I think this is a nice idea for a regular feature. Let's preview which SEC matchups will be on television for week 1:
LSU at Mississippi State - Thursday, August 30, 7:00pm, ESPN
Of course, none of the LSU folks will be missing this game. It's a matchup of arguably the best SEC team against arguably the worst SEC team. But hey, it's US. How can you not watch us?
Western Kentucky at Florida - 11:30am, Lincoln-Financial outlet
Alright, I like the Jefferson-Pi.., I mean Lincoln Financial game. Their crew is solid and best of all knows their SEC football. A lot of people mock the JP guys, but I think it's mostly because they don't like their own team to be playing in the morning. I understand that, but I like getting my Saturday started off with these guys. Besides, I'm usually awake by about 6:00am. I get on here and do this, then run my errands, and then I'm ready for some football.
But I'm not ready for this game. This game will tell us nothing. Because of Tennessee playing on ABC this week, JP gets the 5th best SEC game (rather than the 3rd or 4th), but I suppose it may be interesting seeing whatever they'll show us about the new all-Tebow, all-the-time offense at Florida.
Ole Miss at Memphis - 2:30pm, College Sports TV (?)
OK, this game doesn't really interest me either, and frankly I'm only guessing about the TV outlet. There are three fascinating games Saturday evening that will all be on at the same time. Could they not have put one of them in the 2:30 slot?
If you want to watch this game, watch to see if Ole Miss's young but talented defensive line dominates. If Ole Miss is going to make a move this year, it will start with the defensive line. They have some excellent young defensive linemen including Marcus Tillman, who is emerging as one of the best in the SEC.
Oklahoma State at Georgia - 5:45 ESPN2
Georgia is a mystery. If they're an SEC contender, I think they should handle OSU easily. If they aren't, they could have trouble. Matthew Stafford is the best young QB in the SEC, (that's right, I said it), but the offensive line and receivers are big question marks. It is kind of amazing to me that Georgia has such a good QB and didn't have the quality line to protect him or the receivers for him to throw to. The running backs are also questionable, considering my favorite Georgia running back, Thomas Brown, is coming off a very serious injury.
Watch out for Mikey Henderson for Georgia, who may be the best return man in the conference.
Oklahoma State has a lot of athletes at receiver and running backs. This could be a fun game to watch, especially if you need to scout Georgia. Personally, I don't need to scout them, so I won't watch this game after 6:45 much unless the other ones are blowouts. If you really want to see Georgia, you'll get another chance next week with one of the best matchups of the early season when they go against South Carolina.
Kansas State at Auburn, 6:45pm ESPN
I've previewed this one before, but this game is growing on me. Auburn will have an inexperienced offensive line and inexperienced receivers. If you're going to get Auburn this year, it's best to get them early before their offensive line gets more experienced. If that offensive line is able to make holes and protect Brandon Cox this week, look out for the rest of the year. I'm not saying K-state's DL is that great, but they're respectable, and Auburn's line will only get better and better as the year progresses, barring injuries.
Tennessee at Cal, 7:00pm ABC
Tennessee will be without their best running back, and will be replacing quite a bit of talent that is moving on to the NFL. Cal, however, is replacing Marshawn Lynch and a lot of its defensive talent. This is the marquee matchup of week 1, but honestly K-State against Auburn is more important to LSU. However, this one should be a lot of fun, and will be fodder for a lot of SEC-Pac 10 bragging rights for a while, much like Tennessee's blowout win over Cal was last year. That was in Knoxville, however, and Cal was overwhelmed by the raucous atmosphere, the likes of which they've never seen in the Pac 10. They settled in after a disastrous first half and played even with Tennessee through the second half, but it was too late. Will the friendlier confines of whatever Cal's home stadium is make this a better game for the Golden Bears? I don't know, but I'm interesting in finding out.