Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
My overall record in Week 1 was 10-2, but it’s hard for me to get excited.
In the games that counted, I was 1-2. I correctly picked South Carolina’s win over North Carolina State, but missed on Alabama’s win over Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State’s win over Georgia.
I would have taken a 2-1 record in those three games, but a 1-2 record is unacceptable to start the season. My punishment will be finding the Georgia fan who barks the loudest and sit right beside him this Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
On second thought, maybe that’s going a bit far. It was just the opening week.
I’ll reconsider that punishment as I unveil my picks for Week 2 in the SEC:
Florida 52, Troy 10: Another week, another Florida scrimmage. Then again, maybe the Gators are good enough that they’re going to make a lot of games look like best-against-the-rest scrimmages this season. Look for Florida to break out a little more of its defensive package this weekend. Troy will throw the football a ton and is capable of scoring points. Just not against these guys.
Alabama 31, Florida International 7: This is the season opener for Florida International. Even if the Crimson Tide aren’t completely dialed in coming off that Virginia Tech game, they’re good enough to win this one going away. Think we might see more of freshman tailback Trent Richardson this weekend?
Tennessee 28, UCLA 24: These two teams have had some classic matchups over the years, and this one may well go down to the final few possessions. Tennessee’s players are believing right now under Lane Kiffin, although it’s difficult to draw a lot of conclusions from the Western Kentucky rout. The Bruins will be a better test, but not a good enough test to keep the Vols from going to 2-0.
LSU 31, Vanderbilt 21: It’s been a tough turnaround for LSU, which didn’t get back until later Sunday night from Seattle. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is coming off an easy win over Western Carolina. If the Commodores can take away the Tigers’ running game, they have a great chance to win. That’s easier said than done.
Auburn 24, Mississippi State 13: The Tigers won 3-2 last season thanks to a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. OK, there were no home runs, but a 3-2 score in football? A few things have changed since that shootout, most notably the head coaches. It’s the SEC debut for Auburn’s Gene Chizik and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. The difference in the game, though, will be Gus Malzahn’s balanced offense.
Georgia 17, South Carolina 10: The Bulldogs scored 14 points and won a year ago in Columbia. History says nobody will make it to three touchdowns. If they do, game over. In seven of the past eight meetings, the winning team has scored 20 or fewer points. The defenses appear to be even better than a year ago, which means a late turnover will probably decide it. Although he only threw one interception in the opener, taking care of the ball hasn’t exactly been South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia’s strength.