As of today, The Vols are only slightly ahead of The Cats. Butch's boys got their signature win and garnered more W's than Mark's minions did, but on Saturday the game was a lot closer than the score indicated.
Take a look at the stats. And UK had some fluke critical momentum killers.
UT has more explosive potential (see the long TD in the game's first 30 seconds), but otherwise there's little difference.
The Vols have a better offensive line and better special teams. (Palardy's a weapon. Without him, The Vols win total would've been halved.) Slight UT edge in the secondary. Otherwise, the teams are even.
UT will lose more key players to the NFL and both teams have great classes coming in. I expect both teams to move up next year, and I expect the blue team to catch and maybe pass the orange team in the SEC hierarchy.
Yesterday Patrick opined that Dobbs stepped up and had his best game of the season. That's a low bar, and not much to build on. His stats came against a weak UK pass defense and he tallied fewer yards than the hurting UK QB, who is no great shakes.
And Kentucky rolls out super redshirt Reese Phillips next year.
BiB--I forgot about Schaefer. The price was right. Haven't seen 'Nova play, but their record looks like they're first tier.
Yes, BiB, some Wildcats roared. 'Zona is properly #2, behind the only team UK has lost to, and UK is third. 'Zona's big center, Somethingski, is hard to handle, while Duke is soft in the middle, including the much-ballyhooed Parker. Jabari has skills, but he isn't as ravenous as Randle. Duke will have to get ravenous if they want to make the Final Four. The third superfrosh, Wiggins, also had a limp game.
And 'Zona's point guard T. J. McConnell is what The Vols wish they had. Duke's Hood has it all. If he'd stayed in the SEC, he'd be all-conference.
Randle's double double streak to start the season ended at seven, but no Kentucky player has ever done better. WC-S had 15 points, 8 boards, and a whopping 9 blocks. As The Cats improve, Randle will have fewer double doubles but scoring will be more balanced and the team will be scarier.
Even now, nobody wants to try to go to the rim vs. The Big Cats. Providence shot 31% overall, but less than 20% inside the arc.
Memphis won a big one v. OK State, and another POY candidate, Marcus Smart, looked human for long stretches.
And UNC fell to UAB, proving my claim that The Tarheels aren't holding up their end of the deal these days.
Run-JMC--I was watching that Big Dance game, too. Great day.
BiB--Do you remember Red, White & Blue, the cheaper version of a cheap beer? Was the snow-capped pointy mountains image the best thing about Busch? Or maybe the whooshy sound of Booosch? I liked MHL and thought it really was a premium beer.
I'd guess for Jay the only numbers that matter are 34-28, but as I predicted, The Iron Bowl MMXIII did not outdraw Bama v. A&M. Iron Bowl got an 8.6 rating, short of the John Football tilt, which got a 9.0. Almost everybody in Birmingham (not England) was watching, though, recording a whopping 57 rating and 82 share.
Still, the dramatic Iron Bowl may set a record for most Google searches immediately afterward for folks who missed the explosive ending looking to see a clip of it. And there's a whole meme of videos posted of fans' reactions in front of their TV sets.
A major Google search was "Where is Auburn?"
How big should the fine be to punish the scofflaws who rushed the field? How big would it have to be for it not to have been worth it? Could you buy a roll of toilet paper anywhere near Opelika Sunday?
Sprite's too sweet. BiB doesn't often drink beer, but when he does, what's his brand?
Jay--What are you thankful for?
Is the Auburn story the best worst to first ever?
The Prayer at Jordan-Hare is a lot like the Laetner dagger into UK's heart. It so discombobulated Bama fans that they're shooting each other. The Bluegrass miracle and Auburn grabbing the (nearly) last second TD pass off Gawga defenders last week are right there.
Did Saint Nick get out-coached? Must be, since I don't think AU has as many weapons as UA. Discuss.
I'd say the War Eagles karma is evening things out. Revenge for the undefeated team that was robbed of the title nine years ago.
Some would say it's better to be lucky than good. Though I want an SEC team in the Big Game, Auburn's close games and LSU plotz tell me they don't deserve to be there. Too bad it's not next year, since SEC teams hold the #3, #4, and #5 slots.
Bad week for the Fab 4+1 franchise, but I went two for two on my picks of Duke and FSU against the spread. Entertainment seekers, you're welcome. And Florida has canned Pease (see what I did there?).
What are the Falcs doing? Don't they understand what they're playing for?
When AD broke his hand, his 4 blocks were best in the NBA. I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was second only to Cal's friend King James. Wow.
U of Bama 30, U of Auburn 24
More on the Duke-UNC rivalry: The Chapel Hill crew isn't holding up its end of the deal. Tonight's 'Zona-Duke game will be better than The Sky Blue team v. Duke this year.
Smart is an awesome scorer. But he's exceptional. And don't mention Kemba around me. He hurt us almost as bad as Laetner did.
Tennessee-Xavier is tipping it off about now. Let's see how they fare in a repeat match up from two or three weeks ago.
Jay warned us yesterday about the brutal Starkville Bulldawg prune with gilt unis. He was 110% correct. Hard to watch. I had to break out my old B&W TV. But I still dislike more the highly saturated ALL RED 'Zona costume.
How about this guideline? Unless you're a male figure skater, don't wear the same color head to toe. Is there any color that looks good when you wear it all over?
Speaking of over-saturated, could you tone down the Porky Pig pink on Roy's face? Yes, his Thanksgiving column is/was what Roy did bet. And David Cook's columns are always awe and thought inspiring.
I like your suggestion for an improved Vol lineup. Good time to shake it up. It's hard to argue that The Cuonz doesn't have the talent to win. Somehow, the whole is always less than the parts. Perhaps this team will finish the season strong, like last year.
Agree that Alabama U and Auburn U is the best rivalry, and that UL-UK is gaining on the Tobacco Road thing. And didn't Gators-Seminoles used to be interesting?
According to my perceptions the heavy ratio of column inches devoted to Knoxville U vs. all others is a bit less under Greeson than under Exum (and others), and that's a good thing.
Perhaps the most valuable principle I've learned to appreciate is balance in all things.