The first Saturday of college football is near, and, as it usually is, the weekend will be dominated by the SEC.
The SEC has been the best conference in college football for decades, and that will not change in 2019. (RELATED: SEC Officiating Launches Twitter Account, Gets Predictable Response)
Week one does not offer a lot of strong match-ups across the country, but there are some intriguing story lines worth paying attention to in the SEC. So, without further ado here are the best games in the best conference for week one.
Georgia vs. Vanderbilt
The two-time defending SEC East champions will begin their championship run in Nashville against Vanderbilt. The Commodores went to a bowl game last year for the second time in three years, and this year could determine if Derek Mason can build something at the school. This one could be close early, but the Dawgs will ultimately roll to a 1-0 start in league play.
Prediction: Georgia 34 Vanderbilt 7
Duke vs. Alabama
This game is interesting, because the Crimson Tide will be playing short-handed for the first half following the suspension of four key players and the loss of star linebacker Dylan Moses for the season. With running backs Najee Harris and Brian Robinson out for the first half and superstar freshman Trey Sanders out for the season, Alabama will be forced to start their fourth string running back Saturday. But, as long as they still have Tua Tagovailoa, they’ll be fine. Expect the short-handed Tide to roll this weekend.
Prediction: Alabama 41 Duke 10
Auburn vs. Oregon
The premiere game of college football’s opening weekend will take place in Dallas when Auburn and Oregon square off in a rematch of the 2010 national championship game. The Ducks enter the season with their most hype since the Marcus Mariota days and are widely considered the favorites to win the Pac 12 and potentially make the college football playoff. Still, they are underdogs to Auburn, the projected fourth place team in the SEC West. The Tigers have a brutal schedule this year and Gus Malzahn must win this game to set the tone for a make or break season. Fortunately for Malzahn, I see the Tigers achieving a close victory and pulling off a huge win.
Prediction: Auburn 24 Oregon 20