Ere I got to this week’s national games of interest, I wanted to take a moment to point you in the direction of a few items of interest I found worthy of note. These are they:
Was this year’s football schedule simply too tough for the Georgia Bulldogs to tame? Before we fall back on that as an excuse, we would do well to recall that the Gym Dogs are slated to face nine of the preseason top fourteen women’s gymnastics squads, including four from outside the SEC. The Georgia gymnasts enter the new year ranked No. 1 and have won five straight national championships while facing similarly challenging schedules. Apparently, it’s doable.
According to Dr. Saturday---who is, after all, a doctor, or, at least, as much of one as Kelsey Grammer, Gene Simmons, or Julius Erving---science shows that, the more convinced you are that your team is going to lose, the better winning will be. Heck, I didn’t need science to tell me that . . . I was at the Georgia-Auburn game! Still, it’s nice to know that the power of negative thinking works.
If you find yourself struggling to find reasons to believe all is gloom and doom, I would recommend three ways to adjust your attitude in the appropriate downward direction. First of all, you could read tankertoad’s comments in any given game day thread. Secondly, you could recall that, in a season in which Tim Tebow already has surpassed Herschel Walker’s SEC touchdown record and Steve Spurrier already has overtaken Vince Dooley in conference wins, another Bulldog milestone is about to fall by the wayside. Thirdly, you could remind yourself that Willie Martinez is still the defensive coordinator of the Red and Black. It’s that last one that got you, isn’t it?
If those three reasons were not reasons enough, you may also want to take note of the fact that Georgia barely figures in this week’s SEC Power Poll and does not figure in this week’s BlogPoll.
I didn’t see this until very recently, but CFR quoted a statistic that, in games against Division I-A non-conference opponents, "SEC teams are a pedestrian 14-11 against the spread." I fail to see the relevance of that datum. The point spread is a measure of bettors’ preconceptions designed to even out wagering on both sides to ensure the house wins; it is no more reliably indicative of actual team quality than buyers’ and sellers’ perceptions of the value of a stock are of genuine corporate health. Straight-up wins and losses against teams of comparable merit are a legitimate metric, but gamblers’ prejudicial prior notions of the ensuing weekend’s likely outcomes are not. Although CFR makes a perfectly fair point that the SEC is down this year, the figure he cites is not evidence for his quite defensible position.
That should get you up to speed on events in and around the blogosphere. I’ll be back this evening with the NCAA games of note occurring outside SEC territory.