Running around to Give you the Reacharound
Bawlin' Cawlin' 09-03-10
College Football is back, and with it COMES...no, not raging keggers producing drunken co-eds like a Model-T factory line. Not the gorgeous weather that somehow manages to be both "warm" and "cool" simultaneously. Not the agonizingly painful but duty-bound 7:15 wake-up call for a nooner gameday after diligently attempting to 3-hour sleep off the night before. Nah, peeps! Bawlin' Cawlin's back in session!
First thing's first: to both of our readers out there, who have been awaiting our outlook on the Bulldogs' impending season like OBJ waiting to hear the latest America's Got Talent winners, wait no further. After talking myself into a possible SEC Championship game appearance last year with Mr. Joe Cox at our helm, I've managed to surpass those insanely unreasonable expectations this year. Can you say National Championship?
Good. But there's very likely no way in hell that's going to happen. Thinking that our redshirt freshman quarterback had every chance in the world to lead us to a BCS title game berth, Sue's decided to hook up with our friends at CollegeFootballReference.com. The results surprised me, but likely will not stir any of you: Dating back to 1999 (the beginning of the BCS), only one redshirt freshman quarterback led his team to a BCS Championship game. And that player is? Mike Vick. In losing to Florida State that year, Vick remains the only true redshirt freshman quarterback to take his team to the promise land.
"Okay, parade-rainer. Lowering expectations a bit, how 'bout just the SEC Championship game? That's definitely possible."
Sure it is, however very unlikely. Not a single true redshirt freshman quarterback has led his team to the SEC CG. Special consideration does go to Matt Mauck, who accepted an offer to LSU in 2000, was coached at the time by Nick Saban (the same coach who recruited him to play football at Michigan State three years earlier). Mauck was redshirted during the 2000 season, and saw limited action during the 2001 regular season. His first significant action came during the 2001 SEC CG, when he came off the bench to replace injured starting quarterback Rohan Davey. Mauck would run for two touchdowns, lead the underdog Tigers to a come-from-behind 31-20 victory over the heavily-favored Volunteers and become the single redshirt freshman quarterback to win the SEC CG. Still, it's not as if he started the whole season, or even that entire game. Plus, he was playing baseball for the Cubs for three years straight out of high school before attending his first collegiate practice, so we'll just call this a Mauck Addendum.
Now, Aaron Murray is no Matt Mauck, so perhaps it's still within the realm of reason that I expect the drought of Georgia's CG appearances to end this year. Also, Murray should be thankful he's no Matt Mauck, regardless if he joins him as a RSFQ to win the SEC CG: Mauck currently is enrolled at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry after failed attempts at playing professionally for the Cubs, Broncos, Titans and Jaguars. Hey, Tigers. I'm not Maucking you. He won two BCS championships, right?
So let's temper our enthusiasm a bit this year. I'm accepting nothing less than an SEC CG game appearance. Friday?
I see nothing wrong with this. We don't play LSU or Alabama in the West. South Carolina, always a tricky dicky, playing at home with more than a week to prepare, could definitely cause us problems. But other than that? A better-than-expected Auburn and Arkansas will make for great games, but I just don't see us having another mediocre season. I mean, no matter how much of it he gets from above, at some point Richt's gotta start missing the love, right?
In all honesty, I never thought we'd be here. The Bulldog Nation is truly one miserable season away from all-out recruiting efforts to find a new head coach. Admittedly I was naive, but I knew for sure Richt would be around for decades. I've been scoffing at his detractors for the past three years now, and if Sue's doesn't see something to root for - something to give us hope that we'll be anything other than that "aww gee shucks lookie they tried" SEC East also-ran - those murmurs may grow to unified calls, which will grow to loud, endless demands from the boosters, alumni and ticket buyers. I never thought this was possible, but ours could just be one of those voices.
Join us Tuesday when we run through Sue's Top 12. You may just be surprised with a few of the teams...
On to the picks!
Joe Friday: 0-0
We've had airplane and Braves game tickets, booze and food up for grabs. What's it going to be this round?
Tune in next week.
This will mark the first time I've wagered on College Football. Let's hope my prodigious talent for picking 65% winners continues.
Joe Friday 1: Virginia Tech (+2) over Boise State
Joe Friday 2: Oregon State (+13.5) over TCU
Joe Friday 3: Memphis (+22) over Mississippi State
Joe Friday 4: Florida/Miami of Ohio OVER 52.5
Joe Friday 5: LSU (-6.5) over UNC
OBJ 1: UGA/Louisiana Lafayette OVER 51.5
I imagine Georgia can score 45 points on Lafayette and graciously allow 10 points, right? RIGHT?! I suddenly regret this pick.
OBJ 2: Maryland (+6.5) over Navy
What the hell happened? Did Navy [re]turn to a powerhouse without me knowing it? Paul Johnson's doing his thing at Tech, ain't he?
I'll follow that with my obligatory, "if the ACC can't even handle this cupcake of a cover, they're off my board the rest of the year." Unless they're playing equally mediocre ACC teams.
OBJ 3: UCLA/Kansas State UNDER 44.5
OBJ 4: Michigan (-3) over UCONN
OBJ 5: Kentucky (-3) over Louisville