College Football Thoughts – Conference Championship Week

ohio_state_urban_meyerUndefeated Ohio State Should be Ranked Ahead of one Loss Auburn
If the Buckeyes can best the Spartans on Saturday night, Urban Meyer and company deserve to play for a national championship.  The Ohio State University has won 24 football games in a row dating back to 2012.  On the contrary, Auburn needed back-to-back Christmas miracles to make it into the SEC Championship Game.

Should Sparty stun the Buckeyes this weekend, the winner of the Southeastern Conference title showdown between Auburn and Missouri will likely play Florida State for college football’s ultimate prize.  Even though anything can happen in college football, I feel confident FSU will defeat Duke.

The Targeting Rule Needs to be Amended, but it is not Going Anywhere
Safety is the number one priority at every level of football.  The changes to the targeting rule are representative of the emphasis on protecting players from concussions.  As far as properly enforcing the rule, referees have been pretty hit or miss.

There have been some excruciatingly bad targeting calls this season, along with cases where obvious fouls went undetected, such as in Navy versus San Jose State.

Wave Ryder is the Midshipmen defender at the center of the play in question, apologies in advance for the low-quality of the video below.  Searching for Wave Ryder highlights brings up a variety of topics in Google.



One aspect of the targeting rule in need of further examination is the 15 yard penalty assessed regardless of whether the ruling is upheld.  Logic dictates this penalty serves as incentive for defenders to go low when attempting to make a stop.  Still, it is unfair to impose an automatic first down on an overturned targeting infraction, because doing so can change the complexion of a contest.

Todd Grantham Will Coordinate Georgia’s Defense Until his Contract is up
The unrest in Athens continues to grow due to UGA’s inability to get the opposition off the field consistently.  Do not hold your breathe for a change on defense.

As current associate head coach and defensive coordinator of the Bulldogs, Todd Grantham is not going anywhere until the end of his current contract. Unless, of course,  he receives a better job offer.  The former NFL assistant stands to make $850,000 a year for the next two years.  His contract expires at the end of 2015.

This season has been about dealing with injuries and breaking in new players.  While Grantham’s aggressive 3-4 defense can be frustrating to watch, having a negative turnover ratio certainly does not help.  According to Sports Illustrated, coach Richt is adamant his coaching staff will remain intact.  As a loyal Dawg, I hope Todd Grantham does not spend his offseason waiting by the phone for job offers.  Still, if he wants to leave, adios.

Picking Winners
The 2013 college football campaign has been filled with twists and turns. Conference championship weekend should be no exception.
Predictions (Automatic Qualifier Conference Championship Games Only).

ACC: Florida State 34, Duke 13.
Big Ten: Ohio State 34, Michigan State 21.
Pac-12: Stanford 31, Arizona State 17.
SEC: Missouri 35, Auburn 28.

Will Muschamp – Old Dawg New Job

florida_georgia_rageThe Pressure is on Former Bulldog Will Muschamp
Due to what the Bleacher Report calls “The Cocktail Party Curse,” Florida head coach Will Muschamp is winless against his alma mater.  Muschamp succeeded Urban Meyer after Meyer “retired” at the end of 2010. Coach Muschamp is 0-2 against UGA, the school at which he played college football.  During his playing days as a Dawg from 1991-1994, Georgia went 0-4 against the Gators.  It seems Will Muschamp cannot win for losing Hopefully the trend continues in 2013.

Coach Muschamp has an Impressive Resume
Jabs aside, Will Muschamp has a wealth of experience in coaching.  Muschamp held four different assistant jobs before he got the opportunity to be the head man in Gainesville.  Still, it is critical that Muschamp begin to turn the tide against the Bulldogs.  Before his arrival, Urban Meyer won five out of six against UGA.  Even Ron Zook took two out of three from the Dawgs.

This weekend is not just another conference game for coach Muschamp.  It is a critical opportunity for the big Gator to catch his first Bulldog.

Jacksonville has Been a Rough Trip for Georgia Fans
As long as we are crunching numbers, it is only fair to look at one of our own.  Even with Georgia’s recent success, Mark Richt is just 4-8 against Florida.  Even as a loyal member of Bulldog Nation, I never know what to expect against the Gators.  Predicting a win in Jacksonville generally leads to disappointment.  A third straight victory against the Gators would soothe some of the pain Bulldog Nation had to endure in October.

In May of this year, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Will Muschamp proclaiming the Bulldogs current two-game win streak would not last long.  If the ramblings about coach Muschamp being on the hot seat are true, there is no time like the present.

College Football 2013 Wish List

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Top Five Wishes for the 2013 College Football Season
Every college football fan in America hopes for certain scenarios to unfold during the course of each college football campaign.  With this observation in mind, I will now reveal my top five wishes for the 2013 season. Be warned, it will be fairly UGA-centric.

5. Johnny Manziel Starts Every Game for Texas A&M
Despite the fact that I defended Johnny Manziel a few weeks ago, I am sick of hearing about Johnny Drama and his off the field buffoonery.  If Manziel has broken NCAA rules he should be punished, irregardless of how one views the validity of his infractions.  I do hope that Johnny Football is deemed eligible to play, because it would be nice to see if he can answer his critics with spectacular performances on the gridiron.

I do dread the possibility that Johnny Manziel’s eligibility will be ambiguous throughout the upcoming season.  The NCAA must be steadfast in their investigation of the goings on in College Station so that the Texas A&M Aggies can move on with or without the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

4. Ohio State Loses a Game in 2013
The Ohio State University is the number two ranked team in the country, and the Buckeyes have one of the easiest schedules in the nation.  Urban Meyer and company do not play even one team in the preseason top 15.  Thank goodness there is a Big Ten Championship Game, because if not, Michigan would be the only roadblock between Ohio State and Pasadena, California.

The Buckeyes do actually play eleven other regular season games, but they are very loose traps that Ohio State could only fall into if they are selling memorabilia for tattoos during the games. Simply looking at the Buckeyes schedule makes me wish the college football playoff would start a year early.  Bottom line: Ohio State plays twelve regular season games, seven of which are against teams who had a losing record in 2012.

3. Georgia Beats South Carolina
Losing to a glorified chicken is terrible but when that poultry is coached by Steve Spurrier, it flat out sucks. Georgia must end South Carolina’s three game win streak against them, because the Dawgs will not go to Atlanta if they drop another one to South Carolina this year.  The good news is that South Carolina has lost a ton on the offensive side of the football.  The bad news is that the Gamecocks still have Jadeveon Clowney, and the Ole’ Ball Coach seems to have a knack for making Bulldog Nation miserable.

Georgia needs to defeat the Gamecocks to win the SEC East because South Carolina has an extremely soft schedule.  If South Carolina is good enough to beat Georgia, they will be hard pressed to lose two other Southeastern Conference games.

2. Please Football Gods, Do Not Allow Alabama to Three-Peat
Fans of the Southeastern Conference seem to be united when it comes to the SEC’s streak of seven straight BCS titles.  If Alabama represents the SEC this year, I might have to go against my gut and cheer for the team that is opposing the Tide.

Furthermore, we would all be subjected to ESPN discussions about whether Alabama is the greatest college football team of all time, while listening to absurd opinions such as  Alabama could beat an NFL team.  The only thing that could make the possibility of another Crimson Tide tidal wave worse is if the championship game also involves Urban Meyer.  The following image should represent every Georgia fan’s worst nightmare.

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1. Please Football Gods, Help Georgia Win a National Championship
Georgia’s loss to Alabama in the 2012 SEC Championship Game served to strengthen Bulldog Nation’s thirst for a championship.  Quarterback Aaron Murray returned to Athens for the pursuit of a national title, and a BCS trophy would catapult Mark Richt into legendary status between the hedges.

Wanting a championship and earning a BCS title are two different animals.  Georgia has a tall mountain to climb, but the Dawgs have the talent to turn back any challenge in the country.  I would give my right arm for a rematch with the Tide in the Georgia Dome come the first weekend in December, but UGA must take care of business in the regular season first.

Do Florida Fans Have a Right To Feel Betrayed By Urban Meyer?

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Is Ohio State Urban Meyer's final coaching stop?

When the Florida Gators chomped the Ohio State Buckeyes by a final score of 41-14 in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, it was hard to fathom Urban Meyer coaching college football anywhere other than Gainesville, Florida. After all, the former Gator head coach had just won his second national championship in a three year span.

Fast forward to 2012. Urban Meyer has had two “retirements” due to a weak heart muscle, and now finds himself about three and a half months away from his first game as the head football coach at The Ohio State University. As for Meyer’s old team, the Gators are about to begin their second season under Will Muschamp. Muschamp is a Georgia Bulldog alum, and he was deemed the head coach in waiting at the University of Texas where he served as defensive coordinator before the Gators came calling. Florida finished 7-6 in Muschamp’s first season. Conditions in the swamp are expected to improve, but even the most staunch Gator supporters must have   trouble believing that Muschamp will surpass the success of his predecessor. Continue reading

Maddawg’s Monday Bowl Picks (January 2, 2012)

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The BCS bowls are finally here.

The 2012 Bowl Championip Series gets underway on Monday after a plethora of forgettable bowl games to end 2011. But first, Capital One Bowl Week comes to a close featuring three afternoon games. The Georgia Bulldogs face Michigan State in the Outback Bowl, the Florida Gators get salt rubbed in their year old Urban Meyer wound against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl, and the South Carolina Gamecocks play the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Capital One Bowl.

Following the afternoon pigskin party, the BCS begins with two match-ups on Monday evening. The Wisconsin Badgers and Oregon Ducks kickoff the BCS double dip in the Rose Bowl Game. Wisconsin won their first six games in 2011, before losing two in a row and then winning out to capture the Big Ten Conference championship. On the other side, the Ducks nearly laid an egg in losing their opening game to LSU. However, Oregon rebounded by winning 11 of their next twelve football games to earn the Pac-12 Conference title. Look for Oregon to badger the Badgers.

In the nightcap, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are the lone BCS representative from the Big 12 as they take on the Pac-12 runner-up, Stanford. The Cowboys have a much more explosive offense than the Andrew Luck Crew. The Cardinal will need to control the time of possession, and take care of the football to have a chance to win.  If the Cardinal defense can not get consistent pressure on Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden then Stanford will have a difficult time keeping up with the Pokes. Continue reading

Isaiah Crowell – Too Early To Make a Stray Dawg

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Isaiah Crowell is still just a puppy.

Isaiah Crowell, who was just named SEC freshman of the year on Monday, is the hot topic of discussion among Bulldog Nation.  Some fans are questioning his desire to compete, while others wonder about his character off the field. However, the best thing that Georgia supporters can do for Isaiah Crowell is to leave him alone.

Isaiah has some maturing to do, but he is still a true freshman. This time last year he was a senior in high school who was contemplating playing his college ball between the hedges. Georgia fans must be supportive of a kid who needs to learn how to be a young man instead of treating him as if he were a highly paid NFL running back who failed to meet expectations.

Keith Marshall, a highly touted tailback, has chosen to come to the University of Georgia to play football. Here’s hoping that Marshall was not watching the SEC Championship Game this past Saturday. Hearing the boos directed at Isaiah Crowell could make any standout recruit considering Athens re-think their decision.  “Will fans turn on me if my first season does not live up to their unrealistic fantasy numbers?”

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Cam Newton had a rough first year of college. Things turned out pretty well.

Cam Newton and the Florida Gators is a perfect example of a fan base giving up on a young man too quickly. During his (medical) redshirt sophomore year at Florida, Cam had all kinds of off the field issues. Gator Nation got fed up with him following an arrest after he threw a stolen laptop out of his dorm window. After the fall of 2008,  Newton decided to transfer to Blinn College before ending up at Auburn two years later. Florida’s loss was Auburn’s gain, as a mature Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy and then the national championship in his only season with the Tigers last year. As for Florida, they finished 2010 with eight wins (including a bowl victory) and Urban Meyer “retired.”

If Isaiah Crowell does not adjust his attitude then he does not belong at the University of Georgia. However, that decision must be left up to the coaching staff and Isaiah himself. A lot of young people have difficulty adjusting to expectations in college. The only difference is that Crowell’s every move is under a mass media microscope. The young man should have the opportunity to grow mentally and physically this off-season and learn how to be a Georgia Bulldog.