There's a full slate of games this week, including a big one in Nashville tonight.
After dispatching an overrated mid-major full of convicts Saturday night, the Vols must now maintain their focus and take on a rolling Vanderbilt team that has won 30 straight home games. This is uncharted territory for the Vols and the target on their back is bigger than ever. This has the potential to be one of the best conference games all season. Right now though, I see no reason to pick against the 'Dores at home. Wouldn't shock me to see UT win, but the way VU is playing lately, I see a Vandy victory.
Florida @ Georgia
Gut check time for the Gators. Like Ole Miss, the Gators have just about played themselves out of a dance bid. A loss here and they'll be in big trouble. UGA has played better of late and the Gators have struggled on the road all season long. I think Billy D has them ready for this one though. He's been around the block enough to know what's riding on this game. Look for the Gators to come out and pick up a tough road win.
LSU @ South Carolina
This one could be entertaining. Both teams are playing better of late, but USC is coming off a tough loss to swallow against Mississippi State Saturday. LSU is coming off one of its strongest efforts of the year, dismantling Ole Miss by 20. Devan Downey shows his mettle in this one and the Gamecocks win a close one.
Arkansas @ Alabama
The Razorbacks' hopes for a division title are dwindling and any loss would all but end them, especially with MSU hosting Auburn Wednesday night as well. The Hogs have shown the ability to win road games this season, which was one of the main reasons UA ousted Stan Heath after last season. While the Tide are one of the most unpredictable teams in the league, I see Arkansas getting it done in Tuscaloosa.
Auburn @ Mississippi State
One word for this game - UGLY. MSU wins this one big. No explanation needed.
Ole Miss @ Kentucky
Ole Miss and Kentucky have swapped fortunes from the start of conference play. No reason to think that ends Wednesday night as the Rebels have only 2 wins all time in Rupp. UK rolls.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
There's a full slate of games this week, including a big one in Nashville tonight.
Monday, February 25, 2008
This has been circulating on the message boards today, but it's worth posting...
Saudi Arabia - Once a proud country but wrecked by infighting and surrounded by enemies on all sides...Syria and Iraq have dominated them for years...very superstitious about the number 6...accomplishes a lot in the spring - offers very little in the fall.
Palestinian territories - No one worries a lot about them unless they can be of some use (like winning a battle once in a while against Iran that shakes up the standings).
Syria - Capable of dominating anyone in the region at anytime (just ask Al Qaeda). Syria and Iraq routinely expose Saudi Arabia for what they really are. Has terrorized mortal enemies for 6 years - not to mention 7 of the last 8...the Saudi's desperately want to enter peace talks (because talk is about all they do these days).
Al Qaeda - Evil infidels. Formed around 1990 but likes to speak as if they are the cradle of civilization.
Kuwait - You hear alot of talk about riches and potential...but still very vulnerable to Iraq and many others...Kuwait now plays LOUD rap music at all their battles.
Morocco - Not really part of the Middle East. Has other interests besides fighting (or playing football).
Iran - New money...current superpower in the region but it will all come crashing down...mainly because they have a functioning retard as their leader.
Afghanistan - Has very little going for it (but their chicks are pretty cool).
Qatar - Where the hell is Qatar?
Libya - Has a charismatic ruler but is a desolate nation. Their leader can rattle his sword here and there but that's about it.
Iraq - Has good history but the country has been tanking lately...should rebound in the near future...loves having a good laugh with Syria.
Israel - Leave them alone please. What have they ever done to you?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
This game was a microcosm for why the Tigers have no shot at winning a national title. Your coach got schooled and your thugs got outrebounded by 15, shot less than 50% from the FT line, and missed almost 20 straight 3s. Why the hell did Memphis shoot 27 3s?
If I were a girl in Memphis, I'd lock myself in a safe area. The Tigers will be angry tonight and looking to slap someone around...
Friday, February 22, 2008
* Both ESPN and The Sporting News have posted their Spring Football previews. ESPN also posted their SEC rankings for the upcoming football season. Something tells me fans of the Hog Nation will take umbrage...
* The Sporting News also poses 20 questions/storylines for the 2008 college football season with a handful of them involving SEC teams.
* Rivals has their Weekly SEC basketball "State of the Union" posted
* Hard to believe, but baseball season opens today. CSTV has their SEC preview up.
Some mildly entertaining conference games tomorrow are overshadowed by the #2Tennessee@#1Memphis game late tomorrow night. I'll have thoughts on that below...
Arkansas @ Kentucky
These two were the power teams in conference in the early to mid-90s and have waged some epic battles through the years. Both are in 2nd in their respective divisions and could use this win to improve their standings and their postseason prospects. The 'Cats though have their backs farther up against the wall. I see Patrick Patterson having a big game here and UK taking the victory.
Georgia @ Vanderbilt
The 'Dawgs seem to play everyone close, then lose it late. I'll surprised if they play this one close. Vandy is typically lights out in Memorial Gym and there's no reason to think they won't be tomorrow.
Ole Miss @ LSU
After a couple of close losses and a resounding win in Florida, LSU fell on rough times in Fayetteville Wednesday night. Ole Miss pulled the opposite, snapping a streak of bad games with one of their best efforts of the season. With any hopes of dancing at the end of the year held together by a thin thread, I think the Rebels find a way to get it done tomorrow in Baton Rouge.
Mississippi State @ South Carolina
This game features possibly the league's best two guards in MSU's Jamont Gordon and USC's Devan Downey. It should be very entertaining to watch those two duel. While MSU is the better team overall, my Spidey-sense is telling me that South Carolina wins this one. Not sure why or how, but just a feeling I get.
Alabama @ Auburn
Not sure how Auburn wins the games they do, but I know how Alabama loses. They can't hit FTs and don't take care of the ball. That's a recipe for disaster on the road, particularly in a rivalry game. AU wins.
As for the Memphis/Tennessee game, if you're a member of decent society - and not a Memphis graduate - there's little to no reason to pull for the Tigers in this one. The Tigers won't be put off by the Vols' bright orange uniforms, as many of the Tigers have worn orange prison jumpsuits in the past several months. While Tennessee football team is racking up charge after charge, John Calipari's band of misfits won't be sold short. In the past 18 months, they've solicited prostitutes, incited riots, hit women, and been subdued with chemical elements. Somehow, the city of Memphis has still embraced this team. I wonder how they would feel if they weren't #1 in the country.
That said, the Tigers are a talented team and have the longest home winning streak in the country. It will be a great test for the Vols, particularly on the inside, which may - or may not - be UT's weakness. At least they know they'll be safe once the game starts, as the Memphis players typically only hit girls.
I see the Vols pulling the mild upset here. Pearl>>>>>>Calipari when it comes to Xs and Os. I think they'll junk up the defense enough that the Tigers inability to hit 3s is exposed. The trio of Smiths and the 3s of Lofton will be too much for the Tigers to handle.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
As expected, Kelvin Sampson is out at Indiana. Not much to say about this except "What a dumbass". There's no question that Sampson is a good coach. He's won everywhere he's been and has IU in position to win a Big10 title this season.
What is in question is his ability to exhibit basic common sense. He just lost one of the premiere college coaching jobs in the country for pulling the same stunts that landed him in hot water when he was at Oklahoma. No BCS school is going to take a chance on him as a head coach any time soon as IU will face at least minor penalties.
Posted by The Dead Guy at 2:44 PM
... and doesn't use the phrase "lack of".
Behold, I present to you a Big 10+1 Spring Football primer, as told by ESPN. Tomorrow, I'll present an equally as riveting 45-page essay on the virtues of watching paint dry.
I hope Ohio State does waltz through the patsies again in '08 and face Florida or Georgia in the BCS Championship game. The 0-9 jokes will be old hat by then. We'll all be ready for the 0-10 jokes. How those crazy Yankees can stand watching that brand of football for 12 weeks a year is beyond me. I guess the cold will mess with your brain...
When asked for my opinion about the Big 10+1's football credibility, my reaction is as follows...
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Georgia @ Kentucky
After being embarrassed on Super Tuesday last week, Kentucky pulled through in a tough battle Saturday against LSU. They'll be seeking to redeem themselves from last week's performance tonight, but will have to find a way to slow down UGA's Sundiatta Gaines. It'll be closer than 'Cats fans want, but the Big Blue Nation gets it done at home and holds onto 2nd place in the East.
Auburn @ Tennessee
Unless Tennessee is already focused on Saturday's mega-showdown with Memphis, no reason this one is close. Auburn won in Oxford Saturday, but no chance in Knoxville.
LSU @ Arkansas
LSU has been playing much better since John Brady disappeared, but they're overmatched in Fayetteville. The Hogs still have an outside shot at an SEC West crown, but a loss here would be devastating. Their defense is too much for LSU.
Mississippi State @ Ole Miss
This game will go one of two ways - Ole Miss gets back to their early season form and runs past MSU or the Rebels' wheels come completely off. Based on each team's play lately, I'm thinking option B is much more likely. MSU wins in Oxford.
South Carolina @ Florida
After an 0-2 week last week, this game is the Gators season. Another home loss here and the the Gators would most likely finish 4th in the East. Billy Donovan will have UF ready for this one. Florida wins.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Is there anything worse for college basketball than the band of renegades known as the Memphis Tigers being 25-0 and ranked #1 in the country? Are these really the “student-athletes” the NCAA would select as their representatives?
Saturday night’s win in Birmingham was another example of the classlessness that this Tiger team has, though with John Calipari as a coach, who can be surprised? No doubt he wins a lot of games, but between his recruiting tactics, his arrogance, and his utter refusal to discipline players, only those lemmings who have ingested a full serving of the Calipari kool-aid can have even a shred of respect for the man.
While the UAB students are certainly not blameless here – they were hurling pom poms and 4-letter words at the Tigers as they attempted to leave the floor – many Tiger players took to jersey popping and jawing back, which only exacerbated an already hostile situation. In particular, Pierre Niles, Shawn Taggart, and Jeff Robinson jumped up off the bench and taunted the UAB fans.
(As an aside, what is it with the University of Memphis? This just a few months after football coach Tommy West hurled F-Bombs at Ole Miss fans?)
But Saturday night’s near melee is just another in a growing string of grievances decent society has with the Tigers.
Taggart and Robinson already been arrested this season – along with Joey Dorsey – for inciting a riot outside a nightclub in Memphis. Robert Dozier – who, by the way, is still starting despite hitting his ex-girlfriend a few weeks ago – is seen in the middle of the fracas as well. But given Calipari’s history, this is nothing new. In 2003, he suspended 2 players for a game, then ended up moving that suspension twice so they would miss a lesser opponent. In his most blatant display of ineptitude, in 2005, he suspended Jeremy Hunt all of 2 games for hitting his girlfriend before permanently suspending him from the team. And by permanently, I mean for the season. Hunt came back and played last season. The list goes on and on.
(As another aside, kudos to the security guard standing directly beneath Pierre Niles smacking the Larry the Cable Guy wannabe. The fans and players must feel infinitely more secure knowing that – while she may be diminutive – at least she’s not paying attention.)
So this is what we’re left with. A mid-major team full of arrestees sitting atop college basketball's rankings. The good news is there’s no chance this team cuts the nets down in March. Zip. Zero. Nada. They can’t hit FTs (58.3%, 340th in nation) or 3s (34%, 219th). Their March story will be the same it has been the last 2 seasons – dominate the 16- and 8-/9-seeds on pure athleticism, get by the Sweet 16, then get embarrassed by a well-coach, disciplined team in the Elite 8. They’ll not only lose, they’ll look bad doing it.
***UPDATE 2/19: Great article by Jeff Goodman on Fox Sports and Pat Forde on ESPN about this same subject...***
Friday, February 15, 2008
Some intriguing games this weekend. Key divisional battles - UF@VU, AU@OM, ARK@MSU, - that will go a long way in determining how teams will be seeded come SEC Tourney time. Here's what to expect this weekend...
Kentucky @ LSU
This game will pretty much define Kentucky's season. A few days after being waxed on national TV by 40+ points, UK Must travel to a suddenly inspired LSU team coming off a big win in Florida. While Buth Pierre and his fivehead are certainly a coaching upgrade over John Brady, can they continue this high level of play against the SEC East's top teams? Maybe I'm crazy, but I see UK getting it done here. Crazy things tend to happen when these teams meet up, and the 'Cats will come out ahead in the end.
Florida @ Vanderbilt
Fresh off an ugly home loss to LSU, the Gators need this one to keep pace in the muddled mess that is 2nd plae in the East. Vandy though, fresh off its most dominating performance of the season hasn't lost a home game all year. That coupled with UF's struggles on the road spells trouble for the 2-time champs. Vandy wins.
Tennessee @ Georgia
Both coming off big wins, though this game means much more to the Vols than it does the 'Dawgs. UGA is just another step in the Vols' march to an SEC crown.
Arkansas @ Mississippi State
Revenge will be on the minds of the Bulldogs, who suffered their first - and worst - SEC loss of the year in Fayetteville. The Hogs are coming off a road blowout to UT from Wednesday night and face the real possibility of the same fate in Starkville. While this game will be close, MSU is too tough at home for the Hogs. Arkansas' Gary Ervin will be a marked man from the time he steps onto campus.
Auburn @ Ole Miss
If the Rebels are going to stop their current bleeding, it has to start now. They've gone from 13-0 to an NIT team in a matter of weeks, but they can begin to rectify that with a win over an AU team that beat them on the Plains earlier this season. This should be a big bounce back game for the Rebels as AU is riding a 5-game losing streak. The Rebels will handle business.
Alabama @ South Carolina
The Tide finally managed to hit FTs in clutch situations and held on to knock off Ole Miss Wednesday night. Now, they face a USC team that was just blown out by UGA Wednesday night. In a battle of contrasting styles, the talented USC guards will be too much for the Tide. USC wins.
And for some Friday tunes...
Thursday, February 14, 2008
No, not that Manning... The other one.
Prior to the last NFL season, the Giants were expected to enjoy a tall glass of FAIL juice all season long. With shiny-toothed asshat Tiki Barber retiring and immediately slamming former teammates and coaches, the Giants stumbled to an 0-2 start. After that though, The Giants didn't lose away from home the rest of the season, including 3 road playoff games and the Super Bowl.
Now Tiki is at home bleaching his teeth and trying to take partial credit for the Giants' win, while Eli Manning and his teammates are wearing their Super Bowl rings and starring in Gatorade commercials. Maybe T.O. and Tiki can get some popcorn and watch it together. If it's on in Mexico, maybe Tony "Mr. Clutch" Romo and Jessica "Plastic" Simpson can see it as well.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
So much for improved basketball by Kentucky. THAT was just an ass whoopin'. No other way to describe it. UK's worst SEC loss ever and worst overall loss since 1989. 11 points and 12 turnovers at half time? Wow. Maybe Vandy can play defense. What a way to open up a 4-game homestand that will - for all intents and purposes - determine their placement in the East.
Looking at the numbers, not hard to see where UK got beat... it's everywhere. VU averaged nearly twice as many points per possession (1.3 to .7), forced UK into turnovers on nearly 1/4 of their possessions (23.8%) and rode the strength of a 20/6 assist/turnover ratio to a ridiculous 131.0 efficiency rating.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
If you ever come down with a nasty sinus infection, The Dead Guy highly recommends a "Sinus Cocktail" shot. At this very moment I feel like I could float away at any time, so before I drift off to LalaLand, here's a quick look at tonight and tomorrow night's games...
Kentucky @ Vanderbilt
Vandy picked up 2 nice road wins last week and now has 4 straight at home, where they're unbeaten. If Kentucky can control the pace tonight and play a little D, this could be a great game. I'm picking the hot hand though... Vandy wins a close one.
***UPDATE: 2/13/08*** By close game, I mean a "not-close" game. I was only kidding when I said close
South Carolina @ Georgia
The Gamecocks have won in Fayetteville and Oxford, but may come out flat in this one after letting a game get away from them Saturday against Vanderbilt. Georgia will again be shorthanded and come up empty. USC wins.
Ole Miss @ Alabama
OM Leading scorer chris Warren was held scorelss against Presbyterian last night (on a Monday night? WTF?). He'll be the key to this game as Bama has no real PG. Look for OM to force a lot of TOs and pick up their first conference road win of the season.
LSU @ Florida
I like Butch Pierre and his fivehead. He's been thrust into a rough situation, but had the Tigers ready to play Saturday against UT. This one won't have the same story line. This will be all Gators all the time. UF wins big.
Arkansas @ Tennessee
This will be one helluva game. Both teams are cruising right now. Both played close games on Saturday, but forgive them if their focus had already drifted to this game. Can UT keep Arkansas off the glass? Can Arkansas keep UT from running them out of the building? When the dust finally settles, I'm picking the home team int his one, with a rockin' Thompson-Boling the difference. UT wins a great one.
Monday, February 11, 2008
* A good look at the John Brady firing on Fox Sports. This year will be the 5th time in 11 seasons that Brady's team has finished 6th in the SEC West. At a school with the resources and facilities LSU has, that's inexcusable, even if you do throw in a Final 4 trip once a decade. I do disagree with the writer's assertion that Ole Miss' Andy Kennedy will be the head coach next year. For one thing, Kennedy may be on the cusp of something special in Oxford and want to be around when it come to fruition. Plus, USC's Tim Floyd is well connected in Louisiana and could slide right in comfortably. I'd also imagine that Anthony Grant ranks higher on their list than Kennedy as they may hire him in hopes to recreate what Bruce Pearl has at Tennessee.
* A couple of links from ESPN about the omnipresent bubble lingering over a handful of SEC teams as well as how Bracketologist Joe Lunardi sees the field. 5 teams in from the SEC at this point, though Ole Miss will need to wake up if it wants to join Mississippi State, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt in the Dance.
* Rivals breaks down the SEC
Friday, February 8, 2008
Short on time tonight and most likely tomorrow, but here's how I see the weekend going down...
Alabama @ Kentucky
Mark Gottfried moves one game closer to joining John Brady in the unemployment line. Kentucky rolls in this one.
Tennessee @ LSU
Tiger fans are more excited about this being Brady's last game as head coach than they are that a top 5 team is coming to Baton Rouge. Expect an inspired effort from the LSU players to come up short. UT wins.
Georgia @ Florida
Maybe after this embarrassing loss, no UGA players will wind up in a police report. The Gators will rebound from their humbling loss to UT in a BIG way.
Ole Miss @ Arkansas
These are 2 teams headed in opposite directions. Ole Miss is struggling, particularly defensively, while Arkansas is on a roll, registering 3 straight blowout wins. Things will go the Hogs' way tomorrow.
Vanderbilt @ South Carolina
The Gamecocks have been playing much better since Odom announced his retirement. Vandy finally broke through on the road against UGA, but that's really not saying too much. I see USC pulling a mild upset here, with Devan Downey again leading the way.
Mississippi State @ Auburn
Auburn should consider themselves lucky to reach 60 in this one. Bulldogs roll.
LSU announced today that it has fired head basketball coach John Brady. Aside from an improbable run to the Final 4 a couple of years ago, no coach in the SEC has consistently done less with more than Brady. At a school with unlimited resources, fertile recruiting ground, and nice facilities, he never could put a consistent winner on the floor. In his first 10 years in Baton Rouge, he finished 4th in the SEC West 4 times. They're a lock to make it 5 times in 11 years this season. A loss to Tennessee on Saturday will make him 20 games below .500 in conference games for his career.
Fans in the SEC have to be disappointed as the John Brady farewell tour didn't even get to make its full rounds through the conference. Saturday's game against UT will be the last time we'll get to watch him make facial expressions that make the Keystone "Bitter Beer Face" guy jealous.
You can bet that VCU head coach Anthony Grant's phone will be ringing shortly if it hasn't already. Grant, a former assistant at Florida, was lined up to take the UF job when Billy Donovan had a momentary lapse of reason and took the Orlando Magic job. University of Memphis head
sleazeball coach John Calipari may get a call as well, but his ego won't let him leave a gig where he can feast on patsies from Conference DOA. Tim Floyd and all his NOLA connections may be a good fit as well. Ole Miss may want to make sure Andy Kennedy is happy too...
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Bama continues to shoot themselves in the foot in close games from the foul line, this time hitting just 52.9% of their shots from the stripe.
Great win by Kentucky, which played with out Meeks and Bradley. Amazing that the game was so close when you consider that UK shot 66.7% from the floor, 60 on 3s, and outrebounded AU by 7.AU forced 24 ‘Cat turnovers though, including 14 steals.
Here’s a good article about this young Florida team that is obviously still trying to find itself on the road in conference. UT blew this game open late on the strength of 44.8% 3s and a ridiculous 27/9 Assist/TO ratio. Meanwhile, UF turned it over 24 times.
Nothing really of note in the Vandy/UGA game. More of note would ANOTHER UGA player running afoul of the law. By the end of this season, UGA may be having open tryouts in the Rec center just to play a full roster…
Hat tip to EDSBS
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I’ve always liked the Mannings. Unless you have school allegiances that prohibit such fondness, it’s hard not too. But it’s impossible to not respect what the First Family of Southern Football has accomplished on the gridiron in its storied history:
*Peyton finished 2nd in the Heisman voting in 1997, Eli finished 3rd in 2003, and Archie finished 4th in 1969 and 3rd in 1970
*Peyton and Eli were both selected #1 overall in the NFL draft. Archie was taken 2nd
*While Archie never played on a good team in college or the pros, Peyton and Eli have now won back-to-back Super Bowls and been named game MVPs
*Archie was named to 2 Pro Bowls, Peyton has been to 9 (including 7 straight), and while Eli hasn’t been to one yet, he did lead the Giants to 11 straight wins away from home in one season, something no one else has ever done
That said, both had rough transitions from college to the NFL. Many "experts" argued that the Colts should've drafted Ryan "I had one good year at Wazoo" Leaf instead of Peyton. Robbed of the Heisman by ESPN campaign for Charles Woodson, Peyton had the pedigree and years of success that made him the obvious choice, but you'd never know it from the "experts".
Eli was one of the most hated players in the league before he took his first snap. The always classy San Diego Chargers organization leaked the fact that Eli didn't want to play for them. While it was a brash statement from Eli, it was done privately. The Chargers were the ones who decided to go public with it. This galvanized much of the nation into celebrating every interception (and there were lots) his first few years in the league.
Now, their silence is deafening. In the highest-rated - and arguably most exciting Super Bowl ever - no one played it cool better than Eli. Thrust into more of a leadership role this season with shiny-toothed asshat Tiki Barber retiring and TE Jeremy Shockey breaking his leg late in the season, Eli came through time after time. The leadership role fit him well, particularly away from the overbearing New York media. The Giants didn't lose away from home after Week 1 and now, in just his 4th year in the league, Eli has a Super Bowl ring to match his brother's.
So congratulations to all the Mannings, but particularly Eli this season. After what he's endured over the past few years, no one is more deserving of this recognition. Both Eli and Peyton were branded as overhyped QBs who couldn't win the big games. Now each has a shiny piece of jewelry that says otherwise.
Well, tonight's the last night you'll be able to channel surf to a college basketball game on ESPN and not run the risk of being assaulted by "Dipsy Doo Dunkaroo", "Diaper Dandy", "PTPer", or fond memories of JJ Redick. That's right ladies and gentlemen,
Dook Dick Vitale returns to the airwaves tomorrow night, SHOCKINGLY to cover a UNC/Dook game.
Don't get me wrong, I admire Vitale's passion for college basketball, at least of the ACC-variety. I tire of his constant waxing poetic about Dook and UNC players that graduated in the 90s. His constant yelling. His inane catch phrases. I don't know who these people are who actually enjoy listening to him for a full 2 hours of game time. Obviously there are some, or he wouldn't have a job. I just don't know who they are or what's wrong with them.
I'm glad that no cancer was found in his throat... I certainly don't wish him harm. But I won't lie and say I missed him. He - like so many ESPN personalities (cough *Berman* cough) are washed up has-beens with shticks that have long since past the frame of relevancy. But, hey, what can you do? That's why *INSERT DEITY OF YOUR CHOICE HERE* invented mute buttons.
Enjoy the Silence for one more night folks, it all goes away tomorrow...
Been a few days since I've had a chance to get on here. Here's a look at tonight and tomorrow night's games...
Florida @ Tennessee
The Gators have struggled in tough road environments and are coming off a humbling loss to Arkansas last weekend. The Vols are cruising right now, riding the (finally) hot hand of Chris Lofton. They'll welcome a Gators team desperate for a confidence-building effort as they were waxed in Fayetteville. Knoxville though, is not the place to come when you're struggling on the road. The Vols' win here tonight puts them in the driver's seat for the SEC East (and league) crown.
Kentucky @ Auburn
While both these teams have had well-documented struggles this year, only the 'Cats have (seemingly) righted the ship. They picked up a nice road win in Athens last weekend and will travel to another lesser conference foe Wednesday night when they take on Auburn. The 'Cats size will be too much for Auburn from the word Go in this one. Unless Auburn shoots the ball remarkably well, this one will be an easy victory for UK. Kentucky picks up a 2nd straight road conference win.
Vanderbilt @ UGA
While the Commodores beat Auburn at home last weekend, they're still not playing very well. Their FG% is down from the non-conference and they're still not playing good defense or protecting the ball. UGA lost at home to Kentucky, but played it close to the end. Until the 'Dores prove they can pick up an SEC road win, I'm not going to believe they can. UGA wins a close one.
Alabama @ Mississippi State
Ok, so apparently the Bulldogs play better when they're not ranked, as they went 0-2 with a number to the left of their name. That's a problem that Alabama won't have to deal with this season though. They've been playing better as well, but there's no way MSU drops this one at home after going 0-2 last week. These 2 schools hate each other, so this should be an entertaining, heated rivalry game to watch. In the end, too much Jamont Gordon and Bulldogs for 'Bama to handle.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
A full slate of action of mostly inter-divisional games. The top 2 teams in the East travel to the top 2 teams in the West for what should be a great day of basketball action. Here’s what’s on tap for the weekend…
*Kentucky @ Georgia
Somehow, the ‘Cats have made it 18 games into the season and not won a single game outside of Rupp Arena. They’re getting healthy now though and playing much better. UK G Ramel Bradley is certainly in the running for SEC Player of the Year. He and SEC Freshmen of the Year front runner Patrick Patterson should each have their way with UGA. Kentucky picks up the road win.
*LSU @ Alabama
The two coaches with the hottest seats in the conference square off in Tuscaloosa in a game that doesn’t even interest these two fan bases. Both squads are 1-5 in conference and searching for answers. Talent is in place on both teams, but Bama is playing without a true PG and can’t make FTs and LSU is shorthanded and has John Brady as their coach. The Tide will roll in this one.
*Florida @ Arkansas
This along with the UT/MSU game make Saturday a great day of SEC basketball. Arkansas dominated MSU Wednesday night and opened the door for themselves and Ole Miss to get back into the SEC West picture. Florida is tied atop the SEC East standings with UT at 5-1. The young Gators have been solid on the road in SEC, losing only in Oxford in a nail-biter, but the Hogs are a different team in Bud Walton. Like Wednesday night, the atmosphere will be electric and the Hogs land a victory over a ranked team.
*South Carolina @ Ole Miss
This will be a reunion of sorts for SC’s Devan Downey and Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy. Downey played for Kennedy in his interim year at Cincinnati in 2005-06 before transferring back home to South Carolina. Both teams are coming off big home wins. USC has two big guards that score a lot of points but not much in the middle, which is where Ole Miss makes its living. OM C Dwayne Curtis will bounce back from a 3-point effort against Vandy Wednesday night and lead the Rebels to victory.
*Auburn @ Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt has to find a way to win a road game in conference. Period. End of Story. In the meantime, they can take out their frustrations on an overmatched, Auburn team that just lost at home to LSU. This one won’t be close. The Commodores roll.
*Tennessee @ Mississippi State
This will be a great game to watch as 2 teams with very contrasting styles clash in Starkville. UT looks to run teams ragged while MSU likes to slow things down and then guard the $*%& out of you. UT G Chris Lofton has finally regained his shooting touch, which he’ll need as MSU is holding teams to less than 40% from the floor in conference games. The Bulldogs will have to improve on their 5/22 Assist/Turnover ratio from Wednesday night to win this one. This will come down to how well UT shoots the ball from outside. MSU will have the advantage down low with Rhodes and Varnado, so UT will have to knock down jumpers to spread them out. After a tough win in Tuscaloosa Tuesday night, no reason to believe the shooting touch won’t carry over to the Hump. Vols win a good one.
And now for something completely different...
* Here's a good piece that asks the question "How has Billy Donovan not won SEC Coach of the Year before?" While I do agree it's surprising, I'm not sure I agree with the assertion that he will or even should win it this year. He and Andy Kennedy have both done remarkable jobs overachieving this year with very young, inexperienced teams. The race for Coach of the Year won't be decided most likely until the final week of the season. I don't think you can go wrong with either coach.
* On a football note, here are a couple of interesting links I’ve stumbled across the last few days…
- While they don't have a national title (yet), Georgia has established itself as the most consistent and winningest SEC program over the last decade (1998-2007)
- Using some sort of strange formula, Yahoo! Sports ranks the top 25 "dual-threat" programs based on success in football and basketball in the past decade. Not surprisingly, 5 SEC teams appear in the list, including 3 in the top 10. Click HERE to see the formula, since the link on the page isn't there...