Friday, November 23, 2007

How do you like your turkey? With gravy or when it coaches Ole Miss?

Yes, the holiday had me miss another Grizz prediction, however since we are now officially into the holiday spirit, I give myself - another win. And that's that.

Also, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at 730 ESPN. I hope everyone had a safe and happy day with the family. I am currently back in Bama, but I did get a chance to check out the Egg Bowl earlier today...

I have defended Coach Orgeron in the past, saying that he needed time and was given an empty cupboard to start with and has recruited well. Brent Schaeffer turned out to be a bit of a bust, and he is just coaching during a time that Auburn, LSU, and Arkansas have all been hot. It's hard to be successful when all of those things are going on.

But Friday - I had no defense for the man. Talk about giving a game away. Let's start in the when Ole Miss is up 7-0 with just under 10 minutes to go in the half. Ole Miss' defense is playing out of sight, and the Rebels can pin the Bulldogs deep with a punt, get a stop, and start out with great field position to close the half.

But noooooooooooooooooooo!!!!! Coach O straps it on and decides to go for it on his own 49 on a fake punt. No dice. Somehow the Rebels escape the half with the lead 7-0. But this is a terrible call where it can only give the Bulldogs momentum. Coach O gets lucky here.

TiVo on up to the 4th quarter, 12:20 on the clock. 4th and 1. On their OWN 49. WITH A 14-0 LEAD.

Coach O goes for it. And doesn't get it. Loses 3 yards.


State turns around and scores a touchdown, taking only 2:14. (GO STATE!! - pause - GO STATE!!) And State is back in the ballgame.

State eventually wins the game due to some special teams plays and the fact that ABSOLUTELY NO ONE for Ole Miss can catch a pass. No one.

But I've got to go back to this unnecessary aggressiveness from Coach O. From what I understand, 7-0 & 14-0 are NOT unusual football scores. Especially when you are ahead, when your defense is playing like gangbusters, and you're not exactly playing an offensive juggernaut in Mississippi State. It just doesn't make sense. And I think it's poor guidance and decision-making from the coaching staff.

Going into the game, all reports were that Coach O will be back next year. He better be, because he owes Ole Miss a win. Because he gave this one away.

Aside from that rant, the Iron Bowl is the big game here in my home state (AND YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE GAME ON 730 ESPN!!! - shameless plug). The buzz down here is kind of so-so, as I think the Thanksgiving holiday just throws everybody off-schedule. But from the few fanatics I've talked to, the Bammers all feel really good about the game and are convinced that Saban will have the team bounce back from the embarrassment last week.

I say they are crazy. Bama has been awful all year on the road (Vandy doesn't count, and they didn't even play great there.), and I see no reason why that would change here. Bama has regressed, and it seems that JP Wilson has been watching tapes of Brandon Cox, since for the last 4 games JP has managed to do nothing but hold onto the ball for waaaaaaayyy too long and stare down receivers. He might even do it better than Cox. Guess we'll have to wait till Saturday night to tell.

My pick for that game, though it pains me, will be the Tigers by 10. At least.

Oh yeah, there's a Grizz game tonight, so I'll give you a pick that you can be thankful for.

The Pick:
Memphis +12'
(The public knows not...)