This week I will present five good questions for southern college football fans. I won’t necesssarily answer the questions, but will leave them for you to ponder for a few days. Give them some seriosu thought and see what you can come up with.
Question #1—Can Georgia beat Alabama in the SEC Championship game on Saturday? You know, I think they can, but I don’t think that they will. I feel that the best way for the Dawgs to defeat the Tide is for quarterback Aaron Murray to have a quality game through the air. He needs to pick the Alabama secondary apart. The Tide secondary is not as solid as past Bama teams and they can be had. Problem is that Murray has not been so good in Georgia’s “big games” in the past. In Georgia’s last three games against top-rated teams, LSU last year and South Carolina and Florida this year, he has thrown six interceptions and only two TDs. He has got to be better in this one for the Dogs to reign supreme. Alabama will move the ball and score so Georgia has to get of to a good start and put pressure on the Tide, just like Texas A&M did. The question is will they? What do you think?
Question #2—Should Georgia Tech be allowed to go to a bowl game if they lose to Florida State on Saturday? The Jackets will play Florida State for the ACC Championship on Saturday even though they have a 6-6 record. They are a solid underdog and if they should lose they will have a 6-7 record. NCAA regulations state that a team cannot go to a bowl with a losing record. Tech has applied to the NCAA for an exemption from this rule, which would allow them to be invited to a bowl. A similar exemption was granted to UCLA last season. Whata ya think? Should a school be allowed to play in a bowl with a losing record? All of you Georgia fans try to forget that this situation involves Georgia Tech and give the question fair consideration. Just to give you an indication of what I think, I feel that a team should be required to have at least seven wins to go to a bowl in the first place. To go with a losing record is really embarrassing. Of course Tech can settle this question by beating FSU and going to the Orange Bowl. What’s your take on this one?
Question #3—-Should Florida State get out of the ACC in order to improve it’s football standing? Except for a few seasons, Florida State has been the top football program in the ACC since it joined the league. The Seminoles have received decent national respect over the years, but FSU has never really received the attention that goes to the top SEC schools. Can the ‘Noles ever be taken seriously as a member of the reeling and weakened ACC? Would they be a yearly national contender if they were a member of the SEC? Would SEC membership and weekly competition within the nation’s most dominant conference toughen their players and improve their performance? Does the SEC even want FSU? Yes I know that that is more than one question, but they kinda fit together. The SEC has an unwritten about adding schools from states where they already have a conference member. Do you think that Florida would work to keep FSU out of the SEC? Oops, that’s another question! I really feel that the SEC will add two more schools in the next 3-4 years so why not add Florida State to the SEC West and Clemson to the SEC East? I’m sorry but these question just seem to keep popping up. Oh well, what do you think? Should Florida State pursue member ship in the SEC? Interesting!
Question #4—Will any SEC hire Bobby Petrino as their head football coach? There were four SEC schools looking for new head football coaches before Kentucky hired Mark Stoops. That leaves three looking for a new head man unless another hire is made before this column is printed. The name Bobby Petrino just keeps popping as these schools look for a man to head up their pigskin program. Tennessee, Arkansas, and Auburn are still spots where Petrino could land. Well, he won’t go to Arkansas since he’s already blown that opportunity and it seems that Tennessee is looking in a different direction. That leaves Auburn, where Petrino has coached before and still has a few friends still on the campus. Oh My Gosh, I hope not! I believe that Petrino will win no matter where he lands. He has proved that he is a quality coach at the collegiate level and can win big in the SEC. But before you get to the victory circle you have to consider his personal demons that may outweigh any on-field accomplishments. In my opinion, Petrino would not be a popular hire at Auburn. Auburn supporters are looking for a quality coach with no baggage who can recruit and win within the NCAA rules. Is Petrino that man?
#5—Is Florida a more deserving representative than Alabama in the National Championship game? OK, I know that Alabama has to beat Georgia to go to the title game but let’s just say they do. Then, is Florida a better and more deserving representative? I heard a very persuasive argument on a national talk radio program a few days ago that said that Florida should go to the title game before Bama. All right, settle down Alabama fans, here’s the argument. First, ignore the “eye test.” That means you can’t say that you have seen both team play and Alabama is obviously a better team. The “eye test” doesn’t matter. Simply look at the schedules. Florida has played four Top Ten teams this year (Texas A&M, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina) and beaten three. Alabama has played three (LSU, Mississippi State and Texas A&M) and beaten two. The Mississippi State win doesn’t look so good now since the Bulldogs have tumbled late in the year. Florida’s loss to Georgia on a neutral field doesn’t look nearly as bad as Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M on their home turf. Alabama’s cross-over games were against Missouri and Tennessee, two of the eastern divisions weakest teams. Florida’s cross-over tilts were against LSU and Texas A&M, two of the western divisions toughest squads. Both have 11-1 records! I’m not saying that Florida is a better team or that they could beat Alabama. I’m just stating the obvious. I also know that the Tide won their division and the Gators didn’t. Yeah, I know you don’t want to ignore the “eye test” and maybe you shouldn’t. This is a good question to mull over with friends. It may have some merit!