- 2:25 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
When it comes to determining the four teams that will play in the first College Football Playoff, it was a relatively uneventful September. Oh, we had a bunch of really good games, but the basic landscape remained pretty much unchanged.
We won’t say the same thing about October.
After college football heavyweights spent the first month of the season shadow boxing, this Saturday they will start climbing into the ring with other heavyweights. At least nine of the 12 teams below play games this week they could conceivably lose.
The College Football Playoff selection committee will hold its first meeting in Dallas on [More]
- 4:38 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
There was so much we learned on a breathless Saturday in the SEC. So where do you start? How about here:
Better buckle up because it looks like, moving forward, every Saturday is going be like last Saturday. Two weeks ago I told you that the SEC was more balanced with good teams than I had ever seen it and that every conference game would be appointment television. Saturday’s scores bore that out:
Georgia 35, Tennessee 32: Vols gave notice that their return to prominence will be sooner rather than later.
Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 28 (OT): The Hogs held a 28-14 lead [More]
- 12:55 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Our Five Burning Questions about the SEC as we head to Week Five:
1) Can Georgia win the battle up front against Tennessee? The Bulldogs should and if they do then it will probably be a reasonably comfortable day against an improving Tennessee team. The Volunteers are certainly better at the skill positions but there is no getting away from the fact that they lost 92 percent of their snaps from the offensive line from a year ago. Tennessee OC Mike Bajakian is compensating by giving QB Justin Worley a lot of three-step drops to get the ball out quickly and [More]
- 3:38 pm Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
We’re closing out September which means the schedules are starting to get serious and the fun really begins. Yes, there is a lot of football to be played. But today, if I were on the College Football Playoff selection committee, this is way I would vote:
THE FIRST FOUR
1) Auburn (3-0): The Tigers found a way to win at Kansas State (20-14), the first stop in the most difficult road schedule in America. It was a huge win for Auburn and for the conference. Auburn’s wins over Kansas State and Arkansas (3-1) are the most impressive of the group. I still [More]
- 1:01 pm Sunday, September 21st, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
What We Learned on weekend No. 4:
1. Mississippi State’s win over LSU was not an upset: Mississippi State beat LSU 34-29 in Baton Rouge and if you just looked at the score you’d think it must have been a nail-bitter. Yes, LSU did have a throw into the end zone at the end to win the game. But the fact is that the Bulldogs marched into Tiger Stadium, where they had not won since 1991, and basically kicked LSU’s butt for over 35 minutes. Give LSU credit for getting a couple of late scores (two TD in 28 seconds) after [More]
- 12:47 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Our Five Burning Questions about the SEC as we head for the fourth Saturday of the season:
1) What is Alabama’s biggest concern as the Florida Gators come to Tuscaloosa? I know the fans are obsessed about the quarterback situation at Alabama and the match up of WR Amari Cooper vs. Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III. But if I was a Crimson Tide fan this is the stat that would worry me: Since Nick Saban became head coach in 2007, the Alabama defense has forced an average of 25 turnovers per season. Through three games in 2014 the defense has forced [More]
- 4:05 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Most of the exhibition games are winding down and the race for a spot in the first four-team College Football Playoff is finally starting to get serious. The biggest change this week is the exit of Georgia, which lost a heartbreaker at South Carolina(38-35), and the arrival of Oklahoma at No. 4.
Here are the 12 teams I have in the discussion this week. Feel free to tell me where I’m wrong.
THE FIRST FOUR
1) Oregon (3-0): The Ducks continue to be the most impressive team to date and quarterback Marcus Mariota has played his way to the top of a lot [More]
- 4:51 pm Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
There was one overall message we learned from the third weekend in SEC football: After only three games the conference appears as balanced as it has been from top to bottom. Let me make the case:
No. 1, it’s time for all of us to start giving some love to Missouri: I didn’t think the Tigers could repeat as SEC East champs because they lost their quarterback (James Franklin), best running back (Henry Josey), top three wide receivers (including Dorial Green-Beckham), and two NFL draft choices from the defensive front (Michael Sam, Kony Ealy).
Well, Maty Mauk (12 touchdowns in three games) [More]
- 1:27 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Our Five Burning Questions as we head into Week 3 in the SEC:
1) South Carolina has the home field and the Head Ball Coach (Steve Spurrier). Is that enough to upset No. 6 Georgia? Before South Carolina lost to Texas A&M on Aug. 28, the Gamecocks had won 18 straight at Williams-Brice Stadium. So they traditionally play well at home. Steve Spurrier has a lifetime record of 15-6 against Georgia and has won three of the last four meetings. And we all know how much Spurrier likes to beat the Bulldogs. Georgia’s offense normally goes into hibernation as soon as [More]
- 3:08 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
In the New World Order that is the College Football Playoff, teams will rise and fall based on who they play and how they play each week. Every Saturday is a new referendum. Oregon, for example, scheduled a Top 10 team (Michigan State) at home and won by 19. Thus the Ducks are rewarded by moving up to my No. 1 this week. Florida State scheduled a bad FCS team, The Citadel, and gets bumped down a couple of notches. Georgia, ranked No. 1 last week, was idle and drops a place because of Oregon’s impressive win.
Here is this week’s [More]