SEC Championship Game: (2) Alabama 11-1 Vs (3) Georgia 11-1
What’s at stake: It’s simple for both programs. Win Saturday night inside the Georgia Dome, and you head to the National Title game in Miami to face Notre Dame. The loser most likely playing on New Year’s Day in a bowl that will leave fans and players within the programs looking back at would could have been.
T Town Notes: What seemed like a forgone conclusion in September turned into no shot in October, to everything on the line Saturday. Alabama fans and media types thought this team was unstoppable until their matchup with LSU in Baton Rouge. Tide fans remember how that turned out…
But then, that guy they call Johnny Football went nuts at Bryant-Denny Stadium…
and single handily beat the Tide, putting their hopes of a National Title berth in serious jeopardy. We all know the rest, Kansas St and Oregon fall, putting the Tide 60 minutes away from playing for another title.
Between The Hedges: They were favorite to win the SEC East preseason, and with an outside shot of winning a National title, but after a beat down against South Carolina, all seemed lost for Mark Richt and company. But Georgia kept chipping away and are now playing as good as anyone in the country. And now the program has a chance to do something they haven’t done since 1980. Reach a National Championship game. I wasn’t even born yet… but how classic is this?
What will happen Saturday:
The dome will be electric, both the Tide and Bulldogs will be amped from the start. I think this will be a really close game, both teams having their moments of making big plays. I will be honest. I picked Alabama to win this game, in a runaway, but the more I look at Georgia and the way they are playing on defense with Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree, Baccari Rambo, John Jenkins and company, I’m making a slight lean to the Dawgs. The key to the game is one player. Aaron Murray. He has not showed up in any big games this season, and in his career. He hasn’t talked to the media this week regarding the game, hoping to focus in more. The Tide defense could give him fits, but for Alabama, they have not generated any sort of pass rush at all this season on the defensive line. I think that Murray should have plenty of time to make plays, while the defense should give AJ McCarron trouble throughout.
If Alabama is dominating the line of scrimmage and running the football with ease, Georgia will get run out of the stadium, period. And if wideouts not named Amari Cooper can step up and make plays (Chris Black, Marvin Shinn, DeAndrew White, tight end Michael Williams), it could really be a problem for the Dawgs.
In the end I want to pick Alabama, just because I have to see Georgia win a big game other than Florida this year. BUT, my gut is telling me the Bulldogs are due, and may play their finest game in the biggest game in 30 plus years for the program.
Alabama 21 Georgia 24.
Another Episode of AS The Coaches Turn:
I thought that if Gene Chizik would have a decent showing in the Iron Bowl there was hope that he could save his job. A 49-0 beatdown later, he’s out the door. Was it the right decision? Yes. Could he have maybe stayed another season? in my opinion I would warrant that. But in the end, the losing, and the losing in a big way to quality opponents, coupled with the off the field troubles, just proved to be too much.
I voiced my displeasure when they hired Gene after a 5-19 record at Iowa State. He then went on to go 8-5 in year one, with a Outback Bowl win, that magical 14-0 season with Cam Newton, Nick Fairley and company to win Auburn’s first National Title in 50 years. He came back and went 8-5 a season later, before the wheels came off on a 3-9 season, 0-8 in the SEC.
Inside those numbers, Chizik never had a winning record in the SEC outside the National Championship season. Inside the program, people with knowledge of the program saying that he became too lenient, allowing players to have more control than what was needed. The Birmingham News Kevin Scarbinsky later made me more of a believer.
Add those up plus the lack of developing talent after a three seasons of top 5-10 recruiting classes, and you have a recipe for what transpired this season. And as Bill Parcels says, “You are what your record says you are.” And 5-19 prior to Auburn tells the story.
My Two Cents on the new coach at Auburn:
Either Bobby Petrino, Gary Patterson, or Gus Malzhan, in that order. we shall see in the coming days if that is indeed the case.
That is all for this Friday, enjoy the weekend and the game. Next week I’ll talk about the new head man at Auburn, plus the rest of the coaching carousel across the country. BUT in lieu of Les Miles staying with LSU (and getting a raise I might add) I will leave you with Les Miles and Les being, well Les, and the rant of the year.. SO far.
ENJOY THE GAMES!!!!!!