It’s time to get things started

The Covington News - - Sports -

It’s fi­nally here. The re­turn of weekly rit­u­als and tra­di­tions we hold near and dear. We’re pas­sion­ate about it. We so­cial­ize around it. We pre­pare elab­o­rate meals for it. We ar­gue about it. It per­me­ates our lives throughout the fall. Fi­nally, the new sea­son of “The Bach­e­lor” kicks off this week.

An­other re­al­ity show with a flair for the dra­matic kicks off this Thurs­day night as well: SEC football. Never be­fore have I looked for­ward to watch­ing a Van­der­bilt game, but I hon­estly can’t wait for Steve Spurrier’s Sak­er­lina squad to face the Van­der­bilt Fightin’ Franklins (that head coach James Franklin is a feisty piece of work).

The first week of SEC football brings a top-10 matchup, a few games of at least pass­ing in­ter­est, and your usual week-one af­ter­thoughts in­volv­ing schools with words like Tech­ni­cal, Col­lege, State, North, or some other di­rec­tion in their names.

Alabama plays Michi­gan at Cowboys Sta­dium in Ar­ling­ton, Texas. Bama should roll in this clash of tra­di­tional pow­er­house pro­grams. Nick Sa­ban started game-plan­ning for this one as soon as the clock struck zero in last year’s BCS na­tional cham­pi­onship game. Or, more likely, Sa­ban turned his eyes to­wards Michi­gan af­ter it was ob­vi­ous that LSU had suc­cumbed to the Tide — on the game’s first play.

Speak­ing of rolling tides, it wouldn’t be the first week of SEC football with­out a hur­ri­cane. Upon hear­ing of the dan­ger­ous path Hur­ri­cane Isaac was tak­ing, LSU fans im­me­di­ately took nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions by run­ning to the liquor store to en­sure they had enough good stuff to last through Satur­day’s North Texas game.

Isaac did post­pone that big Texas A&M vs. Louisana Tech game you were all look­ing for­ward to. I’m not sure why A&M agreed to play that game at Louisiana Tech in the first place. Ag­gie fans hop­ing to scratch Shreve­port off their bucket lists will have to wait un­til mid-Oc­to­ber. I’m told the fall fo­liage in Shreve­port is beau­ti­ful that time of year.

There’s no threat inside

hur­ri­cane the Geor- gia Dome this week­end, where two SEC teams play in games gar­ner­ing na­tional at­ten­tion. Ten­nessee squares off against N.C. State on Fri­day night. Vols head coach Derek Doo­ley needs a 1-0 start like Mitt Rom­ney needs a con­ven­tion bounce, like Jeff Bridges needed a White Rus­sian in “The Big Le­bowski,” and like Chevy Chase needed a bloody mary, a steak sand­wich, and...a steak sand­wich in “Fletch.”

The SEC-ACC fes­tiv­i­ties continue Satur­day night in At­lanta when Au- burn and Clem­son meet again. This is ac­tu­ally an in­trasquad scrim­mage be­cause Auburn and Clem­son are the same school. Clem­son is Auburn with a lake and I hear that Auburn is re­ally, re­ally sim­i­lar to Clem­son. Both are the Tigers and 99 per­cent of Auburn and Clem­son alumni re­side in At­lanta. At least it feels that way driv­ing around town. There­fore, I hereby re­new my call that Auburn and Clem­son com­bine to form one school, with the new in­sti­tu­tion to be called Clem­burn. In fact, I pre­dict the Clem­burn Tigers will emerge vic­to­ri­ous in Satur­day night’s game.

The re­main­der of Satur­day’s slate is about what you’d ex­pect this time of year. We’ve got “di­rec­tional” games in­volv­ing South­east Louisiana (at Mis­souri), Cen­tral Arkansas (at Ole Miss), Jack­son State (is that in Mis­sis­sippi?) and Jacksonville State (strangely enough, it’s in Alabama, not Florida).

Fi­nally, Ge­or­gia wel­comes Buf­falo to San­ford Sta­dium. Seems like Ge­or­gia opens with Buf­falo ev­ery other year. Very ex­cit­ing. Might need a bloody mary and a steak sand­wich to get through that one. Go ahead and put it on the Un­der­hill ac­count. Want the num­ber?

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