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SEC BANTER: Conference should flex its muscles in week one
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Forsyth County News

My wife has always liked my "big gun" biceps. She knows I work hard to maintain them and it’s a nice ego boost when she asks me to "flex those big guns." And, if I don’t say so myself, my biceps are pretty sweet.

As the finest college football conference in the country kicks off another season, it too will flex its muscles in a show of strength against subpar non-conference opponents. After seven straight national titles, the SEC’s muscles are at their peak as the conference eyes yet another national championship.

Week one will test the SEC’s strength as No. 5 Georgia visits No. 8 Clemson in a nationally televised primetime contest. The hills of South Carolina’s Upstate region are filled with talk (banter, even?) that Clemson will join the nation’s elite with a win over the Bulldogs. This is a program-defining game for Clemson. Beat the big boys from the SEC and the Tigers are poised for a national championship run. At least that’s what Clemson fans decked out in that odd orange-and-purple color combo tell themselves.

With the bravado coming from Clemson, however, SEC Banter suggests that the Tigers pop in an old VHS tape of 1985’s "Rocky IV" and heed the lessons from that classic film. Simply put, Clemson is Apollo Creed -- way too amped up for its own good.

Apollo was so pysched to fight Ivan Drago, the super-human techno-trained Soviet, and to beat him on Apollo’s home turf in America. Poor Apollo did that cheesy pre-fight dance routine to James Brown’s "Living in America," talked a bunch of trash, and built up the fight so much that he set himself up for failure.

Remember how it ended for Apollo Creed? Not well.

Clemson, like Apollo Creed, is on its way to being utterly pulverized. Sooo excited to host Georgia in "Death Valley" (someone please tell Clemson the real Death Valley resides in Baton Rouge), sooo desperate to show the country their program is a legit title contender, and sooo flamboyant that Clemson even came out with a James Brown-inspired song, "Living in Clemson."

OK, I made up the part about the "Living in Clemson" song, but you get the idea.

Georgia will drop over 40 points on Clemson and have its way with the Tigers. While UGA may not be as mean and methodical as Drago was against Apollo, by the time this one’s through, Clemson will beg Georgia to call off the dawgs.

In another SEC-ACC clash, No. 1 Alabama squares off against unranked Virginia Tech in Atlanta. Do they really have to play this game? If you thought Georgia destructing Clemson like Drago beat the pulp out of Apollo sounds nasty, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Bama’s second stringers could win this game, and they’ll see plenty of action in the second half. Heck, Bama could win by having Nick Saban walk on the field and do something highly intimidating, like be himself. Or something. Anyway, the Tide rolls in this one.

Then we’ve got No. 12 LSU facing No. 20 TCU in Dallas. This non-conference tussle poses the most serious threat to the SEC’s muscle-flexing festival this weekend. LSU lost something like 62 defensive players to the NFL draft. And, as usual, the Tigers must overcome two opponents: the other team and whatever dumb-dumb calls Les Miles makes during the game.

I heard the TCU Horned Frogs unveiled new uniforms with a hint of red -- a nod to the horned frog’s defense of spitting blood from its eyes at would-be predators. Spitting blood from its eyes! It’s unknown whether TCU’s football players can replicate this behavior, but for some reason, I doubt it.

Because TCU’s starting quarterback honchoed himself a DUI last season, its starting linebacker quit the team during camp, one of its offensive linemen did the same, and its best defensive player is suspended for the LSU game, SEC Banter picks the Bayou Bengals over the blood-spitting Horned Frogs in a close one in Big D.

Finally, No. 6 South Carolina faces unranked North Carolina in a contrived "border war" game. The sartorial edge goes to UNC fans (who doesn’t look good in baby blue and khakis?), but the Gamecocks will take care of business and claim that James Taylor’s "Carolina in My Mind" is about the Palmetto State, not North Carolina.

The SEC will showcase its superiority this first week of the college football season. Display its "big guns" to the rest of the country.

Speaking of "big guns," the laughter you hear is coming from my wife. Apparently, these nice biceps of mine are news to her. In between uncontrollable laughter, she said, "Honey, if you’ve got big guns, the SEC is the worst conference in college football." Uh-oh.