Weekend Predictions: Nothing sinister here — Dogs over Bama

chalkboard

Before we get to this week’s big game between Exxon and Fred’s Friendly Fillin’ Station of Athens, this update from the underworld of politics, finance and board meetings in darkened broom closets:

According to the bazillion billable hours of research and that old man strength of Mike Bowers, who used to be a state attorney general, kinda like the legal world’s version of Patton, but with a Mont Blanc and possibly and an ex-Playmate girlfriend, but that’s another story, DeKalb “interim” (or “very very interim”) CEO Lee May presides over a government that is “rotten to the core” and has engaged in “sinister conduct.” That includes a cozy relationship with a vendor who arranged for $6,500 in repairs at May’s home for a sewage backup, and I believe the word you’re looking for is: irony.

eadline: Alabama Football Practice Sept.30 Caption: Alabama football coach Nick Saban gets angry with defensive back Tony Brown during Alabama football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/AL.com via AP) MAGS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT Assignment:

Nick Saban reacts to being a 2.5-point underdog in Las Vegas, blows up Alderaan. (Vasha Hunt / AL.com)

Lee responded by calling Bowers’ findings “laughable.” And “pitiful.” And then I think, “Your feet stink,” and then he jumped up down and held his breath and passed out. And then he turned the news conference over to his spiritual guide, Tim Lee of Cobb County, who said, “Everything my good friend Liberty Media, I mean Lee, is aboveboard here. And thanks to all of you for signing the guest list as you came in because that was actually a cleverly disguised funding measure for a $379 million bridge from a dumb soccer stadium in DeKalb to a wasteful baseball stadium in Cobb. Hah! Gotcha! I love public service! Hey Lee, let’s go to lunch — on them!”

The kicker to the DeKalb mess —  I promise, I’ll get to football eventually — is that Lee hired Bowers for $850,000. “It was the biggest, “Thanks for the money, now watch me submarine your career” boomerang since Frank Wren signed B.J. Upton. (Sports transition.)

This week, Alabama, which seems to always win everything, plays Georgia, which seems to always win the Citrus  Bowl. Georgia is favored. It’s the first time Alabama is an underdog since the 2009 SEC championship against Florida, and the Crimson Tide took that so well that they body slammed the Gators 32-13.

There are a lot of reasons for Georgia fans to be confident. Nick Chubb. Sony Michel. Malcolm Mitchell. Defense. But there are two reasons to wonder: 1) Saban, the Dark Lord, doesn’t lose a lot; 2) Greyson Lambert, the Dogs’ quarterback, was Montana-like against South Carolina and Southern, but, well, yeah.

Confidence isn’t at a premium here. But at least Georgia won’t be wearing black jerseys. I’ll take the leap: Dogs win and cover 2½.

The last time the Death Star was an underdog

Institutes of Higher Learning (Class Optional)

Wouldn't it be great if the NCAA made cheating coaches do this?

Wouldn’t it be great if the NCAA made cheating coaches do this?

North Carolina at Georgia Tech: The Tar Heels excel at academic fraud. The Yellow Jackets have merely proven to be frauds on the field. Jackets cover 7½.

Notre Dame at Clemson: The Tigers haven’t played since a win over the remains of Bobby Petrino Sept. 17. So Dabo Swinney has had extra time to work on his game plan, which normally would lead me to pick the other team. But I’m just not feeling the Irish’s young quarterback in Death Valley. Tigers win a pick ’em.

San Jose State at Auburn: Interesting factoid: The pace of Auburn’s formally sped-up offense now ranks as one of the slowest, 98th in the nation, according to SportsSourceAnalytics, where I’m certain no employee has a date this weekend. But that and getting outscored 62-30 in two SEC games won’t matter against San Jose State. The 20 is covered.

Mississippi at Florida: Enjoy the ride, Rebels. There’s trouble coming in October and November. Gators go down in the swamp, Missy covers 7½.

Arkansas at Tennessee: Arkansas’s Bret Bielema and Tennessee’s Butch Jones are a combined 10-32 in games against Power 5 conference schools since coming to the SEC (hat tip: ESPN’s Chris Low). So this is kinda like the SEC’s Boston College-Wake Forest game. Vols covers 6½.

Louisville at N.C. State: The Wolfpack dismissed running back Shadrach Thornton after he hit a pedestrian with his moped and then left, and also because he already had three suspensions and two arrests and assaulted a female. So apparently N.C. State draws the line at scooter accidents. State wins but take Louisville and 4½.

South Carolina at Missouri: It’s the Battle of Columbias, although with Missouri suspending quarterback Maty Mauk and Steve Spurrier  just trying to make it upright to the next senior-discounted Denny’s Grand Slam, I’d take the Ivy’s Columbia over either of these two. (Alas, they’re at Princeton this week.) Roosters in a slight upset (2½).

Pros and Cons

Texans at Falcons: Julio Jones is on pace for 181 receptions, 2,347 yards, 21 touchdowns and 19 surrenders in the Middle East. If you need Roddy White, he’ll be in the kitchen making a sandwich. Falcons cover 6½.

It might be time for Saints fans to dust off the bags. (AP photo)

It might be time for Saints fans to dust off the bags. (AP photo)

Cowboys at Saints: New Orleans is 0-3 for the first time since 2012, when Sean Payton was suspended for BountyGate. Payton has a similar incentive program this season but so far nobody has collected the $50 for making a tackle. Saints win but take Dallas and 5½.

Raiders at Bears: The 0-3 Bears began their strong playoff push this week by trading Jared Allen and Jonathan Bostic. They also would’ve traded Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel but the Braves beat them to it. Atlanta feels your pain, Chicago. Raiders cover 3.

Packers at Phony Niners: San Francisco is 0-3, Colin Kaepernick threw for 67 yards, four interceptions and two pick-sixes with two sacks last week and some 49ers fans are trying to sell their $2,000-to-$80,000 PSLs to other suckers at a discount. Everybody was so much happier when players were just getting arrested. Green Bay covers 8.

Jags at Colts: Andrew Luck has worse statistics (5 touchdowns, 7 interceptions) than Blake Bortles (5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions). Well. It’s clear SOMEBODY screwed up their first-round pick. Market correction: Indy covers 9.

Eagles at Natives: Update from Washington: Robert Griffin III still hasn’t dressed for a game. Update from Philadelphia: Chip Kelly still hasn’t coached one. Going with the upset: Washington (take the gift 3).

Lilly’s Pick

A selfie of sheer brilliance: Lilly The Greek pondering this week's pick.

Lilly The Greek

Alabama at Georgia: After nailing the Falcons’ pick last week to move to 3-1, Lilly showed up for work this week with agent Scott Boras on her leash, demanding a new contract and a full column takeover. I countered with a Milk Bone and extra poop bags and reminded her winter is around the corner. She settled. This week, Lilly’s choices were cheese’d pictures of Nick Saban and Mark Richt. She went to Richt’s picture first, sniffed, then went left. UPSET! Lilly picks Bama.

The look on Mark Richt's face suggests he doesn't like Lilly's choice.

The look on Mark Richt’s face suggests he doesn’t like Lilly’s choice.

Scorecard and Sack Schultz update

“I like to play blackjack. I’m not addicted to gambling. I’m addicted to sitting in a semi-circle.” — Mitch Hedberg

Last week: 8-5 straight up, 9-4 against the line (big money).

Bottom dollars: 34-16 straight up, 26-23-1 against the number

Sack Schultz update: Our overall leader is “Hammer63” of Alabama who is 51-9 and clearly cheating. Last week’s winners were John Saunders and Robert Blake at 14-1. You can still enter for great weekly and end-of-season prizes. Go to AJC.com/go/sackschultz2015.

Recent ramblings
Dawgnation: Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions
Dawgnation: Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt for games like this
AJC: Nationals are a more attractive mess than the Braves
AJC: Overreaction Monday: Georgia may be 4-0 but season starts now
Dawgnation: Georgia now can prepare for opponent that matters most: Alabama
Dawgnation: Short takes on Georgia’s win over Southern
AJC: Weekend Predictions: Lilly takes the lead and likes Falcons
MyAJC: Falcons’ fourth-quarter fizzles absent so far under Dan Quinn
AJC: Braves have been more adept at building off field than on it
AJC: Overreaction Monday: Are things as they seem with Falcons, Dogs, Jackets?
Dawgnation: Georgia chases away Spurrier demons with dominating performance
Dawgnation: Short takes: Lambert says, ‘I just had to go through a rough patch’
Dawgnation: Georgia can’t blow game, Tech can’t blow chance
AJC: Weekend Predictions: Tech over Irish, Georgia over South Carolina (but not by 17)
Dawgnation: Tech has something Georgia would like — comfort at quarterback position
MyAJC: An impressive opening by Dan Quinn’s new Falcons
AJC: Short takes: Gruden praises Falcons’ defense after win
Dawgnation: Georgia looks like a shaky 2-0 with its passing game
Dawgnation: Short takes: Another Georgia win but QB issues continue
AJC: Weekend Predictions: I can’t block this Falcons’ upset from my brain
AJC: Poll: I say 9 wins for Falcons, national media mixed, what say you?
MyAJC: Falcons’ late roster scramble not a good sign
AJC: Fredi Gonzalez needs to make more of his losing hand
Dawgnation: Lambert good but didn’t do enough to cement starting job
Dawgnation: Lambert, lightning and the joy of Keith Marshall
MyAJC: Kennesaw State’s little startup off to a dazzling start
AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets roll, Spurrier escapes, Petrino goes down
AJC: Falcons won Julio Jones trade but would like to forget 2012 draft
Dawgnation: Greyson Lambert’s big test won’t come in opener, it will be later
AJC: Hello, football: Thoughts on UGA, Tech, Kennesaw, both GSUs
Dawgnation: It’s Lambert over Ramsey for now, but assume nothing for future at Georgia
AJC: Falcons were never going to let Julio Jones get away

Reader Comments 0

411 comments
Wreck13
Wreck13

Can you put the political BS at the end of the post o the SPORTS FANS don't have to read that crap?


okiemon
okiemon

Bet Jeff has a pretty good record predicting last week's games!


larietta
larietta

UGA Fans to McGarity when they learn Mark Richt is still going to coach the Bulldogs:


UGA Fans: CMR is going to coach our beloved bulldoggies?  Our Bulldoggies?

McGarity: That's right.

UGA Fans: But CMR can't coach.

McGarity: I know

UGA Fans: He's a warm, wonderful person and we love him dearly, but he can't coach.

McGarity: That's true.

UGA Fans: He's kind, considerate, good-hearted - the most gentle person we've ever known, but he can't coach.

McGarity: You're right.

UGA Fans: He's the man we would want our daughters to marry, the man we want as the father of our grandchildren...

McGarity: But he can't coach.

UGA FANS: NOT A LICK!!!

twentysixpointtwo
twentysixpointtwo

Many ask who would you replace Richt with?  If you are dating Rosie O'Donnell and someone says he can line you up with a blind date...you take it.  How much worst can it get?

Reidtt
Reidtt

Great picks Jeff. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

BobDog77
BobDog77

Dooly drove me crazy in some ways, but it worked. Use your D and punting game to flip the field, even if you went three-and-out repeatedly. Sooner or later you'd get in field goal range or maybe even have a RB break off a run for a TD (Herschel). Richt doesn't have the patience, or the punter that Dooley had or Saban has. You just can't out-Alabama Alabama, sadly.

SEP-AU
SEP-AU

I'd have preferred to see UGA win this one, but only because I hate bammer.  On the other hand, it's damn funny to enjoy your misery and to see how you support your Coach Richt.  You Uggers are not better than bammers.

FlatTire
FlatTire

10 Straight years of having at least one absolutely embarrassing choke loss during the season



Stay tuned for the announcement about a contract extension and pay raise from the elite athletic dept UGA has

PigIron
PigIron

@FlatTire

Georgia could lose to Florida and Auburn and still have a 10 win season if they win their bowl game.

Not too shabby...

FlatTire
FlatTire

@PigIron  UGA could also win 6 games and guess what?  No one will care just like they won't care if UGA wins 10 games; neither gets you a championship or respect 


both show you couldn't take care of business

Mutley
Mutley

UGA is lot like that truck stuck in the mud , can't move forward, can't move backward, just stuck. Until the tow truck comes (new coach) this program ain't going nowhere.

OH:IO
OH:IO

dogs:


16 in coaches


haha

moh236
moh236

How many more decades of this are we going to have to endure before something is done? I had enough of it years ago, but he's still here.

Good person, but a terrible coach in big games. Long overdue for a change.

I would rather see Pruitt as HC, at least he seems to actually care.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Next week's story lines for Ga/Tenn.

1) Battle of the incompetent coaching staffs.

2) Will Tenn. play for 4 quarters?

3) Can Ga. even play for 1 quarter?

4) Will Ga.'s Quarterback be able to throw the ball over the line of scrimmage.

5) Will Ga.s stay puff marshmallow offensive lineman actually block this game?

6) Has it finally dawned on UGA's athletic department that Richt is a moron?


OH:IO
OH:IO

One word for dogs:


Outback

OH:IO
OH:IO

Would someone tell Chip no one reads dog local interest. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

Got to hand it to Richt, when he decides to not have his team prepared, he really goes all out, Offense, Defense, Special Teams.  Not a single unit looked like they had been coached or prepared at all during the week.  It's hard to be that incompetent, but "Epic Fail" Richt has mastered that.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally  Saban tells his guys that they will have be extraordinary to win games like this.  I get the feeling that Richt says the same thing to our guys every game regardless of the opponent.  We prepare for Nick Saban and Alabama the same way we prepare for Louisiana-Monroe and Southern.  There is no sense of urgency or importance about anything.


I really think the guy just doesn't care that much.  I didn't waste precious minutes of my life listening to the clown explain away yet another embarrassing loss after the game but I bet he looked like he was about to fall asleep like he usually does.   

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally The straw that broke the camel's back for me was his attitude after the 2013 Auburn loss.  His players had just played their hearts out only to have victory snatched away from them on a fluke play and he was up there in his press conference smirking about it like it's all fun and games.  What freaking planet is this guy on?  He doesn't live in the real world.  He's never lived in the real world.  He rode Bobby Bowden's coattails to UGA and now he's still living off of two SEC titles he won with Jim Donnan's recruits.  I always get a big kick out of the Disneys when they talk about the bounces never going his way.  Absolutely EVERYTHING has gone this guy's way and it shows when he is faced with a little adversity on the field. 


He doesn't know how to deal with it and therefore his team doesn't either. 

BobDog77
BobDog77

He didn't have anything to do with that fluke play.mim not a fan, but I won't put that one on him.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@dawg fan @Big Wally He gave his usual comments after these 'non-coached' games; "still have a lot to play for", blah, blah, blah.  Richt will go down in history as "never has any other coach ever had so much talent, yet did so little with it".

Big Wally
Big Wally

I wish CBS would quit showing Dawg games.  We belong on ESPN Ocho.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally  We're a big TV draw because we always have some great individual players to create an interesting story line and our performances are wild and unpredictable which is entertaining. 


The Disneys often mistake this kind of attention for relevance on the field.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Yesterday was a perfect example of how one team practices hitting, blocking and tackling.  The other practices hopscotch and tiddlywinks.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@Big Wally I could tell we were going to lose and possibly lose big after only the first couple of series.  They were getting waaaaay more push up front than we were on both sides of the ball.  Then we panic and start trying to fling the ball all over the field like it's a flag football game.  It was classic Mark Richt Football.


This guy wouldn't know how to coach big time SEC football if his life depended on it. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

2007:


Tennessee 35 Georgia 17


2008: 


Alabama 41 Georgia 30 (Down 30-0 at the half)

Florida 49 Georgia 10


2009:


Tennessee 45 Georgia 19

Florida 41 Georgia 17


2011:


LSU 42 Georgia 10


2012:


South Carolina 35 Georgia 7


2014:


Florida 38 Georgia 20


2015:


Alabama 38 Georgia 10





I really didn't see yesterday's blow out coming.  Who knew Georgia could lose in such humiliating fashion?  There's no precedent for it. 


2016 is our year though!!!  The Golden Era is near!!!  I can just feel it!!!!





OH:IO
OH:IO

@dawg fan


Signing Day is but a few months away, dogs


Let not your hearts be troubled. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@dawg fan

Whaddaya mean there's no precedent for it!?

You just cited several precedents in your post.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @dawg fan It truly is a shame that there are not enough OSU fans who can read and write so that they could have their own blog.  

Big Wally
Big Wally

After 15 years of this simpleton as a coach, we should no longer be disappointed or shocked when we see a UGA performance like this.  He usually has 2 or 3 of these face plants every year.  We should be shocked when he actually coaches a good game in big games that matter.

Big Wally
Big Wally

The AJC should run a contest for a Richt nickname;

a) Face Plant Richt,

b) Richt the ridiculous,

c) Epic fail Richt,

d) "Big Game" Richt,

e) Mark "we still have a lot to play for" Richt.

BobbyDawg
BobbyDawg

I'm not impressed with the Dawgs new o coordinator. At least Bobo would have had a few tricks up his sleeve.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@BobbyDawg  Yeah because we never got humiliated and destroyed while Bobo was the OC at all.  That never happened.


Sure thing buddy.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@BobbyDawg He wasn't good in the NFL.  Nothing suggests he would be good in college.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Unlike all the trolls, I will give credit and congratulations to an opponent.

Congratulations Bama. You played a good game and were the better team on Saturday.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@HotDawg  Who is not giving credit to Bama?  They have a great program and it showed.  They made us look like a Sun Belt team.  I don't think we need to spend a lot of time giving credit to Bama.  The result speaks for itself. 


They did what all great football teams do:  Expose Mark Richt as a fraud head coach.