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What to Watch: Week 02

Soccer? Mark Richt has lost control of this column.
Soccer? Mark Richt has lost control of this column.

Week one is in the books and with the exception of a few games, it was incredibly full of derp. Florida was sluggish, Georgia didn't look like a Top 10 team at all, Oklahoma struggled, Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech was the kind of game that'd turn you off of football get the point. Week 2 probably won't be much better as there's a pretty dull slate of games on tap (and not a single match-up between ranked teams.) Alabama was one of the few teams that actually showed up in Week 1 (though how good Michigan is remains to be seen.) Saban clearly isn't impressed with how things are going this week and it's probably good that we have a massive dip in opponent quality in order to get our heads on straight before heading to Arkansas next weekend when focus will have to be back to 100%. As a reminder, all of the times listed are central and rankings are from the AP poll until the BCS poll comes out in October.

AUBURN at MISSISSIPPI STATE - Saturday, September 8th - 11:00 a.m. - ESPN

The slate of games for Thursday and Friday are abysmal, so we're just going to fast forward to Saturday morning. No one that lived through it will ever be able to think about this match up ever again without thinking of the 3-2 crapfest from 2008. Auburn needs a win here big time or the Lee County natives will get incredibly restless. Mississippi State has only won this game twice since the year 2000 and their modus operandi against Auburn seems to be either getting blown out, or somehow blowing the win in spectacular fashion and letting Auburn eek out a win. Needless to say, we're all Bulldogs on Saturday.

FLORIDA (24) at TEXAS A&M - Saturday, September 8th - 2:30 p.m. - ESPN

Florida's not very good and this game would likely not make the list if it weren't for the fact that it was TAMU's first conference game. TAMU didn't play in Week 1 as their contest at Louisiana Tech was cancelled because of the hurricane (which turned out to be unnecessary), so Florida is having to go in blindly against the 2012 edition of A&M. Normally, lining up against the Gators for your first game of the season would be the stuff of nightmares, but Muschamp doesn't appear to be the answer in Gainesville and he's likely the one having bad dreams this week. It'll be interesting to see what TAMU's new coach, Kevin Sumlin, has in store for the visitors. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 1977 Sun Bowl.

WASHINGTON at LSU (3) - Saturday, September 8th - 6:00 p.m. - ESPN

Steven Sarkissian has rescued Washington from the Ty Willingham-era awfulness, but they're not exactly giant-killers just yet, though he has won 2 out of 3 games against his former employer USC. 7-6 is the best record they've posted during his three year tenure, but that's to be lauded considering Willingham went 0-12 with this team in 2008. Washington is, of course, also where our offensive coordinator plied his trade before coming to the Capstone. Despite posting 7-6 records in 2010 and 2011, the Huskies were outscored in both seasons. In true West Coast fashion, they score a lot, but they give up a hell of a lot too....and that's going to be a problem against LSU, who tends to score a hell of a lot and not give up very much. Factor in LSU's home field advantage and this one has the potential to get ugly, but it's one of the few potentially interesting intersectional games going this week.

GEORGIA (7) at MISSOURI - Saturday, September 8th - 6:45 p.m. - ESPN2

This game is definitely the most interesting of the week as it features what is probably an overvalued Georgia at an undervalued Missouri in Mizzou's first SEC game. Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson added some punch to this game earlier this week when he described Georgia as playing "old man football" and said he had to turn the game off because it was boring to watch. Definitely not the greatest way to endear yourself to your new divisional rivals. Georgia will be looking to improve upon their incredibly sluggish start to the season againt MAC opponent Buffalo.

USA vs. JAMAICA - September 7th (7:00 p.m BeIn Sports) & September 11th (7:00 ESPN2)

I know including two soccer games as my fifth pick of the week is peculiar, but this week's games truly suck and it's my column and I can write about whatever I want (and right?) These two games are huge as they both count toward the United States' qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Friday night game in Kingston is on the relatively new Be In Sports channel (which is available on DirecTV, Dish Network and Comcast.) The United States has no control over who gets the US TV rights for away games and the foreign nations we play often sell to smaller networks in order to frustrate US fans. The September 11th game is in Columbus, Ohio and will be on ESPN2. Since we control the rights to that game we sold them to a channel that, you know, people actually have. Teams don't normally play each other twice in such rapid succession, but the random draw in our pool found our home and home with Jamaica a mere few days apart. Peculiar, but no big deal really. We should win at home and win or tie in Kingston. Anything less than four points out of these two games (three points for a win and one for a tie) would be incredibly disappointing. USA! USA! USA!