The Game: Alabama at South Carolina
Date: October 9
The Setup: Alabama vs. Florida, October 2
The entire off season again has been dominated by talk of how the SEC will again be run by Alabama and Florida. Given that the two of them have met for each of the last two SEC Championship Games, they are unable to escape the other at this point.
They rotate on to each other's schedule this year, and the hype for the game is already building. Some media outlets are billing it as the most anticipated game for the whole country in 2010. You can believe that each team has October 2 circled.
The week after that, Alabama takes a trip to Columbia to take on the Gamecocks. Last year in Tuscaloosa, South Carolina stymied the Crimson Tide passing game and held it to 13 offensive points. One of the Tide's field goals came on a drive that began at South Carolina's 39 yard line. Only Mark Ingram's career night of 246 yards saved Alabama on the night, and if the Gamecocks could have generated any amount of offensive cohesion, even that might not have been enough.
Alabama's defense won't be quite as air tight, and South Carolina's offense should be a bit stronger. If Alabama is napping after the big showdown, they could fall in this trap just one week later.