Thursday, October 29, 2015

eViL G's Weekly Picks - October 31st

Mark Richt salutes UGA fans after a hard fought win against Louisiana Monroe.
Greetings everyone, and Happy Halloween Eve.
I took another week off, and our rivals from Tallahassee and Coral Gables gave us one of the most entertaining Gator bye weeks in recent memory.  I’m not sure what was more enjoyable, watching Miami die a slow, painful death against Clemson in front of 1500 pissed off fans or FSU getting their hearts ripped out in Atlanta.  Both games were magically delicious.

While most of the college football world has their collective eye on a couple national title elimination games NEXT weekend, one half of the SEC title game picture takes shape in Jacksonville this week.
Cocktails anyone?
Florida vs Georgia
Speaking of Atlanta, I want to give a shout out to Augusta, Georgia native and all-things Atlanta super fan, UCF Associate Womens’ Basketball Coach Ken Griffin.  I’ve got to show Coach Ken some love because unlike most so-called Atlanta sports fans, he actually gives a shit about sports teams in the ATL.  He’s also a prime candidate to become this blog's 28th follower.

Coach Ken is unlike any Atlanta sports fan I know.  He doesn’t watch the Falcons play once every six years at the Georgia Dome, wearing a faded Andre Rison jersey, asking people around him why Michael Vick’s not playing.  He doesn’t chant “MVP” at Hawks games when the other team’s best player shoots free throws.  He knows the career statistics of Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame catcher Biff Pocoroba.  He knows how to spell “Pocoroba” properly without doing a Google search.  He lives and dies with his Atlanta sports teams, and that’s rare.  I respect that.

Coach Ken is also a HUGE Georgia Bulldog fan, and like many UGA fans he’s over Mark Richt, wants him gone like Al Golden.  I understand, but at the same time I don’t get it.  In spite of everything UGA fans hate about Mark Richt, you can’t deny he’s the second best coach in the history of Georgia football…worst case.  But sure, he’s never won a national title, hasn’t won an SEC title in a decade, and his teams routinely crap the bed when the stakes are high.

Meanwhile in Gainesville, Jim McElwain is making chicken salad out of Will Muschamp’s chicken shit.  Nothing but blue skies, lollipops and puppy dog kisses in Gator Country these days.
So in a season that began with great uncertaintly surrounding UF and SEC title aspirations for UGA, over the past two months someone flipped the script. 

How desperate is Mark Richt?  UGA is starting someone named Faton Bauta at QB instead of Greyson Lambert.  Faton Bauta sounds like a guy on the TSA's no-fly explosive playmaker if you will.  Apparently Bauta gives UGA more of a run threat at QB, and he can't be a worse passer than Lambert.  What's the worst that could happen?  Mark Richt loses another big game?
Florida played well enough to beat national title contender LSU a couple weeks ago, in spite of UF's all-world secondary getting torched repeatedly by a slightly above average QB.  Treon Harris played well for most of the night, but struggled late.   The Gators still can't run consistently against anyone.  We placed ads in the Gainesville Sun for a kicker. 
That said, the good guys are still 6-1 and ahead of schedule while Georgia is reeling.
Back to you Coach Ken, be careful what you wish for.  Mark Richt may not be Urban Meyer or Nick Saban...he's not Ray Goff or Jim Donnan either.  Tennessee fired Phil Fulmer seven years ago, and they still haven't recovered.  Please keep this in mind after Florida beats Georgia in Jacksonville tomorrow.
The Gators are going back to Atlanta, and Mark Richt stays employed in Athens.
UF - 26
UGA - 17
Be good.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

eViL G's Weekly Picks - October 17th

Deja Vu in the Bayou?
Happy Friday America.
I take the week off, and as usual all hell breaks loose.
Will Grier tested positive for stupid, Coach Sark can’t stay off the sauce, and the Ole Ball Coach just up and said fuck it, I’m out.  Go build me a statue while I play 36 at Augusta National with my shirt off.
Buried deep in sports section you may have heard about a scrub UF defensive back go batshit crazy over his girlfriend allegedly getting down with a teammate.  Ah sookie sookie now...
And in a related story, as I type this Lamar Odom is possibly on his deathbed with a raging boner.  How unfair is that?
Brace yourself for what happens during Florida’s off week next week, because I’ll be somewhere other than here.
In the meantime…
Florida at LSU
Gator Nation didn’t take the Will Grier news very well, but perhaps the football gods were forced to intervene in this magical season most of us thought was at best two years away.  This new relationship with this new coach was moving way too fast...a walk of shame waiting to happen if you will.
That said, in spite of Will Grier’s poor judgment I choose to see the orange and blue glass as half full.
Let’s count our blessings.
Florida is 6-0, so WORST case we’ll get a chance to defend our Birmingham Bowl World Heavyweight Championship.
Tennessee beat Georgia, which means UT fans can once again talk about how the Vols would destroy Florida if we played each other later in the season.  You know the leaves are turning when you start hearing that bullshit.  Hurricane season ends around the same time Volsheimers season begins.
Most importantly, we’ve got ourselves a competent football coach.  Jim McElwain is a keeper folks.  Anyone who can turn UF’s offensive line into a serviceable unit is nothing short of a coaching genius.  We have tight ends making plays.  Even the great Steve Spurrier couldn’t do that consistently.
At this point the only valid criticism of Jim McElwain is the size and color of his teeth, and Ron Zook would be the first to tell you it’s correctable.
Gator Nation unanimously had the LSU game marked as a loss before the season started.  So-called experts and talking heads picked LSU to win after Will Grier shredded Ole Miss and before his failed NCAA drug test.  UF has no answer for Leonard Fournette, LSU’s defense is too talented for UF’s emerging offense…and so on.
How quickly we forget UF almost beat LSU last season with Jeff Driskel.  Treon Harris is a better QB than Jeff Driskel.  Treon Harris might be a better QB than whoever LSU starts at QB tomorrow.
Conventional wisdom says we stack the box and make LSU’s nameless, faceless QB beat our elite secondary with his arm.  All LSU’s defense has to do is contain Treon Harris operating behind a suspect offensive line who can’t run block worth a damn.
UF wins this game straight up if Will Grier is eligible.  He’s not, so LSU wins a close, low scoring game reminiscent of 1980s, pre-Spurrier SEC football.
6-1 ain’t all that bad, considering no one expected UF to be 6-0.
LSU - 21
UF - 16
Be good.

Friday, October 2, 2015

eViL G's Weekly Picks - October 3rd

eViL G Flashback - 2008
Tim Tebow's relationship with the Almighty wasn't
enough to combat the Ole Miss curse.

Happy Friday folks.
Not much time for jibber jabber this week.  That said I’d like to give a shout out to my good friends from Rocky Top who made the trip to Gainesville last week.  Marlon, James, Jamie and Jonathan…we had a great time tailgating with you guys.  I won’t mention the game because you’ve suffered enough.
Speaking of crappy coaches, it looks like the Hurricanes kept their Muschamp one year longer than we did.  But since it’s a Canes thing, I probably wouldn’t understand.
Ignorance is bliss.
Alabama at Georgia
Historically Georgia doesn’t handle prosperity very well…take last year’s Florida-Georgia game for instance.  Now they’re favored to beat Alabama.  The last time Alabama was an underdog, they made Tim Tebow cry like Michael Corleone after Mary took a bullet outside the opera house.  Bama’s defense matches up very well with Georgia’s offense, who unlike Ole Miss won’t attempt 20 passes before halftime.  For all of UGA’s stud tailbacks, Derrick Henry might be better.  However Lane Kiffin sometimes forgets Henry traveled with the team, is dressed out and ready to play.  Take that last drive against Ole Miss for instance.  For as ordinary as Bama looks relative to years past, their front seven is still plenty strong, and they’ll force UGA’s nameless, faceless QB into situations he’s not ready for.  Don’t expect this game to be aesthetically pleasing…lots of running, plenty of punting and not too many points scored.  UGA loses, everyone wins.
Tide – 16
Dawgs – 14

Ole Miss at Florida
Per Southeastern Conference bylaw 50.3.14b Section 4, whenever Ole Miss has a competitive football team, they MUST rotate onto UF’s schedule.  How else do you explain Ole Miss winning three of the last four games in Gainesville, or Ole Miss leading the all-time series against UF by a couple games?  Eli Manning never lost to Florida during his stay in Oxford…a freaking MANNING!!!  Now Ole Miss brings arguably its most talented team in 60 years to The Swamp, a TD-plus favorite against the Mighty Gators.  This is actually a favorable matchup for UF’s defense.  Ole Miss doesn’t run all that much, which is good because UF has maybe two linebackers healthy enough and good enough to play tomorrow.  Ole Miss likes to throw, and UF has an elite secondary, not to mention a very good pass rush.  UF’s offense grew up in front of our eyes last week, but Ole Miss has a championship caliber defense led by Robert Kazqsalkshqchee (pronounced “kim-DEE-chee”) and his brother Denzel Washington Kzqytrdlfloydschee (also pronounced “kim-DEE-chee”).  Both will make life miserable for UF’s green but improving offensive line.  Ole Miss has a knack for beating UF when they probably shouldn’t.  It’s almost not fair they’re back in Gainesville with a team good enough to beat anyone.  Ole Miss had their letdown game last week looking forward to this week, and UF simply won’t be able to outscore them.  Unlike Bama-UGA, this game will not put you to sleep midway through the second quarter…but unfortunately the good guys come up short.
Rebs – 35
Gators – 27
Be good.