2021 SEC Football Pick of the Week – Week One
Full stadiums, full tailgates and a full football season. As life slowly returns to normal, SEC football is back and it promises to be better than ever.
And I’m not even talking about in future years when Oklahoma and Texas join up and learn what big-boy football is all about.
No, I’m talking about a league that features two legitimate national championship contenders in Alabama and Georgia, three teams that might need a few breaks to get there in Florida, LSU and Texas A&M and a ton of other storylines.
So let’s get to it.
When we last left off in 2020, we were 8-8 on the year and 53-39 overall since 2015.
SEC Pick of the Week: No. 1 Alabama (-18) vs. No. 14 Miami in Atlanta at 3:30pm ET on ABC.
If there’s been one team the last decade that’s been “back” more than Texas it’s Miami. They are about to find out that “back” doesn’t mean back.
This game has the potential to get ugly for the Hurricanes. Like, really ugly. I just don’t see Miami having the horses to keep up with Alabama for four quarters.
The last time this happened in 2019 to begin the year the Hurricanes got out-ran by Florida to start things off in Miami. I mean, sure that game was somewhat close but the Gators were never in really any danger.
Alabama, despite breaking in new quarterback Bryce Young and somewhat of a rebuild remains loaded. Miami on the other hand will start D’Eriq King, who is one of the more electrifying players in college football but is coming off a serious knee injury and it remains to be seen just exactly what he can do.
I like Alabama here. Big.
Upset alert: No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson (-3.5) in Charlotte, NC at 7:30pm ET on ABC.
This is the game. By far the biggest season opener of the year. No matter who wins this matchup the loser is by no means eliminated from playoff contention.
The Bulldogs probably have QB1-B of the SEC in J.T. Daniels who throws the most catchable ball in the league and more than likely the best defense. But here’s the thing. They’ve got the running backs to compete but is that going to be enough? I just don’t know.
There are questions about the offensive line and at wide receiver due to either inexperience or injury and that may come back to hurt them here.
The Tigers’ defensive front is set and they’re very good. They’ve got a new quarterback as well with D.J. Uiagalelei taking the reigns from first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence and he’s played some so we’ll have to see if he’s up for the moment.
My gut says Georgia wins and my head says it’s 50/50. I go back and forth.
Keep an eye on I: No. 16 LSU (-4) at UCLA at 8:30pm ET on FOX.
I honestly don’t know what to think about the Tigers. They’re probably one of four or five most talented teams in college football but they’re coming off a weird year with a head coach who I think is overrated and is more than likely on a little bit of a warm seat.
Myles Brennan, who a lot of people expected to get the start at quarterback, broke his non-throwing arm getting ready for a fishing trip so in steps Max Johnson, son of Brad. Johnson did start some last year and played well.
LSU should roll here mainly because they’ve got the horses. But Chip Kelly is definitely on the hot seat and maybe, just maybe he’s got something up his sleeve.
Keep an eye on II: Bowling Green State at Tennessee (-33) at 8:00pm ET on SECN.
Tennessee should win this game and they more than likely will. But the amount of points they are giving up is astronomical for a team that is projected to finish near the bottom (maybe, 7 wins) of the SEC East.
I’m just concerned that with a new coach, new offense and a new quarterback that they might not be able to put this one away like they should.
Other than that though, the Volunteer Navy should leave this game in good spirits.
Trending up: Conference expansion.
The biggest news with regards to college football this offseason was the news that Oklahoma and Texas are joining the SEC sometime in the near future.
I’m a fan. I like it. Oklahoma is one of the greatest programs in college football history. They bring it. Texas, well, they bring money. They haven’t really won anything in 50 years aside from one year with Vince Young.
It’s not just about football either. Both schools are legitimately good in other sports as well. Oklahoma has a great gymnastics program and Texas, well, they have money.
Boomer Sooner and Horns Down.
Trending down: Conference expansion.
Other conferences are now panicking. Reports are beginning to emerge about an alliance between the ACC, Big 10 and Pac 12 conferences.
We’ll see how that goes but it’s clearly a response to the SEC’s consolidation of power. The greatest conference gets stronger and Ohio State wants to play Louisville.
Good for you.