Clemson will host Georgia opening weekend.This week spring practice has begun for several teams and EspnABC released its television schedule for opening week. March will provide us a lot of useful football information that we can digest and satisfy our cravings for the fall. Here is the schedule released this week.
Thursday, Aug. 29
6 p.m. North Carolina at South Carolina
9:15 p.m. Ole Miss at Vanderbilt
Saturday, Aug. 31
5:30 p.m. Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Atlanta)
8 p.m. Georgia at Clemson
9 p.m. TCU vs. LSU (Cowboys Classic, Dallas)
You will notice the SEC is well represented in the opening weekend with six teams facing marquee match ups.
Larry Fedora takes North Carolina to Columbia to face Steve Spurrier.
South Carolina will open at home versus North Carolina in what should be a very entertaining game. The Heels made strides under first year head coach Larry Fedora and he has recruited very well. They have an experienced quarterback in Bryn Renner and will bring and explosive up tempo offense into Columbia. The Gamecocks will have a new look on offense as far as the skilled guys but Connor Shaw and Jadevon Clowney return. This will be a very interesting game.
Ole Miss and all its momentum travels to Nashville to face Vanderbilt. The Dores ended the season with the leagues longest winning streak at seven, yet most of the focus will be on Hugh Freeze and the great recruiting class. The Dores will have a new quarterback, but expect this to be a great SEC opener.Vanderbilt was able to steal one in Oxford last year and the Rebels are looking for pay back.
Virginia Tech and Alabama in the Georgia Dome sounds good and even looks good on paper, but this wont be much of a game in my opinion. The Hokies are making changes on offense and they still have a big time pro prospect in Logan Thomas who was erratic at best last year. I look for the Tide defense to send a message in week one.
Georgia at Clemson is the game I am most looking forward to for a variety of reasons. First you have two Heisman contenders in Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd. This game can spin the season for both teams in opposite directions. For Clemson they can prove they are a player on the national scene by beating SEC opponents in consecutive games. (Win over LSU in Chick FilA Bowl). I think they can lose and still win the ACC, but its time for Tajh Boyd and company to win a big regular season non conference game. For Georgia they have a brutal early season schedule but this is a good match up for them. They Dogs defense wont be as stout but should be fast and match up with the Tiger spread. The difference may not be the two Heisman candidates but Todd Gurley the outstanding sophomore running back for Georgia. Oh I am looking forward to this game too because it was one as a kid I always wanted to go to. My dad love to say Herschel Walker never got to the end zone in three years versus Clemson.2013 the Tigers will be Zach Mettenberger's team.
TCU and LSU tangle in Dallas and the Horned Frogs should be improved especially if Casey Pachall is back at quarterback. The Tigers will debut new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and likely feature a better passing attack with Zach Mettenberger. They however have a lot of bodies to replace on defense and cannot afford to lay an egg on offense in this game.