Monday, October 22, 2007

Around the SEC: Week 8

It's going to be a while before we play again. We get a well-deserved off-week now, so our players can rest up and heal up before taking on Bama, who also gets an off-week. In this time, we'll talk a little more about recruiting. I'll also publish a few tips for people coming to Tuscaloosa. In the meantime, we have Around The SEC to give you.

Bama 41
Tennessee 17

Let's revisit what I had to say about this game last week:
I think Tennessee is the better team, which is strange because I wouldn't have said that two weeks ago at this time. If there is any trend you may notice from my writings, it is that I do not believe the better team necessarily wins every game, and these teams are close enough in talent that you really couldn't make a confident prediction. Plus, Bama's at home, and they hate Tennessee more than the Baptists hate to drink in public. Bama's problem here is that Tennessee's offense is pretty darn explosive. It's also very balanced. They can run with Lamarcus Coker and Arrian Foster, and it can pass with Erik Ainge, who is quietly having the kind of season that might normally make someone a 1st Team All-SEC quarterback.
I said more, but that pretty much covers it. To me, both of these teams have been an enigma this year. Both teams have looked very good at times, and both teams have looked very bad at times. This week was Bama's best game of the season so far. They were really up for it and smoked Tennessee. It was all Tennessee could do to keep up in the 1st half, but they couldn't get anything going in the second. Now the question is, does this mean Bama is a really good team? Or did they just have a really good game? Because there's a difference.

John Parker Wilson's line makes him a candidate for the GeauxTuscaloosa Offensive Skill Position Player of the Week. He had 346 yards on 46 attempts, with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. DJ Hall, with his 13 receptions for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns may take it away from him though.

Vandy 17
South Carolina 6

There wasn't a point scored in the second half of this game, and Vandy didn't score at all after the first quarter. Anyway, this is the game I've thought Vandy had in it from the beginning, and they beat a top 10 team. What's more, thanks to the depth in the SEC this year, this game went untelevised except on GamePlan.

Arkansas 44
Ole Miss 8

Arkansas shows a little life, and finally gets a win in the conference. Meanwhile, the team that pushed Florida and Bama to the brink completely failed to show up, at home, against a mediocre team. Neither of these teams have any shot of winning the conference at this point, but both teams have shown the ability to play the spoiler.

Florida 45
Kentucky 37

Let me just say this now. Both of these teams are very good. In particular, they are both very good on offense. Both of these QBs are legitimate Heisman candidates at this point, with Tebow having the advantage at this point. Both Woodson and Tebow scored 5 touchdowns, with Woodson passing for all of them and Tebow running for one. Woodson had over 400 yards passing. What I don't like is that both padded their stats at the end with meaningless extra stats. Florida had the ball deep in Kentucky's territory with less than two minutes on the clock and ahead by a touchdown. They could have kneeled it three times and ended the game. Instead, they ran Tebow for a touchdown. Woodson got the ball back with about a minute and a half and drove his team for a last-second touchdown to cut the lead down to 8 before the extra point, which was never attempted. What was the purpose of these plays? None, except that Tebow had a "consecutive games with a rushing touchdown" streak to keep alive, and I got the impression Woodson really just didn't want the game to end.

I don't like Urban Meyer. I think he's a petty little man. I say this because of things that happen on the field as well as things that happen on the recruiting trail, where he supposedly is one of the worst "negative recruiters" out there, meaning he will do much more than others to denigrate other teams to recruits.

West Virginia 38
MSU 13

This game went pretty much how I expected. Pat White and Steve Slaton and the rest of the WVU team just had too much big play ability for MSU to compete.

LSU 30
Auburn 24

It appears that both Tommy Tuberville and Auburn OL Chazz Ramsey's father have addressed the issue of the illegal hit that Chazz Ramsey perpetrated on Glen Dorsey, ending his night. Ramsey, by the way, is a freshman offensive lineman, which I think impacts the decision of his father to speak for him. Tuberville said that he was not ordered to do that, and that they do not teach players to do that. He also said that because it was not intentional, there will be no discipline. Ramsey said that it was not intentional, but that his son should know better than to do that to someone when he's engaged with another lineman. The player has yet to comment as far as I know. I'd still like him to comment on it himself, but I'm glad that the people around him aren't ignoring the issue. Like I've said before, I give the kid the benefit of the doubt that he wasn't out to hurt anyone, but it was reckless. I said the exact same thing about Richard Murphy's spear in Captain Munnerlyn's back, and I say the same thing here. I doubt it was intended, but it can't be tolerated.

What does all this mean? Well, the East is just as wide open as it was at the beginning of the season. Florida controls its destiny, and wins it if they win out, but they have tough games remaining. This thing is far from decided.

In the West, LSU and Bama are in the driver's seats. The winner of the game two weeks from now only has to beat lesser teams down the stretch in order to win the division.

Oh, and the GeauxTuscaloosa Offensive Skill Position Player of the Week Award goes to DJ Hall of Alabama. Also considered were John Parker Wilson, Matt Flynn, Andre Woodson, and Tim Tebow.


Joe Blow said...

Great game this weekend. I wish it would have gone the other way, but that's just the way it is.

If I'm not mistaken, freshmen usually don't get the green light to talk to the media. I know in this particular case, Nall (OL coach) isn't giving the media access to interview Ziemba or Ramsey.

Intentional or not, there should have been a flag thrown. I've noticed in the past few years that the refs have pretty much let these two teams play without many flags thrown. However, it appears that the SEC officials are following their own rulebook this year.

gerry dorsey said...

bama is a "solid" team who played their ass off on saturday, as opposed to a "really good" team. i felt at the beginning of the year, they were an 8-4 team and they appear to be playing right into that. that being said, they shouldn't even be in the same league with lsu...but who the hell really knows what's going to happen at this point??

Poseur said...

OK, it was an extremely dirty hit, but I'm going to give the player a pass. He's a frehsman and he might have just been caught up in the game. Here's what I have a problem with:

Tuberville needs to take SOME sort of stand about this sort of hit. I'm not saying he ordered the hit. As much as I hate Auburn, I don't believe TT is THAT evil, but he has to speak out against this kind of play and say it won't be tolerated. Maybe not a suspension of the kid, but at least a clear statement. Or a friggin apology to almost costing Dorsey several million dollars.

But, Jesus F Christ, how lousy are the refs? The hit happened RIGHT IN FRONT OF AN OFFICIAL. How the hell can you not call something that blatant? LSU-Auburn games have always had some fishy officiating (last year's was the high water mark, but the bizarre FG block call still sticks in my craw). But this was the kind of non-call in which a ref should be fired for. This isn't about winning a game but about protecting players. It was one of the worst non-calls I have ever seen.

Actually, the officiating in LSU games has been horrid all season. Not that the refs are out to get it, just downright incompetent. The Kentucky game had cover-you-eyes awful officiating, and Florida was nearly as bad. The Auburn game was marred by bad calls all night. It is an embarrassment that the top conference in football can't hire competent officials.

gerry dorsey said...

ummm...tuberville said pretty much exactly that. mash here.

also, the officiating has been pretty horrid all across college football this year. did you see that uconn punt return on saturday???

Richard Pittman said...

I agree with Paul Finebaum that his statement was lame. He said, "we don't tolerate it" but then in the same breath said that nothing would be done disciplinarily. So what you're saying Tubby is that you tolerate it but you don't tolerate it? I believe him that he and the rest of the coaches didn't order it. I just don't think any coach in the country would order a player to do that. When it comes to premeditation and attempt to injure, I give the player the benefit of the doubt.

Fact remains, in the NFL that guy would be fined and suspended for that hit. I don't want to put the guy in the stocks in the town square or anything, but I think he needs to issue a statement coming clean about what happened out there.

gerry dorsey said...

he's a freshman so he won't be talking to the media. i've heard his dad actually issued a statement, but i couldn't find it or i would have posted it here.

unfortunately the "in the nfl" argument doesn't hold much water. i mean if you want me to start listing games that would be different via nfl rules i can.

please understand i'm not defending anything that happened, i'm just saying its being handled about as well as can be expected.

Joe Blow said...

I think what Tuberville meant was that they wouldn't tolerate something like that if it was purposely done. They're giving Ramsey and Ziemba the benefit of the doubt, thought. The local media here doesn't clean up Tuberville's quotes like they do to "protect" Saban.

gerry dorsey said...

i figured saban had something to do with this.

Joe Blow said...

You're right. Had Saban not recruited Dorsey... Haha.

I meant that more to give an example of how media cleans up quotes, not to drag Bama into this.