Thursday, September 2, 2010

Football. Finally. Who you got?

We admire The Most Interesting Man In The World. He always gets the ladies (although that one on the right might be a dude, which would make The Most Interesting Man even more interesting). But we will never be him, because while he is off feeding condor babies on the cliffs, we are watching (and yapping about) SEC football. This is what we do. And today is the day we finally get to open the box that has been sitting over there in the corner, locked up, since what seems like 8 million years ago but was actually only January.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are games. Thank you, Lord.

We start tonight with Southern Miss at South Carolina. Predictions:

Steve Spurrier has what he wants, another quarterback controversy.

Once that was interesting. Now it's a cliché. Still, it gives Spurrier another opportunity to let the world know that he's better than his players. That Spurrier has been in South Carolina long enough to recruit and coach all of these disappointments is not a fact he dwells on. (Nor does he take much responsibility for a passel of the players being on the dole at one of Columbia's best hotels.)

Carolina is a trendy pick to compete for the SEC East this year. Next week, Georgia comes to Columbia to test the thesis. This week, the Gamecocks open with a rebuilding Southern Miss. South Carolina should win. But how it wins portends for the team's chances when the live ammo goes in the chambers next week.

That Spurrier and his starting quarterback Stephen Garcia are bickering again is like one more nasty battle in a bad marriage. One of them needs to go. And maybe, this time, it's not the quarterback.

Carolina, 20-7.
-- Mike Gordon

This is supposed to be The Year for the Gamecocks -- Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are all down (or supposed to be), and Steve Spurrier has his team as loaded as it's been since he arrived. Which would make this the perfect time for USC to pratfall. I don't think it'll happen, but I do think it'll be close fairly late -- it wouldn't be a USC game without a little heartburn. Cocks 28, Southern Miss 20.
-- Tommy Tomlinson

Southern Miss 31, South Carolina 20: Golden Eagles won't get caught looking ahead to Prairie View.
-- R. Trentham Roberts

USC 24, Southern Miss 14: USC has too much at home. Party at the team hotel after the game!
-- Peter St. Onge

Add your predictions in the comments... but not just for the USC game. Who you got to win the SEC? Who you got to win the national championship? (We realize that question might be redundant.) Who you got to be a breakout star, to underachieve, to go on probation? Who you got for whatever you want to talk about?

Fire away. And rejoice, all, for the season has arrived.


Anonymous said...

It is so nice to get back to actual games and end all the bloviating on who the best teams in the world are. Enough of the back-&-forth on whether Boise State is to 2010 what Misipi was to 2009 (they are), is the SEC really better than everyone else anymore (they are) or if the the Tide are the best in the USA or in their state (they aren't).

In other news, the University of Texas will issue a statement today that they are owed $10 million for every time the words "Texas," "Longhorns" or "hook 'em" are spoken or written.

On to the games:

San Jose State at 'Bama – Descend on Tuscaloosa this weekend and see several sacred traditions:

1) A gargantuan Southern football stadium that can hold half the state population and is named for 2 people
2) Nick Saban, standing on the sideline with his hair clinched
3) On the other sideline, a non-conference opponent that the Tide players need some of those black market textbooks to find out where the opponent is from. They're starting slow, building toward that Georgia State game in November. The Evil Empire 56, San Jose St 3

Southern Miss at South Carolina – Does anyone else think that the SC obsession with Thursday night games resembles the class nerd who will do anything to get noticed by the girls? Fightin’ Chickens 28, Southern Miss 10

Miami (OH) at Florida – All right, the great rivalry resumes! We all know how much Miami and Florida hate each other! A bloodbath in the making… Uh-oh, wait, this Miami is in Oxford, OH. And it snows there. Never mind. Florida 42, Miami OH 7

Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia – One of the very few weeks this year where Tommy Tomlinson doesn’t need to load up on Prozac. Big Ol’ Hairy Dawgs 38, Louisiana-Lafayette 7

Kentucky at Louisville – this one isn’t as big – or as good – as the other one. Kentucky 17, Louisville 14

Jacksonville State at Misipi – I’m reminded of the late Jim Valvano, when asked why he never scheduled games against mid-majors like Murray St or Alcorn St. “Never play a ‘State’ that’s not a state.” Unless, of course, you are certain you can beat the tar out of them. Misipi 49, Jacksonville “State” 0

Tennessee-Martin at Tennessee – The Vols begin the Dooley era, destined to be far more boring than the last era. Tennessee 49, Martin 7

Tennessee Tech at Ar-Kansas – After whipping the inferior opponent, coach Bobby Petrino spots a reporter wearing a t-shirt making fun of Bill Clinton. Petrino asks if the reporter is from Ar-Kansas, and after he replies in the affirmative, Petrino asks, “What street?” Ar-Kansas 37, Tennessee Tech 10

Memphis at Misipi State – Memphis is still waiting for DeAngelo Williams to come back to school. Misipi St 24, Memphis 13

Northwestern at Vanderbilt – A little more than a year and a half removed from a bowl win, Vandy is in disarray. Still want to trade them to the ACC for Georgia Tech. Northwestern 35, Vandy 10

LSU at North Carolina – Memo to ACC: Know your role, which is to remain inferior to the SEC in all aspects, including how to cover up a scandal. LSU 27, UNC-CH 10

Ar-Kansas State at Auburn – So you think the War Eagle non-conference slate is no better? Hey, at least this “State” is a state. WAR EAGLE 38, Ar-Kansas State 17

Anonymous said...

Had to get those game 1 predictions out of the way first. Now let's answer some of the post's other questions.

Underachiever: 'Bama - Some 'Bama people, Mike Gordon among them, expect 'Bama to win 14 more games by doing nothing more than showing up at the stadium and putting their uniforms on righ side out. It's just not that easy. Still loaded with talent, 'Bama is going to go 12-1 and finish in the top 5, and all the old relics will start bawling, "The Bear never wudda lost a game with this crew."

Breakout star: Mario Fannin (did you really expect me to pick somebody from another school?) - While most of the hype is around Michael Dyer (who will serve just fine as a consolation prize to losing Lattimore, thank you very much), Fannin has waited his turn and now will step up and shine. He will be helped by a more capable QB who has enough weapons to prevent 8-man fronts. Should be a big year for him.

Probation watch: South Carolina - have the phrases "football players" and "meet you at the hotel" ever resulted in anything positive? Honorable mention - Tennessee, if for no other reason than the jilted fanatics on Rocky Top will find any impropriety Lane Kiffin might have left behind long before the NCAA will.

SEC East champ: Florida - too many questions for SC (QB) and Georgia (defense) to believe either will be able to unseat the Gators.

SEC West champ: Auburn - 'Bama will be undefeated when the 10-1 neighbors come calling the day after Turkey Day. The game will be even better than last year - several lead changes, big plays by big-time players. And like last year, a last-minute TD will win it. But this time it will be an obscure Tiger, such as Onterio McCalebb, will be the difference.

SEC Champ: Florida

National Champ: Ohio State breaks the SEC's 4-year hold on the trophy.

You will note that my SEC and national title predictions are exactly the same as Kirk Herbstreit. We'll see if that's a good thing or not.