- 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]
- 4:16 pm Sunday, September 7th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
A crazy second weekend to be sure. But what did we learn?
1) The Big Ten is not done in the College Football Playoff, but its margin for error is gone: There are bad days and then there is what the Big Ten has experienced the past two weeks. All of their standard bearers for the CFP already have a loss: Ohio State (to Virginia Tech), Michigan State (at Oregon), Wisconsin (to LSU), Michigan (to Notre Dame). So does that mean that the Big Ten has no shot at making the first CFP?
You can’t really say that because Michigan State could [More]
- 3:27 pm Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
After a strong opening weekend, the SEC schedule looks pretty thin this Saturday. Still there are some burning questions we hope to get answered before the day is over.
1) Steve Spurrier, the Head Ball Coach, is not happy. But can he do anything about it before Georgia arrives on Sept. 13? Texas A&M outplayed, outcoached, and outhustled South Carolina in a 52-28 loss last week. It was embarrassing for a team that was ranked in the preseason Top 10 and because the Gamecocks laid an egg at home with most of the country watching. So Spurrier tightened things up at [More]
- 12:19 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Understand this: The arrival of the four-team College Football Playoff will completely change how we discuss the game moving forward.
During the BCS era we looked at the teams, the schedules and tried to project which two teams would be left standing in December. Now the discussion will take place weekly based on a snapshot of who you played and how you played in the previous game. In the New World Order, if you’re in the top four this week there is no guarantee you’ll be there next week, even if you win. Play poorly against an inferior opponent and you [More]
- 2:50 pm Sunday, August 31st, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
So what did we learn about the SEC in the first weekend of the 2014 season?
1. Georgia played its most complete football game since beating Auburn in 2007. I’m never comfortable with reading a lot into a first game — good or bad. But I do believe Georgia’s 45-21 victory against No. 16 Clemson was the most complete game I’ve seen a Georgia team play since the Bulldogs beat No. 18 Auburn 45-20 in the “black jersey” game of 2007.
With the score tied at 21 at the half, Georgia dominated all three phases of the game in the second half. [More]
- 11:19 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
My Five Burning Questions for the first SEC Saturday of the 2014 season:
1. How long before Nick Marshall comes into the game against Arkansas? Auburn coach Gus Malzahn made official what we already knew during his news conference this week. Sophomore Jeremy Johnson will start at quarterback against Arkansas while last year’s starter, Nick Marshall, sits (marijuana citation). But Malzahn also made it clear that Marshall would play in the game. So how long does Marshall sit?
Bet it’s longer than another Auburn quarterback, Jeff Burger. In 1987 Burger accepted a plane ride from a friend in violation of NCAA rules [More]
- 8:30 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
We are one day away from the first SEC game of the college football season. And when the games begin, we finally start to get some of our questions answered. Here are five position groups I’m really wondering about as Thursday night’s game between South Carolina and Texas A&M approaches:
1. The Georgia secondary: Jeremy Pruitt, Georgia’s new defensive coordinator, didn’t make a secret of the fact that he was not particularly enamored of the secondary he inherited. He made it clear in my meeting with him that some very young, but talented players, would have to grow up in a [More]