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Couch Potato weekend edition: College football returns, universe back to normal

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Clemson QB Tajh Boyd can both tote and fling the tater with equivalent alacrity. (Source: Clemson Athletics) Clemson QB Tajh Boyd can both tote and fling the tater with equivalent alacrity. (Source: Clemson Athletics)
Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon ran for more than 1.000 yards last year backing up Eddie Lacy. (Source: Alabama Athletic Communications) Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon ran for more than 1.000 yards last year backing up Eddie Lacy. (Source: Alabama Athletic Communications)

(RNN) - Week 1, SEC fans.

Step right up, there's something for everybody and fun for the whole family.

We've got Dawgs at Dabo, the Bama-Beamer beatdown in the Chicken Sammich Bowl, and when Tennessee plays Austin Peay, you can throw the record book out the window.

Announcement of policy change. This season, Couch Potato will not predict the outcomes of football games. It makes people angry when you don't pick their team, and trust us, if we were any good at predicting who'd win football games, we'd be sending you Instagrams from the Cote d'Azure.

Instead, we will follow each game summary with a random quote from the sort of movies football fans like.

This week: Anchorman, the Will Ferrell masterpiece that was unjustly denied the Academy Award for best picture in 2004.

News team, assemble.

Rice at Texas A&M

1 p.m. ET, ESPN

You won't need to tune in until about 2 p.m., because the NCAA ruled that Johnny Manziel will have to sit out the first half because of an unspecified, unintentional violation of a rule regarding signing his name on stuff. There was no proof, the ruling said, that Manziel had accepted a few grand for signing merchandise for souvenir salesmen.

When I told a friend of mine about the penalty, he said, "That's as weak as a mixed drink at a strip club." I didn't even laugh.

The Aggies will probably survive, since they are playing Rice. If they were playing Carrots or Peas, there could be trouble.

Gratuitous quote from the great film Anchorman: "If I gave you money from my wallet, would that make you feel better?"

Georgia at Clemson

8 p.m. ET, ABC

You can always depend on Clemson – they run and throw the ball all over the place, score a bunch of points and play defense like Miley Cyrus twerks: dreadful but riveting, so that you look on in disbelief, like Will Smith and his family.

Georgia is less predictable.

The Dawgs lost most of the stars off their 2012 defense, which could be a good thing. Last year, the defense was a tad bipolar, at times standing like a stone wall and at other times standing around like they were waiting for a bus as tailbacks romped on, unimpeded.

Georgia has Aaron Murray, and Clemson has Tajh Boyd, who are both about as good as Manziel and don't tweet photos of themselves fanning stacks of hundies at casinos. Aaron and Boyd will play both halves of Saturday's game.

This one will be fun to watch, and a loss will be deeply infelicitous for either contestant.

Gratuitous quote from the great film Anchorman: I'm gonna shoot you with a BB gun when you're not looking. Yep. Back of the head.

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech in Atlanta

5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Saturday evening in Atlanta we will learn if Nick Saban has recalibrated his relentless killing machine and set the switch to "annihilate."

How much older than Jolly Old Saint Nick would you say Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer is? If you guessed anything other than five years, you are wrong. Seems kind of not right, doesn't it? I don't know why.

Beamer said this week that Alabama is the best team he ever faced, which includes 2001 Miami and its 17 future NFL players and Southern California's 2004 national champion. Was it normal coach poor-mouthing, an attempt to make the opponent complacent or something more honest?

Tech QB Logan Thomas runs around a lot, and Thomas pointed out to the Washington Post that two of the last three teams to beat Alabama had quarterbacks who ran around a lot. they were guys you might have heard of - Heisman Trophy winners Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel.

Tell the truth. Had you ever heard the name Logan Thomas before right now?

"It's not always who should win, but who does win," offered Beamer.

One of the sad truths of college football – and everything else in the world - is that the vast majority of the time, yeah, the better team wins.

Be sure to check out Alabama's freshman running back, Derrick Henry, who set the national high school career record for rushing with 12,124 yards, which equals 6.88 miles. He played at a small school, but good Lord.

Gratuitous quote from the great film Anchorman: Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident.

TCU vs. LSU in Dallas

9 p.m. ET

LSU only has three guys back on defense, but the replacements are all awesome, said Les Miles, who has never lost a season opener, not even against Oregon two years ago at Jerry World.

Texas Christian has nine starters back on a defense that was pretty good last year – 323 yards a game led the Big 12 and was ranked 16th in the nation. LSU will try to run right at them, and we'll see if QB Zach Mettenberger can throw a tighter spiral this year for new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

TCU will probably test LSU's young defense with a two-QB system. Casey Paschall, a returnee, throws well, and Trevone Boykin is the better runner.

LSU opens this season ranked 12th in the nation; TCU is No. 20. LSU is a 4.5-point favorite.

Gratuitous quote from the great film Anchorman: I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

The other ones

Toledo visits Florida to start the day with the 12:21 p.m. ET game on the SEC Network. That could be interesting for a series or two, but probably not.

Louisiana Lafayette comes to Arkansas and new coach Bret Bielema, a delightful, smack-talking addition to the league who predicts the Hogs will be better than anticipated.

For reasons unknown, Mississippi State plays Oklahoma State in Houston, TX, and similarly, Kentucky and Western Kentucky schlep down to Nashville for their game.

Washington State visits Auburn, where fading basketball-on-grass coach Mike Leach's rapid-fire offense will run up against Auburn and Gus Malzahn, who said 100 offensive snaps a game would be cool with him. This one could last until Tuesday.

Austin Peay visits Tennessee. I don't know much about Austin Peay, but I liked that movie with Mike Meyers.

Missouri welcomes Murray State hoping to get back on track after an inauspicious first year in the league.

Gratuitous quote from the great film Anchorman: I'm in a glass case of emotion.

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