Monday, October 18, 2010

From the Weekend That Was

Preemptive excuse strike written in italics to both inform and justify my lack of depth (more than usual) and commentary in the games below:  I went to the Ole Miss/Alabama game in Tuscaloosa this weekend and saw only that game and the Auburn/Arkansas game.  I apologize for not being better than that.  But, as you'll find out around here, YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT.  Also, I'm running on half a cylinder and have a raging inferno of pain taking place in my throat, so I don't want to be here right now.  Anyway, moving on...

Georgia 43, Vanderbilt 0
/reviews scores from earlier this year
/confirms suspicion that Ole Miss did lose to Vanderbilt
/vomits and throws handfuls of vomit at the wall

Just how awful was Vanderbilt on Saturday?  140 total yards awful.  I watched the last quarter and a half of this game at a sports bar in Tuscaloosa and they had the sound coming in to the whole bar and on the outside patio.  Normally, such a thing is greatly appreciated, but whoever was in charge of the sound there decided that if someone in Birmingham didn't happen to have the sound on, they could use the sound provided by this bar.  Dave Neal and Andre Ware should never be heard at 216 decibels.

Auburn 65, Arkansas 43
If we needed further proof that Auburn is in fact the New Israel's team, consider the following:

-Auburn's defense gave up 566 yards of total offense
-The majority of those yards came from the backup quarterback
-Auburn fumbles at the one-yard line, play goes to review where it is confirmed a touchdown when it was most certainly not
-Arkansas player is tackled, down on the ground, ball comes out and returned for an Auburn touchdown, play sent to review and declared a fumble when it was not
-Even Les Miles gave a slight nod of respect after watching all of that

So that's 14 free points, one of the worst defenses I've ever seen, an injury to the best passing quarterback in the conference and the standard SEC review official incompetence.  Combined with Cam Newton running around where he pleased and the afternoon was Auburn's.

Obviously, Newton is one of the greatest individual athletes I've see play football [insert further praise, adulation, amazement here].  I would say he's absolutely perfect for the system he's in, but more than likely, he'd be perfect for any system because he's so damn big, strong and fast.  But, with a defense as bad as theirs and the offense completely relying on the legs of one person, Auburn can't keep pulling stuff like this out of its ass.  It's going to catch up to them, New Israel or not (looking in your general direction, LSU and Alabama).  Of course, I would give body parts (probably one or two toes) to be following one of the worst 7-0 teams in the history of college football, but since I do not, I will whine and complain with great zeal.

Also, I did receive a confirmation call on Sunday morning, and I just wanted to let everyone know that this game is finally over.

Kentucky 31, South Carolina 28
Are we barreling towards an SEC Championship Game in which the winner of the East has four losses?  Tennessee, who is 0-3 in conference play, is just 1.5 games out of leading that division.  And this nonsense could have been avoided had South Carolina not been South Carolina and won a game they led 28-10 at halftime.  Being a South Carolina fan would suck.  And you know what else would suck?  Watching Mike Hartline, MIKE HARTLINE, rip through your defense as if it was the Auburn defense for 349 yards and four touchdowns.  F-double minus for Spurrier and company.

Mississippi State 10, Florida 7
Let's review what I wrote last week:
"Surely after two straight weeks of loses and good, solid visual and statistical evidence that the option run by John Brantley is a horrible idea, Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio will decide that punting is a bad thing and perhaps they should throw passes further than 7.3 yards down the field with Brantley.  It's entirely possible that Brantley is himself terrible and that would be a bad idea, but something other than whatever they're doing now has to be tried, right?  Barely out performing Tennessee in total offense should send chills and a sweaty fever throughout your body."
We'll score that one as a giant absolutely not because from what I have been told, Florida kept doing the same thing that's now caused them to lose three straight games, running with John Brantley and throwing ultra short passes.  Brantely attempted 39 passes for an awful 5.4 yards a pass (210 yards; longest pass completed:  14 yards), meaning he's throwing the ball as far down the field as I can throw left-handed (why yes, some people DO call me Boomer Esiason Lite).  Well done, Urban and Steve, well done.  Stubbornness is not always the smartest choice.
"Certainly, the Bulldogs have plenty of offensive momentum right now (three straight wins) and appear to have found some help in the backfield for Chris Relf in the form of Vick Ballard, but if they can't throw in the neighborhood of 150 yards to keep Florida from crowding the line, they might have a hard time running."
We'll score that one as a giant absolutely wrong.  Not only did they make no effort to throw (and to that I say FINALLY, Dan Mullen, FINALLY) but they were still able to hit 212 yards rushing.
"If State's defense can get out of the way and let Florida's offense jalopy its way around, I think they have a chance to steal this game."
Point, Gray!  Though I lose this point for not actually picking them to win.

LSU 32, McNeese State 10
282 total yards against the Cowboys.  Gary Crowton and Les Miles, everybody!

Alabama 23, Ole Miss 10
Well, hello there, Ole Miss defense.  You're only seven weeks late, but glad you made it.  If you could tell the offense that cigarette break time is up, we'd really appreciate it.

Despite the best effort of the season so far by the defense, Ole Miss never really was in this game.  Technically, they were still hanging around, but the feel of the game let you know they had no chance to threaten Alabama for several reasons.  One, it was in Tuscaloosa.  Two, the Ole Miss offensive line, as serviceable as they had become, were totally outmatched and struggled mightily in any form of pass protection (usually that form involved their assignment running by them).  And three, I know Ole Miss got behind and needed to start throwing, but attempting 40 passes with a quarterback who isn't particularly accurate, a bad offensive line and bad receivers never needs to happen again.  I thought Houston Nutt panicked and got away from running the ball way too early and tried to spread Alabama out and rely on Masoli's athleticism to run away from Alabama defenders on any type of passing play (especially in five-wide sets, which looked to be our offense 60% of the time).  Unless your name is Auburn and your quarterback is Cam Newton, having your quarterback try to avoid the pass rush, then run is not a good offense.

If you are a future opponent of Alabama, Ole Miss and South Carolina have now given you the blueprint on how to give a team a chance to beat the Crimson Tide.  Play a 10-1 defense and make Greg McElroy hold the ball for five seconds before he either takes a sack or someone gets open.  That's two straight weeks he has not looked very good, despite putting up some slightly above average numbers.

And finally, eight o'clock games are right out of the devil's workshop.  When it's 5:30 and the Arkansas/Auburn game is just starting the fourth quarter, the last thing you want to hear is, "Hey, two and a half hours until our game."  And then there's the whole getting back to Birmingham at 1:30 in the morning.  NEVER AGAIN, SEC.

Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 18
Young men of Wisconsin, the rest of the country (Ohio excluded) thanks you for doing the Lord's work and making this world a better place.

Given to the player who dominated with or without the help of his teammates and coaches

Mike Hartline, QB, Kentucky
32-42, 349 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Many a time, I have been more than unmerciful with him, so when he torches and salts the remains of the South Carolina defense, I shall give him his due.

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

Urban Meyer, Florida
Steve Addazio, Florida
Back-to-back coaching winners for the first time possibly ever (my research staff is on vacation, or they don't exist at all; I forget which).

Given to the coach who dominated whatever task was in front of him

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
First major road win for Mullen and he did it by sticking to his team's strengths (or maybe just strength). Also, if he coached in the East, he'd be sitting atop the division.

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.  Jordan Jefferson  7
2.  Ryan Mallett  6
     Jeremiah Masoli  6
4.  Stephen Garcia  5
     Tyler Russell  5
     John Brantley  5
     Cam Newton  5
8.  Larry Smith  4
     Matt Simms  4

LSU at Auburn
What happens when two of the luckiest teams in the history of mankind collide when they're both in the middle of two of the luckiest seasons in both schools' histories?  I don't know, but protective eyewear and padded walls should be used and all breakable objects should be taken out of the room.

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