Florida fires McElwain

Florida has fired head coach Jim McElwain. Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon is now the team’s interim head coach.

On Saturday the Gators suffered a 42-0 drubbing by Georgia at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, which was Florida’s third straight defeat following home losses to LSU and Texas A&M. The Gators have a 3-4 record.

We want to thank Coach McElwain for his efforts in leading the Gator football program,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement. “We are confident Coach Shannon will provide the proper guidance to the players and rest of staff during this time, and we will begin a national search for the next head coach.

McElwain’s buyout is $12.76 million, and the Gators have asked McElwain to take less – but its hardly likely that he will do, since his success with the Gators has hardly been awful. Under McElwain, Florida has won two SEC East Championships in a row (2015 and 2016) and had a 22-12 record as coach. McElwain earned $4.268m as Florida’s head coach  – the 13th largest head coach’s salary in the country.

I want to thank the University of Florida, the fans and the alumni for the opportunity to have been your head coach,” McElwain said in a statement out on Twitter. “My family and I will move on with appreciation and good memories.” There was no mention of the buyout.

LAST WEEK HELL

The last week has been a terrible one for McElwain, where the now-former head coach said that his family and team were getting death threats from Florida fans. When Florida’s security quite rightly took the matter seriously, McElwain did not disclose what had happened. Suddenly rumors came out of Gainesville that Florida was looking to fire McElwain ‘with cause’ . After going on a tirade about the matter, McElwain said the matters “happened in the past”.

THIS SEASON HASN’T HELPED

Florida’s off-season was terrible, with top wide receiver Antonio Callaway, running back Jordan Scarlett and four other players suspended indefinitely for what amounts to credit card fraud.

Then, there was an internet meme when fans made fun of McElwain for allegedly being photoed naked lying on top of a shark. McElwain didn’t take it too kindly.

Then came the season, which was also terrible. The Gators started the season with a loss to Michigan, and were lucky to beat Tennessee and Kentucky in SEC East play.

What was also stunning was that McElwain stayed local to offensive coordinator Doug Nussemeir, who is looking like one of the worst OCs the school has ever had. Under Nussemeir this season, Florida is 112th in the nation in total offense, 58th in rushing offense and 110th in passing. It is 125th in sacks allowed, giving up 25 sacks so far this season. Although the Gators are 10th in the nation in red zone offense, they have only made 17 trips to the red zone itself. In 7 games.

Another stat for you? Since 2007, 24 head coaches have gone from their posts in the SEC. By the end of silly season, we’re expecting that number to be near 30.

 

Nick Saban signs extension but raises questions

Nick Saban has signed a contract extension this year that will pay him $11.1 million in 2017 as part of an eight-year deal that will pay the coach a total of $65 million – and that’s before bonuses that could pay him another $700,000 per year until 2024.

Also seeing their salaries bumped are new AD Greg Byrne (who only took the job in June), as well as his assistants, led by co-defensive co-ordinator Tosh Lupoi, who will earn $950,000, while new offensive co-ordinator Brian Dobell has re-signed until January 2020 in a $1.2 million salary deal.

Record

Saban’s record at Alabama is stunning – 119-19 over the last 10 years, with four of those years leading the Crimson Tide to a National Championship.

During his tenure at Alabama Saban has not been immune from the loss of co-ordinators, who have gone on to varying successes. Former OC Jim McElwain is the head coach of Florida, former DC Kirby Smart is the head coach of Georgia and most recently, OC Lane Kiffin in the head coach of Florida Atlantic University, while offensive line coach and recruiter supreme Mario Cristobal is now the co-offensive co-ordinator at Oregon.

The deal is great for Saban, his family, for Alabama fans still worrying he might leave for Texas, and of course, his agent Jimmy Sexton, who should be pocketing a tidy amount for the negotiation.

Alabama and other schools

In the time that Saban has been in charge of Alabama, the school has made more than $100m from football – which is absolutely stunning. And football’s success and the subsequent financial income has meant good news for the other non-revenue-making sports ‘on the Alabama roster’, which are being kept afloat by the thousands of fans buying tickets, shirts, hats and probably pets called ‘Crimson’ just for bathing in the light of the pigskin.

Oh, and rival schools – whether they like to say it or not – probably love Saban’s success, because every time the Crimson Tide come to town there is more fanfare than a Royal Wedding in Britain, leading to higher TV exposure. The SEC certainly loves Alabama’s success – Saban’s made the conference look better. ESPN and CBS have enjoyed the Crimson Tide for viewing figure purposes, and those charming people on the secondary market who concentrate on Tuscaloosa games are probably driving Mercs.

But what about the students?

The biggest annoyance we have with a deal like this for Saban is that Alabama players over the years of Saban’s multi-million dollar success have been paid exactly $0. Of course, there are stipends (and we suspect under-the-table ‘players’ donations’ given by boosters (it being the SEC), but that’s nothing if you consider what Alabama has made in terms of sports revenue.

Of course, the likes of Paul Finebaum and many Alabama fans will argue that Saban’s contract is worth it, and we’d agree – if you are thinking about the price paid by the university itself. There are a ton of players who have profited from Saban’s teaching, too. Especially the 22 first round picks who played for Saban in Tuscaloosa (65 in total have gone pro).

But there are a ton of players who have played for Saban and have come out with exactly nothing, while their coach has reaped the financial rewards.

I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem right.

 

Who’s going to win the SEC Championship Game (and others)?

Hey guys, if you believe the SEC Championship Game between Alabama and Florida’s going to be close, then you’re either a really, really overly-confident Florida fan, or a Florida fan who’s taken a lot of LSD.

Alabama will win, and Alabama will probably win big.

They won’t win so big – in the way that they destroyed Florida last year – and Missouri the year before – because Florida has some sort of defense that maybe will keep Hurts from putting on the hurt (see what we did there?) for the first quarter-and-a-half.

If there are Alabama fans who insist to you (because it’s ‘important to be humble’) that it could be close because of all the injuries the team has, I want to throw this out there:

How is it that every time there’s been a difficult injury to Alabama, they’ve generally managed to rebound in time for a big game, and then play the game of their lives? I can think of star safety Eddie Jackson. Bo Scarborough suffered an injury against Chatanooga that had people pretty scared, until he ran over people against Auburn. Guys, when Nick Saban’s warning the media that the team’s got some injuries and how’s it’s a modern miracle that the team has come this far, please don’t know he’s taking the media for a spin. Or he’s talking B.S., if you want to put it like that. He’s trying to seem humble, when he really knows that Alabama should beat the living crap out of this Florida team.

And we think they will do.

PREDICTION: Alabama 45, Florida 6. 

Here are some other games that might interest you:

  • Clemson vs Virginia Tech: We hate the fact that the game was moved to Orlando from Charlotte. Not because of the principles of the political matter, but because it was moved to frickin’ Charlotte. Why couldn’t have the game have been moved to Tennessee or Jacksonville or someone else? Orlando’s a shitty place for both sides to get to. Anyway, about the game. Virginia Tech has done well against teams it has no business doing well again, and it’s punished teams that have made mistakes (we see you, Notre Dame). The problem with Virginia Tech is that they turn over the ball too much – and this will be against a Clemson team who WILL punish teams for doing so. The offense is finding its mojo again, but the opposition will be far more superior to what they’ve faced the last two weeks. PREDICTION: Clemson 38, Virginia Tech 21.
  • Wisconsin vs Penn State: We were talking to a buddy of ours who writes for Penn State’s 24-7 website, and he says that the best battle of the day will be Penn State’s lightning receivers against Wisconsin’s DBs. My argument would be whether Penn State’s offensive line can give Saquon Barkley (check out the highlights, people – he’s awesome! (He was offered by Ohio State, Notre Dame and Missouri (amongst others)), and whether Barkley is fit. Also, whether Wisconsin’s offensive line can be troubled by Penn State’s defenses. Both defenses can brawl. This will be low-scoring. PREDICTION: Wisconsin 20, Penn State 10. 
  • Washington vs Colorado: We wish the game was played on January 2nd, because the smell in the parking lot would have been AWESOME. Joking apart, we expect Washington to win pretty comfortably  I know, I know, everybody would love to see the Buffs win (including ESPN’s Chris Fowler), but I just can’t see it. PREDICTION: Washington 45, Colorado 10. 
  • Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma: A de facto Big XII Championship Game between two sides who are pretty fun to watch. It’s called ‘Bedlam’, because it’s an awesome name for a rivalry. It’s been close over the last five years (OU leads 3-2), but Oklahoma has absolutely owned Oklahoma State, leading Bedlam in not particularly Bedlam-esque fashion, 85-18-7. What was pointed out by SB Nation’s ‘Shutdown Fullcast’ is that the reason why it should be a lot of fun is that both sides will be looking to win and impress the Play-Off Committee, so you can expect a high-scoring game. Although they also noted the Big XII’s chances of making it TO the play-off has gone by the wayside – particularly with the conference’s dismal OOC record. PREDICTION: Oklahoma 55, Oklahoma State 45. 

Spring Game Round-Up: Florida, Auburn, South Carolina

The round-up from the first two Spring Games in the SEC are this: Florida and South Carolina seem to have their starting quarterbacks in place, and Auburn doesn’t.

GATORS CHOMPING WITH DEL RIO

Florida fans are suddenly excited that in the post-Grier and (thankfully) post-Harris world, they suddenly looked as they have a starter for 2017: Luke Del Rio. And while Del Rio is hardly a new face in college football – he walked on at Alabama, transferred to Oregon State, then transferred to Florida in 2014, where he sat out a year. He’s now a graduate, and suddenly the face of Gators football. Del Rio went 10-11 for 176 yards and 2 TDs. Sure, the defense wasn’t exactly vintage Florida, but it still made the fans in The Swamp smile.

Also making fans smile is that the Gators seem to have a good ‘un in Kyle Trask, too. The three-star freshman threw for 74 yards and looked comfortable.

NOT making fans smile was Feliepe Franks, who was much-heralded after his decision to spurn LSU to come to Gainseville. Now, it’s a bit early to start discussing transfer papers with the kid, but the fanbase was hardly in adoration of his three interception effort. That puts him at the back of the line.

AUBURN NEEDS AN OFFENSE

Listen, we know that Auburn’s got talent….on the defensive side of the ball. Bruce Feldman on the Fox Sports College Football Podcast (which is awesome, by the way), said that Auburn’s defensive front three –  led by Carl Lawson – is among the best in the nation.

But offensively, they are a struggle.

At Auburn’s A-Day it was pointed out that neither Jeremy Johnson, Sean White or new arrival Jonathan Franklin separated themselves in the scrimmage. “I’m not concerned about nobody separating themselves on a day like this,” Malzahn said in a press conference. Which might be good for Gus, but not good for Tigers fans, who – the Montgomery Advertiser noted – saw the offense have NINE three-and-outs.

Some of that was blamed at the fact that quarterbacks couldn’t be tackled, meaning that Franklin couldn’t show his considerable speed outside of the pocket. The non-tackle rule on quarterbacks also annoyed many at Oklahoma, who watched former Texas A&M QB Kyler Murray drop jaws during the Spring Game. We also think that they were disgruntled because Murray’s not going to be eligible to play until 2017, either.

SOUTH CAROLINA’S EXCITED ABOUT THEIR FRESHMEN

South Carolina fans are pretty excited about their freshmen offensive players. Quarterback Brandon McIlwain lit up the Garnet and Black Game in Columbia, throwing for 169 yards and 2 TDs. What’s also got to excite new coach Will Muschamp and Carolina fans about McIlwain – who recruited as the second-best dual-threat quarterback, according to 24-7Sports, is the fact that there were no interceptions. Devin Dingle had over 70 yards receiving on just two receptions. Bryan Edwards had two touchdowns. Suddenly, Carolina’s looking good on that side of the ball, right?

Defensively, we don’t know much about this team. We know that they were awful in 2015 at stopping people – and was the offensive contribution due to that? The writers think not. David at Garnet & Black Attack said the Defensive Line actually gives him hope for the first time in years.

The one thing we missed was Steve Spurrier, who was probably watching golf at Augusta.

 

Hey Gators! The Will Grier loss ain’t that big!

Sorry to have missed the memo from the University of Florida, but apparently starter-and-school-hero-until-he-took-PEDS Will Grier decided that he didn’t want to play in Florida anymore, and decided to transfer to West Virginia, where no doubt he’ll be welcomed by burning couches and beautiful rattle of “Deliverance”.

If you’re a West Virginia fan, you’re delighted because Grier will take the year off – as you have to if you’re a transferred player (and the Mountaineers are quite used to transferring players) – and come back good-as-new in 2017. He’s a winner, an inspirer, and will be fine in Dana Holgerson’s offense (if Holgerson’s still around).

If you’re a Florida fan, you’re happy because Grier and the ghost of Grier and what he may or may not have done (we still don’t know what over the counter medicine Grier took – although it points to something called L3 Terminus) is now gone, and you can start a new chapter with Felipe Franks, Luke Del Rio, Austin Appleby and Kyle Trask.

If Will Grier wants something to do other than playing football and working out, we’d recommend doing a reverse over-nighter on the Gauley River. It’s some of the best whitewater rafting in the USA. It’s seriously awesome. And yes, we at the SEC Football Blog have done them.

How Jacob Eason’s decision effects QB recruiting

After much tweeting, worry, overtweeting, photos, rumors, tears and gnashing of teeth, the news is out there: Jacob Eason, the high school quarterback with the very good arm, is staying with original commitment to Georgia and going to Athens in a couple of weeks’ time.

If you believe what Georgia fans have to say, Eason is the sort of program-changing quarterback that the Bulldogs need not to lose stupid games to Florida, Auburn and South Carolina and dominate college football from hereon in.

So, no pressure, Jacob…

Anyway, there was some worries that Eason might decide to go Florida (he visited Gainesville recently, as well as the University of Washington), which would have given the Gators not only a returning Will Grier (mid-season), but also Class of 2016 commit Feleipe Franks, who’s immense. According to 24-7Sports.com, Franks is the 3rd-best player at this position, the 7th-best player in Florida, and 37th player in the country. He committed to LSU before deciding to go to Florida on November 29th.

Franks was said to be very uneasy about the possibility of Eason coming to The Swamp, but now he’s going to UGA, the 6ft 6 Franks can now make his commitment. You know, if he doesn’t decide to change to another school. Florida State and LSU are said to still be in the hunt.

OK, so what happens to LSU? LSU has an awful quarterback in Brandon Harris, who’s been wildly inconsistent in 2014. LSU doesn’t know if Cam Cameron’s going to return in 2015 (although that looks increasingly likely bearing in mind that the school hasn’t fired him yet), and the school’s SEC West rivals are collecting good QBs like it’s going out of fashion.

According to The Advocate, Harris is expected to battle with Purdue transfer Danny Etling, who played his last game for Purdue on September 27th, 2014. Up to then in the 2014 season, he was wildly inconsistent.

So where does LSU go from here? First of all, LSU’s commit list is STACKED. But unfortunately, no quarterbacks. And if LSU fans are to remain happy with Les Miles, Cam Cameron or the team again in 2016, they had better find themselves a better QB.

 

 

 

Week 7 Rankings: LSU, Bama roll while Georgia plunges

The SEC was dealt another blow by minor league opposition when Memphis beat Ole Miss, but otherwise things stayed with the favorites. Alabama went to Texas A&M and romped home thanks to the help of A&M QB Kyle Allen gifting them THREE pick-6s, LSU beat Florida on a fake field goal (we love you, Les Miles!), and Georgia and Missouri played a baseball game in which Georgia won 9-6. Oh, and South Carolina, free from visors and Spurriers, beat Vanderbilt.

After a lay-off of rankings last week, here’s our rankings after Week 7:

  1. Alabama (1): Texas A&M couldn’t stop Alabama’s rush, and Texas A&M couldn’t stop Alabama’s secondary (you remember: The guys we all thought would be ‘soft’?) snaring THREE interceptions and taking them back to the house. Oh, and try and run at this defensive front. Please. Try.
  2. LSU (6): Beat Florida by a field goal, and is looking better and better as the weeks go on. OK, that’s not actually true. Brandon Harris is looking better and better. Leonard Fournette’s just looking like Leonard Fournette.
  3. Texas A&M (3): Kyle Allen was awful. The defense couldn’t stop Derrick Henry. But strangely, this team is defensively better.
  4. Florida (4): Despite the fake field goal loss in Death Valley, this Florida team is still good, and still on the rise. Now imagine what they would have been able to do with Will Grier.
  5. Ole Miss (5): Laremy Tunsil’s coming back so that’ll make the offensive line so much better. And we all hope Robert Nkemdiche can get back to us after sustaining a concussion early on in the Memphis loss. The team looks bad without him.
  6. Mississippi State (7): Dak Prescott and the Mississippi State offense is starting to tick, which needed to happen against a lively Louisiana Tech team last week. This team is going to be a tough out in the SEC West this year.
  7. Arkansas (10): Didn’t choke it all away to bye week this week, but gave Alabama everything they could handle in Week 6. This team needs to learn not to give away penalties though.
  8. Tennessee (12): Grew some balls against Georgia after being down 24-3 early, and profited from Georgia’s lack of catching them. Josh Dobbs should get quite the treatment against Alabama.
  9. Georgia (4): The Nick Chubb injury at Tennessee has KILLED this team. The Florida game could be uncomfortable.
  10. Auburn (13): Win over Kentucky makes this team close (ish) to being bowl eligible, but it’s still not a very good side.
  11. Kentucky (10):  Kentucky probably feel they should have beaten Auburn on Thursday night. At the start of the season, who would have thought we’d be saying that?
  12. Missouri (11): Mizzou’s got a quarterback in Drew Lock, who went 21/28 for 136 yards and 2 TDs against South Carolina. The defense had 3 picks. They were a lot better against this crappy opponent than they were, say, against UConn. Mind you, that’s hardly a high standard.
  13. South Carolina (14): South. Carolina. Is. Awful. But weirdly enough, less awful now Steve Spurrier’s gone.
  14. Vanderbilt (14): Welcome back to the bottom of the list, Vandy. We missed you.

 

 

Live! The Quarterly SEC Awards (Or SECs)

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Is that Derrick Henry? Is that Nick Saban? Is that Lane Kiffin with Nick Saban’s daughter? Is that Leonard Fournette, brushing off all the reporters as he goes? Is that Les Miles, who’s stopped to say something that no-one understands?

Yes folks, it’s your quarterly SEC Football Blog Awards, given out to the players, teams and coaches who have made a difference – good or bad – in the first quarter of the season. And afterwards, we can all go to Chilli’s with players from the University of Georgia and threaten people.

(DRUMROLL PLEASE)

THE GOOD AWARDS

BEST PLAYER

Leonard Fournette (LSU)

BEST IMPRESSION OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK 

Leonard Fournette, in his performance against Auburn.

BEST QUARTERBACK PERFORMANCE

Greyson Lambert (Georgia)’s performance against South Carolina was something special, when he went 24-25 for 330 yards and 3 TDs.

BEST QUARTERBACK ESCAPE FROM PRESSURE TO PULL SOMETHING OUT OF HIS REAR

Chad Kelly (Ole Miss) against Alabama, where he avoided the sack – and getting himself killed- by the throwing the ball up to ANYONE and it was deflected off an Alabama player and into the arms of Quincy Adeboyejo, who took it to the house.

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER

Myles Garrett (Texas A&M)

MOST IMPROVED DEFENSE

That’ll be your Texas A&M Aggies. New DC John Chavis has done wonders. Might need to sort the “stop the running back down the middle” game.

BEST NEWCOMER

Christian Kirk (Texas A&M) is – as mentioned on the Solid Verbal – already one of the most exciting players in college football.

THANKS FOR STAYING AWARD FOR SENIORITY

Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) – Has been pretty great this year for Mississippi State, who ran LSU close and beat Auburn on the road in the last four weeks. Prescott’s been the key. He might not be the Heisman contender…but he should be.

TEAM WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT BUT ACTUALLY ARE OK

Mississippi State. This is a pretty solid team Dan Mullen’s put together after so much talent left in 2014. Thanks for staying, Dak Prescott.

TEAM WE WERE CONCERNED ABOUT BUT MIGHT NOT BE GODDAWFUL

Vanderbilt. Terrific defensive performance against Ole Miss indicates things might be turned around a little in Nashville. Anchor…up?

TEAM THAT MIGHT REALLY BE QUITE GOOD THIS YEAR

Florida. Jim McElwain’s turning this boat around, folks!!

 

TEAM WE’VE BEEN LAUGHING AT OVER THE YEARS BUT MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE NOTICE OF NOW..

Kentucky. Apparently the “BB” in “BBN” doesn’t stand for basketball, but stands for “Big Blue”. Nice, Mark Stoops.

AND NOW, THE MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR….THE BAD AWARDS!! AND DON’T WORRY, AUBURN, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO CLEAN UP THIS YEAR….

PLAYER WE THOUGHT WAS GOING TO BE A HEISMAN CONTENDER BUT OUTRIGHT SUCKED

Jeremy Johnson (Auburn). He is a human tire fire. Let’s hope that Johnson is studying hard, because he might need that degree when all is said and done.

WORST QUARTERBACK MESS

South Carolina. Steve Spurrier’s on No.3 right now. Auburn’s on No.2, for those of you counting.

BIGGEST OFFENSIVE ****-SHOW

Missouri, Missouri, Missouri. No quarterback, no running game, and the receivers can’t catch.

YELLOW FLAG AWARDS FOR DRIVE-YOU-CRAZY-PENALTIES

LSU’s 28 penaties for 258 yards (9.2 yards/penalty) IN THREE GAMES takes some beating. Arkansas leads the SEC with 31, by the way.

WORST SPECIAL TEAMS EFFORT, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

Alabama in the Tide’s loss to Ole Miss included two fumbles on kick returns early, which included TWO kick-off return fumbles. Alabama went 10-0 as a result, and never recovered.

WORST DEFENSIVE EFFORT WHILE HAVING A 4TH QUARTER DOUBLE-DIGIT LEAD 

Tennessee. That’s to you for the Oklahoma and Florida games.

TEAM THAT WE THOUGHT WOULD BE SEC CONTENDERS BUT….AREN’T

Auburn…..Tennessee….Arkansas….. Take your pick.

MOMENTS THAT WILL HAUNT HIM FOREVER BROUGHT TO YOU BY “#KARMA” BY JEN BIELEMA

“Ohio State’s ranked No. 1 and they have one game remaining on their schedule that has anybody ranked right now — Michigan State. We’re going to play eight straight opponents that are ranked.” – Arkansas coach Bret Bielema. His team then lose to Toledo the next week. And Texas Tech the week after. And Texas A&M in overtime the week after. And…

(Quiet Clap, clap, clap)

And your bonus category:

FUNNIEST STORY IN THE SEC THIS QUARTER 

Lane Kiffin’s getting fired from Alabama!!Apparently, Lane Kiffin was getting fired at Alabama the Thursday before Saturday’s game with ULM for sleeping with Nick Saban’s daughter. The rumor mill went through the roof….and it didn’t happen. We don’t know if he DID sleep with Saban’s daughter, but he wasn’t fired.

SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOLKS!!!

Florida suspends key players

Florida has suspended quarterback Treon Harris and cornerback Jalen Tabor for the Tennessee game.

Gators head coach Jim McElwain refused to go into details of the suspension. However, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy said that they came about because Harris had failed a drug test and Tabor had refused to take a drug test, resulting in an automatic suspension.

Harris had been battling QB Will Grier for the starting job in The Swamp. He’s passed for 269 yards and 2 TDs in two games for Florida, and run for 55 yards. Grier played well in the 14-9 at Kentucky on Saturday night, and would probably have started the game against Tennessee.

Tabor will be a monster loss for Florida in the secondary. Florida fans are pretty worried about their secondary this season, and Tabor’s been one of the strengths, with 10 tackles, four pa one interception to his name in three games.

A Kentucky fan described Tabor as a “beast on defense” during the game last week.

This isn’t Harris’ first run-in in the State of Florida. In mid-December he was suspended after being booked by driving without a license for it. Marijuana was found in the car, but Harris was not arrested for the material since the car didn’t belong to him or the two people in the car with him – one Jalen Tabor and J.C. Jackson.

 

 

Ranking and Predicting Saturday’s SEC games – Week 2

With Tennessee playing Oklahoma, LSU visited Clangaville (Mississippi State), South Carolina playing Kentucky and Georgia playing Vanderbilt (as the CBS games – probably so CBS can say they’ve shown Vanderbilt this season), it’s going to be an interesting-but-not-that-interesting Week 2 of the 2015 College Football Season.

So here’s how we rank ’em….

  1. LSU at Mississippi State

Starkville’s going to be ROCKING on Saturday. The cowbells will be clanging, the screaming will be loud, and LSU will take a deep breath. The Tigers haven’t played 2015, thanks to a lightning storm/downpour ensuring that we didn’t see Brandon Harris/Leonard Fournette/Malachi Dupre/Les Miles/ The LSU student section beat McNeese State on Saturday night. Coming to Starkville won’t be an easy task for the Tigers, especially if Dak Prescott’s on form. MSU fans will be praying that their team don’t play as badly as they did at Southern Miss. This will be fun.

PREDICTION: We’re going to take LSU – a 2 point favorite in some books – by three points in a great game. 

2. Oklahoma at Tennessee

Neyland Stadium’s going to be rocking on Saturday, particularly with Oklahoma coming to town. A lot of Vols fans were smelling blood with a weak Oklahoma coming to Knoxville….until they saw their own defense give up 557 all-purpose yards against Bowling Green on Saturday. Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine had a relatively poor day out against Akron (33 yards and 1 TD on 11 carries), but OU threw the ball a lot. Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs is really, really good. We’re hoping Marquez North comes back. This game’s going to be fun.

PREDICTION: Oklahoma’s a one-point favorite in Neyland, and we’re going to take the Sooners by 7 in a classic. 

3. Kentucky at South Carolina

Williams-Brice should be loud on the Gamecocks’ first home outing of the season, and it’ll be interesting to see how they improve after a pretty awful Week 1 win against UNC, when they could quite easily have lost by double-digits. Spurrier’s got a lot to do with his offense – and he probably would have rather his AD scheduled a joke for Week 2 (see 91% of SEC Week Match-Ups (here’s to you, Tennessee). Mind you, Kentucky’s seven-point home win against Louisiana-Lafayette wasn’t anything to scream “Go! Cats!” either. This is not one for the neutrals.

PREDICTION: South Carolina’s a 7.5 point favorite. We’ll take the Gamecocks with the 10-point victory.

4. Georgia at Vanderbilt

Here’s how awful the Week 2 slate is…..Georgia’s visit to Vanderbilt’s the fourth-biggest game on the SEC schedule. Georgia showed what a three-headed hydra it can be at running back, and Grayson Lambert did OK against Louisana-Monroe without showing a huge amount. Vanderbilt lost against Western Kentucky and was really poor. We should expect RB Ralph Webb get the ball a lot. Although will he make much of a difference against this Georgia front?

PREDICTION: Georgia’s a 20-point favorite. We’ll take Georgia to win by 28. Our friends at Saturday Edge also have their opinion on whether they can beat the spread….

5. East Carolina at Florida

ECU are one of the more entertaining offensive teams in college football, which should make it interesting to see how overmatched they are against Vernon Hargreaves and a Florida defense bringing back 2 starters from suspension. Florida dropped more than 60 in Week 1, and we can expect a lot of points dropped by the Gators this week too.

PREDICTION: Florida’s a 20-point favorite. Florida to win by 42. 

6. Toledo at Arkansas

This will be interesting only for the betting fans/ESPN fans, with Arkansas 21-point favorite. Brandon Allen threw for 300 yards against UTEP, and Toledo’s going to struggle in its first game of the season. Watch out for Alex Collins to have a 100-yard, multiple touchdown game too. Watch to see if the Razorbacks can stop Toledo RB Kareem Hunt, who went under-the-radar last season despite a 1,600-yard season.

PREDICTION: Arkansas by 28. And that’s because they lift their feet off the gas mid-4th quarter.

 

7. Fresno State at Ole Miss

Can Ole Miss score 75? Probably not. Fresno State’s better than that. Can Robert Nkemdiche run for his second TD of the season? We hope so. Will this tell us anything about Ole Miss? Nope. If you play college football fantasy, putting in Laquon Treadwell for this game would be a pretty good idea.

PREDICTION: Ole Miss is a 30-point favorite, which is generous. Ole Miss to cover, winning by 41.

8. Ball State at Texas A&M

In years past – and the ‘D’ getting co-ordinated by Mark Snyder, it would be interesting to see if Texas A&M had improved week-to-week against Ball State. But in 2015 – with John Chavis in charge – Texas A&M’s ‘D’ was fantastic against Arizona State, and no, we don’t think Ball State’s offensive line will be able to stop Myles Garrett and Daylon Mack. And the defense – which gave up 36 to VMI in Week 1 in the 48-36 shoot-out win – is going to struggle against A&M’s receivers – like Christian Kirk, too.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M’s a 30-point favorite. We think they win by 35. 

9. Middle Tennessee State at Alabama

The two good thing for MTSU fans looking at this Alabama game is that the Crimson Tide’s a 35 point favorite (they should look to take the Crimson Tide to cover), and their school is getting paid a lot of dough to come and get slaughtered. Alabama looked very impressive against Wisconsin on Saturday. This won’t be close.

PREDICTION: Alabama, led by Derrick Henry, wins by 42, covering the spread.

10. Missouri at Arkansas State

Maty Mauk took a horrible hit on Saturday, but was able to recover to have a 181-yard, 2 TD, 1 INT day. Drew Lock, his back-up, went 6-10 for 138 yards and a TD. Missouri is deep at QB, people. Arkansas State played USC pretty close at times, but then got blown out by the Trojans.

PREDICTION: Missouri’s an 11-point favourite on the road. They win by 21.

11. Jacksonville State at Auburn

Jeremy Johnson could have thrown five interceptions against Louisville. He was that bad last Saturday. Still, he’s a pretty good runner. He won’t need either against Jacksonville State.

PREDICTION: Auburn by 58. And Vegas isn’t even offering odds, they are so uninterested.

 

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