The calm after the storm of Armageddon Week on October 10, Tennessee and LSU are off while the state of Mississippi goes out of conference. Four smaller SEC tilts highlight the weekend:
Game of the Week: South Carolina at Alabama
The biggest trap game on Alabama's schedule sends Steve Spurrier to Tuscaloosa, sandwiched between a trip to Oxford and The Third (Fourth) Saturday in October. Carolina gets a tough break on the rotational schedule, having to play both Ole Miss and Alabama this season. The two teams haven't met since 2004.
Others: Arkansas at Florida, Kentucky at Auburn, Georgia at Vanderbilt, Mississippi State at MTSU, UAB at Ole Miss
Once again we're robbed of the true Third Saturday...so October 24 will have to do.
Game of the Week: Tennessee at Alabama
No rivalry in college football is built more on streaks:
- The first game played between Tennessee and Alabama was in 1901, a 6-6 tie
- After splitting in 1903-04, Alabama won 7 straight
- When the rivalry was renewed after a 14 year hiatus in 1928, Tennessee won 4 of 5
- Then Alabama went 4-0-1 from '33-'37, followed by 3 straight for UT, followed by 3-0-1 for Bama
- From 1948-1960, Tennessee went 9-1-3 against the Tide
- Then Bama went 5-0-1 the next six years, then the Vols won 4 straight
- Then Alabama won 11 in a row from 1971-1981
- Then the Vols won 4 straight under Johnny Majors
- Alabama went 8-0-1 the next nine years (the 1993 tie was later forfeited)
- Peyton Manning started a run of 7 straight and 9-1 overall for the Vols from 1995-2004
- Alabama has won 3 of the last 4 on the field, though they vacated the 2005 win
Overall, it's Bama 45-38-7 in the series, and 2009 will be Lane Kiffin's first trip to T-Town. You don't need my help to know why this game is special.
The rest of this week is good too, with Houston Nutt vs. Arkansas, Dan Mullen vs. Urban Meyer and Auburn vs. LSU...
Others: Arkansas at Ole Miss, Auburn at LSU, Florida at Mississippi State, Vanderbilt at South Carolina, UL-Monroe at Kentucky
Halloween brings us the Cocktail Party, as well as Vanderbilt's continued desire to play teams that dress like them.
Game of the Week: Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
Speaking of streaks, since The Visor came to Gainesville in 1990, Florida is 16-3 against Georgia, though since you can make stats do whatever you want for you, Georgia fans would quickly remind us that the Dawgs did win as recently as 2004 and 2007. Think Urban is fully over the end zone celebration of '07? Both teams will have seen plenty of other good teams at this point, and the experts are giving UGA the best shot of anyone to dethrone the Gators in the SEC East. Will probably be interesting, even if it's a blowout like last year.
Elsewhere, Gamecocks will find they still have to pump their own gas in the state of Tennessee.
Others: Ole Miss at Auburn, Mississippi State at Kentucky, South Carolina at Tennessee, Eastern Michigan at Arkansas, Tulane at LSU, Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt