College Football Week 2 Picks: Predictions for High-Profile SEC Matchups

Mike Shiekman@TheRealShiekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2012

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 02: Quarterback Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs sets for play against the Michigan State Spartans in the Outback Bowl January 2, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The SEC welcomes Texas A&M and Missouri into conference play this weekend, concurrently the two heralded games in Week 2 of college football.

The two old-guard SEC teams these Big 12 defect displayed a signs of vulnerability in their Week 1 matchups, potentially opening the door for the home teams to secure an historic SEC win.

Florida’s offense has adopted the ground-and-pound style that head coach Will Muschamp wants, but has lost any sign of a passing game.

Georgia’s defense was thought to be much improved, but a shoddy first half against Buffalo said otherwise.

Could Texas A&M or Missouri make some noise in their debuts? What an opening to SEC play that would be.

Florida at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m. ET)

Texas A&M Will Wish They Had a Warm-Up Game

The Aggies weren’t able to get an opening game after Hurricane Issac threatened their matchup against Louisiana Tech. The game was postponed and Texas A&M had to settle for their first SEC clash and their defacto opener.

Advantage, Gators.

Florida struggled in its opener at home against Bowling Green, but was able to sort out its quarterback conundrum and see running back Mike Gillislie handle a full load quite admirably.

That must have helped coach Muschamp sleep at night. Somewhere, A&M Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is green.

For the Aggies, though, their redshirt quarterback Johnny Manziel will be making his first start against a top-20 defense. He sure would’ve liked to have an opener against Bowling Green, though .

Forget learning experiences. Manziel has to impress on Day 1 and find his comfort zone early for the Aggies to contend. That’s a tall order.

Florida’s Stout Defensive Line Will Have Its Coming Out Party

The Gators’ front seven is chock full of 4- and 5-star recruits. After their matchup with the Aggies this weekend, the entire country will know about Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley, in particular.

Both Floyd and Easley have shown flashes of brilliance since Will Muschamp came to Gainesville but finally have the experience in their head coach’s system to wreck havoc on SEC opponents.

Texas A&M isn’t exactly SEC caliber just yet. Facing this Gators defensive line, they will get their wakeup call.

Prediction: Florida 23, Texas A&M 17

Georgia at Missouri (7:45 p.m. ET)

James Franklin Will Put Up Career Numbers Against a Georgia Defense

Missouri’s season opener is a measuring-stick game of sorts for Franklin and his teammates as they will see where they stack up initially in the SEC.

It will be Franklin’s skills as a dual threat, however, that will mask the Tigers' offensive deficiencies against Georgia.

The Bulldogs have yet to face a quarterback in the past year like Franklin who has no fear in making a play with his legs. Look no further than his 15 rushing touchdowns last season.

The Bulldogs had a ton of defensive lapses against Buffalo last weekend, giving up 243 yards of offense in the first half. Jarvis Jones and Co. will certainly need to get their act together.

Franklin won’t let them get off easy. Luckily, Georgia has Aaron Murray to lessen the blow on the other side of the ball.

Prediction: Georgia 34, Missouri 31