5 best SEC games this weekend
Several SEC teams head out of conference this week. A little breather is necessary, and well-earned, for those teams who started their conference slates in Week 1 and 2.
For a good chunk of the league, though, Week 5 holds some keys to the season. Arkansas is holding to slim bowl-eligibility hopes. Tennessee hopes to hold a lead. South Carolina and Missouri don’t want near-bottom of the East. And those four teams aren’t even in the best three games.
So, without further ado, here are the best best SEC games this weekend.
5. South Carolina at Missouri
Well, there are five conference games in the SEC this week. Something had to be fifth. It’s this Fight For Columbia that fits as a top-fiver almost by default. Missouri has, mostly, looked like the worst 3-1 team in FBS. And now without three-year starter Maty Mauk (suspension) to start, the league’s worst offense may get worse. Not that the Gamecocks are all that much better (11th in both scoring and total offense). The game seems to mean more to South Carolina, which doesn’t want an 0-3 SEC start.
4. Arkansas at Tennessee
Really, this game is only slightly less intriguing than it was in July. And that’s not us being facetious. Back then those of us at SEC Media Days had this pegged as must-watch between two programs seeking the next step. Now it’s must-watch to see which program is in more peril. Arkansas has lost three straight games to the likes of Toledo, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Tennessee has blown two fourth-quarter leads. If this were 1995, we might predict a tie in this one.
3. Mississippi State at Texas A&M
This game is meatier than the two before it by far. A Texas A&M win and the Aggies can claim they belong with Ole Miss and LSU as the cream of the West Division crop. A Mississippi State win and chasm between have and have-not in the division grows even greater. Expect points and lots of them.
2. Ole Miss at Florida
Is Florida for real? Heck, is Ole Miss? While the Gators aren’t the stiffest test Ole Miss will face this season, the Gainesville bunch is far better than anyone outside north-central Florida figured. They’re still unbeaten and 2-0 in the East. Ole Miss is better than nearly everyone (except one person, ahem) figured, is scoring points in bunches and has beaten Alabama already. In all liklihood it’s the Rebels’ last test until the end of the month, too.
1. Alabama at Georgia
Mark Richt, this is your year. The longest-tenured coach in the SEC is well-liked and has kept Georgia among the top 15 programs in college football. He just hasn’t gotten them much higher than top 15. This might be his year to do it and beating Alabama would help. The Crimson Tide, on the other hand, will be looking to prove the loss to Ole Miss was a one-off thing and Alabama is still a national powerhouse. Enjoy this one, football fans.