- Thursday, 10 October 2013 02:00
- Author: Jeff Dantzler
Gabe DeArmond, the publisher of PowerMizzou.com, was kind enough to offer his insights on the Bulldogs-Tigers, the Southeastern Conference and college football.
Now in your second season in the SEC, what are your thoughts on the league?
Most of what everyone said is true. It’s by far the best league in the country. The easy games aren’t as easy as they were in the Big 12. That said, I always felt like the Big 12 (this year notwithstanding) was a better league than it got credit for. But I’m still in the honeymoon phase of enjoying getting to know new teams and visit new places and I’m enjoying it thus far. Plus, I am very unlikely to have to cover a road game in snow or ice again so that’s a big plus.
Is there much anticipation of Missouri’s first trip to Athens?
Yes and no. I think when the schedule came out, this was probably the road game that most Mizzou fans said, “If I can only go to one game and cost is no object, that’s the one I’ll go to.” That said, Missouri fans are pretty realistic about the Tigers’ chances to win the game, which aren’t very high. So I think more of them will probably head to Nashville or Oxford this season. But, yeah, Missouri fans are excited for the game.
Describe the bedlam leading up to that first SEC game last year?
The only game at Mizzou that has really compared to the day long atmosphere was the one against Oklahoma in 2010. The Sooners were #1, GameDay was in town, Missouri was unbeaten. Then the Tigers took back the opening kickoff and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it louder. I think the actual GAME for that one was a little louder and crazier, but the weeklong building for the SEC debut against Georgia was unlike anything I’ve ever seen here.
What is your take on Georgia?
They’re a really, really good team. I think people forget that they were four yards away from a national title last year (because they would have curb-stomped Notre Dame just like Bama did). Todd Gurley is, in my opinion, the best running back in the country and Aaron Murray’s an NFL quarterback. The defense may not quite be what it has been in past years, but it probably doesn’t need to be because the offense is better. I think the Bulldogs go through the SEC unbeaten and, assuming they don’t stub their toe in the final game against Georgia Tech, will have a great shot at getting to the title game this season. What does Missouri need to do to beat Georgia Saturday? Umm, play an almost perfect game. And have the Bulldogs be a little bit off. The Tigers’ offense has been pretty good and I think they can put up some points, but Mizzou will need help to keep Georgia under 30 for sure. If Georgia plays an A game, Missouri can’t win. If Georgia plays a B game, Missouri probably can’t win.
What do the Tigers need to do to win the SEC East?
To be honest, I don’t think that’s a realistic goal this season. First of all, they’d have to upset Georgia. They’d also have to win at least one against South Carolina and A&M. If this team can get to eight or nine wins, it’s a good solid bounce-back season. But winning the East is a little lofty for right now.
James Franklin is the latest in a long line of excellent Mizzou QB’s, what is the key to that pipeline?
I think we have to wait till this season is over to say whether Franklin is great or not. He’s playing very well, but he also hasn’t won more than eight games. He needs to lead Mizzou to a real breakthrough season to start throwing the word great around. He’s been solid. The Tigers have had a nice run with Brad Smith, Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert. I think Gary Pinkel and his staff do a good job of identifying QB talent and their spread offense lends itself to the ability to put up points and yards in bunches.
Who do you see playing in Pasadena for the national championship?
I’m going with the boring answer. I see Stanford/Oregon and the SEC title game as de facto national semifinals. The winners of those two games make it in my opinion. It’s possible if Georgia were to beat Bama in the SEC title game and the Stanford/Oregon winner and Ohio State both go unbeaten that the SEC gets shut out, but the Big Ten is bad enough that I think a one-loss Georgia or Bama (or LSU) could find its way in over an unbeaten Buckeyes team.