Games you Can’t Miss
It might be the biggest game ever at Vandy, but SC is too talented.
South Carolina (-7) at Vanderbilt
7 PM Thursday, ESPN
If you aren’t going to make it to Shreveport, this game is a reason you might want to find a place with multiple TVs on Thursday Night. Vandy opens with what could be their biggest game ever, while for South Carolina this will be their toughest road test until mid-October.
Prediction: Vanderbilt scores late to beat the spread.
Alabama (-13.5) vs Michigan
7 PM Saturday, ABC
Talk about a bang to start the season, this game could be one of the most watched opening weekend games in the history of college football. Word from BamaOnline’s Chris Walsh is that running back Eddie Lacy is good to go for this Saturday’s contest. I’m expecting the Tide to flash their passing game more this season, and that’s not good news for everyone standing in their way.
Prediction: Michigan stays within the spread.
Clemson (-3.5) at Auburn
6 PM Saturday, ESPN
A&M fans will get to see how one of their future opponents handles a tempo offense when Auburn takes a crack at slowing down Clemson on Saturday Night. Auburn’s offense is mostly a mystery with a first year offensive coordinator, but the athletic Kiehl Frazier won the quarterback job this fall.
Look for Auburn to make an early season statement against Clemson on Saturday.
Prediction: Auburn makes an early statement.
Tennessee (-3.5) at N.C. State
6:30 PM Friday, ESPNU
The Dooley era rolls on following a week that saw Tennessee’s most talented receiver Da’Rick Rogers transfer to Tennessee Tech. It’s no secret that Dooley is as much on the hot seat as any other coach in America, and this is going to be a big game right out of the gate.
Prediction: N.C. State to win.
Kentucky at Louisville (-13.5)
2:30 PM Sunday, ESPN
Joker Phillips and the Wildcats enter the season with very low expectations around the program, and will be put to the rest right away on the road against a Top 25 opponent. Phillips said last week that Kentucky fans may not recognize quarterback Maxwell Smith, who he says is more confident and more relaxed this fall.
Prediction: Louisville covers
The Rest of the Schedule
There's even more pressure on Eric Reid after Tyrann Mathieu was kicked off the team at LSU.
North Texas at LSU (-43)
6PM Sat, ESPNU
With Tyrann Mathieu, LSU’s secondary was going to be young this season. Without him, it’s even younger. Like the Aggies with De’Vante Harris, LSU will be starting a true freshman corner in DeSoto product Jalen Mills. Don’t cry for the Bayou Bengals though, they’re still as talented on defense as anyone in the country.
Prediction: I’ll never pick anyone to win by 43 points, so give me North Texas.
Buffalo at Georgia (-37.5)
11:20 Sat, ESPN3
Another massive spread tells the story. Top ten Georgia shouldn’t have any problem at home with Buffalo. According to Gentry Estes and the team at Dawgs247, there’s a quiet confidence about Georgia heading into the season because people around the program know what kind of season it could be. They’ll face their first test in the SEC’s best Week 2 game when the Bulldogs travel to Missouri.
Prediction: Georgia shuts it down early and Buffalo hits a backdoor cover
Bowling Green at Florida (-29)
2:30 Sat, ESPN
A&M fans will want to tune into this one to see what Florida’s offense looks like before the Gators head to Kyle Field in one of the most anticipated games in Kyle Field’s history. It sounds like the Gators are going to be trying to play with two quarterbacks to start the fall, something to definitely keep a close eye on. However, Florida could probably play without a quarterback and handle Bowling Green.
Aaron Murray and Georgia take on Buffalo, but are already preparing for Missouri next week.
Prediction: Florida to cover
Quick Hitters vs FCS
Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri, 6PM Sat, ESPN3
The big news out of Columbia this week is that running back Henry Josey will miss all of the 2012 season. That’s a major blow to a team hoping to compete in the SEC East. That puts even more pressure on quarterback James Franklin to carry the load next week when Georgia comes to down.
Central Arkansas at Ole Miss, 6PM Sat
Jackson State at Mississippi State, 6PM Sat
Former Texas A&M offensive coordinator Les Koenning is optimistic about the Bulldog offense this year according to Bulldawgs247’s Paul Jones. The Bulldawgs run a spread offense, but it’s a physical running spread that’s more similar to Missouri’s last season than anything most people are familiar with.
Jacksonville State at Arkansas , 6PM Sat
About the only thing interesting in this one is how the team looks with John L Smith running the show at head coach. Of course everything will be fine until the Razorbacks hit some adversity, but don’t expect that to happen this week.