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Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Poll: Who will stumble in 2013 opener?

By Chris Low

You realize we're inside five months away from the opening week of the college football season?

At least half the SEC schools have "real" openers, too, and not glorified scrimmages. The only league game that opening week is Ole Miss at Vanderbilt on Aug. 29, a Thursday night game that will be televised nationally by ESPN.

It's never too early to look ahead, and there are going to be some tricky tests right out of the gate for SEC schools.

Who has the toughest test?

Well, we'll let you be the judge in our SportsNation poll ... with a bit of a twist.

We want to know who in the SEC is most likely to lose opening week and have provided you with five choices. Of the five, only South Carolina plays at home (against North Carolina), while Georgia is the only one of the five that plays on somebody else's home field (at Clemson).

Overall, it's a much tougher opening-week lineup for the SEC than a year ago. Talk about Cupcake City.

With the four-team playoff approaching in 2014 (and a selection committee deciding which teams deserve to go), SEC schools would be wise to play at least one marquee nonconference game each year and avoid FCS schools. Many of the SEC schools are already going out and playing a high-profile nonconference game every year, but something tells me that teeing off on some FCS school in November isn't going to score a lot of points with the selection committee.

Ultimately, we'll see how it all shakes out, but scheduling strategy figures to be key as we enter the playoff/selection committee phase of college football.

In the meantime, tell us who's going to stumble to open the 2013 season, and we'll go over the results later this week.