ESS-EEE-SEE: UnderDawgs

With the spread starting at 10 points and quickly moving to 13.5, Georgia goes into the SEC Championship against LSU game clear underdogs (by comparison, the spreads for the last two SEC Championship games Georgia played against LSU in 2003 and 2005, which they split, were 2 and 3 points.)

While I don’t dispute LSU’s place atop the the college football pile, even discounting my hopes as a homer, I think Georgia has a better shot than most give it credit for.  That said, don’t take my word for it:

General WWL blog coverage.

This and this So much for the “every game counts” argument.

Mark Richt is respectful, but not intimidated, of LSU.

Georgia’s defense is even more confident.

Former Bulldog Zach Mettenberger, heir apparent to the LSU QB throne, may or may not contribute this year.

Two posts from the venerable Senator Blutarsky on Georgia’s ability to keep up on defense and on offense.

A breakdown of a few important stats.

A report from behind enemy lines.

And of course, the NYTimes analysis of the bulldogs.  Not the Bulldogs, well, except Uga.

Gettin’ Paid

First-year Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin will be receiving a pay raise and an extension on his contract, according to Clay Travis of Outkick The Coverage.

Vanderbilt Vice-Chancellor David Williams confirmed the existence of a deal to Travis, and said, “We’ll do everything that we can to keep him here. We have to make this a place that our coaches want to be and that they have the opportunity to be successful.”

Fraklin rose to prominence at the University of Maryland, leaving the school for an opportunity in the NFL and another at Kansas State before returning to the Terrapins as offensive coordinator.  Despite reports that he was the official head-coach-in-waiting at Maryland, Franklin elected to take the Vanderbilt job in December of 2010.

This season, Franklin led Vanderbilt to a bowl eligible 6-6 record; according to Travis, Franklin has experienced tremendous success in building his recruiting class  as well.

Via si.com

ESS-EEE-SEE!

I thought I was just being amusing/obnoxious when I posted this last week.  Little did I know that I was channeling my inner Nostradamus; when Mr. Conventional Wisdom has conceded that the All-SEC National Championship is probably happening, it’s almost certainly inevitable.

For me, it’s Sugar Bowl or bust; but in the meanwhile, I’ll give the Mad Hatter his due.  (The link is priceless.)

ESS-EEE-SEE!

Just when you thought fans in the Southeastern Conference couldn’t get more insufferable, there’s this.  It’s a little fluky, but how do you like 3 teams from the SEC in BCS games?  I can’t say I love it after Georgia got passed over in 2007, but I’ve accepted that our ceiling this year is the Sugar Bowl, so whatever.

To recap: LSU and Bama to the National Championship and Georgia to the Sugar.  Boom.  S-E-C!  S-E-C!  S-E-C!  (It really is annoying, isn’t it.)

“It sounds like an attempt to avoid personal liability in having assets in his wife’s name.”

If Paterno was doing this, well before the season started, why’d he even bother returning?

Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July, less than four months before a sexual abuse scandal engulfed his Penn State football program and the university.

The house is valued at $600,000.  Ridiculous.

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

USA Today does its best to disentangle the World Wide Leader’s role in the current conference realignment mess:

For all that ESPN has lent to the growth of major-college athletics — through on-air exposure and with rights-fees payouts that schools have fed into stadium improvements, luxurious locker rooms and huge contracts for top coaches — there’s an undercurrent of concern about the influence of the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports.

It’s not just that its tentacles are everywhere: They’re everywhere at once.

As a TV rights holder, ESPN is a business partner to a wide array of conferences and schools (its total college outlay will average more than $700 million annually by next year).

And as a leading broadcast, print and online news outlet, ESPN also reports the news it’s often a party to making.

Although I wish it delved more deeply into the ethical/journalistic issues involved in ESPN reporting on events that it has a substantial financial and controlling interest in, the article is still a great read.