Four for Friday

Four things as we head into the weekend:

1.Auburn Panic Meter at 1,000

Look, I thought Jeremy Johnson would flourish in Auburn’s offense. Fell in love with a first half performance against Arkansas last year and, well you know the rest (at least til this point):

5 TD’s, 6 INT’s. Demoted to backup this week in place of Sean White, who like Johnson, had a number of accolades coming out of high school, including high praise from Trent Dilfer.

He has yet to take a snap in a college game, so to assume we know what the heck the young man will do, is crazy. For Auburn’s sake, here’s hoping it’s a positive performance against a Mississippi State team who’s quarterback is confident of generating offense Saturday.

2. Alabama Panic Meter at 1,000

Or so it seems. It’s safe to say the following will lead to a loss 99.9 percent of the time:

  1. Playing a quality opponent (Ole Miss)
  2.  Turning the football over 5 times.
  3. Shaky quarterback play till late in the game.

Alabama didn’t quit, rallying late in the 4th, with a chance to win the game in Tuscaloosa. Jake Coker will get the start Saturday against the Warhawks of UL-Monroe, with a trip to Athens looming. If you’re a Crimson Tide fan, there’s many questions left to be answered. Those questions will have to wait till October 3rd.

3. Must win for the Vols?

Tennessee had a big game two weeks ago against Oklahoma, and couldn’t find a way to put away a Sooner team that showed some mettle in rallying from a 17-3 deficit to win on the road. Last season against Florida, the Vols led 9-0 heading into the 4th. Treon Harris is inserted, and the Gators find a way in Knoxville.

The Vols need this win, the Bleacher Report thinks so as well.  Florida will rely on Will Grier who gets the nod, by default with the suspensions handed down by Jim McElwain earlier this week..

4. Empire

I watch a lot of awful, putrid TV. I LOVE reality everything on the tube. Every Real Housewives show, basically every reality show on E! You name the show, I’ve probably watched it. I also watch Empire. Yep, if you want to hate on the over the top, hip-hop soap opera, go ahead, not mad at ya. I still watch. Every episode. My better half doesn’t miss it live for anything. She has a running text commentary with a handful of her closet friends on Wednesday nights. I have a feeling Cookie Lyon and company aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And yes. I’m OK with that.

Enjoy the weekend.

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4 is the Loneliest Number

Source:usatoday.com

 

 

Dear College Football Fan,

I’m writing to tell you that you can’t have it all. You can’t have your giant football cake and eat it too. Back in the early 90’s YOU wanted a playoff. Football higher ups gave you the BCS. That was a bunch of crap to you, yet outside of possibly two years in the 15 year period of that format did we have any remote controversy. 2 OUT OF 15. The system got it right 13 other times.

That wasn’t good enough. You wanted a playoff system. We have it now. And guess what? THIS system will get it right more times than not, and fans (which is short for fanatic by the way, meaning some fans have no objectivity) will want.. you guessed it.. an 8 team playoff… then a 16 team playoff… Hell might as well do a field of 64, er, 68 then.

I do not want mediocre teams playing for a National Title. The College Football season should mean something. Elite teams should play elite OUT OF CONFERENCE teams (which will happen more frequently with the new playoff format making it a priority). You should be rewarded for winning, and beating good teams, not playing the University of cupcake state and asking why you’re left out as a 1 loss team when another program has the same record. STOP it college football fan, normal football fans are on to you.

This is the first week of the polls. Everyone will play each other and sort this deal out in a matter of weeks. But, you, college football fan, will find a way to find a fault in a legitimate top four teams that will be well deserving of playing in the FBS’s first Final Four.

REMEMBER. You hated the computers, and wanted a human element in the process. You have it now. Shut up, and don’t complain, and let this play out.

 

Sincerely,

Carl Prather

 

 

The Top Four (Week 1)

 

1. Mississippi State- No brainer. They are undefated and have beaten the number three team in the CFB playoff poll, and have some good wins over LSU, and a former AP top ten Texas A&M. Yes they have some lower level FBS teams that they have played, but at least they are at the FBS level. The Bulldogs should take a bit of a hit by playing UT Martin in a couple of weeks, though.  Did they look specatucalr against Kentucky? No, but Kentucky had a ton to do with that, they are a young and really good program in progress. A interesting Arkansas team  awaits, followed by meetings with Alabama and Ole Miss.

Saturday:  Vs Arkansas

Next three games: UT Martin, AT (6) Alabama, Vanderbilt.

 

 

2. Florida St- They are the champs and as long as they keep winning, they will be in the Final Four at season’s end. Have they been as imporessive as last season. We all know the answer. But there’s something to be said to take every teams best shot because you’re atop the mountain and finding ways to win. And of course the off field distractions don’t help, and for the coaching staff and players involved to continue to show up and produce on the field is impressive to me, for better or worse, whether you agree or disagree  with the off field actions. Interesting to see of they will be able to handle a intriguing game tonight against Louisville. The last time the Noles came to the Derby City, it was a rain fest that yours truly was able to witness at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

 

Many want the Noles to finally lose. Unfortunately, those watching at home cant help these opposing teams. Said team will have to go in and take a much deserved win against FSU, because it doesn’t appear they are willing to give it up without a fight through the final whistle

Thursday: At (25) Louisville

Next three games: Virginia, At Miami, Boston College

 

 

3. Auburn- The right choice  here. They have a quality road win over Kansas State that checks in at 9 in the first playoff poll. It arguably is the best non conference road win of any team this season. The only loss? To the number one team in the poll. The Tigers basically control their own destiny starting Saturday with a trip to Oxford to face 4th ranked Ole Miss. If the Tigers run the table, they deserve to be in the final four and if they win it all, they can truly say they earned every piece of it.

Saturday: At (4) Ole Miss

Next three games: Texas A&M, At (11) Georgia, Samford

 

 

4. Ole Miss- They arguably have the best home win of the season (Oregon may beg to differ, along with Mississippi State) against Alabama. And the LSU loss doesn’t look as bad as it would have two weeks ago. The Rebels will have issues if they can’t find a way to run the football better. Still much like all 4 teams in the first rankings, Ole Miss controls their destiny.

Saturday: (3) Auburn

Remaining games: Presbyterian,  At Arkansas, At (1) Mississippi State

 

Enjoy the Weekend!

Just Another Week in The West

Source:zimbio.com

Game of the Week

(2) Auburn Vs (3) Mississippi State

The State of Mississippi for the second straight week the epicenter of college football. This time Starkville the location as State tries to keep this unreal momentum going against the defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers.

 

The Skinny

The Bulldogs have racked up at least 500 yards of offense in each of their games this season. Their Heisman trophy front runner (right now) Dak Prescott has thrown for 200 yards and rushed for another 100 in two of his last three games. Alabama native De’Runnya Wilson has become one of the young studs in the SEC. They have a veteran offensive line, and a sledgehammer of a running back in Josh Robinson along with a little lighting in running back/athlete Josh Holloway.

As for Auburn, the SEC Champs have played like it whether people want to give them credit or not. They’ve went on the road to play a tough Kansas State team, along with wins over what now seems like a dangerous Arkansas team. The blowout win over LSU also looks great considering how well the defense played. And oh yeah, Nick Marshall is rounding into the Nick Marshall of 2013.

 

The Bad for Mississippi State

As great as the offense looked last week against Texas A&M, the defense has a few issues. Of course you give credit to turning the Aggies over three times, but was that more of Kenny Hill making some bad throws, or was it really the State unit causing the issues? The Bulldogs have what may be the best defensive line and/or front seven in the league, but from watching the game last week, that front seven for the most part was neutralized. The costly turnovers by Texas A&M (or Kenny Hill) brought momentum in State’s favor. Are they a good team? No question. Are they a great team? We all will know by the end of this month, not by just this game.

 

The Bad for Auburn

They blew out LSU. Held the Bayou Bengals to just 7 points. True freshman Brandon Harris had just 58 yards passing (did ANYONE expect anything else from a true freshman on the road who was playing High School football a year ago?) LSU did have moments (very few) last week that showed a dual threat QB, that can

A) run, but make plays out of the pocket by

B) throwing, and throwing receivers open (circa State vs LSU this season)

can give the Tigers some issues.

 

 

What will Happen

The Cowbells will be ringing, ESPN’s college Gameday will have the State faithful in a good lather leading up to kickoff. A great atmosphere for sure, none of that will determine the game. Auburn is the better team. State obviously can change that after four quarters Saturday, but the Tigers are a spread team that’s balanced. Auburn will commit to the run, all while State will have to deal with Nick Marshall that can break off a touchdown from anywhere on the field with his legs. And guess what? *gasp* He can throw! (Wow! who knew?)

As good as the Bulldogs front seven is, the Tigers have too many play makers in the backfield, and on the perimeter. Sammie Coates, D’haquille Williams, CJ Uzomah among others will continue to make plays in this devastating run first spread attack that has a running back that’s not getting enough credit nationally (Cameron Artis-Payne). The Defense will show that it just wasn’t LSU the reason for their dominance. they’re just a dang good unit, that’s only getting better in the second year of Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme. The talk has been around the state of Mississippi all week, Auburn will head to Starkville to make a statement, that they may very well be the best team in college football.

Auburn 35, Mississippi State 17

 

Quick Hitters

—Ole Miss was outstanding last week against Alabama, they are about to run into a buzz saw Saturday in College Station. I like the Aggies to win, with Kenny Hill getting back to his “Kenny Trill” moniker Saturday night. I cant wait to watch that Rebels secondary Vs the Aggies WR’s… Hugh Freeze has some play makers in that secondary (even with Trae Eslon out for a half).

—It’s supposed to be in the 50’s with rain in Fayetteville… just like Hogs like it right? More than many other season under Nick Saban, I’m more intrigued than ever with how this Alabama team responds after a loss, against what looks like as VERY dangerous Arkansas group. My head says pick Alabama, while my gut says this will come down to the wire at Razorbacks Stadium.

—Florida State is number 1 everyone. That shouldn’t change if they continue to win.

— TCU has always had my respect under Gary Patterson. Win Saturday against Baylor, you officially get in the CFB Playoff discussion.

— Love Rich Rod and Arizona. NO ONE should be surprised if they lose to SC Saturday.

—Shout out to Paul Johnson. Option anyone? No? OK, the Wramblin Wreck will take their 5-0 record just fine thank you.

— Want to get crazy tonight? Tune in to Washington State and UCLA. Connor Halliday make throw a little bit for Mike Leach.

 

Have a great weekend!