What We Know About the 2008 Season After Nine Weeks

All right kids, here goes:

Florida-Georgia is now going to be a meeting of teams that have hung half a hundred on LSU.  Florida did it a few weeks back, and now Georgia has done it too.  What is remarkable is that Georgia did it in Tiger Stadium, where the last time an opposing team scored 50 points or more was in 1993.  Curley Hallman was the LSU coach then, and his teams weren’t very good.

When it comes to SEC games of significance this week, Florida-Georgia is pretty much the only game in town.  Alabama plays Arkansas State.  LSU plays Tulane.  Arkansas plays Tulsa.  Auburn plays Ole Miss.  Mississippi State plays Kentucky.  South Carolina plays Tennessee.  And Vanderbilt is off.  Do any of those matchups sound compelling to you?

The burning question this week:  Will Georgia have anything left in the tank for Florida?  The last time Georgia hung 40-plus points on a defending national champion LSU team was in 2004.  Georgia beat LSU 45-16, but had nothing left in the tank for Tennessee the next week and perished 19-14.

And will Florida have anything left in the tank for Georgia?  In 2004, Georgia hung 63 on Kentucky and the next week wound up on the wrong end of a 24-6 beatdown at the hands of Auburn.  Florida looked impressive in hanging 63 on Kentucky this week, but as Georgia linebacker Darryl Gamble said after the LSU game, “We aren’t Kentucky.”

It’s hard to see Philip Fulmer lasting much beyond this season.  For those of you who keep track of such things, Philip Fulmer is now 3-5 against Mark Richt, 0-4 against Urban Meyer, and 1-4 against Nick Saban.  By the end of the 2000 season, Jim Donnan was 1-4 against Fulmer, 1-4 against Steve Spurrier, 2-3 against Tommy Tuberville, and 2-3 against George O’Leary, and it cost him his job.

Knoxville News Sentinel sports columnist John Adams seems to agree.  Gosh, I can remember the days of Ray Goof and Jim Donnan, thinking and feeling similar things about Georgia and I hope we never have to go there again.  3rd Saturday in Blogtober is actually confident enough to report that Fulmer is already out.

We love Joe Paterno, but…  With a win over Ohio State this week, Joe Paterno likely assured that he will finish the season unbeaten.  If Texas and Alabama finish unbeaten, will voters really move Penn State ahead of one or both of them?  It will make for a great story to be able to give Joe Paterno the opportunity to leave on the note of playing for one more national championship.  But will a good story be sufficient justification for voters to move Penn State ahead of an unbeaten Texas or an unbeaten Alabama or both?  I don’t think so.  But given the way Georgia won but lost ground in the polls during the first half of the season, I wouldn’t put it past the pollsters to do something like that.  But if by some chance Penn State does get left out, then Joe Paterno can sit down and have a long talk with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, who up to this point has been the strongest opponent of a four-team playoff.