Five SEC games that could scramble preseason predictions
The SEC has once again dominated the preseason AP poll with eight teams receiving rankings. But, as any SEC fan knows, regular season conference matchups can always dash a team’s hopes of winning a championship. Here are five SEC games that could scramble the preseason predictions:
LSU vs. Auburn- Oct. 4
The annual matchup between SEC West foes LSU and Auburn always has major implications. This season should be no exception as both Tigers enter with high expectations. LSU finished third in the SEC West in 2013, despite a 10-3 (5-3) record and handing the only regular season loss to the eventual SEC Champions. That’s right, Auburn. Not only does this game have potential SEC Championship game implications, but also a revenge factor. Both teams are expected to enter this game with undefeated records, raising the stakes even higher. While the winning team could go on to represent the SEC West in the conference title game, the loser will likely have its dream of a championship season spoiled.
Alabama vs. Ole Miss- Oct. 4
Alabama was the highest ranked SEC team in the preseason AP poll. The Tide enter 2014 with two consecutive losses, their first losing streak since 2008. Ole Miss is coming off back-to-back bowl wins and a top-5 2013 recruiting class with a year of experience. Alabama, much like LSU and Auburn, is expected to be a contender in the SEC West. However, with an improved Ole Miss team playing at home and unanswered questions for Alabama, this game does have the possibility of being a potential upset.
South Carolina vs. Auburn- Oct. 25
South Carolina vs. Auburn has all the makings of an SEC Championship game. The Gamecocks are the early favorite to win the SEC East, while the Tigers are the defending conference champions and a top-10 preseason team. However, with the game being a month-and-a-half too early, the team on the short end could fall short of a conference game appearance.
Alabama vs. LSU- Nov. 8
Much like LSU vs. Auburn, this game has plenty of implications for the SEC West standings. Alabama is the early favorite and has taken the last three games against LSU, beginning with the 2012 BCS National Championship game. However, a road matchup in Death Valley is tough for any opponent and could prove to be one of the Tide’s biggest hurdles.
Iron Bowl 2014: Auburn vs. Alabama- Nov. 29
The biggest rivalry in college football provided the best game of the 2013 season. The state rivals played for an SEC Championship and went down to the wire with an endzone-to-endzone field goal return by Chris Davis provided the difference in the final second. Even if these teams both entered at 0-11, the game would still garner interest. The fact that both teams are expected to contend is icing on the cake. If both teams enter atop the SEC West standings, this game will propel one team and drop the other.