The second half of the SEC schedule this week is putrid. Poseur is right that watching some team other than LSU crush a directional school is spirit crushing. This is one of the more frustrating aspects of college football. There is all this build-up for months and months and then for the first couple of weeks there are hardly any interesting games. Once the SEC slate really gets going things will become a lot more exciting. And this week for the first time we have something of an SEC slate, but the real action starts next week.
Let's get to it.
Samford vs. Ole Miss, 6:00pm Central, no television
Samford? Really? I know you've played a pretty tough OOC schedule so far, so I guess you've earned a rest, but Samford? Well, the Rebels will get a chance to play some backups, I guess.
Rice vs. Vanderbilt, 6:00pm Central, no television
It sounds awful, but this is actually a pretty interesting game and I would like to be able to see it. Both of these teams are 2-0 on the season and both have reasonable hopes at going to bowl games. Rice's road to six wins is a little easier, but Vandy probably has to win this game to have a really good shot at it. But if Vandy does win, they really do have a good shot at it. A future game against Duke is probably a win, and Kentucky is certainly beatable. They just have to figure out how to beat one of Ole Miss, Auburn, MSU, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, or Wake Forest. Win this one and you get that shot at glory.
Rice has a prolific offense. Jarrett Dillard has two consecutive 1000 yard receiving seasons. Quarterback Chase Clement completes 60% of his passes and is the leading rusher on the team. This would be an exciting team to watch play, and a meaningful game to boot, but we won't get any chance to see it.
Western Kentucky at Alabama, 6:00pm Central, Gameplan or ESPN360.com
Western Kentucky was soundly beaten by Indiana, and while Indiana was a bowl team last year, they ain't no great shakes. This game is simply a test of whether Alabama can shake off the doldrums of last week and come out to play a football game. If they can, they should handle WKU easily. If not, they should still win, but there will be a lot of complaints afterwards. This is Bama's last tuneup before the SEC slate begins, so they feel the need to shake off the rust. Talk radio has been pretty difficult on the Crimson Tide this week.
Auburn at Mississippi State, 6:00pm Central, ESPN2
Yes I realize a certain other game of national interest will be played at around the same time, but I'll be watching this one because, duh, it's an important SEC matchup. In my team's division no less. At least, I'll be watching it closely until LSU's game comes on, which I will watch from the computer on ESPN360.com and probably put this game on mute on the teevee.
Yes, I know that MSU lost to Louisiana Tech in the first game of the season, and that's pretty embarrassing, but let us recall what happened to MSU in the first game of last season:
Hint: It was an epic blowout. I, and others like me, thought MSU was pretty much done for the season, but they bounced back and beat Auburn a couple weeks later, and then beat Alabama, Ole Miss, and Kentucky and qualified for a bowl game. This was after being blown out 45-0.
So, say what you want about the loss to Louisiana Tech, but Croom has proven he gets his team to bounce back and at least keep playing. Yes, the offense lacks explosion, and the defense may not be as good as last year, but I'm not counting this team out before the game starts. After all, Auburn hasn't exactly looked unbeatable so far this year.
Now, after the game starts, I may re-evaluate my position.