Monday, September 29, 2008

"They brought their toys with them!"


We get a couple of crazy weekends like this past one every year. If you're lucky, your team doesn't get swept up in the wave of upsets. Florida was not lucky. Having said that, as I pointed out in my column for fightingators.com, if UF wins out they still can accomplish everything they wanted when they woke up Saturday except for an undefeated season. Even losing to LSU and then winning out is still okay for an SEC title shot. Losing Jim Tartt at left guard was enormous and will be even bigger if he's not available for LSU. He is the leader of that line, period. Emmanuel Moody getting hurt early didn't help things either. UF has had worse luck with injuries this year than any I can remember since I started covering them in 94.

It appears Georgia's offense took that "blackout" concept a little too literally, since they appeared unconcious for the whole first half. Give Nick Saban credit, bcause Alabama's much better than even the most fanatical Tide fan could have imagined. Having said that, John Parker Wilson has thrown just seven fourth quarter passes all season. At some point against an LSU, Auburn or Ole Miss he will be challenged to make a play late - whether he can will tell the tale on how good Bama is this seaon. It's interesting to see the huge gap between the AP poll, where Bama got 21 first place votes and is number 2 overall, and the "coaches" poll, where just two sports information directors pretending to be their coaches voted the Tide first. Georgia will lose at least one more game. I've believed all along that they're good but overrated, and nothing I saw in person two weeks ago or Saturay night changed my mind. LSU will beat them in Baton Rouge, and UF certainly has a shot as well.

I've got to admit, I'm actually looking forward to MLB's postseason for the first time in a long while. Not only are the Rays in as AL East champions, but Milwaukee got in there too at the expense of the Mets. The Brewers are the closest thing I have to a team to root for in the NL. I had a good time when I went to Miller Park, the sausage race is always amusing, and Wisconsin people are great. Can you imagine the odds you could have gotten in March of those two teams being in and both New York teams missing postseason altogether?

Paul Newman's death over the weekend wasn't a shock, as it had been reported he was dealing with cancer. It's still a huge loss. If you're not familiar with just how much good Newman has done for charities over the years with his Newman's Own products, I encourage you to read his book about the project. Slap Shot is my favorite sports movie of all time. If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so.

1 comment:

Matt said...

The Gators were very fortunate to have both of the other main SEC East contenders go down this weekend, but if they don't get some things cleaned up they're not going to win the East.

Some things that really bother me about this offense (I'm going to try to get through this without saying Mullen) is the personnel they're putting on the field when they go five wide. More often than not you've got Kehstan out wide and Brandon James in the slot. Now, I might be a tad ignorant, but if you're going to line up in a spread wouldn't it be wise to put in some legitimate downfield threats? I can't say that I've ever seen KM make a play when lined up out wide (except for that underhanded fling play that Tebow does when he's running for his life). James makes a little more sense because he's so quick and shifty, but he really lacks the height to win a 1 on 1 battle downfield. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Put in some true WRs who can battle for balls and can be counted on to make plays. The whole 5-wide set almost every snap drives me crazy to begin with; how quickly this staff has forgotten the lessons of 2005. Now I'm no expert, but having a blocker in the backfield just might prevent Tebow from being under such constant pressure. Billy Latsko was a gift to the Meyer staff, it'd sure be nice to see them develop someone like that on their own.

Also, this running back rotation just is not working. Although it's great in theory to say that you want fresh legs in there all the time, none of these guys are developing any sort of rhythm and we have absolutely no running game as a result. In the past two years this was understandable, but now it's inexcusable because we actually have the talent at that position to be successful. If Urban thinks he's going to win the SEC without a run game to lean on, he's seriously mistaken. We just saw what happens when Tebow has an off day throwing and there's nothing else to go to. It's extremely disappointing that such a supposedly brilliant coaching staff hasn't picked up on this in three years in the SEC. Yeah Moody went out, but they hardly gave him the ball in the first quarter, and they sure as heck didn't give anyone else a legitimate chance to get something going in his place. Now maybe I'm just not a visionary, but when I see so many great teams past and present who manage to rely simply on one solid back, I have to wonder why this staff treats its RBs like a bunch of lepers.

Let's hope they make some adjustments, but we all know Urb is the first to talk about changing things and the last to actually make any adjustments. And really, outside of Clemson is there anyone in the country doing less with more than Dan Mullen? Crap, I said it! Oh well, at least Colonel Reb can finally stop crying...