Give them another shot: 5 best rematches of 2015
Sept. 12: Tennessee vs. Oklahoma
There has been plenty of talk about how improved Tennessee could be in 2015, and this is the Vols’ chance to prove it. Last season, Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma Sooners took Tennessee to the woodshed for a 34-10 win in the Big 12/SEC clash in Norman, Okla. This year, Tennessee gets a chance to give the Sooners a taste of their own medicine in a return game at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. It will be the second game of the season for the Vols, following their opener in Nashville against Bowling Green. A win here could signify that Tennessee is ready to make a push for the SEC East as soon as this season, and give them momentum for a Sept. 26 trip to Florida to open conference play.
Sept. 19: South Carolina at Georgia
Georgia watched its 2014 SEC Championship aspirations take a huge hit in Week 3, when a decision to pass on a key fourth down near the goal line rather than handle the ball to Todd Gurley sealed a 38-35 loss for the Bulldogs in Columbia, S.C. It was arguably the high point of the season for South Carolina, which went on to a 7-6 record after 11 wins in each of the three prior seasons. This rivalry again will resume in Week 3 of 2015, with the winner looking to get an early jump in the SEC East race. With an Oct. 3 meeting with Alabama looming for Georgia, a loss here could signal a rough stretch for the Bulldogs.
Nov. 7: LSU at Alabama
This game has developed into must-see TV during the last decade, and there’s no reason to think anything will change in 2015. Last year’s game was painful to watch for LSU and non-Alabama fans, as the Tigers held Alabama’s offense in check for most of the night, but collapsed in the final minute of the game. Alabama QB Blake Sims led the Crimson Tide on a 55-yard drive in the final 50 seconds of regulation to kick a field goal that sent the game into overtime. From there, Alabama found a way to escape Death Valley with a 20-13 victory. This year, the game moves back to Tuscaloosa and is likely to be a pivotal matchup in the SEC West race.
Nov. 28: Missouri at Arkansas
Heading into the 2014 season, the SEC did some rearranging of its inter-division rivalry designations. The result was a new pairing of Arkansas and Missouri, which is a more geographically-aligned rival than each of the previous rivalries games. (Arkansas played South Carolina and Missouri played Texas A&M). Entering the first edition of this new rivalry, Arkansas had shut out LSU and Ole Miss in consecutive conference wins, but it was Missouri that came away with a 21-14 win at Faurot Field to propel the Tigers to their second consecutive SEC East title. This season, the game could play a big role in the outcome of both divisional races on the final week of the regular season.
Nov. 28: Auburn at Alabama
The infamous missed field goal returned for a touchdown in the 2013 Iron Bowl left this game as the ultimate rematch for the 2014 season. Alabama exacted its revenge in a big way last year, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter on its way to a 55-44 win over the Tigers. The rivalry game was unusually offensive last season, with the final totals showing a video game-like 99 points and 1,169 yards between the two teams. This season, it will be Auburn’s turn to see if it can find the magic of 2013 back in the rematch. Either Auburn or Alabama has been the SEC West winner in six of the last seven seasons, so there is a very good chance this rematch impacts the divisional outcome.