By now nearly every publication has made preseason predictions, and nearly every fan has made their own.
Alabama is the big favorite to repeat as SEC and BCS Champions, while a host of SEC West and East teams try and play spoiler. But regardless of your predictions, here are five of the biggest games in 2013 that will scramble all your preseason predictions, expectations and projections:
1. Alabama at Texas A&M
If Texas A&M pulls of this upset, it’s likely the Aggies could only lose one other game against LSU, pending no major injuries to one Johnny Manziel. Whichever team comes out the victor, it would be wise to have them the leader in the West, regardless of how good LSU looks early in the season. Everyone outside of College Station or Auburn, Alabama, will be rooting for Manziel to falter and internally combust against Bama. One pundit even predicted Alabama would win ‘easily’.
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2. South Carolina at Georgia
The winner of this game should emerge as the favorite in the East, especially with this game played in week two. But let’s not be quick to forget that Georgia, despite losing the last two years, has won the East. This year, however, South Carolina boasts the easier schedule of the two, and Mark Richt knows that’s why Steve Spurrier has been silent. South Carolina has won the last three.
3. Florida at South Carolina
As I look into my crystal ball, I see South Carolina having to win and they’re in, meaning if they beat Florida, they represent the East in Atlanta. Florida’s got a brutal schedule, and I’m not sure the head-to-head will matter much in this game. Rather, this game could come down to a do-or-die game for Carolina. They’re national championships contenders, but they lose this one and they could lose the East.
4. LSU at Alabama
The SEC’s most physical game is always an instant classic. LSU going to Tuscaloosa – there won’t be a handful of pundits predicting an LSU upset there, right? Remember what happened the last time they went to Tuscaloosa? That’s right. LSU has a stockpile of underdeveloped talent that will give Alabama all they want. An LSU upset here would destroy your preseason predictions.
5. LSU at Ole Miss
Most project that LSU will finish second or third in the West. But could Ole Miss emerge as a dark horse in the West? If so, they have to beat LSU and Texas A&M in order to get there. The Rebels lost to both teams late in the 4th quarter last season. This upset would screw everything up and send shockwaves across the country that Ole Miss is for real.
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