Thursday, September 4

SEC Week 2 Games - This Time Published in Advance

So, what’d we see last week? South Carolina looked like ass for three quarters, then put in Chris Smelley and destroyed a horribly overmatched NC State team. Vanderbilt decided they were actually going to try this football fad for real this season, and Chris Nickson turned in the best performance of his career. (We won’t see that again.) Florida, and Georgia rolled pretty comfortably. Alabama inexplicably won, in some part thanks to the return of Jeff Bowden as unbilled offensive coordinator for Clemson. Memphis did what they did best - lose to Ole Miss - and Mississippi State wished they had it so lucky, blowing a game to Louisiana Freaking Tech. (Apparently Wesley Carroll did just enough to lose that game.) Tennessee decided to choke away a nice statement win, and Louisville choked at the prospect of playing FBS competition. Way to go, Wildcats. We assume LSU won handily, since we didn’t hear anything about them not winning handily and that’s good enough for us.

So what’s in store this week? Well, a lot of this looks like Week 1 – lopsided out-of-conference games, one somewhat interesting matchup – except we actually have a conference game this time around! Of course, we don’t have anything on the magnitude of Alabama / Clemson, so that’s the tradeoff. Let’s get to it:

Alabama v. Tulane
This game would’ve been a lot of fun last year, as I suspect it would’ve turned out a lot like UCF-Texas only with Tulane winning. I’m not sure ‘Bama would have an answer for Matt Forte, and I’m not sure they do now. The problem is that Forte’s at the next level now and while Andre Anderson is good, he’s not game-breaking good, not in this game. Alabama should roll, and we’ll see a few Julio Jones highlights, up to and including every single Alabama fan you know talking about how Jones is going to do the same thing to SEC defenses and completely ignoring that Tulane has one of the worst defenses in C-USA, which is like being the poorest person in Haiti.

Arkansas v. UL-Monroe
UL-Monroe continues their SEC swing, this time playing a team who’s a bit closer to them in talent level. This should be their best chance to pull off a marquee non-conference win, but after upsetting Alabama they’re not sneaking up on anyone this time around. I expect a pretty closely-fought game here, but Petrino ends up opening up the playbook big-time come the second half and ULM can’t quite keep up. Honestly, I hope that doesn’t happen – I really want to see ULM roll big here, as I’m still annoyed at what the Arkansas fans did to Nutt – but I think there’s just enough of a talent disparity to throw it in Arkansas’s favor. In addition, getting pushed to the limit by Directional Illinois probably scared the shit out of them.

Mississippi State v. Directional (Southeast) Louisiana, Georgia v. Non-Directional (Central) Michigan
Look, both these games are going to be non-factors. Do you even know what conference SE Louisiana is in? I don’t. I know which conference Central Michigan is in, but that’s because I’m a nerd – and the MAC is apparently the Michigan Athletic Conference. Still, there’s no reason both Bulldogs shouldn’t roll here. Although I said the same thing last week about MSU, so ...yeah, I should know better.

Kentucky v. Norfolk State
Norfolk isn’t a state; it’s barely even a freaking city. I hope Kentucky at least sprung for plane tickets for these guys; nothing would suck more than taking a bus from Norfolk to Lexington to get rocked, and then driving back. But at least they tried.

LSU v. Troy
Again, this game would be awesome if it wasn’t for LSU being so obviously better than Troy. Still, Troy is turning into the East Coast version of Fresno State, which is pretty freaking badass. They’ll get their skulls caved in here, but they’re a quality team. Troy @ Alabama? I’d watch that. But this – this is going to be a mess, especially because LSU will still be in early season, fuck-you-up-so-bad-your-mama-won’t-recognize-you mode.
Edit: this game was postponed due to Hurricane Gustav. So much for that early-season mode, but let's hear it for bye weeks and hope for the best in Baton Rouge, as Louisiana's kind of been shit on by Mother Nature lately. Bitch better pay her child support is all I'm saying.

Florida v. Miami (FL)
There’s no reason Florida shouldn’t walk in this game, but dear god, let’s hope Randy Shannon has the troops ready to roll here. I mean, if you have the Miami Fuckin’ Soldiers against Ronnie “AK-47” Wilson, this should turn into a regular firefight. I suspect this game will come down to who can generate better coverage on D and effectively blast between the tackles on offense. Florida should win this, simply because they have so much more ammunition than the ‘Canes..

Auburn v. Southern Mississippi
Here’s your most likely candidate for “Stupidly Entertaining Game of the Week” – at least from the SEC. Southern Miss can normally put together a solid 45-50 minute effort against most SEC teams, and I don’t think it’s too likely Tony Franklin will totally unveil the playbook for the Tigers just yet, meaning Auburn will go into this game with an underdeveloped offensive game plan. That would be okay against most teams, but Damion Fletcher will be the best RB on the field and it’s not even close. Fortunately for Auburn, they have a passing game to complement their running game, which is something that USM has been hearing rumors about for a while but haven’t actually done anything about yet. Still, Southern Miss will keep it close enough that you’ll wonder if they can pull the upset once they’re down 10-7 at halftime.

Ole Miss @ Wake Forest
For the love of god and all that is holy, don’t watch this game. I’m not even kidding. I want to like watching Wake Forest, but they play a freaking hideous brand of football, which apparently the entire freaking ACC has copied. Houston Nutt will be all too eager to play a whose-dick-is-bigger contest of smashmouth football, which will play right into Jim Grobe’s hands. It’s weird – I like Wake Forest the team and yet I have no desire to actually watch them. I suspect I’m not giving Ole Miss as much credit as I should, but this really looks like a 13-10 type of game, and if it comes down to kicking, Sam Swank is way better than anything the Rebels can muster.

Vanderbilt v. South Carolina
The “main event”! I suspect this game might actually end up somewhere other than Jefferson Pilot Raycom ESPN360 if only because it’s the second week of the season – and by god, it’s a conference game. Will it be great football? Hardly. Will be exciting? Possibly. Will you watch it because it’s a fecking conference game, and by god, that’s what you’re supposed to watch when it comes to college football? Absolutely. But don’t say you weren’t warned.