SEC’s five best rivalries of 2013

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The SEC has several deep-rooted historical rivalries, and I’m all about preserving those rivalries and celebrating the passion and tradition from each of them. They’re important to the league, and they’re important for us as fans and media to partake in historical rivalries.

But some of the ‘rivalries’ haven’t been rivalries in quite a while. For instance, Alabama and Tennessee is one of the greatest rivalries college football has to offer, but the Third Saturday in October isn’t what it once was and has been one-sided the last six years.

For 2013, I’m certainly stoked to watch the Egg Bowl, Florida-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia and the Iron Bowl. And while they are historically some of the SEC’s best rivalries, many aren’t what they used to be.

Here are the five best rivalries for 2013:

5. Florida vs. LSU

Les Miles is tired of playing Florida every year, and he’s not afraid to voice his frustration with the league scheduling over it either. This is always one of the most physical, punishing games of the season, and even more so now with Will Muschamp trying to push around opponents. In the last 10 games, each team is .500, and no team has won more than two straight. This year, the Gators travel back to Baton Rouge after a punishing 14-6 win last year in The Swamp.

4. Alabama vs. Texas A&M

This would rank higher, but with such a short current SEC history, it’s tough to put this one higher than No. 4 this season. This is certainly one of the top ‘revenge’ games of 2013, because the Tide are looking to settle the score after the Aggies came into Bryant-Denny and ruined their perfect season – not to mention Nick Saban probably has a personal vendetta against Johnny Manziel. If you thought last year’s game was electrifying, 2013’s matchup features arguably the biggest game in college football.

3. South Carolina vs. Georgia

I don’t know why this rivalry doesn’t get more love. Back to the second-week staple, this game will give us the SEC East’s early-season favorite. Even though the Gamecocks have won three straight, this will be one of the best games of 2013. Steve Spurrier is like a kid in a candy store against Mark Richt and his beloved Bulldogs. This game is always physical, and Aaron Murray and Jadeveon Clowney will be playing their final game against one another…in the SEC.

2. Florida vs. Georgia

This game is always great. With the crowd pretty evenly split down the middle, fans fight in the parking lot before the game, and it typically features several intriguing inner-game storylines. These two teams hate each other, too, and both, along with South Carolina, are vying for an SEC Championship year after year. Last year’s turnover fest – nine combined – was downright ugly, but it became Florida’s only regular-season blemish. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is the SEC East’s biggest rivalry game.

1. LSU vs. Alabama

In short order, this game has become a classic, punishing rivalry. Last year’s last-minute Alabama victory only dumped more fire on the SEC’s hottest rivalry. Over the last 10 regular season games, LSU holds a 7-3 edge. But Alabama has won two straight dating back to 2011’s national championship game. This game always features future NFL-filled rosters and one of the biggest hype weeks of college football. LSU and Alabama are the same type of teams – powerful, fast and destined to hit each other in the mouth. What will 2013’s drudge match bring?

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

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  • I wouldn’t put the Florida vs. LSU in the #5 slot. While it’s always a good, even game, I wouldn’t put it at the top. Looking purely at talent equality and “revenge” for the past couple of years, the Tennessee–Vanderbilt rivalry has heated up in the past couple years since James Franklin started coaching at Vanderbilt. Given Vandy’s domination of the game in Nashville in 2012 and close loss in Knoxville in 2011, look for the Battle for Tennessee to be a real fight this year for both teams, especially as Butch Jones tries to prove himself in his inaugural year.