So much for the likes of Nicholls State, The Citadel, Lamar and Sam Houston State. The level of competition is improved – albeit slightly for some teams — which should lead to some fancy channel flipping at night.
East Carolina at Virginia Tech, noon, ESPN
Virginia Tech appears to be back. OK, it’s only two games, but the Hokies were unfazed by the masses and mystique of Ohio State’s Horseshoe last week. With no teams on their schedule currently ranked, Virginia Tech could be looking at a return to glory, when they averaged 10.5 wins from 2004-11. Let downs against teams like East Carolina must be avoided.
Georgia at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Columbia has been a black hole for Georgia’s offense, leading Mark Richt to joke this week that former defensive star David Pollack “scored more points than a lot of our offensive players over those years,” referring to his swipe and score in 2002. There’s little evidence to think that South Carolina can stop Todd Gurley & Co., but stranger things have happened after “2001: A Space Odyssey” plays.
Kentucky at Florida, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network
Kentucky running back Jojo Kemp jazzed up this lackluster series by guaranteeing a victory. What? What do you expect from a Florida native who grew up a Miami Hurricanes fan? All Florida has done is win 27 consecutive games against Kentucky. A “furious” coach Mark Stoops promptly told Kemp not to poke the Gators with a stick. Too late. Like Florida needs more incentive after last year’s sorry season.
Tennessee at Oklahoma, 8 p.m., ABC
Another Stoops, Oklahoma’s Bob, loves smack talking the SEC. And thanks to last year’s Sugar Bowl shocker over Alabama, he put some muscle behind his mouth. The SEC vs. the World discussion came up again this week with Tennessee heading to Norman. And while the Vols are improved, they won’t offer much resistance. Surely we’ll hear more from Stoops afterward. Stay tuned.
UCLA at Texas, 8 p.m., Fox
New coach Charlie Strong has yet to enforce his will on Texas (or manage to find ultra talented athletes). They appear a tad improved from Mack Brown’s final team, but without an experienced QB, an offensive line and defenders who know how to tackle, this could be another season of sadness. UCLA hasn’t impressed yet, but QB Brett Hundley has the talent to extend the misery.