Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Looking ahead to Week 1 in the SEC
By Chris Low
We're inside a month now until the first game of the 2012 season involving an SEC team.
Here's a quick glance at Week 1:
THURSDAY, AUG. 30
South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech, in Shreveport, La., 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
- The Gamecocks lost the last time they played on a Thursday night in Nashville. Vanderbilt won 24-17 in Week 2 of the 2008 season.
FRIDAY, AUG. 31
- The Kevin Sumlin era at Texas A&M kicks off with one of those games the Aggies won't get much credit for winning, but will get slammed if they lose.
Tennessee vs. NC State, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
SATURDAY, SEPT. 1
- As openers go, this is about as critical as it gets for Tennessee's Derek Dooley, whose Vols are coming off back-to-back losing seasons.
Buffalo at Georgia, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Bowling Green at Florida, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
- After opening against Boise State last season, the Bulldogs get a tune-up to open the 2012 season before traveling to Missouri in Week 2.
Clemson vs. Auburn, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
- Who will be the Gators' starter at quarterback? Is it Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskel? The reality is that they'll both probably end up playing.
North Texas at LSU, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
- This is the rubber game. Auburn rallied to win in overtime in 2010, while Clemson rolled up more than 600 yards of total offense to win easily last season.
Jacksonville State at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view
- Former Florida assistant Dan McCarney has upgraded North Texas' program significantly, but the Mean Green won't be much of a test for the Tigers.
Central Arkansas at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view
- As Ole Miss learned the hard way two years ago, the Gamecocks are not one of those teams you want to take lightly.
Jackson State at Mississippi State, 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net
- The Rebels, with first-year coach Hugh Freeze at the helm, will be looking to break a seven-game losing streak.
Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view
- It sounds like the Bulldogs want to throw it more this season with Tyler Russell. The opener should give us an idea of how much more.
Michigan vs. Alabama, in Arlington, Texas, 8 p.m. ET, ABC
- All eyes will be on Missouri quarterback James Franklin and his surgically repaired right throwing shoulder.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 2
- It's easily the most attractive opener of the 2012 season involving an SEC team. Alabama takes its first step toward defending its 2011 national title.
Kentucky at Louisville, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
- The Wildcats had won four in a row over their archrivals until the Cardinals prevailed 24-17 in Lexington last season. This is a big one for Joker Phillips & Co.