Friday, September 23, 2011

Week Four Power Poll And Picks

Carefully ranked by three voters, former Jefferson Pilot color analyst Dave Rowe, former Ole Miss (and everyone else's) defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn, and the SEC replay official that's gonna screw your team, this poll marks those in the SEC who spent the last week living the good life of victory, non-suspension, and blind luck or superior talent.

1. James Franklin
Dave Rowe: "Oh, wow! Vanderbilt! Undefeated! You gotta like what he's done with this team. Really playing hard and looking good on offense. I expect them to put up some points today!"

/Vandy fails to get first down until the third quarter

2. Stephen Garcia
Joe Lee Dunn: "I can't figure this boy out. Big, fairly athletic, strong arm, yet he doesn't know where the ball is going. I don't know. Probably should blitz."

3. John Brantley
Joe Lee Dunn: "Brantley reminds me of Russ Shows, minus the dedication to run head-first into a defensive lineman."

4. Steve Spurrier
Dave Rowe: "Don't sleep on the Commodores, Ball Coach!"

5. Bobby Petrino
Replay official: "Seriously. What an asshole."

6. Chris Rainey
Dave Rowe: "A text message? I don't understand. It's like letter that goes through your phone? Oh, boy! What'll they think of next!"

7. Jarrett Lee
Joe Lee Dunn: "He's thrown how many interceptions? And you're telling me there's not a job for me somewhere in D-I football?"

8. Les Miles
Replay official: "I have it on good authority that Les only considers challenging plays when the clock is on an even number in months that have 31 days and odd numbers in months with 30 days."

9. A.J. McCarron
Dave Rowe: "Hey, he's still alive! Nice job, A.J.!"

10. Tyler Wilson
Joe Lee Dunn: "Oh, right. Sorry, not much on him. Working on getting my application to Memphis before the weekend."

Using whatever lines he can find, even those sites where degenerates are able to freely gamble on prop bets in the Pro Bowl, Gray tries to beat the spread.
Season: 16-12-1 (.569)

Georgia (-9.5) at Ole Miss
My JP game history is a little foggy, mostly because the human brain does a remarkable job of shoving trauma into a deep, dark cave never to been seen again until triggered by the smallest of events, but I cannot recall a JP game in which so much was on the line. Not in terms of division titles or bowl births, but, rather, in a perfectly fitting JP fashion, the survival of a pair of coaches.

Lose to Ole Miss, a team that just got waxed by Vanderbilt, and Mark Richt is either fired on Sunday or a dead man walking for another two months. Get blown out by Georgia, and the same applies to Houston Nutt. A respectable loss probably earns Nutt time until the next thrashing, and an improbable win gives Nutt one bright spot in what is sure to a miserable year, ultimately resulting in his firing.

Looking at this game, I'm reminder of 2006 when an Ed Orgeron team was fresh off a 27-3 drilling at the hands of mighty Wake Forest in Oxford. Georgia came to Oxford the following week, favored by three scores, and walked away with an UGLY UGLY UGLY 14-9 win.

Incidentally, that was the drunkest Ole Miss crowd in the school's history. A horrible football team, an 8 PM kickoff, and no hope. It was also that same night in which someone defecated in the Grove, was seen doing so by Ole Miss' PR-type person, Jeff Alford, who announced to the state's largest newspaper what he had seen, and was printed for all the world to read. WELL DONE, JEFFREY.

Anyway, the point I should have made three paragraphs ago is that even though Ole Miss is a bad team, they're not totally cooked yet, meaning I think they still have some pride. And in the testosterone-fueled world of violent sports, pride can motivate you to keep from getting embarrassed for a second straight week. Combined with Georgia's problems (poor offensive line, head coach pressure, soft run defense, and general bed-shitting tendencies), it makes for an ideal time to take the points with an SEC team at home. Ole Miss won't win, but the points are too good to pass up.

Arkansas at Alabama (-12)
Arkansas goes from three straight games where it was possible to score 75 points if everything clicked as Bobby Petrino saw it clicking, to a game in which 7.5 points would be a respectable number. Mostly because I don't know how they'd get that .5 points.

However, the Alabama offense in its one legitimate game scored 23 points on a team that needed a late touchdown to beat Temple. It's possible they could be saving the two percent of non-conservative plays they have for this game, or they're just relying on the defense to make sure three field goals and a touchdown is enough to get the job done, and perhaps even be called a little excessive.

Alabama should dominate with their defense, but it will be an ugly dominate. Ugly enough that 12 points is enough for me to take.

Florida Atlantic at Auburn (-33.5)
I'm pretty sure I once babbled mildly incoherently in this space about Auburn dominating bad teams even in the Chris Todd era. Then they went out and nearly lost to Utah State. The lesson to be learned here is that I do not learn lessons, and take Auburn to cover.

Florida (-20) at Kentucky
VEGAS, ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO FORCE ME TO TAKE ANOTHER UNDERDOG? I hate this so much. The Wildcats are challenging Ole Miss for offensive worthlessness, but on the other side, surely they understand that limiting Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps puts the ball in the hands of John Brantley, which is a huge win for themselves. But can they do it? I DON'T KNOW.

Based on a rule I just made up, I'm taking Kentucky and the points because no SEC team should be a 20-point dog at home unless they are Vanderbilt or coached by Ed Orgeron.

Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State (-20.5)
State to cover.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina (-16)
Just to stick to my guns that Vanderbilt is terrible, I'll take South Carolina to cover. There's nothing like the kind of stubbornness that takes you down with the ship.

LSU (-6) at West Virginia
It's too bad a fine-tuned Dana Holgorsen offense doesn't get to go up against this LSU defense. It would have been, as they say, an extreme conflict of interest making for awesome television. No idea if they actually say that, but you get the point. Another year or two at West Virginia, and I think Holgorsen has a chance to put a dent in this defense.

Alas, we are stuck with the matchup at hand. I like LSU to cover, but I think this is the game we finally get a Jarrett Lee pick six due to West Virginia's aggressive and unconventional (3-3-5) style of defense. AND IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME. It's been far too long since we've seen that friend.

Also, read this if you want to learn legitimate things about this game.  And it should help erase any doubts an Ole Miss fan will have about hiring a Leach/Air Raid disciple.

*You will not double your paycheck.


Peter Venkman
Season: 23-8 (.742)

Georgia at Ole Miss
Georgia. Last Saturday, my father, who is pushing 60 years of age and attended an SEC school, called me from Nashville to tell me that this Ole Miss squad is hands down the worst SEC team he has ever seen in person. I’ve never been one of those cool cats who skips the game to party in the Grove, but if ever there was a year to do it, it’s this one.

Arkansas at Alabama
Alabama. Did anyone else notice that North Texas resembled the Texas State University Fightin' Armadillos from Necessary Roughness? I half-expected Scott Bakula to enter the game and throw bombs to Sinbad.  Love that kelly green.

FAU at Auburn
Auburn. This is one of three remaining wins on the Tigers’ schedule (Ole Miss, Samford). Ted Roof is clearly one of the top defensive coordinators in the Alabama Independent School Association.

Florida at Kentucky
Florida. I just found my post-game bar outfit for Gainesville next week:

LA Tech at Mississippi State

Vandy at South Carolina
South Carolina.

West Virgina. No, that’s not a typo. Like a woman scorned, look for WVU to take out all of her “no conference thinks we’re good enough” angst against Les Miles and company. Also look for Jarrett Lee to backslide from the hallowed grounds of “game manager” to “who the hell gave this tubby sack of shit a scholarship to an SEC school?”

Mr. Blue
Season: 19-11 (.633)
This week we're graced with thoughts from the mind Mr. Blue.

Georgia at Ole Miss
Ole Miss. “What the hell? He shells out Ol’ Roy for the first eight years of my life, now it’s free meat on Hump-day.”

Arkansas at Alabama
Arkansas. (Censored; Ed: Who knew that Mr. Blue, a fan of letting the world see his red rocket, had such sexy time thoughts.)

FAU at Auburn
FAU. “Meat…meat…meat…Meat…Meat…MEAT…BRAAAAAAHHHHMMMM!”

Florida at Kentucky
Florida. “Hey, vanilla face! Get the low-sodium turkey for crying out loud. Elderly black men stroke out on this salty shit!”

LA Tech at Mississippi State
MSU. “How did it come to this? From 2003-2005 I’m pimp-walking around right field at Rebel baseball games, breakin’ hearts and sniffin’ butts, now the highlight of my week is a quarter-sized piece of meat on an index card.”

Vandy at South Carolina
Vandy. “Sometimes, late at night, I remember a flimsy structure, over on South 16th. Oxford Place, I think it was. There was a bearded man in a hat…they called him Torrent. He had such gentle hands…”

LSU. “If he goes blind, I hope he’d keep me on as his seeing eye dog. I wonder how fast I could get him in oncoming traffic?”


Cameron Poe
Season: 24-6 (.800)

Georgia at Ole Miss
Last time Georgia came to Oxford someone took a dump in the Grove. This time I hope someone pulls a Todd Packer and takes a dump in Houston Nutt's office. I've seen many putrid Rebel performances, but last week's game may be the worst. It's a testament to how bad Ole Miss football has become when it's not surprising that they lose to Vandy.

The thing that did surprise me, however, was the total lack of effort put forth by the team It is clear that this team has quit on Nutt. Teams that quit on their coach early in the season don't come back. (See e.g. Bama 2000, Bama 2006, Auburn 2008) Georgia will roll and Houston Nutt will take one step closer to the unemployment line. (35-10 UGA)

Arkansas at Alabama
I've been about to vomit all week because of this game. Bobby Petrino offenses scare the hell out of me. I don't think Bobby has thought about anything other than this game since the season began. The Alabama defense will see all sorts of crazy shit to start the game. I hope that the defense can withstand the storm because I don't think Chest Tattoo Boy will put a ton of points on the board.

I'm going to go with the Tide because this game is in T-town, but it will be close well into the 4th quarter. If Alabama wins, I will wear this shirt at next week's game in Gainesville. (20-17 Bama)

FAU at Auburn
Auburn loses one game and the AD is sending a don't panic letter to the Auburn "family." They must really think that the ship is about to hit the iceberg. (45-21 Auburn)

Florida at Kentucky
Kentucky lost to Louisville. Kentucky must suck real bad. Florida has a good defense and a below average offense. A below average offense will be enough. (38-7 Gators)

Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State
Dan Mullen did a good job of convincing his players, State fans, and stupid members of the media that State was a legitimate contender for the Western Division title. He failed to back up that big talk in losing his first two SEC games, which brought his record against SEC west opponents to 2-10. Mississippi State is just an AVERAGE football team.

At State, average is reason to celebrate and have big pep rallies with Fred Smoot, but let's stop this nonsense about Dan Mullen turning State into an SEC power. You would think Dan would shut the hell up after two straight losses, but Dan is still spouting off about taking State to Atlanta one day. Dan, one day I'm going to be President of the United States. (31-17 State)

Vandy at South Carolina
I give the new guy at Vandy credit because winning any games at Vandy is difficult. I'm not buying, however, the idea that he is turning that program around. The team I watched on Saturday looked a lot like the Steve Martin era Vandy teams. They were just playing a much shittier version of Ole Miss. They will not upset Carolina in this game.

I think Spurrier hates his quarterbacks so much that he is trying to see if he can win a game by giving it to Marcus Lattimore on every offensive play. Lattimore carried the ball 37 times last week against Navy. I predict 62 carries and 340 yards for Mr. Lattimore this week. (28-17 Carolina)

LSU at West Virginia
Dana Holgorsen's hair and offense are must see TV when West Virginia is up against the typical Big East foe. Unfortunately, Dana does not have enough players to consistently move the ball against the LSU defense. This game will be a lot like the LSU/State game. It won't be a blowout on the scoreboard, but it won't ever feel like West Virginia has a chance to win the game. (24-14 LSU)

Chris Low
Season: 24-6 (.800)

South Carolina
Mississippi State

WAC Edition

New Mexico State at San Jose State
Gray: I saw San Jose State play UCLA two weekends ago and they were, what's the word I'm looking for...WORSE THAN UCLA, if possible. But, at the end of the day, they're not New Mexico State. SJSU.
Venkman: I will be voting straight libertarian anarchist this week. All home WAC teams, please. SJSU.
Poe:  New Mexico State.  Does Hal Mumme still coach the Aggies?

Fresno State at Idaho
Gray: Fresno, in preparation for our loss to them next weekend.
Venkman: Fresno.
Poe:  Fresno.

Nevada at Texas Tech
Gray: Texas Tech. Tommy Tuberville back in Oxford? I would not put up a fight that no one would pay attention to anyway.
Venkman: Texas Tech.
Poe:  Texas Tech.

Colorado State at Utah State
Gray: Utah State.
Venkman: Utah State.
Poe: Utah State.  I liked their work against Auburn.

UC Davis at Hawaii
Gray: Hawaii. Former Hawaii coach and current SMU coach June Jones in Oxford? No issue here.
Venkman: Hawaii.
Poe:  Hawaii.


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