Hey Jenny Slater, one of the sickeningly high number of skilled bloggers for the spelling-challenged Dawgs, has the latest installment of the BlogPoll Roundtable.
1. By the end of the season, some previously unheralded teams' bandwagons will be so full they'll be having to bump passengers and offer them free vouchers and first-class upgrades; others will have emptied out in a big way. On whose bandwagon are you already scrambling to save a seat? Conversely, which team's bandwagon is being driven by Toonces the Driving Cat, prompting you to leap off now before it careens over a cliff to its fiery death below?
Having placed Michigan as No. 2 in the preseason BlogPoll, that has to be the bandwagon I'm jumping off now. I don't think they'll have an apocalyptically bad, 1-11 season by any means. But I'm not even sure they're going to be rankable. I could see 7-5 or even (horror of horrors) 6-6 happening. As for the bandwagon I'm climbing on -- that's Miami. Unlike FSU, they handled themselves nicely (at least from the box score perspective) in their opener against (granted) a non-threatening foe. The only pitfall? Kirby Freeman can't continue to "control" the game, particularly going into Oklahoma.
2. What do you think was opening weekend's biggest mirage -- either a "big win" over a team that isn't really as good as everyone thinks, or an embarrassing loss (or embarrassingly close win) that won't seem quite as embarrassing by season's end?
I know this is going to be seen as a homer pick, and I know it's contradictory to my jumping them into the BlogPoll, and I know Kyle will probably destroy me again, but I have to say Georgia. I'm not saying the defeat of Oklahoma State University wasn't impressive. But it also wasn't worthy of ranking UGA No. 1, whatever your method. Instead of being a game which should be seen as a sign that Georgia might be better than the middling SEC program I predicted, it's being seen as THE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED!!! ATLANTA OR BUST!!!!!! First games are notoriously misleading, and I say this one was no different.
3. Compared to how you felt Friday night, how do you feel now about your team's chances this season? I'm not just talking about your impressions of your own team -- also take into account their prospects relative to this year's opponents, whom you've also gotten a little more acquainted with after this past weekend's action.
Obviously, the 28-14 score against La-La has me scared. And Georgia (while not the No. 1 team in the division, much less the conference or the country) is looking better than I thought, which has me scared. And Florida looks mighty -- but I already had them pegged to beat South Carolina and better us in the division. Overall, I actually feel worse about South Carolina now than before the season.
4. Looking at how those future opponents performed this past weekend, which developments are you most excited about? Which of your opponents' performances have you a little worried?
Aforementioned Georgia claims the worry category, which must come first in any post by a South Carolina fan. As for the excited part, that would be Tennessee. Their defensive line was handled by Cal, which should mean our offensive line can hold their own. Which makes the prospects for beating them perhaps better than I had anticipated.
5. There are now 32 bowls in D-IA football, meaning 64 bowl teams, meaning any given team now stands a better-then-50-percent chance of going to a bowl. To get that number under 50 percent, we'd have to eliminate three bowls. Which ones would you get rid of?
As someone who previewed every bowl game last year, and very nearly fell into a psychotic episode because of it, I have to heartily endorse the idea. First, get rid of the Chik-fil-A Bowl and bring back the Peach Bowl, though that would be a wash in the number of postseason games. For its sheer elevation of prostitution to an art form, get rid of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl presented by Bridgestone. Also dispense with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, which seems like both a cheap play on our patriotism and a sleazy tribute to the military-industrial complex. And if I have to chose just one of the remaining bowls, kill the International Bowl. College football should not be played in Canada. Even by Candians.
6. And finally, in 50 words or less, how happy are you that it's finally football season again?
God. Family. America. College football. Come fall, it's those priorities in that order.