Originally created 11/23/05

Jackets buzz into clash with Dogs



Reviewing and previewing college football

WHO'S HOT

Georgia Tech. A huge underdog, the Rambling Wreck shocked then-No. 3 Miami, knocking it off the national scene. The Yellow Jackets' defense played their best game of the season, racking up seven sacks and holding the Hurricanes to a 1-for-14 completion rate on third down. Also worthy of props is punter Ben Arndt, whose 78-yard punt late in the game helped Georgia Tech get out of a sticky situation.

WHO'S NOT

Fresno State. The Bulldogs had a perfect opportunity to knock No. 1 Southern Cal off its throne. Fresno State led by eight at halftime, but gave up three quick touchdowns in the third quarter. The Bulldogs regained the lead in the fourth, but couldn't hold it. And to think how high No. 16 Fresno State would've jumped in the BCS Standings if it would've held on.

ONE OF THE BEST FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS IN THE DIVISION I-AA PLAYOFFS PITS NO. 7 GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT NO. 5 TEXAS STATE. THE BOBCATS HAVE LOST JUST TWICE THIS SEASON: BY 13 TO TEXAS A&M AND BY THREE TO NO. 21 NICHOLLS STATE. THIS SHOULD BE AN OFFENSIVE SHOOTOUT. FIRST TEAM TO 50 WINS.

In the past few weeks, it has been written in this space for Georgia coach Mark Richt to hire an offensive coordinator in the off-season. OK, the Bulldogs have an offensive coordinator in Neil Callaway. However, he doesn't call the plays. Quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo makes suggestions on play calls from the booth during the game. Ultimately, Richt decides what play to run. And beating Kentucky by a gazillion changes nothing.

The suggestion still remains: while Richt is a great overall coach, he needs to relinquish all his play-calling duties and have faith in someone else.

Georgia and Georgia Tech will be playing for more than pride Saturday. The winner receives the Governor's Cup Trophy.

1. Georgia (8-2, 6-2 SEC). Richt showed he can be aggressive as Bulldogs waltzed into SEC Championship game with spanking of the Wildcats.

2. Georgia Tech (7-3, 5-3 ACC). With a big game against the Bulldogs, Reggie Ball can move into third in school history in passing yardage.

3. Clemson (7-4, 4-4 ACC). Tommy Bowden pulled his annual Houdini, winning the final three games of the regular season for the third consecutive season.

4. South Carolina (7-4, 5-3 SEC). Coach Spurrier exceeded expectations with seven wins and a bowl game appearance.

THE ACC'S BEST AND WORST

1. Virginia Tech. Hokies will be giving thanks to Miami on turkey day.

12. Duke. Blue Devils giving thanks to the end of another dreadful season.

THE SEC'S BEST AND WORST

1. LSU. With a win over Arkansas on Friday, Tigers will meet Georgia in Atlanta.

12. Tennessee. Yeah, there's worse teams in the SEC. But no team has underachieved more than the Volunteers.

WHAT'S NEXT

Georgia at Georgia Tech, 8 p.m. (ABC-Ch.6); Clemson and South Carolina, end of regular season

THIS WEEK'S STORY LINES

Clemson: The Tigers will play in either the MPC Computers, Meineke Car Care or Champs Sports bowl game, per ESPN and sportsline.com.

Georgia: Mark Richt has never lost to the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets can finally break that seven-win a season barrier by defeating the Bulldogs.

South Carolina: ESPN and sportsline.com say Gamecocks are headed to the Peach Bowl.

- Chris Gay