Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend recap of sorts

A smaller slate of SEC games over the weekend - just 6, compared to last weekend's 12 - but a more entertaining one for sure. Here's some rambling thoughts from the weekend.

* Florida is really, really good. They shook off a sloppy start and blitzed a capable Troy team. Tebow is likely to finish his career 2nd in both rushing touchdowns and passing touchdowns. The unprecedented media fawning over him tends to blur just how good he is. Then, when stories like this one come out, you get the full picture of the remarkable career he's had.

* Tennessee is not very good. So many wanted to declare the Vols "back" after their dismantling of a hapless WKU squad, but Jonathan Crompton is still the QB. Even God was happy the Vols lost as he was tired of being compared to Lane Kiffin. No amount of coaching is going to change that. He looked utterly lost out there against a fairly pedestrian UCLA squad. The highlights of the game for me were seeing Kiffin looking lost and confused yet smug all at the same time. The Vols are in for a world of hurt Saturday in Gainesville.

* It's hard to know what to make of Auburn and Mississippi State's game, at least from the Auburn side. MSU is horrible and isn't going to win another game the rest of this season, that part I understand. But what to make of the Tigers? Kodi Burns seems to have settled into his niche as WildWarEagle operator. Is Gus Malzahn truly an offensive genius to turn a mediocre offensive attack into a potent one in one offseason? Or are the Louisiana Tech and MSU defenses just that bad? Chances are it's a healthy dose of both. West Virginia rolls into the Plains this weekend, and while the Mountaineers will have the best defense the Tigers will have faced so far this season, it won't be mistaken for the Steel Curtain.

* Like last season, Alabama followed up a big win over an ACC foe with a sluggish win over a mid-major program. FIU actually led late in the 2nd quarter before the Tide turned it on and rolled in the 2nd half. Probably nothing to be concerned with - it certainly didn't hurt the Tide last year.

* I also don't know exactly what to think of LSU/Vanderbilt. Clearly LSU was the more talented team and the defense looked better, but Vanderbilt isn't exactly an offensive juggernaut. That game was very much in doubt until Keiland Williams TD run where the only person who touched his was a teammate who failed to get out of his way. I'm no more or less sold on LSU as a legitimate SEC contender this year as I was before that game kicked off. Jordan Jefferson did complete a high percentage of his passes (20/29, 69%) but threw for just 138 yds, or just 4.7 ypa. With cupcakes the next two weekends - ULaLa and @MSU - it'll be a while before we see the real Tigers: @UGA and vs Florida will do that to a team.

* Speaking of Georgia, that shootout with South Carolina definitely qualifies as the strangest and most unexpected outcome of the weekend. Not the UGA win or the small margin of victory, but the offensive explosion. For a game that spawned the greatest game preview post of all time to turn into a 4-hour shootout with 735 yds of offense, 200+yds of penalties, 8 TDs, 7 FGs, and a safety made for one of the most entertaining neutral fan games of the weekend. I still feel we matchup well with the Gamecocks leading up to next Thursday's game. We'll generate a much fiercer pass rush than the Dawgs did. While Garcia looked improved, there were still mistakes made. USC's 3.8 ypc avg doesn't bode well for their chances the rest of the season either.

* Outside the SEC, you know it's bad when you're actually openly pulling for Michigan to win a game, but when that Wolverine win is accompanied by a Fat Charlie loss, I'm all for it. But at least he's taking it like a man and not blaming others. Or not. Weis will be fired at season's end. Urban will tell them no and the Irish will go get Brian Kelly from Cincinnati. Then the Irish will start winning again as Kelly's a helluva coach. Weis, not so much.

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