Friday, September 18, 2009

It's going to be weird rooting for Monte Kiffin's D to get shredded

Back to Gainesville for me this weekend, as I cover one of the most unusual games of my career. No one is discussing the actual specifics of Tennessee's visit to Florida. It's all about the potential bloodbath expected to be unleashed by a vengeance seeking UF squad and coaching staff thanks to Lane Kiffin's offseason antics. I don't get it. Of course the Volunteers are extremely unlikely to win the game, but it's not like they have no athletes to work with. The front seven defensively is decent, Eric Berry is one of the best DBs in the country, and the offense at least has some talented athletes. I'm particularly curious to see how the UT coaches approach this one. Monte Kiffin hasn't dealt with a spread option offense yet - what wrinkles will he show to defense it? As for Lane, do you sell out to try and pull the miracle or do you keep whatever gadget plays and interesting formations you may have in the bag for a more winnable game like Auburn in two weeks? My guess is that UF wins something like 45-14 and people are disappointed it wasn't much much worse.

It's not a great weekend for college football if you judge it by the number of games matching two ranked teams, but there's a lot going on worth keeping an eye on. Georgia's visit to Arkansas is one I'll be particularly interested in. The Razorbacks are down a couple of WRs but still have enough personnel to expose a UGA defense that was very soft against the pass underneath last week. How will FSU do on their visit to BYU - was the Jacksonville State fiasco jut a short week issue, or are they still making no progress at all? If Notre Dame loses to Michigan State in South Bend again (as they have every time the teams have played there since 1993) the pressure on Charlie Weis the rest of the way will be incredible. Here's the list of games on TV from Awful Announcing.

No game for Illinois this week, but Ron Zook still racked up a big loss. Star Illini linebacker Martez Wilson is gone for the season with a neck injury. It's no secret I'm not the biggest fan of Zook as a head coach, but the guy's also not been very lucky with the exception of two seasons ago. Imagine how different a lot of things might be right now if Dallas Baker doesn't pick up this personal foul against Tennessee five years ago this week. I still have no idea how the ref stared right at the players, saw a UT kid hit Baker and then called him only for the foul after he returned the favor. Without that and Chris Leak's unnecessary slide a half a foot short of the game clinching first down against LSU, Zook could easily have been on his way to a very successful season. Instead, he got the axe after the Mississippi State debacle. With the seat already getting warm in Champaign, Zook didn't need this Wilson development at all.

This may seem like a minor thing, but the Big East commissioner casually mentioned to the Birmingham News in a Q and A that he believes there won't be a BCS after 2014. Not because a playoff is coming, mind you, but because they may junk it and go back to the old and even more ridiculous setup where the SEC champ was in the Sugar, Big Ten and Pac-10 in the Rose, and the Big 12 in another game (Orange back in the Big 8 days, Fiesta now) with no way for the champs to play each other. The result, of course, would be that no one would ever play for a national championship again unles Notre Dame or an uncommitted conference champ (Big East, MWC?) was one of the opponents. Gee, that sounds like a wonderful idea. How does such a great sport have such a broad group of people committed to making its postseason process as idiotic as possible?

According to Tim Tebow, a woman taking a picture with him at Radio Shack tried to expose her breasts at the last second (presumably going for the "shock value" of Tebow next to a naked rack. Even more amazing was the person taking the picture: her mother. I'm sure your reaction to the story was similar to mine - what the hell was Tebow doing at Radio Shack? Have a good weekend, please keep your top on if you run into Tebow at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and I'll see you back here Monday.


Anonymous said...

Nobody goes to RadioShack, I mean nobody!

Anonymous said...

That was the best defense UF will face this year and they still almost put up 30. Remember UT ranked 4th in the NCAA last year in Total Defense with the best defenesive player in the nation.

Gators and Gator fans should not be too concerned about the offense, at least not yet.

They got by without having to use a lot of fancy plays and deep balls. Good to save those for LSU, Georgia, FSU, Arkansas and Sout Carolina.