Looking ahead to Week 1 in the SEC

We're inside a month now until the first game of the 2012 season involving an SEC team.

Here's a quick glance at Week 1:


South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

  • The Gamecocks lost the last time they played on a Thursday night in Nashville. Vanderbilt won 24-17 in Week 2 of the 2008 season.

Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech, in Shreveport, La., 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

  • The Kevin Sumlin era at Texas A&M kicks off with one of those games the Aggies won't get much credit for winning, but will get slammed if they lose.


Tennessee vs. NC State, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

  • As openers go, this is about as critical as it gets for Tennessee's Derek Dooley, whose Vols are coming off back-to-back losing seasons.


Buffalo at Georgia, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network

  • After opening against Boise State last season, the Bulldogs get a tune-up to open the 2012 season before traveling to Missouri in Week 2.

Bowling Green at Florida, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

  • Who will be the Gators' starter at quarterback? Is it Jacoby Brissett or Jeff Driskel? The reality is that they'll both probably end up playing.

Clemson vs. Auburn, Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

  • This is the rubber game. Auburn rallied to win in overtime in 2010, while Clemson rolled up more than 600 yards of total offense to win easily last season.

North Texas at LSU, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

  • Former Florida assistant Dan McCarney has upgraded North Texas' program significantly, but the Mean Green won't be much of a test for the Tigers.

Jacksonville State at Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view

  • As Ole Miss learned the hard way two years ago, the Gamecocks are not one of those teams you want to take lightly.

Central Arkansas at Ole Miss, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view

  • The Rebels, with first-year coach Hugh Freeze at the helm, will be looking to break a seven-game losing streak.

Jackson State at Mississippi State, 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Net

  • It sounds like the Bulldogs want to throw it more this season with Tyler Russell. The opener should give us an idea of how much more.

Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri, 7 p.m. ET, Pay-per-view

  • All eyes will be on Missouri quarterback James Franklin and his surgically repaired right throwing shoulder.

Michigan vs. Alabama, in Arlington, Texas, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

  • It's easily the most attractive opener of the 2012 season involving an SEC team. Alabama takes its first step toward defending its 2011 national title.


Kentucky at Louisville, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

  • The Wildcats had won four in a row over their archrivals until the Cardinals prevailed 24-17 in Lexington last season. This is a big one for Joker Phillips & Co.