State, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, UNLV, Wyoming

  • Western (Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska): Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State, BYU, Utah, Utah State, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska

  • Northern (Minnesota,Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana): Minnesota, Iowa, Iowas State, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ball State, Purdue, Notre Dame

  • Great Lakes (Ohio, Michigan): Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Toledo, Miami (OH), Bowling Green, Ohio

  • East (Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia): Arkansas, Arkansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Memphis, MTSU, West Virginia, Marshall

  • New England (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut): Penn State, Pitt, Temple, Maryland, Navy, Boston College, Army, Syracuse, Rutgers, UCONN


11 regular season games: 4 against division, 4 against teams from the other division (this rotates each year), 3 non-conference games. Each team will have 1 permanent out of conference rivalry. The other two games can only be scheduled against other division 1 teams.

Conference Championships: Winner of each division play for the conference championship and first round bye in playoffs.

Playoffs, week 1 : 11 conference runner ups eligible – Top ten will be selected based on some type of ranking (be it a selection committee). No one can complain that much since they all had the chance to earn an automatic bid the week before.

Playoffs, weeks 2 -4: All teams are re-seeded into 16 team tournament (11 conference champions and 5 winners from week 1).

National Championship Game and Bowls: During the first week of January, bowl games are held culminating with national championship game.

So this is my radical realignment. Of course it will never happen. This is all for fun, so don’t be too hard on me in the comments. I would love to hear your ideas as well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When We Last Met: Ole Miss Edition

The last meeting between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels was during the 2007 season. It was a game that showed the potential that would be realized down the stretch that year, but it was before the debacle that was the 2007 game in Knoxville. Interestingly enough, this game started out looking like it would be a Georgia loss.

Ole Miss already had a 7-0 lead when they drove to the Georgia one yard line. But before they could go in for the two score lead, a fumble by Ole Miss QB Seth Adams lead to a Georgia recovery. From there on, the game was all Georgia.

Many of us remember the great year that Knowshon Moreno had in 2007 and we often forget the accomplishments of then senior Thomas Brown. The Ole Miss game was arguably the best game of Brown's career, as he rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns on only 16 carries. Add in 90 yards and touchdown from Knowshon Moreno and 43 yards from walk-on Kalvin Daniels, and the Dawgs finished with 328 yards rushing on the day. This was the first game under Coach Richt where the Dawgs rushed for over 300 yards.

After falling behind early, the Dawgs defense played solidly throughout the remainder of the game. They forced two turnovers (the fumble in the first quarter and later, a Brondon Miller interception) and held Ole Miss to single second half touchdown.

Final Score: Georgia 45, Ole Miss 17

Coach O is still crying


Monday, September 19, 2011

Carolina is Done, On to Mississippi

The Georgia Bulldogs completed their two game set against schools from South Carolina on Saturday with a 59-0 domination of Coastal Carolina. And while everyone expected the Dawgs to easily dispatch the Chanticleers, they did in convincing fashion which has not been the norm for Georgia against cupcake schools. This was a domination in every sense of the word and it was just what the Dawgs needed after two tough opponents to open the season. Just a couple of quick observations:
  • The burst that Crowell had on his first quarter touchdown was ridiculous. This kid is the real deal, both running past people and through them. Let's hope for 20 touches this week.
  • The line was dominating. Even though they did not record a sack, they were making plays in the backfield and keeping the quarterback on the run from start to finish.
  • Blair Walsh has some issues right now. One second he misses a 35 yards, the next he makes it from 56. One kickoff looks horrible, the next sails through the back of the end zone. We need him to get this right.
  • Great game by Shawn Williams filling in at ILB. It makes me feel a lot better about facing Miss State without Ogletree.
  • Aaron Murray is struggling right now. He throws into coverage too much and seems to have lost the ability to throw on the run. Wasn't that one of strengths last year?
  • Happy to see Ray Drew finally make his debut. He looked pretty good, making a few tackles and getting some good pressure on the QB.
Lots of freshmen played and some backups, including Hutson Mason, got some work. Overall, it was a near perfect game between the hedges. This week, the Dawgs head to Oxford for the first of two games against the state of Mississippi. In 2006, Georgia swept Mississippi, but only after struggling in both contests. Ole Miss is coming off a bad loss to Vanderbilt and looks to be the weakest team in the conference this season. Hopefully the Dawgs can pick up their first SEC win of the season and continue the improvements we have seen over the last two weeks.

A couple of other thoughts:
  • I attended the most insane high school football game I have ever seen in the Georgia Dome on Saturday night. It was my high school (South Gwinnett) vs. my wife and step brother's high school (Central Gwinnett). The final score was South 63, Central 55. The game featured over 1,300 yards of offense between the two teams, ten turnovers, and about 40 penalties. Apparently, no one plays defense in high school football anymore (I'm kidding, just not in this game). Malaci(sp) Jones, the younger brother of Notre Dame wideout TJ Jones, had like 280 yards and five touchdowns. We need to make this kid an offer.
  • Penn State has to score late to beat Temple. Ohio State gets beaten by Miami. And Notre Dame knocks off Michigan State. People want to talk about the SEC East being down, but they need to be talking about the Big Ten getting beat up as well.
  • Pitt and Syracuse are joining the ACC...and I don't really care. This definitely feels like a basketball move. The Big East is pretty much dead. The team I feel bad for is TCU, who was finally moving to a major conference only to see that conference dissolve before they get there. Maybe Boise State will them come back to the MWC. With the ACC growing, don;t expect any of those schools to jump to the SEC. West Virginia or Missouri are the most likely candidates for team #14.
  • Florida State is back...almost.
  • What a devastating injury for Justin Hunter of Tennessee. That leaves Tyler Bray with only Da'Rick to throw to. We'll see how is stats hold up.
  • LSU at West Virginia on Saturday night in Morgantown is going to be a hell of a scene.
And lastly, I want to mention that Georgia alum Kyle Chandler won the Emmy last night for his portrayal of Coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights. I have mentioned quotes from the show numerous times on the blog and it was one of my favorite shows on TV. I was sad to see it end, but glad to finally see Chandler's excellent performance recognized.