Your Best 11 Mailbag: Fullbacks, Vols and Hogs in the SEC Plus Oregon-USC Talk!

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterSeptember 6, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31:  Tyler Bray #8 of the Tennessee Volunteers passes against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Georgia Dome on August 31, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's Thursday folks and we've got a special, morning edition of the Your Best 11 Mailbag. We've got one week in the books, a couple big games coming up this weekend and plenty of actual college football to talk about. Let's do this!

@inthebleachers with UGA having all those suspensions, how do you think they'll keep bodies fresh against Mizzou's spread?

— Hutch (@HutchNGo) September 6, 2012

As it stands right now the Dawgs have Chase Vasser and Sanders Commings out, for sure. Plus Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree are suspended but not suspended but maybe suspended but Mark Richt isn't tipping his hand either way.

On defense, let's assume Rambo and Ogletree join Commings as definites and we'll go from there. There's also the Malcolm Mitchell injury that hurts depth, although the sophomore cornerback is making the trip to Columbia, per the Red and Black.

Honestly the best thing they can do to keep bodies fresh is get off the field with three-and-outs. That means stopping both Kendial Lawrence and James Franklin in the run game and making the passing game of Mizzou work for them.

Pressure from Jarvis Jones is going to be huge and, as we talked about on The Program this week; Georgia has to keep Franklin in the box. That means stay in the rush lanes and not let him extend drives by getting loose—as we saw in the game against Buffalo.

Depth will be an issue, but Georgia has the ability to get it done. That said, this game is going to be a good one and if the Dawgs can't contain Franklin, which I think will be the biggest problem, it really won't matter if they cover the receivers like Deion Sanders or not.

@inthebleachers How legit of a title contender is Arky? And do u think the Vols are an SEC contender?

— jason terrell (@AllStateAllTheT) September 6, 2012

I think it's too early to tell on the Hogs. We'll find out more about this Arkansas team in Week 3 than we could possibly learn from its first two contests. Right now the Razorbacks look about like the team we thought they'd be; sling it around, run Knile Davis, have some issues on defense but they're driven by Wilson and the O. 

As for the Vols? You all know I was high on them like, since forever. I don't think they're SEC contenders; but considering what we saw out of the SEC East, I think the Volunteers should go into every division game firing from the hip and expecting to compete.

Florida looked terrible. South Carolina is watching Connor Shaw's healthy like a hawk. Georgia looks like the best team, but it's got a test against a solid Missouri squad this weekend. Yeah, if you're Tennessee and Derek Dooley; getting to eight wins should be the goal but this team should walk in expecting to fight towards the East lead.

@inthebleachers if you had to pick right now, who wins the Nov. 3rd Oregon-USC game and why?

— DuckintheDesert (@Duckinthedesert) September 6, 2012

This question is like infinity times better than people debating which November 3 game is going to determine the title. Therefore, I shall answer it.

I'm going with USC. I think both teams are solid but as it stands right now, with USC healthy, playing at home, I've got to take the Trojans. No real surprise here and it is subject to change as things go forward, but based off of what we've got now, I'll roll USC.

That said, wow, I love Marcus Mariota and the Ducks are still my pick to win the Pac-12.

@inthebleachers Did Clemson's win over Auburn save the ACC's weekend?What did you think of GT's jerseys?What to make of Pitt's loss?

— Randy Gyorko (@gyorkocfn) September 6, 2012

I think two things saved the ACC's weekend; Clemson beating Auburn in a game that probably shouldn't have been as close as it was and Virginia Tech beating Georgia Tech. Clemson beating Auburn was obvious.

However, for the VT win, my point is, if the Hokies lose that game then the ACC's shot at having a team people actually think is good late in the season is absolutely down to just Florida State and maybe Clemson. No offense to GT, but if it wins the Coastal, talk will not be about the genius that is Paul Johnson; it will be about how the terrible ACC let a high school offense win one of their divisions.

I liked Georgia Tech's uniforms, but I'm a sucker for the freshy fresh. 

As for Pitt. Um. For starters, props to Youngstown State. It was a preseason Top 15 team in the FCS ranks and with Pitt transitioning between coaches, again, the Penguins took advantage of that. Pitt has a lot of work to do, especially up front on both sides of the ball and for Paul Chryst, that is supposed to be his hallmark: physical offensive line play. I guess we'll see what happens, but talk about a shock to the system.

@inthebleachers you think we will ever see fullbacks a bigger part of people's offensive attacks again

— Rhett (@rsl52) September 6, 2012

I don't know that fullbacks have ever been a "big part" of offensive attacks in the traditional sense. They are guys who block and carry the ball almost never. In today's football I think they still exist; Georgia and LSU go fullback sets often and even UNC and Ohio State, in the spread, use the fullback.

I also think we're seeing the evolution of the position into being more dynamic and multiple. So instead of just the traditional fullback, they are asking guys who would be fullbacks to be more H-back or flex players. 

The nation's premier power running team, Alabama, doesn't even use a true fullback most plays. The Tide run a flex guy out there who can play tight end and is comfortable being a lead blocker. The position isn't disappearing so much as changing, and while the niche for 5'8" guys who weigh 240 and want to knock out linebackers is shrinking, the position itself is growing.