The NCAA football season is 3 months away. But that won’t stop the speculation here. One thing I’m somewhat obsessed about is what games make the grade for television. Especially when it comes to the best conference in college football, the SEC. Once again, CBS will have first dibs on the biggest game of the week in the top conference. Which means the Tiffany network will have the best games of the year to watch. Every announcer who does college football is very jealous of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson because they seem to get the best games. Since we’re here to speculate, here’s a mock projection of what games CBS will show this season.
September 14. Alabama @ Texas A&M
This one is obvious. In fact, CBS has confirmed this will be their first game of the season. This gigantic early season clash could be a playoff game to determine the National Championship. Plus, there is the small factor of A&M being the only team to defeat Alabama last season. CBS didn’t broadcast a game from Kyle Field last season, but has jumped at the chance to go to College Station for this one. A dream matchup featuring Heisman winner Johnny Manziel vs. the Alabama defense. It could be a classic!
September 21. Tennessee @ Florida
This is a traditional matchup that CBS rarely turns down. (Last year was the first time in recent memory this game wasn’t on CBS.) The Gators are expected to be contenders for the National Championship, while Tennessee is looking forward to what new head coach Butch Jones can bring to a program that has fallen on hard times. The Swamp is always at a fever pitch when the Vols are in town, so expect Verne and Gary to be there as well.
September 28. LSU @ Georgia
Despite being in the same conference, these two perennial powerhouses don’t meet very much in the regular season. They did face each other in the SEC Championship game in 2011, but haven’t met during the season since 2009. Despite that, the Bayou Bengals and the Dawgs don’t like each other very much and this should be an intense battle. Some are expecting LSU to have a down year in 2013, but never discount a Les Miles club. Georgia will have quarterback Aaron Murray return for his senior season, and he would love to bring home the school’s second National Championship. Circle this one on your calendar.
October 5. Arkansas @ Florida
To be brutally honest, this particular week is rather soft in the SEC. No big time matchups unless there are surprises in the early part of the season. That said, this could be an interesting tilt. Arkansas is looking to rebuild their program, under the guidance of new head coach Bret Bielema. The former Wisconsin coach enjoyed success with the Badgers, compiling a 68-24 record while leading the Badgers to three straight Big 10 titles. Arkansas is hoping Bielema’s good fortunes in Madison can transfer to Fayetteville. Florida, as mentioned earlier are a possible National Championship threat. A good possibility that this one makes it to CBS.
October 12. Florida @ LSU
These games are usually excellent and CBS always enjoys going to Death Valley. The Gators and Tigers have been involved in some classic games over the years, and the possibility exists for another beauty. Last year, the Gators upended the Tigers 14-6, ending LSU’s chances at an undefeated season. LSU would love nothing more, than to return the favour. Any time a game is in Death Valley, it is possible that it could be moved to prime time. If both teams are undefeated heading into this showdown, it is very possible that CBS will go under the lights in Baton Rouge.
October 19. Arkansas @ Alabama
Another matchup CBS loves to show. The last four games between the Razorbacks and the Crimson Tide have aired on the Tiffany Network. Since many are projecting an improved season for Arkansas, this game will be a strong consideration. It is almost a sure thing that Alabama will be a contender for the National Championship and Tuscaloosa is a favourite venue for Verne and Gary.
October 26. Tennessee @ Alabama
A traditional rivalry that has been one-sided in recent years. Alabama has dominated Tennessee, winning the last six matchups between the two. While Tennessee should be better in 2013, they will be in tough facing the mighty Tide in Tuscaloosa. This rivalry dates back to 1902, and they have faced each other every year since 1928. Tradition wins out and this one should get national coverage.
November 2. Georgia vs. Florida
This one is confirmed as CBS loves to go to Jacksonville for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. It’s a game that could determine the SEC East crown and could also have National Championship implications. How much do these teams hate each other? They can’t even agree when the rivalry actually began. Georgia claims it began in 1904, while Florida has stated that 1915 is the start of the rivalry. Whatever the case, these two schools have produced some memorable games. Georgia ended Florida’s unbeaten run last season and went on to win the SEC East. Revenge will be on the Gators mind for this one.
November 9. LSU @ Alabama
You could make a strong argument that this is the best rivalry not just in the SEC, but in all of college football at this moment. These two have produced some of the best games in recent years, and also produced some bad blood between the two universities. As most of you know, current Alabama coach Nick Saban was the one-time coach at LSU. He left Baton Rouge to try his hand in the NFL, before returning to the college ranks at Tuscaloosa. Since then, the rivalry has amped up to new heights. Another chapter will be written and my guess is Verne and Gary will tell the story.
November 16. Florida @ South Carolina
This game could be known as the Steve Spurrier bowl. The legendary Gators coach is now manning the sidelines in Columbia with visor in tow. The old ball coach has built a solid program and he has star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. A game that could potentially determine the SEC East title. (Georgia will have something to say about that.)
November 23. Texas A&M @ LSU
Many are expecting this to be the breakout rivalry in the SEC. These two teams met last year in College Station with LSU emerging with a 24-19 victory. This year Johnny Manziel will try to lead his team to victory inside Death Valley. The Aggies have National Champions aspirations while LSU are always a formidable foe. Can Johnny Football handle the crazy denizens inside Tiger Stadium? We shall see in late November.
November 29. Arkansas @ LSU
The traditional day after Thanksgiving matchup has been confirmed to CBS already. Even though LSU has won 3 out of the last 4 matchups, these games are usually tight affairs that come down to the final seconds. The Battle For The Golden Boot should be another close game as Arkansas will look to be much improved this season. However, Death Valley is the place where opponents dreams tend to die. We shall see.
November 30. Florida State @ Florida
The battle of Florida could have National Championship implications. The Seminoles should win the ACC and have an excellent chance of running the table. The Gators will know by this game, whether they will be in or out of the SEC title game in Atlanta the following week in Atlanta. In 2012 in Tallahassee, the Gators ended the Seminoles dream of a National Championship, with a convincing 37-26 score. Can Florida State return the favour in Gainesville? There have been some great games between the two and the potential for another classic is here.
Check back to see how right or how wrong I am with these picks.
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