GAME OF THE WEEK
Texas A&M at South Carolina, Thursday, 6 p.m. ET, SEC Network
This game doesn't have the best combined ranking of teams, but it has to be the Game of the Week pick. It's the best game between only SEC teams, and it's the historic first game on the SECN. It also has the greatest capacity to change the season narrative of any of the close games this weekend.
And hey, it's the first game of the season. Let's go.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 28
Boise State vs. Ole Miss, Atlanta, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Had this game been played when it was scheduled, it would have been Chris Petersen vs. Houston Nutt. Today, the Rebels are on the rise as the Broncos' star is fading a bit. If Ole Miss doesn't win this one, it throws some cold water on the high expectations this year.
Temple at Vanderbilt, 9:15 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Temple is back to being awful, so this should be a nice way to ease into the Derek Mason era.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30
West Virginia vs. Alabama, Atlanta, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The Mountaineers will throw the ball well enough to test Bama's secondary, but if this one is close in the fourth quarter, it could mean bad things for the Tide this year.
Arkansas at Auburn, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Auburn started slowly in both 2010 and 2013, but this is the first year on the college level that Gus Malzahn has had the same quarterback as the last. Also, this is our first chance to see how Bret Bielema's reclamation project is going in the second season.
Clemson at Georgia, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
With the Tigers replacing some significant pieces on offense, this will be a somewhat gentler first test for Jeremy Pruitt's defense than you might think. A solid win here would put everyone on notice that Georgia is for real this year.
Idaho at Florida, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
There is some intrigue here at seeing the Gators' new-look offense, but it's not going to be that interesting. Will Muschamp has said he wants to get his backup quarterback in the game before the second quarter ends, which means he'll be treating this like a practice. Idaho is bad enough that he can do that without worrying.
Southern Miss at Mississippi State, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
After last year's encounter with Oklahoma State, MSU's non-conference schedule is back to being pillowy soft.
Wisconsin vs. LSU, Houston, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
This is probably the real game of the week, all told. These teams seem to be pretty evenly matched, and this is the best chance in years for LSU's incredible non-conference win streak to come to an end.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31
Utah State at Tennessee, 7 p.m. ET, SEC Network
This game has been a popular upset pick, given Tennessee's large roster turnover and the playmaking ability of USU's fun Chuckie Keeton. If the Vols do manage to lose this, then they can probably kiss their bowl hopes goodbye already given their brutal schedule.
UT-Martin at Kentucky, Saturday, noon ET, SEC Network
South Dakota State at Missouri, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU