College football midterm evaluation ...
by Jeff Dantzler
Chris Brame, my buddy and esteemed co-host for our afternoon daily
talk show on 960 The Ref in Athens, gives us his keen insights into the
world of college football. One of the favorite parts of my work is doing
a show with Chris Monday-Friday. He’s a great guy and awfully sharp.
Here we go:
What’s your take of the college football season so far this year?
I’m impressed by how static Alabama is with Nick Saban. I don’t think
they’ve been any worse than the second best team in the country
every season for the last five years. Teams, especially in the SEC, rise
and fall. Auburn won it all two years ago and this year haven’t won a
game in the league, and probably won’t be favored to the rest of the
year. Florida had its run, followed by two mediocre seasons. LSU is
still great, but last year’s version would beat this year’s by three or
four touchdowns. Bama keeps rolling. I haven’t seen any team play
so far this year that would beat them.
Who has been the biggest surprise?
Unfortunately, Florida’s offense. They entered week one a punch line
with a game plan that included playing Jacoby Brissett for a quarter,
then Jeff Driskel the next. That worked as well you thought it would.
The Gators were tied with Bowling Green in the third quarter at the
Swamp. They survived, stuck with Driskel, and have put together the
best resume of wins of any team in the country, so far. A pleasant surprise
has been Auburn. I didn’t think they would be any good, but I
didn’t see this. If they don’t win in Nashville this weekend, there’s a
good chance they finish 0-8 in the conference. WAREAGLE! Cheaters.
What have been the biggest disappointments?
Georgia’s defensive line. Last year John Jenkins and Abry Jones combined
for seven sacks. This year they have none. Last year they combined
for 13 tackles for losses. This year they have two. Last year
opponents converted just 29% on third down. This year they’re successful
35% of the time. Last year Georgia allowed 3.2 yards per
carry. This year opponents are averaging 3.9.
Can Georgia recover from what happened at South Carolina?
Sure. At the risk of having this paragraph taped up in Kentucky’s
locker room, the rest of the season comes down to the result in
Jacksonville. A win over Florida would, of course, be a second
straight, which hasn’t happened since 1989. It would keep Georgia’s
dreams of reaching Atlanta alive, and would finally bust the
slump against ranked teams. However, unless the season ends with
some type of championship, we will have to deal with the sobering
reality that after 119 years Georgia is no longer better at football
than South Carolina.
Are you surprised the Bulldogs defense hasn’t been better?
Yes, it was the basis of all the lofty preseason expectations. Suspensions
aside, they should have been better than allowing 318
yards to Florida Atlantic. North Texas did better than that. The 347
yards Buffalo had is almost a hundred more than the Bulls produced
last year against Tennessee, and the Vols were 1-7 in the SEC last
What is the high end win mark for Georgia this season?
Georgia will be favored in all but one of their remaining games.
They’ll probably be a slight underdog to the Gators, who aren’t unbeatable.
So, 11 wins is still the ceiling.
Who do you see playing the SEC Championship Game this year?
Alabama and South Carolina.
Who do you see playing for the BCS championship this year?
My preseason pick was Bama vs Oregon, and I haven’t seen anything
from those teams to make me change my mind.
If you were commissioner of college football, what are
some changes you would make?
I would ban Yankees and Canadians from discussing the sport.