Friday, September 19, 2008

Go West, Young Dawgs (and win!)

It may be the worst week in Wall St. and finance since John McCain was in his early teens (sorry, last crack at McCain's age for...well, at least the next few weeks let's say) but I still didn't forget there was a big game this week.

Of course, if I had a 401K worth a damn, it'd be a different story, but I've had almost no spare money for years now, so I'm used to it. If I could make it through my last few years of college on a little more than $100/week without eating Ramen then, I should be fine now (oh, wait. I also had a Platinum card then...hmmm...well this may be a problem.)

So off we go...

The Cumberland Report
What could go wrong here? It's not like UGA has already displayed issues in pass defense and they're going up against the future Pac-10 record holder in passing yards. Oh. Wait. So there's that risk.

Also, it's been great, semi-, almost-not-quite Fall weather in GA this week. Game time temp in Arizona? Expected to be between 98 and 101. Dry heat or not, that's a big jump in climate. Plus, the multiple time zone shift. And risk someone getting arrested for stealing diapers.
Throw an already suspect (at times) pass D in with a team that's out of sorts because of heat and time zone issues and you've got a disaster brewing. Throw in some offensive miscues, and then you've got a recipe for the pollsters to really, really drop the Dawgs.

The Rose-Colored View
On the other hand, the only team worse at protecting their QB than ASU last season was that Yakkity-Sax-bad Notre Dame team. While Rudy Carptenter differs from Jimmy Clausen in that he has both a functioning brain, isn't part cro-magnon man, and isn't going bald in his early 20s (the Clausen Gene: for those who thought The Simpson Gene wasn't that bad!) most of that seive-like OLine is back to protect (sic) him. The Dawg's D should make him hear the dulcet tones of Queen and David Bowie in his head.
And, while much gets written about the offensive firepower of the Pac-10, defense still doesn't seem to exist there outside of USC. If a woeful Maryland team could rough up Cal, and BYU could do things to UCLA that might be forbidden in the Book of Mormon, and UNLV could hang 20+ on the ASU D, this ain't the "Desert Swarm" out there. Stafford, Moreno and company could get well in a big hurry.

Honestly, there isn't too much precedent here. It's warmer, the time zone's different, and the Dawgs haven't done this type of thing before. Flying to Arkansas is one thing, Arizona's another. The first quarter/half is key. There should be a ton of Dawg fans there, and if ASU's offensive gets stymied early, and the Dawg's O returns to pre-SoCar form, it could be a very, very good day for the Dawgs.

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