Monday, November 08, 2010

From the Weekend That Was

Florida 55, Vanderbilt 14
There's not a day that goes by when I don't go into the backyard, stand over a hole I dug near the fence and vomit repeatedly over the fact that Ole Miss lost to this Vanderbilt team.  At home (not that Ole Miss really has a home field advantage; on your feet, Rebel fans!).  I watched most of the first half of this game before I discovered I had ANYTHING better to do, and let me emphasize without exaggeration, which some would say I am prone to do, this Vanderbilt team is one of the worst college football teams to ever take the field in a major college conference.  And that comes from someone who watched Ed Orgeron win three conference games in three years.  

Vanderbilt has lost five conference games by an average of 31.4 points a game.  So let that sink in, Houston Nutt and Tyrone Nix.  THIRTY ONE POINT FOUR.  And the two of you lost by two touchdowns at home to a team that lost its other two conference road games by 43 and 35 points.  Well done, well done.  Speaking of those two, here's a brief list of other people and things worse than Vanderbilt:

-Cecil Newton, Sr.

-Eastern Michigan

-Waking up four minutes before your alarm goes off

-The Dallas Cowboys' secondary and fans

-Any form of the NHL in which Barry Melrose isn't involved


I care not for hockey, but I love that man.

-Losing your train of though while making lists

Georgia 55, Idaho State 7
Idaho State quarterback R. Hill: 2-16, 27 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs
That is Danny Wuerffel New Orleans Saints bad.

Kentucky 49, Charleston Southern 21
After hiding for weeks, Mike Hartline has surfaced and now finds himself tied for second in The Belly of the Beast's 2010 Jevan Snead Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Quarterbacking Failure.

Auburn 62, UT-Chattanooga 24
I think the Mocs classify as Country Tech Green Eggs and Ham.

LSU 24, Alabama 21

And why shouldn't he? For as much crap, and 100% deservedly so, Les Miles has taken over his career and especially this year, he earned the right to do whatever he wants for the next week with what he got his team to do on Saturday. I don't know how he did it, but his defense played its ass off (though was aided by Alabama's insistence on throwing more than they ever should) and his offense rolled up 433 yards on a Nick Saban defense with Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee manning the controls (no, seriously, it happened). This was no ass-backwards win for LSU, they straight up beat Alabama, and did it in the fourth quarter, overcoming a 14-10 deficit.

Speaking of people I have given large bags of crap to over the past few seasons, a tip of the cap to Jordan Jefferson. He wasn't asked to do much, but made some great plays, and more importantly, he avoided doing something incredibly dumb. My knowledge of anything over 20 minutes ago is pretty hazy, but I would feel comfortable saying this was the best game of Jefferson's career. He beat a good team, didn't throw an interception and kept the LSU home crowd from wanting to storm the field and physically remove him from the stadium. And even though this cold, unflinching heart dislikes LSU and everything associated with it, a part of me I didn't even know existed was happy for Jefferson. He's been through more crap (and is partially responsible for some of it) than 99% of all college football players. So this weird, warm fuzzy part of me (a part that does not apologize for changing the radio stations when "those songs" come on; the kind you only listen to by yourself and would never admit to another human you enjoy those songs; you know what I'm talking about) says good for him.

For Alabama, obviously any shot at reaching the BCS title game is over, barring something insane happening. Now, if they beat Auburn and LSU loses again, they're probably in the running for a BCS game. But, after everyone comes down off of the ledge and DEFCON 2 alert, I think they're in need of some serious offensive evaluation (ahem, JIM MCELWAIN). A team with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson should never throw 34 times. Greg McElroy is not a bad quarterback, but he's nothing spectacular and should never be the focal point of an offense. OBSERVE MY TIME-CONSUMING RESEARCH:

First two conference games (2-0)
Average pass attempts: 21.5
Average rush attempts: 27
Average rushing yards: 176

Last four conference games (2-2)
Average pass attempts: 31.3
Average rush attempts: 24
Average rushing yards: 125.3

I'm sure that has something to do with teams adjusting to what Alabama does well, but watching the LSU game, McElwain had two running backs averaging over 4.5 yards a carry and he kept throwing.

Take a look at the first series of the second half, Alabama leading 7-3:
Completed pass
Completed pass
Incomplete pass
Incomplete pass
Incomplete pass

And the first series of the fourth quarter, Alabama leading 14-13:
Incomplete pass
Run on 3rd and 19

Now the 73-yard touchdown drive that took nearly six minutes off the clock in the third quarter and gave them a 14-10 lead:
Pass interference
Completed pass
Completed pass
Completed pass
Run (Touchdown)

And the 11-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that gave them a 7-3 lead in the second quarter:
Completed pass
Completed pass
Completed pass
Completed pass (Touchdown)

Notice any type of pattern there, Jim? Be sure to remember this when you're at your next job.

Ole Miss 43, Former Directional School 21
As much wailing and gnashing of teeth Tyrone Nix and his defense have caused me over the course of the 2010 season, credit is due where credit is due.  Granted it was against one of the worst teams in college football, but Nix and his defense did what you do against bad teams.  They held them to 14 points (the other seven came on a Rodney Scott fumble that was returned for a touchdown) and 215 yards.  So at least we know we're capable of shutting down truly horrid teams.  Unfortunately, we don't play any more truly horrid teams.

Because the Ragin' Cajuns were so awful, it's hard to hand out any other praise beyond you did what you're supposed to do against weaker competition.  The only thing (that's a lie, I still have multiple things) that worries me coming out of this game is that Enrique Davis will find his way back to stealing carries from Brandon Bolden during critical game situations (like, say, at the goal line).  Davis had 19 carries (ONE MORE THAN BOLDEN) for 119 yards.  Throw those numbers in with the pictures he surely has of Houston Nutt in a compromising situation, and that means we can expect to see Enricky getting stuffed on a handful of short yardage situations against Tennessee on Saturday.

Arkansas 41, South Carolina 20
I've said it before and I shall emphasize it again here, it would totally suck to be a South Carolina fan.  I know technically this game didn't mean anything in terms of the SEC East race, but holy crap, what an epic stinkbomb by a supposedly good team against a team I considered to be an even matchup for them.  The defense was atrocious and Stephen Garcia, wow, welcome back to 2008.  His showing probably took 75% off of Steve Spurrier's will to live and increased his desire to choke Garcia to death with his headset chord by 6,000%.

The stats don't really begin to describe how bad he was.  He was bad enough that he's come storming through the field and taken sole possession of first place of the 2010 Jevan Snead Award for (not gonna type the whole thing; see below).  He's setting himself up for another disaster against Florida, which will be the official end of his career if he follow through.  It was a magical ride, but like all highly entertaining things, they have to end.


As for Arkansas, I know Ryan Mallett deserves all the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh he receives, but can an argument be made for Knile Davis as the best offensive player on that team?  Maybe it was South Carolina's awful defense, but I thought he looked fantastic (22 carries, 110 yards, 3 TDs).  He possesses the always desirable combination for running backs of being big, fast and strong, and playing with a quarterback as good as Mallett also helps.  I know Arkansas under Petrino will always be a passing first team, but if Davis is getting significant carries, this offense might approach freight train straight out of hell levels.

Tennessee 50, Memphis 14
Welcome to the Tyler Bray era, everyone!  It promises to be 3.4% more enjoyable and fruitful than the Matt Simms era in 2010.  Speaking of exciting things, how about that crowd at the game?  Did Memphis fans think the game was on Sunday?  I suppose I shouldn't criticize too much, they weren't playing Ole Miss, which is the only game they care about.

Also, this video qualifies as the leader in the clubhouse for the most rednecky thing you'll hear all day.

Kansas 52, Colorado 45
At the 14:52 mark of the fourth quarter, Colorado led 45-17. Then they surrendered 35 points and lost. TO KANSAS. YES, THAT KANSAS. Dan Hawkins, everyone!

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

Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
22 carries, 110 yards, 3 TDs
Beware, LSU and Mississippi State (oh, and you too UTEP, didn't see you standing over there), if he plays like he has in the second half of the season, your jobs just reached a higher degree of difficulty.

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

Stephen Garcia, QB, South Carolina
14-29, 161 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
It was about time he came back home.  Eric Oliver was starting to get worried.

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

Les Miles, LSU
Though he was on fire on Saturday, I doubt you'll find an LSU fan who isn't worried he's going to cost them a game against either Ole Miss or Arkansas.  Meaning:  Arkansas.

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.  Stephen Garcia  9
2.  Jordan Jefferson  8
     Ryan Mallett  8
     Mike Hartline  8
5.  Jeremiah Masoli  7
6.  John Brantley  6
     Aaron Murray  6
8.  Tyler Russell  5
     Matt Simms  5
     Cam Newton  5

 South Carolina at Florida
The SEC East Championship game.  Three-loss winner earns the right to be set on fire by Auburn.  Just how awful is the SEC East?  If Ole Miss were in that division, we'd be tied for third.

Mississippi State at Alabama
Can the Bulldogs withstand the onslaught of an angry Alabama?  Or will Alabama take the next two weeks off and focus strictly on ruining Auburn's BCS hopes?  Can Dan Mullen pull off the near-impossible and win in Gainesville and Tuscaloosa in the same year?

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