Going into this weekend’s SEC action I was 15-10. I did pretty good in Week 4 with three misses (Georgia – more on this one further down, Kentucky, LSU) to five wins (Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt) bringing my total on the early year to 20-13.
Big Picture Take 1 – Penn St goes down to Iowa
Much like Ohio St a few weeks ago, I am glad Penn St can be removed from National Championship consideration. This team gets way too much hype for a chump schedule. A 21-10 loss, at home mind you, to Iowa is pretty bad for a team that was supposedly elite.
Big Picture Take 2 – Cal stumbles badly
To me California’s #6 ranking was like Mississippi’s #4 ranking – premature and not at all earned, which continues to expose flaws in how current Poll system. Cal was mauled 42-3 on the road to Oregon. I have no idea what this means for the Pac-10; all their top teams are stumbling. BTW, newly anointed Pac-10 stalwart, dragon slayer (that would be USC for those of you keeping score at home), #24 Washington took one on the chin 34-14 from Stanford.
Big Picture Take 3 – What about Tebow?
Tim Tebow took a hell of a hit, and all of a sudden Texas and Alabama have a real shot to pass the Gators. Don’t think for a minute that Florida is not a good team without Tebow; they are and are better than most teams. The fact is that Tim Tebow is a leader; the heart and soul of Gator Nation. Florida gets a week off to rest up for LSU, but depending on Tebow’s status, the National Championship picture just opened up a little. With Tebow healthy the game features Florida and someone else. Without a healthy Tebow, it is anyone’s race.
WTF is wrong with Georgia?
A win is a win I guess. Years from now; hopefully weeks from now, Georgia’s 20-17 escape over visiting Arizona St will just be remembered as a win. Much like Georgia was ranked too high last year, maybe Arizona St was overrated last year. Maybe at the end of this year Arizona St will sit at the top the Pac-10, which would make my current contempt for this mediocre Georgia team a little more respectable.
I am not sure where to start, but what I do know is that last week’s game against Arkansas exposed Georgia for what it is – overrated, which is a bitter pill to swallow. How is a team overrated when they are only #21 in the land? Georgia’s 52-41 win over Arkansas made Cox look like a world beater, and continued to make Coach Richt look like a fool for not removing Defensive Coordinator Willie Martinez. So what happened when Alabama played host to Arizona yesterday? Alabama shut down Arkansas 35-7.
You have to assume that all the turnovers (2 INTs and 1 fumble) kept Arizona St in the game. The defensive is just too up and down – inconsistent. Arizona St only mustered 204 total yards, which by any measure makes a case for redemption by Martinez. The simple fact is that the game should have never been this close, and Georgia inexplicable put Arizona St in a position to steal a victory between the Hedges. Thank goodness for A.J. Green. Not only did he 8 receptions for 153 yards and a TD, he also blocked a potential go ahead FG by the Sun Devils.
At times the play calling by Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo was atrocious. Just keep going back to the FB since it was so ineffective the previous five times? Cox almost literally threw away the game. Bobo’s gaffs are a little more forgivable than Martinez. At least with Bobo you can say that he is still learning his craft, and he only has Cox to work with or some potential freshmen studs that many not be ready yet.
Make no mistake, the Bulldogs are plenty talented, but they are completely undisciplined, which spells poor coaching. Of course I have never been good at phonics, and do not spell very well, so your opinions may vary. In this “what have you done lately for me” SEC environment, I am not suggesting that Richt step down, be fired, etc. I am suggesting that it is time for Richt to seriously consider stepping into the offensive and defensive game planning sessions because I have to assume that Richt is too loyal to his staff to make any personnel changes.
Next week looms big – LSU comes calling and I have a feeling that it is not going to be pretty. Of course hope springs eternal. LSU almost lost to Mississippi St, and maybe Georgia overlooked the Sun Devils. Is it possible that the game winning field goal as time expired, and subsequent celebration is a turning point for this Bulldogs team? Hope springs eternal …