Another season of SEC football is looming. Excitement is running high in football camps around the Southeast about the new season, but I thought the off-season was vastly entertaining. Not all football, of course, but the conference of the $10,000,000 table dance had more bizarre story lines than WWF. Well, at least until first semester grades come out (or the first felony indictments come down) we can concentrate on and enjoy what's happening on the field.
The first weekend (August 30) brings us five very interesting games and six dogs. Not bad for the first week of the season.
Southern California @ Auburn – Both of these teams have national aspirations. Auburn may be the best the SEC has to offer, even though the Eagle is temporarily grounded. I think the West Coast boys will wilt in the August heat. Auburn by 3.
Louisville @ Kentucky (August 31) – This is awfully early in the season to be playing such a bitter rival, but the game is on. Louisville is a perennial wanna-be, but Kentucky lost some good talent from last year's team and is still suffering from probation-related scholarship restrictions. Louisville has had too many coaching changes to challenge this year. Big Blue by 3.
Georgia @ Clemson – Last year Georgia was the SEC's "Team of Destiny". They almost always managed to pull out a win. No matter how badly they played the ball ultimately took a bounce in their direction. Not this year. Clemson by 2.
Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt – Vandy scared the bejeezus out of the Rebels last year, and a lot of the VU fans think this could be a break-out year for the Commodores, starting with the University of Mississippi. Not gonna happen, but look for another moral victory for the ‘Dores. Ole Miss by 5.
The rest of the games appear to be pick-‘em's, that is, the SEC team can pick their own final score.
Louisiana-Monroe @ LSU – ARF! LSU by 50.
Louisiana-Lafayette @ South Carolina – I was in Indanapolis last week and they pronounce Lafayette as La'-fay-ette. Here in Chattanooga (and Lafayette GA) it's pronounced La-fay'-ette. I wonder how it's pronounced in Cajun country. That's the only mystery about this game. South Carolina by 28.
Fresno State @ UTK – The Vols would like to know if their new-found dedication is going to pay off this season, after last year's disappointments. They won't find out in this game. UTK by 35.
Arkansas is idle. That is to say, they have no game scheduled this weekend.