Nationally, the most significant game involving an SEC team in week one features No. 5 Georgia traveling to play No. 8 Clemson. Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd leading their teams at quarterback make both offenses dangerous. Both of the quarterbacks are very good, both are very experienced and both have talented people around them.
I think the Bulldogs will have their hands full in this game because they have questions on defense and they are going to be real young on that side of the ball having to replace a lot of starters. Playing at Clemson is an advantage for the ACC team and having a quarterback like Boyd, who is also a threat to run, is going to be tough for the Bulldogs to deal with on opening night.
The SEC season kicks off Thursday evening with an SEC-ACC matchup as South Carolina plays at home vs. North Carolina. Steve Spurrier usually finds a way to move the football and I don't think that will change this year. I like both of his quarterbacks and he has a special player in Jadaveon Clowney, a guy who will probably require double-teams and other schemes to prevent him from disrupting offenses. Defensive ends who are six-foot-six, 275 pounds and run 4.4 40s require special attention from offensive coordinators.
A pair of teams coming off disappointing 7-6 seasons will be taking on strong opponents from the SEC West. Virginia Tech will be trying to re-establish itself as one of the top teams in the country when the Hokies travel to the Georgia Dome for a Saturday night game vs. Alabama. Coach Frank Beamer's team might be able to keep this game interesting for a while.
TCU was a very young team last season and should provide a real challenge for LSU in the opener that is being played Saturday night at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The Horned Frogs are a very well-coached team and I think LSU is going to have to really perform at a high level to come home with a win.
Closer to home a team looking to bounce back is the Auburn Tigers, who will be taking on Washington State out of the PAC-12. There are a lot of things Auburn's new coaching staff wants to see from its players this year. What I want to see Saturday night is a team that will take and play hard from start to finish, and hit a lot of people in the process.
I would also like to see an Auburn team that looks like it is having fun playing the game. If all of those things happen I like the chances of Gus Malzahn's team opening the season with a victory.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.