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My name is Eric. My love of and loyalty to the University of Alabama football team is unparalleled and completely inappropriate. I hate all other teams, and wish them peril. Also, you can hear my music at www.reverbnation.com/EricBlackerby or www.youtube.com/EricBlackerbyMusic

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Post Game Links And News (Alabama-Florida)

When Florida hit for a long touchdown pass on the first play of the game, I was down and out. It looked to me like we were in for the fight of our lives. But that was about all that Florida would do for the entire game. Alabama beat the hell out of Florida, 38-10 and left alot of people wondering who, if anyone, is going to beat Alabama this year. LSU? Possibly. But it truly appears as though that is the only remaining team on the schedule that can stop the Tide from going all the way to the National Championship.

Below are some links to articles and stories about the game, in the hours following

TideSports Tide Blows Past Florida
TideSports Gators Speedsters Get Nowhere Fast
TideSports McCarron Poised In Hostile Environment
TideSports Offense Steps Up

ESPN Crimson Tide Steamrolls Gators

Capstone Report Game Notes
Tidefans Wrap Up Tide Toys With The Gators In The Swamp
Herald Tribune  Tide Rolls Gators, 38-10
Anniston Star Tide Flexes Body Of Work
Sporting News What We Learned
Tucson Citizen Alabama Too Much For Florida
USA Today Richardson Leads Tide
Bleacher Report Grading The Gators
Yahoo Tide Rolls Gators

al.com Career Night For Richardson
al.com Alabama Smothers Florida
al.com Alabama Clobbers Florida
al.com Nick Saban Post Game Press Conference
al.com Alabama Notes: Richardson Enjoys Career Best Night

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Week That Was And Will Be (Week 5)

The Week That Was

I went 7-3 on my predictions for last week. Not as good as the 8-2 mark from the week before, but still respectable.

Michigan started off the day by beating San Diego State. Not a surprise to anyone, but the fact that it was a beatdown was contrary to what alot of national media people thought would happen. ESPN's Mark May had put Michigan on upset alert, believing the Aggies had a chance to actually defeat the Wolverines

I picked Pitt, and Sal Sunseri's son Tino, to beat Notre Dame 41-31. After seeing the slugfest end 15-12 or whatever it was, with Notre Dame coming out on top, I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm probably just gonna leave Notre Dame alone from this point forward. No real reason to care about them one way or the other. I hate their coach, and will be rooting against them, but I will leave them out of my predictions from now on

Georgia pretty much did what I expected them to do against Ole Miss. Nothing much to see there, other than the fact that Isaiah Crowell continues to justify the drum I've been beating since the start of the season. He WILL be one of the best in the country the next couple years. Count on it

Arkansas and Alabama. For my complete thoughts on that game, as well as links to what others wrote about it, CLICK HERE

Florida State surprised me. Well, more like CLEMSON surprised me. I didn't think Clemson could do it two weeks in a row. When is the last time they did? But Dabo's boys got it done. You can blame it on FSU missing several players due to injury, but still...Dabo has these guys rolling, and they have some really great young players. Sammy Watkins is going to be one of the most fun players to watch over the next few years

Auburn surprised no one by beating Florida Atlantic. They also surprised no one when they gave up over 300 yards of offense to a team that was averaging 96 yards a game coming in. FAU had scored 3 points. ALL YEAR. And AU gave up 14 to the Owls. I love the fact that AU linebacker Jake Holland was on TV the other night saying that they felt really good about the improvement they made in that game. He was proud that they held a team to *only* 14 points. Well NO SHIT Jake!! It's Florida Atlantic. Of COURSE you held them to 14. I'm glad he feels like they played well though. Good news for the Toomer's Corner oaks, though. They are about to get a month long break from being rolled

Florida and Kentucky was a snoozer. Nothing really interesting to even comment on

I said that LSU would beat West Virginia 40-13. That wasn't too far off the actual final score of 47-21. Tyrann Matheiu continues to impress in LSU's defensive backfield. One encouraging sign for fans of teams that play LSU this year: LSU did allow over 400 passing yards to Geno Smith. So maybe they aren't as dominant as people think. We'll see

Texas A&M had a 20-3 lead on Oklahoma State and allowed the Cowboys to come back and win by one point. If they are trying to be an SEC team, they just did their best impression of Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl. It was ridiculous. It also included a crazy play from Justin Blackmon, who I think is the best WR in the game. YouTube Link. How did this happen?

USC got spanked by Arizona St. I never saw this coming. I really didn't. I mean, I know this isn't the USC of the earlier part of this decade, but still. Losing to ARIZONA STATE? By 21 POINTS??? Wow. Pete Carroll is rolling over in his grave. (I know he's not dead)

The Week That Will Be

This is the best weekend of college football so far, in my opinion. So many great games to see today

1. Texas A&M and Arkansas get things started at 11 am. If the Aggies want to be taken seriously as an SEC team, they need to win this game. Or at least compete. I don't want Texas A&M, or anyone else for that matter, to join the SEC. I want things the way they have been the last several years. But I can't change what is happening. I can root against the Aggies, though. I look for Arky too bounce back here and win this one, though it should be entertaining with both teams having great offenses.

Arkansas 38
Texas A&M 37

2. Minnesota travels to Michigan to take their ass whipping. I really don't expect this one to be too interesting. I can't say enough about Denard Robinson. I think he will have another awesome day, and rush for about 200 yards. It's just what he does. Every single week.

Michigan 35
Minnesota 14

3. Mississippi St looks to place the final nail in the coffin for Georgia head coach Mark Richt. If the (Georgia) Bulldogs find a way to lose this game, then say goodbye to Mark Richt. But I don't really expect that to happen. Isaiah Crowell will continue to shine, and Dan Mullen won't be able to do anything about it.

Georgia 34
MSU 23

4. Kentucky at LSU. This one should NOT be close. I plan on keeping up with it somewhat during commercials during the previous game I just mentioned. But it should be a beatdown. Kentucky's offense isn't to write home about, and LSU's defense IS. This one gets ugly fast

LSU 50
UK 9

5. Auburn at South Carolina. The first of 4 straight losses for AU. This one could go so many ways though. AU could get to Gamecocks QB Stephen Garcia, and he could make some mistakes and AU could keep it close, or they could even pull off the victory. AU's defense has been as porous as any in SEC history so far this year. They seem to have no idea how to tackle. It's almost as if every member of their defense is a rookie learning to play football for the first time in his life. So the prospect of this group of weaklings even attempting to slow down Marcus Lattimore is almost laughable. Lattimore is easily one of the best players in the country, and alot of people think he is THE best running back out there. I can't disagree. He is very awesome. If AU keeps him under 100 yards, it will be a miracle. I look for him to get about 200, in all honestly, and I think the Gamecocks will avenge the 2 losses they suffered to Cam Newton last year

South Carolina 41
Auburn 20

6. Michigan St at Ohio St. Ohio State is a mess right now, and I think the Spartans will take advantage. The Buckeyes QB Joe Bauserman couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, as my Grandaddy might put it. Look for freshman Braxton Miller to play more. Michigan St has lost 7 in a row to OSU. I look for them to end that streak in a close one

Michigan St 23
Ohio St 20

7. Clemson at Virginia Tech. Roll Dabo. I am still so pleased with him for beating Auburn a couple weeks ago. And he kept it rolling last, beating Florida State. And I think he keeps it rolling, still, this week. Sammy Watkins is the truth, y'all. Actually, I don't even believe that. I think Jayron Hosley will keep Watkins in check, and I think Beamer's boys will put a halt to Dabo's fun

Va Tech 24
Clemson 17

8. UAB at Troy. I only decided to pick this game because it's another opportunity to make fun of UAB and their ridiculous excuse of a head coach, Neil Calloway. UAB wants to build a stadium, even though nobody cares about their football program. Not even God could save UAB's football team right now

Troy 35
UAB 28

9. Alabama at Florida. See my complete preview and thoughts HERE

10. Nebraska at Wisconsin. This should be an outstanding game. Russell Wilson has proven to be an awesome quarterback, and you know Auburn fans wish he had chosen the plains instead of Madison. I have Wisconsin going undefeated this year, at least in the regular season, so they won't slip up here. Nebraska has a rude awakening coming in their Big Ten opener

Wisconsin 30
Nebraska 20

SEC News And Notes

Auburn's Dee Ford out for the season
Miles says Lee can handle Jefferson coming back
Ole Miss QB Zack Stoudt says Rebels still confidant
Chris Relf thinks he needs to be more confidant
Charlie Weis's offense has it's roots in Alabama Football 
Georgia's Isaiah Crowell still looking to break a long one
South Carolina D Line takes step forward
Dyer vs. Lattimore
Tennessee wants to get more sacks
Harvey Updyke apologizes
Interview with Auburn's Jeff Whitaker
Unlike Auburn, Nick Saban doesn't baby his players

Did You Know

  • Arkansas leads SEC, averaging 47.0 points per game in wins. Kentucky, averaging 20.5 points per game in its wins, is 12th.
  • Alabama’s offense is averaging 6.9 yards per play, which leads the SEC. Last year, three SEC teams were above 6.9 yards per play -- Auburn (7.4), Arkansas (7.1) and Alabama (7.0).
  • Alabama has allowed only four plays of 20 or more yards this season, which is tied for second nationally. The Tide is also one of eight FBS teams to not allow a rushing play of 20-plus yards this season.
  • Florida leads the SEC and is tied for seventh nationally with only two sacks allowed in four games this season.
  • Saturday marks the first game between Alabama and Florida since 2006 that one isn't ranked No. 1 in the nation. This will also be the 14th straight game between the two in which one is ranked in the top 10 (every game since 1990).
  • In its two wins, Mississippi State has not allowed any sacks this season. Only Duke and Texas A&M have not allowed any sacks in its wins (two-or-more) this season.
  • Only Vanderbilt and Connecticut have given up just one red zone touchdown this season, lowest in FBS. Vandy opponents have only score one touchdown in six trips to the red zone.
  • Florida leads the nation in opponents’ third-down conversions. The Gator defense has allowed opponents to convert just 21.1 percent of their third downs (11 of 52).
  • Auburn leads the nation in kickoffs with the average kickoff going 69.54 yards. Tiger kicker Cody Parkey leads the SEC with 15 touchbacks this season.
  • Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo leads the nation in passes defended per game (interceptions and pass deflections) with 2.33 (seven in three games). He has four interceptions and three pass deflections this season.
  • LSU’s Michael Ford leads the SEC in most 10-plus-yard rushing plays against ranked teams with seven. Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell is second with five.
  • The average game time in the SEC is three hours and 16 minutes, which is four minutes more than the average for all FBS games (3:12). Arkansas plays the quickest games in the SEC at three hours, 10 minutes while Auburn’s games are the longest at three hours, 25 minutes.
  • SEC teams are leading the nation in punt returns, averaging 31.0 yards per game and 11.03 yards per return. The next closest is the Pac-12 at 19.6 yards per game. The national average is 17.5.
  • Alabama allowed just seven points in the first half of last week’s Arkansas game. The Crimson Tide has allowed seven points or less in the first half of its last nine games. The Crimson Tide has surrendered three points or less six times over the span including three first half shutouts. Chronologically, these games are: 3 by LSU (Nov. 6, 2010), 3 by Miss. State (Nov. 13, 2010), 7 by Georgia State (Nov. 18, 2010), 7 by Auburn (Nov. 26, 2010), 0 by Michigan State (Jan. 1, 2011), 0 by Kent State (Sept. 3, 2011), 3 by Penn State (Sept. 10, 2011), 0 by North Texas (Sept. 17, 2011), 7 by Arkansas (Sept. 24, 2011).
  • Arkansas is a perfect 15-of-15 (100.0 percent) inside the 20-yard line this season, which is tied for the NCAA lead. Arkansas has scored a touchdown on 12 of 15 (80.0 percent) trips in the red zone, which is tied for first in the SEC and 12th in the NCAA. Arkansas’ defense has held its opponents to 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) in the red zone, which leads the SEC and ranks second in the NCAA, and allowed touchdowns on just two of seven trips (28.6 percent), the third best percentage in the conference and sixth best in the nation.
  • Arkansas should have the mental edge over Texas A&M this weekend. The Aggies haven’t beaten an SEC team in 16 years and are 0-6 against the conference since their last win in 1995 when they beat LSU in their season opener.
  • Auburn has scored 14 points or more in a span of two minutes or less 11 times under Gene Chizik. The Tigers have pulled the trick twice this season, scoring 14 points in 58 seconds against Mississippi State and 14 points in 1:37 against Utah State. The 2009 Tigers set the bar by scoring 16 points in 1:27 of game time in the second quarter against Ball State. The 2009 team also scored 14 points in eight seconds against Ole Miss. The 2010 Tigers scored 14 points in less than two minutes six times.
  • Florida has had 36 rushes of 10 or more yards this season and 10 passes of more than 20 yards this season. The combined total is an average of 11.5 plays per game during the first four games of this season. In 2010, the Gators had 106 total plays of 10 or more rushing yards or 20 or more passing yards, an average of 8.2 plays per game. Last week against Kentucky, the Gators scored four big-play touchdowns: a 45-yard pass, a 20-yard run, an 84-yard run and a 60-yard run.
  • Georgia sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray is already fifth in Georgia’s record books in career touchdown passes thrown with 35. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in eight of his last nine games dating back to last season. In those nine games, he has thrown 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Mike Bobo (1994-97) is fourth in Georgia history with 38 touchdowns thrown in his career.
  • Turnover margin has been a key in Kentucky’s results under Joker Phillips. In his two seasons as head coach, the Wildcats are 5-0 in games in which the Wildcats win the turnover margin, 2-2 when the margin is tied and 1-7 when the Cats lose the turnover battle. Kentucky is plus-eight in turnover margin in its victories and -13 in losses in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
  • LSU has capitalized on eight of its 11 takeaways this season. Against West Virginia, the Tigers scored three touchdowns following takeaways. LSU’s 11 takeaways have resulted in a total of 50 points through four games. LSU has allowed just a field goal following its three turnovers this year.
  • LSU is one of five FBS teams that is currently allowing fewer than 2.0 yards per rush. The Tigers defense has allowed just 213 yards on 111 carries so far this season (1.92 yards per rush).
  • Sixteen players have made their first career start this season for Ole Miss. They are (OFFENSE): Nickolas Brassell (CB/WR), Barry Brunetti (QB), H.R. Greer (FB), Matt Hall (OG), Donte Moncrief (WR), Jamal Mosley (TE), Collins Moore (WR) and Aaron Morris (OL). On DEFENSE, Aaron Garbutt (SAF), Uriah Grant (DT), Wesley Pendleton (CB), Justin Smith (DT), Senquez Golson (CB), Byron Bennett (DL), Frank Crawford (DB) and Ralph Williams (LB). In all, 30 Ole Miss Rebels have seen their first career action this season.
  • Last season, Mississippi State was plus-11 in the turnover margin in its seven wins and -4 in four losses. State turned the ball over just nine times in nine wins and 12 times in four losses. Through the first four weeks of the 2011 season, State is plus-4 in its victories and -1 in its losses.
  • South Carolina is off to a 4-0 start for just the eighth time in school history and for the first time since the 2001 season. In 2001, Carolina started 5-0 and finished 9-3 on the year. The Gamecocks’ best start was in 1984, when they started 9-0 and finished the season with a 10-2 mark. Carolina is 2-0 in the SEC for just the third time in its 20-year SEC history. It was 4-0 in 2001 and 2-0 in 2000.
  • South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore has 18 rushes of 10 yards or longer this season, second most in FBS.
  • Tennessee leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally with a 57.1 percent conversion rate on third downs (24-of-42). UT is the only team in the SEC above 50 percent on third-down conversions. The Vols converted 37 percent of their third downs a year ago (69-of-189). Tennessee successfully converted 10 third-down attempts in each of its first two games in 2011 after not posting 10 conversions in a game since 2006.