What We Know About the 2008 Season After Five Weeks

All right kids, here’s what we know about the 2008 football season after five weeks.

Georgia’s national championship bid for 2008 is officially over. Read all about this in yesterday’s post.

If there’s a team out there that’s better than Alabama, I sure don’t want to see them. The scary thing is, there just might be. LSU is coming up on the schedule in just a couple of weeks.

The last time Georgia trailed 31-0 at the half was nine years ago. Georgia was playing Auburn in the next-to-last game of the next-to-last season of the Jim Donnan era. That time the blame fell squarely at the feet of his overmatched defensive coordinator Kevin Ramsey. This time the blame falls at the feet of Mark Richt’s overmatched defensive coordinator Willie Martinez. But it wasn’t just him. It also falls at the feet of all the coaches and all the players. They were all outmanned, outclassed, and outcoached by a superior opponent. Nick Saban may be a lying, thieving scoundrel, but he is a much better coach than Mark Richt and his team is a much better team than Georgia.

Good teams do not lose to Alabama the way Georgia did without incurring a heavy emotional toll. It is now five weeks into the season, and Clemson, the odds-on favorite to win the ACC and perhaps have an outside shot at the 2008 national championship, has still not recovered from the beatdown administered to them by Alabama in the Georgia Dome. That much was evident in Clemson’s loss to Maryland this weekend. Unfortunate for them, because they are heading right into the meat of their ACC schedule. And if Clemson was as discombobulated as they were by losing to Alabama, imagine the effect that it will have on Georgia, the preseason No. 1. The better the team, the harder the emotional impact of a loss like this. As they say, “the higher they get, the harder they fall.”

It’s a good thing Georgia is off this week. But it will take a WHOLE lot more than just an off week to get Georgia well again. We need a full-on Todd Bentley healing revival service for all the players who were hurt last weekend. And forget the psychologists–we need an army of PSYCHIATRISTS to deal with the mental/emotional toll that this loss will take.

2008 is going to be just as zany as 2007 was. It all started when Oregon State dropped Southern Cal on Thursday night. Six of the top 10 and nine of the top 25 all got beat this weekend. And it’s just getting started, so sit down and buckle up, people.

Georgia Tech could actually be the real deal this year. One of the Georgia Tech players came out and said that Georgia Tech could finish 11-1 this year. And that is actually not outside the realm of possibility.

The ACC may just need a new doormat this year. David Cutcliffe has raised the competitive level at Duke.  A team that only won three games in the last three years is now 3-1 and playing with confidence, even a little bit of attitude.  They have outscored opponents 48-7 in the third quarter and 28-7 in the fourth quarter.

You think Tommy Bowden might be running out of second chances? In ten seasons at Clemson, Tommy Bowden has managed little more than to hold on to his job. But to his credit, he has managed to do that. The 2008 season began with very high expectations, but now Clemson has two losses on the books and the natives are growing exceedingly restless. A 10-2 finish and a BCS bowl bid could placate them, but that means Clemson would have to finish the year unbeaten. And their remaining schedule includes Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Florida State, a suddenly revitalized Duke, and the cross-state rival South Carolina. You really think Clemson is going to run the table against all that?

You think Bobby Petrino might have gotten in over his head at Arkansas? As of this point in the season, Arkansas has two wins, over Western Illinois and Northeast Louisiana, by a combined margin of five points. It’s hard to be impressed with a team that beat Northeast Louisiana by only one point (although Alabama lost to Northeast Louisiana last year and look at them now). Arkansas’ remaining schedule consists of Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Tulsa, South Carolina, Mississippi State, and LSU. There may be three more wins hiding in there somewhere, but I’m not finding them.

Florida needs to find somebody else to run the football. Here’s why Florida didn’t make that first down on fourth-and-short at the end of the Ole Miss game: Everybody on the face of the earth–including 1.3 billion Chinese people–knew that Tim Tebow was going to run the football. Ole Miss knew it too, and they were ready for it.

We will probably not be seeing the black jerseys again–not for a LONG time. For those of you who don’t remember, let me refresh your memory about something: Georgia wore black pants for a couple of games back in the late 90s. In the 1997 Outback Bowl, Georgia faced a tough Wisconsin team. They came out wearing the usual silver britches and then, right before kickoff, pulled the old switcheroo. This jacked up the team and the fans, and Georgia crushed Wisconsin 33-6. This set us up for October 1998, when Georgia thought they would pull the same thing on Florida in Jacksonville. After a dreadful 38-7 beatdown, those black pants never saw the light of day again. Hopefully the black jerseys will not be seeing the light of day again–not for a LONG, LONG time.

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