Good morning ... Ed Aschoff and Dan Murphy are on their way.
Good morning ... Ed Aschoff and Dan Murphy are on their way.
I'm here. It's raining here in Atlanta. Good thing the game is played a in dome.
I'm looking forward to today's SEC title game. I have a feeling it won't be as lopsided as the Oregon-Arizona game last night. I'm also picking Oregon to win it all. Playing the best football of anyone right now.
Chris, that's actually an interesting idea because while some people say "just get in the playoff and you're fine" it's not that easy. It's alllllllllll about matchups and the team I'd want to play right now is Florida State IF the Noles even beat Georgia Tech today.
What does Missouri need to do to keep it close?
Joe, I think Mizzou has to force Blake Sims to turn it over and have negative plays. Alabama can run on Mizzou, but defensive ends Shane Ray and Markus Golden can make Sims' life miserable with that fantastic pass rush. Offensively, Maty Mauk can't be be the Maty Mauk we've seen for most of the SEC season. He can't make the bad mistakes he's made. He can't press like he has. He has to find guys like Bud Sasser to make big plays against a secondary that can be susceptible to the pass.
I see the Citrus Bowl for the TIgers. Ten wins, six straight to end the regular season. Playing No. 1 tough, I like their chances to make the Citrus
Tom, I think Oregon would rather play FSU. They match up better with the Seminoles and their defense is playing much better right now. I just don't think FSU would be able to run the ball on Oregon and there's no way that defense is stopping Mariota and that Ducks offense. Same goes for Alabama. FSU is the most vulnerable team currently in the top four.
James, that was Oregon of the past, though. I think THIS Oregon team is the best team in the country right now. Alabama, to me, is No. 2, and I think that the Ducks' Mariota-lead offense is much better than Auburn's. That Auburn offense took Alabama down to the wire. Now, you give Saban enough time to game plan, and I think he'd be very prepared for Oregon's offense, but I just think that if you're Alabama, you want FSU first and then worry about stopping the Ducks. Hey, TCU presents similar threats to Alabama, as well, but Alabama proved it can win a shootout with that win over Auburn.
So what did you think of the McElwain hire for the Gators?
Joe, I thought it was a good hire. Florida needed to move in an offensive direction, and McElwain has a proven track record of having very productive offenses. Was it the splash hire everyone expected? No, but it was a very Jeremy Foley hire. He didn't go after the big fish, he went after someone very high on his list who he had been looking at all season. I think the advantage that McElwain will have early is that Florida has a nice, young defensive foundation to work with. He won't have to touch that side of the ball. He needs to recruit a couple of studs on offense this year to get the ball rolling in 2015.
All right, so before you take off, what do you expect to see today in SEC title game and you expecting any upsets around the country?
I think Alabama just has too much talent and wins by two scores, Wisconsin over Ohio State, Florida State in another close one over Georgia Tech. Baylor LOSES! TCU in the playoff
Even if Baylor and TCU both win, I think TCU is the better team right now. It's like when the Carolina Panthers beat San Francisco in the regular season and then lost to them in the playoffs. San Fran was always the better team, just had a hiccup that day.
A dreary day here in the state of Alabama, but I'm glad to be with you all this morning to talk some college football. It's strange to think the past 14 weeks comes down to this. Pretty soon we'll know which four teams will be heading to the playoff.
Ah, just a few seconds in and we've already got the TCU vs. Baylor head-to-head debate. For what it's worth, I agree with Edward. If this committee truly values the eye test, then I don't know how TCU isn't ahead of Baylor based on what we've seen to this point.
I don't see it, Chris. The formula is simple for Missouri. The Tigers have to hope defensive ends Shane Ray and Markus Golden put pressure on Alabama's passing game, force Blake Sims into a few turnovers and make it a game. With that said, I don't trust Maty Mauk to take care of the football for Mizzou. I think Alabama rolls in Atlanta.
I think so, Bren. The Tigers just don't have the resume to make it in the top four. The losses to Indiana and Georgia were both deeply troubling. Which is bad enough, if not for the fact that I don't see the quality wins either. I don't see the game control outside of thumping a bad Florida team. While I admire Missouri finding a way to win, I don't think the committee is going to look at them as a playoff caliber program when taking in the entire picture.
There's an important distinction to make here, Joseph. While Missouri can throw the ball well, it's not the same offense as Auburn in that it doesn't necessarily run to open up the pass. That's what makes Auburn so effective against Alabama. It's not the tempo or the passing game, it's that you have to play straight up because their power running game can hurt you. Missouri, with a pair of sub 200-pound tailbacks, doesn't run the same way. Going sideline to sideline just doesn't work against Alabama. You have to go north-south like Auburn, and I don't know if Missouri can do that. Plus, when you look at their receivers vs. Auburn's it's really no contest.
Good morning from rainy Atlanta. Won't be rainy indoors, though, later this afternoon.
Oh goodness yes, Kent. It's pretty clear to me that the committee is looking for a reason to drop Florida State. One loss and I think they plummet in the rankings. And as I said earlier, I don't think Alabama gets in with a loss to Missouri. So, yes, Baylor and Ohio State would have a chance to sneak in under that scenario.
Kent, if Alabama loses, I think the SEC is probably out even though there were seven SEC teams in this week's playoff rankings. Don't know how one team in a league that strong doesn't get in, but I just couldn't see Mizzou making a big enough jump. There are some who think Georgia Tech would get in in your scenario even though the Jackets lost this year to North Carolina and Duke.
Robby, it's been reported that Tennessee and Jones are working on a contract extension, which should be a good sign he's staying. I think what he's building in Knoxville -- brick by brick, to borrow his phrase -- is working. He's not in the treacherous West, and the difference in resources between Tennessee and Michigan isn't enough, in my opinion, to force him into making a move.
I love how the eye test has all of a sudden become more important than beating a team on the field. If Baylor wins today and both Baylor and TCU are 11-1, Baylor would have one more top 25 win, a share of the Big 12 title and would have beaten TCU head-to-head. There is no argument. This isn't basketball where you play a team maybe three times in a season. It's football. Baylor, in that scenario, has to be ranked ahead of TCU, and if it isn't, a dangerous precedent has been set.
Jones has told several close to him that he wants to stay at Tennessee and finish the job there. Look for a raise and extension coming soon.
After seeing what Oregon did last night to Arizona, I do believe the Ducks will be the No. 1 seed in the playoff.
Joseph had asked earlier about Alabama's defense. Last week obviously wasn't pretty. But until that game, the Tide were the only team in FBS that had held every opponent under 24 points. Still a lot of talent on that defense with some serious depth up front. I think that shows up in a big way today.
Mike, it's all about matchups. We'll see who's paired against whom. For instance, if it's Alabama and TCU, then you've got a Tide defense going against a mobile QB and a passing attack that can stretch the field. Those things have been problematic for the Tide.
I don't know how you get crushed with offenses like they have, mike. While I don't like their brand of "defense," it's hard to argue with teams that can score that fast and that prolifically. I don't know that if I'm Alabama I want to see either Baylor or TCU in the playoff. Not with the secondary we saw against Auburn.
I think TCU would be a tougher matchup for Bama than Baylor because of Boykin's ability to extend the play. That's not Petty's forte.
All right, before you guys take off, you calling for any upsets today?
Bama will pull away from Mizzou in the second half. The Tigers are good enough up front defensively to make this a game, but Alabama's depth and No. 9 (Amari Cooper) will be the difference. If I had to call an upset, it would be Georgia Tech over FSU. Getting ready for that Tech option offense in a week is brutal. But, really, how do you pick against the Seminoles? They have mastered the art of playing just well enough to win.
I hate to say it, Joe, but I'm going with chalk. I think Florida State is obviously vulnerable against Georgia Tech, but there's something about this Noles team that knows how to win close games. Oddly enough the game I'm most interested in watching is Wisconsin-Ohio State. I think it ends up being a one-possession game.