Jadeveon Clowney: Aaron Murray is Scared

jadeveon_clowney_aaron_murray

Clowney is one of the most explosive players in college football.

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Gamecock?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that South Carolina defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, thinks Georgia starting quarterback Aaron Murray is scared of him. Clowney also included Clemson starting quarterback Tajh Boyd, as well as former Arkansas signal caller Tyler Wilson on the list of quarterbacks he claims share the same fear. Aaron Murray is a decorated fifth-year senior who has faced tough competition in the Southeastern Conference throughout his time in Athens.  It is hard to believe that a college athlete as accomplished as Aaron Murray would be afraid of any opponent.

Jadeveon Clowney has Earned the Respect of the Opposition
Jadeveon Clowney is roundly regarded as a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, assuming he decides to turn pro, of course. Clownery has put together a highlight reel of hitting the opposition, and he possesses an extraordinary ability to shift the momentum of a game with one snap of the football. Minimizing this dangerous defensive ends’ effectiveness at getting to the quarterback will be crucial to Georgia’s success against the South Carolina Gamecocks this season.

Numbers Never Lie
Jadeveon Clowney has faced the Bulldogs twice in his South Carolina Gamecock career. He has sacked Aaron Murray three times in those two games, including twice in 2011. Clowney’s presence has wreaked havoc on the Dawgs, who have not been able to avoid critical errors against the Steve Spurrier led squad, leading to three straight signature losses against a bitter SEC rival.



Georgia is The Team to Beat in the SEC East
Despite one Gamecock crowing about Aaron Murray being scared, Georgia is looking to win the SEC East for the third straight season. Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution believes that the Bulldogs will accomplish that goal.

Closing With an Observation From the Head Rooster
The Ole’ Ball Coach seems to get his jollies from using his quick wit to insult the opposing team.  However, sometimes his verbal jabs may leave even his own players wondering about how strongly their head football coach believes in them.  After soundly defeating the Clemson Tigers by a final score of 34-13 in 2011, Steve Spurrier quipped, “We aren’t LSU, and we aren’t Alabama. But we sure ain’t Clemson.”

Georgia vs Florida Football Classic – The History

The Bulldogs will have to fight for every yard.

Georgia Versus Florida for First Place in the SEC East
This Saturday afternoon promises to be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, as the Georgia Bulldogs try to turn back the gridiron challenge of the undefeated Florida Gators. Florida is the number two ranked team in the Bowl Championship Series, and the Gators are arguably the hottest team in all of college football right now. Conversely, Georgia is coming off an uninspiring victory against the Kentucky Wildcats. On the bright side, the Bulldogs are once again in control of their fate in the SEC East after the Gators chomped on the South Carolina Gamecocks last weekend.

The Florida-Georgia Classic
The artist formerly known as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” underwent a name change in light of all the drunken debauchery that has taken place in Jacksonville over the years. There is no specific trophy given out to the winner of the game, but maybe a prize should be given to the university that has the least amount of students arrested.

The History of the Georgia-Florida Football Classic
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have shared a mutual disdain on the football field for almost 100 years. The rivalry began in 1915, where it played out in a number of different locations in Georgia and Florida respectively. The game has been permanently held in Jacksonville since 1933, and has been contested there every year with the exception of ’94 and ’95 because of stadium remodeling.

Georgia needs to hit Florida hard to set the tone on Saturday.

The two universities cannot even be civil long enough to agree on a series record because Georgia counts a game contested in 1904, even though Florida argues they were not established as a university until 1906. Since we are a Georgia blog, we will stand by the Bulldogs’ claim of leading the overall series with a record of 48 wins, 40 losses, and two ties.

 1942: Widest Margin of Victory in the History of the Georgia-Florida Series
The most one-sided affair in the history of this match-up occurred way back in 1942. At the time, Georgia featured a supreme backfield of Frank Sinkwhich and Charley Trippi.  As for Florida, the Gators  lost the majority of their most experienced players that year because they were serving in World War II. Georgia dominated the game, mauling Florida by a final count of 75-0. Frank Sinkwhich captured the 1942 Heisman Trophy, and Charley Trippi is universally remembered as one of the best athletes in the history of Georgia football.

1964: Vince Dooley Brings Georgia Consistent Success in Clashes with Florida
Upon becoming the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs in 1964, Vince Dooley inherited a team that had lost ten out of its last twelve football games against the Florida Gators. At the beginning of his coaching tenure in Athens, Dooley was only able to achieve moderate success against the hated foes from Florida, as his record started with a pedestrian three wins, three losses, and one tie during his first eight seasons between the hedges. However, Coach Dooley found a way to change his fortune against UF, as the Bulldogs would feast on the Gators in 14 of the remaining 19 games that Vince Dooley was patrolling the sidelines.

1980: Georgia Wide Receiver Lindsay Scott Runs for His Life
The Georgia-Florida football game has produced some of the most unique moments in Georgia football history. 1980 in particular provided what is quite possibly the most unforgettable play-by-play in Georgia history, as incomparable Georgia announcer Larry Munson pleaded with Georgia wide receiver Lindsay Scott to keep running after then Bulldog quarterback Buck Belue completed a pass to Scott as the Dawgs were trailing by a point with 90 seconds left in the contest. The result saved Georgia’s season, as the Bulldogs prevailed by a final score of 26-21.



The meeting in 1980 also featured a superhuman effort from legendary Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Walker carried the ball 37 times during the game, for a whopping total of 287 yards, which may explain some of the reason that Lindsay Scott found himself so open on that fateful play.



1985: Georgia Strips the Gators of the Number One Rank in the Nation
One of the most satisfying aspects of defeating a bitter rival is crushing their championship aspirations en route to the triumph. This was precisely the case  when the Bulldogs met number one ranked Florida in in this chapter of the storied feud. In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, Georgia had two first freshman tailbacks (Tim Worley and Keith Henderson) carry the ball for over 100 yards in a 24-3 stunner over the previously unblemished Gators. The loss kept Florida out of national championship consideration, as they finished #5 in the Associated Press poll. (Note: The weather was rainy during that ball game. Does anybody know a good rain dance?)

1997: Georgia Finally Beats a Steve Spurrier Coached Football Team
As the Bulldogs began the 1997 season, Florida head coach Steve Spurrier had been torturing the Georgia Bulldogs since he started as the Florida Gators head football coach in 1990. This included an instance in 1995 when Spurrier’s Gators put 52 points on the scoreboard in Athens because Spurrier wanted to be the first visiting coach to accomplish that. Spurrier stated, “We heard no one had ever done that before.”

Steve Spurrier has never called a play he did not like.

When these two teams squared off in 1997, Bulldog Nation was desperate to shut the brash Gator coach up. Dawg fans finally had their day on November 1 of that year. Former Georgia quarterback and current offensive coordinator Mike Bobo led Georgia to a 37-17 win over Florida. According to Sports Illustrated, this game was Florida’s worst regular season loss in nearly five years. Even coach Spurrier had to admit that the better team won that day as he remarked,  “Mike Bobo had some good passes and they blocked better than we did. I don’t know what else to say except they were better than us.” 1997 was the only year that Georgia ever beat Steve Spurrier while he was the coach at Florida.

2007: Georgia’s Impromptu End Zone Celebration
When Florida and Georgia renewed their annual rivalry in 2007, the Bulldogs had just one victory over the Gators since 1997. Mark Richt and his pack of Dawgs had grown tired of being Gator bait, and Georgia was ravenous for anything that may change their luck in Jacksonville. When Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno scored a touchdown at the six minute mark of the first quarter to give the Bulldogs the lead, Bulldog Nation proceeded  to party like it was 1980. Thankfully, Georgia maintained their momentum and found a way to win the football game, because losing after all those shenanigans would have been embarrassing. (Celebration highlighted at the 2:12 mark.)



All Aboard the Mark Richt Mediocrity Express
The forthcoming battle with Florida will determine the fate of the 2012 Georgia Bulldog football team. Either the Dawgs will bite, scratch, and claw their way to a win, or Georgia will simply roll over as the Bulldogs take yet another signature loss, allowing the Gators to clinch the SEC East. Regardless of what happens for the rest of the regular season, this one game will define the legacy of this Georgia football team.

In order for the Bulldogs to be victorious, the Mark Richt mediocrity express must come to a screeching halt this Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville. If Georgia is able to pick up the victory, it will be the first time in over two decades that the Bulldogs earn consecutive wins over Florida.

Better Quote: Les Miles (LSU) or Steve Spurrier (South Carolina)

On October 13, 2012, the red hot South Carolina Gamecocks will travel to Baton Rouge to take on the wounded LSU Tigers. This post has absolutely nothing to do with who will pick up the win in this crucial Southeastern Conference Saturday night showdown. Rather, we would like to pay tribute to each team’s head coach. More specifically, both Les Miles and Steve Spurrier each have their own unique gift of gab when they are in front of a microphone.

les_milesThe Quotable Les Miles features musings from the head man at LSU himself. Allow me to take this opportunity to share some of our favorites, documented straight from the mouth of the “Mad Hatter.” Les Miles on Louisiana women and football: “This is the greatest football state in America. It’s a place where women understand what it means and how to play it.”

The head coach at LSU also offered his opinion on the state of Louisiana producing talented football players, “Louisiana has a heritage of great players that play their high school football within the boundaries of Louisiana.”  Finally, Mr. Miles shares his thoughts on giving truthful interviews as he observed, “The only thing I can tell you is that I am relatively honest, and somewhat deceptive.”

steve_spurrier_micWhen it comes to the Ole’ Ball Coach, we tend to have a love-hate relationship with Mr. Spurrier. Even though he can get a little whiny sometimes, it is hard not to appreciate his visor throwing ways. While at Florida in the mid 90′s, Steve Spurrier was asked what he thought about the Gators chances’ of beating Georgia. His response, “Is Ray Goof still the head coach there?” This was in reference to former Georgia Bulldog head coach Ray Goff.

Steve Spurrier has made a habit of mocking his opposition. When Spurrier decided to try his hand in the NFL, he was asked if he thought coaching in the pros would be more difficult than coaching college football. He replied, “I think so, there are no Vanderbilts in the NFL.”

I for one hope that there are multiple sideline interviews with these head coaches on Saturday night. When coach Spurrier used the phrase “pooped around” to describe the Gamecocks offense in the first half of last weekend’s Georgia game against South Carolina, it was the only time I laughed all night. Steve Spurrier and Les Miles should have television microphones on for the duration of tonight’s top ten battle. The material would be endless. Whose quotes do you enjoy reading more? Comments below!

OVERMATCHED: Dawgs Go Down In Dixie (South Carolina 35 UGA 7)

Team. Strong fundamentals. Strong line play. This is Spurrier’s genius. He builds real football teams.

Summary
On a beautiful night in the South, Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks treated the University of Georgia Bulldogs to a rude awakening to the 2012 SEC football campaign.  The University of Georgia was outplayed at every turn, and Spurrier’s team deserved every bit of a 35-7 thrashing of UGA.  I am sure we will have time to reflect upon how to fix what happened…and every Bulldog will have a theory (cue litany of fire Richt, Bobo, Grantham, lack of discipline, poor coaching, players are thugs, outcoached, poor recruiting, poor conditioning, blah blah blah) on how to correct these issues, but at present, let us reflect upon the reasons UGA failed so miserably.

  • South Carolina’s offensive and defensive lines absolutely controlled the line of scrimmage.  All problems in the Georgia-South Carolina game really came down to this inscrutable fact: Football is won and lost on the line of scrimmage.  The South Carolina defense was often three yards deep in the Georgia backfield within a second of the ball being snapped.  I actually saw UGA offensive linemen pancaked and on their backs.  Shockingly weak line play was the architect of defeat.
  • Aaron Murray (because of point directly above) was ineffective…primarily because he was continually harried and pressured off the snap.  Murray’s stats: Try 10-31 on for size.  The pressure the defensive line of South Carolina placed upon all facets of the offensive was stunning.
  • Georgia tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were ineffective.  At one point, my wife leaned over and offered that Marcus Lattimore is a much better running back than either Gurley or Marshall.  I’m not buyin’ it.  I believe if each team swapped tailbacks, South Carolina still rolls.  I lost count of how many times the UGA tailbacks were met with a wall of USC defenders IN the backfield.
  • Georgia’s coaches were out-schemed early.  Spurrier is considered a genius for a reason and his game plan was shrewd.  I reckon that UGA’s defensive scheme was based upon stopping Conner Shaw and Lattimore first.  Spurrier responded by continually throwing deep, putting Georgia’s safeties on notice that they better mind their watch (no matter, UGA was gashed deep).  The play action passes were things of beauty, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a team (any team in any league) look as confused, overwhelmed, and generally lost as the defensive backfield for UGA.
  • We did not lose because Steve Spurrier is an Evil Genius (although he is).  What Spurrier has done is even more impressive (and should be worrying to all UGA fans): He has built a real football team. People are want to suggest we lost because of ‘schemes’ and ‘playbooks’ and such. No. We lost because for twenty years Steve Spurrier has proven he can consistently build better football teams than whoever happens to be the current UGA coach.  Finally, his true genius emerges in Columbia: he builds teams.

Closing Thoughts
Football’s stars are the quarterbacks, and the wide receivers, occasionally a linebacker or safety or punt returner.  Football games are won or lost in the trenches, on the line.  The UGA-South Carolina game 2012 was a clinic on this premise.  This game was a lesson on the realities of real football, and real football teams.

We can examine (and probably will) ‘why’ UGA football teams fail miserably against opponents considered peers. Tonight however, my hope was to communicate the ‘how’, not the ‘why’.  Hats off to South Carolina and Steve Spurrier.

SEC Drug Policies (Steve Spurrier is a Hypocrite and a Whiner)

steve spurrier drug policies at south carolina

Rodney Dangerfield Spurrier: I get no respect I tell ya.

Tomorrow night, Georgia and South Carolina meet in a gridiron battle that will go a long way in determining SEC East supremacy. However, before the Bulldogs and Gamecocks ever step on the field, the Ole’ Ball Coach must be addressed.

In light of our recent   Completely Unofficial (but Accurate) SEC Drug Testing Rankingswe could not help but remember a joke that Steve Spurrier made during an interview with ESPN:  South Carolina Head Grouch Spurrier joked that, “I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them (UGA) that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”

That is an easy shot to take when your school, the University of South Carolina, does not suspend players for violating drug policies on the first (and barely on the second) violation of said “drug policy”…if one can call it that.

First drug test failure by a University of South Carolina football player:
A warning. (how many warnings did Stephen Garcia – more on this in a bit – get before one of his five suspensions?)

What kind of douche makes wisecracks about Georgia having a few players suspended when afore-mentioned douche heads a program with a joke of a rulebook when it comes to drug abuse on the football team? Meet Coach Steve Spurrier.

More…If a South Carolina player were facing discipline for a second violation of the Gamecock drug policy, said player would still only miss three games. By comparison, any player on the Georgia Bulldog roster who violates the University of Georgia football team’s drug policy a second time faces a half-season suspension.

Mr. Credibility, ie Coach Spurrier, would probably still have quarterback Stephen Garcia around if Conner Shaw had not risen to take the lead at QB.  Yes, I realize that Garcia was a senior in 2011, but if Spurrier could play him in 2012 and win…Spurrier would find a way (alcoholic-based redshirt for 2011 anyone?). This coach, Steve Spurrier, “suspended” Garcia five times and yet did Garcia (I’m not even gonna look it up) ever even miss a game?  On and on it goes.

Next Week:  The Worse of the Worst: The University of Florida is even more lenient toward drug use on their football team. We will examine the tawdry goings-ons in Gainesville and a most lenient (so understanding and forgiving) drug policy for University of Florida football players.

Looking Back at Tennessee and Ahead vs South Carolina 2012

The Georgia Bulldogs must keep Aaron Murray upright on Saturday night.

The Georgia Bulldogs provided the Tennessee Volunteers with a lot of help in making this past weekend’s game closer than it should have been. The Bulldogs had three awful football plays (seemingly in succession) at the end of the first half. Leading up to that point, Georgia had been dominant. The fact that Tennessee turned a 27-10 deficit into a 30-27 lead was mind boggling. Georgia was able to get a last second field goal on the final play of the first half, evening the contest at 30.

Summary aside, there were an abundance of red flags for Bulldog Nation this past weekend in what served as a horrific reminder not to count our SEC East championship chickens before they hatch. Even so, the Bulldogs gathered themselves and finally put away the Volunteers by a final score of 51-44.

Other than the turnovers, Georgia was an offensive juggernaut against Tennessee. The Dawgs moved the ball at will, with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each gaining over 100 yards rushing. With the exception of one pass, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray added another solid performance to his impressive resume.

Giveaways are a part of football, every team that puts on pads is going to turn the football over at some point. However, Georgia must avoid the self destructive behavior that nearly ruined their season at the end of September. The Bulldogs must have a short term memory and not let one bad play effect the next one. If such a thing occurs against the Gamecocks, it is going to be a long night in Carolina. Continue reading

Looking Back at Buffalo and Ahead vs Missouri 2012 – The Bulldogs Head To Columbia

Todd Gurley had a memorial debut in an otherwise forgettable season opener.

Columbia Missouri is not the usual destination to which Bulldog Nation is accustomed to traveling to begin conference play, but after the uninspiring at best performance Georgia turned in against Buffalo, the Dawgs are probably glad to hit the road. Georgia’s effort against Buffalo this past weekend was unacceptable no matter the height of expectations in Athens.

With that said, I prefer to look at the first game as an aberration. Admittedly, doing so ignores the fact that such lethargic efforts have become more of a trend in the past few years. Georgia fans are well aware of who is not available against the Missouri Tigers, so the Bulldogs must make sure that those who are playing on Saturday night put forth their best possible effort. Failure to do so would ensure that last Saturday’s post game sentiment of Georgia head coach Mark Richt rings true. We will all come away from that game sad. Add very angry to the list of emotions as well.

Steve Spurrier once said that the biggest improvement a college football team makes occurs from week one to week two. Georgia is extremely talented, but the Bulldogs can not afford to tread water until the suspended players return. If the speculation around the program is accurate, Georgia will not have the opportunity to be at full strength until the start of week five, when the season is about a quarter of the way over. Continue reading

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary November 11 – 13, 2011)

In the aftermath of one of the most talked about games in the history of regular season college football between LSU and Alabama the eyes of the SEC will be watching Sanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Georgia Bulldogs welcome the Auburn Tigers between the hedges. If Georgia is able to add just two more wins to their current seven game win streak, the Dawgs will represent the SEC East in the conference championship game on December 3rd.

What a revival it has been for the Georgia Bulldogs and head coach Mark Richt. Richt began the 2011 campaign on the hot seat, and some Bulldog fans were already calling for this season to be Richt’s last when Georgia opened 0-2. However, since the middle of September Georgia has arguably been the hottest team in college football outside of Louisiana State University. The LSU Tigers are almost a shoo-in to represent the SEC West in the aforementioned title game.

Kudos to coach Richt for ignoring the naysayers while adding another winning season to his lofty resume. If Georgia can “finish the drill” he will be able to add a fourth trip to the SEC title game to his name as well. I have been a staunch coach Richt supporter during his tenure in Athens, but it will be fun to watch the bandwagon fill up again.

In other SEC action, championship game scenarios make strange bedfellows as the Florida Gators could play a huge role in helping the Dawgs get back to the Dome. Florida travels to South Carolina and if the Gators can find a way to win on the road Georgia will be in position to clinch the SEC East against Auburn.  Florida is just 1-3 on the road this season though, and they have yet to beat a ranked opponent.  Georgia is likely to know what is at stake in “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” just before they take the field on Saturday.

The college football match-ups with potentially big SEC implications extend much further than the southern states this weekend. Alabama is currently third in the BCS, and they will be observing with great interest as the #4 Stanford Cardinal host the #7 Oregon Ducks. If Andrew Luck and  friends are victorious than it is widely expected they will move ahead of Alabama in the BCS. However, if the quack attack can defeat the Cardinal than the Tide will roll right back into the middle of the BCS picture.

For those that do not want to see a Pac-12 shootout on Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its debut on national television on FOX at 9PM EST. The only fight on the UFC FOX debut is a world heavyweight title bout between Cain Valasquez and Junior dos Santos. UFC president Dana White has been trying to negotiate a big television deal for a while and if Saturday night is a success the UFC could soar to even greater heights.

As for Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons welcome a familiar foe inside the Georgia Dome as they face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon. Wide receiver Julio Jones is questionable once again after aggravating his hamstring injury. The first round draft pick pass catcher would certainly be an asset for the Dirty birds after his 3 catch, 131 yard performance on the road against Indianapolis last week.

Atlanta’s defense has been much improved as of late, since they have given up only 13 points per game on average in their last three games. If the Falcons can beat the Saints on Sunday it will be a big step toward a second straight NFC South title for the Dirty Birds. Falcons Rise Up.



Picks– College Football

Steve Spurrier’s old team visits his current place of employment as Florida heads into South Carolina. Current Gator head man Will Muschamp is desperate to finish strong and he needs a signature win. No such luck this week. South Carolina 17, Florida 13

Texas Tech looks to shake up the BCS again as they host Oklahoma State. The Cowboys learned from Oklahoma’s mistakes. Lightning will not strike twice in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma State 48, Texas Tech 31

TCU travels to Bronco Stadium and Boise State’s blue field. The Broncos are seemingly a forgotten variable in the BCS formula, as they continue to be the Rodney Dangerfield of college football. I’ll give them a little respect. Boise State 41, TCU 24



Oregon and Stanford will be high scoring. The Ducks are still in search of redemption after they got pummeled by LSU in the opening week of the season. Stanford’s luck runs out. Oregon 44, Stanford 38

Finally, the Dawgs host Auburn as they try to bring glory back to old Georgia. Bulldogs keep their eyes on the prize and win convincingly in front of a packed crowd. Georgia 35, Auburn 17

NFL quick picks

The Lions will be too cold to eat any Bears in the “Windy City.” Chicago 27, Detroit 20

Pittsburgh will knock Cincinnati out of first place in the AFC North.  Pittsburgh 34, Cincinnati 20

San Francisco will play the role of giant killer. San Francisco 27, Giants 17

Jets fly over the Patriots. Jets 24 Patriots 20.

The Falcons will “defend the dome” and send the saints marching back home. Atlanta understands the difference between 6-3 versus 5-4 and they will get a critical win at home. Atlanta 34, New Orleans 31  Enjoy the weekend. GO DAWGS!!!

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (November 4 – 6, 2011)

ugamaddawg_lesmiles

The "Mad Hatter" looks to stay on top Saturday night.

With the World Series wrapping up last week, and the National Basketball Association embroiled in a lockout, the eyes of the sports world are firmly fixed on the gridiron for the first weekend of November. College football is expecting an epic tidal wave when LSU and Alabama clash in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. As for Georgia, the Dawgs have a proverbial cheap date for homecoming, as they host the Aggies between the hedges.

In the pros, the Falcons are coming off of a bye-week as they travel to Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts have not won a game as they have been unable to strike it rich at home, or anywhere else, without franchise quarterback Peyton Manning. Indianapolis would gladly settle for hunting the Dirty Birds, but the Falcons get Julio Jones back this week as they prepare to make a playoff push. It should be an easy weekend for both Dawgs and Falcons alike.

The most important game of the weekend for Georgia football fans will not directly involve the Dawgs or the Falcons. As painful as it is to cheer for Bobby Petrino, it has never been more appropriate. Bob-O and his Razorbacks host the South Carolina Gamecocks in that other Saturday night top ten match-up. If Arkansas can win, Georgia will be in first place atop the SEC East all by themselves with just two conference games to play. No matter which team is victorious, I hope there is a camera man constantly trained on Petrino and Steve Spurrier to catch all the red faced, yelling, and visor throwing goodness that is sure to ensue in this pivotal match-up.



Now for the Saturday Night Main Event–LSU and Alabama finally meet in a #1 vs #2 showdown that the college football world has been waiting for. Both of these teams have been destroying the competition thus far this season. LSU’s closest game was a 13 point win over Oregon. The margin was 20 until the Ducks scored a touchdown with 13 seconds left. The tide has also been rolling as well. with their slimmest margin of victory coming in week two with a 16 point victory against Penn State.

While Trent Richardson is the best offensive player on the field, the Tigers will be up to the task of keeping the Alabama tailback in check. Jarret Lee has made Tiger fans forget his early struggles at LSU, as he has thrown just one interception this year. However, that stat could be a jinx if the senior quarterback is not careful on Saturday night.

Still, I’m going with the visiting Tigers to pull off the upset. LSU currently sits as a five point underdog, but they are a little more well balanced on offense than Alabama. Jordan Jefferson can provide a good duel threat option under center if the Tide swallows Jarret Lee. Alabama and LSU seem to be a notch above everyone else at this point. It is a shame for college football fans that these two juggernauts only get one shot at each other.

Picks–College Football

Georgia will be without any of their usual options at running back for Homecoming against New Mexico State. Even so, The Dawgs will smoke the Aggies. (pun intended). Georgia 42, New Mexico State 13

Vanderbilt heads to the Swamp where the Gators are desperately looking for something to eat. Jordan Rodgers is fun to watch at quarterback, and no amount of Florida suffering is enough. Poor Will Muschamp– I wonder if he is beginning to long to be back with the Longhorns?  Sadly, the Gators will get a much needed win. Florida 24, Vanderbilt 17

The #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys host the #14 Kansas State Wildcats. Oklahoma skinned the Cats last week. The Cowboys will pick up where the Sooners left off. Oklahoma State 48, Kansas State 27

The Razorbacks host the Gamecocks in a contest that is potentially as important to the Georgia Bulldogs as it is to either team playing in the game. Arkansas wins, somewhat soothing the Dawgs’ wound from the four plays of doom. Arkansas 28, South Carolina 24

The “Game of the Century” emanates live from Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Saturday night. The time for talk is over. The Tigers win in a battle that is likely to be remembered as the college football game of the year even after the bowls are over. LSU 24, Alabama 21

NFL quick picks

Falcons win on the road at Indianapolis. Atlanta 31, Colts 10

The Giants and Patriots get it on in a Superbowl XLII rematch. Behold– David Tyree’s catch from that game.



New England 28, New York 17

Denver got a glimpse of how far Tim Tebow has to go in his development as a quarterback against Detroit last week. Tebow is very likeable but that won’t help him bounce back against the Bengals. Oakland 34, Denver 14


The Sunday night game is the best NFL game of the week on paper as the Ravens play on the road at Pittsburgh. The game caps off two great nights of football.  Pittsburgh 24, Baltimore 20

Finally, Philadelphia hosts the Monday night game. The Eagles beat the Bears to even their record on the year.  Philadelphia 31, Chicago 21

Enjoy the weekend. GO DAWGS AND HOGS!

Maddawg’s Sports Weekend Itinerary (October 14 – 16, 2011)

This weekend marks the release of the first BCS poll. The SEC West division will be well represented in the first BCS standings, with Alabama and LSU likely to be interchangeable candidates for the top spot. While there is always the potential for an upset on any given Saturday, look for LSU to be #1 and Alabama to be #2 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings.

Another big sports happening this weekend is the determination of the World Series match-up in Major League Baseball. (Although if there is a game 7 the NLCS will wrap up on Monday) The Rangers hope the second time is the charm, while Milwaukee hopes to have the chance to add a World Series Trophy with the Lombardi ones already on the crowded Wisconsin mantle.

In the NFL,The Atlanta Falcons host the Carolina Panthers in a pivotal NFC South battle. The Falcons have gone from a preseason Super Bowl contender to wondering if they can even make it back to the playoffs. Sunday afternoon is the first step required to save their season. Cam Newton has proven to be a worthy #1 overall pick so far. A game against the struggling Falcons defense must have the former Auburn Tiger on the prowl.



Last week I went 9-1, with the only blemish coming as a result of picking the Philadelphia Eagles. While there is not a game that jumps off the college football schedule in week seven, Saturday has the potential to be a great day of football. First up is South Carolina as they travel to Mississippi State. After what one Mississippi State player did between the hedges, Dan Mullen owes Georgia Bulldog Nation one. Elsewhere in the SEC, the #1 LSU tigers roar into Knoxville on Saturday afternoon, while the Dawgs walk into Nashville on Saturday Night.



College Football picks:

Mississippi State has a quarterback controversy in Starkville, while Steve Spurrier is going with Connor Shaw from here on out, following Stephen Garcia’s dismissal. It will be interesting to see how Shaw handles the transition from golden boy to whipping boy upon making his first mistake. I’m going with my heart instead of my head on this one.

Mississippi State 27, South Carolina 24

Robert Griffin III is amazing to watch. He has players around him on offense who are fantastic as well. However, Baylor’s defense leaves something to be desired. Texas A&M is coming off a track meet with Texas Tech that they won 45-40. This one will also be high scoring, but the Aggies will do just enough on defense to win.

Texas A&M 48, Baylor 45

Tennessee gets LSU at home. Don’t expect to hear many folks singing “Rocky Top” once this one is underway. Even the most faithful Volunteer fans will probably head for an early exit.

LSU 38, Tennessee 10.

Florida and Auburn meet at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. The Gators find themselves without starting quarterback Jeff Brantley for the second straight game. As a result, Auburn will find a way to win at home.

Auburn 24, Florida 17

Lastly, in the easiest pick of the week: Mark Richt will sic’ the Dawgs on Vanderbilt. Mr. Richt is a reasonable man, so he will call them off when it is necessary. Georgia goes into the bye week riding a five game win streak.

Georgia 34, Vanderbilt 10

NFL

The Atlanta Falcons do not have a lot to feel good about right now. If they start 2-4, with the way their schedule sets up from here on out, it may be too big of a hole to climb out of. Rise up, Falcons.



 

Falcons 21, Panthers 17

In the other NFC South battle, the Saints visit Tampa Bay. Drew Brees and company outscore the Bucs.

Saints 41, Buccaneers 31

Detroit is still undefeated. That won’t change on Sunday as the Lions go for their sixth win in a row.

Lions 31, 49ers 21

Bears over the Vikings on Sunday Night. Donovan McNabb left his heart in Philadelphia.

Bears 24, Vikings 21

On Monday Night Football, The Jets will beat the 0-4 Dolphins in a bore of a prime time match-up.

Jets 31, Dolphins 10.

Enjoy the weekend. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!