It’s hard to envision a more compelling conference, week to week, than the SEC. Alabama was a few steps ahead of the rest of the conference last season but the parity among the SEC’s other 13 members was at an all-time high.

There’s no reason to think this year will be any different. The SEC West looks to be competitive, as always, and the East is totally up for grabs. That parity should make for a ton of enticing matchups this fall.

Here are the SEC’s top 10 games for 2017 (non-conference games excluded).

1. Alabama at Auburn (Nov. 25)

It all starts (ends?) with the Iron Bowl. Alabama could line up one of its best defenses of the Nick Saban era this season, but that won’t keep the Crimson Tide’s longtime rival from showing up on Thanksgiving weekend. Auburn has about 15 returning starters – including eight on offense – and might possess one of the SEC’s superb quarterbacks in Jarrett Stidham. Running back duo Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, meanwhile, combined to rush for more than 2,100 yards in 2016. Since taking over at Alabama in 2007, Saban is 3-2 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

2. LSU at Florida (Oct. 7)

The LSU-Florida game is usually a fight, but the nastiness intensified last year after Hurricane Matthew postponed the game, originally set for October. The Gators were accused of dodging LSU and not wanting to reschedule so they could have an easier road to the SEC title game. Of course, LSU wouldn’t give up a home game late in the season, thus the Gators had to travel to Baton Rouge for the second year in a row to be eligible to win the division. Florida won a slugfest 16-10 on a game-ending goal line stand. The series returns to “The Swamp” this year and there’s no shortage of bad blood between the programs. On top of that, this game could have a huge impact on both divisions.

3. Auburn at LSU (Oct. 14)

Basically, this will determine the No. 1 contender for Alabama before the Crimson Tide meets LSU on Nov. 4 and Auburn on Nov. 25. So this one most certainly will help shape the race for the SEC West. LSU has the advantage of hosting Auburn in “Death Valley,” but the Bayou Bengals will be fresh off a physical battle with Florida. Meanwhile, Auburn hosts Ole Miss the week before. For what it’s worth, Auburn hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1999.

4. Tennessee at Florida (Sept. 16)

Tennessee ended a brutal 11-game losing streak to Florida last season by coming back from a 21-point deficit and scoring 38 unanswered. The Vols quite literally took out a decade of frustration on the Gators in the second half. This season, Tennessee will be without quarterback Joshua Dobbs and defensive end Derek Barnett – both of whom were key players in last year’s win. Florida, on the other hand, returns wide receiver Antonio Callaway, who has terrorized Tennessee’s defense the past two seasons. Callaway had 134 receiving yards against the Vols last year, and in 2015 he hauled in a 63-yard touchdown pass on fourth down which ended up giving Florida the win.

5. LSU at Alabama (Nov. 4)

This series might have lost some of its luster since 2011, but it’s still expected to be one of three key matchups between West teams this season. The bad news for LSU, which usually gives Alabama a difficult game at home, is that it has to travel to Tuscaloosa this time. The Crimson Tide has won by an average of 17.5 points the past two times it hosted LSU. Alabama also has won the past six games in the series, allowing an average of just 10.5 points in those contests. LSU’s inability to mount any offense has been the main difference in the series.

6. Florida vs. Georgia (Oct. 28)

The East race could very well be decided in Jacksonville, Fla., when the Gators and Bulldogs meet. Both teams will have already played Tennessee, the other team expected to compete in the division. And Florida will have already played its toughest cross-division opponent, LSU. Georgia’s high-powered offense, led by quarterback Jacob Eason and running back duo Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, will need to be much better against the Gators than it was last year. The ’Dawgs scored just 10 points in a two-touchdown loss. The year before that, Florida won 27-3; in fact, the Gators are 21-6 against Georgia since 1990.

7. Georgia at Auburn (Nov. 11)

Kirby Smart got his first significant win last year as the Bulldogs’ head coach when Georgia (5-4 at the time) took down Auburn at Sanford Stadium. Before that, it was a pretty mediocre start for Smart. That game ended a streak of momentum for Auburn, which went in ranked No. 9. It also marked Georgia’s fifth win in the series in six seasons. For the most part since the beginning of the new millennium, the ’Dawgs have owned Auburn. Could this be another late-season misstep for an Auburn team possibly headed for Atlanta for the SEC title game?

8. Georgia at Tennessee (Sept. 30)

Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Mention the name Jauan Jennings at a bar in Athens and see how long it takes to get thrown out. The joy experienced by Georgia fans last season after seeing their team – pretty much – win the game on a 47-yard bomb from Eason to Riley Ridley with 10 seconds to go seemed unlikely to cease. Then, on the final play, Jennings caught a Hail Mary from Joshua Dobbs to win the game. It was a shocking moment, but it shouldn’t be all that surprising in a series that has been decided by one possession each year since 2011. Georgia will face its first real SEC test of the season when it travels to Neyland Stadium in late September.

9. Alabama at Mississippi State (Nov. 11)

Mississippi State has the SEC’s most lethal dual-threat quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald led the SEC with 16 rushing touchdowns a season ago and was second in the conference in rushing yards behind LSU running back Derrius Guice. Fitzgerald also managed threw for 2,423 yards. With a playmaker like that on offense, and a defense that already appears to be much better under new coordinator Todd Grantham, Mississippi State might be a bit overlooked in the SEC West. Could the Bulldogs beat Alabama though? The Tide will be coming off a physical bout with LSU, which should help State’s chances, but facts are facts. Saban is 9-1 against the Bulldogs, with the lone blemish coming in his first season.

10. LSU at Tennessee (Nov. 18)

This will mark the first meeting between these two probable division contenders since 2011. Tennessee leads the all-time series 20-9-3, but LSU has won five of the past seven matchups since 2000. This is a tricky late-season game with the potential to impact both divisions. Either team could be well on its way to Atlanta by Nov. 18. The key matchup will be whether Tennessee’s run defense, which ranked 12th in the SEC in yards allowed last year, has improved enough to handle Guice and the LSU rushing attack.

Honorable mentions:

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Sept. 23)
Kevin Sumlin is 5-0 against Arkansas. This early-season tilt will help determine his – and Bret Bielema’s – future.

LSU at Mississippi State (Sept. 16)
We’ll find out early just how improved Mississippi State is – and whether LSU is for real this time.

Mississippi State at Georgia (Sept. 23)
Another early-season game to watch out for. … Could it end up hurting Georgia down the stretch?

Ole Miss at Alabama (Sept. 30)
This one might be difficult to watch, and that’s exactly why it’s on the list. Alabama will be ready to unload on a hobbling Ole Miss program.

Arkansas at LSU (Nov. 11)
If there’s one program that should scare LSU in November, it’s Arkansas. Tiger fans remember those late-season stumbles battling for the Golden Boot all too well.