...is setting a bad example. Even thought it was my
idea to have the host blog do a "roundup" at the end of the week, I'm the first one to forget to actually do one. D'oh.
Anywho, as best as I can tell here are this week's participants in no particular order. If you played along at home but I didn't link you, drop me an e-mail at rollbamaroll -at- gmail.com and I'll add you in:
Picture Me Rollin'
DBH Dance Party (Will Heath)
3rd Saturday in Blogtober
Uncle Rico's Time Machine (gerry dorsey)
On to the questions:
1. We have a poll up at RBR about what was the biggest SEC upset from last season. What is your pick and why?
Pretty much everyone understandably went with Kentucky over LSU, though there were a few dissenters.
As far as sheer "holy crap, that JUST happened?!", jumping up and down and cackling with glee magnitude, I'd want to go with Arkansas over LSU. The Hogs were unranked at the time and just about everyone figured LSU would coast their way into a national title game, but arrogance and befuddling decision making cost them a second game and what appeared to be their shot at the national title. But since Rich Rodriguez and the ever reliable choke job Mountaineers screwed the rest of us over by losing to Pitt to close out the regular season and put the Tigers back into the title game, I'm going with South Carolina over Georgia instead. That should have been an easy win for the Dawgs, but Bobo's insistance on calling screen after screen after screen against a 'Cock defense just waiting for them cost them that game, and eventually a shot at facing LSU for the SEC and, should they have won that game, a one loss SEC representative in the title game instead of having to hear a bunch of coonass verbal diarhea about how they're the greatest thing since sliced bread, penicilin, and the iPod combined despite being the only team to ever be crowned national champions while having suffered two losses during the regular season (one of which, again, was to an unranked opponent).
I'm gonna have to go with Vanderbilt over South Carolina, in Columbia. That just isn't supposed to happen, especially with South Carolina having beaten Georgia in Athens earlier in the year. Only scoring 3 points on Vanderbilt? At home? And people still say Spurrier is one of the best coaches in the league? Yeah, ok.
i would have to go with arky/lsu. the tigahs went into this game knowing they still had a good shot at the bcs title game, and they still failed to truly show up. arky was a very one dimensional team, yet the once heralded tigah defense looked completely lost as d-mac and friends ran circles around them. as a tigah hater, the only downside was that i watched this game with the girlfriend's extremely pro lsu family. i couldn't celebrate nearly as much as i wanted to.
2. Looking ahead to this season's schedule, what games do you see as being the deciding factors in who will win the SEC?
Picture Me Rollin':
Not to give a non-answer, but you just really can’t know, and that is the thing I love about college football. The textbook, regular media answer is: LSU/Auburn in the West and Florida/Georgia in the east. You can go one level deeper and say the West contender’s games against Alabama and the East contender’s games against Tennessee. You also have to consider the intriguing intra-division interdivision match-ups this season like LSU/Florida, Tennessee/Auburn, and Georgia/Alabama. Ole Miss and South Carolina will also, in my opinion, have a loud voice in deciding things this year. Just about every week something is on the line – you gotta love that.
Tennessee's visit to Georgia in the middle of October has a chance to be a huge, HUGE game with major title implications. For Georgia, this season has the chance to be similar to a journey through the NCAA basketball tournament -- the longer you survive undefeated, the bigger each game gets. Remember: the Dogs were on top of the world back in '04, after throttling LSU at home. Then Tennessee came to town the next week and basically let the air out of the balloon. If they don't take care of business against Tennessee on October 11, the Florida game won't matter.
As for the West, it should take shape after Sept. 20. That's the day when LSU visits Auburn and Alabama travels to Arkansas. The West has almost always taken its shape from those two games.
Georgia at LSU is one we have our eye on. LSU has a tough conference stretch leading up to that game, and may limp into Athens with one, and possibly two losses. Dropping a third to the Dawgs would doom their changes of heading back to Georgia for the SEC title game.
3. Phil Steele and Athlon have Florida ranked #1 in the country with UGA coming in at #9 and #5, respectively, while Lindy's likes the Dawgs at #1 and Florida at #6. Obviously both teams can't represent the East in Atlanta, so which team do you think will wind up playing for the title and a berth in the Sugar Bowl (or National Championship Game), or do you think it's possible neither team will be there at the end of the season?
Right now I’m picking UGA to represent the SEC in the Sugar. I just don’t think Florida can stop Moreno and the Georgia running game which should be even better than last year. But I don’t think they’ll make the BCS title game as I foresee two losses for the Dawgs, and I doubt they’ll be able to back into the game the way LSU did last season. While the last two BCS title game blowouts have helped the SEC in terms of media recognition of the difficulty of the schedule, I don’t believe it will be enough to vault a two-loss UGA, or Florida, over a one-loss, big-name team like USC or Oklahoma.
I think Florida still has too many questions on defense, and I'm still not sold on Tebow, even after a Heisman campaign. He hasn't proven that he can win when he needs to. The Michigan game really opened up my eyes and showed that if you get pressure on him, and don't allow him to scramble around, he's just like John Parker Wilson, only a good bit bigger. I figure Florida will probably win 9 or 10 ballgames again, but I don't think they'll be a title contender.
Now Georgia, on the other hand, has everything in place, except for the schedule. If they get through this thing unscathed, they may be the best team of all time. And, it is definitely possible that they could do it, but not likely. I think Georgia will probably win the East, and probably the SEC. Depending on what everyone else does, they could easily be representing the SEC in the Title game, even with 2 losses.
I don't see an SEC team winning a national title this fall. The 12 are going to do way too much beating up on one another for it to happen. Sorry, but no.
What's interesting about the Florida-UGA matchup is that Georgia, like everyone else, couldn't stop Tim Tebow in '07. They basically turned the game into a track meet, and won by a nose. Which, of course, makes this year's version as interesting -- can they continue to play offensively at such a high level? And if they can't, can they make a defensive adjustment to at least slow down the invincible 15?
4. It's a little early for a "traitor's draft" since we don't know who the starters are going to be until the fall, but since football is a year long affair let's go ahead and have one. If you could trade two Alabama spring starters, one offensive and one defensive, for their counterpart on any other SEC team, who would you trade and why?
Picture Me Rollin':
As much as I like Terry Grant, trading him for Knowshon Moreno would just be too much of a no-brainer. A back like Moreno just makes it so hard for teams to defense you if there is any threat of a passing attack to complement him; he just always falls forward.
On the defense, and I hope I regret saying this, but I’d like to trade Brandon Deadrick for Ole Miss’ Greg Hardy. Alabama could really use a disruptive force on the D-line.
i don't like this question, and i'm not even sure why. maybe it just feels like bad gris gris to be talking about shipping bama's current players away and welcoming in the enemy. in any event, i'll proceed, albeit uncomfortably and i'm going to be brief. i'll give you any lb not named rolando for mr. brandon spikes. and you can have jpw for timothy tebow. two tiders for two gators...see how uncomfortable that is??
Give me Eric Berry from Tennessee on defense and Knowshon Marino form Georgia on offense. I guess I would trade Lionell Mitchell and Terry Grant. I’m a big fan of Grant, but I just wonder if he’ll stay healthy for us. As for Mitchell, I respect him, but we really need a big presence out there in the Secondary.
5. Finally, and just for fun, give me one non-Alabama game you’d love to attend this season (there’s a list of the "Top 40″ non-con games of the season here if you need a little help).
Having been to the FSU-Bama game last year, we'd like to see them be destroyed by the Gators this year. However, we're going to go with South Florida -UCF. It'll be a fun in-state rivalry game, the weather will likely be great, and we're 20 minutes from the stadium, leaving more time to drink before kickoff.
There are several games on my bucket list that I guess will have to wait til I retire or the little ones have grown and left the nest, but right at the top is the Army-Navy game. Aside from the history/tradition of the game, I just love watching the service academies play football. There’s never any doubt about those guys leaving it all on the field. With little hope of a career in the sport, those guys are playing for the love of the game.
I thought about saying Tennessee-UCLA, but I'll go with Auburn-West Virginia. Because of the way the game was re-scheduled, for a Thursday night later in the season, both teams should be hitting their stride offensively, and you'd have one of the ideal spread-option quarterbacks (Pat White) matching up against a defense that has dominated spread teams over the past two seasons. Also, it's a mix of two fearsome fan bases, plus you could be home in time to watch the full complement of Saturday games, as well.
So there you have it. The torch passes to Picture Me Rollin' next week, so check with him on Monday for the next installment of the Crimson and White Rountable.