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Here’s a look at the first 2021 weekend of SEC football

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The boys are reportedly back in town

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Yes. Yes. Y-E-S.

Folks, the countdown is nearly extinguished, and SEC football is about to be on your television, tablet, phone, and/or theater room projection screen if you middle class fancy like that - and we’ve got the slate summed up here with what to expect this week.

Clearly, this is an Ole Miss-centric blog, and we’ve got a plethora of posts coming this week before the Labor Day kickoff against Louisville.

But there’s plenty of you who are degenerate gamblers, have boring office jobs, or maybe you just want football back 100 percent, full blown, live and in-person. The Cup is here for you, so let’s ride.

Week one features all 14 SEC schools in action, and as always in these early weeks, there are some blowouts to be expected as the alsorans collecting six and seven figure paydays roll into Fayetteville, Columbia, the other Columbia, et al for a blood letting and a trip back home. However, there’s a handful of potentially very important games for shaking out the bowl and playoff landscape later in the year.

So let’s take a gander at what’s on tap this week in the SEC.

Thursday

Bowling Green at Tennessee

Josh Heupel will run through the T for his first regular season game at the helm of the Volunteers against the Bowling Green Falcons. Expectations are clearly high for the former Central Florida coach, and Vegas really likes the Vols (-28.5) at home against a MAC opponent.

The 7 p.m. CST kickoff will be on SEC Network, and it figures to be a new look at UT’s offense under Heupel. It’s a predicted blowout, so you can 100 percent expect, if the Vols are up late in the game, there will be the schedule graphic. You know what I’m talking about - they’ll circle that Ole Miss game, mention Lane Kiffin, and the goosebumps will hit.

Saturday

UL Monroe at Kentucky — SEC Network 11 a.m.

Rice at Arkansas — SEC+ 1 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State — ESPNU 3 p.m.

Central Michigan at Missouri — SEC Network 3 p.m.

Akron at Auburn — SEC+ 6 p.m.

Eastern Illinois at South Carolina — SEC+ 6 p.m.

FAU at Florida — SEC Network 6:30 p.m.

Kent State at Texas A&M — ESPNU 7 p.m.

ETSU at Vanderbilt — SEC+ 7:30 p.m.

Needless to say, the expectation for each of these games should be a win if you’re a fan of any of these teams. For anyone else, we’re definitely cheering for upsets and chaos right?

These games are the sausage and cheese plate before the rack of ribs. It’s good, you enjoy it, but it’s not the whole reason you are parked on your couch all day long with some col’ beers on a holiday weekend.

There are new head coaches at Vandy and South Carolina, so we’ll see how they debut in ideal circumstances.

Alabama at Miami (Fla.)

The Crimson Tide are replacing a lot, and new quarterback... ok I can’t do this. Let’s face the unfortunate reality the oatmeal creme pie eating menace in Tuscaloosa is going to continue to win and win and win, and while we’d all love to see the U take a steaming dump on the Gumps, it’s most likely not happening.

Fingers crossed though and will still be watching at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.

Georgia at Clemson

This game has all the makings and trappings of a foreshadowed playoff rematch later in the year if all prognostications are right. A top five title bout at 6:30 p.m. on ABC right after the Bama-Miami game - this is what we’ve been waiting eight months for folks.

I would assume with this game in Charlotte, N.C. there will be a majority of Clemson fans in the stadium. I can assuredly bet 80 percent of the stadium will have on a team polo and khaki shorts though with small talk lingering toward the latest summer vacation to Destin or Hilton Head and lies about being a scratch golfer between sips of beer/whiskey.

Other than our Rebels on Monday, this is the game to watch in week one.

LSU at UCLA

As much as I’d love to rip LSU as per usual, Ida just wrecked the state of Louisiana, and some folks will be without power for potentially weeks. It absolutely sucks right now for the residents who decided to wait out the hurricane.

The game kicks off at 7:30 on Fox, and I guess give credit to the Tigers for traveling to the left coast for a season opener. UCLA (1-0) is coming off a 44-10 shellacking of Hawaii, so you have to assume they’ll be sharper from the start.

It wouldn’t shock me at all if the Bruins jump out to an early lead only to have it slip away in the second half by an emotionally charged LSU squad, looking to make a statement.

Monday

Louisville vs. Ole Miss

You better have it locked on ESPN at 7 p.m. on Labor Day, you ought to know that already, but there it is if you have been slacking.

We’ll have thousands more words on this game before the ball is finally kicked off, but just take a second to soak in the arrival of another Ole Miss football season.

This is probably one of the more hyped seasons in the last 10-15 years as Lane Kiffin’s maiden voyage on the SEC seas ended better than many expected. Also, he’s back for year two to the chagrin of a lot of people who expected him to bolt for greener pastures.

Our swaggy fisherman/coach is back, deal with it losers. Let’s tee the danged thing up already, football is back!