Rejoice! Football Is Here!

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Rejoice! Football Is Here!

Ah yes, my first post with my new digs here at Gate 21 - and thanks to those who have so kindly welcomed me so far. Hopefully it’s up to lawvol standards, as I’ve told him that he may fire me/kick me out/banish me/screw with my posts if I don’t meet the excellence that he’s built with his work here. Anyways, on to my opening week preview…

I cannot believe the beginning of football season is just mere hours away. Indeed, after a seemingly eternity of an offseason - with the last few non-Olympic days being the longest - it’s go-time.

However, for us Vol faithful, we have the unfortunate task of being made to wait a couple more days for our opener out in LA. Of course I’ll take playing primetime Labor Day Monday night.

As a student though, my weekends have always started on Thursdays and this year it’s even better: only having Tuesday/Thursday classes means I get four-day “weekends”…MONEY. But not getting our home opener for a couple more weeks? Garbage…

Anyways, there’s plenty of football before then, and that’s where I come in. I’m going to go through some of the more notable games this weekend and let you know what games I’ll be watching and what else I’ll be looking for.

Two things: first, I’m going to always include all games with SEC teams because it’s the SEC. Given the choice between the SEC and the NFL, give me the SEC PLEASE!

Second, the first week is always the weekend with the most boring lineup of games. All the big BCS teams are playing State Directional Schools, many being I-AA teams, which I am totally against (unless it’s Appalachian State, more on that later). Anyways, here it goes…


THURSDAY

NC State at South Carolina: Basically the first game of the year. It’s not literally the first one, but it’s the “marquee” ESPN game, so it’s good enough for me to tune in. If the Gamecocks struggle, then well, we’ll just know that still don’t have enough for the East’s Big Three - NC State isn’t very good.

Vandy at Miami (OH): Vandy losing would honestly not shock me. The ‘Dores are gonna be really green on offense and the Redhawks are one of the MAC’s contenders. That said, Vandy, please don’t lose to a MAC team. Actually this game gets started 30 minutes before the NC State-South Carolina game, so those of you with ESPNU can actually get a little football headstart on those of us who unfortunately don’t have that channel.

Elsewhere, Jacksonville State visits Georgia Tech, and while this game wouldn’t even get noticed, the fact that Ryan PerryLou is JSU’s QB has a bit of my interest. Also, if you’re one of those Pac 10 types, Oregon State plays at Stanford on ESPN2.


SATURDAY

UPSET ALERTS: East Carolina “hosts” Virginia Tech in Charlotte, and the Pirates played VT pretty tough last year. Also, I’m not so sure about this move.

Mark it down: Utah is going to beat Michigan. Virginia might make things interesting with USC. Florida Atlantic thinks they have a shot at Texas - I say that’s a lie.

The only other non-SEC games of note…Oklahoma State-Washington State in Seattle, TCU-New Mexico, and Michigan State-Cal, Washington-Oregon. Yes, these games wouldn’t even be sniffed if not for a lack of any other games worth a crap…

Illinois vs. Missouri in St. Louis: Seriously, who thinks Illinois is any good? Were they any good last year? They sure didn’t deserve that Rose Bowl. I have a slight bias towards Mizzou, but they should roll the Zooker this year.


SEC Football | Gate 21
SEC Games

Hawaii at Florida: Word on the street says Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes won’t play. Not like that improves Hawaii’s chances of stopping Tebow. Thousands of miles and like six time zones away?

The game starts something like 6 a.m. Hawaiian time. Oh, and I know from experience in mid September last year it was like a billion degrees, and it’s still August. Ouch.

Oh, and I’m sure Urban won’t call off the dogs. Florida should get 50 in the 3rd quarter…

Georgia Southern at Georgia: UGA’s gonna win the game, but a late surge has put the Eagles ahead in suspensions, where previously UGA had a large advantage. The only question in Athens will be if Southern scores more points than suspensions…

Mark Richt won’t run it up like Urban will, though. Oh, GSU has Ohio State transfer Antonio Henton at QB. Hmmm….

LSU Football | Gate 21" src="http://gate21.net/wp-content/uploads/Team%20Logos/FB-LSU.png" alt="" width="98" height="75" />Appalachian State at LSU: I WILL be watching this game on ESPN. Stop thinking upset, it’s not going to happen, but Appy State and Armanti Edwards keep it close, but really they aren’t sneaking up on anybody this year.

Not sure I would be diving over the line of scrimmage against LSU's d-line if I were Armanti Edwards...

Mississippi State Football | Gate 21" src="http://gate21.net/wp-content/uploads/Team%20Logos/FB-MissSt.png" alt="" width="95" height="75" />Mississippi State at Louisiana Tech: Please explain to me why MSU agreed to play this game in Ruston? They’ll win (I think), but it makes no sense.

Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn/Western Illinois at Arkansas: Snooze…

Ole Miss Football | Gate 21" src="http://gate21.net/wp-content/uploads/Team%20Logos/FB-OleMiss.png" alt="" width="105" height="75" />Tiger High at Ole Miss: If Memphis won this game, I think it would be kinda funny. Talk about ruining a debut…

Really though, from where I’m from (Memphis) this game is a pretty big deal and I would much like to watch it on TV, but its pay-per-view…Oh well…

Alabama vs. Clemson in Atlanta: This is a great game for some Vol fans. Obviously ,we all want Alabama to get crushed, but I can’t lie and say I would get a laugh out of the Tide spoiling Clemson’s season in the opener. I’ll still probably root for Clemson…

In all seriousness, I get the feeling the pressure falls more on Clemson than on the Tide, what with the high expectations this season and all. Bama’s the underdog, as they should be, but that could easily play into their favor. And kudos to whoever decided to play this game, because it’s the best game Saturday. I’m going to be enjoying it, that’s for sure.

And finally, Kentucky plays at Pizza Box Stadium against Louisville Sunday afternoon, and UK might need this if they wanna sniff a bowl game. Monday’s appetizer for the real game of the week is Fresno State-Rutgers, which should be a pretty good game despite it, well, being Fresno State and Rutgers…

I know all but a few of these matchups pretty much suck, but football’s football people, and I’m ecstatic it’s here.


Image Courtesy of: NY Times / AP: D. Burleson
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