Game Day: October 3

A rundown of what's on TV.

Noon_medium

a.k.a. 11 AM Central.

Best Game: Alabama at Kentucky, SEC Network

If Alabama is looking past Kentucky to next week's game against Ole Miss and if UK has channeled its disappointment from last week into focus, then this could be quite the game. I think the Wildcats give the Tide a scare early in the game regardless, but I just don't see Kentucky winning this one. Their tackling on defense was abysmal last week, and that should enable Bama to pull away whenever they want. That said, a noon game on the road is extremely dangerous territory in the SEC.

Prediction: An early struggle turns into a laugher late, Bama 37-17.

Next Best Game: Wisconsin at Minnesota, ESPN

Yeah, the battle of mid-range Big Ten teams is the next best thing on. It's slim pickings at noon.

Prediction: A nation struggles to stay awake during this snoozefest. Someone wins, but it won't be the viewers.

Mid-afternoon_medium

Best Game: LSU at Georgia, CBS, 3:30 ET

This one had better come through, because there aren't a whole lot of options at 3:30 either. I think it will though, because battles between good but still incomplete teams tend to be some of the best. They'll each do what they do best well, but their shortcomings should prevent either team from really pulling away. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Prediction: It will be a hard fought game throughout, but Les Miles will win a gamble late and LSU will win 38-35.

Next Best Game: Air Force at Navy, CBS College Sports, 3:30 ET

You could watch mildly interesting but ultimately inconsequential conference matchups in the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-10. Or, you could watch two of the best triple option teams in the country go at it as though it was 1974. I don't know about you, but I know which I'd rather see.

Prediction: Lots and lots of running, and fewer than 25 combined passes thrown. Air Force pulls it out 31-27.

Evening_medium

Best Game: Auburn at Tennessee, ESPN, 7:45

This is a big prove it game for both teams, and the offense/defense subplots are thick. Can Tennessee's defense shut down the rejuvenated Auburn offense? Can Auburn continue its torrid pace? Can Tennessee pick up its first SEC win of 2009? This should be a good team between teams that match up well against each other.

Prediction: UT will indeed slow down Auburn's offense, but Auburn's defense is much better than the Tennessee offense. Auburn wins a low scoring but well played game, 17-12.

Next Best Game: Oklahoma at Miami, ABC, 8:00 ET

Look, this is only interesting to me because I think Oklahoma is just going to blow Miami away. Seriously, it's going to be ugly. Miami's pass defense, which can accurately be described as "calamitous," is going to be down a pair of safeties. That means it will go from bad to worse, and that should make Landry Jones' job a lot easier. The OU defense, meanwhile, has been very good. It held BYU to just a pair of touchdowns, and it shut out Tulsa (which is more impressive than you think it is). Combine that with the fact that Whatever They're Calling Joe Robbie Stadium amounts to no home field advantage whatsoever, and Oklahoma's going to take this one easy.

Prediction: Bob Stoops teams are always great in the regular season, and this will be a reminder of that fact. Oklahoma rolls 52-24.

Landry-kip_medium

Yes, I'm betting big on Kip Dynamite to take down the Hurricanes.

Other SEC Games

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, ESPNU, 7:00: the Rebels try to save their season while Vandy tries to save its bowl hopes.

SC State at South Carolina, ESPN Classic, 7:00: why it's on this channel I don't know, because this won't be a classic in any sense of the word.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, ESPN2, 7:30: a renewal of an SWC rivalry where no defense is likely to be played.

Georgia Tech at Mississippi State, SEC Network/FSN regional, 7:30: if the GT option isn't working like it wasn't against Clemson or Miami, look for the Bulldogs to pull off the upset.

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