Game of the Week: LSU at Alabama
Really, it's like the rest of the conference decided to take the week off just to watch these two fight it out for the SEC West crown (we'll get to Ole Miss). Nick Saban is responsible for turning this rivalry around...for LSU, as the Tigers ended an Alabama run of 9 of 11 in this series upon his arrival in 2000. Since then, the decade has belonged to LSU, winning 7 of 9 meetings. But Saban's return shifted the balance of power back to Alabama last season in the Tide's dramatic overtime win. Because of LSU's rise to national prominence and the dual presence of Saban, this is rapidly becoming one of college football's best rivalries, and Alabama already has plenty of teams that hate them.
Really, there's nothing else to see here this week. Four - count 'em, four - SEC teams have scheduled FCS opponents for the same Saturday. Good job guys.
Others: South Carolina at Arkansas, Vanderbilt at Florida, Furman at Auburn, Northern Arizona at Ole Miss, Tennessee Tech at Georgia, Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky, Memphis at Tennessee
Game of the Week: your choice of Auburn at Georgia, Tennessee at Ole Miss OR Florida at South Carolina
Once we get here, it's hard to know which game will be most important because we can't see with any certainty this far out. Auburn and Georgia would traditionally get the nod, but these two teams have the two of the toughest schedules in the entire conference. So if they're both winning, it's a game of great importance. Or it could be a matchup of two 5-4 teams trying to get bowl eligible. Ed Orgeron's return to Oxford should be entertaining despite Tennessee's record, while the Rebels - who, remember, don't play Florida or Georgia and play Alabama at home - could realistically be undefeated coming into this one, with LSU looming the following week. And anytime Spurrier takes on the Gators, it's special - if any chasers in the East need the Gators to lose a game, this is the last opportunity.
Of course, the game we'll all really be watching is the annual Kentucky-Vanderbilt deathmatch for bowl eligibility:
Others: Alabama at Mississippi State, Kentucky at Vanderbilt, Troy at Arkansas, Louisiana Tech at LSU
Game of the Week: LSU at Ole Miss
Again, the most favorable schedule in the SEC goes hands down to the Rebels...it's not just their talent that's making people put them in their preseason top five. With Alabama and LSU both coming to Oxford and the difficult of their schedules, the Rebels probably need just a split to get to Atlanta. And Ole Miss is the only team from the West Division to never win it and play in the SEC Championship Game in its 17 year existence. The LSU-Ole Miss rivalry has gotten a little crazy in years past...but John Chavis has been at his best against Houston Nutt at several different times, so we'll see.
Lots of additional games in here where teams will continue to fight for bowl eligibility:
Others: Mississippi State at Arkansas, Kentucky at Georgia, Vanderbilt at Tennessee, UT Chattanooga at Alabama, FIU at Florida
Game of the Week: Florida State at Florida
Yes, I know about the Iron Bowl and Georgia's need for revenge. But if Florida does what everyone thinks they will, then you're talking about the final regular season game for the #1 team in the country against their biggest rival (who could turn out to be pretty good), in Tim Tebow's final appearance at The Swamp. That wins. Insane stat: each of the 10 meetings between these two teams in the 90s was a battle between two Top 10 teams. This rivalry has diminished some in the last ten years as Florida State has lost some of their power, noted by the fact that the Gators have won five straight. Will Bobby Bowden ever beat the Gators again?
It's Rivalry Week, which means good stuff all around:
Others: Alabama at Auburn, Arkansas at LSU, Ole Miss at Mississippi State, Georgia at Georgia Tech, Tennessee at Kentucky, Clemson at South Carolina, Vanderbilt is lonely