This series is an abbreviated version of last season’s SEC Football Weekly Rundown, where, of course, yours truly gave predictions for the coming week’s games, as well as a recap of the previous week’s match-ups.
As it turns out, time will not permit me to be as in-depth as I would like to be each week. Of course, the first couple of weeks may be totally shots in the dark until a feel for the teams has been fashioned.
So, with that being said, I’d like to officially kick of this season’s “SEC Picks.”
Missouri State at Arkansas
I’m not even going to pretend I know anything about Missouri State.
I do, however, know something about Arkansas, and they have a pretty good coach roaming the sidelines.
Arkansas should see a vast improvement over last year’s offensive woes. Look for the Hogs to light it up come Saturday night.
Prediction: Ark 38 Missouri St 10
LA Tech at Auburn
And so the Chizik era begins Saturday on The Plains.
There are many questions surrounding this Tiger squad, which had one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memories.
Such questions are: who steps up at receiver, are the Tigers completely satisfied with their choice of having Chris Todd at quarterback, and many more.
One thing is for sure, Louisiana Tech is no stranger to the SEC, and they always come to play.
Just ask Mississippi State and Alabama.
Prediction: Auburn 22 LA Tech 16
Charleston Southern at. Florida
Really, do I even need to elaborate? If Florida is everything they claim to be then they’ll hit a score similar to this one.
Prediction: Florida 60 Charleston Southern 6
Georgia at Oklahoma State
Call me a homer for jumping on the bandwagon, but I feel confident that the Cowboys of OSU will be ready to go in their newly renovated stadium.
Stillwater won’t be so still come Saturday as UGA struggles to replace the number one overall pick in the NFL draft.
Plus, OSU is loaded on the offensive side of the ball. Look for some quick strikes to open up this game.
UGA will hang around, but they don't have enough to pull this one out.
Prediction: OSU 31 UGA 20
Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky (played in Cincinnati)
Rich Brooks will have his ‘Cats ready to pounce Miami this weekend.
Returning the starting center and both tackles from last year’s squad will help tremendously, not to mention Hartline returning at the QB spot and Drake at the TE spot.
Look for them to put up some good offensive numbers in this neutral site opener.
Prediction: UK 35 Miami 17
LSU at Washington
The Huskies were woeful last season, and I don’t expect much different from them in ’09.
LSU does something they normally don’t do: travel to the west coast for a late night show-down with the PAC-10.
That won’t matter though.
I look for the Tigers to blueax these pups out of the water!
Prediction: LSU 37 Washington 14
Mississippi at Memphis (Sunday 09/06)
Now’s the time for the Rebels to prove they are the real deal by coming out and owning a Sunday showdown with the Memphis Tigers after everyone recovers from Saturday.
I can picture it now.
Saturday has ended, the thrill of victories and the agony of defeats has started to both sober-up, and Nutt reigns supreme on the day that is typically dominated by the NFL.
Prediction: Ole Miss 35 Memphis 13
Jackson State at Mississippi State
The Bulldogs have a new coach and hopefully, for their sakes, a new attitude to start the ’09 campaign. After all, life has been a little dismal for Bulldog fans over the last decade or so.
Look for Mullen to start his career off on the right foot against Jackson State.
Prediction: MSU 27 Jack St. 10
South Carolina at NC State (Thursday 09/03)
In my opinion, this is a critical season for the “Ole Ball Coach.”
He needs to put together a few upsets if he plans on staying in Carolina much longer. If not, then he can spend even more time on the lovely Carolina beaches chasing that little white ball around.
Carolina will perhaps gel as the season progresses, but I believe they have their hands full right now, as Spurrier seems pretty agitated with their preseason performance thus far.
I don’t see them getting it done tomorrow night.
Prediction: NC State 21 USC 17
Western Kentucky at Tennessee
Lane Kiffin has as easy a contest as you can expect in your first game as head coach for a program.
I don’t see UT letting up, at all.
The Vol defense will perhaps score more then the Western Kentucky offense come Saturday.
Prediction: UT 48 Western Kentucky 6
Western Carolina at Vanderbilt
Vandy began the ’08 season as everyone’s Cinderella. Alas, they returned to their usual ways. They’ll have an easy start to the ’09 season.
Prediction: Vandy 30 Western Carolina 9
Game of the Week: Alabama vs Virginia Tech (Georgia Dome)
A lot has been put into this game, on both sides of the ball.
VaTech is short a running back, but Bama lost their leading rusher from last year as well.
Both have top-rated defenses, returning most of the starters for both teams.
'Bama has an unproven quarterback, but lots of options to help him early on, including proven running backs, receivers, and tight ends.
Tech returns their quarterback, known for throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, but also known for his scrambling ability. He’ll make you pay when you don’t contain the ends.
Both have good special teams. Tech is known for blocking punts and kicks, and 'Bama has the always dangerous Arenas, who may take it to the house any time he touches the ball.
The biggest question will be how both offensive lines play. Whichever line comes together the quickest, which may depend on which defense disrupts the other line the most, will be the victor in my opinion.
Right now, I’m leaning toward 'Bama’s bunch to get it done!
Prediction: Bama 23 Tech 20
Here’s to a good season. Let me know what you think.