Those jitters you're feeling can only mean one thing: RCR's weekly check-in with our SEC foes has returned. Those jitters that Les Miles is feeling, however, may or may not be linked to a crippling coffee addiction, which he says caused a headache blinding enough to warrant a hospital trip on Monday. Word?
This story is so damn Les Miles. The Rad Hatter quoted Mark Twain -- "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated" -- while telling WBRZ that he temporarily "OD'd on coffee." Les Miles is an actual crazy person, true, but his physical constitution is thankfully alright. Maybe try half decaf next time, Coach.
Speaking of actual crazy people, Nick Saban has yet to name a starting quarterback for the season, though with five potential slingers in the bullpen, he's not hurting for options. No matter, though, since first-year QBs can prove to be an asset, and in any case Bama's defense looks as nasty as ever.
With the embers of Will Muschamp's tire fire still smoldering in Gainesville, it's amazing that Florida will attempt to play football this season. But try they will, and with dueling quarterbacks to boot. The untested Will Grier and the well-tested-and-pretty-much-just-OK Treon Harris will vie for generalship duties against New Mexico State as Jim McElwain commences work in the Swamp.
Speaking of tire fires, the No. 25 Tennessee Volunteers might just turn some heads this season. Rocky Top returns a full 21 starters from 2014, including the bulk of their offensive and defensive lines. For a team that has a wideout literally named "Pig Howard" and a preseason ranking less believable than a Greg Hardy rap album, expectations in Knoxville are ripe to come crashing down after an inexplicable bed-wetting in Gainesville later this month.
The other Bulldogs are also playing football this season, and like so many seasons before they have expectations, man. Team Speed Kills' David Wunderlich has lit a fire redder than 2003's hype, and with a healthy Nick Chubb the East Dawgs could do some real violence in 2015. Wunderlich also likes the Ole Miss Rebels of Oxford, Miss. to win the SEC West and tosses in this strikingly astute observation besides:
The bye week coming late will hurt, as it doesn't land until November 14. [The Rebels] will probably start to run low on gas and drop the game against Arkansas's brutal offense on their tenth consecutive week of playing. Other than that and the early road game against Bama, the schedule works out fairly well. Getting Vandy and rebuilding Florida from the East is a boost, and Ole Miss is a huge beneficiary of Bruce Feldman's Body Blow Theory. Auburn plays the Rebels a week after Arkansas, A&M plays them the week after Bama, and both LSU and Mississippi State play them after getting the Tide and Hogs in consecutive weeks. The stars aren't aligning for an undefeated run, but for a West title? Maybe so.
It just might work, dammit.
If you're passing through Starkville this week, do State a solid and drop off Brandon Larrabee's thought experiment in Dan Mullen's mailbox. Everyone, it seems, is of one or the other opinion on MSU this year: either they've lost too many starters to do too much damage, or they're returning just the right personnel to dark-horse themselves off to Atlanta. Whatever happens, the Dak Attack could bring home some hardware of his own this year.
Pour one out -- or don't -- for Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies who get a deceptively tough matchup against Arizona State to open the season in Houston. Our friends at Good Bull Hunting have also done the Lord's work by writing up a fines list for bad behavior at A&M home games this year, and overalls are officially banned from Kyle Field. Good work, fellas.
Gary Pinkel talked to SB Nation's Bill Connelly over the summer and gave the quote of the year: "Everybody's favorite player's the backup QB, but then he throws three INTs." That's Spurrier-level frankness from a man who's been quietly making his way through the SEC East for a few years now, and it speaks to his game intelligence that he was recently on the SEC Network's coaches sit-down alongside such conference luminaries as Saban, Miles, and Hugh Freeze.
Miles. Freeze. Richt. Pinkel. Saban. SEC Coaches Roundtable is LIVE on SECN! pic.twitter.com/Ba8cb03srK— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 11, 2015
(No need to adjust your monitor; that is in fact the intended color of Saban's jacket.)
College and Magnolia are feeling pretty good about themselves for topping the GRAMMAR POWER RANKINGS released this week, which isn't much of a surprise, what with all that free time at home to write internet comments while Georgia Tech graduates go to all those jobs you were turned down for. Anyway, Gus Malzahn and his Muschamp-drawn cart head over to Atlanta for a whimsy little match against Louisville on Saturday. Afterward, both squads will take in the sights and sounds of DragonCon with all the other weirdos.
Bret Bielema's high-octane run-game has a Heisman hopeful in Alex Collins. With Jonathan Williams out for the season, Collins is picking up the balance of carries in the Fayetteville backfield.
Who the hell knows what's gonna happen in Lexington on Saturday, let alone this season. They might knick a South Carolina or a Georgia on a down week, but really, who the hell knows.
Vandy will host Georgia on CBS for their September 12 barn-burner. If Nick Chubb gets injured this season, this is the game when that happens.
You might think that football begins on Saturday, but you'd be dead wrong. Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks start the weekend on Thursday against UNC in Charlotte, and the Head Ball Coach sees question marks at every position this year. Whatever happens, this game will feature approximately 14 bonkers turnovers and still end 17-10. Now that's some must-watch television, or, better still, if you find yourself near Loop-485, why don't you just stop by in person:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">About 20,000 empty seats expected for USC-UNC game <a href="http://t.co/NUOFJQbFD9">http://t.co/NUOFJQbFD9</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thestate?src=hash">#thestate</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gg?src=hash">#gg</a></p>— GoGamecocks.com (@gogamecocks) <a href="https://twitter.com/gogamecocks/status/638887706060152832">September 2, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Absolutely flooring that a Thursday-nighter during the first week of classes isn't drawing more drunken attention. Amazing.
Three more days, everyone. Hang in there.