Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs

According to legend, my favorite source, and certainly a more accurate one than Dallas owner Jerry Jones, who referred to Greg Hardy as a great “leader” and then named Genghis Khan and Attila The Hun as his new coordinators and Mao as special teams coach, Halloween has its origins in the festival of “Samhain,” which came around the ninth century, when Jones last had a soul.

I like to think of this little guy as the Evil Gnome of Florida games past.

I like to think of this little guy as the Evil Gnome of Florida games past.

During Samhain, pastures were cleared, the weather turned cold and it was believed the souls of the dead returned to visit their homes, prompting villagers to light fires and wear masks in hopes of scaring away evil spirits. This tradition continues even today, with children dressing up as witches, demons, goblins, ghosts, NFL owners, presidential candidates, Kardashians and Bobby Petrino.

This year’s Georgia-Florida game falls on Halloween. There hasn’t been such a perfect confluence of events since Eve took a bite of the apple and Adam put on his Marvin Gaye album.

Welcome to the ghosts of Jacksonville past. We need only drift back to last season, when Georgia was favored by 13, and the Underworld laughed that evil laugh, and Mark Richt got that wildebeest look in his eyes, and Florida ran for 418 yards, stepping on corpses along the way, and pounded the Trembling Chihuahuas 38-20.

So here we are again. Except Florida is favored this time. Because Las Vegas will NEVER make that mistake again. The line says Gators by 3. Appropriate. The Dogs may use that many quarterbacks.

If Georgia wins this game, it will be in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East.

“If Georgia wins this game…” How many times have I typed that sentence?

Oh look: a cliff.

Feel free to dance with Dogs and the points. I’ve seen too much. Gators cover 3.

My kind of underworld

Between Mandatory Classes (Optional)

Georgia Tech at Virginia: The Jackets won last week on a 78-yard return following a blocked 56-yard field goal but the best part was watching a panicked Paul Johnson yelling to returner Lance Austin, “Get away from the ball!” Clever, PJ. You fooled us! So note to all opponents: When Johnson looks like all of the blood has rushed from his head, it’s a trick! Jackets cover 6.

Mississippi at Auburn: So I guess the shine has come off Gus Malzahn. Auburn is 3-7 in its last 10 SEC games. Its only conference win this season came by a field goal over Kentucky, which doesn’t really count. It’s most impressive win this year probably came against San Jose State. So this would’ve been a good year to be in the Mountain West. Ole Miss covers 7½.

Prediction? For Auburn?

South Carolina at Texas A&M: Steve Spurrier was planning to go as an invertebrate for Halloween but as it turns out he doesn’t need the costume. Aggies cover the 16½.

Tennessee at Kentucky: Tennessee has a chance to run the table with a remaining schedule of Kentucky, South Carolina, North Texas, Missouri and Vanderbilt. That probably would lead to a contract extension for Butch Jones and fantasies of a national title run in 2016 because nobody in Knoxville would stop to think, “Wait, all we did was beat Kentucky, South Carolina, North Texas, Missouri and Vanderbilt.” Citrus Bowl Drive: Vols cover 8½.

Every SEC fan rolled into one (tip from reader A. Bowman)

Syracuse at Florida State: Syracuse thought bubble: “Just get it over with.” Seminoles cover 20½.

Louisville at Wake Forest: Bobby Petrino is now like the harmless, old innkeeper in a Scooby Doo cartoon after the kids realized he was the one making all of those ghost noises because he didn’t want the Walmart built. Louisville covers 12.

Virginia Tech at Boston College: B.C. is the orange marshmallow circus peanuts of college football. Hokies cover 2.

Miami at Duke: The  formation of a search committee to replace coach Al Golden has been pushed back to October of 2027, when Nevin Shapiro is released from federal prison. Complete coincidence. See, this is what happens when you try to run a clean, felony-free program in south Florida. Duke covers 10.

Pros and Cons

Matt Ryan needs a market correction Sunday.

Matt Ryan needs a market correction Sunday.

Tampa Bay at Falcons: Not to alarm anybody but rookie Jameis Winston’s touchdown-to-interception ratio (9-7) is almost the same as Matt Ryan’s (9-6). If this isn’t market correction week, there’s a problem. Falcons cover 7.

Seahawks at Pompeii: Neanderthal Greg Hardy already was admonished for his behavior by combustible teammate Dez Bryant and now he’s being called out by Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, who three years ago was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. So there you go. Hardy even gives crazy a bad name. Seattle covers 6.

Giants at Saints: Sean Payton admitted this week the Saints were targeting wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in the draft but New York took him first. Just as well. Payton can coach him next year. Saints cover 3.

Rams' future is brighter than St. Louis'.

Rams’ future is brighter than St. Louis’.

49ers at Rams: The NFL held a public hearing for Rams fans on the St. Louis stadium issue this week. One league official, Cynthia Hogan, said, “After listening to all of the speakers tonight, it’s hard for me to imagine there’s a city in the United States that has better fans.” Question: So why were five metal detectors and three bomb-sniffing dogs needed at the theater? (No, seriously.) San Francisco has a stadium but it doesn’t have Todd Gurley: Rams cover 8½.

Packers at Broncos: Peyton Manning is way funnier than Aaron Rodgers in commercials. But 7 touchdowns/10 interceptions vs. 15 touchdowns/2 interceptions? Not so funny. Sing this, Peyton: “Na-tion-wide-is-switch-ing-sides.” Packers cover 3.

Colts at Panthers: Since a 3-8-1 start last season, Carolina has won 10 straight regular season games and is 11-1 including the playoffs. Meanwhile, Chuck Pagano’s parking key card stopped working this week but the Colts told him they can’t get him a new one until January. (They always fall for that.) Carolina wins but take Indy and 7.

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

Lilly prefers cigars to rawhides.

Lilly’s Pick

Georgia vs. Florida: I don’t believe Lilly has ever gone against her species in this game. But this year was a test. Salami pieces were slapped up on pictures of mascots Uga (right) and Albert (left). Lilly didn’t hesitate. She went straight to Albert. GATORS!

Accountability scorecard

football-gambling“There are many harsh lessons to be learned from the gambling experience but the harshest one of all is the difference between having fun and being smart.” – Hunter S. Thompson.

Last week: 11-2 straight up, 7-6 against the line.

Bottom line: 72-32 straight up; 52-50-2 against the line.

Sack Schultz update: Code name “Hammer63” from Alabama leads with 93 wins as we head down the stretch for the Chick-fil-A Bowl tickets and the $2.5000 Apple gift card. I’m within striking distance at 83. Weekly prize winners last week: Linda Owens (12-3) and Daniel Conlin (13-2) To enter, go to AJC.com/go/sackschultz2015.

I'm pretty sure Lilly's picture is on "WANTED" posters at kennels all over Athens.

I’m pretty sure Lilly’s picture is on “WANTED” posters at kennels all over Athens.

Recent ramblings
Georgia’s quarterback problems fall at Mark Richt’s feet
Budenholzer can coach but can he build a champion?
Overreaction Monday: Ryan’s off, Tech’s alive and Georgia…
Georgia Tech has unforgettable moment in otherwise forgettable season
• Short takes on Georgia Tech’s miracle win over Florida State
Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, ACC miserable
(Full column) Rick Pitino should lose job, culpable for Louisville mess
Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits
Overreaction Monday: Would Richt give Ramsey another look?
Misery like this shouldn’t happen at Georgia Tech
Short takes: Tech’s run of bowls, non-losing ACC seasons will end
Falcons flash some of their ugly past in loss to Saints
• Short takes: Falcons still plagued by poor pass rush, turnovers
Weekend Predictions: Spurrier, Cubs, Playboy…and Georgia can still win SEC East!
• Spurrier changed face of SEC, and then he walked out the back door
Health would be Spurrier’s only good excuse for retiring in middle of season
• Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs — and claims of, ‘I didn’t know’ ring hollow
Overreaction Monday: Chubb’s loss isn’t Georgia’s only problem
• There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia’s season
• Short takes: After loss, Georgia is trailing even Kentucky in SEC East
• It’s too late to save season but Sefolosha deserved to hear words, ‘Not guilty’
Weekend Predictions: No fantasy, Chihuahuas will rebound (I think)
Braves may have a plan but it will be a while before masses buy in
Here’s your Depressed Braves Fan viewing guide to the postseason
Overeaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt
Falcons 4-0, Freeman 7 TDs — who didn’t see that coming?
• Short takes: An easy Falcons win, and this is a team to take seriously
Richt and Georgia fall off stage again when it matters most
Short takes: Georgia’s reality check — there’s a problem at quarterback
Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions
Weekend Predictions: Nothing sinister here – Dogs over Bama
Georgia hired Jeremy Pruitt for games like this
Nationals are a more attractive mess than the Braves
Overreaction Monday: Georgia may be 4-0 but season starts now
Georgia now can prepare for opponent that matters most: Alabama
Short takes on Georgia’s win over Southern
Weekend Predictions: Lilly takes the lead and likes Falcons
Falcons’ fourth-quarter fizzles absent so far under Dan Quinn
Braves have been more adept at building off field than on it
Overreaction Monday: Are things as they seem with Falcons, Dogs, Jackets?
Georgia chases away Spurrier demons with dominating performance
Short takes: Lambert says, ‘I just had to go through a rough patch’
Georgia can’t blow game, Tech can’t blow chance

Reader Comments 0

739 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Well, now I've got to concentrate on putting the "Gris Gris" on LSU. Gotta stop Fournette and make them throw it. Can't let them pull another "No Kick Six" which is now known as the "Gators Chomped"


Yep! I know how embarrassing it is only too well. The Tide is still smarting from the "Kick Six" against Auburn

TideDawg
TideDawg

I've been asleep all night. Has Jeff Schultz got any coaches fired with his inflammatory comments. This guy jumps on and off the band wagon so often it's a wonder he hasn't worn out the wagon.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO Uh oh, OV:IO, they are even talking about Tom Herman on 680 the fan.  I see this picking up speed.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Where will the dogs practice today?


It's raining and chilly!!

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO If you watched any of their games this year, you would realize  that they don't spend much time practicing.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Florida fans are happy for another year, or at least until they play FSU and the SEC champion. I have to admit, I didn't think they looked very good offensively. Defense is SEC quality but you have to realize they will be playing against one that is their equal or better......depending on who makes it to the SECCG. Ala., LSU, or Ole Miss.....they can score....can the Gators stop them? If it comes down to a high scoring game the Gators are woefully inadequate and the high scores won't be on their side of the ledger. The Gators may have won their way into a slaughter house where they will be going down that ramp to the heavy hammer. Chomp! Chomp!.


Another thought: What if MclLwain comes back next year and does what Malzahn has done at Auburn this year?

TampGator1
TampGator1

@TideDawg


Yeah....that Ole Miss team put down the hammer on the Gators in Gainesville.  They totally dominated the Gators when they rolled over Florida in Gainesville this year, didn't they?  NOT.  And LSU just dominated them 35 to 28....in Baton Rouge.  I think the Gators will hold their own vs. FSU in THE SWAMP and Bama.....and LSU or Ole Miss again.....in Atlanta.  But the Gators must first handle Vandy and/or South Carolina before even thinking of Atlanta.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Nothing like a florida victory to bring Tampon Gator out with a 1000 comments.  Class.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Big Wally


Hardly 1,000......coming from the one who has been raving all summer and fall about how bad the Gators would be this year......and how great the Dawgs would be.  Dish....but can't take....I would say (and notice..... no insults or personal attacks in my post back to you)  But, yes, I have been enjoying 20 out of the last 28 years the Gators and Dawgs have met up in JAX.  And didn't you and Dawg Nole challenge me to come back on here if the Gators lost?  YES, you did.  Well, news for you.  Gators 27, Georgia 3.  And yes, I enjoyed every moment of it and will again for another year. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Big Wally 


Yes, the Gators won very classy on Saturday.  I am sure not a single Gator called a Dawg player....UGLA Dawg....or....in you style.....something far worse and insulting.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@TampGator1 @Big Wally Your dementia is kicking in.

1) I have never said one thing this year nor any year about the Gators being bad, 

2) nor have I ever said anything about how great the dawgs are/will be.  After 15 years of Richt I learned a long time ago that we will be an underachieving team.  Hence the reason why I have wanted him fired for about 10 years now.

3) If you are going to throw insults my way at least be accurate on my stances.

4) Coming on a Dawg Blog after losing and yaking about the Gators is childish and immature on your part, but I would expect nothing less from you.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

I realize no one but trolls and juveniles will read this, but..............


1. The game plan yesterday by the Georgia coaches was an excellent one.  The Georgia players failed to execute it.....especially the Georgia receivers who consistently let their freshman (RS) down with key drops, bobbles and bad routes.  The defensive game plan for Harris was outstanding and shut down the Florida offense for much of the day.  Georgia has a very good defense.


2. I am sure Richt played Bauta yesterday because the previous starter was very immobile and would have been eaten up by the Florida defensive front 7, which is one of the best in the country.  Bauta moved around very well in the pocket and avoided several sacks and, if not for the great play by Florida's defensive end (McCallister) on the Hargreaves INT, Bauta would have thrown the ball to a wide open WR running down the sideline for a TD, making it a very different game at 13 to 7.  In that instance, football is a game of inches.


3, The Florida front 4 was just to much for the Georgia OL to handle without a consistent passing game (inconsistent due to drops, etc by the Georgia WRs....and poor routes from what I saw from the sidelines.  And Florida's linebackers were just too quick and good on running plays for the most part.


4. The Florida DBs made some great reads and plays yesterday.  The one play by Tabor (causing an INT) in the end zone was remarkable and typical of how Florida's DBs have played most of the time this year.  The Florida DBs just were so much better than the Georgia receivers.  Not much separation on most plays.  Hard for Bauta to complete many passes in so many tight spaces.  He tried....and it hurt him with INTs 4 times.


5. I thought the Georgia DC had a great plan for the Gators and shut down Florida passing the ball for the most part.  But Harris got outside and made some big plays at times, both running and passing.  Hard to shut him down the entire game.  He is a great athlete and plays with a smart head on his shoulders most of the time.


Frankly, Georgia is not winning the East this year (other than losing to the Gators) due to Chubb being injured and just not having a QB of SEC caliber at the moment.  Florida suffered from that for 5 long years until this year.  That falls on Richt for bad recruiting at that position (and at WR).  And I am completely baffled as to why Georgia does not use their TE more in games (although he was held in a lot yesterday to help block a great Florida DL). 


Fire Richt is you want.  Would be a big mistake in my opinion.  Good man.  Good coach.  Great recruiter.  With a good QB and Chubb healthy this year......I doubt most of you would be complaining about Richt right now.  If the kid from California is as good as they say he is, then maybe the best years under Richt are still ahead.  And if Richt is fired, or more likely retires, then you just might lose that kid.  Because I am sure Richt is one of the main reasons he is coming to Georgia. 


Anyway, great win by the Gators yesterday.  Love being in JAX every year with family.  Especially when the Gators roll......two years in a row now.....and I believe now.....20 out of the last 28.  That overall margin just keeps on getting smaller (especially when you don't count the game that should not count).


Go Gators.  Go SEC.  (And I apologize in advance for any typing errors Dawg (lost to the Gators) Nole (lost to Georgia Tech) finds.  Of course.....all those typos are because I am the most horrible person on earth.  Just ask him. Or simply wait until he responds to this post...........CHOMP!  CHOMP! 

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TampGator1


tom brown esque


Yep, didn't read it.


You beat an unranked team and the 3rd string QB


chomp chomp my a$$.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@OH:IO 


Suggest you take some reading lessons. Reading is not that big of a challenge.  You can do it. 

Hairy Dawg
Hairy Dawg

Why they letting you cheating Gaytors keep wins from QB playing that cheated. That should be counting as losses and then Dwags be leading division.

WhatExcuseNow
WhatExcuseNow

W o r dssssssssss..........Soooooo sooooo many W o r dssss.

Is there a cliff notes version of this post???

Please, for the love of man, save cyberspace using less words to gloat about FL beating GA. As we have seen, this feat has already been accomplished several times just this season.

TideDawg
TideDawg

@TampGator1  It would appear that you assumed no one on the blog watched the game.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Hairy Dawg


Better question......Why does the AJC keep allowing troll fakes to keep posting nonsense (while acting like a stupid person in the process)?

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Hairy Dawg


Yes, it is hard to intentionally spell 80 percent or more of your posted words incorrectly.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@WhatExcuseNow


Please read (actually) the post.  Hardly a "gloat" in the entire post.  But you would have to have read it to know that.....not assume something.  More of a defense of Mark Richt than a gloat.  But Florida fans have earned the gloating privilege for this year....as they did last year.....as did Georgia fans the previous three years. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Big Wally 


Yes, I am resting up from the travel and fun over in JAX on Saturday.  Resting up in the TV room all day. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@TideDawg 


No assumption about that.  Just expressing my thoughts about Richt and the Georgia game plan yesterday.  I thought they had a very good game plan.  The players failed to execute it on the offensive side of the ball.  D held up well for most of the game.  Florida was just better again this year.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@OH:IO


You read CHOMP CHOMP.  So, I guess you can read a little bit.

UB40
UB40

@TampGator1 

"Fire Richt is you want.  Would be a big mistake in my opinion.  Good man.  Good coach.  Great recruiter. "

Good Man:  Counts a little bit, but doesn't help you win games.

Good Coach:  In a conference with names like Saban, Miles, Sumlin, Mullen, & McElwain, you can count on being out-coached in 3 or more games each season.  And if Missouri had an offense at all, you'd be at 4-4, not 5-3.


Great Recruiter:  Great coaching + great recruiting leads to greatness (See Alabama).  Great recruiting and the type of coaching Richt does leads to disappointment in college...but sending some great players to the NFL...where the coaches know how to utilize their talents.


Just about everyone BUT Richt have been blamed for his 15 years of being "good" but not great.  You know what you're going to get with him and his teams, but what you won't get is a national championship, EVER.



TideDawg
TideDawg

@TampGator1 @TideDawg  No, evidently they had no game plan. Yes, Fl. was better but their season ends in the Sugar Bowl. They are a good team, but in reality they could end their season with 4 losses.(FSU, SECCG, and Sugar Bowl) My math is not that bad....they do already have one loss to go with those 3.

Hairy Dawg
Hairy Dawg

Real problem yesterday was a couple a players stinkying it up with punt fumbles and INTs. You cant turn over like that and win.

We supposed to handing it to Chubb and then getting QB experiences this year. But then Chubb get hurt by that sorry Tenn that done it to Gurley Marshall in 2013 then Chubb this year. Now we got to play with no Chubb and QB didnt experienced like he supposed to. That lead to 4 INTs and sorry punt fumbling that set tone on game.

Hairy Dawg
Hairy Dawg

You wants to blame Schott for calling INT play but think that just on player making dum throwing a the balls. And who told player to fumble punt for TD. That just sorry.

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

What are the odds on 1000 posts for tomorrow's overreaction Monday? Ohio will carry 1/3 of that. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@OH:IO 


The numbers say otherwise.  You be the king.  Must be proud.

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

I don't understand what all the fuss over the loss is about. We can still get to 8-4 and go to either Shreveport or the Nashville bowl. Isn't that the quota now? Everyone needs to have a little optimism!!!

UB40
UB40

@GTroller @Ron Mexico 

"Georgia Southern will be only game UGA wins, I'm afraid."

This is far from a given with Richt at the helm and Lambert, Bauta, or an unproven Ramsey behind center.

OH:IO
OH:IO

chomp chomp tampa.


You beat an unranked team and their 3rd string QB.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@OH:IO


27 to 3.....we beat them in the second biggest rivalry game for the Gators. And at least the team we played was once in the top 25.  Can't say that for any team your said team has played this year.  And you want to know a joke......Iowa is ranked above Florida.  Nice win over a 2-6 Maryland team yesterday.....with their signature win being against North Carolina, the team South Carolina beat earlier in the year.   

FLGators
FLGators

The frustration of some of the dog fans is understandable, because you know The Richt is going nowhere soon. The excuses are already in place, this year it will be because it would cause the dogs to lose Eason. Then next year they will say The Richt can not blamed, the QB is only a freshmen. So it is painfully apparent to you that The Richt will be around at least two more seasons, maybe more. Your angst is understood but we love it.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Big Wally 


Is that old story all you got now? 38 to 20 and 27 to 3 the last two years (and over 600 yards rushing combined) and no AH around for you to use anymore.  You and many others need a new line to hang onto.

dawg fan
dawg fan

LOL @ McGarity.  Don't you just know this guy is on pins and needles hoping and praying we can get to 9 or 10 wins this year so he doesn't have to do his job and make a tough decision.  This guy is a joke and was all talk when he came here.  UGA football is a cash cow and as long as it's still selling t-shirts and cokes it will be business as usual.  It's embarrassing.  I'd rather be 0-12 every year than have to put up with this farce. 


What a joke. 

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

@dawg fan And firing butt cut jesus would cost $16 million I assume. That would cut into our profit margins too much. He'll be back.

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

@dawg fan Our only hope is for Miami to go after him, which is doubtful.  I'd waive the buyout if the U wants him.