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SEC leading charge into opening weekend

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, August 29, 2014
Texas A&M wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones (9) celebrates with teammate Kenny Hill (7) after scoring a touchdown against South Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Texas A&M wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones (9) celebrates with teammate Kenny Hill (7) after scoring a touchdown against South Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Last night it became official when Texas A&M traveled to South Carolina.

Football is here, and the SEC Network is in control as the greatest football conference opened its season with three games last night.

Here are predictions for this weekend's SEC openers, as well as Arkansas State's season opener in Jonesboro:

ARKANSAS AT AUBURN

The Razorbacks should show improvement in the offensive line and with their running game, allowing Brandon Allen to manage the game. The Arkansas secondary will be tested early and often Saturday. Nick Marshall will sit out the first half. Auburn, 27-21

MONTANA STATE AT ASU

The Bobcats are riding a three-game losing streak going back to last year and should allow the Red Wolves to make it their 10th consecutive season-opening victory. Despite so many head coaching changes, enthusiasm is still running high in Jonesboro. ASU, 31-10

ALABAMA VS. WEST VIRGINIA

Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen needs to start winning some games with his own players. It won't happen Saturday when Atlanta turns into Tuscaloosa East. Nick Saban will start a quarterback. The Crimson Tide will run it down West Virginia's throat regardless of who that is. Alabama, 31-14

IDAHO AT FLORIDA

The Vandals won one game last season, and they might win one this year. It just won't be against the Gators. Paul Petrino is trying to build something at Idaho, but just what that is isn't clear right now. This one should be over after the first quarter. Florida, 63-2

CLEMSON AT GEORGIA

The Bulldogs return 14 starters -- all of them healthy for a change -- and look like the team to beat in the SEC East. The Tigers normally win season openers under Dabo Swinney (great coaching name), but this one appears to be an uphill battle for the team that should finish second in the ACC. Georgia, 27-17

UT-MARTIN AT KENTUCKY

Wow, millions won't watch this game on television. They should introduce the Wildcats' basketball freshmen at the end of each quarter to keep the fans interested enough to stay. The Skyhawks get to endure this beating before traveling to Conway next week and getting another whipping by UCA. Some insiders say Kentucky will be better. Could they be worse than 2-10? Kentucky, 35-10

LSU VS. WISCONSIN

Les Miles has some question marks, but apparently running back isn't one of them as the Leonard Fournette era begins as the Tigers open the season with a game in Houston. Wisconsin is huge on the offensive line, and the blows between them and the Tigers' defensive line might be heard all the way to Dallas, but the Badgers lost eight starters on defense. Expect this to be close, but the Badgers won't have an answer for freshman Fournette. LSU, 27-24

SOUTHERN MISS AT MSU

There are lots of excitement and energy in Starkville, Miss., but not so much in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles are 1-23 the past two seasons, so it isn't known yet whether returning 16 starters is a good thing. Mississippi State has 16 starters back, and that is definitely a good thing. MSU, 34-7

SOUTH DAKOTA ST. AT MISSOURI

The Jackrabbits will hop into town, take their licks, get their check and limp back home. Missouri, 49-0

UTAH ST. AT TENNESSEE

The Aggies were pretty good last season but return only eight starters heading into Sunday's game. Tennessee was OK last year but looks to be much improved under second-year Coach Butch Jones. The Vols warm up for next week's game with Arkansas State. Tennessee, 42-14

Sports on 08/29/2014

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