We're four days away from the beginning of SEC action, so it's time to look into the 'ol crystal ball again and let you know how this week will play out. (Winners in bold) I will keep track of my SEC predictions all season long so you can either be awed by my accuracy or mock my being completely and utterly wrong.
ALABAMA vs. HAWAII
The super offense versus the super defense. Hawaii QB Colt Brennan threw for 4300+ yards last year and Bama had the second ranked defense in college football. The game may be decided more by Alabama's no offense versus Hawaii's no defense than it will be by what the two schools are known for. Bama wins a close game and never flirts with covering the 17 point spread.
ARKANSAS vs. USC
I would pick Arkansas to win if they were playing these Trojans instead
The Trojans won't hang 70 on the Hogs like they did last year, but I expect them to still win easily.
AUBURN vs. WASHINGTON STATE
Unless the pundits have completely overestimated Auburn's talent the Tigers will win comfortably no matter how much the Cougars have improved.
FLORIDA vs. SOUTHERN MISS
The Golden Eagles will typically give you all you want unless you bring your A-game. While Alabama only lost to them five times in 40+ meetings, they're good enough to hang in there for three quarters and give you a scare. I don't think that'll be the case this time around though. Florida has it wrapped up by the third quarter and Tebow the Wonderchild gets the Gator faithful acting like giddy little schoolgirls when he takes the field for the first time.
GEORGIA vs. WESTERN KENTUCKY
I hope the Hilltoppers enjoy the paycheck because that's the only good thing they'll take away from Athens this weekend.
KENTUCKY at LOUISVILLE
The Cardinals are going to take a page out of the book of their hometown hero
The 'Cats played Louisville fairly close last year and were still in the game well past the time coach Petrino would've wanted the "W" sewn up. The Cardinals will deliver the deathblow a lot earlier in '06.
LSU vs. LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE
LSU decided to take opening weekend off to prepare for their Week 2 contest against Arizona.
OLE MISS vs. MEMPHIS
The Rebels own the all-time series but Memphis has kept it close the last several years. The Tigers will put up a heck of a fight again, but Ole Miss will win another close one as Brent Schaeffer adjusts to Orgeron's system.
MISSISSIPPI STATE vs. SOUTH CAROLINA
Mississippi State and South Carolina haven't played since 2002 but I expect the result to be the same: A comfortable win for the Gamecocks.
TENNESSEE vs. CALIFORNIA
Definately the most intriguing Week 1 game featuring an SEC team. It should be a major "resume win" for the victor unless the loser performs way below expectations. Both teams have something major to prove and it should make for an epic contest. Fulmer must show the Volunteer nation that last season was a fluke and Cal wants greater respect on the national scene after a bitter ending to their '04 season and an 8-4 '05 season where more was expected. Cal wins a close contest late.
VANDERBILT at MICHIGAN
I imagine Vandy's performance will be something akin to this
It's going to be like watching a trainwreck. You know the result will be ugly, but it'll still be tough to look away.