It is finally here - the weekend that starts it all and ends the weeks of counting down the days and watching replays of old games. Starting this week and throughout the season, I will be using this blog to preview the SEC games, Top 25 and other notable games and a few games that look really good to me against the spread.
The SEC is definitely starting slow out of the gate as far as interesting games go this weekend. We have several games that aren't even worth discussing: Alabama over San Jose State, Arkansas over Tennessee Tech, Ole Miss over Jacksonville State, Florida over Miami (OH), Georgia over Louisiana, Tennessee over UT-Martin.
Arkansas State @ Auburn - Hopefully Gus will take it easy on the Indians (yes they are still the Indians in my book). I'm always skeptical of overhyped JUCO QBs such as Cam Newton, but it will be fun to watch how he does, and it is always entertaining to see Malzahn's offense. Auburn 41-10
Memphis @ Mississippi St. - I guess I missed the memo that the Bullies are actually gonna be good this year, but it seems like a lot of people are saying they deserve some attention. Well, they'll be undefeated for at least a week this year because Memphis is just not very good. MSU 28-17
Southern Miss @ South Carolina (Thursday) - Spurrier is now in year six of mediocrity. Mediocre as in being in a major conference and playing multiple Thursday night games a year. I think this will be a snoozer, but it will just be good to see some live football. Gamecocks 24-13
Kentucky @ Louisville - This is a very underrated game for this weekend. Two new coaches in a rivalry game. It'll be entertaining. Kentucky in a close one 24-21
Northwestern @ Vanderbilt - Will there be more people in the library or the football stadium come Saturday? Two of the most expensive private schools in the nation squaring off on the football field...okay, I am tired of trying to make this interesting to everyone. Northwestern wins 27-15 and the Big T(ele)e(ven)n will brag about this win against the SEC for years to come.
UNC vs. LSU in the ATL - See "If I were a bettin man..." segment below.
Notable Games Around the Nation
#15 Pitt @ Utah (Thursday) - Man, this is a tough one. Seems like a pretty evenly matched game to me. In early games like this where it appears even, I gotta go with the team that has a more experienced QB, Oline and Dline. That would be Utah and they are at home where they haven't lost since 2007. Utah 20-17
UConn @ Michigan - The fans in the Big House are gonna be more nervous than excited about the start of the '10 season. UConn can end RichRod's year before it even really starts. UConn is very well coached; Michigan just practices more than any other team in the nation. I gotta go with Meee-chigan in this one just because I am in the minority and think that Michigan will have a good year. Michigan 21-17
Washington @ BYU - Jake Locker is a bad dude. BYU will be rotating new QBs. Washington 31-26
Cincinnati @ Fresno St. - Another underrated game of the weekend. This is another tough one to pick. It's at Fresno and they are returning 15 starters and Cincy doesn't have Brian Kelly anymore. Zac Collaros will make some noise for Cincy though - another QB that is fun to watch. Fresno 27-24
SMU @ Texas Tech (Sunday) - Get Your Guns Up! It's Tubs' first game in Lubbock. He better have some guns to keep up with June Jones' offense. Tubs finds a way to pull it out in an entertaining lazy Sunday afternoon game; get comfortable because it may last 5 hours. Texas Tech 38-27
If I were a bettin' man...
This will be a weekly segment that looks at a few games that I think the spread is a little off because after all, going against the spread (instead of straight up) makes things more exciting. It's really just a coincidence that this week I feature the marquee games here. I usually like to find some obscure game because the Vegas guys can't get everything right, right?
#6 TCU v. # 24 Oregon State (+13) in Dallas - First of all, the Beavers are my sleeper team in the PAC-10; in fact, I have them going to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the '60s. Everyone is loving TCU this year and OSU is flying under the radar. I am usually one of the first to give the little guy (TCU) credit but not in this one. OSU has a nasty Dline and the Brothers Rodgers on offense still. I really think that up and down the roster, there is more depth and athleticism in a good PAC-10 program than a Mountain West champion. And when you factor in the 13 points, this is a no-brainer in my opinion. I have tried to figure this one out and all I can find is that OSU has a new QB and that will be the difference. We'll see. Go Beavers!
#21 LSU (-5) vs. #18 UNC - UNC has had major off-the-field drama and everyone associated with LSU thinks their coach is an idiot. This line has been all over the place because of the many issues going on with UNC. I was all about LSU when UNC was favored by 1 before the scandals; now it has moved all the way to LSU -5. All you need to know is what LSU has done to the ACC the last five years: Beat #9 Miami 40-3, beat #9 Virginia Tech 48-7, and beat #14 Georgia Tech 38-3. LSU has superior athletes and the SEC has shown that in the ACC vs. SEC openers in ATL that they are far superior (Alabama winning the last two) and the SEC's top teams regularly beating the top ACC teams in rivalry games toward the end of every season recently.
#3 Boise St. vs. #10 Virginia Tech (+2) in Landover, MD - It's the battle of arguably the two most overrated teams of the last decade to see who is less overrated this year. Quiz time: When was the last time Boise State left its time zone and won a game against a decent team in a BCS conference? Don't tell me Oklahoma because OU didn't want to be there in that bowl game. Boise will have Virginia Tech's undivided attention...in the Hokies back yard...all the way on the east coast...far away from Boise...with all the hype going to Boise. Va Tech is gonna have a bruising running game this year with Darren Evans coming back to join Soph. phenom Ryan Williams and Senior QB Tyrod Taylor. So in summary, we have an experienced QB, the 2nd best running back combo in the nation, a stingy defense, at home, not getting any love playing a team that returns 21 starters (gotta give Boise a little credit) who is coming across the country with a bullseye on their back for a change. Go Hokies...whatever the hell a Hokie is!
Enjoy the games!