Running around to Give you the Reacharound


They Ain't Know, I Gotta Go

Despite what Bill Simmons says, I do not think it is prudent to gamble large sums of money on the first week of the college/NFL season. Look, I trust my knowledge of all things football as well as my prognosticating skill. However, I don't think anyone really knows just how good/bad a team can be until actually seeing said team play at least a game or two. And it is because of that line of thinking, I am loathe to make any sweeping generalizations about college football (OMG FLORIDA'S OFFENSE DOESN'T LOOK THAT GOOD MAN, THEY ONLY SCORED 34 POINTS, I DON'T SEE HOW THEY CAN BEAT US) after a week when most teams played cupcakes.

So that said, I took away very little from last weekend. However, this is a blog, so there must be baseless predictions. Here are three:

1. Alabama will not miss Mark Ingram that much, Trent Richardson will prove to be the most talented RB on Alabama's roster, and a disgruntled and less-than-100% Ingram will return to a three deep situation with Richardson and Eddie Lacey.

This is pretty self-explanatory and not much of a ballsy prediction. The fact that Alabama will be able to trot out those three guys , however, leads to my thinking that Alabama will once again find itself playing for the BCS National Championship.

2. Brian Kelly, much like Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis, will start strong against a less-than-stellar schedule, appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated headlining an "ARE THE IRISH FINALLY BACK??" story, lead Notre Dame to an undeserving BCS bowl with a 9-3 record. The Irish will then lose said BCS bowl by at least two touchdowns.

Again, not that ballsy. I do like Kelly as a coach, I just think Notre Dame is no longer a program that can win on a dominant consistent basis.

3. Georgia will go 10-2 and play for the SEC title.

Full disclosure: I made this prediction thinking that AJ Green would play all 12 games. But, fuck it, I'm not going to change it up. I predicted losses to SC and Florida, and I still think those will happen. I truly believe Arkansas is overrated, and if we could beat Auburn and Tech last year without Green, I don't see why we couldn't do likewise against an admittedly frisky Mississippi State squad. The front seven will be shaky at times this year, but I think the secondary will be among the elite units in the SEC, both in terms of top quality and depth. The offense has enough weapons and depth as well to withstand a freshman quarterback and Green missing a third of the season.

This isn't a homer pick either. Sure, I went into every game between 2002-2005 expecting a Georgia win; but after the Oklahoma State game last year, or even throughout Stafford's entire reign as QB, I always felt that deep rooted pessimism and 'we will ultimately fuck this up'-edness that defines one's rooting interest as a Hawks or Braves fan. I don't foresee that this year. I don't see one game on Georgia's schedule (as of yet) that they should not be in at least until the final minute or two.

And while we are here, a couple more Georgia thoughts:

  • It was much to my surprise that the uber-uptight "WHAT WOULD ERK DO/YOU DURN YUNG'INS ARE RUINING NORTH CAMPUS/JACKSONVILLE IS TOTALLY A NEUTRAL SITE" Dawgosphere came down so hard on the NCAA for their suspension of AJ Green. Look, I hate the NCAA and think they are a hypocritical, inconsistent, power-hungry, useless, bureaucratic organization. I don't give a shit if Reggie Bush keeps his Heisman or if Marvin Austin spent his entire summer blowing an agent. But the rules are the rules and you know the NCAA enforces them strictly. Therefore, AJ is a dumbass. He took money from an agent/shady dude. (Save the "it was for a jersey" bullshit. He took money from an agent/shady dude and gave him a worthless jersey. Pretty clear.) Is four games too much? Probably. Does it suck? Absolutely. Did AJ Green knowingly break the rules? All signs point to yes, unfortunately.

  • I remember thinking that Georgia Tech's wasting of Calvin Johnson's career by having Reggie Ball as his quarterback was a waste akin to pouring a free bottle of Makers Mark into a toilet. Got to admit though, AJ's career can't be far behind. His freshman year with Stafford was great, but he was just coming in and catching his stride as Staff was on his way out. His sophomore year heavily involved Joe Cox and me texting friends during Georgia games that I was feeling sorry for Green several times. Now his junior and final season features a redshirt freshman quarterback throwing to him for eight games. If he plays in every game after his suspension is up, he will have played in 31 games over three seasons.

  • Did not think I'd ever be anticipating a Georgia game where I would have more confidence in our 3rd-string TE than our #1 receiver.

  • Carlton Thomas is going to get some looks as a 3rd down back this Saturday, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets more looks than Ealey. However, by the Tennessee game, I fully expect him to be our garbage-time back. King and Ealey are too stout back there and Richt has always loved giving the fullbacks some run.

  • I know it was stupid, but I loved Murray's TD scramble at the end of the 1st half.

  • I refuse to make any sweeping generalizations about the defense until after the South Carolina AND Arkansas games. But lets just say I am very, very excited.

  • North Campus was a fucking ghost town on Saturday. Hated that. But at least the migrant workers that have made that area of campus spic and span and looking flawless within 24 hours of EVERY HOME GAME FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS had very little to clean up Sunday morning. That makes it all worthwhile.

Go Dawgs. So glad football is back. And while we are here, off-the-cuff bowl predictions!

BCS Championship: Alabama-Ohio State

Rose Bowl: Oregon-Michigan

Orange Bowl: Florida State-Notre Dame

Fiesta Bowl: Texas-Boise State

Sugar Bowl: Georgia-West Virginia (ugh...)

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