Posted 11/02/2009 at 02:43 PM
Florida LB Brandon Spikes was caught on tape trying to gouge the eyes of Georgia freshman RB Washaun Ealey during the Gators' 41-17 win Saturday as a 14 1/2-point favorite. Urban Meyer announced Monday morning that Spikes will be suspended for the first half of this Saturday's SEC showdown against Vanderbilt.
Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened UF as a 35-point 'chalk.' When I was doing my numbers, I had the Gators at a less expensive number of 28 1/2. Only a few books currently have a number posted and that is 32 1/2.
As you would imagine, the people and press in Georgia are calling for Spikes to be further punished, but the SEC has released a statement saying that it agrees with Spikes' suspension by Meyer and will levy no additional punishment.
Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was calling for more and then ripped Meyer for being soft.
With back-to-back blowout losses to Florida and with the momentum building for Ga. Tech under Paul Johnson in just his second season, Georgia head coach Mark Richt is suddenly simmering on a rather warm seat.
This scenario was forecasted by Paul Finebaum of the Mobile Press-Register when he filed this column back on July 21. Finebaum came under heavy fire for uttering such a suggestion, especially in the Atlanta area. Several sports-radio personalities, including Steak Shapiro of 790 The Zone, ripped Finebaum to shreds.
In fairness to Shapiro and others, there was plenty of on-paper artillery to use in defense of Richt. After all, the former offensive coordinator at FSU during many of Bobby Bowden's glory years, had posted an 82-22 career record going into 2009. Richt also had a 6-2 record in bowl games, two SEC titles and three SEC East crowns.
In comparison to the tenures of Ray Goff and Jim Donnan at UGA, Richt has been the next coming of Vince Lombardi. And because of this, I'll be shocked if Richt's demise comes as swiftly as things played out for Phillip Fulmer and Tommy Tuberville at Tennessee and Auburn in 2008, respectively.
Without a doubt, Richt deserves better than that. But here's the thing: 2010 might not be much better. With a 4-4 record, UGA will probably be favored in three looming home games against Tennessee Tech, Auburn and Kentucky.
A 3-0 mark in those games is possible, but neither of those SEC games are lay-ups. The regular-season finale at Ga. Tech is certainly winnable, but I would think the Jackets would be favored by at least 7 -- and probably more like 9 or 10 -- if they were playing this week. Therefore, a 7-5 ledger looks like the most likely outcome for 2009, although 6-6 isn't out of the question by any means.
Georgia AD Damon Evans has already gone on the record about "some concerns" about the football program. The dismissal of defensive coordinator Willie Martinez appears to be a foregone conclusion.
The thinking here is that Richt might be on the way out the door at the end of 2010. We'll be watching.
Matt Youmans, who covers the sports betting scene for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, reports that the books bounced back from last Sunday's bloodbath that resulted in an estimated $8 million in losses for the house. But the profitable Sunday for the books doesn't nearly make up for last week's debacle.
Finally, there's plenty in the news today about Oakland head coach Tom Cable and his past. Several women, including a pair of ex-wives, are speaking out about his physical abuse. Seriously, where does Al Davis get these head coaches from? Lame Chafin' and now this guy. Whose next -- Mike Locksley?