Arkansas vs. Tennessee Tech
Ryan Mallett and his cadre of talented WRs, TEs, and RBs get a tune up against an opponent that shouldn't provide much resistance. Here's the thing, Arkansas should blow this team away, but they should have done that a few times last year and didn't. I'll be interested to see if the the problem of playing to level of competition is corrected and if the Hogs have learned anything about defense in the time since the bowl season ended. If the Hogs want to be considered as real contenders in 2010, they need to dispatch with the tune ups in convincing fashion.
Arkansas 45, Tennessee Tech 7
Florida vs. Miami (OH)
Florida begins life after Tim Tebow this weekend and Gators fans will be excited to see much-herelded quarterback John Brantley take over the reigns of Urban Meyer's attack. Florida will also be looking for some playmakers to emerge from their corps of WRs and RBs to take some of the pressure off of Brantley. The Florida defense is retooling as well, and it will be interesting to see how new DC Teryl Austin (previously in the NFL) does taking over for long-time coordinator Charlie Strong (who went to be head coach in Louisville). Miami (OH) has scored three wins in the last two years and that's probably as many points as they can expect to get Saturday.
Florida 48, Miami (OH) 3
Tennessee vs. UT-Martin
Tennessee is a mess in just about every way possible. The coaching changes, attrition of players, and changing of systems has taken it toll on the Volunteers and it'll be a big part of the story this season. It's good Tennessee is opening up against an opponent that even in down times can't hold a candle to them. UT Martin may get in a few shots, but in the end they won't be able to do enough to win this. For UT, this is about finding players to play important roles as the schedule ramps up by a 100 starting next week.
Tennessee 23, UT Martin 10
Mississippi State vs. Memphis
Memphis used to be pretty salty: the kind of team that could give a team like MSU a run for it. However, they aren't that team anymore. Mississippi State has been one of the worst teams record-wise the last 10 years in the SEC, but Dan Mullen showed signs of life in his first year, and he has people excited for football in Starkville. I'll be interested to see how the MSU two quarterback system looks and if there is indeed more familiarity with the system in year two. In the end, Mississippi State needs this to go smoothly as they get ready for Auburn on a short week.
Mississippi State 27, Memphis 14