Posts Tagged ‘Gene Chizik’

2009 SEC Football Power Poll: Final Season Ballot

Check out the Full Poll Results at Team Speed Kills!

Final Season Ballot

Well, it’s been a long season and all the games are in the books.  This season, I have been less than dutiful in managing to write anything about the comings and goings of college football, which is highly disappointing for me.  Of late I’ve taken a few weeks off to try and recharge myself both as a person and as a blogger—more on that later.  Either way, since all that really matters in the world of college football is where you end the season, here’s my final ballot the SEC Football Power Poll, serving as a cap to the the 2009 season.

Here they are, my darlins:

Rk. Team Comments
1. Alabama Crimson Tide The last chapter in this book was nothing but ugly, but the 13 wins before that were pretty stellar.  A well earned championship the Alabama Crimson Tide.
2. Florida Gators The Florida Gators finished strong against Cincinnati—bidding Tim Tebow a fond farewell, and possibly Urban Meyer.

Next year, however, looks awfully uncertain, not bad, just really “sketchy.

3. Ole Miss Rebels Up and down, up and down.  The Ole Miss Rebels 2009 season was the roller coaster from hell, but it was fun, and was worth the ticket.

In 2010, the Rebels have holes to fill and maybe the expectations will be a little more reasonable.

4. LSU Tigers What a difference between 2008 and 2009.  The LSU Tigers looked like a top-rate, second-rate program at times, especially on offense.

I have a feeling there will be some changes in the off-season.

5. Auburn Tigers Considering where the Auburn Tigers were this time last year, I call this one a success.

Hats off to Gene Chizik for managing to return a winning record and to avoid being lynched by the Tigers’ fans.

6.(t) Tennessee Volunteers The Tennessee Volunteers improved steadily throughout the season until injuries began exposing just how empty the cupboard was when Lane Kiffin took over.

Call me crazy, but I think the Vols overachieved this season.  Next year, however, will be much more important; setting the stage for years to come.

6.(t) Georgia Bulldogs The Georgia Bulldogs finished with a win, which is probably a good thing for Mark Richt.

The question remains, however, just how much can they reasonably improve by 2010?  I fear not enough to keep the crazies at bay.

8. Arkansas Razorbacks While there were some real bright spots here and there in 2009 for the Arkansas Razorbacks, on the whole I am not so sure that things will be much better next season for the Hogs, until they figure out who they want to be offensively and start playing just a little bit of defense.

Still, they were much better in 2009 than in 2008.

9. South Carolina Gamecocks Once again, the South Carolina Gamecocks suffered their late-season slide. Still, they beat kissing-cousin Clemson before imploding against Connecticut.

So, how many more seasons does the Ole Ball Coach hang around?  I’m thinking not that many.

10. Kentucky Wildcats While the Kentucky Wildcats lost to Clemson in the Music City Bowl, considering where the Cats were when Rich Brooks took over, I call four bowls in a row big time improvement.

As for the future, well, it’s not like Joker Phillips hasn’t already been there and done that.

11. Mississippi State Bulldogs Dan Mullen‘s Mississippi State Bulldogs were light-years better than they were under Sly Croom in 2008.  They just could never catch a break when they needed one.

Next year, however, that should start to change.

12. Vanderbilt Commodores As for the Vanderbilt Commodores, well … umm … the field looked nice this year.

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Team Speed Kills, where the 2009 Football Power Poll round-up is there for all to see.

Now, on to basketball season…

– So it goes…About Lawvol

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2009 SEC Football Power Poll: Week 6

Check out the Full Poll Results at
Team Speed Kills!

Week 6

Through 11 October 2009

Here’s my ballot for this week in the SEC Power Poll, along with a feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron.  Not a whole lot of ways to separate between some of the teams in the middle of the pack, but at least I thought up some excuses for my decisions.

Here they are, my darlins:

Rk.

Team

Comments

1.

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide is playing better than anyone in the country right now. Their defense is brutal, their offense effective. Now, if they could just figure out how to defend a kick return. Fortunately for Alabama, Tennessee is actually worse at this the Tide.

Result: ALA 22 • MISS 3

2.

Florida Gators

Florida Gators‘ coach Urban Meyer has proven that he will do anything to win — including risking St. Tim on a QB dive late in the game against LSU.

Still, they are undefeated, that is until they likely meet Alabama in the SEC Championship game, where it’s anybody’s guess.

Result: FLA 13 • LSU 3

3.

LSU Tigers

I was actually impressed with the LSU Tigers’ showing against Florida in some respects.

Their defense — in classic bend but don’t break fashion — held the Gators to only 13 points. Their measly 162 yards and 23:30 time of possession, however, did them in.

Still, they are better than many other SEC squads so, they stay put at number 3.

Result: LSU 3 • FLA 13

4.

South Carolina Gamecocks

The South Carolina Gamecocks should have beaten Kentucky badly. Instead they simply kept from losing.

Still, at 5-1, they are finding ways to win games. Props to Stephen Garcia for his herculean effort to drag the Cocks to victory.

Result: SC 28 • KY 26

5.

Arkansas Razorbacks

The Arkansas Razorbacks are an offensive machine that is a thrill to watch.

Defensively, however, they are weak and cannot rely upon simply outscoring their opponents. Still, great progress thus far, which Florida hopes to blunt … smartly

Result: ARK 44 • AUB 23

6.

Tennessee Volunteers

I cannot decide whether the The Tennessee Volunteers‘ win reflects a huge step forward or simply another bit of small progress paired with Georgia’s complete ineptitude.

Either way, the victory over the Dawgs was huge for the program. It’s hard to believe that Jonathan Crompton — paragon of fail only weeks ago — is now the SEC offensive player of the week. Nice to see that the Blackjack General does know a lot more than the rest of us armchair geniuses

Result: TN 45 • GA 19

7.

Ole Miss Rebels

Defensively, the Ole Miss Rebels did everything they could to beat Alabama, but their offense continues to be wobbly at best.

Apparently, the Wild-Reb offense had been in the White Lightning again.

Result: MISS 3 • ALA 22

8.

Auburn Tigers

Well, the party is over for Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers, courtesy of the Razorbacks. Auburn has a solid core, but needs to learn how to play defense — which no one (including the Vols) really require them to do previously.

That whole tackling thing, that is important.

Result: AUB 23 • ARK 44

9.

Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats were weaving through the season like a bourbon soaked drunk — in and out of competence and suck.

Now, with quarterback Mike Hartline gone for the season, it’s looking like the it’s looking like the hangover will stay, and the Cats’ fans will have to start getting ready for basketball season.

Result: KY 26 • SC 28

10.

Georgia Bulldogs

I can honestly say that I have never seen a Georgia Bulldogs team with less spark than they showed in Knoxville. It’s looking like a long season for Dawgs with, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia Tech to come.

I imagine the fire under Richt’s backside is for real now.

Result: GA 19 • TN 45

11.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

One of these days, the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Dan Mullen are going to manage to win one of these things. They keep putting up valiant efforts, but keep coming up short.

While their record hardly reflects a departure from their legendary suck of 2008, they are a far better team and continue to improve..

Result: MSU 24 • HOU 31

12.

Vanderbilt Commodores

The Vanderbilt Commodores losing to Army. Man, what to say?

In the words of the Late General Anthony General McAuliffe (in response to a German demand for surrender during the Battle of the Bulge) “NUTS!

Result: VU 13 • Army 16

Yes, I know, rank incompetence on my part…

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Team Speed Kills, where the round-up will appear later this week.

Also—further confirming that the standards of the Power Poll have slipped—I will be joining in the “Team Speed Kills Now! ” podcast tonight at 9:00 ET to discuss the state of the SEC at mid-season.  I know you simply cannot wait to hear my brilliance unleashed.  I’ll be posting an embedded player and link to the podcast later today.

Onward and upward …

– So it goes…About Lawvol

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 8 — The Kickoff Edition

Gate 21 is proud to host this week’s Roundtable!

It’s Time…

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by … ummm … oh, yeah, it’s our week.  We here at the Gate are proud to host the 2009 kickoff edition of the Big Orange Roundtable as we all get ready to tee it up and kick it down for the 112th season of Tennessee Volunteers Football.

With that lovely prospect in mind, let’s get down to business:

Week 8

1) (From HSH)  We’ve talked through the past month or so about just about everything we could talk about regarding this Tennessee team: the quarterbacks, offensive line, freshman, Eric Berry, finding healthy wide receivers, freshman again, etc. So the simple question is this: what do you expect or what specifically are you looking for from the Vols against Western Kentucky this Saturday?

bullet HSH: First things first, Western Kentucky is not going to be anything close to resembling a quality football team.  They were recently a power in 1-AA, but this is their first full year in 1-A, and have the potential to be one of the worst teams to come to Neyland Stadium in a while (yes, I’m including Wyoming).  They went just 2-10 last year (the wins were Eastern Kentucky and Murray State) and return just 12 starters from that team.

So if Tennessee hangs 60 points on the Hilltoppers, oh, well it was just Western Kentucky, right?  Not exactly.  I want to see Tennessee score lots of points Saturday afternoon.  I expect Lane Kiffin will want to pound the rock with the running backs.  I want to see a confident Jonathan Crompton that doesn’t make any mistakes and crisply runs the offense.

Defensively, I want to see which freshmen make an early impact in their first games, and how they handle playing for real.  On both sides, I want to see swagger—OK, it’s WKU, but we could be playing my high school’s team and I would still want to see our players have a wealth of confidence in themselves and their coaches that creates said swagger.


bullet Lawvol: I expect and hope to see a few things.  First, I am not exactly expecting grandeur for this first game of the 2009 season, but what I am expecting to see is poise and purpose.  I am hoping that this team brings their attitude—one which was sorely missing last season—and refuses to play down to the level of their opponent which they should beat under almost any circumstance.

Let’s be honest, Western Kentucky went 2-10 last season which made even the Vols’ 5-7 campaign seem decent.  Prior to 2008, however, Western Kentucky had a streak of 12 straight winning seasons, and look to be on the upswing.  That said, The Vols have got to play with a little spark and bring their best game to their opponent—regardless of the quality of that opponent.  The Vols have to play their game and not let it be dictated to them by their opponent.

Most of all, I am looking to see a team that is glad to be on the field playing once more.  I hope that we begin to see the development of the new Kiffin system and hopefully get a huge relief when the quarterback play is surprisingly crisp and effective.  This is a confidence game which is only a good thing if you perform in a manner that inspires confidence

Read the rest of this entry

2009 SEC Preview: Auburn

2009 SEC Football Previews | Gate 21

QUICK NOTE: Before I begin with the last of the SEC previews, one thing I want to point out. If you hadn’t noticed, lawvol has added an extra bullet (“2009 SEC Football Previews”) to the widget just to the right counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the beginning of the football season. If you click on it, the widget flips over and gives you links to each of these previews that have run here at the Gate over the last week. So it’s a quick link if you need to refer back to a specific preview, in case you need to check something or come back and call me a fool as South Carolina and Arkansas prepare to play for the SEC title. Anyways, now on to the final preview…

Prior to the 2004 season, Tommy Tuberville hired Al Borges to run his offense at Auburn. It’s not that Auburn’s offense was necessarily broken, but Borges – with the obvious help of having Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, Jason Campbell, Courtney Taylor and others – was essential in Auburn’s 13-0 season 2004.

Auburn was 33-5 with Borges running the offense, but things went downhill after Auburn lost those three NFL first-rounders – Auburn’s scoring average went from 32 ppg in 2004 and 2005 to 25 in 2006 and 24 in 2007. In addition, Brandon Cox was outstanding his first year as a starter in 2005, but by the time he graduated after 2007, there were probably a fair share of Auburn fans glad to see him depart.

Then Tuberville decided to hire Troy’s offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. It worked out in his first go-round, a 23-20 overtime win over Clemson in the 2007 Chick-fil-a Bowl.

But that was as good as it got. Franklin’s offense never caught on, rumors abounded of him clashing with players and fellow coaches at practice, and Tuberville canned him mid-season, after Auburn lost to Vanderbilt.

That loss in Nashville – where Auburn led 13-0 at halftime – and the offensive coaching issues sent the Tigers into a tailspin: their only win the remainder of the year was over Tennessee-Martin. The offense was the obvious culprit, as Auburn averaged only 17 points a game last year, scoring more than 22 points three times (UL Monroe, Southern Miss and UTM).

Rumors swirled about Tuberville’s job, and he eventually resigned after ten years on the Plains. Auburn then hired Gene Chizik, much to the anger of their own fanbase and the comedic relief of everybody else. But Chizik’s quietly gone about hiring a solid staff and trying to raise Auburn’s recruiting profile to compete with Nick Saban and Alabama. So things are a little brighter than they were a few months ago – how will that translate on the field for the Tigers this fall?

Read the rest of this entry

Headlines, Links & Lies: “Auburn could trigger limo race”

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Apparently, Auburn Tigers‘ head coach Gene Chizik really wants to impress recruits and eat away at some of the Alabama Crimson Tide‘s supply of in-state players.

How, you ask?

By driving around Alabama in a stretch Hummer Limo.

So what’s next?  An 18-wheeler with the coaching staff’s pictures painted on the side?  Coaches arriving at a school on customized Harleys, like a motorcycle gang?  Helicopters?

Prospecting and Profilin' -- Auburn Style

Prospectin' and Profilin' -- Auburn style

Get ready. The circus could be coming to your high school very soon…

• via: Hot Corner: Auburn could trigger limo race – X’s and Uh-oh’s  |  al.com

In the words of Basilio, “interesting…”

The Blazer Chronicles: A “Quotetastic” Look at the SEC

Well, after failing to get my Oklahoma State preview up in time for the game, and given the quick end to the BasketVols‘ run in the NCAA Tournament, I really haven’t had a lot to offer these past few days.  Of course, when you set the bar very low—which has always been the policy of Gate 21—it takes extra effort to fail in grand style.  I guess I am running behind in my running behind…

In the meantime, here’s a little something that is worth giving a look.  I’m a bit behind in getting this up, but this is pretty funny if you ask me (which I realize you didn’t).

Here is a pretty hilarious look at the various coaches of the SEC in a way that I don’t think I have ever seen before.  As always, this comes courtesy of VolzRChamps and BlazerChronicles.com, with a Tennessee All-Sports Update.

The Blazer Chronicles: A “Quotetastic” Look at the SEC

That Bobby Johnson quote is simply priceless…

– So it goes …About Lawvol


Video Courtesy of: VolzRChamps / You TubeBlazer Chronicles

SEC Football Power Poll: Final 2008 Season Poll Ballot

Check out the Full Poll Results at Garnet and Black Attack!

Final 2008 Season Poll

Well, as we try to dig out of the snow that has covered everything in my neck of the woods, I am trying to get caught back up.  Yes, I admit it I’ve been lazy these past few days and haven’t posted a darn thing.

Back in the saddle, here we go…

Yes sports fans, the 2008 college football season is in the books.  We here at Gate 21, along with fellow fans of the other SEC teams hated to see it go so much that we drug out our final voting for as long as we could.  Try as we might, however, football season is over.  Thus, here is my last ballot in the SEC Power Poll for the 2008 season, along with an feeble attempt at explaining why I’m such a moron.

In all its radiant glory:

Rk.

Team

Change

Comments

1.

Florida Gators

1

No matter how much I dislike them or how hard I might try, the Florida Gators are the National Champions, and thus are deserving of the No. 1 spot in the final poll, no questions asked.

Sucks, don’t it?

2.

Ole Miss Rebels

2

Pre-season, I’d have said you were crazy if you told me that the Ole Miss Rebels would be my No. 2 team at season’s end, but they earned it.

With their strong finishing victory against Texas Tech, their 9-4 overall record, their amazing improvement over last year, and their having been the only team to beat Florida they earned it.

Nice job by the Right-Reverend Nutt.

3.

Georgia Bulldogs

No change for the Georgia Bulldogs.  Sure, they beat Michigan State, but it wasn’t pretty and they were supposed to win.  A solid season, but a disappointing one nonetheless.

On another note, I’m sure gonna miss Larry Munson, though…

4.

Alabama Crimson Tide

3

Well, the Alabama Crimson Tide took notched two lop-sided losses since the last regular season ballot.  The Florida loss was (in my mind) expected.  The Utah blow-out was not.  Thus, the Tide falls a few spots for a lapse in focus.

Still, a nice season for a team full of freshmen and sophomores.

5.

Vanderbilt Commodores

2

The Vanderbilt Commodores were supposed to be average this season.  They were supposed to putz along, business as usual.  They were supposed to lose to Boston College.  So much for “supposed tos.”

Here’s to Vandy, to showing everyone they still know how to Show their Gold!

6.

(tie)

Kentucky Wildcats

The Kentucky Wildcats won their bowl game against East Carolina — earning them their first win against a team with a winning record.  That’s hardly impressive, and they hang on to their spot by the narrowest of margins.

6.

(tie)

LSU Tigers

2

Most folks thought that Georgia Tech would give the LSU Tigers fits.  In the end, the only fits were the withdrawal pains of the Tiger faithful when they quit selling beer at the Georgia Dome at the start of the 4th quarter.

Nice finish to a rollercoaster season.

8.

South Carolina Gamecocks

3

The South Carolina Gamecocks hoped to end their late-season slide against Iowa.  Nice idea, but one which simply failed to come together.  Still, considering they started with 2 conference losses, not all that bad.

Hey, at least they got to go to a bowl.

9.

Tennessee Volunteers

I had half a mind to give the Tennessee Volunteers a bump up due to all the excitement surrounding new coach Lane Kiffin, but I couldn’t in good conscience do that.

Next year, however, should be fun in Knox-vegas.

10.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

“There’s nothing to see here, please disperse.  The cow-bell clanging you hear is all a figment of your imagination.”

This was a tough one for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, and I hated to see Sly Croom—my pre-season coach of the year—go, but he did about as well as he could given the situation he inherited.

11.

Arkansas Razorbacks

1

The Arkansas Razorbacks showed some real improvement during the middle of the season, but faded at the end.  Still, Bobby Petrino didn’t quit mid-season to go coach the German National Swimming team, so there’s that, too.

12.

Auburn Tigers

1

Yeah, I dropped the Auburn Tigers a spot.  Any fan base who attacks their new coach before he even coaches a game earns that due to the divisive nature of their actions.  Of course, I understand they blame the AD.  Still, a tough situation for new head coach Gene Chizik.

Well, there you have it.  My final ballot for 2008.  Hopefully, the powers that be will ask me back for another round in the fall.  Either way, it has been fun indeed.  Do not, however, be dismayed—I’ll be posting my SEC Basketball Power Poll ballot in the next day or so.

The Rest of the Power Poll

Now that you have wasted your time looking at my ballot, go check out what everybody else is saying over at Garnet and Black Attack, where the final poll results will be posted Wednesday-ish.

– Go Figure …Email lawvol


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