Let’s try this again.

In this column last week, I declared that the SEC was in for a treat with 7 scheduled games. I, like many, was optimistic about full SEC slate after 2 of the last 3 weeks featured just 4 games involving SEC teams.

As it turned out, I was also young and naive. Little did I realize that more than half of those games would be wiped out because of COVID, and we’d be left with the scraps from what looked like an SEC buffet.

But that’s in the past. Hopefully, this week will be better.

I say that knowing that the odds aren’t good for Ole Miss-Texas A&M with the Aggies dealing with an outbreak. I also know that given the surge we’ve seen in recent weeks, it’s perhaps unlikely to even think that 6 games will be played.

I’ll remain optimistic. Let’s assume that football will be played until we’re told otherwise.

Here’s 1 thought I have about each of those (scheduled) matchups:

Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M — If this game is actually played, what similar offenses these are

I know. It’s reportedly 99% postponed. But let’s say the 1% happens and these teams play this weekend or they eventually play. Man, there are some major similarities with these offenses. Both have veteran, dual-threat quarterbacks who are playing their best after up-and-down careers. Both have small but dynamic playmakers to get the ball to in space. Both work with a prolific 1-2 punch at tailback and both have extremely talented downfield weapons at tight end. Oh, and both are exceptional up front on the offensive line. And hey, both have elite offensive-minded head coaches who were coordinators under Nick Saban.

Will anybody confuse Ole Miss and Texas A&M for having the same defense? Um, no. They play a different sport as far as I’m concerned. But in many ways, Lane Kiffin is trying to replicate a lot of things that Jimbo Fisher has in Year 3 at A&M. Now if only he could get a defensive coordinator like Fisher has with Mike Elko, perhaps this could be a more fair fight.

LSU vs. Arkansas — How the turntables …

Forgive that oft-used reference to “The Office.” But man, this game last year couldn’t have been more laughably one-sided. This year? I’m having a hard time saying that this shouldn’t be an Arkansas win, especially if the Tigers are still dealing with COVID issues. But in terms of a year-to-year flip, this feels like the most drastic that we’ll see in the SEC. The program that delivered the best season in college football history against the program that went over 1,000 days without an SEC win suddenly feels like a fair fight.

Barry Odom’s defense frustrating a true freshman quarterback feels like the key in this one. Go figure that Feleipe Franks throwing for a ton of yards against the LSU defense feels like the more likely scenario. I wish I could get excited about Derek Stingley Jr. on Treylon Burks, but even that feels like advantage Arkansas. Am I talking myself into Arkansas winning this game?

Man, the fact that I typed that tells you everything you need to know about how much things have changed since 2019.

Kentucky vs. Alabama — How does a 2-week layoff interrupt Alabama’s offensive rhythm?

It’s a strange amount of time to have off in the middle of the season. Going 3 weeks between games is practically like a bowl break. I wouldn’t bet on the Alabama offense being held in check by Kentucky, which entered Saturday ranked No. 1 in the SEC in scoring defense. I would, however, wonder about guys like John Metchie and Slade Bolden being totally on the same page as Mac Jones after the layoff. Just as both of them were stepping into bigger roles without Jaylen Waddle, they missed valuable game reps.

The good news for the Crimson Tide is that, as far as we know, they aren’t dealing with a COVID outbreak coming off the layoff. It’s not like they had to shut down the facility for multiple weeks like Florida. Not that Alabama needs its best fastball to beat a 1-dimensional Kentucky team, but it’s 2020. Opening the door for weird things to happen isn’t something Nick Saban wants to see.

Tennessee vs. Auburn — Can we please see Harrison Bailey vs. the Auburn defense?

I realize that betting on Jeremy Pruitt not to start Jarrett Guarantano is like asking people to be nice on Twitter. But I also realize that Pruitt has Tennessee players publicly lobbying for the true freshman to be named QB1. At this point, why wouldn’t a 2-4 Tennessee squad riding 4 consecutive double-digit losses turn to Bailey? Well, the last time Tennessee took the field, we learned via the SEC Network broadcast that Pruitt has fears about throwing Bailey into the fire.

Ask the Auburn defense what it does to true freshmen quarterbacks. Better yet, just ask TJ Finley what that Auburn defense does to true freshmen quarterbacks. That’s a potentially tasty matchup for the Tigers coming off that dominant showing against LSU.

Having said that, that shouldn’t scare Pruitt from making the change. For all we know, Bailey will thrive against a defense that won’t have an entire game’s worth of film on him like it had on Finley.

Florida vs. Vanderbilt — Is this the most lopsided SEC matchup of 2020?

Yes, in my opinion. Other candidates? MSU-Alabama and Alabama-LSU come to mind. That’s just in terms of the on-paper breakdown. Obviously LSU-Auburn turned out to be lopsided, but that was a 1-score spread. A&M was barely a double-digit road favorite against South Carolina, though that felt lopsided by game’s end. Maybe you’d throw Tennessee-Alabama into that conversation, too?

I don’t know. What I do know is that this Florida offense hasn’t been stopped by anyone, and even without Kyle Pitts, I cannot bank on Vandy standing much of a chance. The Gators should be able to score at will against a Vanderbilt defense who nearly allowed 40 points to that brutal Kentucky offense. The Commodores have been dealing with depth issues all year. Florida, on the other hand, hasn’t been held to less than 4 passing touchdowns in a game this year with Heisman Trophy candidate Kyle Trask.

Don’t bank on seeing a whole lot of Trask in the second half of this one.

Mizzou vs. South Carolina — How engaged is South Carolina post-Muschamp firing?

A 2-5 team playing against an unranked foe in the midst of a pandemic is one to question when it comes to motivation. Add to that equation the fact that Muschamp, AKA the guy who recruited that entire roster, is not going to be on the sidelines and it’s fair to wonder how the Gamecocks will come out.

Sure, we’ve seen cases of interim coaches like Ed Orgeron taking off. But is Mike Bobo about to follow in Orgeron’s footsteps? Or will it be more like Randy Shannon, who went 1-3 as Florida’s interim coach in 2017. What about Brady Hoke’s 0-2 mark at Tennessee in 2017? Is it worth bringing up Barry Lunney’s 0-2 mark at Arkansas last year? The SEC’s midseason firings rarely yield a successful interim coach, and with how bad South Carolina’s defense was in the final 3 games of the Muschamp era, perhaps that combination doesn’t set up very well against Eli Drinkwitz coming off the bye.

MSU vs. Georgia — It’s gotta be J.T. Daniels or Carson Beck

I hate to be “play the other quarterback” guy, but at this point, how does Kirby Smart not turn to one of those 2 options? We know that Stetson Bennett IV has a banged up shoulder and we also know that D’Wan Mathis completed 40% of his passes for 3 yards per attempt to start the year. If Daniels is physically able to play, he needs to be the starter. Someone who has a year of Power 5 experience is what this team needs.

And if he’s not, well, Beck’s number getting called no longer seems far-fetched. When Jamie Newman was around, it did. The true freshman might’ve had an atypical offseason, and surely he would’ve benefitted from a spring game. But it’s about to be late-November. I get that Smart said he really hasn’t gotten many reps. Most true freshmen quarterbacks haven’t. Can he look worse than Mathis? Or Bennett?

Smart needs to make a change whether he wants to admit it or not.