TV announcers last week were calling the college football’s first weekend as “the greatest opening weekend in the history.”

It might have been. This week, you’ll hear no such talk.

This week, college football takes a relative breather and so do many of our teams.

Ole Miss plays the Wofford Terriers. Southern Miss plays the Savannah State Tigers. Georgia plays the Nicholls State Colonels. LSU plays the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. Florida State plays the Charleston Southern Buccaneers and so on. (Charleston Southern apparently suspended about half their squad, turning X-rated into XXXX-rated.)

There are some good games and South Carolina at Mississippi State is one.

So let’s take a look:

Mississippi State 20, South Carolina 17 — Evenly matched teams here and wouldn’t surprise me if the game went to overtime. After last week, State should be playing with some desperation. Defenses will dominate.

Ole Miss 52, Wofford 14 — The Terriers from Spartanburg, S.C., are overmatched talent-wise.

Southern Miss 59, Savannah State 7 — The truth is, Savannah State makes Wofford look like a powerhouse.

Tennessee State 21, Jackson State 20 — I have picked JSU so many times in this series and have rarely been correct.

Alcorn State 24, Alabama State 20 — Huge game for Fred McNair and his Braves, who had just taken a 13-7 lead over Bethune-Cookman last week when Mother Nature took over and a prolonged lightning storm ended the game. Two evenly matched teams go at it and a slight endge to the home team.

Florida 27, Kentucky 24 — The Gators are 16-point favorites in The Swamp. It will be much closer than that.

Tennessee 26, Virginia Tech 24 — I still think Vols are overrated but they squeak by at Bristol.

Alabama 31, Western Kentucky 14 — Saban’s assassins are a 28-point favorite, but color me shocked if they cover here against a good Western Kentucky, sandwiched between USC and Ole Miss.

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.