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SEC Preview, Week #2, Part 1

Once again, with only 1 matchup of SEC teams, and only one team (Tennessee) seeing a bye this week, there are a LOT of games on tap for the SEC this week.  Ten, to be exact.  Let's examine, shall we?

South Carolina at Vandy, Thursday 7:30pm, ESPN.

South Carolina looked very good defensively and awful on offense last week, while Vandy played a pretty solid game against competition that is a little hard to gauge.  South Carolina didn't have to contain a running quarterback last week, and some defenses (see LSU last year for example) can look great against drop-back passers and foolish against runners.  In potentially good news for South Carolina, they got a lot better once they changed quarterbacks, but that may have more to do with the circumstances of the game rather than the quality of the quarterback.  After all, South Carolina must have been starting Tommy Beecher for a reason.

In other words, I think Vandy has a real shot at this game.

Southern Miss at Auburn, Saturday 11:30am, Raycom.

Auburn gets another chance to work on its passing game, which was dismal last week.  Southern Miss will have a hard time moving the football against an Auburn defense that should be excellent, but this strikes me as one of those games that might, just MIGHT be an upset-watch game.  I think that everything would have to go wrong for Auburn to lose (continue to not be able to pass, give up a few big plays on busted assignments, have some turnovers go against them, etc.), but stranger things have happened.  Auburn just might not have the personnel to run this new offense of theirs.  The defense should be fabulous though.

Ole MIss at Wake Forest, Saturday 2:30pm, ABC

Another ABC game for the SEC, and this one looks pretty interesting.  Wake was the only ACC team to have a modicum of success last week, and Ole Miss looked pretty solid against Memphis.  This is a step up in competition level though.  If Ole Miss is the near-complete team I think they might be, they could sneak up and win this game.  I think this is definitely one to watch for this weekend.

In particular, watch to see if Ole Miss's secondary is good enough to deal with a high-percentage, accurate passing game.

Central Michigan at Georgia, Saturday 2:30pm, no television except Gameplan.

Central Michigan has actually put together some solid teams at times over the years, and I'm not prepared to say this isn't one of them.  Quality quarterback Dan Lefevour is still there.  He's passed for over 3000 yards each of the last 2 seasons, including over 3600 yards last year, and has a career 67% completion percentage.  Obviously Georgia is the better team at this point, it appears, but Central Michigan is no slouch.

Norfolk State at Kentucky, Saturday 5:00pm, no television except Gameplan.

The stinkiest-looking matchup of the week.  Norfolk, for their part, crushed Virginia State 47-7 last week.  I didn't realize there was a college called Virginia State until I saw that.  I know nothing about Norfolk State other than that they're called the Spartans, which was my high school's mascot.  Kentucky's offense looked lousy last week, but this should be a pick-me-up for them.

Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas, Saturday 6:00pm, no television except Gameplan.

Louisiana-Monroe might be better than Arkansas.  It would be embarrassing if Arkansas lost, but I wouldn't consider it a big upset.  Sure, ULM lost 34-0 to an Auburn team that couldn't pass, but Arkansas barely beat an average FCS team last week, and needed to stage a double-digit comeback to do it.

All in all, not a bad slate of games for Week 2.  There are two games on this particular list that are interesting television games even to the non-obsessed.  I, of course, will be watching all three.