This Week: 1-0
It's shaping up to be a great weekend. The weather here in North Carolina will be great with temperatures in the low 80s, and there's a slew of interesting games on TV. After witnessing the slopfest in the Swamp last weekend, I'm home for what should be a pivotal early-season slate of games. I'm sticking to my preseason picks for now, but I might be open to change next week. Here's this week's games in schedule order.
GEORGIA at SOUTH CAROLINA
Which one of these things is not like the other? 17-15, 18-0, 12-16, 14-7. 41-37. Those are the scores of this match up since Steve Spurrier arrived in Columbia. The last one sticks out, as the 2009 game was the only shootout of the bunch. The second one sticks out because it was the only one decided by more than one score. The third sticks out because it was South Carolina's only win. Will any of those get company this weekend? I say yes, but only one of them.
South Carolina 24, Georgia 23
USF at FLORIDA
Last week's Florida game was a fluke, but how big of one remains to be seen. The team was shorthanded in a way not seen since mid-2005, but a lot of missing guys will be back. I can't imagine the snap problems returning, so that means we should see some serious progress between then and now. I don't see Florida winning this in a blowout, but the difference between the teams should be clear.
Florida 31, USF 24
LSU at VANDERBILT
The Commodores have a bit more to offer than a lot of folks expected, and people seem to be focusing on LSU's fourth quarter against UNC rather than the other 75% of the game. So is anyone predicting an upset here? Anyone?Yeah, didn't think so.
LSU 34, Vanderbilt 17
PENN STATE at ALABAMA
When Alabama has been unanimously expected to beat a good team under Nick Saban, the team for some reason invariably starts out slowly. I would expect to see something similar as the Nittany Lions lean on Evan Royster to give freshman QB Robert Bolden (or whoever else we might see there) a break early on. That will test the Bama front, where we'll find out just how much they miss Mount Cody. Alabama should win in the end, but it won't be a cakewalk.
Alabama 35 - Penn State 20
UL-MONROE at ARKANSAS
Wheee! Touchdowns are fun!
Arkansas 48, UL-Monroe 9
OREGON at TENNESSEE
Almost no one ever goes into Neyland and embarrasses the Vols, especially non-conference teams. UT will put up a valiant fight, and Oregon won't win by 50. It won't be close though.
Oregon 38, Tennessee 16
WESTERN KENTUCKY at KENTUCKY
After a big win over rival Louisville to start his tenure, Joker Phillips gets to take a breather against what amounts to a I-AA team.
Kentucky 41, Western Kentucky 6
OLE MISS at TULANE
Last week was a total fluke loss for the Rebels. Right?
Ole Miss 40, Tulane 10