What We Know About the 2008 Season After Seven Weeks

All right kids, here it is…

Florida has just punched its ticket to the ATL.  I really hate to say it, but sadly, by all indications it appears to be true.  Georgia desperately needed LSU to beat Florida this week in order to provide them with enough margin to absorb the inevitable Florida loss.  Because LSU failed to come through for Georgia, the only way Georgia can make it to the SEC championship game is by beating Florida themselves.  And we all know that ain’t gonna happen.  Florida has figured some things out on offense that nobody in the conference can possibly hope to have an answer for, just in time for this part of the season.  And Georgia is still doing things (or not doing things) that will get them beat against teams of Florida’s caliber.

Is it ever going to get any better for Georgia?  It is now the middle of the season, and yet the preseason No. 1 team in the country is still looking like a team that is struggling to find its way.  Penalties, inconsistent line play, ill-timed turnovers, inability to convert red-zone opportunities–if Georgia was anywhere near as good as the pollsters were saying in the preseason, all of these issues would have worked themselves out by now.  The season is wearing on, and the meat of the schedule is coming up.  The pollsters are watching, and they are not impressed.

Vanderbilt had better be prepared to offer Bobby Johnson a sweet deal if they want to keep him.  Clemson has already gotten rid of Tommy Bowden, and Bobby Johnson is incessantly being mentioned as a prime candidate to replace him.  Vanderbilt is in the habit of starting fast and then fading later in the year because of injuries to key players.  Depth will always be an issue at Vanderbilt, and that may place a limit on what Bobby Johnson can expect to accomplish there.  But getting Bobby Johnson won’t exactly be a slam dunk for Clemson.  One consequence of Vanderbilt’s dissolution of the athletic department a few years back is that now the football program comes under the umbrella of the entire university.  And Vanderbilt’s administration is aware of the value that a competitive football program can have in terms of bringing exposure to the university.  And because the football program is now funded from the entire university, this means that they can bring the entire resources of the university to bear in trying to keep Bobby Johnson.

Ditto for David Cutcliffe.  At this point in the season Duke has won as many games as they have in the previous three years combined.  With three wins so far, they have already exceeded expectations, and looking at the remainder of their schedule it seems that there is at least another two or three more wins lurking out there for them.  This will surely attract the attention of schools that are looking for a new coach, such as Tennessee or Auburn might be by the end of this season.

The I’m Hatin Life For Ya Department Returns:  The I’m Hatin Life For Ya Department is back for its second week.  This week I’m hating life for you if you are:

Michigan.  It is obvious that Michigan is having trouble adjusting to the new coach and the new system.  But losing to Toledo?  Man, please!!!

Rich Rodriguez.  I’m sure he’s thinking right about now, “I didn’t come all the way up here for this.”  And even in his hometown of Grant Town, West Virginia, people are taking pleasure in his troubles at Michigan.

Georgia.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that Georgia now has to win out just to have even the slightest semblance of a prayer of making it into the BCS championship game, the schedule is not helping them at all.  Of the teams Georgia has left to play, Florida is the only one still in the top 10.  LSU has dropped to no. 13, and all the rest are dropping like a brick.  Alabama is still holding up, but that won’t help Georgia because they beat the shit out of Georgia.