North Carolina vs South Carolina (Charlotte, NC) Thursday 5 PM/6 PM, ESPN
As a head coach at Auburn, Gene Chizik was 2-0 against Steve Spurrier - a 56-17 demolishing in the 2010Game, and 16-13 win in Columbia in 2011. On Thursday night, the two will meet again as Chizik takes over the Tar Heels defense this season. A Gamecocks loss might be another nail in the casket for the Ol' Ball Coach.
Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt Thursday 7 PM/8 PM, SEC Network
It is amazing how fast Derek Mason has sunk this Commodores program back into the murky depths after the great accomplishments of his predecessor James Franklin (24–15 in three seasons). Despite the dire expectations for Vandy this season, this game might be worth watching to see WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty who led the nation in passing in 2014 with 4,830 yards and 49 TDs.
Louisiana Monroe at Georgia 11 AM/12 PM ET, SEC Network
On Monday, Mark Richt named Virginia grad-transferas starting quarterback for the Bulldogs over sophomore and junior Faton Bauta. Lambert, who first practiced with the team four weeks ago, had 10 passing TDs and 11 interceptions a season ago. After fellow UVa junior beat him out is spring, Lambert decided to head south. UGA's Bauta had all but decided to transfer this summer but Richt talked him out of it. Now he is third string.
Tennessee-Martin at Ole Miss 11 AM/12 PM ET, SEC Network
Have you noticed how nobody is talking about the Rebels this off-season? Ole Miss returns much of their excellent defense plus ALL-SEC first teamers WR Laquon Treadwell, TE Evan Engram, and OT Laremy Tunsil. But the one missing part of the equation is quarterback. Former Clemson outcast was named the starter... for now. Sophomores Ryan Buchanan and wait in the wings.
Louisville vs. Auburn (Atlanta, GA) 2:30 PM/ 3:30 PM, CBS
Gustav Malzahn announced that redshirt freshman wide receiver Myron Burton is no longer on Auburn’s roster. "It was a mutual decision, and we wish him nothing but the best for the future," Malzahn said. Burton earned offensive MVP honors for their spring game after catching seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.
UTEP at Arkansas 2:30 PM/3:30 PM, ESPNU
must be kicking himself right now. As a rising junior, he saw an Arkansas backfield jam-packed with ballhogs and - both 1,000-yard rushers in 2014. Therefore, he decided it would be best for him to transfer. To Eastern Illinois... Williams fell to season-ending and likely Arkansas career-ending injury, leaving the Razorbacks to find a complement for Collins. It appears that honor will go to junior who decided to stick around.
Southeast Missouri State Tech A&M at Missouri 3 PM/4 PM, SECN
Mizzou released a depth chart this week and exposed a really young receiving corps. Their three WR positions two-deep are compiled of two sophomores, four redshirt freshmen, and one true freshman.
Bowling Green at Tennessee (Nashville, TN) 3 PM/4 PM, SEC Network
Tennessee scheduled this game to be played in Nashville back when James Franklin was amping up some serious in-state recruiting momentum over the Vols. Now that the universe has righted itself, the game seems unnecessary.
McNeese State at LSU 6:30 PM/7:30 PM, SEC Network
The Bayou Bengals are yet another team with QB problems. However their issues are the same ones from a year ago. Sophomore Brandon Harris is just a smidge better than junior Anthony Jennings and was named the starter this week. The running game is VERY young led by sophomore Leonard Fournette. Fellow soph Darrel Williams backs him up, followed by a trio of true freshmen Derrius Guice, Nick Brossette, and - not making this up - Lanard Fournette, Leonard's kid brother. Somewhere, Key & Peele are furiously scribbling down those two names on a piece of paper.
Texas A&M Aggies
Arizona State vs. Texas A&M (Houston, TX) 6 PM/7 PM ESPN
Kevin Sumlin reports that returning QB Kyle Allen has added about 25 pounds to his 6-3 frame. "He played in the (Liberty) bowl at 190, 195 pounds – he’s 215 now. He’s come along just fine."
New Mexico State at Florida 6:30 PM/7:30 PM, SECN
Jim McElwain begins his tenure at the Swamp against a simply awful team/program. The Aggies have not had a winning season since 2002 when they went 7-5. Their last bowl game was the 1960 Sun Bowl played when Nick Saban was nine years old.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Kentucky 6 PM/7 PM, ESPNU
UK dished out $120 million to renovate Commonwealth Stadium (it's good to be in the SEC). This is a direct quote from Kentucky.com: On steel beams that line the new, wider concourses are vertical signs that will serve as the Kentucky "Ring of Honor," paying homage to former Wildcat greats who have had their jerseys retired. Names such as Bear Bryant, Tim Couch and Shipwreck Kelly will be on permanent display for fans as they walk around the stadium. That is no typo. Bear Bryant, Tim Couch and Shipwreck Kelly.
Mississippi State at Southern Miss 9 PM/10 PM FoxSports1
The Bulldogs have a strange policy of scheduling away games with lower tier schools. Away games the last ten years:
|09/05/15||Southern Miss||Hattiesburg, MS||TBD|
|09/13/14||South Alabama (6-7)||Mobile, AL||W 35 - 3|
|09/15/12||Troy (5-7)||Troy, AL||W 30 - 24|
|09/01/11||Memphis (2-10)||Memphis, TN||W 59 - 14|
|10/08/11||Alabama-Birmingham (3-9)||Birmingham, AL||W 21 - 3|
|10/09/10||Houston (5-7)||Houston, TX||W 47 - 24|
|10/17/09||Middle Tennessee State (10-3)||Murfreesboro, TN||W 27 - 6|
|08/30/08||Louisiana Tech (8-5)||Ruston, LA||L 14 - 22|
|09/08/07||Tulane (4-8)||New Orleans, LA||W 38 - 17|
|09/23/06||Alabama-Birmingham (3-9)||Birmingham, AL||W 16 - 10|
While it is unclear what MSU's strategy might be, it does not seem like it will end anytime soon. Next season they are schedule to travel to UMass. Yes, UMass!
Wisconsin vs. ALABAMA 7 PM/8 PM (Arlington, TX) ABC
The Crimson Tide are making their second trip to Arlington, Texas to kickoff the season. Their last visit to Jerry's World was a 41-14 throttling of Michigan in 2012. Bama is 5-0 in neutral site Week 1 games under Nick Saban with the other four games being played in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome.