I know I'm a little late with this, as we've already had two SEC teams play their games
Thursday night, Mississippi St and Kentucky went in opposite directions. Both won, but while MSU abused their opponent, Memphis, in scoring 59 points, Kentucky embarrassed themselves by struggling to a 14-3 victory over Western Kentucky. Not since the "Pitchers Duel On The Plains", the 3-2 game between MSU and AU in 2007, has an SEC team looked so weak on offense.
But nevertheless, the SEC has started 2-0 so far.
I am looking at Saturday's games, and how I think they will play out
I will start with the two big games of the day, nationally speaking
Georgia vs Boise St
With credit due to my friend and fellow blogger, Ross Collings, (You can see his blog Here) I have many reasons why I am predicting a victory for the Bulldogs over the always overrated Broncos.
Georgia is a young team with alot to prove. You could make a parallel to Alabama playing Georgia in 2008. UGA, at that time, was expected to be the nationally competitive team. Not Alabama. And Alabama, with several key young players, took it to the overrated Georgia team that year. I really see something similar happening to Boise. Boise is a top 5 team going in, many people think Boise is the better team. But not me. I have alot of faith in UGA's returning QB Aaron Murray and I think their freshman running back Isaiah Crowell will burst onto the scene much in the way that Mark Ingram did in 2008 and Marcus Lattimore did in 2010.
Boise is 0-4 against the SEC since 2000. The last time they faced Georgia was in 2005. They were both ranked in the top 20 preseason. You can go Here to see how that worked out for Boise.
Gerogia's head coach, Mark Richt, is also on the proverbial hot seat and he HAS to win this game. And he knows it.
All in all, I see a result not quite as bad as 2005. But in Georgia's favor
LSU vs Oregon
The Willie Lyles bowl.
LSU and Oregon go into this game both ranked in the top 5 and with high expectations. A month ago, I predicted that LSU would win this game, and not in a very difficult fashion.
Then several of their players, including starting QB Jordan Jefferson, were involved in a fight outside a bar. Jefferson, as well as a couple others, were arrested and have been suspended from the team. Also, their best WR Russell Shepherd, has been suspended for breaking NCAA rules. And many people are pointing to these distractions and reason to believe that LSU will fall apart and start the season off on a sour note
Not so fast.
LSU is still the better, more physical, team on both sides of the ball. And it was never the QB that was going to be the reason LSU was going to win. I may be slightly less confidant in them than I was a few weeks ago, but I still give this one to the Bayou Bengals
And now onto the easier games to predict:
Auburn vs. Utah State
It's true that the Auburn Tigers bought...ahem...WON the 2010 BCS National Championship with one of the greatest players we will probably ever see in college football, Cam Newton. What alot of people don't take into account though is the fact that Auburn probably had the best offensive line in the nation last year, led by 4 year starters Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba. They also had over 30 seniors. All in all, they lost about 35 players from last year's team. So don't expect this one to look anything like the comeback kids of last year.
Either way, the Aggies shouldn't present a challenge here. I know that they played Oklahoma close last year, only losing by 7 points, but those games happen from time to time. I expect Auburn's new cast of talented young characters to be excited, and I expect a high scoring offensive show from them. Their defense will probably break a few times as well.
Utah State 27
Tennessee vs. Montana
This game hardly deserves a mention, as nobody really cares about UT. But I do really like Derek Dooley. The fact that he recently banned his mother, Barbara Dooley, from appearing on the Paul Finebaum Radio show because he feels it hurts recruiting is hilarious and awesome in my book. It's unfortunate that Dooley is the coach at such a disgusting place, or I could truly root for him
Either way, not much to really go into with this game
Vanderbilt vs. Elon
Nothing to see here other than James Franklin, who has magically convinced recruits that Vandy is a program on the rise. And it will rise. For a week. Franklin starts his career out on the right foot
Arkansas vs. Missouri St
With or without their SEC leading rusher, Knile Davis, Arky will have no problem here. They will score early and often
Missouri St 10
Florida vs. Florida Atlantic
Another yawner. But we'll get to see what the new coaching staff can do against an inferior opponent. I'm a fan of Will Muschamp
South Carolina vs. East Carolina
The story here is that Steve Spurrier says he will start Conner Shaw over the 5 times suspended Stephen Garcia. Let's hope this doesn't drive Garcia to the bottle too early in the afternoon. Regardless, Garcia will also play I'm sure.
East Carolina's head coach is Ruffin McNeill, previously at Texas Tech, and they are expected to be fairly decent on offense at least. So they should put up a fight for awhile.
Personally, I'm looking forward to USC unleashing it's new toy, true freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is the number one rated freshman prospect in the nation, and I expect him to live up to that, getting his first sack in his first college game.
South Carolina 35
East Carolina 20
Ole Miss vs BYU
This is where I predict an SEC loss. I could really care less about Ole Miss. They have one of the best gameday atmospheres and some of the hottest girls you will find in the south, but that is just about the only category in which they can compete this year.
Ole Miss 13
All in all, it should be a good day for the SEC. Ole Miss will embarrass themselves, and nobody will care