Friday, September 19, 2008

Saturday Preview

With most of the inter-conference battling complete, its about time for conference schedules to start. Nowhere does conference play get off to more of a bang than in the Southeastern Conference, where all 5 teams ranked in the Top 10 face stiff competition. There are also many other great games across the nation, so lets take a look at whats on tap complete with the world famous GDB predictions you all love.

A lot of dumbass college football fans and announcers hype up more famous rivalries like Ohio State versus Michigan as the best there is in college football, but when it boils down to the bottom line, no game in the 21st century has mattered more in terms of relevancy and pure football talent and ability than LSU and Auburn. We've seen three national championship teams emerge victorious from this battle in the last 10 years, and such all-pro's as Glenn Dorsey, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown have cemented their legendary statuses in this annual war. The calling card of the battle of the Tigers has always been defense. Nowhere in the college football landscape will you see such a combination of pure talent, athleticism and coaching excellence on the defensive side of the ball. What this means that every game between the two teams are close, low-scoring and filled with intensity. Two years ago Auburn knocked off Jamarcus Russell and LSU 7-3 and last year LSU won on a last second touchdown in Baton Rouge. This year, the battle should be just as close as usual. While both teams come in struggling on offense, there is no shortage of talent on that side of the ball, just a lack of familiarity with new players and schemes. There has been no fall off on the defensive sides of the ball, where both teams are led by stalwart defensive lines. As always, tomorrow's matchup will be filled with brutal physicality. Lots of fans assume that low-scoring games are boring, but if you can't enjoy this game, then you need to get out of our goddamn sport and go jerk off to arena football or something.
Prediction: The passion on the field and in the stands will be incredible. Turn on ESPN at 745 to see what an SEC game in primetime is all about. All of that energy can mean one of two things early on: big plays or big mistakes. Look for a huge turnover early by the Auburn defense before both young quarterbacks settle into the game. Points will be at a premium, and the team that can run the ball most consistently will probably win. For that reason, I'm going to take LSU on the road in the upset. Charles Scott has been excellent so far this season, and Richard Murphy and Keiland Williams behind him are no slouches either. Auburn's offense is simply not ready to move the ball against a defense of LSU's caliber, and if they get more than 14 points I'll be shocked. Therefore I'm gonna take LSU on the road, 13-10, with a late field goal allowing them to pull out a thriller on the Plains.

Other Huge SEC Games

Florida at Tennessee: The best rivalry in the SEC during the 1990's has continued into the 2000's as well. Florida has gotten the better of the Vols recently, and is coming off a 39 point pasting of them last year in the Swamp. It would seem that with a healthy Percy Harvin coming back to complement Tim Tebow that another Gator victory would seem inevitable, however I can't get over the feeling that somehow the Vols are going to shock the world tomorrow. Remember last year, they got embarrased on the west coast and then ended up winning the SEC east, and the truth of the matter is that the Vols still have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. The key to tomorrow's game will be their ability to run the ball. With Arion Foster and Montario Hardesty, they have the talent to control the ball and keep Tebow and company off the field. If Tennessee commits to the run, they can keep in a close, tight affair. If they try to match big plays with Florida, then they are toast. Florida still hasn't found a running back to complement Tebow, which means he will likely have to carry the ball 20+ times tomorrow in Knoxville. If the Vols can keep the Gators one dimensional, and rely on their running backs and Gerald Jones to make the big plays, then they've got a chance in this one.
Prediction: F it, I'm going out on a limb and predicting Tennessee to score the upset. They are not as bad as they were against UCLA, and believe me they will be hyped up to prove to the world that last year was an aberration and that they aren't as shitty this year as everyone seems to think they are. The Gators didn't really impress me against Miami, and I have questions about their toughness in big games. Plus they are still really young on defense and have never faced a Knoxville crowd full of possum before. Look for the Vols to pound the ball all damn day and pull off the biggest upset of the season, 27-21.

Georgia at Arizona State: Both teams are coming off less than stellar performances last week. The Dawgs escaped with a hard fought victory over the Gamecocks while the Sun Devils were caught looking ahead to this one and ended up losing to UNLV. Tempe will be mad hyphy for this game, and one Young Swole wishes he was there to experience it along with the legendary ASU tail. Georgia has kind of been forgotten early in the season while the spotlight has gone to USC and other squads. Thats what makes this game so important. On a national stage in prime time, UGA has the chance to show that they belong with USC and Oklahoma. Thats why this game is so important not only in winning and losing, but also in perception. I have a feeling that tomorrow is when UGA puts it all together and shows off in dominating fashion against ASU. The Dawgs have the advantage on both sides of the ball in both speed and strength, and should be able to control the line of scrimmage. On offense, Moreno will run wild against a weak rush defense and on defense the pass rush will come out with a vengeance after being ridiculed all week for their wack performance against USC. Last year we made Colt Brenna cry on national tv, tomorrow night its going to be punk ass Rudy Carpenter's turn once we introduce him to Rennie Curran and a whole lot of SEC Speed.
Prediction: UGA wins big 45-22

Other Top 25 Predictions:

Temple at Penn State (16): Whats more embarrasing in Happy Valley, all the players arrests, Joe Paterno shitting himself regularly, or the early schedule Penn State has had this year? Penn State wins 48-16

Troy at Ohio State (13): Mark my words, Troy is not a bad team. They will move the ball against Ohio State with their spread offense. If OSU is still crying about their ass-whooping from last weekend, another brand of Trojans may give them more game then they were expecting. OSU wins damn close 28-26.

East Carolina (15) at NC State: The Pirates beat a Tulane team last week thats better than NC State, and the Pirates will probably have a huge rooting interest at this game. This is one of their last best chance to prove themselves against a big conference school, and they will get it done once again. ECU wins 34-16

Alabama (9) at Arkansas: The first SEC road game for all the young freshmen on the Tide. Arkansas is only going to get better as the season goes along, and they get 4 regular defensive starters back from injury this week. JP Wilson has to prevent mistakes in this game or else an upset could happen. Bama pulls away late behind a strong running game 31-21

S.C. State at Clemson (23): Stat padding game for Clemson, does nothing to prove that they aren't big bitches though. Clemson wins 52-9

Buffalo at Missouri (5): Buffalo is an improving team, but it will be a shock if Chase Daniel plays into the 4th quarter of this game. Mizzou wins 49-13

Wyoming at BYU (14): Max Hall probably won't throw for 7 td's again, but he also isn't facing a Pac-10 team this week either. 5 is probably more likely in another mormon domination. BYU cruises 45-17

Boise State at Oregon (17): Imagine if this game was played two years ago. There'd probably be over 100 points combined. This year however its a freshman QB for Boise going up against the Ducks 3rd stringer. Look for LeGarrette Blount and Jeremiah Johnson to get the ball a lot and wear down the Blue Fielders. Ducks win 38-21

Utah (20) at Air Force: I honestly don't know much about either team, but Utah would probably finish 3rd in the Pac-10 considering how shitty those teams are. Utah wins 28-17

South Florida (12) at Florida International: Any time 2 Florida teams you know it will be fun, and the Bulls have to guard against a let down after knocking off Kansas in a very emotional game last Friday. FIU will probably hang around early, before Grothe and company run away in the second half. USF wins 44-26

UMass at Texas Tech (11): The only thing more embarrasing than the Red Raiders inflated ranking is how they earned it. No wonder quarterbacks throw for 50 TD's a year in their system, they don't play anybody. Tech wins 70-13

Sam Houston at Kansas (19): Any fan that says only the SEC schedules cupcakes can STFU after seeing who these big 12 teams go up against. KU kills 63-16

Wake Forest (18) at Florida State (24): Easily the best game outside of the SEC battles. Its hard to believe that the Deacons are the proven entity and that FSU has something to prove in the game, but thats the ACC for you. Wake was lucky to beat Ole Miss at home, but they have confidence aginst the Noles since they've beaten them 3 times in a row. FSU's offense seems to have markedly improved in their second year under Jimbo Fisher's guidance, and they will have more depth in this game now that their suspensions are almost over. Their defense still swarms to the ball and will pressure Riley Skinner all day. (Quick tangent: Its bullshit that the media fawns over Tebow for his Christian beliefs and philanthropy while ignoring all that Antrel Rolle has done in his life. Go read up on the kid and tell me he's not as impressive as ESPN's love toy). This may be the game that FSU announces they are on their way back to the top, Noles win 35-24.

Rice at Texas (7): Who knows what mental state the Rice program is in after Hurricane Ike. What i do know is that Texas puts up 50 on the Owls, even though the game is a night game. Horns 55-17.

Fresno State (25) at Toledo: Pat Hill's teams usually play the big teams really tough, see USC a few years ago and Wisconsin last weekend. They also usually lose to shit tastic teams a few times a year as well. This is one of those cases. Toledo knocks off the Dawgs 38-24

(Yes, Yes, Yes, Maybe if i'm drunk, Yes, Yes, Yes)

Monday, September 15, 2008

College Football Wrap-Up

Another huge weekend of college football is in the books. Thankfully, I and the Georgia Bulldogs survived a trip to Columbia, SC. Unfortunately, many other top teams fell hard this weekend, including Ohio State in what will probably turn out to be the most overhyped game of the season. Lets take a look back and see how things broke in Week 3 of the college season

Team of the Week: USC Trojans. OK so maybe Ohio State proved once again that they are an overrated and soft team that is slow to adjust and even slower to recover, but lets not forget what USC accomplished. It wasn't that they only beat the Buckeyes, but the fact that they ripped their heart out and stomped on it was the most impressive thing about their victory. It would hard not to think they are the favorite to make the BCS Championship thanks to a weak schedule the rest of the way, but they will have to guard against complacency as they face inferior competition from here on out. But lets be honest, if the Trojans play that well each week, nobody is stopping them from Miami on January 8th.

Player of the Week: With all due respect to the sublime talents of Chase Daniel and Sam Bradford, this week's honor has to go to Max Hall of BYU. Anytime you lead your team to a 42-0 halftime lead and end up throwing for 7 td's alltogether, you have to be the player of the week. Furthermore, he helped prove to the nation that BYU is a legit contender to make a BCS game this season. Its incredible the quarterback lineage that exists in Provo, and Hall has definitely proven that he is the next great Mormon quarterback.

Wack Sauce Team of the Week: It goes without saying that this week's award goes to Ohio State. As if humiliation in the championship game the last two years wasn't enough, you have the audacity to get embarrased with the same team once again on national television. You are a squad full of inflated expectation and inflated sense of entitlement. The only reason you made those previous two title games was because you play in one of the worst conferences in America, one which is too pussy to schedule a conference championship like real conferences such as the Big 12 and SEC. Your coach is overrated. Jim Tressel still hasn't adjusted after getting reamed by Florida. Your players are overrated. Your quarterback is a journeyman at best and his ballyhooed backup isn't ready for this level yet. Your offensive line is slow and fat, your running backs and receivers are slow and unathletic and your precious little linebacker James Laurinaitis is scared of contact and isn't half the player Rennie Curran is. Go enjoy your little trip through the Big 10 and your game in the Citrus Bowl, where you will probably get dismantled by an SEC team once again. Just don't ever say you never get respected and that your going to shock the world again, because just like the state you live in, Ohio State isn't worthy of our time or respect.

Wack Sauce Conference Alert: Its funny how Pac-10 fans have argued in recent years that they are on par with conferences such as the SEC and Big 12. In all actuality, all those little ass schools are really just riding the coat tails of USC. This was proven this week in spades. Cal loses to pathetic Maryland, Arizona State loses to pathetic UNLV, both Washington schools get destroyed by Big 12 opponents too. Even UCLA, which seemed to be turning things around, got killed by 59 points in mormon country. Sure, USC was impressive, but when are they not? The bottom line is the rest of the Pac-10 schools play soft football and think too much of themselves. You will never be as good top to bottom as the SEC because you simply don't care enough to be. Just accept the fact that your conference is going to be known as the Pac-1 from now on, because the rest of you quite honestly deserve to be in the WAC.

GDB Top 10:
1. USC - Destroyed what is supposedly the best that the Big 10 has to offer. They better be careful not to get complacent though, the last time they went up to Corvallis they took a fatty L.
2. Georgia - Won a brutal game against South Carolina. I'm not going to punish them for winning like the AP did because the Cocks play us tougher than anyone on our schedule. If they go out west and obliterate Arizona State then the Dawgs will be right back up to number 2 trust me.
3. Oklahoma - Even in the touchdown highlights, it was painfully obvious how physically superior the Sooners were to Washington on Saturday. They may have the best offense in the nation right now.
4. Missouri - The Tigers haven't really played anyone yet, but their offense is outrageously good at the moment. I'm a little scared that David Maclin might be injury prone, and their defense has to get better if they want to make the Big 12 Championship.
5. Florida - Gut check time in Knoxville this week. Tennessee isn't as bad as they showed against UCLA and they will be insanely hyped to play the Gators after getting murdered by them last year. Tebow better have his superman underwear on for this one.
6. LSU - Despite the distractions from hurricanes and a new quarterback under center, LSU keeps on dominating thanks to their disgusting defense. If they can survive Auburn, they have a chance at another title.
7. Wisconsin - Huge win against a very good Fresno team. With that one out of the way and the fact that they get Ohio State and Illinois at home, the Badgers have to be considered the favorite for the Rose Bowl at the moment.
8. Texas - Their game was cancelled this week because of Hurricane Ike, and I feel this ranking is still inflated, but i can't punish them for not playing.
9. Auburn - Won an ugly game against Mississippi State. That offense hasn't clicked yet, and it doubtly will this week against LSU. Their defense is still nasty as hell though, which will keep them in every game they play.
10. Alabama - Their offense looked much better this week, but they better be careful not to look ahead to Georgia in 2 weeks or else they may suffer a similar fate that Arizona State faced.

Chase for the Heisman...Literally

With a third week of games in the books, we are inching ever-closer to that glorious time of year when the Football Bowl Subdivision teams start playing games that matter, instead of beating up on directional schools and hilarious also-rans like Nichols State and Florida International.

Front Runner: Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
Week 3: 23/38, 405 Yards, 4 TD, 0 INT.
Season: 65/90, 973 Yards, 10 TD, 1 INT.
-So long as Daniel keeps putting up video game numbers on a top-5 team, the Heisman seems his to lose. The Tigers' week 1 matchup against Illinois makes it one of the few top teams (along with UGA and USC) to have faced high-level competition early, which is another plus for Daniel.

Others In Consideration:

Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Week 3: 18/21, 304 Yards, 5 TD, 0 INT. 1 Carry, 1 Yard, 1 TD.
Season: 64/81, 882 Yards, 12 TD, 2 INT.
-Another week, another massive stat line from Young Bradford. As if tossing five scores wasn't enough, he used his legs to punch one in right on the goal line. The only thing that keeps him off Daniel's level is that OU has yet to play a challenging opponent like the Tigers have.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
Week 3: 20 Carries, 79 Yards, 1 TD
Season: 46 Carries, 306 Yards, 7 TD
-Week 3 saw rather pedestrian numbers for Moreno, at least by his standards. You can probably contribute that to his facing a tough SEC defense, the type of which he will see weekly from week 3 through the rest of the Dawgs cruel and unusual schedule.

Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
Week 3: 17/28, 172 Yards, 4 TD, 1 INT.
Season: 43/63, 510 Yards, 7 TD, 2 INT.
-The bye week did not seem to hurt USC or Sanchez much, as the Trojans gave the Buckeyes their yearly nationally-televised humiliation. Sanchez is quite efficient and is continuing the long line of impressive QB's at Southern Cal. However, he has only half the numbers of Daniel in 2/3 of the games.

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Week 3: BYE
Season: 30/49, 393 Yards, 3 TD, 0 INT. 22 Carries, 92 Yards.
-Being the incumbent winner is one of the only things keeping Tebow in this race. He will have to pick up the pace to become the first repeat winner in who knows how long, and this weekend against a injured-yet-dangerous Tennessee team is a perfect opportunity to remind the world how Tim Teabow rolls.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Week 3: 8 Catches, 164 Yards, 3 TD.
Season: 24 Catches, 395 Yards, 5 TD.
-Week 3 saw a memorable "remember me?" 3 touchdown performance by Crabtree, the best wideout in the college game. However, it might also be time to give some respect to...

Grahm Harell, QB, Texas Tech
Week 3: 31/48, 418 Yards, 5 TD, 0 INT.
Season: 93/152, 1251 Yards, 8 TD, 3 INT.
-Harell is often dismissed as a "system quarterback," but hell, whatever that system is, let me get some of that! The dude is a machine, and Crabtree presents a perfect target to throw tons of touchdowns to all year long.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
Week 3: 6 Catches, 172 Yards, 3 TD.
Season: 12 Catches, 223 Yards, 4 TD. 5 Kick Returns, 184 Yards, 1 TD.
-As the stats show, Maclin makes the most of his looks, often breaking out for huge yardage after the catch. His abilities as a special-teams threat make him doubly dangers for Mizzou's opponents.