by Tom Weppel
After what to many Jaguar fans seemed like a ‘gift’ of a win against the Lions, Jacksonville now comes home to play for the first time in a while, to host the undefeated Tennessee Titans, a team the Jags lost to in their first game this season, and a team the Jags have not been the most cordial with.
Going into this contest, many Jaguar fans are simply wondering if the team can pull off this upset, after the results from the last three games. Locals were looking for three wins from the Browns, Bengals, and Lions. Instead, they got two losses coupled with only one victory. So now, at 4-5, if the Jaguars have any hopes at all of being in the playoffs, there is little room for error the rest of the way.
In a way, this has been a learning time for Jack Del Rio as a Head Coach. That sounds crazy considering he’s been in the business so long, both as a player and coach. But the deal here is that Del Rio has a team that has not been totally like he has wanted them, and he’s had to do a little arm-twisting the last week or so in order to get everyone back on track. Of course, one could argue that Del Rio hasn’t had his mates on track in the past, either, and that certainly could be justified. Maybe now Jack will have everything together to the point where they can make a run in the second half of the season.
The Tennessee Titans are the last undefeated team left in the NFL. Any time and every time this happens every year, we get media rumblings about how good they possibly are and how far can they can and whatnot. When you look at the Titans, you see what every NFL Head Coach would love to have; a pretty solid running game, a smart, sharp QB, and a rough, tough Defense that is working together as a unit. Jeff Fisher has assembled a group of playmakers that is taking care of business and doing the things they need to do.
I heard an interesting point made earlier this week, and I thought it was totally justified. Kerry Collins has actually been a good QB for most of his career, having been to a couple of Super Bowls, and winning a number of games as a starter. The times in which things haven’t been the greatest for Collins have come when he’s either been injured, or he’s had subpar personnel around him. Looking at the Titans lineup currently, you can see they are clicking and doing a good job with Collins in the saddle.
If the Jaguars are able to pull a win over Tennessee, it would be a big boost to their prospects. Certainly it would be a great upset if the Jaguars were able to beat these guys. This game also must mean something to the CBS, since they had the start time moved to 4:15 p.m. The Jags still have a shot at the postseason. Before they start thinking about that, though, they have to beat teams like this one on Sunday.
Florida Gator fans are giving subtle thought to the possibility of going to Miami for the BCS Championship game in January. Before they do that, they still have a few games to play. It starts this weekend, when the Gators ‘welcome’ former Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks. This is always an interesting situation, as so many Gator fans simply worshipped Spurrier when he was at the helm in Florida. When he left, it left a huge void, and while Urban Meyer has done a formidable job in recapturing the Gator edge, Steve Spurrier will still hold a place in the hearts of many for a long time. So, for him to come down and play his alma mater with a team in the same conference and certainly be a threat to win…well, it means something, to say the least.
In a way, Tim Tebow has become almost a ‘Junior Spurrier’, as he has warmed the hearts of so many Gator fans after winning the Heisman and simply being such a forceful leader on the field, and off. Tebow has simply become a superstar in Gainesville in oh so many ways.
Florida has been playing at a fairly high level the last few weeks. If they keep it up, they should do fine against Carolina. But you never know…the Gamecocks aren’t gonna simply fold their tent. We’ll see how things play out…
Florida State is 7-2 and has a pretty good squad playing some decent football. They could very well be heading to the ACC Championship game in Tampa in December. To do that, they will have to defeat a feisty Boston College squad that shut out Notre Dame last weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how the ‘Noles do against BC in Tallahassee…
Meanwhile, the Georgia Bulldogs find their rival Auburn Tigers in an odd situation; with a mediocre 5-5 record and needing to win their last two games simply to qualify for a Bowl game. Tommy Tuberville didn’t plan on this happening, either, and the Auburn fans aren’t too happy about it. Auburn and Georgia get together on Saturday in Alabama…Alabama beat LSU last week and remains #1 heading into this weekend. They will host Mississippi St. on Saturday and should be able to beat them with relative ease. Texas Tech is off this weekend before they go to Oklahoma to face the Sooners. Southern Cal travels up the coast to play conference rival Stanford.
by Tom Weppel