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The Gamecock's Viewing Guide: Week 1

Suffering from sensory overload at the dawn of the 2013 college football season? Let Garnet & Black Attack simplify your decision-making process.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday Night

Ole Miss Rebels @ Vanderbilt Commodores, 9:15 PM EDT, ESPN

Why you should watch: OK, Vanderbilt. That's about enough from you.

The Commodores' ascent to the middle tier of the SEC was cute and all when their adorable 6- or 7-win records were a fun story but ultimately unthreatening to the likes of the Gamecocks. But with James Franklin bringing his squad into 2013 fresh off of a 9-win season, seeing Vanderbilt taken down a peg should bring comfort to Gamecock fans that the upstart 'Dores aren't quite ready to make a serious nip at Steve Spurrier's heels. Watching former Clemson commitment Robert Nkemdiche stalk the field for the Rebels should also be fun.


Toledo Rockets @ Florida Gators, 1:00 PM EDT, SEC Network/ESPN3

Why you should watch: The fLOLrida offense.

The 2012 Gators were twelfth in the SEC yards per play during their first year under offensive coordinator Brent Pease, including 2.82 yards per play against South Carolina during a game in which Florida somehow managed to score 44 points. (I went to bed at half time. Yes, I know it was a 3:30 PM game.) So, while this might not be, on paper, the most thrilling game to watch, it will be interesting to see how the Gator offense fares against the Rockets, especially considering how miserable Florida was last year against the likes of Bowling Green and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Mississippi State Bulldogs @ Oklahoma State Cowboys, 3:30 PM EDT, ABC/ESPN2

Why you should watch: Unless the Gamecocks' season falls apart at the seams early on in the fall, the November 2nd matchup with the Bulldogs could end up being an important one in determining who will win the SEC East. Also, Oklahoma State's offense will be all kinds of fun to watch.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers @ Kentucky Wildcats, 7:00 PM EDT, ESPNews

Why you should watch: Bobby Petrino will be back and coaching against nominal SEC competition, and Kentucky is starting to get seriously annoying.

Of course, you're going to want to change the channel an hour into this one because...

Georgia Bulldogs @ Clemson Tigers, 8:00 PM EDT, ABC

Why you should watch: Either Georgia or Clemson will be 0-1 entering week two.

The fact that I will not be managing any residual or looming anxiety from a South Carolina game on the same day will make this tilt much easier to enjoy. I would be 50-50 on which team I want to win this game, but the knowledge that Dabo will likely attempt to claim some sort of honorary SEC championship if the Tigers win makes this one an easy call.

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