Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
I don't know that I would call our next game against Vanderbilt a trap games because the next big rivalry game is not until we play Florida State at the end of the month. But fans we certainly shouldn't be looking past these Commodores. Certainly we cannot be expected to generate the same excitement in our household for playing the Commodores as we did for the hated Dawgs. But the way I see it, the Commodores pose the same challenge as Miami did earlier in the year, and I know how you all felt for that game. Vandy, like Miami has a great defense. In fact there defense is more battle tested and mature than Miami's. If we go into this game flat and don't execute on offense, we could allow Vandy to hang around and possibly steal one. Vandy beat Ole Miss and South Carolina and even with several key players out on defense only lost by 10 to Georgia. However, if we execute, Vandy's lack of offense could lead to the Gators' offense being on the field for a long time and we know what that will mean: John Brantley throwing TDs in the fourth.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"In fact, Fulmer's last great win came Dec. 1, 2001, when he took his team to Gainesville to play a game postponed by the Sept. 11 attacks. In the locker room before kickoff, Fulmer told his players about captaining the 1971 Tennessee team that went 99 yards to beat the Gators in Gainesville. Tennessee was about to play the team Steve Spurrier considered his most talented ever at Florida. No one gave the Vols a chance -- except Fulmer. "Those guys put their jocks on just like you do," Fulmer said. "Those guys like the same girls that you guys like. Everything's the same. It gets back down to who wants to win it the most."
Forde also takes stock of potential upsets and counts Florida amongst the potential victims:
"What if Bobby Bowden's final home game becomes his first victory over Urban Meyer, taking the Gators out of the national-championship hunt? Chances of a Florida State upset: 33 percent."
Also by Forde:
Grind-Your-Heel GuysA quartet of coaches who aren't in it to make friends with their opponents, and sure don't mind making a few enemies:
, Florida. Calling two timeouts in the final minute of a 39-point win against Georgia? Pure payback for the 70-man end-zone celebration of 2007. But that's not all -- don't forget Meyer ordered up a field goal with 25 seconds left while beating Miami by 20 in September.
Steve Spurrier (26), South Carolina. Nobody has stuck the needle into opponents with greater frequency or more painful precision than the Head Ball Coach, who has run it up and laughed about it afterward. He hasn't had many opportunities to make jokes at the losers' expense with the Gamecocks, but Spurrier got in his shot the day after they whipped Tennessee 27-6 last weekend, kicking Smokey while he was down: "The Tennessee band was there last night, weren't they?" Spurrier asked, according to The (Columbia, S.C.) State. "I'm used to hearing 'Rocky Top' about 10 times. Did they play it at all? I can't remember any of it. Usually you hear that song, maybe they only play it after they score, I don't know. Their crowd was very quiet last night."
And The Grinded, Forde on Fulmer:
"Fulmer was outwitted by Steve Spurrier early, and by Urban Meyer and Mark Richt late. Tubby was eclipsed by Billy Donovan."
Finally, joining President-Elect Obama and Trojan-in-Chief Carroll, Forde offers his would-be 8-Team playoff scenario at this juncture:
It's Time For A ChangeNo less a voice than Barack Obama's called on Monday night for a playoff in college football. To which The Dash says hallelujah, it's time for some pressure on the ossified system from the top down.
The first round of The Dash's eight-team playoff would shape up as follows today:
Top seed and SEC champion Alabama (2) versus eighth-seeded ACC titlist North Carolina (3) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The backstory would make this interesting, since the Crimson Tide were interested in current Tar Heels coach Butch Davis as far back as 2000, when he was the coach at Miami. That was before Mike Price, before Dennis Franchione and before Mike Shula. Then Bama got it right -- royal-flush right -- with Nick Saban.
Second seed and Big Ten champion Penn State (4) versus seventh-seeded Big East winner West Virginia (5) in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Just for fun they could award the old Lambert Trophy for the best school in the East to the winner.
Third seed and Big 12 champion Texas Tech (6) versus sixth-seeded Pacific-10 champ USC (7) in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Would anyone enjoy seeing the Red Raiders' O (first nationally in passing offense, second in total offense, third in scoring) against the Trojans' D (first nationally in pass defense, first in total defense, first in scoring defense)?
(Dash apologies to Oklahoma and Utah for being the best teams left out. Y'all can console each other in, say, the Alamo Bowl.)
After that: semifinals at the Orange and Fiesta Bowls. National title in the Rose Bowl. Championship trophy presented by Dashette Irina Shayk (10).
Decide for yourself whether that playoff would generate any interest. After you've thought it over for five seconds, call the president of your favorite university and scream into the phone that you want a playoff. Do not stop screaming until you are out of breath or they have hung up on you -- and then redial and scream again.
Maybe it will come to pass by the time Tebow's kids are in college.
Or maybe it happens a little faster depending on Tuesday's election results.
"The 63-year-old Spurrier, who grew up in Tennessee rooting for the Vols, had great success during the 1990s while coaching Florida against Fulmer's Vols. He once roiled Fulmer when he said 'You can't spell Citrus without UT,' a reference to Florida's SEC dominance that left Tennessee with a lower-tier bowl appearance.
Maybe five years ago I would've [been interested in the Tennessee job], but it wasn't open five years ago,' Spurrier told The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C. 'I'm at my last gig right here [at South Carolina]. And we've got a pretty good team if we can get a little offense going.'
Monday, November 3, 2008
It's easy to root for Tech, because of Leach (and this, this, and this) and their style of play, except when they take away a BCS title slot from the Gators.
It was more than just Spurrier that did this to Fulmer, but I do remember Fulmer not being thrilled (respectfully) at the prospect of the Spur-dog returning to the SEC East (in 2005).
As we saw more and more top notch coaches joining the SEC (high paid coaches that in many cases have even won National Titles and/or coached in the NFL or at least have won elsewhere at lesser schools), and as we saw Vandy and Kentucky and Miss St get more consistently competitive, something was going to have to give...in other words, with all 12 teams having realistic expectations to seriously compete each week, there would necessarilly be some big disappointments--there are not enough wins available for LSU, Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee to all have close to the success they expect each year--and the other 5 are far from pushovers.
Even given all this, Tenn is a good coaching job. Along with good pay, a nice stadium, fan support, lots of TV and a high profile schedule, there are also good players, including a highly ranked recruiting class coming in. And even though the new coach will be following a good coach who won a title and some SECs, there is still room for plenty of improvement.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
"Grossman could not get in and out of plays. He could not check — all he knew how to check to was the bomb.”