Well I can only imagine how happy you are to get football “Mississippi State Style” going again. Everybody talks that talk right now but starting this week in the SEC it becomes “put up or shut up” time. There will be epic collapses by teams and monumental wins by others, perhaps both the same? As for Mississippi State, I bleed MAROON baby, ever since I walked onto campus forty years ago now. My last words (actually an acronym because I live by them) on earth will be as our ladies coach says when he’s done, PTLGD.
Now WEEK 1:
Florida A&M @ Arkansas — The Rattlers scored the first touchdown of the college football season last night as they beat Texas Southern, but them folks don’t play SEC football, Arkansas does...somewhat anyway. I grew up on a hog farm and if you have never seen a hog go after food well lets just say NOTHING better get in their way (plant or animal). Bielema will have his Razorbacks ready to maul the lowly Rattlers so he can hurry to see Briella Nichole (baby girl) who has him grinning wide. If the Razorbacks should falter any it may be more than than a messy diaper smelling in Fayetteville but I don’t see that happening this early.
T-DAWG’s winner: Arkansas 38 - 0 (Thursday night game)
Missouri State @ Missouri — The Bears brazenly walk into Columbia looking to pilfer a meal from the tailgaters before they know what happened. The Tigers will struggle to impose their will and the Bears won’t retreat into the forest without having a few bites off the Tigers who no doubt have spent time preparing for the Gamecocks coming to visit next week instead of staying focused on repelling Bear attacks. Still, Missouri should prevail after a close game.
T-DAWG’s winner: Missouri 27 - 20
South Carolina @ N.C. State — I saw Jake Bentley play in high school at Opelika, AL. Phenomenal young quarterback. He has a feel for the game that is in his DNA. He was good as a freshman and will be the best QB in the SEC East this year I think. If his OL gives him time to throw and the defense picks it up then the Gamecocks will be in the mix in the East. When Bentley leads his “Cluckers” into Raleigh they will find the the Wolfpack in a little disarray since 2 starters were dismissed and 3 more are suspended. If Bentley pops them in the mouth 2 or 3 times early then the Gamecocks just may flog the Wolfpack into submission and watch them tuck tail and run. I Like young Bentley!
T-DAWG’s winner: South Carolina 34 - 21
Florida versus Michigan @ Dallas — I think this game may be both boring and a toss-up. I don’t see Michigan being ranked as #11 in the country but I don’t get a vote. Florida is ranked #17 and I think that is over-rated also. Geoff Collins has left Florida to be the head coach at Temple, near his birthplace. I don’t think the Gators “D” will be as strong this year nor do I believe that they have found their answer to QB in transfer Malik Zaire (from Notre Dame). He didn’t win as a 2 year starter there and he won’t here either. Hard to understand how the Gators can’t recruit and develop a real QB. This will be a good game to doze off in or go sit by the grill and visit. I think Florida takes the first SEC loss of the year here.
T-DAWG’s winner: Mee-she-gan 23 - 13
Kentucky @ USM — USM had them beaten last year up in Lexington (I predicted that) but the “Blue-grass Boys” found a way. This year there will be no surprise in Hattiesburg for the Wildcats. I see Kentucky as having their best chance to break through in the SEC East in two decades. USM has to find a new QB to lead them and that will take some time. This has the potential to get ugly this year as Mark Stoops uses the first two weeks to get ready for SEC East play. There will be nothing but Big Blue in the stands by halftime.
T-DAWG’s winner: Kentucky 45 - 13
Appalachian State @ Georgia — Our “cross SEC DAWGS” have both of their stud backs healthy and ready to go. I don’t see Jacob Eason as premier quarterback in the SEC. That may or may not be his fault because who (?) does he have to develop him? Their is another 5-star early enrollee who will push Eason but he isn’t ready for the SEC wars. On top of that, Georgia really suffered at OL last year and improvement will be minimal this year I think. The Mountaineers won’t sneak up on Georgia, everyone knows they bring their A-game every week. They will come down out of the back-woods mountains with a very good DL that can dominate almost anyone who can’t hit them in the mouth. While Georgia has outstanding running backs who can break a tackle they have to have a hole to get started in first. I’m not sure Georgia can win up front against the rugged DL of the Mountaineers. This should be a nail-biter and the Mountaineers may very well win in Athens. It will be decided late in the 4th quarter and I think the heart of those two running backs will decide it.
T-DAWG’s winner: Georgia in a squeaker 31 - 27
Georgia Southern @ Auburn — The Eagles will make the short bus ride over to Auburn to pick up a paycheck for being a sacrificial lamb. Nova, the Eagle mascot for Auburn who zooms into the field during pregame will no longer be flying because he has a bad heart now after enduring so much from his team recently (truthfully, 18 years old and heart disease). That won’t make any difference though because the Ga. Southern Eagle will never get off the ground being overwhelmed by talent alone. Malzahn will try to bury them and run up the score astronomically to make himself look good while dreaming about the dancing Bears of Mercer coming over to the house next weekend. Keep the bus idling and the air conditioning running Georgia Southern, this won’t take long in fact you could pre-order some 2-piece chicken boxes to pick up in the drive-thru after the game. Malzahn would score 100 if he could.
T-DAWG’s winner: Auburn 61 - 10
South Alabama @ TSUN — Make no mistake about it TSUN knows the Jags will come to play with a smell of Black Bear in their nostrils and the saliva dripping knowing the blood is dripping from the month of wounds opened deep into the body. If Shea Patterson (who could be the second best quarterback in the SEC West if he had anything around him) can make the Jag defense chase him until they have to find a shade to lay down and rest in then TSUN is secure. If his receivers drop passes and the defense is as porous as a spaghetti colander again this year then boxes of tissue will probably out sell everything else from the concession stand. TSUN will struggle but should prevail.
T-DAWG’s winner: Black Bears 38 - 30
Alabama versus Florida St. @ Atlanta — Talent runs deep on both sides here. This should be an exceptional 1st game of the season as preseason #1 takes on #3. I think we will find out real quick just how good a coach Saban is as his offense is under new management which Saban will always have a hand and a “RANT” in. They lost a lot of talent but Alabama doesn’t rebuild under Saban they just reload. The Seminoles will look to get out strong and try to take control of the FBS season. The Seminoles have the talent and the coach to do just that. Alabama has to keep punching them in the body and make them chase while Jalen Hurts must improve his down field passing attack. This will be an intense close game that goes until the final tick.
T-DAWG’s winner: Alabama in a thriller 38 - 35
Vanderbilt @ Middle-Tennessee St. — The Commodores will put a little gas in the bus and slip 30 miles down I-65 to Murfreesboro to play the Blue Raiders. It seems like every time MTSU plays football they compete with a ton of heart. It will be personal here as they seek to upset Vandy and add an anchor to their museum. The Blue Raiders have too little talent to out-right win unless Vandy runs aground and scuttles the ship. The Commodores are looking for every win they can get before the SEC gauntlet begins.
T-DAWG’s winner: Vanderbilt 31 - 20
BYU @ LSU — Orgeron and company open their first full season together with many of the same old problems. Yes Orgeron is a good motivator but the same speech over and over quickly loses its punch. They still need depth at positions and most importantly a quarterback. Danny Etling will start for the Bayou Bengals with Anthony Jennings waiting in the wings. Neither one was impressive last year and unless OC Matt Canada can work miracles not a lot changes. Canada came from Pittsburgh (really? Pittsburgh?) where he did have some success but hey Matt, this is the SEC, buckle up. BYU always brings it as many of their players are older because of their two year required mission field experience. They will give LSU all they want and will not be intimidated.
T-DAWG’s winner: LSU 34 - 30
Texas A&M @ UCLA — I love the A&M mistique and history but I’m sorry, every since Sumlin came to A&M they have been known as a “soft” team that wouldn’t stand up when shoved around and they have not had a quarterback stay for two years YET! UCLA has a loud mouth quarterback but he does have a lot of talent also. The game is on the west coast Sunday night and although the A&M boys know their way around the “Hen House” they won’t be ready for Los Angeles. The exit begins.
T-DAWG’s winner: UCLA 42 - 20
Tennessee @ Ga. Tech — Butch Jones takes his sharpshooters into Atlanta hoping to lay siege like Sherman did in July 1864. Butch and his boys will never think to pack their EpiPens though and a Yellow Jacket delivers a really nasty sting. I remember visiting with cousins one summer and as we played football in the backyard we disturbed a nest of yellow jackets in a hole. Some of them were even waiting at the door as we tried to run in the house. Damn them suckers hurt to this day! Paul Johnson will have his triple option attack primed to sting hard as he breaks in talented new quarterbacks (yes more than one). The Yellow Jackets also have probably the all-around best kicking game in the FBS this year. They will control the clock and slowly show the Volunteers their rifles are no match for stingers. After this game Butch Jones may not be able to sit down all year.
T-DAWG’s winner: Georgia Tech in an upset (sort of) 34 - 24 (Monday night game)
Charleston Southern @ Miss. State — And so it begins. I cannot in the deepest folds of my brain believe that we will come out the first game like we did last year. I do know this, we will go as Fitzgerald goes this year. We need him being a leader to his entire team helping them to have a will and belief that all wins are possible! I have little doubt that the defense will make a major leap forward from last year with all the returners and new JC talent added also. The offense with Fitz at the wheel needs to set the pace, control the clock, RUN the ball then hit quick strikes and a home-run ball now and then. I expect Fitz to have improved by light-years. Every pro scout says they think Fitzgerald will be a 1st round pick in two years. Stay healthy (God I hate to even mutter those words), linemen block and a special season could be at hand. The Buccaneers will not be easy, they are a good team having won their conference last year but these DAWGS won’t rub their butt glands on the ground this year!
T-DAWG’s winner: Mississippi State 38 - 13
Don’t be surprised if Geoff Collins has the Temple Owls “JUICED-UP” and upsets Notre Dame in South Bend Saturday.
SEC this week 11 wins 3 losses