This weekend's LSU-Florida game's going to be fascinating because neither team comes in feeling good even though combined they have one loss (and that's on the road against the #1 team). Despite that and both being ranked in the top 14, these two programs are perceived as largely inept right now. LSU's looking for answers on offense and may try moving their coordinator downstairs. I don't think that'll solve the issues ailing them. It's up to Florida how this game goes. The buzz I'm hearing from Gainesville is that they're going to open up the playbook and let John Brantley execute an offense more suited to his skills. If that turns out to be true, the Gators should be able to pull away in the second half as LSU inevitably makes mistakes. If the playcalling is more of the same, it'll probably be a tight game late. I think Andre Debose has his "Trey Burton" game and becomes a guy national people are talking about, and Florida wins by two touchdowns or more.
South Carolina gets their shot at Bama tomorrow, and I'll be curious to get a firsthand look at the Crimson Tide. I've believed all year the Gamecocks have a chance in this one, not because they're better but because of the setup. They've had two weeks to get ready, while Bama's coming off back to back huge games at Arkansas and at home with UF. South Carolina has good enough WRs to make plays in the passing game if they can protect the QB. I'm not predicting the upset, but there are a lot of people who think Alabama -7 is free money. If you're one of them, I suspect you'll feel otherwise watching that game during the second half.
Other CFB thoughts:
1. I don't completely trust either side in the FSU at Miami game. For all the hype about FSU's supposed defensive improvement, I have yet to see proof of it against a team with quality athletes. Miami's not well coached, but they have the better horses in this one. Odds are that's good enough to walk out winners.
2. One of two things is going to happen in Athens Saturday. One possibility is Georgia's going to bow up on the offensive line, blow an undersized Tennessee off the ball and help get the Dawg offense really going for the first time all year. The other is that even with some Mark Richt gimmicks this week (full pad practice on Monday for first time ever, he's leading the team out of the tunnel for the first time too) nothing gets better and Georgia loses again. If they do, I think it's the point of no return for Richt. As long as A.J. Green stays on the football field for 60 minutes, I think the former storyline is what we see.
3. ESPN has spent the last few years revealing almost everything there was to know about the BCS math before it was released on FOX. Now that they're dedicating a lengthy show to the ratings release every Sunday night, what do you think the chances are of them spoiling their own show? Haven't heard a single mention of their "BCS guy" Brad Edwards lately - hmmmm.
Tampa Bay will always have the 2010 AL East title to look back on, but it appears the franchise decided to get started on showing people what next year's stripped down team will like early by completely failing to show up at the plate . It's not like this is some kind of shocker, since the Rays offense was uninspiring at best throughout the season, but it's a shame that such an amazing run the past three years is going to end on this note. The Yankees concerted efforts to lose enough to avoid Texas and Cliff Lee in the first round have been rewarded, as they're about to sweep Minnesota out of the playoffs too. Tim "F**k Yeah!" Lincecum made the Braves look silly during his complete game win, and considering tonight's intended starter Tommy Hanson got injured while not even playing it's safe to say this may not be Atlanta's year.
Busy weekend for me, with College Gameday in town for the Gamecocks and Bama. I'm hosting a pregame show outside the stadium at 10:30, and if SC pulls it off I'll be on for another two-three hours afterwards. Sunday it's on to Charlotte for Bears at Panthers. Todd Collins versus Jimmy Clausen in a QB duel - can't wait! Somewhere in the midst of all that, I'll be sharing thoughts on Twitter. Follow along @heathradio should you be so inclined. Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.