Reverse Barometer: What to Look For

Posted on September 12th, by Rob Scichili in All. 1 Comment


SEC East Title Game?

Game of the day has to go to Georgia at South Carolina, simply because it could decide the SEC East and we’re only three weeks into the season.

hi-res-7611438_crop_northThe Ole Ball Coach has been scratching his head over his team’s performance in the first two games, a squad that was picked by many to win the East. The fact is – the Gamecocks cannot survive a loss to Georgia this Saturday and hope to be playing in Atlanta in early December.

The key to the game is clearly South Carolina’s defense. Can they slow down Todd Gurley enough to stay in the contest? I think they will slow Gurley, but what about quarterback Hutson Mason? Something tells me people will know who he is after Saturday. Dawgs 38, Cocky 20


Big 12 Statement

Bob Stoops likes to pick his spots when talking about how the Big 12 stacks up against the SEC. This week isn’t one of them, as he tends to let his team do the talking on the field when an SEC opponent comes along like Tennessee this Saturday.

Bob-Stoops-1024x925Tennessee has some good wide receivers, better than most know about. They’ll keep it close. In the first half. OU should pull away in the second half, and Bob will have fodder to crow about down the road. OU 42, UT (see what I did there?) 20

That’s a good thing for the Big 12, who also play against foes this weekend like UCLA (Texas), Maryland (West Virginia), and Iowa (Iowa State). I smell a 2-2 record, with West Virginia joining OU in the win column.

UCLA vs. Texas at Jerry World. Smells like a rout. And my sense of smell is quite good these days. First off, you need a quarterback. Nope, Texas doesn’t have one. How about an offensive line? Will half of one work? No. Defense? OK, they did hold BYU to only six points in the first half last week. Too bad they’re not playing just 30 minutes vs. the Bruins.

This one gets ugly in the third quarter. UCLA 55, Texas 13


Stats don’t Lie

Baylor plays at Buffalo Saturday. I wish it were vs. the Bills. Buffalo is an all-time 1-9 against ranked opponents. Baylor’s schedule is as soft as you can get these days. Considering they probably won’t face a ranked team until the second half of the season (and it might be two, at that), someone better order up some fluffy pillows for the sideline to go with the schedule.

By the way, I’m not a doctor, but I wouldn’t advise playing in a football game with a fractured vertebrae. Bryce Petty, you need to sit and heal up son. Baylor 62, Buffalo 10.


Carrying the Flag

Don’t look now, but Penn State has just become one the Big 10’s best chances at getting to the College Football Playoff. Really. There are only four spots and not every conference champion will make it. Considering that the SEC champ, Pac-12 champ and Florida State are heavy favorites to each land one of the spots, that leaves the Big 12 champ, Big 10 champ, Notre Dame and the SEC and Pac-12 runner-ups to battle it out for that last spot. In other words, the Big 10 champion better be undefeated overall to get in.

11613_pointthatfinger_600The Nittany Lions have been pardoned from the sanctions laid down on the program back in 2012 and can now play in the 2014 post-season. Their schedule is very favorable: they get Ohio State and Michigan State at home, with road games to Michigan in a down year, Indiana and Illinois.

One of their tougher hurdles might come Saturday at Rutgers. QB Christian Hackenberg is throwing for 386.5 yards per game, and that spells trouble for a Rutgers defense that allows yards like a hot knife through butter. PSU 30, Rutgers 17

Rob Scichili

Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks,, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.

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