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After a great Saturday that saw Alabama win, Tennessee, Auburn, and Notre Dame lose, and me keep a good buzz with a day of great fellowship, food, and wine, I rested yesterday and watched the U.S. Victory in the Ryder Cup. I didn’t see too much football coverage, catching only one evening news cast, where I learned that Alabama was now ranked #8, and watched only a couple of plays from the replays of Vandy/Ole Miss, LSU/Auburn, and Alabama/Arkansas – by the way, what happened to home field advantage in the SEC?
I was planning on coming into work this morning and getting a great start on the tasks-at-hand and generate some good momentum towards a very productive work week.
Are you kidding me? It’s Alabama and Georgia week! A big-time match-up between traditional SEC stalwarts who also just happen to be top-ten teams.
I get here and despite my self-warning to not look at news I’ve learned that:
- The Dawgs are going to “Black-Out” Sanford Stadium
- ESPN’s College Gameday is going to be in Athens
- Andre Smith is the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, which is great despite the Charles Scott beating out Glen Coffee for Offensive Player of the Week
The story lines will only get better as the week progresses. There’s the stats – which you’re going to need to study for discussion later. I’ve also noticed a general trend from the Dawg fans to dismiss Alabama and to be honest I’m fine with that – Alabama does not deserve your respect (wink-wink). That’s not surprising coming from the silver britches.
Let me clue you in on a little secret here; I hate the University of Georgia. I loathe them and the only reason I don’t hate them worse than Tennessee is because Alabama doesn’t play them enough. I hate them for their arrogance mainly- which is oddly enough the same reason most people claim to hate Alabama fans. For the first time since the heady days of Herschel, fans of Georgia have found themselves somewhat relative again in the college football world. Granted, they have had some success, coming in only second to LSU in overall wins, head-to-head wins, conference championships and national championships. In that same time they always seem to lose an unexpected big one and probably more infuriating is that Richt’s record against Alabama is 3-0, but hey, they aren’t the only ones to hold streaks over the Tide.
My family is from Georgia, and while I’ve been in T-town since I was able to know what football was, my roots go back to a deep-seated loathing of Georgia. It’s what I’ve known since childhood.
This week will grind by with but one overriding thought: 6:45 Saturday night on ESPN. Let’s get it on!
If you are an Alabama fan and, like me, you’re getting prepared to start tailgating then I think it’s probably a good idea to get out your Bloody Mary and Mimosa recipes. Breakfast casseroles and pigs-in-a-blanket and breakfast burritos are probably going to be in high demand too. Why you ask, do we need to get these morning delicacies ready for consumption? I’ve already done some game predictions for the year and now I’m going to go ahead and do some game-time predictions as well.
I believe that several of Alabama’s games this year, especially home games, are going to be on Raycom/Lincoln Fianancial/Jefferson Pilot. In fact, I’m betting the Daves already have some rooms booked- maybe even a condo or townhouse rented for the fall.
Clay Travis at Deadspin has released what he says is a leaked schedule for CBS – the primary broadcaster of SEC football games – this fall. I’ve looked over it and, while one could debate the legitimacy of the document in question – I’m sure CBS has a plan but would be foolish to lock in a season’s worth of games before the season – but the list that is presented makes sense based on a look at the schedule right now.
The good news is that there are a lot of great games this season in the SEC and there are quite a few weekends that I could be locked in a room with a working television, some snacks, plenty of beer, and a place to relieve myself I would be utterly content from 9:00 in the morning until I passed out sometime that night. The bad news is that most of those games take place in stadiums other than Bryant-Denny.
I believe that the consensus is that Alabama’s home schedule is weak this season, but the full effect of that weak schedule is going to play out, I predict, with quite a few 11:30 kick-offs. Here, I’ll break it down for you (keep in mind that on all but one week of the season CBS has first pick and they have two picks one Saturday, ESPN picks second and then Raycom gets whats left):
- Clemson – In Atlanta; night game on television (ABC)
- Tulane – Bryant-Denny Stadium; 6:07 kickoff on PPV
- Western Kentucky – BDS; 6:07 kickoff on PPV
- Arkansas – Fayetteville; probable JP game (I’m sorry, it may be Raycom now, but it will always be JP in my heart) LSU plays Auburn and Florida plays Tennessee that same day. One of those certainly will be CBS and the other the ESPN night game. Georgia plays Arizona State, which is an ABC game. Vandy and Ole Miss, which in theory sounds like a JP game, might get the morning slot but ESPN would have to take the Tide and Hogs as the second night game. I’m, not sure they want to air three SEC games that night on their family of networks plus UA and UA may both be 2-1 with losses to Clemson and the probable pantsing at Texas the week before.
- Georgia – Athens; this almost certainly an ESPN night game. Auburn and Tennessee should be the CBS game with Ole Miss versus Florida and State at LSU battling it out for JP honors.
- Kentucky – BDS; Not the best day in the SEC this season. Florida is at Arkansas (meh – but supposedly on the radar for CBS along with the UK/UA game. Other scorchers this day include, USC (cocks) and Ole Miss and Vandy at Auburn. Honestly that’s four JP worthy games. If Ole Miss and South Carolina are playing well (should/could both be 4-1) the there may be ESPN interest but Kentucky should be, in all honesty, undefeated when they visit T-town and hopefully that will win out for the ESPN game but I don’t see them both being on during prime-time. I’ll say 30% chance of Dave honors.
- Ole Miss – BDS; According to the Deadspin list CBS has LSU and South Carolina, which makes sense but if Ole Miss is a one loss team at that point it will be because they beat South Carolina -giving them their second loss – 14 days before. Both Alabama and the Rebels come off bye weeks so CBS could opt for that game. Georgia plays Vandy which is typical JP fodder except for the recent closeness of those games, Arkansas is at Kentucky (two teams who should be losing interest at that point) and State is at Tennessee. There again, this is a day full of, what seems right now, mediocre match ups. While I’d say that Alabama wasn’t a lock to play the JP game that day I’d say they are 50-50 to though. The thing that helps is the possible resurgence of a Nutt-inspired Rebel squad and the competitiveness of these games the last few seasons. This could just as easily end up on ESPN as it does JP.
- Tennessee – Knoxville; Unless some miracle happens and the Vols and Tide are undefeated then CBS will broadcast Georgia and LSU – which should be a phenomenal game. I just don’t see a replay of last years step-child treatment to the Third Saturday in October. Kentucky/Florida and Ole Miss/Arkansas just don’t offer the same prime-time meat that Alabama at Tennessee does.
- Arkansas State – BDS; While nothing official is out yet, since this is Homecoming it is all but guaranteed to be a 2:00 PPV game.
- LSU – Baton Rouge; This is almost certainly the CBS game. Deadspin says that Georgia and Kentucky are possibilities but unless Kentucky is undefeated or only has one loss, I just don’t see that game bumping Saban’s return to Tigah Stadium. All eyes will be on Baton Rouge that day but I’m sure given their druthers, the LSU fans would prefer the night game.
- Mississippi State – BDS; The “leaked” CBS schedule has the option of South Carolina and Florida or Georgia and Auburn and one of those is certain to be called by Uncle Verne while the other goes to ESPN. Vandy and Kentucky reeks of JP, but if ESPN decides to only broadcast one SEC game that day then Croom’s return to Tuscaloosa might get the Dave treatment. The only thing that helps this situation is State’s streak of two-in-a-row, both on JP, could create enough of a story to warrant prime-time. State’s three-five losses coupled with Alabama’s three-four to that point might negate that interest. This has a 70% chance of being JP bound.
- Auburn – BDS; On the newly formed SEC Rivalry Day, Florida and South Carolina both play their in-state, ACC rivals in their stadiums, excluding them from consideration. LSU and Arkansas as well as State and Ole Miss will have played the day before as has become their tradition. That leaves Georgia Tech and Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and Alabama and Auburn to battle it out for the CBS slot. The Jackets and the Bulldogs are definitely the bigger market game but the match up just doesn’t carry the umph that the Tide and Tigers do. I don’t think that any of the games that day get Daved, but to be honest with you, I’d rather be the ESPN game. There is just something about a night game. This is the first year that the game has been this late in the year and in Tuscaloosa. The change to standard time coupled with the waning hours of daylight guarantee that (if kicked off at 2:30) this game will finish at night, which is good enough. It will also probably be good chili and bourbon weather. Remember, Tennessee and Kentucky were the CBS game last season and the Iron Bowl was on ESPN.
That makes four strong candidates for JP honors this year and every home conference game with the exception of Auburn. Either way, Alabama is probably going to be on CBS only once or twice tops. I think that’s a good thing. I prefer night games over day games any time, but if I’m at a game at 11:30 then I’m out by 3:00 and have the rest of the day to absorb what else is going on around the country. The other silver lining of that cloud is that I only have to listen to the Daves one time at the most. No matter who you pull for, I’m sure you can agree that that is a good thing.
After a little over a week’s worth of hiatus I am back and functioning in a semi-lucid state. A lot has happened since we spoke last. How are you? How are the kids? Enjoying your Summer? Been hot, huh? Football? Oh yeah, football has started. Well that’s just spectacular.
If the net is good for one thing it’s good for practice updates. Ian has been providing most of my daily fix. I’m glad and not-at-all surprised to hear that the freshman look good and are working hard.
So you heard about the Franchione thing on ESPN Radio, huh? Well, here’s my take on it: Who gives a big flying crap? Yeah, we thought we were going to be shed of a least one stereotypical-douchebag with an agenda against Alabama when Curry got a new title, but we didn’t know they would replace Hitler with Stalin (OK, that’s a little harsh, but you get my point.)
I think the thing that has everyone upset is the thought of listening the the light nasily tones of Dennis “take the money and run” Fran-phony for three plus hours. Well don’t worry my friends. There is a good chance that WVUA broadcast of All Things Acoustic this week will have more listeners than the ESPN radio broadcast of the Alabama-Clemson game. Look at it like this; most fans of Alabama that aren’t at or watching the game will be listening to it on the Eli-Snake David Crane version of the radio broadcast. I’d be willing to bet that most listeners to the ESPN game are doing so because they are out-of-market and can’t watch the game on television or hear the CTSN. Well, this is the ABC prime-time national game. If you can’t watch it on TV then you probably can’t get ESPN radio either so, no worries mate.
Gameday coming to Atlanta, or more importantly Alabama’s recent streak with Gameday at the location (3-7 overall, 0-5 since 2001, all in Tuscaloosa). I’m pretty sure that Chris, Kirk and Lee were not in Tuscaloosa before ’01 and I definitely remember them being at the ’94 Iron Bowl in Birmingham (which Alabama won) but I really can’t recall the other 4 supposed appearances by Alabama on the show. I guess the good news is that Gameday has been to some of the toughest games in Tuscaloosa over the last 6 years (UCLA, Oklahoma, LSU, and Georgia twice) so this streak is more of a product of strong competition and arguably the worst period in Alabama football history. Maybe the new venue and new year will have a change in the recent history but as I’ve already said, I don’t see Alabama beating Clemson, so that will be one more streak that has to be rectified in the near future.
What I do know is that it will be pandemonium in Centineal Olympic Park. There will certainly be tons of Alabama and Clemson fans on hand but with Georgia opening with Georgia Southern that day, there will be several Bulldog fans as well. Get your Knowshon for Heisman signs ready. Georgia Tech opens with Jacksonville State on Thursday night and thus many Tech students will be around for the cameras (unless Periloux runs wild on the Tenuta-less defense). Plus Atlanta is basically the hub of the SEC (no offense Birmingham) and being a metropolitan area there are bound to be crazies from all sorts of schools there. It should be an interesting sight. And maybe, just maybe, none of the stupid fucking “Rick and Bubba” signs in the crowd. (Eds. Note- there are few things in this world I dislike less than the Rick and Bubba show. Much like the NBA, if they did away with it I would never know unless you told me). And then there’s Kirk. And of course Erin. Ooh Erin.
Lastly, as much embarrassment and shame was heaped on the University by the Jimmy Johns saga, it was really good to read this today about Ali Sharrief. It doesn’t make for good trash talk though and thus won’t be discussed much at all. It is however certainly worth a read and a “thatta boy” to Ali. Well done young ma, well done.