I don't know that I can buy into your theory. Looking at these next four opponents, we have merely upgraded our chances of securing even one victory from none to slim.Maybe.
I'm only half-joking when I say the Tigers might pull this one off by the score of 4-3.
Hey, anyone can have a bad day. Your pups had three, two against teams we beat.Oh, I see Florida just scored again . . .
I hate the alt helmet with the chrome decal and mask, and seeing as how it was worn in our only RS loss last year, I'd prefer it be a relic of the past. The matte black with the large gold decal has grown on me and I wish that would become the default home lid. I did not like the flip-flop the Tigers pulled for the postseason. The Medallion and stripes looked awful on the matte shell and the large, gold tiger head looked weird on the gloss shell. Keep it simple, Tigers.
Actually, he may not yet be recovering. Surgery is scheduled for this morning.
Brothers is currently recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum. Hopefully he's ready to go full speed by the time fall practice rolls around.
Oh, excuse me, the ACC actually had TWO teams in the Top 10. Still half of the SEC's total. Even counting next year's conference addition, Louisville, and the ACC's impending permanent houseguest Notre Dame, the ACC still only charted 5 in the Top 25.
Teams in Final Top 5: SEC 3, ACC 1 Teams in Final Top 10: SEC 4, ACC 1 Teams in Final Top 25: SEC 7, ACC 3So what's all this about ACC superiority?
Honorable mention to Mizzou OC Josh Henson. Promoted from OL coach to replace Dave Yost, Henson has done an outstanding job of designing schemes best suited to the athletes he has at his disposal. His style of play-calling is quite remeniscent of Dave Christensen's when he was running the O during the Tigers' brief run at or near the top of the polls in the late 00's. The biggest knock I had against Yost is that he seemed to be designing and calling plays in a vacuum, not taking into account the fact that he didn't have elite athletes at every position. Henson (having spent a lot of time with a young and banged-up O-line over the past few years) has a better understanding ofn exactly what kind of time and opportunities his front guys can give his backfield and so far it's working. We shall see if this holds up once the Tigers get in to conference play.
I agree that it will take a near-miraculous road win at either Tennessee or A&M (forget Florida, especially since I'm going) for Mizzou to go bowling, and that's assuming the Tigers can dispose of Syracuse at home. Candidly, the Independence Bowl folks must be rooting against Mizzou as there will likely be a Louisiana-based Sun Belt team available as a fill-in who would probably draw a few more fans than the Tiger faithful who are starting to consider Shreveport a December second home.Of course, I am hoping Mizzou will pull off at least one amazing road win and hold court at home, and thus extending our string of postseason appearances (a bowl is a bowl, right?) to 8.
Yes, injuries have certainly plagued Mizzou this year, however I believe poor coaching has also led to the Tigers' misery. Backup QB Corbin Berkstresser played horribly against Vanderbilt this past Saturday night and I have to believe it is because he was not prepared to enter the game. He played well enough against Arizona State in week 3 and I think that's largely due to the fact that he was prepared to be the starter once it was clear late in the week that James Franklin was not going to be physically able to answer the call. I've long been critical of Pinkel and company's failure to make significant in-game adjustments and to get away from the spread when circumstances warrant. These shortcomings are magnified against a steady diet of SEC opponents. There is also very poor execution on dreadfully slow to develop sweeps and options. That's a product of bad coaching. Granted, coaching isn't the difference between the Tigers being 6-0 rather than 3-3 right now, but it might be the difference between qualifying for -some- bowl for an eighth straight year and staying home this holiday season -- and that's assuming we can beat a Syracuse team that pushed USC earlier this year and a Kentucky team whose five losses this year have come at the hands of schools that are collectively 25-1 right now.While I'm certainly not on the ledge right now, I do have a considerable amount of concern for the program remaining in the hands of a coaching staff whose best work may now be behind it in respect to both time and conference.
If we can get our QB's to learn how not to telegraph the jet sweeps we stand a better chance of stretching the field horizontally and taking SC's front seven out of the equation. Given SC's somewhat shaky secondary (especially without Swearinger), it wouldn't surprise me to see us try the sweep option where TJ heaves a ball downfield to Lucas or DGB.
The oddsmakers clearly feel that SC wins this game on paper, and given the fact that Mizzou has yet to put together four full quarters of top-shelf football, I think it's fair to say there's a chance it could get ugly late in the fourth quarter, not unlike the Georgia contest. I agree that this *could* be a close game going into the final quarter, however it could also be another one of these "the final score isn't indicative of how close it really was" scenarios. Plus, I think there's some skepticism from the oddsmakers regarding James Franklin's status.
You do realize Mike Leach and Art Briles are also (largely) Big XII products, yes? ;-)Look, I don't think it's right to judge the two newcomers on a single game although I strongly agree that neither is a "plug and play" SEC program. But let's come to some agreement that the seeds are sown and the shoots are green. Both of these schools are committed to building programs that were solid in a better-than-average football conference into SEC-caliber programs and I think they'll do it. It's not as if either veteran conference member was liberally rolling second and third teamers into the game, and I don't think there's much of a question that both schools are going to win at least a couple of games against legacy SEC teams this season.No doubt, Moe and Richardson exercised poor judgment, even for a pair of 21 year old college kids, to open their mouths at all, let alone to level any type of judgment on the SEC. That was just dumb. But I'll give Richardson credit for manning up to apologize to Coach Richt following the game. And kudos to the Georgia fans, several of whom I enjoyed meeting and greeting Saturday, for keeping it clean and classy with the "Old Man Football" chant once the game was officially out of hand. I've been going to Mizzou games since 1979 and I can attest to the fact that many of our former guests have been much more obnoxious and profane with their jeers. SEC football is a cut above both on and off the field.
From where I sit, this is THE most talented front seven Franklin will have faced in his career, and his young, undersized (relatively speaking) O-line is going to have its work cut out for it. That being said, I think Mizzou's defense is somewhat underrated. Sheldon "I Can't Keep My Mouth Shut" Richardson and the secondary get a lot of attention, but guys like Kony Ealy and Michael Sam are going to impress some folks this year. It might just be that this game turns into a classic SEC battle of the defenses after all.
Ah yes, the Big XII video geniuses strike again. This is the same outfit that recut last year's campus montage commercial to edit out all Texas A&M footage even though the school was still a conference member until June 30 of this year.Boy, I sure do miss being in the Big XII.NOT
EDIT - That should be DISAGREE on the Auburn line. The blue Tigers trample the purple Tigers.
Point Spreads: 1.South Carolina (-7) at Vanderbilt - AGREE. Vandy's not to be underestimated, but Carolina will be very good before the conference grind wears them down -- a bit. 2.Tennessee (-3.5) vs NC State (Atlanta, GA) - AGREE. If a first-week noncon game can possibly be a "must win," then this is the textbook example. If the Vols can't cover then the die is cast; Dooley's a dead man walking. His guys have got to not only win, but look good in the process, otherwise the air of skepticism will linger in Knoxville. 3.Alabama (-12.5) vs Michigan (Arlington, TX) - AGREE. While I don't think 'Bama is going to blow out a good Wolverine squad, I think a two touchdown spread is reasonable. 4.Auburn (+3) vs Clemson (Atlanta, GA) - AGREE. I think West Virginia just scored again. Over/Unders: 1.Denard Robinson over/under 50 yards rushing against Alabama - OVER. He's not going to run wild over the Tide, but I think he's got what it takes to bust off a 30 yarder at some point and rarely get caught too far behind the line of scrimmage. He'll have his fair share of 2-5 yard scoots that'll add up to 50 or more. 2.Jadeveon Clowney over/under 1.5 sacks against VANDERBILT - OVER. He'll get a pair. 3.Tyler Bray over/under 1.5 interceptions against NC State - UNDER. I like his chances of missing *any* pair of hands better than I do his finding the wrong pair more than once. 4.Arkansas over/under 500 yards of offense against Jacksonville State - OVER, and at least 200 of those yards will come after the starters are pulled. 5.Zach Mettenberger over/under 250 yards passing against North Texas - UNDER. No knock on the kid; I just think the LSU defense is going to be giving the O a short field all game. 6.Aaron Murray over/under 3.5 touchdown passes - UNDER. I don't see Murray playing more than a half and that may not give him enough time to lob 4 TD strikes just because the Buffalo D is porous enough not to force a high number of passing situations, even with a (slightly) diminished UGA stable of backs. Murray's going to be shelved early to be in good shape for the conference opener the following week.
Happy to see DGB on this list. This suggests that there will be sufficient time for Franklin to get him the ball amidst the onslaught of SEC D-lines against a pretty young and banged-up Tiger O-line.