SEC Championship Game Time

1 12 2009

Finally, here it is, the week of the 2009 SEC Championship game. Once again it’s the Florida Gators Vs the Alabama Crimson Tide. Since its creation in 1992, Florida has made 9 appearances and Alabama has made 6. Every time that Alabama has made it to the SEC championship they have been met by Florida. Florida leads the series 4-2 including Florida’s 31-20 win over Alabama just last year. Anyone who follows the SEC, or just either one of these teams, knows that when it comes to a game with this much at stake (just in case you’ve been living off where no sports media can reach you,  this is pretty much the semi-finals for the National Championship). Florida is looking for their quarterback Tim Tebow (2,166 passing yards and 796 rushing yards) and receiver Riley Cooper (703 reception yards) to lead Florida to a 2nd Straight National Championship. Alabama has some expectations from their leading players too. Alabama’s quarterback Greg McElroy (2,211 passing yards), Mark Ingram (1,429 yards rushing) and Julio Jones (545 receiving yards) are expected to lead the team to their first National Championship title since 1992. Alabama stands with the better offense, but statistically, Florida has the better Defense. Florida has only allowed 233.1 yards per game on defense, holding their opponent to only 9.8 yards per game. Alabama isn’t far behind with only 234.1 yards of defense allowed per game and only 10.8 points allowed per game. The game will take place on Saturday December 5th 2009 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta at 3:00 P.M. CST.


Are You Ready For Some Football

14 11 2009

Once again were not talking about the NFL, were looking again at the Crimson Tide of the University of Alabama. Tonight the Tide takes on the Bulldogs of Mississippi State in Starkville before a sold out crowd. Dan Mullen (the former offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer) took over the head coaching job for the bulldogs this year, bringing the Florida spread offense with him. Alabama player are hoping to use this game to help prepare them for the SEC Championship game since Florida is still running the same type offense (Just sub Anthony Dixon, Miss. St. Powerhouse back, with Tim Tebow). Don’t let this fool you. Alabama is still focusing hard on the Bulldogs. While they may not admit it openly, every player knows that one loss could cost them a shot at the National Championship. Typically against a spread type offense, Alabama head coach Nick Saben has used the nickel and dime packages, rather then the typical 3 – 4 defense he runs, meaning nose tackle Terrance Cody would spend time off field. With this game there are rumors of just leaving the big man Mt. Cody in the game. With the speculation between the coaches, look for Mississippi State to employ some offensive maneuvers slightly different from the playbook and some defensive line ups that have not been seen before from the Crimson Tide.

Miss St vs Alabama

Rolling around to my opinion of it all…. Alabama has had a bad habit of not playing on the national championship level that there team really is. The Tide has a tendency to bring their game down to the level of the team they are playing (see: Alabama vs. South Carolina and Alabama vs. Tennessee). I’m hoping that Alabama bring the running game with them. Mark Ingram is a fantastic back who can get the ball up field to move the chains. Quarterback Greg McElroy proved to be a lot better with the passing game last week but seemed to really be over throwing his target A LOT. If McElroy can settle down and make his assignments and the offensive line give him time to get his passes off, I think we stand to see a good passing game. If Mark Ingram can continue to get at least four yards a carry in combination with McElroy, I see no reason why Alabama could not cover the spread. Alabama has also had some issues in the red zone. (see past 3 games and you might see it) but fortunately we’ve had our field goal kicker Leigh Tiffin who has pretty much been a machine when it comes to getting the ball between the uprights (I got to give it to this kid, he has greatly improved since he first came on the scene choking at every important field goal attempted during the season). As long as Alabama plays their typical hard core defense and stops the run game, and the offense pulls together to move the ball down field and finishes in the red zone, Alabama should have no trouble beating the Bulldogs. The game will be at 7 ET/ 6 CT on ESPN.


7 11 2009

zebraUnless you live under a rock, or just don’t follow college football at all, you’ve heard something about the referees in the South Eastern Conference. If you haven’t, just ask Bobby Petrino, Lane Kiffin, or Urban Meyer, they have all had something to say, and heard from the SEC about speaking out about SEC Officials (FYI incase you didn’t know, its in the rulebook you cant publicly criticize officials). Urban Meyer, the latest of the three was fined $30,000 for his public tongue-lashing of the officials. This past month, there has been a couple of calls that you could say were questionable (what am I saying, even the refs after reviewing the play that night were going WTF?), but in my most humble of opinions mistakes will be made. Such a big deal was made out of these based on the fact that they were basically game changing calls on high profile games (except for Kiffin’s case… he was just made the wrong call and wanted an excuse for it that didn’t blame him). These calls, and the fact that they were on two back to back weeks caused the suspension of one SEC crews. I myself completely disagreed with the calls and was actually heated about it (I feel Florida is over rated and should have lost that game) and at one point felt that the refs in question should be fired, if not forced to resign. After putting some more time and thought into it (and reading a little into the response from the referees who made the call) I realized that asking them to hang up their stripes was a little over the top. Digging much deeper into it, I found that I really blame the SEC and the NCAA for how the referee setup works. First off, there should be no set of crews, there should only be pools of referees. I’m ok if you want to split it into 2 pools (veterans and novices) but there should not be a set crew of people who always work with each other. This gives too much for a crew to be paid off or for a crew to have favorite teams. Secondly, I don’t think there should be conference referees. The rules of college football are the same in California as they are in Alabama, so there’s no reason a referee from Washington should have any problem officiating a football game being played in Georgia. Now that I’ve given the SEC crew a little rope, lets see what they do with it now. With so many teams in the SEC controlling a shot at the national title, there’s no room for error. Its hard enough playing the game alone, much less someone calling a penalty that really isn’t there. I wish good luck to the teams, but even more to the refs. This looks like a lose-lose season to them.