Archive for the ‘On Remote’ Category

SEC Tourney Preview

Yes, I know that the logo above might not match what this post is about, but it’s the same gist as the posts from the fall I did each week: a preview of the upcoming weekend. It just happens to be this weekend’s SEC Tournament down in Tampa.

First, two things: one, this thing should NEVER be played in Tampa again. It’s like the ACC playing it’s tournament in Boston (for Boston College) or the Big East playing their’s in Milwaukee (for Marquette). These things are supposed to be played in central locations – Atlanta, Nashville, even Birmingham or Memphis (the SEC Tourney in Memphis would be better than the C-USA Tourney).

Second, don’t even think for a second I’m going to predict who will win this tournament, because neither I nor anybody else has a single clue. Partly because there’s no dominant team and the SEC this year was more or less a bunch of good mediocre teams beating each other up. I might as well put the 12 logos – er, take out Georgia and Arkansas – close my eyes and throw a dart and pick whoever said dart lands on.

Instead, I’ll go through why each team can win it all and why each team can’t win it all. Here’s your bracket and if you want to use the SEC playoffs as a warm-up for your office pool, here’s where you wanna go.

Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Keep It Up

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

For those of you that thought the tyrannical lawvol had kicked me out of the Gate, well, I’m sorry but I’m still here. I haven’t posted in a really long time, more or less because I haven’t had much to say. It’s not that there has been nothing to write about – because there certainly has – but my already limited creativity was pretty low. The juices of my mind weren’t flowing. At all. I also am taking a sports writing class in which two of our last three assignments have been of the column genre – or what I more or less view as a much more formal post I would do here. Lame I know…

And honesty, much of what I would have been posting about – Tennessee’ basketball team – would have been a repeat of what I’ve said in the past. This team has the talent, they’re just not playing together. They’re just not playing with much heart. The defense is bad. They can’t shoot. So on an so forth.

Yet what I saw Sunday afternoon on my TV as the Vols beat Florida was a team playing inspired and playing team basketball at both ends of the court. It helps when you hit 10 three-pointers, yes, but it also helps when you’re relatively open, as Tennessee has been in both meetings with the Gators this season. And even though there were the usual moments of defensive lapses, failures to rebound Florida’s missed shots, and a little dicey from the free throw line at the end – you knew Tennessee wasn’t going to lose.

Read the rest of this entry

On Remote: It’s Back!

On Remote | Gate 21

Big Games in SEC and Big XII

So amidst the stir I more or less caused with last week’s Alabama hate post and the Big Orange Roundtable collaboration and farks, I never got around to previewing the weekend’s slate of games. For that I apologize now. I also apologize for more or less going M.I.A. since then.

I actually got to go to the Colts-Titans matchup this past Monday night, quite an atmosphere it was. However, having class the next morning made getting back at 3 a.m. have some unfortunate lasting effects.

It’s beginning to look like the BCS is going to have quite the mess on its hands at the end of this year. Texas is undefeated and running through their current gauntlet in the Big XII. If they get by Texas Tech Saturday night, the only real challenge might be the trip to Kansas. Penn State goes undefeated, barring a loss in a tricky trip to Iowa in a couple of weeks. USC is still in the mix.

Alabama’s still unbeaten, and looks to have the SEC West all but wrapped up. Also, their “tough” games – at LSU and Auburn at home – don’t look so tough anymore. Florida and Georgia both look to be rolling into their showdown in J’ville this weekend.

Utah and Boise State are still lurking, and let’s not forget about Tulsa sneaking up into the Top 20.

As we enter the month’s last season, all I’ll say is that it’s going to be real fun watching all this unfold. There’s going to be some great games, and there’s bound to be some upsets and some things no one will have seen coming. So it begins…

SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Auburn at Ole Miss (12:30, RayCom): Auburn fans, we feel your pain. We know how you feel. While Tennessee’s closing schedule is manageable, it’s just now getting difficult for Auburn. The Tigers close after this road trip with Tennessee-Martin, Georgia, and a trip to Alabama. Not getting to 6-6 for a bowl game is a very likely possibility.

Ole Miss bounced back from the Bama loss by surviving Arkansas. Now they have a chance to all but wrap up a bowl game, and second place in the SEC West – a big step from 0-8 – is within reach, believe it or not. With Auburn reeling, it makes pretty good sense to think Ole Miss will win.

Tulsa at Arkansas (2:00, ESPN GamePlan): Speaking of the Golden Hurricane, this is the toughest game of their season. A win here and they might as well book an undefeated season. The Hogs struggled with Western Illinois and UL Monroe, and their defense has been bad at times. Tulsa’s quirky offense is going to give them trouble, despite Arkansas having the advantage in athletes.The other storyline here is Tulsa offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s return to Arkansas, in a game definitely worth keeping your eye on.

Kentucky at Mississippi State (2:30, ESPN GamePlan): Ouch. Kentucky, like Vanderbilt, has somewhat returned to their awful ways. After stealing a W from Arkansas, the Cats were smashed by Florida. How will they respond with a bowl bid potentially on the line in Starkville?

Despite winning last week over MTSU, this is State’s last chance to even think about a bowl bid. They can more or less guarantee getting out the cellar with a win here – remember they already knocked off Vandy, and host Arkansas in a couple weeks. Both these offenses are horrific, so it might be the first to 14 wins. I’ll take Mississippi State at home.

Arkansas State at Alabama (3:00, ESPN GamePlan): Another November Sun Belt opponent at home for Alabama. Arkansas State already won at Texas A&M to open the season. Just throwin’ that out there…

Georgia vs. Florida in Jacksonville (3:30, CBS): So many storylines here. Florida scored 63 points last week and look to be rolling. Georgia hung 52 in Baton Rouge last week. There’s the whole endzone celebration that everybody’s downplaying. Athletes everywhere. The SEC East on the line. Staying in the national title chase on the line. SEC football at its best.

We all remember this little deal...especially the Gators...

I hate to see either of these teams – and Bammer too – play for championships while Tennessee wallows in its awfulness. But I would be a total moron to not watch this game. TOTAL. MORON. The safe pick is Florida. Why? Well, for one they have Tebow of Nazareth. Two, they own Georgia. Three, they remember last year. I thought Florida would win the East at the beginning of the year, and I don’t see how the Dawgs can keep that from happening.

Tennessee at South Carolina (7:00, ESPN2): Six points against Florida. 14 at Georgia. Nine against Alabama. Tennessee’s offense is really bad. OK, enough with stating the obvious. It’s actually South Carolina that has the top defense statistically in the SEC. I have no idea how Tennessee will move the ball and how the Vols will score. Not a clue.

I’m seeing the same ol’ same ol’ from Tennessee. The defense forces some mistakes from Stephen Garcia, keeps the score close for a while, but then just gets worn down. The frustration continues. I would say last weekend was THE bottom (here’s why I think so), but now – down to basically one healthy DT – the team’s gotta go play a road game. I was gonna go, but not anymore. I’ll watch, and be prepared for more frustration.

Tulane at LSU (8:00, ESPN GamePlan): Speaking of reeling, what’s up with LSU? Florida scored 51. Georgia scored 52 – at LSU. The defensive losses eventually became too much to overcome, and now LSU looks like they won’t repeat anything. Tulane hung with Alabama earlier this year in Tuscaloosa, and who knows how LSU comes out after two beatdowns. Just sayin’…


The Weekly Duke Update:Go Duke! The Devils have a winning record in November. In football. After beating Vanderbilt in Nashville last week, David Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils sit at 4-3 entering the toughest part of the schedule. Duke plays at Wake Forest Saturday. The host NC State and North Carolina and play at Clemson and Virginia Tech down the stretch. I don’t know if there’s two wins, but even four wins at Duke is quite the accomplishment.

I know we Vol fans learned how important Coach Cut was to Tennessee, but I for one don’t want to see him come back if/when Fulmer’s done. First, I want a younger up-and-comer. Two, Cut is building something here people.

Duke is 4-3 after beating Vanderbilt, Tennessee is 3-5...go figure...

Elsewhere in the wide-open, who-knows-who’s-actually-good-enough-to-win-the-thing ACC, Florida State plays surprising Georgia Tech in Atlanta. After sucking in September, Al Groh has Virginia of all teams at 3-1 in the ACC after beating Tech last week in Atlanta. UVA hosts Miami Saturday.

The JV League/Big East is garbage and no one cares who wins it. The Big Ten is pretty much Penn State’s, but somehow, someway, Minnesota is 7-1 hosting Northwestern Saturday. The Gophers – ranked in the top 20 now – have beaten exactly zero good teams, and avoid Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan State . Honestly, they could go 11-1 and, if Penn State ends up playing for it all, could sneak into the Rose Bowl a la Illinois last year, where they would likely get trounced by somebody. Feel-good story? Nope, something else that needs to be fixed.

Can Texas stop Graham Harrell and/or Michael Crabtree?

Much like the Big Ten, the Pac 10 is all USC, who hosts winless Washington Saturday. That said, Oregon State still actually leads the league, tied with the USC team they smacked at 3-1. More technically, Oregon leads the league at 4-1. However, they play at 3-1 Cal Saturday afternoon, so an elimination game there that zero of us over here in the South (a) care about and (b) will get on ABC at 3:30.

That leaves the New Pac 10, aka the Big XII. Last week’s Okie State-Texas game was 28-24, which is like a game in the 50s in hoops (which has now started, yes!!). Oklahoma scored 51 points – in the first half – at Kansas State. Forgotten Missouri beat Colorado 58-0. Texas Tech hung 63 on Kansas in Lawrence. Are the defenses this bad? Are the offenses this good? Guess we’ll find out when one of these teams is playing in the title game…

Speaking of that title game, Texas has a trip to Lubbock Saturday night basically between them and a Missouri rematch/unbeaten season (no, I don’t think Kansas gets them). How does my new coach choice Will Muschamp plan to stop Mike Leach and Graham Harrell. Michael Crabtree would be an NFL receiver – now. This should be a great game to watch, with obviously tons of offense. Still, it’s Texas Tech. When have they won these types of games? I like Texas in this game.


Images Courtesy of: Memphis Commercial AppealMark Humphrey / AP (Daylife)Matt Slocum / AP (Daylife)

On Remote: Just Past Halfway…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

Last week offered some great in-conference matchups and a couple turned out to be more lopsided than many thought. The great conference games continue this week, as the races begin to take shape.

Indeed, the conference races will continue to take shape as the temperatures drop around the country (it was 86 in Knoxville yesterday) and leaves start falling everywhere. Yes, I’m avoiding mentioning Tennessee’s now meaningless season by discussing the weather…

Another larger storyline that’s been discussed already this week is the Big 12′s apparent attempt to claim itself as the best conference. While the league is pretty good at the top, I still think the SEC has better depth, even with the struggles of Tennessee and Auburn.

Anyways, here’s the games to watch, and hopefully this time I’ll do a better job picking them – I picked LSU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and they all lost…

SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Vanderbilt at Georgia (12:00, RayCom): So much for that little run. Vandy just missed out on a huge opportunity to get to 6 or more wins. There’s still chances with games against Kentucky, Tennessee and Duke, but beating Florida, Georgia and Wake Forest may be a tough order. Vandy’s offensive struggles were exposed last week against Mississippi State, and Georgia’s not the best team to face with an iffy offense…

The questions with Georgia: they left plenty of points to be gotten last week against the Vols, with two picks and kicking four field goals. They better not overlook Vandy, as trips to LSU and the showdown with Jacksonville come in the next two weeks.

Ole Miss at Alabama (3:30, CBS): Alabama comes off the bye looking to continue the momentum from hammering Georgia and edging Kentucky two weeks ago. Ole Miss has been better, yet horribly inconsistent, beating Florida on the road but falling to Vandy and South Carolina at home.

I don’t expect Ole Miss to win, but they should keep it close. I’m still expecting Alabama to lose a game, but it won’t be Saturday. The matchup to watch is the Tide’s offensive line against the Rebels’ defensive front. The only way Ole Miss can win is limiting the turnovers that hurt them in their two home SEC losses.

Arkansas at Kentucky (7:00, ESPNU): Give me some credit, last week I didn’t explicitly pick Arkansas to upset Auburn, but I did say the Hogs were gonna get somebody at some point this year and they did. Can they follow it up? Kentucky’s offense is still struggling, so Arkansas can certainly keep it close. This is a big game for UK’s bowl hopes, as they sit at four wins on the year.

This 63-yard TD run by Michael Smith led Arkansas to the upset over Auburn. Can they Hogs get UK this week?

Mississippi State at Tennessee (7:00, PPV): Ugh. Good thing this game is on pay-per-view…who wants to watch these offenses?

Uh oh...Mississippi State held Vanderbilt to 107 yards of total offense...

Obviously I do, because I’ll be there in the fourth row. I’m expecting an ugly game with points few and far between. Tennessee can’t really lose at home to Mississippi State, can they? State has played decently the past two games, and no doubt have some momentum coming into Knoxville. How does Tennessee show up with nothing but pride to play for? Is Phil Fulmer the next coach to be Croomed like Ron Zook and Mike Shula?

LSU at South Carolina (8:00, ESPN): Ouch. Didn’t see that coming. LSU got crushed by Florida, and now they travel over to Columbia to a Carolina offense that’s gained some confidence with SEC road wins in Oxford and Lexington. Whoever’s been playing QB for the Gamecocks – Chris Smelley and/or Stephen Garcia – have actually done pretty well.

LSU’s defense isn’t what it was last year – they’re 9th in the league in total defense. Carolina’s defense is going up against an inexperienced QB and an offense that got beat physically by Florida last week. How do they respond?

Honestly, I want to say Carolina will win. But this is historically one of those “almost” wins for the South Carolina program. “Almost” as in they “almost” win a huge home game over a better opponent. That said, I think LSU bounces back, setting up that showdown with Georgia next weekend.

Florida is off this week, but I want to give a little shout-out to Brandon Spikes. Now I hate the Gators and hope they fail at everything, but when something’s funny, it’s funny. Here’s Brandon Spikes’ attempt at a punt into the stands after a pick-six…

YouTube Preview Image


Some Mountain West love: big game tonight for unbeaten BYU, as they travel to TCU tonight. The unbeaten Cougars essentially have two tests between them and a BCS Bowl: tonight and the season finale at fellow unbeaten Utah. Keep an eye on this game…

The Weekly Duke Update:After a bye week, the 3-2 Blue Devils are back in action with a big game, at home against young Miami. Just 4.5-point dogs, Duke looks for the upset. This game is on ESPNU at 3:30, so if Alabama starts killing Ole Miss (and you actually have ESPNU), switch on over and see if the missed Coach Cut can lead Duke to the upset. The emptiness of Duke’s stadium won’t have any adverse effects on the Canes – they’re used to it…


Kansas at Oklahoma (3:30, ABC): Oklahoma and Bob Stoops is going to be pissed off. Poor, poor Kansas. They avoided OU and Texas last year. Er, not this year. How Kansas stops OU I have no clue. Then again, the Sooner defense got worn down watching Texas go up-and-down the field on them in Dallas. Kansas keeps it close – for a half.

Missouri at Texas (8:00, ABC): So much for Missouri beating Oklahoma State by three TDs. The Tigers essentially gave the game away, and now face a make-or-break game at #1 Texas. I say make-or-break because Missouri’s schedule is pretty clear sailing after this game, and they obviously have to win to stay relevant in the title race.

Can Texas return to earth after beating their hated rival last week? This should be a pretty high-scoring game (duh, it’s the Big XII new Pac 10…), and entertaining. I think Texas wins the game in the fourth quarter.

Javon Ringer faces a tough Ohio State defense Saturday afternoon

Big Ten

Ohio State at Michigan State (3:30, ABC):
Yes, people, Michigan State is very much in the Big Ten race. Of course they have to beat Ohio State to stay there. The Spartans are led by HB Javon Ringer, but the Ohio State defense is tough up front.

Ohio State has been overly impressive on offense. They have actually been kinda bad. If Michigan State doesn’t give up a special teams or defensive TD to the Buckeyes, I like their chances to keep Ohio State’s offense in check. The winner would become the biggest challenger to the dominance Penn State has shown this year.

Michigan at Penn State (4:30, ESPN): I know, I know, Michigan sucks and Penn State is really good. Thought losing to Toledo is bad? The Wolverines better be ready to get blasted Saturday. Penn State is a legit team. Keep in mind two things: (1) Penn State hasn’t beaten Michigan since 1996 and (2) they are at Ohio State next weekend.

Outside of these games, there isn’t much else. We all know USC will win the Pac 10 and whoever wins the Big East doesn’t matter. As it is, enjoy this weekend…

Images Courtesy of: Dave Martin / AP (Daylife)Rogelio V. Solis / AP (Daylife)Nam Y. Huh / AP (Daylife)

This Week = Money

On Remote | Gate 21

“Separation” Saturday?

Last week? Weak. This week? Matchup-wise, it’s the opposite. I have yet to hear to cliche that ESPN has dubbed this coming week. “Separation Saturday” sounds typical enough…

That’s really what this weekend is, particularly in the SEC East and the Big XII XI. In the East, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee all face “must-wins” according to CBS analyst Gary Danielson. The Vols and Dawgs go at it head-to-head, while Florida hosts LSU in their yearly grudge match.

In the Big XI (inspiration from Pat Forde on ESPN), you of course have the Texas-Oklahoma Cotton Bowl showdown, but also Missouri plays host to the surprisingly unbeaten, chest-bumping Oklahoma State Cowboys.

These three games form quite the nice triple-header for your viewing pleasure. There’s some other quality football on, and as always that’s where I come in. I should say now that this will be the longest “On Remote” preview to this point. Don’t worry, it’s alllllllllllll worth it!

SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

South Carolina at Kentucky (12:30, RayCom): I was wrong on South Carolina last week, as Chris Smelley threw all over Ole Miss’ defense in the Chickens’ 31-24 win in Oxford. The question is can a Carolina QB put together two straight consistent weeks? Kentucky has a better D than Ole Miss, and the Cats’ strength is their front seven.

Despite coming off their first loss of the year, Kentucky should have gained confidence from last week’s game at Alabama. If the Cats offense improves a little, or even limits its mistakes, this team could be dangerous down the road this year. These two always seem to play pretty close games, and Kentucky shot themselves in the foot both last week and in Columbia last year. Still I think Carolina’s QB inconsistency will be the difference in a Kentucky win.

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (2:30, ESPN GamePlan): So I was wrong on Vandy too. A win in Starkville would put the Dores at 6-0 for the first time since 1928. Yes, 1928. It’s that kind of year. Last year, State was the Alabama State Champions. They have a chance to claim Tennessee the next two weeks.

Bobby Johnson has Vandy on the verge of bowl eligibility

As fundamentally strong as Vanderbilt is and as bad as Mississippi State’s offense is (ie, worse than Auburn’s), Vandy should SHOULD continue their historic year. Oh yeah, a sixth win would mean the Dores’ first non-losing season since 1982.

Tennessee at Georgia (3:30, CBS): Last time we saw Georgia, they were getting smacked at home by Alabama. The Vols are trying to avoid an 0-3 start in the SEC. Basically, it’s an SEC East elimination game, but isn’t every week?

As everyone knows, Tennessee has won three of the last four, the last two in Athens, and the last two years by a combined 86-47. The revenge factor comes into play, but Georgia’s banged up and the Vols have no offense. How healthy is Knowshon Moreno? The Dawg defense took a hit with the loss of Dannell Ellerbe, and appears to have a weakness along the offensive line. Tennessee just plain likes to shoot their toes off in the most frustrating of ways I won’t go into. Nick Stephens, meet the fire.

Yet another reason to miss Mr. Ainge: he was 3-0 against Georgia

I have low expectations. Very low. Tennessee seemingly matches up pretty well, but most reasonable Dawg fans (an oxymoron, I know) will remind you of David Cutcliffe’s absence. Coach Fulmer has struggled – mightily – against Mark Richt without Cut (two wins against UGA without Cut: ’99 and ’04). He doesn’t have Cut anymore. T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Not just this week, but this entire season for the Vols.

Tennessee’s defense keeps it close, but I just don’t see Tennessee getting enough offense to win Saturday. Think Auburn. I’m expecting another frustrating Saturday…

Arkansas at Auburn (5:00, ESPN GamePlan): So much for the Spread Eagle. Probably using the fan’s vote, Auburn fired Tony Franklin Wednesday, probably meaning the beginning of the Kodi Burns era and Chris Todd and the bench and headphones/clipboard becoming best of friends. Playing Arkansas should also help, as the Hogs are bad enough that even Tennessee could score on them (I think). Though they are bad, they played Florida much, much tougher than the 38-7 final showed, and I expect Petrino to get an upset at some point…

LSU at Florida (8:00, CBS): Personally, this is one of my favorite SEC games each year. The athletic ability on the field between these two is ridiculous. The coaches (and their egos) are a great match-up. And it’s always a game Florida could very well lose – and I could watch Florida lose every day.

That said, I like LSU in this game, and here’s why: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – LSU has the SEC’s best lines (Bammer is a close second). Florida’s lines? Probably their weakest aspect, due to the athletes everywhere else. While LSU has some questions in the secondary, they should be able to keep it close and be able to wear down Florida with Craig Scott and that offensive line, much like they did at Auburn. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I really like this LSU team – as in I think they’re the best in the SEC.


Tonight‘s game has some intrigue. For Vols fans, fellow underachiever/coach-on-the-hot-seat Clemson/Tommy Bowden travel to Wake Forest in an important game in the ACC Atlantic, where Florida State is also in the mix (the Noles are off this week after beating Miami).

The NEW Weekly Duke Update: After being shutout by Georgia Tech last week, Duke has granted Cut a one-week release to be Tennessee’s offensive coordinator for the Georgia game. UGA is screwed and there are rumors of a forfeit. Yeah, WE WISH. Duke hosts Miami next week. Meanwhile, Lawvol’s Tar Heels, fresh into the rankings, host Notre Dame. C’mon, UNC…

Throwing conference affiliations aside, here are the other great games in chronological order…

Colt McCoy

Sam Bradford

Texas vs. Oklahoma in Dallas (12:00, ABC): Ah yes, the battle of the two outstanding QBs who look like they are still in middle school – Texas’ Colt McCoy and OU’s Sam Bradford. My deal with Texas is that they are generally underachieving. They are in Texas. They have recruits fall into their lap from Texas, and Louisiana, where LSU is the only competition. Yet Mack Brown hasn’t won much without Vince Young. OU has the edge defensively, and the Texas secondary is ripe for Bradford and his seemingly countless receiving targets.

And Bob Stoops has Mack’s number. While the QB matchup is essentially a push and the athletes on the field are also at a high level like the LSU-Florida matchup, I like OU. Also, why is this game being played at 11am local time? I know they have the Texas State Fair, but that’s too early for such a big football game….

Michigan State at Northwestern (3:30, ESPN2): Don’t laugh. MSU is ranked and Northwestern is unbeaten. Both have zero Big Ten losses. A State win puts them firmly into the mix heading into mid-October. A Wildcat win continues the “Revenge of the Nerds” theme dominating the season’s first six weeks. I like Sparty…

Mmm...53.4 ppg

Oklahoma State at Missouri (8:00, ESPN2): Quietly, Okie State is 5-0. Missouri is just sick on offense. The ‘Boys aren’t too shabby on offense either, so first to 60 wins. That would be Mizzou. Missouri is second in the nation in points. Oklahoma State is third. Hello fireworks…

I’ve been all “over” the Tigers these past weeks, and as you know by now I almost went there. Obviously the offense is unstoppable with Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman, and runnings back are always productive (Tony Temple last year, Derrick Washington this year). Defense was the issue, but there was improvement as the Tigers held Nebraska, who scored 30 on Virginia Tech, to just 10 measly points. Not gonna be much chest-bumping on the OSU sidelines Saturday…

Penn State at Wisconsin (8:00, ESPN): Is Penn State the best team in the Big Ten? So far, it’s almost a certainty. Big Test #1 is Saturday night in Madison, where band-less Wisconsin is coming off a heart-breaking late loss to Ohio State. I like the Lions to continue their roll, though I’m not very confident in Wisky losing two straight home games after a two-pus year streak of never losing. The Lions are in Columbus the 25th.

Whew! That was quite a bit. College football = awesome.

Images Courtesy of: Mark Humphrey / AP (Daylife)Tom Mihalek / AP (Daylife)MackBrown-TexasFootball.comOU Official Athletic SiteDave Weaver / AP (Daylife)

On Remote: Slim Pickings…

The View From the Hill | Gate 21

And Last Week Was So Good Too…

Last week had everything that makes college football great: big-time matchups, conference rivalry games, upsets, and close games. As we enter the first week in October (already?!?), things slow down a bit before a big weekend next Saturday.

Simply put, when ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to Nashville, you know things aren’t so good elsewhere. Seriously, what is the world coming to??

September has been weird. Florida, USC, and Georgia – the summer media darlings – have lost already. Alabama is up to #-freakin’-2.  Five non-BCS teams – BYU, Utah, Boise State, Ball State, and Tulsa – are undefeated. Also unbeaten: Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Kentucky. Duke is 3-1.

Oh, and our beloved Vols are 1-3 with the Dawgs and Tide coming up in the next month…

This weekend lacks the big name games, but like I’ve said before weeks like this one in the past, it’s still college football. There’s always possibilities for upsets and anything can happen any given weekend.

Plenty enough reason for me to pay attention…

SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Florida at Arkansas (12:00, RayCom): Oops, Gators. You fail. Stunned at home by previously 0-9 in-their-last-nine-SEC-games Ole Miss last Saturday, the Gates pick up the pieces and head to Fayetteville to face easily the worst team in the league. For all the love Urban Meyer has been getting, he’s 6-4 in his last 10 SEC games. With Tim Tebow. With Percy Harvin. And I’m positive he still hasn’t thanked Ron Zook for that defensive line he was given to win the ’06 Title…

Gators = FAIL

The Gators still are the favorites to win the East by default (seriously, Vandy won’t last, Georgia’s banged-up something fierce with that schedule, and Tennessee, well…), so I seriously doubt Arkansas gets them.

South Carolina at Ole Miss (2:00): Believe it or not, this game is not on TV – at least that I can find. OK, Houston Nutt, you beat Florida in the Swamp. Be careful, Carolina’s capable of beating you in a slugfest. This should be the best front the Rebels have seen, so how effective will their “Wild Rebel” or whatever-it’s-called formation be? Still, with the issues on the Gamecock offensive line and with whoever the QB is (Smelley? Beecher? Garcia?), I think the Ole Miss D-line with Peria Jerry and Greg Hardy wreaks havoc. Two even teams, but I like Ole Miss.

Careful, Houston: a loss to struggling South Carolina would all but negate that win at Florida last Saturday

Kentucky at Alabama (3:30, CBS): Prepare to meet reality, Wildcats. You’re 4-0, but you’ve beaten two Sun Belt teams (including MTSU literally by a yard), a JV League team that lost to UConn, and Norfolk State. Safe to say, Tuscaloosa is a step-up, especially with the lack of an offense UK will bring. Kentucky’s defense could keep them in it because John Parker Wilson is always good for a bad game every now and then, but that still may not be enough.

Tide fans hope they get past UK to their bye week, where they will all be in burnt orange to cheer for Texas to beat Oklahoma so the Tide can move up to #1…VOMIT…

Auburn at Vanderbilt (6:00, ESPN2) Auburn could easily be 1-3 in the SEC, but their defense (and Jonathan Crompton) have bailed them out. Vanderbilt has been winning with defense and not making mistakes (novel concept, eh?). I still can’t believe GameDay is going to this game. Not only is it Vanderbilt, but it should the first to 14 points wins, which could still take til Sunday. Hello, low-scoring, defensive struggle…

I’m not sure who wins this game. I wanna say Vandy because Auburn’s offense straight-up sucks. I wanna say Auburn because Vandy is still Vandy. Both have been good in close games this year. Vandy’s playing at “home,” but I guess I’ll go with Auburn, though Vandy’s gonna get two wins elsewhere…

Northern Illinois at Tennessee (7:00): For a team trying out a new QB (or at least I hope and pray that’s what we’re doing), this game sets up well before the three-week gauntlet that lies ahead. Most fans want to see Nick Stephens start and B.J. Coleman. Most fans don’t care who starts, they just want Jonathan Crompton on the bench with a clipboard. Many fans don’t even care enough to show up. Other than Stephens, what I’m most interested to see? The attendance. Me? I’ll be there in Neyland Stadium Saturday night. Abandoning one’s team is cowardly. I’m a student, I’m supposed to go to football games. This certainly doesn’t hurt…

Front row at Neyland Stadium is still front row at Neyland Stadium...

Those of you forking out the $$ to watch it on PPV, look for me! I’ll be in orange. Seriously though, this NIU team isn’t UAB. The Huskies got beat at Minnesota by a TD with 22 seconds left, lost by three at Western Michigan (ask Iowa about the Broncos), and have scored 85 points their last two games behind a pretty strong rushing attack. Just sayin’…


Tonight: Screw that JV League clash between Pitt and USF, the game to keep your eye on is Oregon State at Utah. The Utes try to keep their BCS hopes alive by hosting the team that beat USC last week. Methinks Utah wins…

The NEW Weekly Duke Update: Oh, what the hell. Duke is 3-1. Go Devils! Something positive for Vol fans: a former coach who’s done a great deal of things for Tennessee, gets his second head coaching chance at Duke, and has already having success (three wins at Duke = success). Why not pay attention? Coach Cut and Company play at Georgia Tech Saturday.

If you like Big Ten football: I feel sorry for you, er, I mean you can watch Illinois at Michigan (3:30, ABC) and later Ohio State at Wisconsin. Please Badgers, get the Buckeyes completely out of the picture…

You Pac-10 types: Arizona State is at Cal, USC tries their luck at home against Oregon’s other team (Go Ducks!), Stanford plays at Notre Dame, and UCLA might actually win another game – they play Washington State, who’s given up 66 and 63 points in their two league losses…

A pair of Big 12 games to eye: Texas Tech finally starts their season when they travel to play at Kansas State, who sucks because they lost to a JV League team (Louisville). Oklahoma State’s still undefeated, and they host Texas A&M. And Saturday night, Bo Pelini and Nebraska gets chance #2 at winning a big home game, when Missouri visits. My friends hate on me because I’m fully on the Tigers’ bandwagon (hey, I almost went there), but they’re really good. Chase Daniel is really good. Nebraska won’t stop that offense. Mizzou rolls.


Images Courtesy of: Phil Sandlin / AP (Daylife) John Raoux / AP (Daylife)

On Remote: More of the Same

Welcome This “New” Feature to Gate 21

After a few warmup weeks and people actually reading these weekend previews, we have souped it up a little bit, giving it a neat little banner (thanks again to Lawvol for the excellent work) and it’s own special title: “On Remote,” or what football you can look forward to this weekend.

Also, this post will normally be on Thursdays, like in the past. It’s just that lawvol’s Open Letter yesterday was such a great work that I felt it should stay up for a day. And that’s about the only difference you’re going to see in the post. We’re still focusing mainly on the SEC, and the couple big national games this weekend as well.

More big SEC games on this weekend, and hopefully they are as quality as the LSU-Auburn game was last weekend as opposed to what I witnessed in Neyland Stadium last Saturday afternoon.

Also, I’d like to offer a quick thanks to the Oregon State Beavers for beating “mighty” USC. All that talent, and they can’t go through the Pac-10 unbeaten. Seriously, to have the run of talent they’ve had, to have just one national title? Granted they’re still in it because it’s September, but last night didn’t help them in the eyes of us down here in God’s Country…

What’s on my remote this weekend? Well, last Saturday night there a double feature with the aforementioned “Tiger Bowl” and Georgia’s physical whipping of Arizona State (yes, we pulled out an extra TV in our apartment to watch the game. This weekend I’ll be in Auburn, so who knows how much other football I’ll be watching.

That doesn’t mean I can’t help you all out – here’s my attempt…

SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Ole Miss at Florida (11:30, RayCom): An intriguing matchup to start the day off in the SEC. The Rebels won their last visit to the Swamp, but Jevan Snead is no Eli Manning. It should be interesting to see how the Rebels respond after losing to Vanderbilt in a game they probably should have won (statistically they dominated minus the turnovers).

The Gators face Ole Miss and Arkansas before they host LSU in two weeks. I still think the Gators are the team to beat in the East, and while Auburn won in the Swamp this time last year, Ole Miss isn’t good enough to pull it out. They’ll stick around and put up a fight, but the Gators are the better team and at home.

Tennessee at Auburn (3:30, CBS): Amidst the sad state of the football program, the Vols – and myself in a couple hours – head down to Auburn to face a good team coming off a physically tough, late home loss to LSU. The Auburn defense showed again the ability to score, but LSU’s big offensive line and Charles Scott wore them down late, so there’s something to think about. Offensively, the Tigers showed signs of improvements from the Mississippi State debacle.

And you thought the Florida defense was really good...

Honestly, I have no idea how Tennessee is going to score on Auburn. And don’t think for a moment that Auburn will come out flat, as they are occasionally prone to do at home to inferior teams (see Mississippi State last year and Georgia 2006) – Tennessee’s not very good, but we’re still Tennessee. I’ll be there cheering on my Vols during these dark days, but let me be honest: I’m not expecting a win. Who knows, maybe Phil and the boys pull something out of their you-know-whats and Tennessee beats Auburn.

Arkansas at Texas (3:30, ABC): After getting steamrolled by Alabama, Arkansas travels to Texas. Not good news, and the Hogs are probably going to get pounded. I don’t think many would argue against saying Arkansas might be the worst team in the SEC this year (some Tennessee fans might say otherwise…). Arkansas is going to become a player under Bobby Petrino – just not this year.

Western Kentucky at Kentucky (7:00): We all know what happened the last time UK hosted a Sun Belt team – they won by a yard – literally. While MTSU is probably better than the Toppers, I just don’t see UK having the offense to blow people out. After Saturday night, both Kentucky and Vanderbilt are going to be 4-0…what?!?

UAB at South Carolina (7:00): Another tuneup for the Gamecocks, who struggled against Wofford last weekend. The Chickens go to Ole Miss and Kentucky the next two weeks. Does Carolina score more on UAB’s horrid defense than Tennessee?

Mississippi State at LSU (7:30, ESPN2): See, I told you people LSU was the West’s best team. That talent is sick, and once Jarrett Lee calmed down, looked pretty good. Like I said, simply adequate QB play and watch out for these Tigers. That’s what happens when you have the best offensive and defensive lines in the SEC. I have pledged never to call Les Miles “dumb” or “stupid” ever again after the guts he showed last week. LSU wins by a bunch – maybe a shutout?

Alabama at Georgia (7:45, ESPN): This is the Daddy of Saturday’s games. I’ve accepted the fact that Alabama is really good this year, and Georgia looked really good at Arizona State last week. What have I noticed with these two teams? They are both really physical football teams. Physical football teams playing each other = quality game for football fans (see LSU-Auburn).

Alabama can win this game, but they’re really gonna have to play well. UGA decided they weren’t going to need the blackout antics to beat Tennessee, so they decided on using their little ploy this week. J.P. Wilson will have to play a very good game to beat UGA. I think Georgia is better in the passing game and just slightly better on defense and they’re at home, I think they get the win.


Virginia at Duke (12:00, ESPNU): I miss the discipline of David Cutcliffe’s offense. This is one of Duke’s very winnable games, as UVA lost their starting QB. Potentially after Saturday: Duke 3-1, Tennessee 1-3…

Duke could be 3-1 with a win at home over Virginia Saturday

Fresno State at UCLA (3:30, ABC): This is going to once again show us how inexcusably bad that loss to UCLA was when Fresno pounds the Bruins – Arizona Arizona ARIZONA beat UCLA by 3 TDs last week…

Colorado vs. Florida State in Jacksonville (3:30, ABC): I said Lawvol was foolish for ranking the Buffaloes in his Top 25. Guess I was wrong. I know it was just a JV League team in WVU the Buffs beat, but this should tell us more about Colorado – and the depth of the Big 12. FSU had 4 more turnovers than points – at home – against Wake Forest last week.

TCU at Oklahoma (7:00, FSN?): Remember, TCU beat OU in Norman in 2005, and the Frogs are pretty good this year. The top of the MWC – BYU, Utah, and TCU – is very, very strong. TCU played Texas hard for three quarters last year, but they’re better this year, and they can give the Sooners a test. But at home, and the mere fact it’s in the regular season and not a BCS Bowl has me liking OU’s chances…

Virginia Tech at Nebraska (8:00, ABC): Another chance for a big non-conference win for the Big 12. For the Huskers, it’s a two-week stretch of home games against VT and next week Mighty Mizzou (my second favorite team…) comes visiting. Personally, I think Nebraska pounds VT, who just hasn’t been very good offensively this year, even with the redshirt coming off Tyrod Taylor. They scored 24 points on Furman for goodness sakes.

The first big games of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska are Saturday against Virginia Tech and next week against Missouri - both in Lincoln

Northern Games: Only if you’re into that sort of thing. A couple of Big Ten showdowns – Wisconsin at Michigan (3:30, ABC) and Illinois at Penn State (8:00, ABC) – and “mighty” Notre Dame hosts Pur-don’t (win big games…EVER). Don’t sleep on 4-0 Minnesota beating the struggling Buckeyes either…

Enjoy it while you can, because it’s flying by!

Images Courtesy of: xx • xx • xx
Support Gate 21
Search the Gate
Categorically Speaking…
As if you cared…

Some of the Best!

Support Gate 21


Some of Lawvol's Favorite Links from across the web!

Tennessee FanDome

Tennessee Fandome:
Football | Basketball
Our Humble Gate…
Subscribe to
Subscribe to Gate 21

Enter your email address to receive Gate 21 via email:

We will NEVER use your email address for ANY purpose.
Powered by FeedBurner


Awards & Nominations

2007 CFBA Nominee: Best Looking Blog
2007 CFBA Nominee: Best New Blog

Support Gate 21
Best Football Sites
Powered by MyPagerank.Net

Gate 21 Graphics

Like Gate 21? Gate 21 is free to read, but costs a great deal to publish. Feel free to donate securely via PayPal:
Search the Gate
Older Ramblings

Tennessee Videos

Lawvol's Funnies

Support Gate 21


Yardbarker Network