|How awesome is Les Miles in this pic?|
The war between cats and dawgs.
I will go on record as being an adamant supporter of Mark Richt. I can’t explain exactly why. I don’t really care to explain exactly why. However, I know the scales on this are starting to shift. The losses to Florida and Georgia Tech last year and the losses to Tennessee and again to Florida this year have several people outside the program speculating about the fate of Richt’s tenure in Athens. Every time Georgia loses this speculation rumbles like an earthquake through my phone. A loss to Kentucky tomorrow would tip these scales dramatically.
Kentucky, however, is in midst of its own freefall. The root cause being its awful defense. Playing at home this looks like a weekend for Georgia to steady the ship. Then again, Georgia doesn’t have a quarterback, so it may not matter how awful Kentucky’s defense is. This game stands a great chance of turning into a baseball game, echoing Georgia’s slug fest earlier in the season with Missouri.
Boating in treacherous waters.
Vanderbilt lost by 34 points in a shutout last week to Houston. Florida lost by a touchdown last week at LSU. I know the comparative property does not apply to sporting events, but I don’t see how Vandy goes into Gainesville and wins. Can you really fight off an entire swamp with a cracked canoe paddle? Sometimes I pity the Commodore. Then I remember his boat is made of money.
Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!
The game between Arkansas and Ole Miss is nice appetizer to Satuday’s main event. The Rebels beat Alabama early in the year, and then the Rebels surrendered their command of the division by laying an egg against Florida. Yet, with wins against Texas A&M and Auburn, here the Rebels are with only one loss in the conference still. If they beat the Razorbacks tomorrow, they have two weeks to prepare for the LSU Tigers, in a game that would also be in Oxford. In other words, the season is not over for the Ole Miss Rebels and all sorts of dividends and bowl games and berths await them if they can somehow run the table.
Of course, Arkansas, too, quietly has a great deal to play for as well. The team sits at .500 in the conference as they enter this game. The Razorbacks should also feel fairly confident about this game, having won it by 30 points last season.
Tennessee and South Carolina.
Tennessee still seems so much better than its record, which 4-4 out of the conference and 2-3 in the conference. I find it hard to believe this team will not finish 5-3 in the SEC. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks’ lone conference win in conference this year is against Vandy, and I really think the only win left on the team’s entire schedule is a matchup against The Citadel.
Auburn and Texas A&M
If things had gone differently earlier in the season, this game could have been the night’s main event. Things did not go differently. The game is not the main event. However, football will still be played.
Is the Alabama-LSU matchup the best rivalry going in college football? I’m not saying it’s filled with the most hate or the most tradition? But what other game in recent memory currently features such high quality teams on both sides as often as this game? Considering a dour rain will fall all Saturday, I wouldn’t be surprised if the stadium flooded and we had to watch Les Miles and Nick Saban wrestle each other like Biblical twins suspended in embryonic fluids. If not that, then I imagine a football game will be played.
Bryan Harvey tweets @LawnChairBoys.