With LSU not playing this weekend and with their next game being against an opponent most Tiger fans do not fear, we will give a more thorough breakdown of the other matchups around the SEC this weekend.

The biggest story of the day came out of Nashville where Vanderbilt is now 2-0 and alone atop the SEC standings (weird, right?) after a win against South Carolina.

I watched this team play against Miami (OH) last Thursday and I really think they are legit. Chris Nickson is nothing spectacular, but his dual threat capabilities and a superb defense will get Vandy into a bowl this year.

As for South Carolina, I picked them to be in the elites in the East. But their quarterback play is very sub-par and they will in no way be able to muster enough consistent offense to keep strides with Florida and Georgia.

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Norfolk State at Kentucky 5:00 CDT Saturday

Keys for Norfolk State:

1. Run, Run, Run – The Wildcats gave up just 50 yards on the ground in their opening day win against Louisville. So Norfolk State has to get more production than Louisville did, or it will be a long afternoon.

2. Be Defensive – The Spartans gave up just more than 100 total yards in their season opener, a rout against Virginia State. Sure, Kentucky has a ton more talent than they do, but if this game is played in the 20s, they have a shot.

Keys for Kentucky:

1. Running game – Kentucky stopped the run against Louisville. But they weren’t able to run themselves, either, being pasted in the trenches by the Louisville defensive line. The Cats will only go as far as the running game takes them.

2. Turnover warfare – Kentucky forced 5 turnovers and if they can force 2-3 a game, they can really boost their hurting offense.

Prediction: Later in the week

Arkansas at UL-Monroe 6:00 CDT Saturday

Keys for Arkansas:

1. Kindergarten cops – Every day is a new day for Bobby Petrino and he has no idea what to expect from his team, who was gutted of Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis. This team needs an identity in the worst way, or 2-10 is headed their way.

2. Protect Dick – Casey Dick has been effective in his career when given time to throw the ball. Just against higher-level teams, he doesn’t always have that time.

Keys for ULM:

1. Learn from mistakes – Monroe was romped by Auburn last week, but get another crack at a much lesser opponent this week — This time at home.

2. Patch the levees – Monroe only gave up two defensive TDs to Auburn. But they did give up 300+ yards on the ground. That is borderline insane and Arkansas’s weak rushing attack better not come anywhere close to that for ULM to have a chance.

Prediction: Later in the week

SE Louisiana at Mississippi State 6:00 CDT Saturday

Keys for Southeastern:

1. Special teams – For a team so outmatched, the Lions can do themselves major favors by starting drives around midfield. They will not score a point playing from inside their own 20.

2. Hey, Mr. Wilson! – Southeastern’s most dangerous weapon is Chris Wilson who caught 2 passes for more than 100 yards and 2 TDs in their opener. They have to find ways to get the ball to him in space and let him work.

Keys for MSU:

1. Musical QB’s – The Bulldogs switched from Wesley Carroll to Tyson Lee in their opening night loss to La Tech, but it was too late to muster a comeback. Anthony Dixon can’t do it on his own.

2. Special Teams-  MSU miserably lost special teams against Tech. It may not rear its head in this game. But down the line, they need sound special teams to upset the likes of Auburn, Bama and LSU out West.

Prediction: Later in the week

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Pick’em.

Here is the list of games.

NOTE: We are not picking competitively this week due to communication issues because of Gustav. But here is my list of 15.

Ga Tech +7 at Boston College

WVU -7.5 at East Carolina

Miami +22.5 at Florida

San Diego State +21.5 at Notre Dame

Ole Miss +7.5 at Wake Forest

Tulane +30 at Alabama

NFL:

Tampa Bay +3 at New Orleans

Dallas -6 at Cleveland

Vikings +2.5 at Green Bay

Kansas City +15.5 at New England

Saints/Bucs = Over/Under 42.5 points

Jets/Dolphins = Over/Under 36.5 points

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Top 10:

It’s been a wild week. But finally, some normalcy has taken charge, so I can finally dig deeper into my Top 10 list of most overrated athletes.

No. 8 most overrated athlete – Steven Jackson

Not the Pacers (now Warriors) idiot who aided Artest in the Brawl for All at Detroit. But the Rams’ tailback who has had only one “dominant” season out of four, but yet is forever labeled as one of the most dominant players in the NFL.

I may be blinded, because Jackson is buried on a horrible team, but I just see this kid as more of the problem than the solution for the Rams — isolating himself from the team the entire offseason, etc . . .

I could be wrong on this one. But if I had to make a 1-10 list of NFL RB’s, Jackson would either not be on the list at all, or would be on the very bottom.

No. 7 tomorrow.

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Headlines:

Giants pound Skins to kickoff NFL season – Neither team looked very good, but I see the Redskins as being just plain godawful ugly this year. Losing Joe Gibbs will hurt this team a ton.

Wells out Saturday – Not a bad move. The Buckeyes are playing OHIO. With USC next weekend, patch up Wells and move on.

Culpepper retires from NFL – It’s a shame to see him go. He was a good one for a short time, but just faded away to mediocrity quickly.

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YouTube Video of the Day:

That’s it for me, people!

Have a good one!

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