Let’s face it. As much as SEC Media Days signal the beginning of the football year, unless you’re breaking in a new coach, there’s not a whole lot interesting going on. The SEC has lost some of its more quotable and drama-creating head coaches over the years (no more Les Miles, no more Gus-Bert “feud”, and sadly no more Hatin’ Ass Spurrier), and we’ve generally replaced them with baby Sabans, who would rather rub sand in their eyes than talk to the media.
But, SEC Media Days does inspire some talk when the pre-season All-SEC teams and divisional rankings are released. What? The super awesome senior running back from your team who had 1,000 yards last year while sharing carries isn’t 1st Team All-SEC? What an outrage!
In the spirit of fun and meaningless polls, the team at College and Mag has come together to vote as well. Today, we’re going to release our picks for the best and worst games on the schedule this year. Just like the coaches, we aren’t going to vote for our own team, which is good because (big surprise) we would all be voting for the Iron Bowl if we could.
Best Non-Conference Game
LSU vs Miami (3 votes)
The out-of-conference slate is surprisingly lacking this year (outside of Washington/Auburn). Despite a lot of people’s low expectations on LSU, this game is still a gut check for both programs. If LSU wins, it may be a sign that they won’t be as much of a pushover as expected. If Miami wins, it should be confirmation that they are actually going to be the team that started last year so well and not the team that fell apart down the stretch.
Clemson at Texas A&M (1 vote)
Clemson should be heavily favored, but this one is in College Station, and Jimbo is familiar with the Tigers.
Florida at Florida State (1 vote)
Which program with a new head coach will return to being a powerhouse first? The winner here will have a leg up in that race.
South Carolina at Clemson (1 vote)
Again, Clemson should be the prohibitive favorite here, but should Muschamp pull off a win, it would go a long way in cementing him in the top half of coaches in the SEC.
Washington vs Auburn (1 vote)
Yes, we said no voting for your own school, but someone did anyways, AND THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY AND THE MEDIA WILL NOT BE SILENCED! Or ya know, something like that.
Best Conference Game
Nobody had the same picks here, so we have a seven way tie.
Texas A&M at Alabama
*Editor’s note: this was my pick because I think the Jimbo/Saban drama will be entertaining, and I think A&M has a chance to surprise some people. Ryan’s base indifference and acerbic attitude over my picks will not be tolerated.
**Author’s Note: ... Sure?
Florida at Mississippi State
Dan Mullen returns to Starkville. Will he have an answer for the program he created? #Clanga
Georgia at South Carolina
If UGA wins this one, the rest of the East is a cakewalk. But SC is the general favorite to be second in the East right now, so a win for the Gamecocks could mean stealing a trip to Atlanta.
Mississippi State at LSU
You know LSU will be looking to avenge the 30-point shellacking Mississippi State out on them last year. And as we all know, weird shit happens in Death Valley.
Georgia at LSU
Say what you will about Da Coach O, but he is a master motivator. Just like when they hosted Auburn last year, you can bet he will have his team up and ready to take down UGA in Tiger Stadium.
Texas A&M at South Carolina
The weirdos of the West go to the weirdos of the East this year. Remember that time Kenny Hill became Kenny Trill after throwing for over 500 yards against #9 South Carolina in Columbia? This is a fun game, despite the Aggies being 4-0.
THE ARNN BOWWLL
YOU CAN’T SILENCE GREATNESS.
There’s a few ways to interpret this, but we chose to look at it as which game you would want your wife’s college roommate to get married during (and yes you have to go, and put your phone away they’re about to say their vows!). Do with that what you will.
Vandy at Kentucky (2 votes)
Ole Miss at Vandy (2 votes)
Also yeah. But with more Khakis.
Kentucky at Florida (1 vote)
Will Kentucky have the lead late in this one? Yes. Will they do something very very stupid? Yes. Will they then fix it by doing something good, only to screw it up even more horrificly, probably on a call that is challenged for us to see over and over in slow motion? You bet. Florida will win this one, somehow, some way. Book it.
Vandy at Arkansas (1 vote)
Half of this game could be alright. Arkansas’s offense under Chad Morris versus Vandy’s usually stout defense may be alright. But the other half of the game? Woof.
Alabama at LSU (1 vote)
No no no, you don’t understand. It’s a defensive battle. It’s real football. We Barners wouldn’t know about that.