"THAT GRASS IS MINE!"
Okay, let's start a way-to-early, big-game prediction in the SEC. I'm bored. You're not, so let me fill you with my vacuum of despair. These are what I would consider the first big games of the season for each team.
Now with all due respect, I have done more drinking this bowl season than research, and my current picks reflect it. So, don't hold me to these projections. I will probably reevaluate after spring with a little more in-depth look at each team.
Let the darts be thrown.
Kentucky at Louisville
It is basketball season, and the Wildcats are happy about that. Nonetheless, they have to look towards a starting point next season. And a good one at that. "So sorry Mr. Bond", Charlie Strong doesn't give them that.
Texas at Ole Miss
Texas is ready to make a statement, and so is Ole Miss. Unfortunately, Ole Miss has very little talent. Texas—just a slight bit more, or so I'm told.
SEC East Champion
Florida at Texas A&M
This is the big one for both teams. The third meeting of these two teams and the inaugural kickoff into the SEC for A&M should make for good TV in the second week of play. With Weis out, it seemed that the Gators had some success with the new Urban Meyer team. However, I wouldn't write off the new Kevin Sumlin show yet. I just would keep typing, for now.
North Carolina State at Tennessee
Part of the double-header Kickoff Classic in the Georgia Dome, this is a must-win for UT. With more key components returning for the Vols than NC State, Dooley should feel somewhat at ease. But, don't think that chair is not warm.
SEC West Champion
I don't know which game to put as LSU's first big one. Washington? Auburn? Florida? Or, could it be Alabama? This team is going to be good next year as well. So, lets just say Auburn because we know Washington has zero defense. Breaking in a new quarterback is better than what they have now or what Auburn has on its side.
Alabama at Arkansas
This is the Hogs' first big game, and it is in "Fayettenam" no less. Losing skill players like Joe Adams, Greg Childs (not this season) and Jarius Wright means Knile Davis will have to step up. But, that Arkansas defense is the problem. I don't see it getting better.
Clemson at Auburn
This game seems to be an interesting feat for both teams. Auburn must avenge last season's loss at Clemson, and Clemson must avenge every loss they have in the Georgia Dome. I'll give this one to Clemson because of returning players and coaches. What? Clemson loses their offensive line?
Georgia at Missouri
Another first big game for both. The proving ground that UGA should be back at the top, and Mizzou belongs in the SEC East title race starts in Columbia...the other Columbia. The Dawgs return the cylinders on their vehicle and have defense in them. But, sometimes things just go wrong. But still...
South Carolina at Vanderbilt
Believe it or not, this is a big game for South Carolina and, of course, Vanderbilt. Sure, I could put USC all the way to the Missouri game or even UGA at Columbia for their first big one, but I won't. You will find out when the game is played why. Statement time!
Advantage: South Carolina
Auburn at Mississippi State
This game, like last season, will define the Bulldogs' year. I know that Auburn doesn't have much of the greatness that they held in 2010 coming back, even in 2012, but they have talent. And that is more than MSU has. Same as last season.
Michigan at Alabama
Dallas will enjoy the amount of 'Bama and Wolverines fans flocking in for this one. Denard Robinson is a tricky one, but the Tide defense—though short some players—is stacked with real talent. Returning a stout offensive line and a good rushing game, the Tide will be hard to stop.