What We Know About the 2008 Season After Three Weeks

Things we learned from watching the college football games this weekend:

Another week, another notch dropped in the polls.  Despite a 14-7 win on the road over an always-tough South Carolina team, Georgia slipped a notch to No. 3 this week.  If things continue at this rate, then by the end of the season Georgia will be undefeated, SEC champions, and finish outside the top 10.

You don’t think?  Well, check this out:  Florida is currently sitting right behind Georgia at No. 4, with only about 20 or so points less than Georgia.  If Florida wins big at Tennessee while Georgia struggles to beat an Arizona State team severely downgraded because of its loss to UNLV, then next week Florida leapfrogs Georgia and drops us to No. 4.  And LSU is not far behind.  If LSU pulls it out at Auburn this weekend and then wins big against Mississippi State next weekend while Georgia struggles but wins against Alabama, then look for LSU to leapfrog Georgia, dropping us to No. 5.  Missouri is also coming on strong; if they beat Nebraska and Oklahoma State, they will leapfrog Georgia too.  Texas is another team that could leapfrog Georgia if they keep winning.  Ditto Wisconsin and Texas Tech.  Ohio State got killed by Southern Cal but if they bounce back and win the rest of their games they could leapfrog Georgia too.  And East Carolina is seriously looking like the real deal; they could leapfrog Georgia too.  And if they do, that would be enough to put unbeaten Georgia out of the top 10.

During the week of November 9-15, Willie Martinez had better EAT, SLEEP, and BREATHE the film from the Auburn-Mississippi State game.  Apparently Sylvester Croom has figured some things out about that Tony Franklin spread offense, and it would VERY MUCH behoove us to learn what they are.

Seriously though, what happened?  Was Tony Franklin trying to keep some things under wraps with LSU coming to town next week?  Or could it be that Auburn’s offense is just that bad?

That Georgia defensive line has got to get better–like now.  They need to find a way to get pressure on Rudy Carpenter that does not involve blitzing, because if you blitz him he will beat you.  This defense is known for neutralizing highly rated quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow, Colt Brennan, and the guy from Central Michigan.  But sophomore quarterback Chris Smelley picked them apart all through the fourth quarter–somehow they managed to make it through without giving up any points.  I just hope they can find a way to not let Rudy Carpenter do the same thing to them.

So does the offensive line.  True enough, South Carolina has one of the better defensive fronts in the SEC.  But so does Auburn, and LSU’s is even better.  If our offensive line continues to perform at the level that it did Saturday, that could get us beat later on.

Don’t leave the ACC for dead just yet.  ACC bashing is all the rage these days, especially after ACC teams had a dreadful opening weekend.  But they have played some quality non-conference opponents and have picked up some pretty impressive wins since the Clemson beatdown, such as Maryland beating California and North Carolina beating Rutgers on the road.  Georgia Tech is looking better than expected, and Virginia Tech is improving.  Even Miami looked good for three quarters at Florida.  And Clemson is looking as if they might just win the rest of their games.

But as for the Pac 10…that’s a different story.  The Pac 10 spent the previous weekend having their asses handed to them by the Mountain West.  Southern Cal is the bomb, and is headed straight to the BCS title game.  Oregon is decent and might be able to give Southern Cal a good game–IF they can get Justin Roper back in time.  The rest of the Pac 10 is positively dreadful.

Philip Fulmer has a little something to think about.  When the team that beat you in Week 1 gets half a hundred hung on them by a middle-of-the-road Mountain West opponent, that’s not a good sign.  Florida is coming to Knoxville this weekend having had a week off to get ready, and Auburn and Georgia are right behind.  Just a little something for Philip Fulmer to think about.  But one thing we’ve learned about him after all these years:  Philip Fulmer is at his best when his back is against the wall.  So we shall see.