Georgia Versus Appalachain State, Two Marquee Games in Week 11

The Bulldogs Face a Cupcake on Homecoming
Georgia’s homecoming date with the Appalachian State Mountaineers leaves many college football fans looking elsewhere for a Saturday gridiron fix. The Mountaineers are a long way from the squad that shocked the college football world by beating Michigan six years ago.

App State has won two games in 2013. For UGA, the key to success this weekend is to focus on beating the Mountaineers and not look ahead to Auburn next week.

Prediction: Georgia 45, Appalachian State 17.  Now, on to more exciting games.
oregon_stanfordOregon-Stanford
Oregon travels to Stanford Stadium to take on the Cardinal on Thursday night.  The Ducks are favored by 10.5 on the road.  New Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich has helped make the transition from former head man Chip Kelly seamless.  The Ducks are quacking like a well-oiled machine.

Oregon ranks in the top twenty in the nation in passing yards, they average 55.6 points per game, boasting a ground attack averaging more than 300 yards per contest.  The Ducks are 8-0 with no signs of slowing down.

As for Stanford, the Tree has fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten.  The Cardinal has been inconsistent on offense as a result of their struggle to develop a reliable aerial attack. Stanford is currently 96th in the nation in passing, and they lost to an unranked Utah team.

All signs point to Oregon’s speed killing Stanford in week eleven.  The quack attack is out for revenge.  Their loss to Stanford in 2012 knocked them out of national championship contention.

Prediction: Oregon 35, Stanford 24.
alabama_lsu_2013Alabama Faces LSU – Nick Saban Too Damn Old to Coach Anywhere Else

Despite the rumors of Nick Saban’s interest in coaching Texas, the Crimson Tide football program remains focused on their showdown with LSU.  The Bayou Bengals are wounded, having already lost two games.  LSU’s most recent stumble came on the road in Oxford against an Ole Miss team the Tide had already rolled over.  Still, the Tigers would love to spoil Alabama’s undefeated season.

Bama is the two-time defending national champion and the Tide are the number one team in the country.  Even so, the LSU tigers have won two of their last four meetings against coach Saban and company.

The last time a team won three straight national championships was over 80 years ago.  Nick Saban has four national titles to his credit, and is in the conversation of greatest college football coaches ever. Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron is the leader on the field for the Crimson Tide.  A third BCS title would certainly etch his name in Alabama lure.

Prediction: Alabama 28, LSU 17.

Defending Johnny Manziel

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Johnny Football has had a Frantic Offseason

Since he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Manziel has been the talk of college football enthusiasts. The kid they call “Johnny Football” is still just that, a twenty year old kid. As a result of his lack of life experience, the Texas A&M quarterback has spent the offseason making questionable choices.  Most of those decisions have been made public by Manziel himself, as he has been using Twitter to tweet  his Heisman winning heart out.

Twitter Tipping Point
There seems to be a discernible moment when Johnny Manziel’s public approval rating shifted from positive to polarizing. The perception of Johnny Football’s character changed drastically after he tweeted “Bullshit like tonight is a reason why I can’t wait to leave college station…whenever it may be.”  In Johnny Football’s defense, those that are now using that tweet as ammunition to knock him down a peg have absolutely no idea what precipitated it.

johnny_football_haircut Johnny Manziel’s new found celebrity has certainly come with a lot of perks, one of which is not the target it put on his back.  After all, Manziel resides in an environment where his peers likely have too much to drink and then approach the Texas A&M star quarterback in search of their own fifteen minutes of fame.

Where the Hell Are the Other Aggies?
Sometimes people need to be reined in.  This principle holds true for almost every human being on earth, and it certainly holds true for a twenty year old kid that can do significant damage to his future with one bad decision.  Somebody in Texas Aggie land needs to protect Johnny Football from himself.   If Manziel has a sophomore slump, the 12th man will not be much of a factor at Kyle Field once the losses start piling up.

According to dallas news, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlan thinks that the Aggies will be fine at the quarterback position.  Apparently, this tongue-in-cheek remark was met with a lot of laughter. Taking a lighthearted approach to Manziel mania is good, as long as both the 2012 Heisman winner and his coaches can do what needs to be done when business picks up on and off the football field.

I am Rooting for Johnny Manziel
As long as he is not playing against the Georgia Bulldogs, I wish Johnny Football all the best.  Most of my peers are chomping at the bit for September 14, when Alabama visits the Aggies.  However, I am hoping that Darth Saban and his Death Star are thwarted once again, while Johnny Manziel becomes the Luke Skywalker of college football by saving the college football world from the evil Crimson Tide empire.

Lucky Number Seven for the Southeastern Conference

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Alabama Will Defend Their BCS Championship Crown
The Alabama Crimson Tide collides with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame tonight as Nick Saban’s bunch look to claim a second straight national championship.  The Tide rolling over Notre Dame would also mean an unprecedented seventh straight BCS championship victory by the SEC. To round out the championship implications for Alabama, another crystal ball would be their third in four years.

A Players Only Meeting Will Awaken the Tide
CBS Sports reports that certain members of the Alabama football team called for a players-only meeting late last week. That is all I need to know to be assured that Alabama will not overlook Notre Dame in anticipation of another coronation. While the Fighting Irish are technically higher ranked, Notre Dame was a missed field goal away from losing to Pitt. The Irish also struggled to beat the same Max Wittek led USC Trojan team that lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

Notre Dame is No Fluke
Brian Kelly has done an exceptional job leading Notre Dame back to prominence, but Alabama has been a dominant force in college football for the better part of the last five years. Last season when Nick Saban was hoisting a crystal ball, Brian Kelly and company had already capped off an 8-5 season by losing to Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Alabama Will Run the Irish Into the Ground
Alabama is fresh off racking up 350 yards on the ground against Georgia. With all due respect to Manti Te’o and Notre Dame, the Irish have not faced a team nearly as big, fast, or athletic as the opponent that awaits them this evening. I fully expect Alabama to control the line of scrimmage for four quarters while Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon carry the will of the Irish on their back to the end zone.

Prediction: Alabama 31, Notre Dame 17
Notre Dame has had a remarkable year, capped off by an undefeated regular season. Even so, the Irish will have to save their best for last, and have the luck of the Irish to stay close to Alabama for the whole game. Nick Saban has coached discipline and completing the process since the day he arrived in Tuscaloosa. Washing over the Irish is the only thing that stands between the Crimson Tide and finishing the ultimate goal in college football.

We leave you with a somewhat strange video of Nick Saban getting a Gatorade bath.



Georgia – Alabama: Mark Richt Versus Nick Saban

mark_richt_nick_saban It May Have Been Easier For Georgia to Beat an Undefeated Alabama Team
A few weeks ago, we discussed what Georgia must do to win the SEC Championship against Alabama. Texas A&M’s upset victory over Alabama may have made things even more difficult for Georgia, because it served as a wake-up call for the Crimson Tide and their head coach, Nick Saban.

According to Sporting News, when he was asked what Alabama needed to do to rebound from their first loss Saban stoically observed, “Everybody needs to recommit themselves to playing better, being a little more consistent.”  Prior to Alabama’s setback against the Aggies maybe coach Saban was getting a little complacent. There was a possibility that a perfect Alabama team could overlook a Georgia squad that has underachieved for the better part of the last four years.

Georgia Versus Alabama for Southeastern Conference Supremacy
The luxury of looking ahead no longer exists for Alabama.  The Tide rolled over Western Carolina, and took out the trash against Auburn, giving Gene Chizik a 49-0 beating that landed him in the unemployment line. Now, Alabama turns their full attention to Bulldog Nation and the collision at the Georgia Dome. The Bulldogs must play their best game of the season to hand an angry one loss Alabama team a second defeat, because for the first time in 2012 Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide will have something to prove.

Mark Richt is 2-3 Against Nick Saban
Mark Richt has two victories over Nick Saban in his career. Conversely, Nick Saban has handed Mark Richt three defeats in his time at Georgia. To help Bulldog Nation visualize a win over the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend, we go back in time to 2007 which is  the last time that Georgia tamed the Tide. Nick Saban was in his first year at Alabama, and Mark Richt looked much younger with a stylish tan. Matt Stafford was a hotshot sophomore quarterback with a big arm, which paid dividends for the Dawgs in this particular encounter.

Georgia Will Need Big Plays to Overcome the Crimson Tide
With the game tied at 20 and headed to overtime, Georgia won the coin toss and went on defense to start the extra period. After an Alabama field goal, Georgia needed just one play to win the Southeastern Conference battle. Matt Stafford hit wide receiver Mikey Henderson to give the Bulldogs a 26-23 win over Bama. Aaron Murray may need similar heroics come Saturday, but this highlight is a cherished memory for Georgia faithful.



Georgia Versus Georgia Tech: 2012 Regular Season Finale

georgia_georgia_techThe Stakes Are High for Georgia Against Georgia Tech
Rivalry week is the focal point for Bulldog Nation as we head into the final Saturday of the regular season. Expectations are sky high in Athens, following two unlikely upsets. As a result of Kansas State and Oregon losing, Georgia is once again in the thick of the 2012 national championship picture.

Georgia Tech Will Play for the ACC Championship
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets venture between the hedges this Saturday with a lot to gain and very little to lose, so I can only hope that the Dawgs do not overlook the Rambling Wreck as the showdown with the Alabama Crimson Tide looms large. For their part, Tech had something to celebrate this past weekend as well—The Jackets clinched the ACC Costal as a result of Miami forfeiting their postseason chances.

Georgia Tech’s Defense is Terrible
Despite winning their division, Rambling Wreck is an apt description for the way Georgia Tech has played during the 2012 campaign. Tech’s offense rambles down the field and then the defense wrecks everything by giving up a ton of points. In week four against Miami, Georgia Tech climbed out of a 19-0 hole to gain a 36-19 advantage against the Hurricanes. However, the Yellow Jackets proceeded to blow a 14 point lead in the fourth quarter before losing to the Hurricanes in overtime.

Georgia Tech averages 39 points per game on offense. However, they give up 30 points per game. The result is a track meet. Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 68-50 a couple of weeks ago in the highest-scoring game in ACC history. As long as Georgia does not get bit by the turnover bug, Georgia should be able to swat the Yellow Jackets. Bulldog head coach Mark Richt is 10-1 against Georgia Tech and 3-1 against Paul Johnson. The Bulldogs are familiar with the option after playing against Georgia Southern this past weekend, so Georgia should be primed for a strong performance in the final game at Sanford Stadium this year.

Georgia Tech Would Love to Ruin Georgia’s Season
Paul Johnson is a man in need of a signature win. Raining all over Georgia’s SEC Championship parade would certainly be enough for Tech fans to forget the ups and downs of this season. The Dawgs must be aware of every possible fake and trick play, because Tech pulling off an upset in this chapter of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” would catapult the UGA-GT rivalry into a new stratosphere. For what it’s worth, such a result would probably also translate into a busy day downtown for Athens police. Remember, college football preaches sportsmanship, folks.

Georgia Has to Capitalize on Their National Championship Opportunity
Gloom and doom possibilities aside, I expect the Bulldogs to maul the Yellow Jackets on Saturday. The opportunity currently in front of Bulldog Nation is too great to squander at this point in the journey. If Mark Richt is going to be the man to lead Georgia to the Promised Land, Georgia must treat these final three games as a playoff. The first round begins at noon on Saturday.

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Coach Richt is ready to prove he can win a national title without Bobby Bowden.

What Does Georgia Need to do to Beat Alabama?

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The Dawgs will battle the Tide for Southeastern Conference supremacy.

Georgia Plays Alabama for the 2012 SEC Championship
Following the upset heard ‘round the college football world against Johnny Manziel and the Aggies of Texas A&M, the Alabama Crimson Tide are expected to put the Auburn Tigers out of their Southeastern Conference misery on November 24 to clinch the SEC West. Conversely, the Georgia Bulldogs dominated the aforementioned Tigers by a final count of 38-0 this past weekend. The victory earned Bulldog Nation a trip to the Georgia Dome to represent the East in the SEC title game for the second straight year.

The Bulldogs Are Not Satisfied With Just Winning the SEC East
Alabama will finish the regular season with a record of 11-1 when they punch their ticket to Atlanta. Led by head coach and master motivator Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide will be hell bent on making the strongest possible case to defend their national championship crown.  Meanwhile, Bulldog Nation is determined to attack the wounded Tide, and secure a spot in a Bowl Championship Series game.  Let us examine what Georgia must do to catch Alabama coming in, as opposed to trying to hang on to the Crimson Tide when they are rolling out.

Avoiding Turnovers Will be Critical for Georgia
For Georgia to have a chance to defeat Alabama, the Dawgs must avoid turning the ball over. In the 2011 SEC Championship against LSU, Georgia doomed themselves by committing three costly giveaways, along with errors on special teams that translated to easy points for the Tigers. Alabama is the top ranked one loss team in the country for a reason, and the Bulldogs must avoid giving the talented Tide football team easy scores.



Georgia Has to Protect Quarterback Aaron Murray
Less than two weeks ago, the Bulldogs gave up five sacks in the first half against Ole Miss. No slight against the Rebels, but if Ole miss found a way to exploit Georgia’s offensive line, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and company will be frothing at the mouth at the chance to hit the UGA signal caller early and often.

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The offensive line must be stout against Alabama.

UGA Needs to Be Balanced on Offense to Keep Alabama Guessing
Texas A&M was able to defeat Alabama as a result of mixing up run and pass play calls. The Aggies had 253 passing yards, and over 150 yards on the ground. Aaron Murray is not quite as mobile as Johnny Manziel but he can certainly move around well enough to avoid being a sitting target. Furthermore:

  • The Bulldogs must avoid negative plays on offense. If Alabama’s aggressive defense can force Georgia to be one dimensional it will be a long game for Bulldog Nation.
  • Todd Gurley must lead the Georgia rushing attack by being physical and picking up critical yards after contact.
  • Aaron Murray must make all the right decisions with the football. Stephen Garcia is the last quarterback from the SEC East to defeat Alabama, as the South Carolina Gamecocks knocked off the Tide in October of 2010. Garcia completed 17 out of 20 passes for 201 yards in that contest. Those would be ideal numbers for the UGA QB to duplicate.
  • Georgia must keep drives alive by converting on third down. Texas A&M was 11 out of 18 on third-down conversions.
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Jarvis Jones is saving his best for the Crimson Tide.

Defense is Essential to Georgia’s Success
Jarvis Jones is the heartbeat of a Georgia defensive unit that appears to be peaking at the right timeJarvis Jones must lead the Georgia defense and wreak havoc against the Tide.  A dominant performance from Jones will give other players the opportunity to put pressure on Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. In addition:

  • No big plays. UGA’s defense needs to make Alabama go the length of the football field.
  • The Bulldog defense must cause as many three-and-outs as possible so that they are able to finish Alabama in the second half.
  • It is critical that Georgia forces A.J. McCarron to beat them throwing the football. When Alabama has to pass, they suddenly become a predictable football team. This observation is not questioning the talent of the Alabama QB, but the Bulldogs will increase their chance to win if Alabama has to abandon their potent running game.

A Win for the Bulldogs Over Alabama is Critical to the Future of Georgia Football Regardless of the Bowl Championship Series rankings, the Georgia Bulldogs have to beat Alabama to legitimize themselves as a championship contender. Consider this: Georgia’s signature win thus far in 2012 is beating a Florida team that nearly lost to Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend at the swamp. The Bulldogs do not need to try to impersonate Texas A&M, but they must be victorious in Atlanta. 

Alabama Losing is Not Good For the SEC’s National Championship Streak

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The phenom nicknamed “Johnny Football” has taken college football by storm.

Alabama Finally Falls
It is safe to assume that nearly every college football fan located outside of Alabama enjoyed watching the Crimson Tide taste defeat this past weekend. After two months of dominating the competition, Alabama has appeared uncharacteristically vulnerable for the past couple weeks. The Texas A&M Aggies utilized a near-flawless effort from their fantastic freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, along with timely defense to stun the Crimson Tide by a final score of 29-24. In all likelihood, the victory by Texas A&M on the road in Tuscaloosa will be remembered as the biggest college football story of 2012.

Kansas State Versus Oregon For the National Championship?
Now that the college football world has recovered from the hangover of this exciting upset, the reality of what is left cannot be very pleasing to supporters of the Southeastern Conference. If the season ended today, the national championship game would feature the Kansas State Wildcats against the Oregon Ducks. The prospect of the fighting Collin Kleins taking on the quack attack of Oregon may appeal to other parts of the country, but it would be a hard pill to swallow here in Dixie.

The SEC Needs a Lot of Help to Compete For a Seventh Straight BCS Title
Fans of the SEC must root for both Kansas State and Notre Dame to lose. Oregon is exempt from this jinx because the Ducks have a good track record in Bowl Championship Series games. If Notre Dame and Kansas State both stumble, the SEC Championship Game becomes a winner-take-all war between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide for the remaining spot in the BCS title game.

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The SEC has been home for the BCS trophy since 2006.

There is Not a Southeastern Conference Bias in College Football
I freely admit being a Southeastern Conference homer. I have enjoyed watching the SEC dominate college football for the better part of the past decade. With that said, perhaps I should accept the fact that the Southeastern Conference dynasty may have an off-year. After all, the rest of America had to sit through a Southeastern Conference-only national championship game this past January. It would be fitting to some fans if the SEC is denied the opportunity to compete for a seventh national championship in a row after the Southeastern Conference hogged both spots in the title game last season.

Notre Dame Undefeated in 2012: A Sign of the Apocalypse?


The 2012 Doomsday Phenomenon

For the past few years, there has been a doomsday theory associated with the year 2012. This belief has to do with the Mayan calendar, but I have never been interested in the specifics, because I threw it into my mental junk pile along with Y2K, the existence of aliens, and the Loch Ness monster. The idea that the end of days is near had not crossed my mind at all until Notre Dame entered week ten of the college football season without a loss. Surely this is a sign that the apocalypse is indeed upon us.

This will be Brian Kelly’s expression if an undefeated Fighting Irish squad does not play for the national title.

Brian Kelly: Red Faced Bringer of Armageddon
If ever there were a face to signal the end of days, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly’s mug is certainly a perfect fit. Kelly is often beet red and screaming at his quarterback, placing the blame for an offensive miscue squarely in the lap of the signal caller. Brian Kelly has been throwing fits at his players long before he arrived in South Bend, as his success in Cincinnati was fraught with bulging eyeballs as well

Is Notre Dame’s Perfect Record an Aberration or a Trend?
Despite the satirical nature of this article, Brian Kelly has earned his reputation as a great football coach. Even so, the University of Notre Dame must have continued success and win a Bowl Championship Series game to prove that they are truly a national power once again. If the Fighting Irish do find their way into the national championship game on January 7, 2013, I might very well be seeking the safest shelter possible. That is unless of course the Georgia Bulldogs oppose the Fighting Irish on that night. In which case, I will be barking too loud to worry about the end of the world.

SEC Weekend Winners (Week Two) September 8, 2012

Week two of college football may go a long way in bringing more intrigue to the SEC East.  With the exception of Tennessee, the Eastern portion of the SEC had a pretty quiet opening weekend of sub-par performances. The Georgia Bulldogs take center stage on Saturday night, as they head to Missouri to introduce the Tigers to Southeastern Conference football. Georgia must play better as the Dawgs have a second chance to make a first impression. A strong performance from the Bulldogs would go a long way in relieving some of the anxiety that is permeating between the hedges. Above all else, Georgia must be ahead of Missouri when the clock hits zero in the fourth quarter.

Elsewhere in the East, the Florida Gators travel to College Station to welcome the other new addition to the Southeastern Conference into the fold. The Texas A&M Aggies have a new coach in Kevin Sumlin, as well as a redshirt freshman quarterback (Johnny Manziel) making his first career start after the Aggies opener was postponed. Florida has quarterback questions of their own, but Gator head coach Will Muschamp has committed to Jeff Driskel as the starter for this week. If the quarterback position is as much of a revolving door for the Florida Gators as it was last week against Bowling Green, Texas A&M may find a way to win.

LSU gets a slight upgrade in competition in Baton Rouge this weekend as the Tigers welcome the Washington Huskies. Tiger quarterback Zach Mettinberger completed his final eight passes in the opener against North Texas, and the Bayou Bengals look to keep rolling. As for Washington, head coach Steve Sarkisian has an opportunity to get a career making win if his Huskies can pull off a monumental upset. Continue reading

Georgia Bulldogs 2012 Schedule Preview – Postseason Edition

Bulldog Nation is rabid for a national championship.

As the college football regular season is mere hours from getting started, the point of final prognostication is upon us. When we last left the Georgia Bulldogs, they were riding high after finishing the regular season unbeaten at 12-0. As for which team from the SEC West will be awaiting the Dawgs in Atlanta, the slight edge goes to LSU.

The western portion of the SEC features three teams with a realistic opportunity to contend for the conference title. Arkansas (interim) head coach John L. Smith is playing with house money, because with the exception of Razorback faithful, there are not many folks who expect the Hogs to live up to the hype. Arkansas will be impressive on offense with senior quarterback Tyler Wilson at the controls, and they get standout tailback Knile Davis back from injury. Even so, the Razorbacks do not have enough on defense to stand up to the two-headed monster of Alabama and LSU. Prediction: nine regular season wins for Arkansas.

Alabama is coming off a national championship victory in 2011 and the Tide is certainly high in Tuscaloosa. However, the defending champions of college football lost a lot of talent to the NFL draft, along with some other players who graduated, which will likely leave the Tide on the outside looking in at the BCS championship picture this season. Alabama has a brutal road schedule as well, including a showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge. Nick Saban’s boys will contend for another title again soon, but it would be flat out scary for the rest of college football if Bama is able to defend their college football crown in 2012. Prediction: ten regular season wins for the Alabama Crimson Tide. (No team has ever repeat in the Bowl Championship Series era.) Continue reading