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The Lazy Fan’s Guide to Week 1 of the SEC football season

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Your primer for the SEC week ahead.

defcon

It’s. Been. So. Long. But it’s back, college football, the greatest of all football is here and ready to dominate your Saturdays for the next 3-5 months dependent upon what school you cheer for. For example, if you like Alabama, (along with not having gone there) you probably will be watching, caring and screaming about football until the beginning of 2018. If you’re a Kansas fan (and if you are, why are you here?) you’ve got about 2 weeks before you can stop caring and focus on basketball season.

For you the lucky (maybe?) reader, we’ll be doing this all season long through the bowls that will almost maybe include Mizzou. In this space, you’re going to get hard hitting stuff, like how much time you should invest in watching this game and of course what drink would best pair with it. Facts, there will be some, numbers, maybe, but that’s not really our strength, what there will be, will be sarcasm and joy. So strap in, it’s week one, college football is back, the SEC is better than ever (just ask em!) and we’ve got 14 games to peruse because for some reason we have no SEC on SEC action in week 1.

Last Season’s Records

Picker Record Last Season
kristina 72 Wins, 54 Losses
Chris 83 Wins, 42 Losses

So last year, I was the clear winner of who can pick games but not actually bet on them because, money. The year before last, LFG Season 1, kristina was the dominant picker (insert blind squirrel theory here), so clearly you can take this to the bank: one of us will do slightly better than the other…maybe. Honestly, we’re just doing our thing and always over .500 so if you follow what we say, there’s at least a Ford Fiesta in your future, it’s powered by Tequila, like these picks! And kids, never go for the cheap tequila.

Let’s move on, and let’s jump right into the schedule, the delicious, delicious schedule!

The Games

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
THURSDAY, August 31st 7:00 PM Arkansas Florida A&M Arky Campus SEC Network WatchESPN

You remember how Arkansas’ season ended last year right? Loss over Thanksgiving weekend, to Mizzou. Just wanted to remind you of that little fact. Arkansas takes things a little easier in Week 1 with a game where Florida A&M, the team with maybe the best nickname, THE RATTLERS will come and get paid and then head back to Florida.

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 1! It’s the first SEC game of the season, it’s a Thursday and it’s on TV. I don’t care how bad both teams look, football is better than the alternative, which I can only imagine is baseball. Good for some, less good for others. Either way, it’s football, so enjoy it and maybe, just maybe, Arkansas screws this up!

Paired Drink: Because I can’t say all of them, I’m going with a straight shot of bourbon, followed by others. It’s a celebration, but it’s also not a great game, so do the shots and make your own fun once you’re bored and looking for something else to watch because, well, it’s Arkansas and Florida A&M.

kristina: Sweet. Nothing like picking these without having looked at anything. Good thing most first games are cupcakes. I’ll take Arky but Florida A&M’s helmets are legit.

Chris: How can I not choose the Razorbacks? They easily stomp on snakes, and they can certainly destroy a campsite if it gets in their head to do so. Here’s to hoping this game is closer than expected and the Kool Aid Man gets so upset at some point that he pops a zipper on the jacket he’s wearing even though it’s still summer out there.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 11:00 AM Mizzou SMS aka Missouri State CoMO SEC Network WatchESPN

SMS/Missouri State / whatever they’ll be called next comes to town. (Really though, pick a name and stick with it, last time we played them they were the Southwest Missouri State Teachers College.) Time for Odom 2.0. Don’t care this (should be?) is a cupcake, annihilate them, let Coach EE bask in his glory, uh, if he’s watching, and just be happy Mizzou football is back. Well, until November 10th. That’s kind of a big date as well. But until then, football!

Scale of Watchability: Of course this is SEC Defcon 1! What else would you be watching?!??! And, unlike us at the LFG, ‘cause we have to be true to our name, you’ve been a good little RMN minion and have read up on all the football takes.

Paired Drink: It’s early and the first game, so find a nice, cold beer or two and don’t get all crazy yet. Then again, you probably started tailgating at seven in the morning, who are we kidding? Just stay away from the jello shots.

kristina: Mizzou, of course. And I’m stuck at a wedding shower, does no one pay attention to college football schedules when they’re scheduling stuff, geez.... See, this is why I need a twin. Here’s $50, go pretend to be me, have a mimosa, I need to go watch football, thanks. We can start a gofundme for a new phone for Mac, right?

Chris: M-I-Z…Z-O-U…FOREVER! Oh it’s Mizzou football and they get to take on a directional college from the same state that boasts many past Mizzou people. Steck, Jason Ray, you know, those guys. It’s time to let the Lock loose and have him throw for about 500 yards and put the fear of Truman into the rest of the SEC with his prowess. Mizzou wins big in this morning affair. Fun fact, I’m going to destroy Mac6’s phone by half time! JIMMIES ASSEMBLE!

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 2:00 PM South Carolina NC State Charlotte, NC ESPN WatchESPN

What a tasty little nonconference matchup between Power Conference teams, before the next one. This game provides a nice appetizer for what follows in 30 minutes but hey, it’s a battle for supremacy for who gets to run the Carolinas. Loser has to take ownership and pride in South of the Border, the saddest place on earth. (Thought that was Kansas? Editor is confused.)

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 2. This game gets knocked because you’re only watching this for 30 minutes if that before Florida and Michigan kick off at 2:30 PM. So enjoy this tasty nugget before the real action starts.

Paired Drink: Based on the time of day and the fact that you’re barely into this game, have an aperitif, something like a nice Campari and Soda, it’ll knock the day into you with the quickness.

kristina: So this is a rivalry that has its own wiki-page but there’s no “name” to it? Lame. Uh, North Carolina ‘cause they have better barbecue sauces.

Chris B: Whenever I think of NC State I think of Chuck Amato and those amazingly terrible sunglasses he wore, regardless of whether or not the sun was out. He really was the anti Yost wasn’t he? Anyway, I think the Wolfpack take down the Gamecocks in this one and all the fun memes about Muschamp start flying around the net by 4:00 PM.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 2:30 PM #17 Florida #11 Michigan Arlington, TX ABC WatchESPN

Two ranked teams, all the quarterback controversy, and yet it seems the biggest “thing” about this game is the day-glo let’s get crazy uniforms. Michigan’s going with an “all maize” look while Florida’s going all neon blue. Good thing you saved your overpriced eclipse glasses, right? (We at the LFG never promised the humor is good, try the veal.) What is it with college football fans and uniform preferences?

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 2. It’s what you should watch after Mizzou, but you probably went a little too crazy with the booze, so a nice afternoon nap may derail that plan. Kids these days just don’t appreciate naps. Naps are wonderful.

Paired Drink: Blue margarita, it’s tasty and you’ll blend right in. Just do it the right way and do not use sweet and sour mix, just don’t. Key lime juice is the key, kids.

kristina See, this is where I got in trouble last season. Since I’m not SEC speed (aka always second to post) I have to disagree at some point because how boring if all our picks are the same. So go Gators.

Chris B: Second best SEC game of the day, and it’s right around the time that Mizzou will have taken it’s foot off the gas, so perfect timing no? For the past two years Florida has fallen ass backwards into the SEC East Crown and this year, people are thinking much the same will occur. Thing is they don’t have a starting quarterback decided on yet and it’s not ‘cause the guys under center are all SO great, they’re all just a bunch of meh. So, I’m going with Michigan to steal the victory and Harbaugh to lose it at least once.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 3:00 PM Southern Miss Kentucky Hattiesburg, MS CBS CBS Sports

Kentucky finished .500 in conference last year and all of a sudden they’re heading on the road to start the season in Hattiesburg. Looks like this could be a trap game for the Wildcats who look to build on last year’s stellar 7-6 season. Luckily you can still win the SEC east if you lose to a random college when no one is noticing, so if things get squirrely down in Hattiesburg, well it’ll be our little secret.

Scale of Watchability: Defcon 4. I mean, it’s the opening weekend of the SEC football season so we’re grading on a curve. Normally this would be unwatchable, but it’s early September and you deserve to rest up in the shade.

Paired Drink: You want me to say mint julep, but I won’t. I’m going with a Kentucky Mule (for obvious reasons). It’s like a Moscow Mule but you’re replacing vodka for bourbon. Get some Knob Creek or Evan Williams, some fancy copper cups, muddle some mint and enjoy the drink more than the game.

kristina: Mint is awful. I’ll go Kentucky. Yet another school just waiting for basketball season to start. (Then again, I’m still on the hype train for ours, so can’t really talk I suppose.)

Chris B: All I want to do is pick Southern Miss, that’s all I want. But I can’t. Even on the road Kentucky is better, but only barely. Funny story, I once thought I had stumbled upon the Mizzou game on TV (well before streaming when you could watch all games) but it was Southern Miss, so I watched it. Cool story huh? Good luck fighting Tyndalls!

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 3:00 PM Mississippi State Charleston Southern StarkVEGAS, MS SEC Network WatchESPN

State hopes to avoid losing their season opener as they did last year. And Charleston Southern is in North Charleston, but whatever. We’ve said geography is overrated, right?

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 3. There wasn’t “a lot” of discussion on this one, Southern has a new head coach, so some say it could be close, some say not really. Guess if cowbell is your thing, give it a whirl? (And who doesn’t need more cowbell?)

Paired Drink: Apparently there is a “Mississippi Punch” but that sounds boring, so try this instead. (‘Cause that’s who i think of anytime someone brings up the cowbell.)

kristina I’ll go State. I’d be amused if that didn’t happen though. Upsets are fun, unless it’s your team of course, don’t screw this up, (our) Tigers!

Chris B: Thank the gods for there being other games available to digest and enjoy. Mississippi State beats the unnecessarily redundant Charleston Southern in a game that will feature at least one missed field goal.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 5:15 PM #15 Georgia Appalachian State Athens, GA ESPN WatchESPN

APP State! They did Michigan in, in the big House 10 years ago, and they almost took out Tennessee last year and would have had they not fumbled. Oh App State, greatest upset ever, I hope you can do it again, for you know, the year in which the Mountaineers upset a power 5 team on the road, Mizzou reaches #1 in the country. FACTS.

Scale of Watchability: Defcon 1. This is a very good game, a good watch and there’s nothing else on. Let’s all enjoy this one together, and hope what transpired 10 years ago, transpires once more.

Paired Drink: Champagne for the celebration post game, Miller High Life, the Champagne of beers for the game.

kristina: ‘Cause your stomach will love you combining fizzy booze with miller high life. Bulldogs. And I refuse to watch or DVR this one!

Chris: APP STATE get this done! I really, really, REALLY, want to pick the Mountaineers, but I think UGA gets it done, sadly. But Mizzou still reaches number 1 come November.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 6:30 PM #12 Auburn Georgia Southern Auburn, AL SEC Network WatchESPN

The game’s sold out, oh you crazy Auburn fans, and they’re having a DJ for the whole time (and season.) (And he’s already taking requests. SEC teams know how to party.) The tigers feature Jarrett Stidham, a transfer from Baylor (Smart move, kid, smart move........eh, though not the most SEC name......)

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 4, if vegasinsider’s “five touchdown” differential ends up accurate.

Paired Drink: Bourbon. Pour a new one every time Auburn scores a TD, though you probably are switching to watch ‘Bama in half an hour.

kristina: Auburn. I’m a bad fan, I don’t even know when we play Auburn.

Chris B: So how are we not making a bigger deal of that kid from “Last Chance U” not playing QB there and moving to WR? Think he’s as good as Gage or Outlaw? PROBABLY NOT! This game is only good for Mizzou fans to get primed for when we play Auburn. Auburn wins and Georgia Southern goes back to Georgia Southern.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 6:30 PM Ole Miss South Alabama Oxford, MS ESPNU WatchESPN

Well things got out of hand quickly for Ole Miss didn’t they? One day what’s his face coming, we’re all getting called Andre and being told we don’t get satire, the next day Laremy Slim is getting high through a gas mask and Hugh Freeze is getting the ax for calling escorts on a dozen different occasions. We’ve come a long way from two years ago when everything was great and the Egg Bowl meant something. Who’s happy? South Alabama that’s who. This team has a real chance at a victory over a reeling Ole Miss team that will fall back into the obscurity that is Andy Kennedy’s too large suits.

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 3. It’s not a spectacular game but I’m putting this on upset watch! So that means you’ve got to digest as much of it as you can before the biggest game of the day, Bama and FSU which kicks off 30 minutes later. Keep this game on the IPad, IPhone or ISecondTVinYourHouse.

Paired Drink: The saddest hot toddy of all time! Instead of putting hot water in there, replace it with the tears of your closest Ole Miss fan.

kristina: Guess I’ll go Ole Miss (again, why?) and their silly opinions on condiments. Next week I’m going to make my picks with a dartboard.

Chris B: I’m taking South Alabama. That’s right, book this upset that most people won’t see because they’re watching the next game. But South Alabama is good enough to upset the Rebels, just you wait and see.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 7:00 PM #1 Alabama #3 Florida State Atlanta, GA ABC WatchESPN

The first part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game doubleheader (again, why does this exist, though that Chick-fil-A sauce is pretty tasty.) Hopefully the game lives up to all the hype and we’re entertained.

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 1. It’s being called the best college season opener ever. (Though usually when something like that is said, it won’t be close, but we’ll hope we’re wrong there.)

Paired Drink: A nice wine........you’re going to watch the whole game so take your time. It’s just not for guzzling. (That’ll just get you in trouble, not that we’d know anything about that or ...........)

kristina: Another “Was going to go ‘Bama, and since HHKB went the other way, sure!” Have a bad feeling about this one.

Chris B: Best game of the day without a doubt, that doesn’t include Mizzou and a directional college from the state of Missouri at least. I don’t know why but I’m taking FSU. They get it done at the end of the game and Bama enters the second week of the season on a two game losing streak to the ACC and teams that SEC fans wish had been invited to the SEC instead of A&M and Mizzou. Well guess what, you’re stuck with us so get over it!

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 7:00 PM Middle Tennessee State Vanderbilt Murfreesboro, TN CBS Sports Network CBS Sports

It’s a battle for the state of Tennessee supremacy! Winner gets to wave the flag and threaten the creamsicle nightmare from Knoxville with doom. MTSU’s offense made a mockery of Mizzou’s defense last year and they look to do the same against a Vandy team that is moving in the right direction. Though taking this road game may not have been the best move Derek Mason has made in his time in Nashville. It’s going to bite them!

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 3. It’s an intriguing matchup and has upset potential written all over it, so once the two games ahead of it go to half time, give this one a chance and be sure to be there for the end when things go more screwy for Vandy than that ABOMINATION OF A BASKETBALL COURT.

Paired Drink: Since it’s getting long in the day and by now you’re a little stumbly, pour yourself a dark and stormy with full Goslings. It’ll wake you up, settle your stomach and it will match the emotions of those Vanderbilt students that notice they have a football team.

kristina: Yeah, I’ll go Middle Tennessee. Is anyone going to actually watch this one?

Chris B: Middle Tennessee State won’t score as much against Vandy’s competent defense as they did against Mizzou last year, but they’re going to score enough to win. Put that in your calculators Vanderbilt!

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Saturday, September 2nd 8:30 PM #13 LSU BYU Houston, TX ESPN WatchESPN

Not shockingly, the game was moved from Houston and will now be played in New Orleans, and kudos to the organizers for looking into ways to raise money. On a lighter note, apparently LSU’s DL went through $150 of pizza watching BYU tape. The bigger question is what toppings did they go with, but that wasn’t disclosed.

Scale of Watchability: SEC defcon 3. Another one that, on paper, might be close, but most of what we found had LSU with a 10-14 point line. Vegas, what do they know, right?

Paired Drink: lt’d be “too soon” for an obvious New Orleans choice, so we’ll go with this option.

kristina: LSU. Remember when we beat BYU? That was fun. (And yes, I did actually watch that game.)

Chris B: It’s a battle of three letter university’s that could not be more different from one another. I’ll miss Leonard Fournette, watching him do his thing the past couple years has been quite delightful. Luckily, we have the next in line Derrius Guice who is another uniquely talented back that I am thankful Mizzou does not have to try and stop. Oh and for you the viewers out there, do a shot every time some announcer says “The Guice is Loose” without even considering what they’re uttering.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Sunday, September 3rd 6:30 PM UCLA Texas A&M The Rose Bowl Fox Fox Sports Go

The best part about the college football season beginning the week before the NFL does means that we get Sunday night matchups that we won’t get again until bowl season. So feast on this, let it wash over you like delicious football soup. And you know you want to get down on this because Kevin Sumlin’s on the hot seat and UCLA’s Josh Rosen is the new bad boy of the Pac 12, he’s the yin to the yang that is Sam Darnold. Darnold will take you to dinner and call you in the morning, hell he’ll call you to make sure you got into your front door after dropping you off, Rosen’s gonna take you to TJ and then it’s light’s out.

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 1. Sunday night football that isn’t the NFL? Yes please! Watch this game, imbibe, go nuts it doesn’t matter because tomorrow is oxymoron holiday, labor day, where you will not labor and you may not see the day.

Paired Drink: On a Sunday night, for a game in the Rose Bowl, pour yourself something fruity and delightful, have a nice Hendricks martini and thank us in the morning.

kristina: I’ll go Aggies. Mostly just to have yet another disagreeing pick. Yay for holidays though. I want a day off.

Chris B: I picked UCLA last year and was dead wrong. So I’m sticking with them this year as well. Go Bruins, get that win in USC’s stadium. Then fire up the Sumlin copter as he completes his slow dirge towards being fired and either taking a mid major level major college job, or ends up as an OC for some NFL team, probably Washington because that’s where good football things go to perish.

Date Time Home Team Away Team Location TV Streaming
Monday, September 4th 7:00 PM Georgia Tech #25 Tennessee Atlanta, GA ESPN WatchESPN

The latter game in the Chick-fil-a kickoff classic, as one of our favorite meme teams starts their season off vs. Georgia Tech, who, by the way, went 3-0 versus the SEC East last year, and get to play in Atlanta to boot. “Neutral” site games ftw!

Scale of Watchability: SEC Defcon 2/3. It could be a good game, but that means you’re watching Tennessee. Unless there are #voluntears, you’re wasting your time.

Paired Drink: It’s the tail end of a football and booze fueled three day weekend, so you got to go easy here. Light beer. At this point, it may be just whatever has lasted the weekend.

kristina: Yeah, I’ll go Georgia Tech, let’s have some fun. PB&J’s are only overrated if you’re picking boring flavors of jelly. Got to get all fancy!

Chris B: What do you think of when you think overrated? Why Tennessee of course! It’s like peanut butter and jelly. Sadly the champions for life are not making out of the new dome thing in Atlanta sponsored by Mercedes with a win. The Volunteers will flow, but don’t worry, you’re still the best at not meeting expectations on a yearly basis, so congrats! Yellowjackets all the way!


That will do it, let’s go to the big board see who we picked to win, lose and embarrass themselves, and how we’re going to get you stinking rich!

Picker SEC Winners SEC Losers Non Con Winner (if selected)
kristina Arkansas, Mizzou, NC State, Florida, Kentucky, State, Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, A&M, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Tennessee Middle Tennessee State, Georgia Tech
Chris Arkansas, Mizzou, Kentucky, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee South Carolina, Florida, Ole Miss, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M NC State, Michigan, South Alabama, Florida State, Middle Tennessee State, UCLA

Thanks for reading, we know it’s long, so thanks for sticking to it. Enjoy your Thursday, Saturday - Monday of college football, this weekend only comes once a year so revel in it, and when you see an opposing fan decked out in there favorite school’s attire, give em a high five or head nod, for the season is back my friends, and that is cause for celebration.