Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hopefully Erin helped Jesse Palmer with his tie this week

It's gameday again for Gamecock fans, as South Carolina is visiting Vanderbilt. While I've covered Thursday night games before, I've never had the team that's my primary topic on air play in one. It's really odd, and while the Thursday night games free me up to come down to Gainesville for the weekend I'm still not fond of them overall. As for the game itself, I watched Vandy's opener on tape. Their QB Chris Nickson looked great running around, but other than their senior wide receiver Sean Walker I saw no credible threats in the passing game and no running backs of note. Their offensive line has virtually no experience (0 starts by returning players last season) and will be tested by a quality defense. If South Carolina's offense doesn't totally melt down again, they should be able to handle this one without sweating in the fourth quarter.

FSU's got a starting quarterback at last, and it's not Drew Weatherford. Redshirt sophomore Christian Ponder begins the year as the guy. This should make it clear Jimbo Fisher is in charge in Tallahassee, because Bobby Bowden wouldn't bench a senior with as much experience as Weatherford until later in the year when he was looking for a scapegoat. Fisher is thinking down the line and wants more reps for Ponder now so he'll be better prepared when Fisher's officially the head coach.

The natural immediate reaction to LSU postponing their game with Troy to November 15th is to say "no big deal". After all, the Tigers should cruise whenever the teams play. There are serious consequences of this move for other weeks, though. It's one game less of experience gained running LSU's offense for their current pair of QBs before the critical Auburn matchup on the 20th. LSU's other bye is slated for October 4, meaning they will now play the last eight weeks of the regular season. That could prove significant should they reach the SEC title game for and need to play for a ninth week in a row.

From the "no kidding?" department: a review of recent college football seasons by the Las Vegas Sun comes to the conclusion that failing to cover the spread is not a good idea for coaches. Next week they'll do a followup on whether it's also bad to regularly lose to your instate rival.

The NFL opens up tonight with the Redskins visiting the New York Giants. I'm not sure how much of it I'll have time to see, but I am curious abut Jim Zorn. I suspect he's going to turn out to be a very good offensive coordinator for Washington. Doing that for the first time while also being a rookie head coach may be a little too much to bite off at once.

Ben Folds Five is reuniting! It's for one show only and they're playing their entire last album beginning to end, but it's still cool. You never know, this might open the door to something more down the line which would be great to see.

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