Ranking this week's SEC games from most to least watchable
In case you haven’t noticed, the slate of SEC games this week is … light. That’s about the kindest way to put it. Teams are off, taking a breather with an FCS team before rivalry week, or just desperately trying not to ruin their Playoff chances *cough* Georgia *cough*.
But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t reasons to pay attention. So we ranked this week’s games in order of most to least watchable. Hopefully this will help you prioritize which games to watch and which games to stay far, far away from.
1. Tennessee vs. Missouri
Reason to watch: Can Tennessee become bowl eligible?
For the first few weeks of the college football season, the Vols were the butt of every joke, especially if that joke involved Georgia State University. It seemed like Jeremy Pruitt was headed to a very unglamorous firing and we’d all be treated to another hilarious Tennessee coaching search. But then a peculiar thing happened: They started winning games. And now they have a chance to go to a bowl game. Can Missouri stop them? Can Missouri’s offense remember what it was like to score touchdowns? We can’t wait to find out
2. Texas A&M vs. Georgia
Reason to watch: Will Georgia blow its Playoff hopes? Can Jimbo get a signature win?
The Dawgs already clinched the SEC East, so we know they’ll be in Atlanta again. But can they make it to the Playoff? That all depends on beating A&M, which most top 10 teams have found to be a pretty easy task. But we all know the Aggies have the talent to compete, and if Georgia plays the way they did in the 4th quarter against Auburn, it won’t take too much.
3. Western Carolina vs. Alabama
Reason to watch: The first game of the post-Tua era.
True, there were games Tua hasn’t played in since he took over as starter, but this is the first game where we know he isn’t coming back to save the day. Can Bama put together 2 impressive enough wins to convince the committee they deserve a Playoff spot? Will the team rally together and play inspired? Is Western Carolina in North or South Carolina? These are all important questions that will be answered Saturday.
4. Arkansas vs. LSU
Reason to watch: How many touchdown passes can Joe Burrow throw?
Joe Burrow hasn’t found a defense he doesn’t like, and chances are he’ll like Arkansas’ defense a lot. The only uncertainty in this game is if Joe Burrow will get enough playing time to keep breaking records. (He needs 7 to break Drew Lock’s SEC single-season record, which also would break his LSU single-game record of 6.) You should watch this game for the same reason you’d watch last year’s Warriors team in a meaningless regular-season NBA game. It doesn’t mean anything, but it’s fun seeing a lot of points put up by the best player in the country.
5. UT Martin vs. Kentucky
Reason to watch: Lynn Bowden Jr deserves your attention.
In case you haven’t watched Kentucky lately, there’s a man by the name of Lynn Bowden Jr. who is doing something absolutely remarkable. He’s a former receiver who took over at QB when UK was at its most desperate and takes what is the equivalent of table scraps and turns it into something that almost resembles an SEC offense. Sometimes it works, sometimes it absolutely does not. But it’s always fascinating.
6. Samford vs. Auburn
Reason to watch: Your son is Auburn’s starting quarterback.
Unless you’re Patrick Nix, you can’t be too proud out of what this Auburn offense has become. It’s a convoluted mess of hopeless runs, unproductive screens and errant passes. To make things worse, the backup quarterback left town, so you’re stuck with what you got. Maybe Samford will help this offense get back on track. But more likely, this is a game you should stay far, far, away from.
7. Abilene Christian vs. Mississippi State
Reason to watch: You need a game on in the background that you won’t need to pay attention to.
Who would have thought that those few days when it looked like Joe Moorhead might leave for Rutgers would be the brightest spot of the season for the Bulldogs? But he’s still here and so is this Mississippi State team, which is just hoping to get through the rest of the year without it being a complete embarrassment. That means winning the Egg Bowl next week and getting this game over with fast.
8. East Tennessee State vs. Vanderbilt
Reason to watch: You’re Liam Neeson and your child was taken once again and this time the bad guys are forcing you to watch this game as some sort of brutal hostage negotiation.
Please don’t watch this game. There are better things out there for you, we promise.