Educated Guesses Week 5: Mettenberger comes back to Georgia
Let’s quickly address the non-story everyone is talking about – Nick Saban/Texas?
Not gonna happen. Why? Because Saban said so. If he says he’s not going somewhere, who are we to dispute him? Saban is nothing if not a man of his word. Ask all the gray-shirts or Miami Dolphins fans.
Now onto a real story – Zach Mettenberger vs. Georgia.
This is happening on Saturday. The former Oconee High School stud left his hometown college in disgrace after being charged with some unwelcomed, inappropriate, inebriated contact with a member of the opposite gender outside a south Georgia bar. Even though his mother is a long-time secretary in the UGA football office, Mark Richt had no choice but to dismiss one of his two star quarterbacks.
Eventually, Mettenberger landed back in the SEC at LSU, where inappropriate illegal acts are not a dealbreaker as long as you’re talented enough (see Jeremy Hill and/or Honey Badger). Mettenberger is talented. Talented enough to walk back into his old hometown and beat his ninth-ranked former team.
Here’s what he had to say about his homecoming and all the chatter about it.
“It is just another game,” he said. “It is unfair, the situation that my teammates and family are being put in and all of the crazy questions that people have to answer. I should be the one that has to answer the questions. I don’t want any outside media or spotlight on myself or my relationship with Georgia to take away from this game and the experience for all the other guys. At the same time, it is just another bump in the road to get to where we want to be at the end of the season.”
The stakes are high in this one. It will be fascinating to see how Mettenberger handles it. It will just as fascinating to see how Aaron Murray – the guy beat him out before he beat the pavement – handles yet another big-game opportunity.
This is Georgia’s third such test this season. LSU hasn’t faced any challenge this big yet, but the program is used to such stakes historically.
Hard to call.
In addition to following these weekly guesses on ScottMichaux.com, anyone wishing to play along can join The Augusta Chronicle’s Football Fever Challenge. You can register to try to catch me (that’s right, my lead had grown through through four weeks) at http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/footballfever#.UkQ9YdI3s8o
Bring on the guesses for Week 5:
LSU @ Georgia: If The Hat, Les Miles, could nearly blow a sure thing at home against Auburn last week, he can certainly do something dumb enough to lose to Georgia. BULLDOGS 34, Tigers 31.
Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech: Hokies have done as well as anyone at limiting the triple-option, but have you seen their offense. RAMBLIN’ WRECK 28, Hokies 13.
South Carolina@ Central Florida: That was a big win by UCF at Penn State last week, just big enough to get S.C.’s attention. GAMECOCKS 27, Knights 20.
WakeForest@ Clemson: Forget about it. This Clemson team won’t choke on small bones like Wake anymore. TIGERS 34, Demon Deacons 13.
Southern Cal @ Arizona State: Lane Kiffin. Enough said. SUN DEVILS 27, Trojans 21.
Ole Miss @ Alabama: The growing Rebs might have shocked everyone on the recruiting circuit this year, but they won’t on the field this week. CRIMSON TIDE 34, Rebels 20.
TexasA&M @ Arkansas: If you can’t beat Rutgers, you can’t beat Johnny Manziel. AGGIES 42, Razorbacks 24.
Wisconsin @ Ohio State: Call me naive, but I am the last non-believer in America in the quality of this Urban renewal in Columbus. BADGERS 30, Buckeyes 24.
Stanford @ Washington State: Peyton Manning plays for Stanford alum John Elway. Ryan Leaf went to Washington State. The 1998 NFL draft was an omen. CARDINAL 31, Cougars 20.
Oklahoma@ Notre Dame: Few things in history make less sense than Irish historical dominance in this series. Just go with it. FIGHTING IRISH 27, Sooners 24.
Chattanooga@ Georgia Southern: Not entirely comfortable with this pick, but when in doubt stick with the home team. EAGLES 38, Mocs 28.
Winners: Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Fresno State, Florida, LSU, Maryland, Pitt, Stanford, Notre Dame
Year-to-date record: 38-6 (.864)
2012 record: 117-48 (.709)
2011 record: 115-51 (.693)
2010 record: 97-49 (.664)