Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BlogPoll Roundtable

Outstanding Georgia blog “Hey Jenny Slater” is hosting this week’s BlogPoll roundtable with the following questions (and my answers) -

1. By the end of the season, some previously unheralded teams' bandwagons will be so full they'll be having to bump passengers and offer them free vouchers and first-class upgrades; others will have emptied out in a big way. On whose bandwagon are you already scrambling to save a seat? Conversely, which team's bandwagon is being driven by Toonces the Driving Cat, prompting you to leap off now before it careens over a cliff to its fiery death below?

If the requirement is “previously unheralded”, I suppose we have to eliminate teams like Hawaii, Boise and even Kentucky as being “previously heralded”. Everyone seems to have those teams exceeding expectations (which, in turn, adds to a base expectation, which they must now exceed. A vicious cycle indeed).

I do think Kentucky is going to shock some teams offensively (568 yards total offense to open).

But to answer the question, I think I might have to ride the wagon with two ACC teams – Clemson and Miami. Sure the Tigers held on for dear life to win, but 292 yards against FSU’s defense – including 132 on the ground – is pretty damn good. And sure for Miami it was against “We Are Marshall” but the Canes, holding their cards close to the vest play-wise, ran for 251 yards.

As for teams having me jump off at the next station – Texas (which I considered a preseason BCS title contender), Virginia Tech (gave up 142 yards rushing to ECU? And then only rushed for 33??) and South Carolina (gave up 252 yards rushing to the Rajun Cajuns – are you kidding me?)

2. What do you think was opening weekend's biggest mirage -- either a "big win" over a team that isn't really as good as everyone thinks, or an embarrassing loss (or embarrassingly close win) that won't seem quite as embarrassing by season's end?

For the mirage “big win”, I see Cal over Tennessee. Good teams don’t give up 31 points at home, and nearly 400 yards total offense.

On the other side, I FSU improving from last night’s debacle. They are trying to work in a new offense, and the D looked rusty in the early going, but came on later. It is hard as hell to start a season in a night game on the road at a team like Clemson.

3. Compared to how you felt Friday night, how do you feel now about your team's chances this season? I'm not just talking about your impressions of your own team -- also take into account their prospects relative to this year's opponents, whom you've also gotten a little more acquainted with after this past weekend's action.

As for Florida, I feel about the same – I knew Tebow could throw, and that our offense was better than the “experts” thought (He held the state of Florida high school passing records, you media tools). I predict the UF offense will be the best it has been stat wise since the mid-90’s.

Defensively, I felt before that UF needed work –and it does. Our defensive secondary in particular scares me silly. Teams are likely going to challenge Kyle Jackson, and he probably won’t rise to the occasion.

4. Looking at how those future opponents performed this past weekend, which developments are you most excited about? Which of your opponents' performances have you a little worried?

My foolish optimism only increased for the September 15 match up against Tennessee. Our speedy offense should be able to jump all over them. Plus, say hello to punt returner Brandon James.

Auburn, FSU and South Carolina failed to impress much either.

It seems there is much to be concerned about at LSU. Their D looks incredible, and their offense looks to be competent. If our D doesn’t improve, that could be ugly. Georgia also looks sharp – and Stafford looks to be in command of that offense, and exceptionally cool at the helm. And the Bulldog D shut down a supposedly speedy team (reported to be the best in the universe).

Kentucky remains a mystery, and perhaps a trap game. It might just be a shootout.

5. There are now 32 bowls in D-IA football, meaning 64 bowl teams, meaning any given team now stands a better-then-50-percent chance of going to a bowl. To get that number under 50 percent, we'd have to eliminate three bowls. Which ones would you get rid of?

Were it entirely up to me, I would get rid of 20 of the bowls. But that was not the question.

If only 3, I’d start by getting rid of that worthless bowl in Boise in late December. Who wants to see snow on a blue field for a bowl game.

Next, out with that silly “nut” bowl in San Francisco.

Lastly, any bowl that takes an over ranked Notre Dame team because of their fan base.

Hmmm. I guess the first two would have left our in-state rivals bowl-less. Coincidence? You decide.

6. And finally, in 50 words or less, how happy are you that it's finally football season again?



Peacock said...

It is sad that your blog seems to have turned into patting yourself and your fellow Knights of the Blogpoll on the rear.

Peacock said...

Your numerous links to EDSBS.com hints at what your blog used to be like, instead of what has become one step above reading a plain box score.

I loved your site last season, but it is way too dry now. Sorry for the harsh criticsm, but it's just my opinion.

Henry Gomez said...

Different strokes for different folks. See ya.

Henry Gomez said...

Seriously, Peacock, what do you propose? An in-depth statistical analysis of the Gators win over the Hill Toppers of Western Kentucky? Please. The season is just starting and we don't even play our first meaningful game for two weeks.

Peacock said...

I hear ya and I expected backlash on my harsh comments. I continue to be a reader and link to your site.

It was just my opinion on some of the changes you have made.

You still have an outstanding website, and I understand that contributions from our opponents makes the site more comprehensive.

As you said, different strokes for different folks. You all do an outstanding job. The above were just some observations.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I prefer to read other's opinions and thoughts on football and I like your site better than EDSBS.com. I don't like sites that just link to other sites. I can Google all that information myself if I wanted to read it!

That being said, do you really think Kentucky has a chance? I planned my wedding for that weekend because UF ALWAYS has a bye before Georgia. Not this year. And I am starting to panic! A loss on my wedding day would not be a good omen!

Henry Gomez said...

Peacock, we have made no conscious effort to change anything about the blog and we never made a conscious effort to create a certain style of blog in the first place. This blog is an organic outgrowth of conversations that Mergz and I had with others on a message board. Some of the stuff involves stats and analysis that probably doesn't get mentioned in other places but as I said a lot of that is in reaction to the games. The fact is that the Gators and our opponents haven't played enough games to make meaningful comparisons. Last year, we started this blog in October so we already had a month's worth of games to work with.