Okay, I was wrong in picking the Arkansas Razorbacks to beat Georgia 35-31. To that, I plead guilty...with an explanation.
You see, in making that pick, I was under the assumption that the Hogs' defense would be much-improved, and that UGA quarterback Joe Cox would resemble Joe Blow more than Joe Montana.
We won't know for awhile if Cox is that much better than he looked in the first two games, or if he just happened to be the guy throwing against a weak secondary. My guess is that he is better than most thought and will have at least a solid season, albeit with no more five touchdown performances.
As for the first item, the Razorback defense did show some improvement from 2008, believe it or not. The run defense was actually respectable, other than giving up an 80-yard touchdown run by Richard Samuel.
Of course, that's like saying that Kanye West is a swell guy, other than making an occasional ass of himself at awards shows.
To put it bluntly, the Hogs' secondary couldn't have played much worse. When they weren't letting Georgia receivers get behind them for taking-candy-from-a-baby touchdowns, the Hogs' defenders were letting the Dawgs' pass catchers snatch the ball away like the aforementioned Kanye West taking the mic from Taylor Swift.
I haven't seen such an undressing on a football field since the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" in the Super Bowl halftime show a few years ago.
Even with all of that, I would contend that if not for the double penalties following the Hogs' only interception and the subsequent ejection of the Arkansas defense's best pass defending linebacker, with a 21-10 lead already, this would have been a different game.
The momentum swing of that penalty, and the following aborted drive, along with the 80 yard Samuel run, provided a lift to Georgia that was palpable.
Regardless of that, it is obvious that there is a considerable dropoff from the Hogs' first to second string players at several defensive positions. There is some of that to be expected, but when corner Rudell Crim went out with leg cramps, his replacement was immediately tested, then toasted.
When one of the Bulldogs' starting corners went out, nothing happened. With a pair of highly-regarded cornerbacks in the last recruiting class (one of whom being Darius Winston, a five-star recruit according to Rivals), it may be time to take the wraps off and see what the youngsters can do.
Not to berate individuals, the problem wasn't a lack of effort, and maybe not even a lack of ability; however, after getting torched to that extent by a QB with a previously thin resume, some sort of changes seem necessary either in personnel or in tweaking the scheme somewhat.
It's for sure that the Alabama Crimson Tide is not a team ideal for playing when trying to bounce back from a disappointing loss. With a crunching running game, an improving quarterback, Julio Jones, 260-lb. linebackers who can run, Javier Arenas in the return game and brutish linemen on both sides of the ball, the Hogs face a daunting task next Saturday.
Alabama is better than Georgia in nearly every area, if not all of them, and with the game in Tuscaloosa, there won't be a lot of people giving the Hogs a chance.
In case you hadn't guessed it by now, this is not really a list of reasons not to make predictions. I'm sure at some point, I may get back on the horse, just not this week.