2015 SEC Football TV Schedule

Hey now! Just takin a break from the bee-u-ti-full sunshine at Fan HQ to let y’all know about what’s in store on the Tee-Vee for the first three weeks of the upcoming SEC Football Season!

We gotcha some real tackle football and y’all need to make your plans (as in cancelling all yore Saturday engagements) so you can get in yo comfy chair and watch some real “Must See TV” Here ya go:

September 3
6 p.m. – South Carolina vs. North Carolina (Charlotte) – ESPN
8 p.m. ET – Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt – SEC Network

September 5
Noon ET – ULM at Georgia – SEC Network
Noon ET – Tennessee-Martin at Ole Miss – SEC Network (Alternate)
3:30 p.m. ET – Auburn vs. Louisville (Atlanta) – CBS
3:30 p.m. ET – UTEP at Arkansas – SEC Network
4:00 p.m. – Southeast Missouri State at Missouri – SEC Network
4 p.m. ET – Bowling Green at Tennessee – SEC Network
7 p.m. ET – Texas A&M vs. Arizona State (Houston) – ESPN
7 p.m. ET – Louisiana at Kentucky – SEC Network
7:30 p.m. ET – New Mexico State at Florida – SEC Network
7:30 p.m. ET – McNeese State at LSU – SEC Network (Alternate)
8 p.m. ET – Alabama vs. Wisconsin (Arlington, Texas) – ABC
10 p.m. ET – Mississippi State at Southern Miss – Fox Sports 1

September 12
Noon ET – Jacksonville State at Auburn – SEC Network
Noon ET – Missouri at Arkansas State – ESPN3
3:30 p.m. ET – Fresno State at Ole Miss – ESPN2 or ESPNU
3:30 p.m. ET – Georgia at Vanderbilt – CBS
4 p.m. ET – Middle Tennessee at Alabama – SEC Network
4 p.m. ET – Toledo at Arkansas – SEC Network (Alternate)
6 p.m. ET – Oklahoma at Tennessee – ESPN
7 p.m. ET – East Carolina at Florida – ESPN2
7 p.m. ET – Ball State at Texas A&M – ESPNU
7:30 p.m. ET – Kentucky at South Carolina – SEC Network
9:15 p.m. ET – LSU at Mississippi State – ESPN

September 19
Noon ET – UConn at Missouri – ESPNU
Noon ET – Nevada at Texas A&M – SEC Network
3:30 p.m. ET – Auburn at LSU – CBS
4 p.m. ET – Northwestern State at Mississippi State – SEC Network
4 p.m. ET – Austin Peay at Vanderbilt – SEC Network (Alternate)
6 p.m. ET – South Carolina at Georgia – ESPN
7 p.m. ET – Texas Tech at Arkansas – ESPN2
7 p.m. ET – Western Carolina at Tennessee – ESPNU
7:30 p.m. ET – Florida at Kentucky – SEC Network
9:15 p.m. ET – Ole Miss at Alabama – ESPN

We got some FUN ™ comin-atcha.

See you in a few weeks!

[schedule courtesy of Roll Bama Roll]

Alabama 35, Ohio St. 42

Well that was not nearly as much fun as it was supposed to be, was it? We knew that this team was not the most gifted Alabama team of the century, but it had demonstrated something that has been missing over the past few years – a resiliency and unwillingness to give up AND this was a necessity because of the second tendency of this team to give up heart-ripping turnovers at the absolute worst times. With the exception of the Ole Miss game, they were able to overcome the careless, sloppy play. But when it happened again yesterday, they weren’t. And when you play carelessly, you should lose. And that’s what happened.

College football is a highly emotional, psychological game. Your playing teenagers (or just-out-of-the-teen-years players) and they are not psychologically stable (another way of saying “immature”). Little things, said or done, sometimes can make big differences in the play of a team. So, think of the situation:

Ohio State had the fact that they were facing THE SEC’s BEST TEAM shoved down their throats all month – that, along with the fact that they had NO CHANCE to win the game.

They hear (ALL MONTH) about how their coach was humiliated by Alabama’s coach in their last meeting (AND HOW IT’S BOUND TO HAPPEN AGAIN).

They hear about how slow, overrated, and inferior their conference is when compared to the SEC.

In short, they’ve been told every day that in spite of the fact they’ve had a very nice season, it’s going to end when they play Alabama. They. Can’t. Win.

But then Michigan State (a team they defeated) beats Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. And then, in the Restaurant Bowl, Wisconsin (a team they DESTROYED) beats Awbarn (the mighty SEC team that had Alabama by 12 points in the 3rd quarter!). Urban Meyer points it out. The team listens. And they get more and more confident and angry over the disrespect they’re receiving.

Then the game starts and they make Bama go three and out. THEN they get a long run and even though they have to settle for a field goal – all of a sudden they realize, “Hey, this team has players just like us. We can make plays. They can be beat.”

If the Tide had been able to score one more TD after getting ahead 21-6 (to make the score 28-6) – the ending of this game might have been different. Not that they had been playing all that well up to this point. The main reason they had the lead was because of Buckeye turnovers. But a TD drive at that point in the 2nd quarter would have been a big blow to the Ohio St psyche.

Instead, they were stopped again and the Buckeyes went on a 28-0 run (2 TDs before the end of the half and 2 in the 3rd quarter, before the Tide could score in response). That, coupled with the two turnovers from Blake Sims (one interception returned for a TD and another coming after the Tide took over on the Ohio St. 23 yard line with the score 34-28) and the last defensive breakdown of the night (making the score 42-28), made the deficit too much to overcome. And the final interception on the 50-yard Hail Mary was a fitting end to the Tide’s season.

Looking back, this team accomplished far more than anybody thought was possible. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Blake Sims was obviously limited as a starting QB. The defensive line was young, the defensive secondary was not good enough – and there were questions about the offensive line. All these issues ended up being very real factors – not only in the two losses but in nearly every other game during the season. But this team hung together – Coach Saban has said that they were the best team (chemistry-wise) that he’s ever had and that pushed them to a 11-1 regular season, a SEC championship, and a place in the first ever College Football Playoff. Not bad.

But, you know us, when you don’t win a National Championship it’s like getting the hot fudge without the ice cream. It’s good. But it ain’t near-bout as good as it could have been! SEC Championship is nice. Really great. But oh-boy, to be this close to another Natty-champ, it hurts. Hurts bad.

But whaddayasay boyz? We hear that we’re scheduled to open the 2015 season next September in Big D against some Badgers from Wisconsin. Hey man! Don’t let it get you down. Another title chase begins in just nine short months.

And we’ll be ready.

RTR.

SEC bowl predictions (2)

Ok, not a bad start (but whatssadeal LSU???) and if the Mississippi boys can take care of bidness today, we’ll be in good shape. Now, we’re ready to look at the games from New Year’s Day on. So here we go:

Thursday, January 1, The Outback Bowl

Wisconsin vs. Auburn: Poor Wisconsin. They get their fannies handed to them in the B1G championship game and then have to go to Disneyworld to play an angry group of Tigers/Wareagles. Awbarn is still unhappy about losing to Alabama. They want to beat somebody. Bad. Wisconsin thought that Ohio State was fast. hahahahahahahahahahahaha. They will see “fast” in this game. And their definition of “fast” will change. Wargles win.

The Citrus Bowl

Minnesota vs. Missouri: The M-Tigs have won the SEC LEast twice in their first 3 years in the league. Not bad. Even if it was the LEastern Division. That carries more weight than winning the B1G. And Minnehaha didn’t even do that, losing 3 of their last 5 games. Mizzou is ready to demonstrate that they’re not as bad as they looked against the Champs and will have their opportunity to do it in this game. And we think they will. Go Mizzou!

[PLEASE NOTE: We know you’re looking for the “Really Big SEC Game of the day” – The Champs vs. The Buckeyes – we gotcha covered, but we savin’ it for last]

Friday, January 2, The TaxSlayer Bowl

Iowa vs. Tennessee: We absolutely love the name of this bowl game! If only the organizers could do what their name says they can do, we’d be in bidness! The matchup though, is probably going to be a tough one for the Little Oranges. Iowa somehow comes out and plays well in bowl games. Do not ask us how. We can’t explain it. But it’s the fact. If UT can play a solid game, they can win. We hope they can. But we have our doubts. Still and all, it’s the SEC ain’t it? So COME ON Little Oranges! Go out there and win one for Smokey or whatever you call that flea-bitten hound that sleeps on your sideline! Y’all can do it! OK, we know our cheer-leading won’t help. But we’ll go with the Vols anyway.

Saturday, January 3, The Birmingham Bowl

Florida vs. East Carolina: The Swamp Things come into this game with a new head coach, a new defensive coach, and maybe even a new attitude. East Carolina lost their last game of the regular season as well so both teams want to get a good start on 2015 with a win here. We think the new coaches will make a difference for the Gators – in fact, they’ll make enough of a difference to give them the edge. Reptiles win.

Thursday, January 1, The Sugar Bowl

Alabama vs. Ohio State: Now, let’s get to the BigUn. The second College Football Playoff semi-final game features Urban Meyer returning to the scene of his last nervous breakdown – the Superdome in N’arlens. Last time the game was for the SEC championship. This time it’s for the opportunity to play for a National Championship against the winner of the other semi-final game in Pasadena. The Tide has been playing in this tournament since October 4. Every game has been a playoff game for them. Sudden death. Lose and you stay home and wait for next year. So, now they are down to two must win games. This one will be nothing new for them. It’s a different story for the Buckeyes, however. They haven’t been in this position in a long time (the last time was 2002 – before any of the current players cared or even knew about football). They’ll be playing with a third string quarterback. This should be a win for the Tide. Or, let’s say, this better  be a win for the Tide. This is the sort of team Bama matches up well against and we think this should be win #13 on the season. If they can do it, they’ll have one left. One left for all the marbles. Let’s do it boys.

It’s been a while since we’ve had such a fun-looking bowl season. It’s gonna be a great way to start off the new year! And from all of us here at Fan HQ, we hope y’all have an outstanding 2015!

RTR!

SEC Bowl game predictions (1)

Ok boys, it’s bowling time for the SEC again! Thanks to Vandy and the Mildcats, the greatest conference was limited to only 12 bowl games this year. It’s disappointing but we’ll try to make the best of it – still a little embarrassing though. Ok, we admit that we don’t have a lot of room to talk after the season we had – but this is like a new year ain’t it? We think so (and so declare it to be) and we plan to get a good start. Here’s what’s on tap for the SEC up to New Year’s Day (we’ll post the New Year’s Day games next week):

Saturday, December 27,
The Independence Bowl

Miami vs. South Carolina: The Lamecocks won the Shreveport raffle this year and get to play the Hurrycanes in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl. If this was 2010 we’d give South Carolina a decisive vote to win this game. It’s not 2010. So, the vote is not quite as decisive. We’ve been wrong every time we’ve trusted Spurrier this season. We may be wrong again – but we’ll go with the Cocks. Not that it will help much but the Visor will get to end this awful season on a winning note.

Monday, December 29, The Liberty Bowl

West Virginia vs. Texas A&M: The A&Mers had a rough year. After winning their opening five games, they went 2-5 the rest of the way. BUT, included in those two wins was the shocking win over Awbarn where they demonstrated that if everything goes right, they can play some tackle football. The Couch Burners ended their season losing 3 out of 4 – but they won their last one against hapless Iowa State. It remains to be seen whether either team can prevent the other from scoring so this may be the first Liberty Bowl in history to have 200 total points scored. This could go either way, but we’ll go with the A&Mers just because we have a soft spot in our hearts for old couches and don’t think they should be used for fuel.

The Texas Bowl

Texas vs. Arkansas: This is a contest that revives a lot of memories (at least in the minds of those old enough to remember the Southwest Conference). Both teams come into this game 6-6. Both teams went 3-2 in their last five games – and even though both lost their last regular season game, Arkansas just seems to be going in a different direction (up instead of down). Winning this game would be a nice (and needed) boost to either program. Losing would be worse for the Horns who have lost a lot of credibility over the past six years. Arkansas would survive a loss better, but Big Grace Bret Bielema wants to show that his team can carry its weight. This will be the best contest between 6-6 teams in the bowl season and we think the Hawgs are going to take it.

Tuesday, December 30,
The Music City Bowl

Notre Dame vs. LSU: The most overrated team plays one of the most frustrated teams in the SEC in the Dollywood Bowl. Notre Lame won their first six games and somehow got ranked in the top 10. After that, they revealed their true nature going 1-5 in their last 6 games and consequently go into Nashville looking more like Vandy than Vandy. The Tigurs would love to end the season on a high note (even though it would only be a victory over ND) and put some of the bad taste of this year behind them. And we think they will. Make the leprechauns cry boys. LSU wins and we party like it was 1969!

The Belk Bowl

Louisville vs. Georgia: Poor Mark Richt. He goes 9-3 and still the Dawg nation wants him fired. You can sympathize a bit given the fact that each of the three losses were to rivals (South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia Tech). So, Coach Mark comes into this one with something to prove. Can he beat an ACC team. Can his backs hold on to the ball all the way into the endzone? The Cardinals come into the Southern Retail Store Bowl on a roll (having won their last 3 of the season). They have the kind of team that can beat the Dawgs. But in spite of it all, we’re going with the G-Dawgs to win this one. Then everybody can get happy with Coach Mark (at least for one more year).

Wednesday, December 31,
The Peach Bowl

TCU vs. Ole Miss: One of the best matchups in this year’s bowl season will happen in Hotlanta New Year’s Eve between the Ole Rebel Black Bears and the Horn Frogs of TCU. TCU feels slighted but that only shows that they’re way too sensitive. Ole Miss is hongry. TCU thinks they haven’t gotten any respect. Old Miss wants to demonstrate why that is the case. It’s TCU’s offense against the Rebs defense. And when that’s the contest, we’ll go with the Black Bear D every time. Dr. Freeze takes home some Chik-Fil-A (and a trophy) – Rebs win.

The Orange Bowl

Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi State: This should be an easy pick. The Bullies should win this game and win it easily. They should. But there are problems in BullyTown. The Cowbell Gang lost their defensive coordinator to Florida. Rumors continue to swirl around Dan Mullen regarding the Michigan job. There are a bunch of seniors who are already thinking about the NFL combine and how important it is not to get injured in this game. Stopping the veer of the Yellow Jackets is not fun or easy. State’s defense will be heavily tested. The only question is, “Can Dak Prescott keep the offense scoring?” We think the answer is “yes.” Dawgs win and get to feel a little bit better about losing the Ole Miss game.

So howzat look? It won’t be easy. Every team wants to get credibility and there’s no quicker way to get it than to beat an SEC team. We’ll see. This could be a banner year for the conference if everything goes right – of course, that never happens, but that’s the price you pay for being The Best! Don’t let us down, y’all!

It’s fun when ever-body wants to be like you.

 

Alabama 42, Missouri 13

Well, that’s more like it. Give us a fourth quarter that is boring; where we have to start talking about something other than the game to keep it interesting – that’s what we’re talking about! And that’s what the Tide did in the fourth quarter to a pesky Mizzou team that was simply outmanned and outplayed in this SEC championship game.

In spite of a couple of breakdowns in the secondary, this was an excellently played game by the Tide defense – and even the two “breakdowns” came on scramble plays by Maty Mauk and thus, it’s hard to be too critical of the dbs when the game turns sandlot on you. Holding the Tigers to 41 yards rushing put the game into Mauk’s hands and required him to be nearly perfect for Mizzou to have a chance. He wasn’t and consequently, the Tide ran away with it.

Offensively, we have to give credit to Lane Kiffin for his play calling. Moving Amari Cooper around, putting pressure on the Tiger rush defense with quick (relatively safe) passes, keeping the Tigers honest by running the ball, and taking timely shots downfield – all together meant a very effective offensive game plan.

All in all, this was the best played game of the year (aside from the Texas A&M game) and it was good to see the Tide playing better at the end than at the beginning. The improvement from the first game to the last has been remarkable – so remarkable even Coach Saban said something about it.

This season has been the football equivalent of Indiana Jones getting out of that cave after he stole that gold head idol in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Stealing the idol set up a deadly race to get out of that trap unscathed. Losing to Ole Miss on October 8 put Alabama in a similar position – and they’ve been running to keep in front of that huge rolling stone (of a second loss) that would knock them out of the first college football playoffs, ever since. It’s been quite a ride. Physically demanding and emotionally exhausting. But we made it.

The Tide’s 24th SEC Championship sets up a run for their 16th National Championship. Now we’re down to two games. Two wins to get that ugly trophy and to continue as the Champs of college football.

And it all begins in N’awlins on New Year’s Day! Against Pope Urban and the Buckeyes of Ohio State. Y’all, this is the definition of “fine.” It just don’t get any better. And we’ll be here to take y’all by the hand as we walk down this historic road. And, no need to say a word, we know you’re grateful.

RTR!

It’s time

Let’s get ready to do this again! Whaddaya say?

SEC Championship game prediction

Well, there’s nothing like closing out the regular season having the WORST WEEK in the history of prognostications is it? 3-6. There was a brief moment (and we promise it was brief) when it looked as though the Fan would fail utterly and completely. Thankfully, with the Champs’ second half comeback, we only failed utterly.

But hey, all’s well that ends well, right? Right! And for the Tide it ended very well indeed. So now we’ve cut the list of “must win” games down to 3. What looked a long way off in October, now can be seen just around the bend. The terms haven’t changed (it’s still sudden death for the Tide) but the number of victories necessary to reach the goal is much shorter. And the first one comes this weekend in Hotlanta against the amazing Mizzou Tigers.

The Tigers had everything lined up to get a running start on the season – scheduling 3 cream puffs and a bagel to open up (South Dakota State, Toledo, UCF, and Indiana). Everything looked fine until the last minute of the Indiana game when the Hoosier running back, D’Angelo Roberts, scored with 22 seconds left to give Indiana a four point victory.

Everything looked fixed, however, when the next week, Mizzou came back from a 13 point deficit, on the road, to beat the South Carolina 21-20. But then Georgia came to town and completely destroyed the Tigs at home and again it looked like Mizzou had given up the ghost.

And that’s when the unexpected began to happen. Mizzou reeled off 6 wins in a row to claim the SEC LEast title last Saturday against a red-hot Arkansas team. So now, Missouri is, arguably, the hottest team in the SEC – and clearly, they will present some big problems for the Champs in this game. So, who gets the edge?

Offensively: Blake Sims is a very limited quarterback who happens to have a couple of very good running backs and one absolutely outstanding receiver. The offensive line is a bit beat up but played well against Auburn last week – well enough to win. Mizzou’s Maty Mauk has been inconsistent (like Sims) and also has a very good running back and a couple of excellent receivers. It’s almost even on the offensive side, but we’ll give a slight edge to the Tide.

Defensively: Alabama has looked fairly strong off and on throughout the year. The one weak spot has been the defensive secondary (and that was made painfully obvious in the Auburn game). The D-line has had some very good games but has not been able to get pressure on quarterbacks on a consistent basis. Missouri is better on the D-line (especially at both defensive end positions). They have been able to harass quarterbacks and put pressure on offensives lines – the question is can they stop the Tide’s running game? Again, it’s pretty close here, but here we have to give the edge to Missouri.

Special teams: We love, no LOVE, Alabama’s J. K. Scott. In fact, we love him so much, we’ve decided to give him a co-MVP award (with Amari Cooper) for his punting this year. We’re very concerned about place kicker Adam Griffith. He’s suffered from back spasms off and on over the last month and his accuracy has suffered severely. Mizzou’s Andrew Baggett has exactly the same field goal percentage as Griffith (though he has 3 more tries than Griffith). There’s no edge in place kicking, the edge goes to J. K. Scott’s punting. He’s the best.

Ok, so who wins? Mizzou is playing with house money at this point. They have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. They go into this game with everyone assuming that they are going to lose. They’re getting no respect. So, they will be fired up to prove everyone wrong and they can do that (and spoil Alabama’s season) with a victory. They’re confident and have reason to be. It seems like the perfect set up for an upset. And, ordinarily, we’d be all over it as an upset special.

BUT, this Alabama team has shown us something that we didn’t see even in a couple of those recent National Championship teams – an ability to come back when things were so bad, you were sure that not only were we going to lose but that your dog was going to die too. We had the Arkansas moment, when, after giving up five turnovers and leading by one slender point – Arkansas had the ball and only needed a field goal for the victory. We had to stop them. And we did, with Landon Collins making an interception to preserve the victory.

We’ve had the Miss State moment when it looked like Dak Prescott was going to be able to rally his team for a comeback victory (and you felt that if the Tide did not score they would lose). They scored. And won.

We’ve had the Auburn moment when it looked like our quarterback had been struck with temporary blindness and dementia – when Auburn had all the momentum and the confidence – and you just knew that if they didn’t turn the game around right now all was lost. They turned it around. And won.

But the key moment of the year came the first Saturday in November in Baton Rouge when the Tide fell behind (after a Yeldon fumble on his own 6) to LSU, 13-10, with 50 seconds left in the game and no time outs. They could not make any mistakes. They had to get into field goal range and tie the game. And they did. And then won in overtime.

We can’t remember an Alabama team overcoming this level of adversity in one month and winning each time. That doesn’t mean that they will continue to do it. But it does mean that there’s something special about this team. After the Ole Miss game, they have simply refused to lose. And we think they’ll do it again this Saturday. Tide wins, 45-31, and moves into the first ever National Championship Playoff as the number 1 seed.

RTR.