Week one in the SEC was worth the long wait, and we can finally talk real football. Can Alabama fix their offensive line problems enough to repeat as champions? Can Georgia come back from a tough loss at Clemson and remain a championship contender? Did Ole Miss take a step up to the upper echelon of the conference? Lots of questions presented; as the season progresses some answers will be revealed, and more questions will arise. Unfortunately, there will not be a lot presented in week two, which we shall refer to as “Body Bag” week in the SEC. Most of the leagues play teams that should not challenge them, but there are a few things of interest.
For the Morbidly Curious
Miami (OH) vs. Kentucky
There aren’t many good things to say about Kentucky. Actually, the less said about the Wildcats the better. But if you want to see Kentucky possibly get a win, this is the week. If Kentucky can’t get it done this week, there is only ONE game on the schedule that Kentucky can get a W, and that is Alabama St. from the SWAC. Basketball season can’t start soon enough in Lexington.
Worth a Glance
Western Kentucky vs. Tennessee
The Bobby Petrino tour of the SEC East continues. The former Arkansas coach, and motorcycle enthusiast, took it to Kentucky last week and now visits Neyland Stadium and the Vols. Petrino might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder in this game, since Tennessee passed of giving him another chance in the SEC (as did Kentucky). Tennessee is a better team than Kentucky and should be able to hold the Hilltoppers off, but don’t be surprised if this is close.
Sam Houston State vs. #7 Texas A&M
As with most of the summer, this is all about Johnny Manziel. After toasting Rice for three quick touchdowns, Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin pulled Manziel after an unsportsmanlike penalty. Has the coach been able to reign in the Heisman winner, or will Manziel continue his antics? Either way, A&M will win this game. However, keep an eye on the defense. They gave up 500 yards to Rice. They do get several starters back, so they need to show improvement before the showdown with Alabama.
UAB vs. #9 LSU
The last time the University of Alabama-Birmingham went to Tiger Stadium they walked away with a nice check and a victory over Nick Saban’s LSU Tigers. There won’t be a repeat of that upset this time, but there should be plenty of action in this game. This is all about seeing if the LSU passing game is for real. Zach Mettenberger and the entire passing unit showed mark improvement and because of it the entire offense ran like a machine. UAB gave up 319 yards through the air and a record 30-32 completions, so they should be able to showcase the aerial attack.
Games of the Week
#12 Florida vs. Miami
In what could be the last time (for a while) that these two in-state rivals, this game will tell a lot about the Gators. Last week, Florida had a lackluster win over Toledo. Once again, the defense is the strength of this Gators squad, which is a good thing with the explosive Duke Johnson coming to town. Florida will be able to corral the speedy back and keep this a low scoring affair. Unfortunately for Florida, the offense has not progressed since last year. There is no passing game to speak of. The Gators will lean on the run again to make it through their season. It may be enough to sneak pass the Hurricanes, but if the Gators get behind it will be on Jeff Driskel to throw the ball to get a win. Driskel has yet to show he can win a game with his arm, and he is severely hampered by the lack of playmakers on the outside. Defense will win the day for Florida, but it will be too close for comfort. 17-14 Florida.
#11 Georgia vs. #6 South Carolina
The only conference game and the only ranked game in the league. South Carolina is coming off of a solid win over North Carolina. The Gamecocks look extremely balanced on offense and steady on defense (of course anyone can be steady with Jadeveon Clowney). However, all eyes will be on Clowney after his conditioning and drive were called into question last week. On the flip side, Georgia is coming off a devastating three point loss to Clemson that could hamper their national title hopes. The storyline has been that of Aaron Murray and his performances in the big game. Georgia also had issues breaking in a slew of new players on defense. The good news for the Dawgs is that while South Carolina was efficient, they aren’t Clemson so the defense should settle in. Which star player will step up, the future number one draft pick, or the SEC’s all-time passing leader? Both will shine, but this comes down to Todd Gurley and his ability to salt the game away for Georgia. 27-21 Dawgs
Who do you like between Georgia and South Carolina? How much do you think Johnny Football will play this week? Let us know in the comments!