My wife and I are traveling down to Florida for the weekend today to visit with family and attend Florida's
scrimmage season opener against the non-sketchy Miami, so I won't be around much. Anyway, here are my Week 1 picks in schedule order. Enjoy.
MIAMI UNIVERSITY at FLORIDA
This one won't be close because of how bad of shape Miami is in right now, but don't think that'll deter Urban Meyer from keeping John Brantley in the game well into the second half. A Big East team comes to town next week, and this game is the best practice the new offense will get before then.
Florida 55, Miami 10
UL-LAFAYETTE at GEORGIA
Lafayette is the tougher of the two UL- schools, right? I can't remember. It won't matter much anyway. Just be prepared for people to read too much into things if the Georgia defense doesn't have a stellar day. They're still working out the kinks, remember. Now if Aaron Murray struggles, that would be another thing entirely. Nothing about the offensive scheme changed, he's got plenty of targets, and the line shouldn't let anyone near him.
Georgia 42, UL-Lafayette 20
KENTUCKY at LOUISVILLE
I wanted to pick this one for Louisville out of sentiment for Charlie Strong, but it's going to take him some time to dig out of Steve Kragthorpe's mess. Kentucky is in much better shape, so look for Joker Phillips to get a big win to start his head coaching career.
Kentucky 33 - Louisville 17
JACKSONVILLE STATE at OLE MISS
How exactly is this game not on pay-per-view, but Alabama's opener is?
Ole Miss 48, Jacksonville State 6
UT-MARTIN at TENNESSEE
Enjoy this one Vols fans. Just bottle up any excess good feelings for use later in the year.
Tennessee 45, UT-Martin 13
ARKANSAS STATE at AUBURN
I'll be far more interested in Auburn's points allowed than scored. I think Auburn giving up 30 to Ball State last year might have been a warning sign. Also, pay close attention to Cam Newton's accuracy to see if it's really improved as much as the Auburn coaches say it has.
Auburn 56, Arkansas State 24
SAN JOSE STATE at ALABAMA
After this bloodbath, I think a lot of folks will talk about how Alabama was just fine without Mark Ingram. Perhaps there might not even be a difference, they'll say. Don't believe it. The difference between having just Trent Richardson and both Ingram and Richardson is the difference between difficult and unfair.
Alabama 49, San Jose State 7
TENNESSEE TECH at ARKANSAS
Arkansas 69, Tennessee Tech 16
MEMPHIS at MISSISSIPPI STATE
This game will give us our first glimpses into how Dan Mullen's two-quarterback system will work. What I want to know is which one of Chris Relf and Tyler Russell will be the primary and which will be the change of pace. Relf has more experience, but without Anthony Dixon, going with the more run-oriented guy first might not be the best idea.
Mississippi State 38, Memphis 24
NORTHWESTERN at VANDERBILT
Northwestern would have stomped the Commodores last year, but the Wildcats have lost a lot of guys. I expect this one to be a fairly close game. If it is, we'll be back to having Vandy the pest rather than Vandy the doormat. I have always like the former better, though it causes more heart attacks than the latter does.
Northwestern 21, Vanderbilt 12
LSU vs. NORTH CAROLINA
I think LSU's winning this one no matter how many Tar Heels end up playing, but how close it ends up is heavily dependent on the number suspended. I just don't think UNC has enough offense to beat LSU, who should be able to score some thanks to turnovers and Russell Shepard's magic.
LSU 27, North Carolina 16