■ Saturday is nearly here. Time to quit stalling and make a Kentucky football season prediction.
I see wins over Louisiana-Lafayette, Florida, Missouri, Eastern Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Charlotte. I see losses to South Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Georgia and Louisville. I see 6-6. I see a bowl game.
■ Louisiana-Lafayette provides Kentucky's run defense an early exam. Kentucky struggled mightily against the run at times last season.
Three 2014 opponents rushed for more than 300 yards. Mississippi State gained 326. Georgia gained 305. LSU gained 303. Before last season, you have to go back to Florida's 405 yards in 2011 to find an opponent that gashed Kentucky's defenders for 300-plus.
■ We are a couple of days away from the opening of the "new" Commonwealth Stadium — first major upgrade since 1999; second since the stadium opened in 1973 — and the game is not a sellout, not even at the smaller 61,000-seat capacity. Mitch Barnhart reported Wednesday there are about 2,000 tickets left. More proof contraction was a smart move.
■ Attended Wednesday's news conference previewing Saturday's game-day information. Two overriding themes. Be early. Be patient.
■ Louisville-Auburn at the Georgia Dome certainly is one of the more intriguing matchups on the opening Saturday. Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino is playing it tight-lipped. He has picked his starting quarterback. He just won't say who it is. Why give Auburn an edge.
■ Alabama Coach Nick Saban on the chances former Madison Southern star Damien Harris, freshman running back for the Tide, will play Saturday against Wisconsin: "He has done a good enough job that we have confidence that he can go out there and have a role in this game and play for us."
■ In case you missed it, Western Kentucky is the favorite at Vanderbilt on Thursday night.
■ First comes South Carolina vs. North Carolina at 6 p.m. in Charlotte. That means in his first game as North Carolina's defensive coordinator, Gene Chizik faces Steve Spurrier. That's the way to start a college football season.
■ Negative note: A 6 p.m. kickoff on a Thursday night is not the proper start time for a football season. Oh, television.
■ The first College GameDay isn't even here, and I already miss host Chris Fowler. Rece Davis is a fine replacement, but he has big shoes to fill.
■ For Wednesday, I wrote an open letter to Ahmed Zayat urging the owner to run American Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland on Oct. 31. Wednesday morning I received the following email from an upset reader: "Let's make sure there are butts in the seats at the expense of an animal."
■ Best of luck to former UK quarterback Maxwell Smith, named this week as starter at San Diego State. Smith's career here was derailed by shoulder problems. He returned to his native California as a graduate transfer. His Aztecs open with the University of San Diego on Saturday night.
■ San Diego happens to be coached by Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame member Dale Lindsey, the ex-linebacker for Western Kentucky and the NFL's Cleveland Browns. The Toreros were 17-6 in Lindsey's first two seasons as head coach.
■ Not sure what it says when Greyson Lambert, who left Virginia after losing the starting quarterback competition during spring drills, is now Georgia's No. 1 quarterback.
■ Still picking Georgia to win the SEC East. Alabama will win the SEC West. Not ready to put Auburn ahead of the Crimson Tide.
■ If I'm a hopeful and excited Tennessee fan, I can't help but be worried about the Vols' unfortunate wave of training camp injuries.
■ Happy Birthday, D. Wayne Lukas, who turned 80 on Wednesday. He broke the mold.