Tag:SEC Championship Game
Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:33 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Georgia didn't have any real problems with Georgia Tech last Saturday, but one look at the stat sheet will tell you that wasn't because of any dominant play from their tailbacks.
With No. 1 running back Isaiah Crowell sidelined with a sprained ankle and No. 1a tailback Richard Samuel still recovering from an ankle surgery that's kept him sidelined for four weeks, replacements Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas carried 17 times ... for all of 45 yards, a 2.65 per-carry average. The Bulldogs' best tailback on the day was a moonlighting cornerback, Branden Smith, and even his 5 carries only netted 20 yards.
So with nothing less than the nation's fourth-ranked rush defense on tap in a game no less important than the SEC championship, it's understandable that Bulldog fans are anxious for some good news on their tailback position. Too bad Mark Richt isn't in the mood to give it to them.
"I don't want to talk about tailbacks," he said Wendesday after practice. "There’s no good answers, so I’m not going to answer any ... Let’s just talk about something else. I was really in a good mood and then you had to ask about that thing. No more tailback questions until after the game."
Despite Richt's reticence, there is some optimism available for Georgia supporters; Crowell practiced both Monday and Tuesday and was fit enough to at least dress (if not see the field) against the Yellow Jackets. Samuel hasn't practiced, but like Crowell is still reportedly expected to play.
That would be a huge boon to a Georgia running game that needs all the help it can get, and frankly, simply can't afford to run Malcome and Thomas against the likes of LSU.
Tailback has been such a question mark for the Dawgs all season, we don't blame Richt for both being a little tired of answering questions about it and not wanting to give the tigers any more information than he has to. But we also don't blame Dawg fans for being just a little nervous up until the moment Crowell and/or Samuel hit the field.
Posted on: November 26, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2011 12:41 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
It must be a fun day to be Les Miles. While he sits back and basks in the glow of his team's 41-17 bludgeoning of Arkansas, 12-0 regular season, and unanimous No. 1 ranking, the rest of college football scrambles and rambles to try and be the team that meets Miles's in New Orleans.
In any case, Miles knew even before today's action that his Tigers would be facing Mark Richt's Georgia in next week's SEC championship game. In this clip, he talks to Tim Brando about that game, the Bulldogs, his 2011 season, and more.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 4:00 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Posted on: February 25, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 5:36 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Since 1994, the SEC Championshp Game has been held in Atlanta and played in the Georgia Dome. It has become both an on-field and off-field spectacle for SEC fans, with all supporters of all schools gathering in the Peach City for one of the biggest games of the year. On Friday, SEC commissioner Mike Slive announced that the conference would keep the championship game in the Georgia Dome until 2017, extending the current deal by two years.
“The SEC Football Championship Game continues to be one of the premiere college sports events,” Commissioner Slive said in the official release. “The Georgia Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center has shown year-in and year-out that it is an outstanding host for our event. Their operations staff and leadership have been tremendous to work with and we look forward to continuing the relationship.”
In the 16 years since the game moved from Birmingham to Atlanta, the game has taken on a new life as an unofficial "celebration of Southern football." The SEC claims to be the best conference in all of college football, and this is the Super Bowl for that league. Their claims have been justified nationally in recent years. In fact, the last five SEC Championshp Game winners have gone on to win the BCS National Championship - a fact that any SEC fan will quickly recall when challenged.
I have not been to the SEC Championship Game myself, but I did attend this season's Chick Fil-A Kickoff Game. The entire Atlanta area was transformed into a college football celebration, and the atmosphere inside the Georgia Dome was one of the more electric neutral-field games I've ever experienced. Well the SEC Championship is that opening weekend upgraded to the nth power. You have national title implications, Heisman hopefuls, and it is the final game between league opponents. The question isn't "Why are they keeping it in Atlanta?" But instead, "Why have it anywhere else?"
Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:29 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Since polishing off South Carolina to win the SEC Championship Game and claim their berth in the national title game, the coaching staff at Auburn has stayed in the headlines. Unfortunately, it's been for reasons other than their coaching prowess: Gene Chizik's hitting the incentives jackpot , Gus Malzahn's hot-and-heavy flirtation with the Vanderbilt head coaching job, and now assistant head coach Trooper Taylor is in the news for suing his son's school over his hairstyle :
With the Auburn City Schools board standing by Tolbert (who is black), the suit is expected to be heard in court on Dec. 21.
Whether any of this -- Taylor's suit, Malzahn's Vandy discussions, even Cam Newton's Heisman win and subsequent media victory lap -- has any impact on the actual football to be played in Glenale is highly, highly debatable; with 25 days still to go until Jan. 10 and virtually all of the Tigers' planning and preparation still ahead of them, there's still plenty of time for Auburn to put any and all distractions behind them and focus on the task at hand.
Nonetheless, if we're wondering which team's head coach is happier with his team's break from the practice grind, we're betting Oregon coach Chip Kelly will take the relative calm around Eugene over the relative hubbub that seems to be surrounding Chizik's program at the moment.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 3:50 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 3:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Far be it from us to criticize a fellow CBS property, but it has always bugged this blogger that Rod Roddy always introduced The Price is Right game "Plinko " by telling contestants they could win $25,000 (and, later, $50,000). While that was technically correct, the number of hoops required for contestants to actually win that amount -- winning the maximum five chips, then having all of them slide down the virtually random Plinko board perfectly into the $5,000/$10,000 slot -- made it so unlikely that the stakes for Plinko were, secretly always much lower than the figure announced. (Much like, say, an NFL free agent contract.)
Why do we mention this? Because when Gene Chizik signed his head coaching contract with Auburn, it felt like he'd agreed to play a game of Plinko with his salary. As Jay Tate of the Montgomery Advertiser detailed again recently , Chizik's original base salary of $1.9 million fell well below typical SEC market value (his predecessor at Auburn, Tommy Tuberville, earned upwards of $4 million), but a cavalcade of incentives gave Chizik the potential to earn far, far more than that. The catch: when Chizik arrived fresh off of his 5-19 stint at Iowa State, the overwhelming majority of those incentives looked so far beyond Chizik's reach they might as well not have existed.
As it turns out, though, if Chizik's time at Auburn has been a game of Plinko, it's looked something like this:
Entering today, Chizik had already claimed bonuses of $125,000 for winning 12 games, $100,000 for making the SEC Championship Game , $200,000 for winning it, and $25,000 more for having won a 13th game of any kind. With the league's announcement today that Chizik is the AP SEC Coach of the Year (leading an Auburn sweep that saw Cam Newton the conference offensive Player of the Year and Nick Fairley the defensive equivalent), he's pocketed another $100,000, bringing him up to $550,000 total. With national coach of the year honors, a top 5 final poll ranking, and (of course) a BCS national championship all triggering further (and larger) bonuses, Chizik stands to rake in as much as $1.3 million from his team's dream season.
No doubt Chizik would tell you the accomplishments of his team are the cake and the money merely the icing. But there's also no doubt that hauling in a wad of dough that substantial when no one thought you'd see a dime of it must taste awfully, awfully sweet.
Posted on: December 4, 2010 8:30 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
We asked at halftime if the Hail Mary from Cam Newton to Darvin Adams had done enough to erase the cavalcade of mistakes from Auburn in the second quarter, mistakes that had seemed to hand momentum back to South Carolina and undone a dominant first quarter from the Tigers.
The answer over the second 30 minutes appeared to be a resounding "Oh goodness yes," as Auburn cruised to an overwhelming 56-17 victory in the SEC Championship Game. Spencer Lanning missed a 42-yard field goal on Carolina's first drive of the half, wasting a 10-play, 50-yard march, and from there it was nothing but Auburn. Newton scored on a one-yard plunge to cap a 75-yard drive on Auburn's ensuing possession, and the rout was on, starting with this T'Sharvan Bell pick-six of Stephen Garcia:
That put Auburn up 42-14, and from there the only question was what kind of stats Newton might finish with to put the finishing touches on his Heisman campaign, which by every indication will result in his becoming the third Auburn Tiger to win the award. The answer: 17-of-28, 335 yards, and 4 touchdowns in the air, 14 carries for 73 yards and 2 scores on the ground. In the process, he became the No. 1 quarterback in the country in pass efficiency and just the second player ever to both run and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season. (Tim Tebow , of course, was the first; just a little while later, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick becaee the third.) While the discussions about Newton's now NCAA-approved eligibility and his father's transgressions will no doubt continue apace, the discussion of who has been college football's most dominant player this season is over.
Up next for the Tigers: the BCS National Championship Game against Oregon, where they will seek to become the fifth consecutive SEC team to lift the crystal football. The game promises to become the highest-scoring national title game -- by a wide margin-- in the BCS's history, as even in victory (one that featured another stout second-half performance defensively), Auburn's 20 first downs and 5.2 yards-per-carry allowed likely didn't do that much to convince viewers they'll be able to slow down the Ducks.
But after today -- and the 56 points and 589 total yards -- it's also worth wondering at this point if anyone, much less Oregon, can stop Newton and the Gus Malzahn machine now that the NCAA has not. When even your Hail Mary's are working, it's safe to say every last cylinder is hitting. When the BCS title game kicks off Jan. 10, we strongly suggest we all buckle up.
Posted on: December 4, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2010 6:37 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Auburn is 30 minutes away from the BCS National Championship Game, up 28-14 on South Carolina at halftime of the SEC Championship game. But if the second 30 minutes are half as back-and-forth as the first, the Tigers will still have an awful lot of work to do to earn their trip to Glendale.
But they'll at least have momentum on their side after Cam Newton' s half-ending Hail Mary was batted and then caught by Darvin Adams in the end zone:
That play answered what had looked like a game-changing touchdown drive by Carolina, one capped by Stephen Garcia hitting Alshon Jeffrey on a one-yard slant to bring Carolina within 21-14 with 16 seconds left before the break. With the Gamecocks getting the ball first in the second half, the underdogs looked like they had recovered from a disastrous defensive first quarter that saw Newton account for three touchdowns as the Tigers racked up more than 200 yards in the first period alone.
One of those touchdowns was this 54-yarder to Adams:
But Adams also played a large role in letting Carolina off the mat, dropping a certain third-down conversion and later a touchdown pass Newton had floated in with precision. But he wasn't alone in making mistakes for the Tigers: Newton missed multiple open receivers, a Phillip Lutzenkirchen holding call negated a 3rd-and-1 inside the Carolina 5, and Wes Byrum missed a 36-yard field goal. The Tigers have been by far the dominant team on the stat sheet --- outgaining the Gamecocks 348 yards to 196 -- but as they learned themselves after coming back against an Alabama team that allowed missed first-half opportunities to become a huge second-half letdown, that didn't matter much with the boot never applied to the Gamecocks' throat.
The Hail Mary might change things. (At the very least, it redeemed Adams, who finished the half with an incredible 7 receptions for 215 yards and the pair of scores.) But unless they administer the knockout blow, they might still need a little more magic to seal their bid to Glendale.