Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gameday!

I am really psyched for today's games, it really will be lots of great football. When you get to week four of the season, the games become more meaningful and difficult -- many of the early season pastries have been gobbled, resum├ęs have been padded, and teams are largely untested, except perhaps once. Now the grind of the conference season sets in.

From an SEC standpoint, I will be pulling hard for Auburn and Tennessee today. UT has really had a rough go early, playing a very difficult early schedule and being largely unsuccessful. Today, they face a pretty tough team in Arkansas State, but the Vols out-talent them 2-1 at least, and in games like this, even underperforming teams like Tennessee can often get by on talent alone.

But Fulmer's job is really getting tenuous right now, and he needs a statement to ease the pressure. If he just eeks by ArkState, he is going to be under more pressure than any coach in the country save Lloyd Carr, and frankly, I wouldn't give $0.2 for his chances of roaming the sidelines in orange next year. If he gets a flawless victory, his odds don't improve much, but at least some of the vitriol will subside slightly. Tennessee fans know that this team is talented, and have faced the toughest schedule to date in the SEC. They can still right the ship and contend for the East, but if they lose or limp away from this game, it is likely to doom Fulmer and demoralize the team to the point that I wouldn't be betting on success.

Auburn is in a somewhat similar position, except they have less talent to lean on than the Vols. New Mexico State will test the Auburn defense, but Hal Mumme teams tend to play below average to poor defense, so even the anemic Auburn offense should be able to put points on the board.

Tommy Tuberville's seat is not nearly so hot as Fulmer's thermonuclear behind, but it is getting uncomfortably warm. His recent season successes should insulate him from one bad season, but I remember a time not too long ago when AU was thinking of replacing him with Bobby Petrino despite the success that Tuberville has had. Auburn is getting bored with Tuberville, and Kentucky basketball fans know what happens when the team becomes boring -- a movement for change begins.

I haven't talked much about Mississippi State, but beating Auburn and now facing a bit of a croissant in Gardner-Webb puts them in an interesting position. They are beginning to look like a team with an outside chance at reaching bowl eligibility. Who would have thunk that at the beginning of the season?

In sum, this should be a great day for college football fans, and a somewhat uncomfortable day for at least two SEC coaches. Enjoy, SEC fans!

8 comments:

Jessica said...

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Philip, the Equal Opportunity Cynic said...

Tommy Tuberville's seat is not nearly so hot as Fulmer's thermonuclear behind....

Actually, I'm very much of the school of thought that Lowder & company have been looking for an excuse to can Tuberville ever since the jet fiasco. This year should be plenty bad to give it to them.

Kurt said...

Mississippi State is now 3-1 on the season, and looking to upset South Carolina this coming weekend. Probably won't happen, but with a win over UAB the next game, State moves to 4-2!!

BestofSEC said...

Hi all:

Sorry I missed these comments, I was too busy celebrating Kentucky's big win over Arkansas.

Jessica: Don't spam my blog, please.

Philip: There is excellent evidence Auburn has been looking for an excuse to can Tuberville for at least 3 years. You may be exactly right.

Kurt: MSU is playing pretty good football right now, and has a very real shot at a bowl. USC should not be thinking "pastry" when MSU comes to Columbia.

LeftLeaningLady said...

I enjoy your blog. And appreciate the fact that your 'Cats won this weekend. I was the only one to pick them in my football pool, so they may have won me money!

Congrats on your win.

BestofSEC said...

Why, thank you for the kind words and congratulations.

I'm glad we could help out on your pool. :-)

Kurt said...

I'm pulling for Kentucky mainly because of you and other Kentucky football fans...you may be nasty when it comes to hoops, but Kentucky football fans are down-right cool.

Go Cats!

BestofSEC said...

Thanks Kurt.

We're cool in football because all the fair-weather fans have long since abandoned the football program, and we ...uh ... know what humble is.

Most of us are not bad in basketball either. We just have a bunch of loudmouths, bandwagoners and plain bad apples that make the rest of us look bad. Same everywhere.