Saturday, September 22, 2007

GameDay: South Carolina

OK, I got up at 4:30am today because the baby decided she REALLY didn't want to be in bed anymore. Is she excited about football? That's all I can assume.

So what are the plans for today? Well, there's football of course.

Now until 9:00am: chores, family activity, maybe watch a movie on Tivo, maybe go do the grocery shopping.

9:00am - 11:00am: ESPN GameDay is in Tuscaloosa, which is actually kind of disappointing. I had hoped they'd come here for the LSU-Bama game. I suppose they still might, but they usually don't go to the same place twice in one season. I may or may not watch any of it. Honestly, probably not. Mrs. GeauxTuscaloosa wants to go to the relatively new bakery in Northport. I love a good bakery, so she didn't have to twist my arm. This is a "bread" bakery rather than a "sweets" bakery. I really wish there was a good donut shop here in Tuscaloosa. I find Krispie Kreme to be all kinds of nasty. I know I'm in the minority on that, but when you were raised on donuts from Cal's Bakery in Gonzales, Louisiana, it's hard to go from that to this oddly flavored, oddly textured doughy donut from Krispie Kreme. Whenever I'm visiting my parents, we end up spending like $30 on donuts from Cal's. If anyone knows of a really good donut available in Tuscaloosa, I'm all ears. But I digress.

11:00am - 11:30am: Bide my time.

11:30am - 2:30pm: Florida at Ole Miss, Lincoln-Financial. When I was a kid, my Dad called the neighborhood convenience store the "Pac-A-Sac" even though it was a 7-Eleven, and later a Circle-K. It had previously been called Pac-A-Sac, but only for a couple years, and had changed its name before I was old enough to remember it. Since we moved to Gonzales when I was 2 years old, and it had undoubtedly changed its name by the time I was 5 years old, my Dad had only known this store as a Pac-A-Sac for a maximum of about 3 years, but continued to call it by that name for another decade. I have decided that I'm not quite old enough yet to refuse to call things by their new names, so I won't call it "Jefferson Pilot". It's "Lincoln-Financial", even if it sounds wrong. I'll just get used to it.

I can't say this matchup intrigues me at all. I'll watch it, because it's my first chance to see Ole Miss, and another chance to see Florida, but I have no expectations that Ole Miss will be able to stay in this game.

2:30pm - 6:00pm: South Carolina at LSU, CBS. The more I think about this game, the less supremely confident I become. USC has a really solid defense all around. They also have a very good running game. MSU was able to run the ball on us early in that game. Blake Mitchell has, at times, been a very good quarterback. Of course, he's the TYPE of quarterback we have mauled all season: a drop-back passer without good escapability. We're the clear favorite for very good reason, but this matchup is not as bad a lot of people, including myself earlier in the week, seemed to think.

Once again, a key is going to be how our offensive line is able to get a push against that defense. If we've shown any chinks in the armor, it's been on the offensive line.

6:00pm - 7:00pm: 2nd Quarter of Kentucky at Arkansas, ESPN2: I really want to know why ESPN schedules the #2 and #3 SEC matchups of the week to be played mostly at the same time. I know that the SEC probably gets more money by giving ESPN the #3 matchup rather than by giving that matchup to Lincoln-Financial, but as an SEC fan, I sure would prefer to see Kentucky at Arkansas rather than Florida at Ole Miss, but in order to see this game, I'd have to give up watching Georgia at Bama. I won't be doing that unless Georgia at Bama is a blowout.

Since SportsCenter and College Football Live haven't been bloviating endlessly on the subject of Darren McFadden's injury, I'm assuming he's good to go on this game. In the last few years, Kentucky has had an abysmal defense, and Arkansas proved last week it is very vulnerable to the pass. Kentucky is as good of a passing team as there is in the conference right now, with the possible exception of Florida, and McFadden and Jones put up yards against even the great defenses. There could be 90 points in this game.

7:00pm - 10:30pm or so: Georgia at Bama, ESPN: I believe I've said it before, but I'll say it again. The key here is Matthew Stafford. He's very talented and very young, but he is also inconsistent. When he's good and in a rhythm, Georgia is a very good team. When he's off-balance and out of rhythm, Georgia is very beatable. The key to this game will be what Bama does to try to disrupt Stafford, and how Stafford responds. If Stafford is sharp, I believe Bama has little chance to win this game. If Bama can make Stafford struggle, they will likely win this game.

Watch out also for special teams. Both teams have great return men who can put points on the board.

Final Note: Keep an eye on that New Mexico State-Auburn score. Don't be surprised if New Mexico State has a shot at this game in the 4th quarter. Auburn's offense is struggling immensely due to poor blocking and lack of playmakers at the skill positions. NMSU plays that pass-happy Hal Mumme offense. If they can avoid giving Auburn short fields and can find a way to put up 3 touchdowns, they have a real chance here.


gerry dorsey said...

your dad's a smart man. i still say "jefferson pilot" (even though i don't get them here in dallas), and i still say "usl" to describe the college in lafayette.

i'm kind of the opposite from you...i was born and raised in tiger country but have always been a tide fan and attended bama. great blog...keep it up.

Richard Pittman said...

Thank you for your comment. Keep up with what we're doing here. I say "we" in the royal sense. It's really just me with aid from my baby or my dog, occasionally with contributions from Poseur.

Stick around.