After the first week of the college football schedule we have learned nothing, I repeat, NOTHING about the three college football teams most germane to the Leader's Football Friday predictions.
Let's go through the list in case you think I'm wrong.
Georgia: Was supposed to beat Vanderbilt like a drum. Beat Vanderbilt like a drum.
Alabama: Was supposed to start the season in the Georgia Dome by utterly destroying a hapless ACC team. Done.
Auburn: Pulled out a season opening win against a Pac-12 team in a game in which they got thoroughly outplayed for most of the night. If that description of Auburn's win over Oregon sounds familiar it's because that's EXACTLY what they did last year in their win over Washington. Auburn fans were riding high after that game (and even I got sucked into the hype a little bit), then Auburn proceeded to go 7-5 the rest of the season. We don't know what Auburn is yet, other than 1-0.
This week Georgia gets Murray State, Alabama gets New Mexico State and Auburn hosts Tulane. I made a big batch of strawberry cheesecake last night that would put up more of a fight than those three teams. So we're not going to bother picking those games.
This was the first week of our annual picks contest in the print edition of the Leader, so we'll do a fast-paced run through those games and see how we do.
Handley at Holtville
Handley has never ever lost to Holtville, even the last time they went to Holtville and drew 25 penalty flags! 25! I've been to games where it felt like a team was being penalized on every play only to look at the stats at the end of the night to find out there were only like 9 penalties. I just can't imagine watching a team get penalized 25 times in one game. And still winning! I'm guessing there won't be 25 flags against Handley tonight.
Handley 28, Holtville 14
Clay Central at Munford
Danny Horn's team showed out last week and put together a dominant performance against Benjamin Russell to get Horn his 300th win. The Vols give him 301 tonight.
Central 35, Munford 7
Glencoe at RCHS
I don't know if RCHS quarterback Damarcus Davis is playing in this game. I do know that it won't matter. Pat Prestridge will be playing his ninth graders in the second quarter.
RCHS 40, Glencoe 0
Woodland at Ohatchee
These are the times that try Bobcats' souls. The current stretch of Woodland's schedule (Wadley-Ohatchee-Ranburne-RCHS in four out of five weeks) is going to be a gauntlet, but if the 'Cats can hang in there better times await in the second half of the season.
Ohatchee 35, Woodland 13
Ranburne at Gaston
Ranburne's early season schedule on the other hand could not be more friendly. Their first three games are on the road against teams that they will be heavily favored to beat. The second of those games is tonight's region opener.
Ranburne 45, Gaston 12
Lanett at Wadley
This is where I'll be tonight, and I'm anxious to see if Lanett has come back to the pack in 1A, Region 4 or if Kristian Story and his 'mates are going to continue their run of dominance. This game will come down to Wadley's strength and physicality against the speed and athleticism of Lanett. A win in this game could mark the start of a special season for Wadley in its first year under Shenan Motley. I think the Bulldogs get it done.
Wadley 26, Lanett 21
Vanderbilt at Purdue
If you love black and gold then this game will look like heaven. Vandy is not going on the road and beating a Big 10 team, even that team is Purdue.
Purdue 30, Vanderbilt 13
BYU at Tennessee
I'm so glad I'm not a Tennessee fan. I don't have to wear those stupid yellow colors. I don't have to sing that idiotic fight song. And I don't have to deal with losing to Georgia State. But the Vols aren't that bad, are they? They can't be. Surely last week was a fluke.
Tennessee 10, BYU 9
Arkansas at Ole Miss
This game almost definitely will determine who finishes in last place in the SEC West. I'll throw my buddy Chris May a bone and say that Ole Miss gets it done at home.
Ole Miss 20, Arkansas 17
LSU at Texas
I'm just not buying the Texas hype. Looking at this through the eyes of a Georgia fan (remember Georgia lost to both of these teams last year) I'm telling you Georgia could not have been less interested in last year's Sugar Bowl. And Texas still only won by a touchdown. Meanwhile LSU knocked Georgia around and beat them soundly earlier in the season when Georgia still had everything to play for.
Strange things happen in college football games, but LSU just feels like the better team in this game.
LSU 31, Texas 28
Texas A&M at Clemson
Maybe I just want it to happen. Maybe I'm blinded by my desires. But I think Clemson is due for some humbling. There's nothing that I see talent-wise that makes me think this will happen. Clemson is clearly – CLEARLY – the superior team in this game, and they're at home, at night. If anything, all the elements say that this has Clemson blowout written all over it. But, what the heck. A&M pulls off the first true season-altering stunner.
Texas A&M 34, Clemson 30