It is never too early to look at the 2012 schedule in college football. With so much transition in the BCS leagues games and venues are still being determined as we speak. The Big 12 released its full schedule last week and took the easy route by plugging West Virginia and TCU into Missouris and Texas A&Ms schedule. The key games are Oklahoma and Landry Jones at West Virginia and Geno Smith on November 17th and TCU replacing the Aggies as Texas opponent on Thanksgiving weekend. As for the ACC the Florida State Seminoles are still looking for a week two opponent after the Mountaineers pulled out in favor of their new Big 12 schedule. FSU has reached out to BCS quality schools but still have not gotten a favorable response. The Seminoles have six home games already and one more even against a lesser opponent would benefit the financial bottom line.
FSU opens with Murray State from the FCS and does not want to go back to back FCS opponents. So whats the solution? We are guessing, but maybe a neutral site game that could bring in a quality opponent from a BCS conference looking for exposure. Finally the SEC has resolved most of its scheduling issues with Arkansas traveling to Texas A&M in 2012. These games had been played in Jerrys World in Texas, but the need for home and home under conference expansion won out. They will return to Arlington in 2014 after a brief home and home as the SEC buckles down its future conference scheduling.
The NFL combine is this week which means we are just two month away from the NFL Draft. Once again the SEC and the ACC should be well represented in the first round. Mel Kiper who is the longest running NFL Draft Guru has the following players in the first round pre-combine.
Alabama-Trent Richardson 5th
LSU-Morris Claiborne 6th
UNC-Quinton Coples 7th
LSU-Michael Brockers 8th
Alabama-Courtney Upshaw 10th
Boston College-Luke Kuechly 11th
South Carolina-Melvin Ingram-12th
Mississippi State-Fletcher Cox 15th
Georgia-Cordy Glenn 16th
Alabama- Dre Kirkpatrick 17th
LSU-Reuben Randle 30th
Clemson-Dewayne Allen 32nd
Thats 13 prospects in the first round from the SEC and ACC. Ten from the southeastern conference including four of the top ten. But more guys could move into the mix. The combine and pro days will help and hurt some guys stock. Here are five guys I think could be in this mix of first round madness come late April.
Lamar Miller, running back Miami
David Wilson, running back Virginia Tech
Alshon Jeffrey, wide receiver South Carolina
Donta Hightower, linebacker Alabama
Orson Charles, tight end Georgia
This and that..
More Scheduling: The Razorbacks added Rutgers from the Big East to their schedule. It will be a road game for the Hogs who are also moving the LSU game from Little Rock to Fayetteville to sell more tickets. Auburn will have an open date early in the season to bridge the gap between LSU and Arkansas. Oh by the way add me to the long list of southern college football fans that would raise a stink if you ever think about ending Auburn and Georgia. Its a great rivalry that truly shows the depth of southern football.
Somebody ask Mr. College Football! Tony Barnhardt who works with us on CSS Talkin Football also has his own show on CBS College and works on CBS Studio show during SEC Football. For 16 years the SEC on CBS has opened with Florida versus Tennessee which was the week after their US Open tennis coverage concluded. However this year there are some new scheduling quirks with the expansion of the conference. Florida Tennessee will be played on September 15th, but so will Alabama and Arkansas. I would guess two top ten; maybe top five teams could put to an end the traditional SEC opener. To be sure, I will just ask Mr. College Football.
Spring Football in the SEC begins March 1st with LSU. Here are three goals the Tigers need to establish during spring ball.
1.Team Chemistry- It seemed to unravel in the title game and was more evident with the stories surrounding the play calling and Jarrett Lee. Les Miles is the master of handling tough waters, but this team had a swagger and lost it January 10th. Can they regain it?
2.Develop Zach Mettenberger- He is physically talented, now its time to incorporate the vertical passing game into the offensive system.
3.Make Russell Shepard an impact player. You need to develop the entire group and with Mettenberger that should happen but this kid needs the rock. Odell Beckham should be the number one guy on the outside.
Follow me on Twitter @bradyack.