Posted by Walter
Overall a pretty dismal week for myself as well (although not nearly as bad as Frazier). However, despite my terrible 2-3 effort in picks, several of the teams I pegged in my preseason predictions did just what I thought they would making me look smart even in defeat.
I was right about Auburn. The defense has been very solid, and probably deserves a better fate than they have received. But the offense has been as terrible as predicted. Just as I pointed out before the season started, the Tiger offense is completely devoid of any playmakers. Kenny Irons is gone, and so far the duo of Lester and Tate has not lived up to Auburn’s lofty tailback expectations. But if you ask me, the more important departure has been Courtney Taylor on the outside. While Taylor’s numbers weren’t great last year, he was a big, fast body on the outside who had to be accounted for. Without the threat of Taylor going vertical, defenses have just loaded up 8 in the box and dared the utterly mediocre Brandon Cox to beat them. Unless someone steps up on the outside, this is going to continue to be a long season in Auburn.
I was wrong about Michigan. Going into the season I argued that their offense made them more like the 2006 Buckeyes than the 2006 Fighting Irish. Yuck! Right now the folks in Ann Arbor would KILL to be the 2006 Irish. Not only has the Michigan defense been downright embarrassing (seriously, as much shit as Ron English has taken it is downright amazing how long he was able to get the 2006 Wolverine defense to overachieve for), but the offense just hasn’t been clicking. Taking nothing away from Mike Hart (who has been every bit as good as advertised), Chad Henne, Mario Manningham and Co. have simply been terrible, with their atrociousness culminating in a 7 point effort against an Oregon defense that couldn’t stop anyone in 2006……at HOME! Forget the number 5 preseason ranking, I think it’s time to start wondering whether the Michigan offense is the most disappointing unit in the history of college football.
Is that Lloyd Carr?......No, that's a different lame duck.
I was right about LSU…..and Virginia Tech. LSU is just in another stratosphere. Their defense is nothing short of suffocating (I told you about Ali Highsmith didn’t I). The offense can be both ruthlessly efficient (with Flynn throwing and Hester running) and dynamically explosive (with Perriloux doing….well everything, and Keiland Williams running). And they are incredibly well coached (Bo Pelini could you please report to the Michigan athletic department…..Bo Pelini you’re wanted at the Michigan athletic department). Still a lot of people are wondering how they beat VTech so handily. Well it’s simple. Sean Glennon sucks, and LSU wasn’t stupid enough to get a fucking punt or kick blocked. Seriously, did Frank Beamer really think he’d get through a season undefeated when his special teams is his most adept unit at putting points on the board?
I was wrong about the Miami defensive line. I’m still a believer in Calais Campbell, but the rest of the Hurrican DL was tossed around like a high school team by Oklahoma’s massive OL. Seriously, it was a disgrace to see a school that has produced more NFL caliber defensive lineman and linebackers than anyone else to be manhandled so thoroughly in the front 7. Give credit to the Sooner line (which, as I stated in my preseason prediction, is by far the best the America), but Miami’s effort was pedestrian. Also, I hate to say I told you so Miami (actually I love it), but do you think the defense’s struggles this year might have something to do with taking their coordinator away? Randy Shannon was a GREAT defensive coordinator. Making him the head coach weakened the Hurricanes in one area in order to potentially strengthen them in another.
The Miami defensive line relaxing before boarding the plane out of Norman.
I was right (so far) about my preseason sleepers and busts, and most of them made some noise this past weekend. South Carolina won at Georgia. Alabama won at Vanderbilt. Oregon won at Michigan. Iowa and Clemson both sit at 2-0. While Georgia Tech looks like the team to beat in the ACC (despite Frazier’s proclamation that I was “off the reservation” for choosing the Yellow Jackets as the best team in the ACC over Virginia Tech). Moreover, three predicted bust teams, the aforementioned VTech, Auburn and Oregon State, suffered bad losses, while two others only narrowly averted disaster, Wisconsin and Texas A & M. While it might be too soon to anoint myself as clairvoyant, I’ve feeling pretty good about my preseason picks.