Friday, October 29, 2010

My CP7 for Heisman notepad just dropped in value again

With Florida's struggles this season, the sudden theme of commentators has been that FSU is now the dominant team in the state. Sure, the Seminoles have lost every game to UF from 2004 on. Yes, they got steamrolled by the most credible opponent they'd faced this year. Still, if UF could lose to Alabama, LSU and a Mississippi State team that's already bowl eligible then clearly FSU is now better than they are. Further proof was to come last night, when Jimbo Fisher and company were supposed to move one step closer to returning to the ACC title game by knocking off NC State in Raleigh. It didn't quite work out that way. Now, should NC State run the table, they'll be the Atlantic Division champs. If they get past a road game at Clemson next week, there's a very good chance that will happen. As for FSU, their one "good" win is a pounding of an athletic but poorly coached Miami squad. Perhaps some folks can now ease up on proclaiming the Seminoles are back as an elite team just because they've handled the likes of Boston College and Virginia?

In the same vein of overreaction, some people have made too much of Georgia's recent run of success just as they did with their early run of losses. Their wins have come against the two worst teams in the SEC so far and a decent Kentucky team coming off an important win. The Bulldogs have a good young quarterback in Aaron Murray and some nice weapons for him to throw to, but also have been shaky on the OL this season. Their defense is a work in progress in the first year under a new coordinator, although Justin Houston can bring serious heat on the QB at times. UGA is a good but flawed team. If Florida regains some big play making capability with the return of Rainey and Demps and improved overall performance as a result of the bye week, it can definitely beat them.

One of the things I'd been hearing that I alluded to in yesterday's blog was that Caleb Sturgis was still not close to right health wise but was going to try to go. That will now not be the case, which is probably the right decision. From what I understand, Chas Henry has taken his recent struggles filling in for Sturgis extremely hard, which is only making it more difficult for him to try and improve his performance as emergency kicker. Simply put, Florida needs to be preparing as if they are always in a four down situation once they cross the UGA 40 and should be calling plays accordingly. Anything outside a 30 yard field goal is going to be extremely dicey,which is a huge problem given this team's inability to finish drives for the last month.

John Brantley has had his version of the 2005 Chris Leak talk. There are times where he'll have input on what plays are being run, although it wasn't made clear to me exactly how that's being done. In Leak's case they had asked him in advance for the plays he was most comfortable with in a certain situation. Brantley might be given choices during the game. Either way, he's got to be able to stay confident, stand and deliver the throws which are there for him to make. Too often against Mississippi State in particular there was a willingness to settle for shorter stuff or inaccuracy when he did throw it. Trey Burton will see plenty of time at QB as well, but he HAS to be allowed to throw some early for that to keep working.

I have no true feel for what's going to happen in Jacksonville tomorrow. All the history and Urban Meyer's record with extra time says take Florida, which is what I did for the newspaper picks competition I take part in for the Columbia paper each week. Suffice to say I wouldn't be in a hurry to put money down on it in Vegas were I there this weekend. I'll be live on the air in Columbia doing postgame after South Carolina's win over Tennessee while the game's going on, and I'll be extremely curious to see how it unfolds. As always, thoughts from the college and pro weekend can be found on the Twitter feed at heathradio as they occur to me. Hope you have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.

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