Tuesday, September 07, 2010

From the Long Weekend That Was

/sees Ole Miss lose to a I-AA/whateverthatdivisioniscalled team
/wakes up face down in a puddle in the backyard
/comes inside to find out that Ole Miss really did lose to a I-AA/whateverthatdivisioniscalled team
/wakes up face down in the same puddle on Monday morning

Week: 10-1
Overall: 10-1

South Carolina 41, Southern Miss 13
So has Stephen Garcia made a leap in the direction of a competent quarterback? Or is Southern Miss' secondary issuing a challenge to the secondaries of Ole Miss and LSU for the right to claim the worst in college football? At the risk of besmirching Garcia, let's lean 60% Southern Miss secondary terribleness and 40% Garcia competency. His performance against Georgia this week will give us a better handle on that ratio.

As for Southern Miss and other undermanned teams that run the spread/snaptheballasquicklyaspossible offense, I completely agree with their decision to run that type of offense. It's much harder to defend than more conventional offenses, thus giving them a better chance against stronger teams. However, when your defense is awful and offers the resistance of David Cutcliffe to playing underqualified upperclassmen, you've got to slow the game down and make every effort to control possession. Drives or series that last 1:34 mean that your defense is coming back on the field to get scored on that much sooner. You can still have your nine wideouts, but slow that train down to jalopy speed. When UTEP comes rolling into town, then you can crank it back up.

By the way, let the record show that South Carolina rushed for 224 yards, which is, and I'll need to confirm this, roughly 28 more than they rushed for all of last year.

Florida 34, Miami (OH) 12
26 yards of total offense for Florida entering the fourth quarter. So how many shares of John Brantley stock can I get for the 47 cents that sits on my coffee table right now? Georgia fans, don't look too far ahead, but this could be the year you are finally favored against Florida and lose, rather than being underdogs and pummeled without mercy.

Georgia 55, Former Directional School 7
Had Former Directional School quarterback C. Masson not thrown a 60-yard touchdown pass, his stat line would have read 4 of 14, 17 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT.

Kentucky 23, Louisville 16
Mike Hartline is defying the odds so far in 2010: ZERO interceptions through one game.

Jacksonville State 49, Ole Miss 48
Let's see, 48 points? Check. 479 yards of total offense? Check. Zero penalties? Check. One punt? Check. Win? OF COURSE NOT. It was, a game only Ole Miss could figure out how to lose. After looting and pillaging for the first half, Ole Miss decided, and rightfully so, that it could shut the engines down to 40% on its way to a win. Unfortunately, it discovered that 40% was not good enough for the offense and that the defense needed to have the engines redlining at 8500 RPMs in order to be effective. And, let's be honest, 8500 RPMs probably wouldn't be enough for a secondary that was apparently made up of five to six people with my ability to cover wide receivers (Sorry, body, but it's true.).

/random, sharp stabbing pain in my hip

Now, on to more important questions. What does this mean for Houston Nutt and his staff? Well, speaking short term, and as Nutt said, it was the most embarrassing loss of his career. Long term however, Nutt and the staff no longer are protected from serious questioning when they make stupid decisions or lose games they should never lose (Vandy '08, South Carolina '08, Mississippi State '09, Auburn '09). By saving us from the Ed Orgeron Era, they earned the right to have time free from heavy criticism, but that day has come to an end. Losing to Jacksonville State is whatever the word for inexcusable to the billionth power is. Let it be known, Houston Nutt (AND ESPECIALLY YOU, TYRONE NIX), that the beginning of the end is not quite upon us, but your leash just ran out of slack.

As for the season, STILL NO LOSES IN THE SEC.

Tennessee 50, UT-Martin 0
Happy to report that no Vols players attacked any fans.

Auburn 52, Arkansas State 26
Good to see the Auburn defense is picking up where it left off 2009. Which is, TERRIBLE.

Arkansas 44, Tennessee Tech 3
Alabama 48, San Jose State 3
I'm sure very important and exciting things took place during both of these games. However, they are not documented here.

Mississippi State 49, Memphis 7
Note to gamblers: For the rest of 2010, no matter how big of an underdog Memphis is, TAKE THE FAVORITE. I only saw about 10 minutes of this game and came away with one thought: Memphis could easily go 0-12 and lose 49-7 in all of them. But, give credit to Mississippi State, they did what you're supposed to do to bad teams, which is beat the living dog shit out of them (and not lose to them in double overtime after leading 31-13 going into the fourth quarter).

Northwestern 23, Vanderbilt 21
It's my understanding that Vanderbilt probably got screwed on a late penalty that kept a Northwestern drive alive, allowing them to run out the clock. I would investigate and further explain but my personal word limit on Vanderbilt has already been exceeded by 28 words.

LSU 30, North Carolina 24
Good news, rest of the SEC, 2010 LSU is the same as 2009 LSU. Terrible offense and a shaky defense (front seven played well at times, but the secondary is AWFUL, thus averaging out to the word "shaky"). Les Miles, I salute your ability to maintain the same operating capacity despite the enormous pressure to dramatically increase it. A DAMN FINE JOB.

Boise State 33, Virginia Tech 30
Highly entertaining game that was filled with special teams failures (blocked punt, partially blocked punt, two missed field goals, two running into the kicker penalties), below-average defenses, coaching buffoonery (nice job in the last two minutes, Frank Beamer) and penalties (18 total). I found it even more fascinating Boise State was able to accomplish offensive success with a quarterback that probably can't throw the ball 50 yards and couldn't hit 45 on a radar gun. And it probably helped that Virginia Tech's best safeties are in high school, waiting to be recruited.

Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches
Stephen Garcia
16-23, 193 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
5 rushes, 38 yards, 2 TDs
I may not ever have the chance again to put him here, so here he shall sit. While not great, it was a game on which his career at South Carolina hinged and he played well enough to extend that career until next week.

Given to the player who caused his team’s fans the highest degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth due to blown assignments and generally piss poor play
Houston Nutt
Loss to Jacksonville State
I'll have to check my files (note: I will not actually do this), but I believe this is the first time a coach has ever won this award. Congratulations, Coach Nutt.

Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him
Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Game one, win one for Head Coach Joker Phillips.

2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure Leaderboard
Awarded to the SEC quarterback who throws the most interceptions during the season
1.  Aaron Murray  1
    Jeremiah Masoli  1
    Ryan Mallett  1
    Chris Relf  1
    Larry Smith  1
    Jordan Jefferson  1

Auburn at Mississippi State
If State wants to have a season that doesn't end in November, this is a game they need to win.  I expect an atmosphere in Starkville that will be something like when Ole Miss comes to visit.

Georgia at South Carolina
Is it possible for Stephen Garcia to play well two weeks in-a-row?  Is it possible for Mark Richt to win on the road with a freshman quarterback?  UGH, WHY IS THIS GAME STARTING AT 11 AM?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Gray,

    I was worried about you all weekend. I checked "the beast" yesterday about 12 times and said a little prayer for you, hopping you were ok (and by ok, i mean doubly pissed). Glad to see you woke up this morning...

    Now that I live in Louisiana again (Praise the Lord) I could not watch the Ole Miss game. But one of the 30 ESPN networks covered the overtime. The most enthusiastic cheers in our house that day came when Ole Miss lost (more than the LSU "win"). This leads me to make a comment about the woman you marry. Make sure she likes the same teams as you. But more importantly make sure she hates the same teams that you hate. You can't buy that kind of chemistry. It keeps the passion alive after 4 1/2 years.

    I will not make any comment about Les Miles, Gary Crowton or John Chavis...I will however make a comment about Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher and Bo Pelini. Nick Saban always coached the need to play for 60 minutes. I think that applies to coaching as well. Some coaches hear that and think that they only have to coach for 1 hour of a 3 1/2 hour game. Jimbo Fisher could coach a QB. And when was the last time LSU had a good QB? And Finally, Bo Pelini, he could coach a defense hence NEBRASKA being in the top 10!!! They didn't win a game 3 years ago (not true) and now they are in the TOP 10! Crap!!!

    I watched the Boise St v. VT game last night. The best highlight of the game was during half time. About 7 minutes in Lou Holtz is speaking and you can notice Mark May looking pissed that he has to listen to Lou speak. They cut to commercial and come back when what's his names asks who Mark and Lou are impressed with from he weekend. Mark picks some team...can't remember. Lou picks Florida State. Mark puts his head down, head in hand, shaking head while Lou is talking. When Lou is wrapping things up Mark interrupts Dr. Lou by shouting and wildly gesturing, "THEY PLAYED SAMFORD!!!" Which leads me to believe that this is the year that Mark May kills Lou Holtz on TV. (Howard Beale style, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!! then reaches over and chokes the life out of Lou.) I don't want this to happen, I just think that it will inevitably happen...probably week six.

    Glad you are still breathing...