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Top Thursday Night Games of 2014 Season

Though I would never want Georgia to play in one, I love Thursday night games. They are usually pretty good games, and they help get the football weekend off to a good start. And being the only game on that night in most cases, it can get your full attention.

This year, for whatever reason, there just aren’t that many good games on Thursdays. Some weeks were downright terrible games I won’t be watching (OK, I probably will). Of course, the commentary of David Pollack and Jesse Palmer is pretty dreadful, but an improvement of Jesse Palmer and Craig James.

With that said, I found 9 Thursday games I thought were pretty good. I’ve ranked these 9 in order of most compelling.

1. Texas A&M at South Carolina (8/28, 6:00 SEC Network)

There is something about the opening Thursday night and South Carolina football games that just feels right. Both teams are breaking in new QBs and other key pieces. Will be interesting to see how good both teams are as they move on. Oh yeah, the debut of the SEC Network.

2. LSU at Texas A&M (11/27, 7:30 ESPN)

 Texas A&M swaps out Texas for LSU on Thanksgiving night. This could have been 1b, but I think that Texas A&M will have a few losses by this point, while LSU should be in the thick of the Western division race. At any rate, this should be an entertaining game and a nice way to end Turkey day after suffering through the Lions, the Cowboys, and the family.

 3. Auburn at Kansas State (9/18, 7:30 ESPN)

Kansas State plays fundamental football and has slowed Baylor down better than anyone the last few years. Auburn has a tough schedule, and if they are going to have any big aspirations, they have to get out of Manhattan with a win.

4. Arizona at Oregon (10/2, 10:30 ESPN)

 I don’t think Oregon will be a National Title Contender, but the Ducks will still score a bunch of points. Arizona can, too. This will be a fun game.

5. UCLA at Arizona State (9/25, 10:00 FS1)

 UCLA should have a good team this year, and Arizona State should take a step back, but this still should be a fun game to watch.

6. UNC at Duke (11/20, 7:30 ESPN)

A rivalry game that should be fun. Not sure what Duke is going to do this year, and everyone says UNC should be competitive for whatever ACC division they are in. Could be a good game, could be a snooze fest.

7. Boise State vs. Ole Miss (8/28, 8:00 ESPN)

Ole Miss is one of those mediocre teams that is supposed to “be a contender and/or surprise team.” No doubt that Hugh Freeze has recruited like Jackie Sherrill well, so this opening game will be good to see how they look. Boise State is not as good as a couple years ago, but this should still be compelling if only to see how the Rebels look.

8.  Miami at Virginia Tech (10/23, 7:30 ESPN)

 Probably will decide the Coastal Division, or at least put the winner in the driver’s seat. I mean, I guess it will. Duke won this Division last year, so who the hell knows.

 9. Texas Tech at Oklahoma State (9/25, 7:30 ESPN)

This should be a shootout of a game, so something just fun.



Top College Football Games During Off Weekends

I love football season. I love going to Athens for games Between the Hedges. But one of the downfalls of going to the games is not being able to watch a lot of the other games on TV. Sitting around the house all day in the recliner and watching football all day is pretty good, too. Now, my wife isn’t crazy about these marathon days, but we make do.

And because I am a degenerate, I usually have a vested rooted in interest in many games.

There are 4 weekends this year we know for sure that the Dawgs are off, or will be getting done early in the afternoon due to playing a subpar opponent. And these games aren’t that stressful from a Georgia fan’s perspective, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy some other college football games.

So I went through and cherry picked some of the best (or most interesting) games the two bye days and the Troy and Charleston Southern game days. And the good thing is these games are spread out strategically in the beginning of the season, early in the season but a few weeks in, smack dab in the middle of the season, and then towards the end. So the timing of these contests are important for many different reasons.

September 6 (Open week)

ECU at South Carolina: Steve Spurrier said it best-ECU might be better than some bottom tier Big 10 teams. After a hard fought game against Texas A&M, it will be good to scout South Carolina again before the Dawgs head to Columbia.

Virginia Tech vs. Ohio State: Anytime Ohio State or an Urban Meyer coached team plays a decent out of conference opponent outside a bowl game, it is newsworthy.

Michigan at Notre Dame:   Two teams I really don’t care for, and the hype for this game will be undeservedly off the chart, but this game has also been pretty entertaining the last several years.

Michigan State at Oregon: A potential Rose Bowl or playoff match up features a contrast in styles. My early bet is on Michigan State.

BYU at Texas: this game last year was the time you knew Mack Brown wouldn’t be around much longer. Be interesting to see how Charlie Strong’s does.

September 20 (Troy)

Florida at Alabama: Two things are going to happen here: Florida will get eviscerated, which is always good TV. Or Florida’s offense is legit and they make it a game, in which I enjoy the all mighty Alabama looking mortal. Either way, good TV.

Mississippi State at LSU: People are saying Mississippi State is a quiet contender in the supposedly wide open SEC West. LSU has to replace a ton of talent, like always, and could be down a bit. However, I don’t think Mississippi State will be there. This game will say a lot about the division race and if State is ready to contend.

Clemson at FSU: Clemson will want revenge following last year’s defeat. Hopefully Clemson will have a loss and will be motivated to play well so this one will be halfway competitive.

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech: A good chance to see Tech and their new QB.

Oregon at Washington State: Just because of Mike Leach, and you have to have a late night, high scoring Pac-12 game to fall asleep to.

October 25 (Bye)

South Carolina at Auburn: No explanation here. Fire up the grill, ice down the beer. This is Big Boy SEC Football at its finest.

Ole Miss at LSU: For the reasons I listed above for the Mississippi State-LSU game.

Ohio State vs. Penn State: This could be known as the “Asshole Bowl”. I want to start that petition. Should be a good game. Well, good game for the Big 10.

Arizona at Washington State; Arizona State at Washington: Both make the cut because I’m sure they will be late night games and should be high scoring affairs to just veg out to and put the sleep timer on to drift away after a long day of football.

November 22 (Charleston Southern)

NOTE: If there is a day to start raking some leaves, helping your wife prepare for Thanksgiving, or to do any other task, then this is the day to do it. Just be prepared this is a suckie day.

NOTE 2: When folks complain about this weekend being so bad in the SEC, I say “So what? There are good games in other conferences.” Not this year that I saw.

USC @UCLA: I guess this one will be interesting.

Oklahoma State at Baylor: This has the potential to either be a high scoring shootout, or for Baylor to destroy the Cowpokes.

Don’t Sleep On LSU

It seems that LSU is flying very under the radar this season.  The Tigers are having to replace their starting QB, RB and top two WR.  No program has lost more underclassmen to the NFL in the past few years than LSU.  But Les Miles is a good coach and they recruit well.

The Tigers have a bye week before Alabama and Texas A&M.  They do have their annual tilt with the Gators, but they miss South Carolina and Georgia out of the East unlike the last two years and get Kentucky instead.

Maybe the Mississippi schools make some noise this year, but I’ll belive it when I see it.

The Tigers from the Buyou have have a game with the Tigers from the Plains in Auburn on October 4.  But Auburn’s schedlue is considerably more difficult.  LSU gets the Mississippi schools and Alabama at home; Auburn gets them on the road, and Auburn has road games at Georgia and at Alabama.

Alabama isn’t invincible like they have been in recent years.  If this QB Jacob Coker doesn’t perform well, then they don’t have a capable player to play that position.  And I know you are thinking “Alabama plays good defense and runs the ball well, they will be OK.”  In the SEC, no matter how good you are, you have got to have your quarterback win you a game here or there.  A.J. McCarron certainly did.

The only team in the SEC that doesn’t have big question marks is Auburn, but I thinkt their schedule doesn’t set up well for them, and there is no way they are going to get lucky again.  So the SEC West is wide open, and I think the division winner will come down to the Alabama-LSU game in Baton Rouge on November 8.



Just A Continuation

We all remember Chris “Time to Die Bitch” Rainey.  You know, the guy who told that to his girlfriend.  Of course, he continued to play for the Gators.  Nevermind,  I forogt.  Mark Richt is the only guy who recruits bad people. Sorry, my bad.

Well, Rainey decided to tweet trash talk during the Colts preseason game last night.  I wasn’t aware until just now, but he actually played for the Colts and was apparentely cut for the mysterious “violation of team rules.”



Please Just Approve Indoor Practice Facility And Be Done With It

I think all the chatter about an indoor practice facility is just overblown nonsense.  I know Coach Richt wants one, and that Greg McGarity is afraid of spending the money.

Fans and media turn to discussing the lack of one every time it rains.

Georgia doesn’t need one.  The reason the Dawgs have not won the elusive National Championship is not becuase there isn’t a place to practice when it rains.

Folks point that nearly every other SEC school and the major programs have one.  I think we have recruited just fine without one, and I think Florida has been a successful program despite not having one.  But we like new things, and despite having great ammenities like dorms, dining halls, and other football facilities, the keeping up with Jones mentality overtakes common sense.

Becuase Georgia didn’t have the indoor practice facility, did it cause the Dawgs to:

*wet the bed against South Carolina in 2007?
*play uninspired the first half against Alabama in 2008?
*make A.J. Green sell his Independence Bowl jersey in 2010?
*fall just short against Alabama in the SEC Championship game in 2012?
*have almost all the offensive skill players to get hurt in the middle of the year and the defense to be awful in 2013?

The answer to all those questions is a resounding no.

Equally preposterous is the notion that Georgia doesn’t have the money for this.  The Athletic Association makes bank, and has a ton in reserves.  If they really wanted it, they could have it.

But the topic has come up yet again.  Just build the damn thing so we can focus on actual football, how to recruit better, how to keep our knuckleheads from getting arrested, and how to win against South Carolina in some 40 days.

Because those are things that matter.


Nightmare Situation Won’t Play Out

Last night, I was thinking that Georgia’s secondary actually being good and another position group-say the linebackers-would be the letdown. Wouldn’t that be the most Georgia thing ever?

Then, further thinking about it, I realized that the most Georgia thing ever would be to go 11-0, then lose to Tech.  Don’t worry Dawg fans, the next weekend we’d beat Alabama for the SEC Championship.  But Ohio State, Florida State, Stanford, and Oklahoma all went undefeated so no football playoff.

Could you imagine the agony in all that?  The pleasure that would provide Tech people would just be the salt in the wound.

I was talking to Granite this morning and he assured me that this would never happen.


A Paul Johnson coached team can’t beat a good Georgia team.  He said that a Georgia team that was doing that good wouldn’t get beat by Tech.  Hell, even some of the worst teams Georgia has had in recent memory beat Tech.

So that is one less thing I have to worry about.


A New Bulldog

A shout out to our friend Lugnut Dawg and his wife on the arrival of their new baby girl last week.  They are the newest members in the parenthood fraternity.

I think all these babies missed the memo on no hazing…



The Grit Tree


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