When Auburn takes on Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, it will mark just the second time the teams have met. In the Sugar Bowl following the 1971 season, the Sooners beat the Tigers 40-22.

During this bowl season, Miami of Ohio-Mississippi State, Virginia Tech-Arkansas and Louisville-LSU will meet for the first time. Thank goodness for bowls, otherwise these first-time meetings might never happen.

But even with the postseason, there are still some SEC teams that have never faced some big-time programs. With that in mind, here’s a list of first-time matchups involving SEC teams we wish we could see right away:

LSU vs. Michigan: If only this game could take place this month or next. It would feature a coach in Ed Orgeron, who some might need subtitles for, against another in Jim Harbaugh who is understood way too clearly and complains way too much for some people’s tastes.

It would be interesting to see what Derrius Guice, who averaged nearly 8 yards a carry this season, could do against that vaunted Michigan defense. And it would have been interesting to see what versatile Heisman finalist Jabrill Peppers, who might enter the 2017 NFL Draft early, could do against SEC athletes.

Plus, if LSU were to win this matchup convincingly, maybe it would silence Harbaugh once and for all regarding satellite camps. But that might simply be a case of wishful thinking.

Either way, a game at the Big House or in Death Valley remains an exciting proposition.
But we would take a neutral-site matchup if the powers that be at both schools ever happened to agree to one.

Whenever it happens, maybe Michigan Man Les Miles can flip the coin.

Ole Miss vs. Ohio State: Between Chad Kelly’s injury and Ole Miss’ 5-7 record this season, the Rebels undoubtedly had a down year. But thanks to Shea Patterson’s three-game stint, there is reason for optimism in Oxford.

The true freshman threw for 880 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions over that stretch. And even though Ole Miss won only one of those games, it’s probably a good thing for Hugh Freeze’s sake that Patterson’s development is now ahead of schedule.

Urban Meyer’s involvement in anything SEC-related still moves the needle, so having his Buckeyes go up against any conference squad is good for the league and for college football in general. Unfortunately for the rebuilding Rebels, an immediate matchup against Ohio State more than likely wouldn’t end well.

That’s because Ole Miss would have to contend with two of Ohio State’s biggest stars on offense. Mike Weber, the third Buckeye freshman to rush for 1,000 yards, and Curtis Samuel, who has more than 700 rushing and receiving yards this season, are slated to return in 2017.

Auburn vs. Notre Dame: Thanks to a 4-8 season, the Golden Domers’ glow is clearly not what it used to be. But Notre Dame is still very much a brand name, and it would generate interest against an SEC squad such as the Tigers.

And until the Fighting Irish get their defense fixed, Auburn would be a considerable favorite in this matchup. Entering this season’s bowl games, Notre Dame is 71st in the FBS against the run, allowing a whopping 182.4 yards per game.

Nov 19, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish players huddle during warmups prior to their game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Can you imagine what kind of day Kam Pettway and Kerryon Johnson might have against whomever Notre Dame’s next defensive coordinator happens to be? On Sept. 25, the day the Irish fired then-DC Brian VanGorder, they were 103rd in the FBS in total defense.

In any event, a potential Auburn-Notre matchup would feature a pair of coaches in Gus Malzahn and Brian Kelly who have spent a considerable amount of time on the proverbial hot seat this season. And if Auburn happened to win this game, something tells us that Kelly would find a way to blame everyone but himself for the loss.

Mississippi State vs. Southern Cal: Dan Mullen has led Mississippi State to a school-record seventh consecutive bowl appearance, and his Bulldogs are one of five SEC teams to reach a bowl in every season this decade. But that’s not the reason this potential matchup is intriguing.

This game would feature two of the more exciting quarterbacks in the country in Nick Fitzgerald and Sam Darnold. Fitzgerald, a sophomore, has produced so many impressive stats this season, not the least of which is his school-record seven 100-yard rushing games.

Meanwhile, all Darnold has done is complete is 68.1 percent of his passes for 2,633 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions while leading the Trojans on an eight-game winning streak. Not too shabby for a redshirt freshman.

Mullen and Clay Helton aren’t the most exciting coaches in the world. But we can’t get enough of their quarterbacks and would love to see to them go head-to-head.

Georgia vs. Oklahoma: To begin with, this game would feature four of the top running backs in the country: Georgia’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel against Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. But that’s one of only several reasons this matchup would be very appealing.

It would also include two Heisman finalists – Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and wideout Dede Westbrook – going up against Georgia’s defense. Plus Mayfield’s matchup against counterpart Jacob Eason would be one to watch as well.