Editors Note: This season, on top of the usual SEC picks, we will be picking the best games on the Virginia D-1 slate. We, as in the LCB, all spent our formative years in Virginia. So, we probably should have been doing this all along.
SEC Game of the Week
UGA v Tennessee @ 7:00 on ESPN 2:
I imagine many of you are asking why this would be the "game of the week" when their are two top-25 SEC match-ups this week (LSU-Florida and Auburn-Arkansas). But after the beating Florida took last week from Alabama, can anyone see Florida beating LSU a week later? Didn't think so. Also, the Auburn-Arkansas is a game for third place behind Bama and LSU in the SEC West. As for UT/UGA, the winner will take a share of the lead in the East with South Carolina (who just benched their QB) and have a chance at their first SEC Championship birth since UT played in 2007, which is ages in this new era of college football.
As I mentioned earlier, the Vols have dominated the Dawgs in K-town in the last two games. However, both were before Kiffin tore the team apart and Derek Dooley came to town. Now, his pants are magical but he'll need to get his teams' running game going to win this game. Tauren Poole leads the team in yards, but is averaging just 76.2 yards per game. If they can't find room for their backs to run, they'll be leaning heavily on the arm on Tyler Bray. Which is nothing new, but without Justin Hunter, he'll need to find another threat to fill the void. Last week it was De'Anthony Arnett grabbing two touchdowns against powderpuff Buffalo.
Expect big games out of Isaiah Crowell, Tyler Bray, and D'aRick Rogers. Expect Bacarri Rambo and Austin Johnson to be everywhere. Expect a close game. Expect a loss for Georgia. Both teams are evenly matched-up, but Georgia lacks the receiving threats that Tennessee has in Da'Rick Rogers and De'Anthony Arnett. UT 38, UGA 35.
VA Games of the Week
(12) Maine v (6) James Madison @ 3:30:
What a shocker? Another week, another top-25 game for James Madison. Now, FCS is a new thing to me, but I can't imagine a tougher stretch for a team than the one JMU is currently playing. Four straight weeks against ranked opponents and that's leaving out their opening game against UNC. If this is a normal thing for an FCS team, I apologize, but it seems like an incredibly difficult run for any team. What makes this game even harder, they'll be without WR Kerby Long (concussed), S Jakarie Jackson (hammy) and QB Justin Thorpe (sticky-icky), while RB Dae'Quan Scott (shoulder) is expected to see little to no action.
This game will come down to the match-up of the CAAs best run defense and running back. JMU has shut down the run all season long, but face their toughest test of the season with Pushaun Brown coming to town. Whoever wins this battle, wins this game.
I'll take JMU for the win, as JMU's defense has been an immovable force. I, also, think the new backfield could end up being the start of something beautiful in Harrisonburg. JMU 20, Maine 10.