Shiny-headed blowhard Paul Finebaum ranks the SEC coaches in his latest column. In a shocking development, he pulls his lips off Nick Saban's ass long enough to rank him #2 in conference.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
SEC play kicks off this morning and it looks to be a good day to be a home team.
Tennessee @ Georgia
Tennessee exerts its inside muscle and wins this one easily.
Vanderbilt @ Kentucky
Patrick Patterson will be too much for Ogilvy and company to handle. 20+ more from Jodie Meeks and Kentucky opens SEC play 1-0.
Ole Miss @ Florida
This had the potential to be a good game, but with the Rebels' injuries, hard to see them keeping pace with the up-tempo Gators.
Mississippi State @ Arkansas
The Razorbacks have knocked off two much better teams than MSU at home the last couple of weeks, but I smell a barn-burner here. Too much Courtney Fortson in the end though. Arkansas wins the best game of the weekend.
Auburn @ South Carolina
No TV, 6:00PM
AU's Korvotney Barber poses a lot of matchup problems for USC's front court, but look for Devan Downey to will the Gamecocks to victory.
LSU @ Alabama
The Tigers have been up and down so far in the early going, but the Tide has been just as inconsistent. Look for the Bayou Bengals to right their ship and get a tough road win to open the SEC slate.
Friday, January 9, 2009
While I've been mired in real life the last several days, the rest of the voters from the SEC Football Power Poll ventured into the blogosphere and voted on the inaugural SEC Basketball Power Poll, hosted as usual by Garnet and Black Attack.
I will say this as the season gets under way... At least one of the trio of Mark Gottfried, Dennis Felton, and Jeff Lebo is unemployed by season's end, probably much sooner. At least one of these schools will see how LSU is doing this year and start the Anthony Grant sweepstakes early.
While I failed to get my ballot in on time, here's how it would've looked:
The Hogs are too young and inexperienced to hold this position all season, how can you not have them ranked here right now? They've knocked off 2 Top 10 teams this year and are playing at a very high level. Courtney Fortson is one of the best freshmen in the country.
Have struggled at times this year, but still the favorite to win the conference title. The Vols just need a little more stability from the PG slot.
Toss up right now between the 'Cats and Gators, but I give the slight edge to the 'Cats on the strength of PatPat down low.
Gators on a roll right now and have a chance to make some noise in the conference. Nick Calthes is one of the best all-purpose guys in the country.
They've been less than stellar in the non-conference slate, but the experience on this team will help them greatly once conference play starts.
6. South Carolina
With 4 guys in double figures, including All-SEC guard Devan Downey, the Gamecocks are one of the most balanced teams in the country. They've got a chance to move up when they finally beat someone of note.
A far cry from last year's remarkable start, but still solid. Today's game at Rupp will see what this team is made of.
8. Mississippi State
Lost a lot from last year's team, but returned the conference's top defender in Jarvis Varnado. When the style of play turns to ugly and defensive in conference play, he'll be invaluable.
Talent + Mark Gottfried = underachievement more often than not.
10. Ole Miss
Pretty sure that OM coach Andy Kennedy would happily take a mulligan on this season, which has seen 3 of his top 4 guards go down with torn ACLs, not to mention an embarrassing arrest. The Rebs just don't have the depth to compete night in and night out.
Korvotney Barber has picked up where he left off, but I still think this team has a lot of questions to answer once SEC play starts.
Proving unequivocally that last year's SEC Tourney magic was a fluke. Dennis Felton is a great guy and a decent coach, but he's a dead man walking in Athens.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
(#1, #2)Florida (12-1) vs (#2, #1) Oklahoma (12-1)
BCS Championship Game
January 8, 7:00 PM
All Time Series: First Meeting
All Time Bowl Records: Florida 16-19, Oklahoma 24-16-1
Monday’s Line: Florida -4
Total Offense, Scoring Offense (National Rank):
Oklahoma: 562.1 ypg, (3rd), 54.0 ppg (1st)
Florida: 442.4 ypg (17th), 45.2 ppg (3rd)
Total Defense, Scoring Defense (National Rank):
Oklahoma: 359.1 ypg (63rd), 24.5 ppg (58th)
Florida: 279.3 ypg (7th), 12.8 ppg (4th)
Hard to really add to everything that’s already been said about this game all over the web and blogosphere. It’s 2 of the top programs in the country with 2 incredibly potent offenses battling it out on the biggest stage in college football. The anticipation of this game – at least for me – reminds me a lot of the classic USC/Texas game from 2006 Rose Bowl. The past 2 years, it’s been obvious who the winner would be before the games even started. Not so much this year.
Percy Harvin will play and says he’s at 90%, so take that for what it’s worth. When healthy, there’s not a team in the country who can handle the speed and versatility of the Gator offense, certainly not an OU defense ranked ~60 in total and scoring defense. The Gators will certainly have their hands full with Oklahoma’s offense, but if they can control the ball on offense and limit the time the ball’s in Bradford’s hands, they’ll be fine. That strategy worked to perfection for Ole Miss against the vaunted Texas Tech offense.
I do believe this will be a highly-entertaining game. I don’t believe it’ll be as high scoring as a lot of people think or hope for. Based on the recent past, it’s hard to pick against Urban Meyer or with Bob Stoops when it comes to BCS games. Given a month to prepare and heal, Florida should come on top of this one by a hair.
Florida 31, Oklahoma 28
Can we have some sort of moratorium imposed on Ohio State when it comes to BCS Bowls? For 3 straight years, we've had to suffer through the Buckeyes slogging through one of the biggest games of the season, and for 3 straight years, we've watched them fail. And while I typically enjoy watching the Sweater Vest lose big game after big game, it's actually starting to get a little tiresome.
While some will argue that it's impressive the Buckeyes have made 3 straight BCS games, I propose that it's an indictment of the (lack of) quality of football in the Big10. As you watched that game last night, did you honestly say to yourself, "Wow, I'm watching one of the best football teams in America right now"? Or did you think "How bad is the Big10 that this team won 10 games?
The Big 10 went a pathetic 1-5 in bowl games this year. Their lone win was Iowa's thumping of South Carolina, a reeling team that hasn't beaten a team with a winning record since early October. The 6 losses included blowouts and heartbreakers, but all 6 ended up losses. I recognize that Big10 has some history and tradition, particularly when it comes to being a sacrificial lamb for the Pac10 in the Rose Bowl, but right now, that's all it has. It's a subpar conference that's won just 1 BCS game in the last 5 years.