Pete Fox, VandyMania game picking guru, returns for another season of picking the SEC. Ah, football season at last. No more worrying about felony reports. Maybe a break from tedious, tedious, recruiting reports. We finally get to see if all of the off-season yapping and hype comes to fruition. The biggest story of the year, as far as I'm concerned, is that the UTK band is in financial trouble. Maybe they'll cut down the number of members to the ones that can actually PLAY an instrument.


(last week; 0-0 overall)

Middle Tennessee @ Alabama – In 2002 Middle Tennessee delivered a real scare to the Crimson Tide, losing only 39-34 after being in control much of the game. No such luck this year for the Blue Raiders, as they have fallen on extremely hard times. Alabama is still trying to claw it way back to near the top of the heap in the SEC. They're not there yet, but they're plenty good enough to soundly beat Middle. ‘Bama 31-10.

Southwest Missouri State @ Arkansas – Obviously the Pigs needed a breather in order to prepare for Vandy the following week. Razorbacks 42-7.

Georgia Tech @ Auburn – Auburn is favored by about a touchdown at home, but I really like Georgia Tech. It's going to take a while for Auburn to replace the offensive firepower of last year, and Tech's defense seems to be fairly experiences. Ramblin' Wreck 17 -7.

Wyoming @ Florida – No contest for Urban renewal. The real season for Florida won't start for two weeks. Gators 45-17.

Boise State @ Georgia – This is one of the more interesting first games I've seen for an SEC team in a long time. I'm sure the Broncos feel like they will win the game, and UGA is not as overwhelmingly good as they have been. Nevertheless, the heat and humidity of Georgia in early September will wear down the Ponies, and the Bulldogs will catch them at the wire. UGA 24 – 23.

Louisville @ Kentucky – Kentucky lost at Louisville in last year's opener 28-0. The home field may help, but not nearly enough. Louisville 24-7.

North Texas @ LSU – LSU is favored by 33. I don't know if new coach Les Miles is a merciful man or not. We'll find out this game. LSU 52 - 10

Murray State @ Mississippi State – Mississippi State is not bad enough to lose to Murray. MSU 28 – 10.

Mississippi @ Memphis (Sept. 5) – Another good opener for an SEC team. Ole Miss is going to struggle early and often on offense, returning very few starters from last year's lackluster 4-win season. Memphis 21-7.

Central Florida @ South Carolina (Sept. 1) – South Carolina should win this one easily, if everyone is out of jail. USC 35 12.

University of Alabama @ Birmingham @ Tennessee – Likewise for UTK 35-12.

Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest (Sept 1) – I'm still trying to understand why this is a Thursday night game. No TV, so who knows why the schools chose to inconvenience their fans this way. Well, at least Wake Forest gets a win out of it. Vandy appears to be somewhat better than last year, but they play like patsies on the road, and Wake has a solid offense to put up against Vandy's so-so defense. If VU's promise to open up the offense actually happens, this could be a close, exciting game. Too bad nobody will see it other than those at the stadium. Deacons 38 -34.

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