Saturday, January 28, 2012
Entering his second year many believed that Derek Dooley would have his Volunteers competing for an Eastern crown. Yet, in a year where many SEC coaches have had great success, Dooley failed hard. Tennessee finished a miserable 5-7 and an even more horrifying 1-7 in the SEC. With another poor season many Volunteer fans are now doubting if the son of legendary UGA coach Vince Dooley can truly get Tennessee back to Atlanta.
The Vols started out the 2011 season with a 3-1 record with their only loss coming to a Florida team that at the time was ranked 16th in the country. They ran into a surging Georgia team at home and lost their second SEC game 20-12. The next three games were devastating to the Vols with losses to Alabama, LSU, and South Carolina. The were finally able to pick up their fourth win against Middle Tennessee State, but were hammered by Arkansas 49-7 the following week. Tennessee was still able to beat their instate rival Vanderbilt 27-21 in overtime, but lost to Kentucky in a heart beaker 10-7.
The Volunteers defense took a hit after losing defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon. The Volunteers return 20 starters including QB Tyler Bray and RB Tauren Pool. There was some controversy earlier in the month which involved receiver Da'Rick Rogers who was arrested. Many believed form him to be kicked off however Tennessee has decided to keep him on the team
Tennessee and Derek Dooley hope to finally get things going in 2012 and compete in the East once more. While the Vols return a good number of starters and some talent they still will not be able to capture the Eastern Crown next season.
Early Prediction-Georgia 31 Tennessee 14
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Vanderbilt was a bit of a surprise this season finishing 6-6. before losing a tough game to Cincinnati 31-24. The Commodores record maybe mediocre, but they were able to challenge teams such as Georgia, Arkansas, and Florida. Vanderbilt also blasted teams such as Army, Kentucky, Ole' Miss, and Wake Forest. Normally these wins would not be so impressive, but since it's Vanderbilt we were surprised.
First year coach James Franklin was able to take Vanderbilt where they have rarely been and even tough they lost the Liberty Bowl the Dores will see brighter days. Vanderbilt takes a hit from losing players such as Larry Smith, Casey Hayward, and Udom Umoh. However the return the electrifying Jordan Rogers is enough to get Dore fans excited.
The Dores went into Wake Forest (6-7) and hammered the Deacons 41-7, that win was the best win of the season for Vanderbilt and gave reason for Vandy fans to believe. Vanderbilt's losses came to some pretty good teams in Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama. But, there is one loss that hurts Vanderbilt fans more then any other loss could. The 27-21 overtime loss to rival Tennessee that ended in controversy.
In one of their more painful losses Vanderbilt fought Georgia to the bitter end and the Dores were one Drew Butler tackle away from stunning the Bulldogs. The Commodores can give the Dawgs trouble, but this in Athens and Vanderbilt won't be able to play four quarters against these Dawgs.
Early Prediction-Georgia 35 Vanderbilt 17
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Florida Atlantic was one of the worst teams in the nation last year coming very close to going 0-12. The Owls won on a field goal to beat UAB 38-35. That was only win of the entire season as they were easily handled by almost every other team they played. Their first ever and only head coach Howard Schnellenberger retired before the season started. Cal Pelini who is the former Nebraska defensive coordinator and bigger brother of Bo Peilini took the job.
Georgia and Florida Atlantic played three common opponents last season in Auburn, Michigan Sate, and Florida. FAU lost to those teams 30-14, 44-0, and 41-3 respectively. Georgia crushed Auburn 45-7, lost to Michigan State in triple overtime 33-30, and beat Florida 24-20. The best win for the Owls was their win of the season. Their worst loss came at the hands of Middle Tennessee who finished 2-10 I might add, 38-14.
This should be another easy win for the Dawgs as they will cruise past the Owls with no problem.
Early Prediction Georgia 56 Florida Atlantic 3
The Tigers lose a total of 16 starters to graduation or the draft, but keep a very mobile QB in James Franklin who was the team's second leading rusher last year with 981 yards rushing and 2865 passing. They also return a workhorse running back Henry Jorsey who ran for 1168 yards, but did not score a touchdown oddly enough.
The Tigers best win was the 17-5 beating of the Texas Longhorns in which the defense pitched a shutout and also kept Texas from even getting into the redzone. Their worst loss was an early overtime loss to now 6-7 Arizona State in Tempe, AZ.
While Missouri will not be as strong as they were last year they could still give the Dawgs problems as the Tigers will look to prove to everyone that they can play in the SEC. However, the crushing defense of Georgia should be too much as this looks like a win as of now.
Early Prediction Georgia 31 Missouri 21
In 2011, the Bulls best win was a 38-37 win over the eventual Idaho Famous Potato Bowl Champions Ohio Bobcats. Their worst loss was a 41-13 thrashing by 4-8 Miami (OH) and they also were 0-6 on the road. This game should be an easy win unless all the starters suffer some horrible accident or all get suspended.
Early Prediction Georgia 45 Buffalo 7
Georgia stopped and outright dominated the number one team in the nation and should have been up 21-7 at the half due to dropped TD passes it was 10-7. The second half ended in misery and showed what was wrong with the team. The Dawgs collapse in the second half against good teams and they look to improve on that in 2012.
The Dawgs are looking like a pre-season top 10 team and even some such as ESPN and CBS have them as a possible top 5. And, why not the defense has been tremendous and most of the starters are returning the biggest being All American Bacarri Rambo who can be considered even more dangerous then Boykin.
With expansion causing the SEC to take in Missouri and Texas A&M the Dawgs get another easy schedule and are the favorite to win the East. The following is the 2012 schedule and I will be previewing the schedule game by game.
@ South Carolina
Florida (Jacksonville, FL)