Thoughts on week 4

By: Townhallsavoy

It’s what keeps college football interesting.  The unpredictable outcomes of what seems to be predictable matchups is what keeps butts on the seats and eyes on the TVs.  It’s why there are 40 hours of college football analysis throughout the week – someone is trying to make sense of it all.  It’s why coaches have to gameplan 7 days a week and players have to practice every possible second.

Unpredictable and unbelievable.

Auburn…

– Unpredictable – South Carolina has (had) the SEC’s #1 rushing defense.  The experts look at this statistic and say, “Auburn will have a difficult time running the football, and they’re going to have to rely on Cam Newton’s arm to have a shot at winning.”  335 yards later, I’d say we crushed the heart of their defense.

– Unpredictable – Stephen Garcia actually being a good quarterback.  I said all week that all we had to do is shut down Lattimore (which we did) and Garcia would crumble into the same old crappy quarterback he’s always been.  Garcia put up some good numbers, but more importantly, he had some great decisions and great throws to keep his team in position to win.

– Unbelievable – This could have been a blowout.  Two of South Carolina’s touchdowns came early on a Fannin fumble and a Dyer fumble.  I honestly think if you take those away, it’s Auburn with the big lead and Auburn cruising in the 2nd half to a big victory.  However, Auburn’s defense held strong at just the right moments to stop a great running back and a hot quarterback from killing our will.  And it was the Auburn offense that chopped their way down the field to take the lead and seal the deal in the end.

– Who would have thought Dyer was going to be more productive than Lattimore?  I guess a lot of you.  Not me.  I still hold my opinion that Lattimore is the better of the two, but Spurrier pretty much took him out of the game.  Not sure why.  He was playing well, but apparently he saw our defense on the prowl to shut him down.

– On the flip side of “unbelievable” – it’s rather predictable to watch a team lose that turns the ball over 4 times in 1 quarter.  The best part of that predictable situation?  All four turnovers were caused by Auburn.  Big hits on the quarterback led to two fumbles.  An excellent read, jump, and catch by Josh Bynes led to one interception.  The last interception – a bit lucky since Alshon Jeffrey is the beast of all beasts – was a great effort by sophomore Demond Washington.

– This team is coming together at just the right time.  Next week’s game hopefully will give the defense some rest.  That’ll lead into a tough road game against Kentucky and set up the big showdown with Arkansas.  If we can get through Arkansas and be 7-0 heading into LSU, I’d put money on us being undefeated going into the Iron Bowl.  We’ll have to wait and see.

UCLA…

– Unpredictable – Do I even have to say it?  Blowing out Texas in Austin?   Big hits?  Big plays?  Sound defense?

– Unbelievable – I believed for a long time.  I believed that Neuheisal (sp?) would take this team to new heights.  With Norm Chow running the offense and USC coughing up quality southern California recruits, now was the time to take UCLA to the top of college football.

– And why shouldn’t I have believed that?  UCLA plays at the Rose Bowl, not the Coliseum.  Point to UCLA.  UCLA has a beautiful campus in LA, not in Compton.  Point to UCLA.  UCLA isn’t on probation.  UCLA has a good coaching staff.  UCLA, like USC, can recruit Arizona.  The Pac 10 isn’t that difficult of a conference (usually).

– But UCLA has been in the dumps.  Struggling to put together a consistent effort and showcase its ability to hang with the big boys.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday, the Bruins bruised the Longhorns, who in my opinion looked worn out.  Which is fine and not an excuse for UCLA’s success.  Sometimes the old blue bloods from the ancient days need to sit out a few plays and let the new, light blue team have a few years of success.

Texas…

– Man, you suck.  What an embarrassment!

Alabama…

– Unbelievable – It’s unbelievable how eerily similar you are to last year’s team.  The defense may still be coming together, but offensively, it’s the same thing.  Two big strong bulls wearing down defenses with a game manager trying not to screw things up.

– McElroy sucks.  I’m sorry.  He’s a winner.  He’s had his moments of glory.  But he’s one of the last guys I’d pick for my quarterback unless I had Ingram and Richardson (or similar quality backs) in the backfield.

– He threw a few interceptions and probably should have had a pick 6.  It’s just like last year.  Alabama can and should beat everyone on the schedule unless McElroy gives the game away.

– Too bad for opposing teams that Ingram isn’t and was never overrated.  And the Richardson hype is true.  He’s just as good if not better than Ingram.

Arkansas…

– Unpredictable – I swore to everyone that this game would be a blowout.  The matchups worked in Alabama’s favor.  Alabama would run the ball and control the clock.  That would keep Mallett off the field and force him to be perfect the few times he was on the field.  When he made a mistake, Alabama would grind it for at least a field goal and Mallett would crumble.

– But that’s not what happened.  Mallett torched the young Alabama secondary early and often.  The running game was able to slash through that vicious and talented front seven.  The defense did well containing Richardson and Ingram.

– What’s most sad and lamentable for Petrino is that this was his best shot, but he didn’t have the pieces together to do it.  Not enough depth on defense – no fault but his own – and Alabama was able to win in the end.  With Mallett leaving next year, I have to wonder what the future looks like for Arkansas.  Maybe there’s another quarterback up his sleeve, but if I have to believe a prediction, it’s that Arkansas’s future faded from bright to dim with this last second, heartbreaking loss.

Florida…

– Unbelievable – YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU HAD TWO PAIRS OF GLOVES THIS WHOLE TIME, LLOYD?  You had Trey Burton sitting on the sideline this whole time?  You had Tim Tebow part deux just sitting on the sideline scratching his balls?  Mixing gatorade?  Drawing mustaches on the opposing team’s pictures in the program?

– So the tables have turned.  Florida, with their amazingly talented defense, now has offensive weapons to make a run.  Kentucky wasn’t a bad football team.  Please make no mistake about it.  Kentucky has some good things going for them and Florida just made them look silly.  Speed all over the field and now, Leak-Tebow has transformed into Brantley-Burton.

– What do we call them?  BB?  BB Gun?  B and B?  Brain and Burn?

Ohio State…

– Big matchup next week to pad Pryor’s stats.  I mean, of course in a 73-20 victory you needed to let Pryor throw for a few touchdowns, run for a touchdown, and catch a touchdown.

UCLA Part Two…

– Think maybe you could slip Ohio State onto your schedule this year?

Boise State…

– If it was in Corvalis, you aren’t undefeated anymore.  I just hate you; I’m not sure why.

South Carolina…

– Unbelievable – It’s unbelievable that if this team stays healthy, they’ll compete for the East.  With Alabama playing Arkansas and Florida before playing the Cocks, South Carolina will have the leg up in the energy level of their legs.  That could lead to a monumental showdown with Florida for the battle of the SEC East crown IF USCe can take down Alabama.

– Stephen Garcia was impressive.  Alshon is the best wide receiver in the SEC (AJ Greene doesn’t play, so he doesn’t count right now).  Lattimore, despite being shut down last night, is still a beast.  The defense still has some good things going for them.  Gilmore is a dangerous return man if the ball is ever kicked to him.  This is a good football team.

Georgia…

– Predictable – Sorry, Dawgs, whom I despise, this is fate.  It happens every year in college football.  Someone on the hot seat doesn’t turn things around.  They don’t have a secret card up their sleeve.  They don’t know how to right the ship.  They can’t control the weather.  And they can’t defeat Mississippi State.

– It’s the tell-tale sign.  Mike Shula.  Tommy Tuberville (2007 – he had it coming).  You don’t lose to Miss State and survive to joke about it.

– However, this will be one of the more dangerous teams when AJ Greene returns.  He’ll open things up on offense, but I think the schedule is too tough to get it back.  I don’t think Georgia can beat Florida, Auburn, or Kentucky.  Is LSU still on the schedule?  Yikes.

Miss State…

– I knew this team would turn things around.  Dan Mullen is a good coach.  They just don’t have the talent to make any real noise in the SEC.  And never will.

– Which leads to…

Dan Mullen and Georgia…

– The fans will scream for Muschamp.  The analysts will scream for Kirby Smart.  The Dawgs should hire Dan Mullen.

– And why not?  He’s getting valuable experience in the SEC at Miss State.  No one disagrees when someone says, “Dan Mullen is a good coach.”  Muschamp has never been a head coach.  Smart has never been a head coach.

– There is a change in the wind that happens every few years.  We had the LSU/Auburn years in the SEC West.  The Florida/Georgia years.  The Florida/Tennessee years.  Now the Alabama/Arkansas and the Florida/South Carolina era.

– Urban Meyer, especially considering his health issues, is due to fail at some point.  The SEC is too difficult to go on a Bobby Bowden type run.  Alabama will have to lose at some point.  Les Miles is on the way out.  Spurrier will retire soon, and even if he doesn’t, South Carolina can be beat in recruiting.

– Now’s the time for Georgia to make a valiant come back, and that can only happen with an experienced, solid head coach.

Final Thought…

– There’s a sweet smell in the air.  It’s the first rain of the year that brings Autumn along with it.  College football is in full force, and that means the bones of the SEC are being broken.  Round 1 is over and Auburn, Florida, and Alabama have come out victorious.  Round 2 is sure to break even more bones and Florida-Alabama face in a rematch of last year’s SEC championship.

– Break out the soups, the foliage, and the hoodies.  It’s officially college football season.

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