Well, here we go again!
Years ago, the Charlotte Observer had a blog in the sports section called “SEC Expats” where staff writers that went to or were affiliated with SEC schools could write about their school and league in the middle of ACC country. The blog never really took off, as there were only about a half-dozen readers that contributed. I contributed the most, under the screen name “J.” The ‘Bama guy even brought me up while live-blogging the Auburn-Oregon national title game in January 2011. 😊 The blog died as several of the writers retired or left the Observer for other jobs. I decided to continue to predict SEC games here, along with games of my alma mater, the Charlotte 49ers. Let’s go ahead and dive into week 1.
Louisville vs ‘Bama (Orlando) – I don’t understand how they manage to do this every year – get an opponent who is a big name that is 1-2 years before or after being any good. The big-name opponent hangs tough for a quarter, maybe a half, then the superior talent turns the game in to a rout. I have no reason to hope for anything else this time. The Evil Empire 41, Lou-EE-vul 10
Northwestern State at Texas A&M – I’m probably alone here, but I think that a man older than 40 allowing himself to be called “Jimbo” begs to be ridiculed. Maybe the announcers will do that trying to fill second half dead time. A&M 56, The “Northwestern” Team That Lives in Louisiana 0
Coastal Carolina at South Carolina – The Stud Roosters have transitioned to FBS, without near the success of App State or UAB. Good warmup for The Other USC. Fightin’ Chickens 34, Coastal 13
Misipi vs Texas Tech (Houston) – A neutral site home game for Tech. Everyone seems bullish on the Rebels offense. They’ll need every bit of it against a high scoring team from the pretentious Big 12 – ooh, I’m sorry, the Big XII. Whatever. Misipi XXXVII, Texas Tech XXXIV (That’s 38-34 to the rest of us.)
Central Michigan at Kentucky – Lots of people are high on Kentucky too. Personally, I expect them to join Vandy, Ar-Kansas, Tennessee and Misipi as the 5 SEC teams that don’t make a bowl. You won’t be able to tell from this game though. Briars 33, CMU 10
Tennessee vs West Virginia (Charlotte) – It’s a home game for WVU quarterback Will Grier. UT did manage to get a fired-up coach that learned recruiting from the best recruiter ever. It’s going to take some time. West Virginia XL, Rocky Bottom XXI (or 40-21)
Austin Peay at Georgia – Maybe a mascot fight can break up the boredom? Big Ol’ Hairy Dawgs 63, Austin Peay 3
UT Martin at Missouri – Hey, look, it’s Auburn’s uniforms with my high school mascot! That’s all I got on this one. Mizzou 49, Skyhawks 7
Eastern Illinois at Ar-Kansas – Memo to Chad Morris: It’s not gonna be this easy. Enjoy it. Pigs 35, EIU 7
Charleston Southern at Florida – There was a time when this would produce an upset. I think the coaching is much better now. Lizards 44, CSU 9
Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt – If this were 2 years ago, I pick the upset. MTSU doesn’t have as prolific an offense as it did then. This will showcase the only way the SEC’s worst team wins any games. Vandy 17, MTSU 9
Stephen F. Austin at Misipi State – Another FCS warmup for a new coach. See memo to Chad Morris above. Jerry Clower U 38, SFAU 7
Miami vs LSU (Dallas) – LSU is the biggest mystery in the SEC. Coach O has been incredibly average everywhere he’s been, but he’s loaded with talent because his state is disproportionately loaded. Are they great or not? It’s hard to tell, and a game against an OK team from the ACC won’t help – that is, if you’re like me and believe wholeheartedly in the inferiority of ACC football. LSU 21, Miami 20
Washington vs Auburn (Atlanta) – I think Washington is a tad bit overrated. The QB is a super-stud, but I’m not convinced about their lines. Auburn’s QB is a super-stud, and I DO believe in their lines, especially the defensive one. WAR EAGLE 27, Frank Garcia U 23
Fordham at Charlotte – The College Sports Journal predicts Fordham to finish 4th in the Patriot League, 85th in FCS and 215th in Division I. Most every publication picks us last in C-USA East, but better than last year (it would take more work to be worse). But if we lose to a middling FCS team at home, Brad Lambert should be fired on the field and escorted to his car by security without being allowed in the locker room. I don’t think it’s going to go down like that. 49ers 31, Fordham 17