Thursday, September 11

SEC Week 3 Games - Workin' Blue to Pass the Time

The first couple weeks’ worth of games hasn’t been too bad to the SEC; sure, Week 2 was pretty freaking boring (I mean, Vandy / South Carolina as your showcase game = go chug some Drano to pass the time), but at least these guys win their non-conference games unlike other conferences whose nAmes we Can’t reCall at the moment. We'll just ignore the fact that Tennessee completely forgot how to do that for now.

As for this week, this is kind of a weird amalgamation of games. There aren’t many true showcase games – Georgia @ South Carolina comes closest, likely – and there are a few duds in there (Ole Miss v. Samford? Really, that was the best they could do?), but the early-season slate of SEC games is a lot like vodka; pretty calm and soothing before it totally fucks you up come Week 4. In the meantime, keep on drinkin’.

Ole Miss v. Samford
Presumably Ole Miss will roll pretty easily here, as I don’t think anyone knows a) where Samford is, b) what NCAA division they’re in (are they NAIA?), c) what kind of classes they offer at Samford, and d) if their football team isn’t just 22 guys in tights. Stranger things have happened, but I have faith in the complete fucking insanity that is Houston Nutt.

LSU v. North Texas
Remember how the first week’s game for LSU could’ve been fun if LSU was a bit worse? Yeah, that’s totally not the case here; North Texas is going to get completely fucked here. Proper fucked, too. It’ll be painful; I fully expect LSU to go into a 3-4 after halftime because three guys are going to be enough to get pressure on the QB, and North Texas isn’t exactly known for their defense. The forecast calls for pain.

Alabama v. Directional (West) Kentucky
Because it’s not enough for Alabama to beat up and steal LSU’s oh-so-loved HC Nick Saban, now they have to go and schedule a provisional Sun Belt school over an actual one. Of course, the last time they played a Sun Belt school, the Tide lost, so maybe we’re a bit premature here assuming a win. But I’d say just a bit premature, not too premature; the Tide should – dare I say – roll.

Tennessee v. UAB
After an intense struggle against Bye Week, Tennessee comes back to face C-USA bottom-feeder UAB, who was best known last year for losing close to Florida State. I expect Tennessee to play only backups in this game, as the UAB game is merely the precursor to the fucking insane Florida-Auburn-(N Illinois)-Georgia gauntlet, two of which (Florida and Georgia) will get to rest up before playing the Vols. Ouch.

Your random "what on earth happened here" moment of the week comes courtesy of a little nugget of info from ESPN. I still have yet to figure out how Crompton should be responsible for the offensive sets when most of the time that normally falls on the offensive coordinator. So not only are we learning a new offense with a new QB, he's also moonlighting as the OC? We're not paying him enough for that. Who the fuck do you think we are, Ohio State?

Vanderbilt v. Rice
I actually like Rice in a mild upset here; sure, Rice can’t play defense to save their lives (much like the rest of C-USA), but it’s not like Vandy is really known for having an offense, ever. Chase Clement may be the second-best QB Vanderbilt faces all year, which is saying something, and Jarett Dillard may be the second-best WR. This won’t go well, but this is still your Stupidly Entertaining Game of the Week, even if the matchup screams Raycom Special.

Kentucky v. Middle Tennessee State
This is kind of a lateral move for MTSU, who go from getting Maryland at home to playing Kentucky on the road. Unlike last week, I do expect Kentucky to win pretty easily, as their game against Louisville means either the defense should be really good or the Cardinals are just that bad. My suspicion is it’s a bit of both, but the Wildcats should have plenty on D to contain the Blue Raiders, even if their offense resembles the orphans in a “We Are the World” TV special.

Arkansas @ Texas
(This game has been pushed back to September 27th. The preview, however, is going to remain.)
Fucking hell, why wasn’t this game last year? That would’ve been awesome and a half: strength v. strength with two of the best RBs in the country against a solid Longhorn front seven. Instead, we get a team that should’ve lost to Western Fucking Illinois playing a likely still-pissed Texas squad ready to rip their heads off their necks and stuff them so far up their ass they can see the stars. Yeah, I like Arkansas’ chances here, big time – provided they start the game up 21-0.

Auburn @ Mississippi State
I was a lot more excited about this game before I realized that Wesley Carroll was even shittier than expected. Now, there’s no real excuse why Auburn shouldn’t roll here, as Anthony Dixon is a good RB (but Ben Tate is better, and Brad Lester is about equal) and Carroll might be semi-competent in this game (and he still couldn’t hold Kodi Burns’ jock), but the defenses will tell the tale here. I expect the Bulldogs to need at least one defensive / special teams score to really have a shot here, and even with that they’ll lose by 14.

Georgia @ South Carolina
This game was fucking hideous to watch last year, even if the end result was schadenfreudically fantastic. If South Carolina is as good as (Phil Steele) advertised, they should make this game close. By the same token, Georgia has a weird habit of playing down to South Carolina’s level over the last few years; the Bulldogs should win the game, but just because they shouldn’t doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. Still, in terms of pressure, this game should be pretty low-key for UGA, as everyone will be watching (and likely voting) the USC-(t)OSU winner #1 in the polls. Nothing makes life easier like nobody paying attention to a potential stinkbomb, because this game was Special Olympics Central last year.