Pigskin Prophet: I can remember when the SEC played defense edition


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Pigskin Prophet: I can remember when the SEC played defense edition

I am so old I can remember eating out in restaurants and I am so old I can remember when the SEC played defense. Now the SEC looks like the Big 12, just with better athletes.

The start to the 2020 football season has been a busy one for the intrepid Pigskin Prophet, especially considering we’ve had to deal with a million dollar hen statue being placed out the stadium here in Columbia. After this week, I get to add another job to my resume – defensive coordinator analyst to the SEC.

Good old Georgia is ranked second nationally in total defense, and then you have to go all the way down to No. 12 to find Mississippi St., which sits behind such stalwarts (hahahaha) as Oklahoma St. (really?) and West Virginia.

Oklahoma plays defense about like Iraq during the Gulf War – which means nonexistent for the most part – and sits 46 spots AHEAD OF ALABAMA. The worst defensive team in the nation? Ole Miss, which sits dead last after giving up about 12,000 yards to Bama last week. They rank 76th out of the 76 teams. Who ranks 72nd? Florida. Who ranks 71st? LSU.

Alabama sits one spot ahead of Syracuse, which might not win another game this season and has a depleted roster filled with members of the student body. The Orange are giving up 475.8 yards per game, while Bama is giving up 473.

I am soooo old. But I will do what I can to render aid to the enemy. I am hosting a Zoom class this Wednesday and all of the SEC defensive coordinators have signed to listen to a guest lecture from our special guest – Brent Venables. Venables will start the instruction on “how to stop a forward pass.”

Should be fun.

SATURDAY

Clemson and Georgia Tech get the party started at noon Saturday. Yellow Jacket head coach Geoff Collins, a walking and talking advertisement for Waffle House, has steered his group to two wins this season, but they are over hapless Florida St. and Louisville, two teams that haven’t quite grasped defensive concepts so far. Clemson isn’t Florida St. Or Louisville. The Jackets are well-coached and will give the Tigers a fight for five or six minutes, but it won’t last long. The Jackets will get a few points late in the game. CLEMSON 44, GEORGIA TECH 13

PITTSBURGH AT MIAMI

Miami head coach Manny Diaz told the media and his team that four inches separated his team from top-ranked Clemson last week. If he lies like that to the media and his players, I can’t imagine what he tells his wife. The truth is that Miami got steamrolled and it was never in doubt or really even close. Venables made D’Eriq King look silly, and now the Canes have to figure out a way to rebound in front of Vinny and Tony and Sal and the gold-chain wearing boys from South Beach. Unfortunately, Pitt’s defense now has the gameplan on how to beat Miami – force King to throw. This is my upset. PITT 21, INCHES AND INCHES 17

AUBURN AT SOUTH CAROLINA

Dabo Swinney’s old staff now resides at Auburn, and they’ve had a rough start to the season. Meanwhile, there is South Carolina, which has had a rough start for 123 years or something like that. The Hens played okay at Vanderbilt for two quarters, mainly because the Commodores only had 53 players available to play. South Carolina is really good at one thing – trash talking – and they do it with the best of them. Most of the time they talk after they’ve given up a long touchdown pass or dropped a pass or turned the ball over. There will be a lot of trash talking this week. AUBURN 27, SOUTH CAROLINA 20

KENTUCKY AT TENNESSEE

As long as Georgia was killing themselves, Tennessee was in the game in Athens last week. Once Georgia righted the ship, Tennessee went bye-bye. Then you have poor Kentucky, which hasn’t mastered the art of the forward pass just yet and had 73 yards through the air last week. This one will be ground and pound and Tennessee has the better offensive line. VOLS 23, KENTUCKY 20

LOUISVILLE AT NOTRE DAME

Dear Louisville, if you haven’t changed your defensive coordinator by Friday, please don’t make the trip. The Irish aren’t the nation’s best offense. Heck, they aren’t even dynamic. But they can make plays and that is all that matters when you play the Cardinals, who can’t quite figure out if they are a running team or a passing team on offense. I can tell you what kind of team they are. They are bad. IRISH 34, LOUISVILLE 17

DUKE AT NC STATE

Let’s face it, the only way you want to go to this game is if Mike Shashefski is coaching Duke and it’s played in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Instead, it’s in Raleigh and the poor Blue Devils will continue their puny ways with turnovers and lack of depth and overall ineptitude. Which is sad, because everyone really likes David Cutcliffe and everyone really hates Dave Doeren. NCST 34, DUKE 20

UNC AT FLORIDA ST.

The Seminoles were respectable for a half at Notre Dame last weekend, but then the depth and better players and better coaching began to tell the tale as the Irish pulled away. UNC is ranked as a top-five team, but they are helped because two conferences aren’t playing and the Big 12 is a joke. If I had to guess, I would say in a normal season this Tar Heel team is Top-15, which is good for Mack Brown’s second year. Sam Howell was once a commit to FSU, and then he got smart and left the dumpster fire in Tallahassee and joined Mack. It was a good decision. UNC 47, FSU 23

GEORGIA AT ALABAMA

I am not sure what to make of this game. Georgia is really good defensively, and they’ve controlled the clock with their extremely small quarterback. Alabama is great on offense, but can’t play defense worth a durn. Now Nick Saban has COVID and it looks like Georgia might have an edge in this one. Except…Kirby Smart is still the head coach and Georgia, and he will do something stupid and Georgia will dominate for three quarters and lose. ALABAMA 27, GEORGIA 23

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