Breaking Down The Best Games, Storylines, of the New SEC Football Schedule – Bama Maven
An unprecedented college football season should logically have an unprecedented schedule and that is what the SEC released on Monday night.
The 10-game conference-only schedule will begin on Sept. 26 and (hopefully) run through the SEC championship game on Dec. 19. There are 12 weeks to get in 10 regular-season games. Everybody gets a week off on Dec. 12 and another open date in the middle of the season. Those dates can be used for makeup games if necessary.
Now understand that everything we write here today has a big ol’ “IF” in front of it. There are no guarantees that the season will start as scheduled.
But the release of this schedule gives us a little hope.
Here are the week-by-week best games and best storylines of the new SEC schedule. TV and times will come later.
WEEK 1, Sept. 26
Best game: Florida goes to Ole Miss for the first time since 2007. It will be the first game for Lane Kiffin as the Ole Miss head coach.
Best storyline: Georgia goes on the road to Arkansas, where former Bulldogs’ OL coach Sam Pittman is now in charge. Arkansas has lost 19 straight SEC games.
Second best story line: If former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood gets a waiver to play from the NCAA, Kentucky’s trip to Auburn could be interesting.
WEEK 2, Oct. 3
Best game: Texas A&M at Alabama. If Jimbo Fisher is going to finally be a contender in the SEC West we’ll find out in Tuscaloosa.
Best storyline: Auburn at Georgia. The oldest continuous rivalry in the deep South had already been moved to October in the old schedule. This game always delivers.
Second best storyline: Ole Miss at Kentucky. Kentucky is underrated, period. This will be a very good game.
WEEK 3, Oct. 10
Best game: Florida at Texas A&M. The Aggies will be coming off a physical game at Alabama. Kyle Field will be hopping. A win would be huge for the Gators, who are chasing Georgia in the SEC East.
Best storyline: Tennessee at Georgia. This will be the third straight SEC East game for Tennessee.
Second best storyline: Alabama at Ole Miss. Sandwich game for Alabama which will be coming off a game with Texas A&M and looking ahead to a visit from Georgia.
WEEK 4, Oct. 17
Best game: Georgia at Alabama. A lot of people will bill this as a preview of the SEC championship game. Georgia’s new offense will have three games under its belt.
Best storyline: LSU at Florida. This has turned into a nasty rivalry. The Gators led LSU, the eventual national champions, in the third quarter last season.
Second best storyline: Texas A&M at Mississippi State. You read it here first. This will be a tough game for the Aggies.
WEEK 5, Oct. 24
Best game: Alabama at Tennessee. This will mark the fourth straight week that Nick Saban has faced one of his former pupils. Tennessee pushed the Crimson Tide last season before losing.
Best storyline: Auburn at Ole Miss. Good coaching matchup of Lane Kiffin of Ole Miss against Kevin Steele, the defensive coordinator at Auburn.
Second best storyline: Georgia at Kentucky. Bulldogs will be coming off a very physical game with Alabama and will have an open date coming up. This is a dangerous game for Georgia.
Off: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt.
WEEK 6, Oct. 31
Best game: LSU at Auburn. Winner of this one is likely the main challenger to Alabama in the SEC West.
Best storyline: Mississippi State at Alabama. What is the over/under on the number of times Mike Leach will throw the ball? Let’s start with 50.
Second best story line: Arkansas at Texas A&M. Game was originally scheduled for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex. Has been moved to Kyle Field.
Off: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee.
WEEK 7, Nov. 7
Best game: Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville). The game remains in Jacksonville but the date was moved from Oct. 31. Georgia has won three straight games against the Gators. The winner here is likely headed to the SEC championship game.
Best storyline: Texas A&M at South Carolina. Aggies will be coming off what should be an easy game with Arkansas while South Carolina will have had an open date.
Second best storyline: None. This is the thinnest week of the schedule with six teams off.
Off: Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri.
WEEK 8, Nov. 14
Best game: Alabama at LSU. These two played a classic last season in Tuscaloosa and the atmosphere will certainly be electric at Tiger Stadium. The winner here is likely headed to the SEC championship game.
Best storyline: Auburn at Mississippi State. Auburn will mix it up on defense and bring all kinds of pressures against Mike Leach’s passing game.
Second best storyline: Texas A&M at Tennessee. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond will have a big game but it won’t be enough to beat the Vols at Neyland Stadium.
WEEK 9, Nov. 21
Best game: Tennessee at Auburn. We don’t get to see this game nearly enough. This one is going to be very entertaining with Auburn getting a slight edge at home.
Best storyline: Ole Miss at Texas A&M. Can you say fireworks? First team to 50 wins and that could be the Rebels.
Second best storyline: Mississippi State at Georgia. Georgia will be able to maintain possession and keep the Mississippi State offense off the field. Both teams score in the high 20 to low 30s.
WEEK 10, Nov. 28
Best game: Auburn at Alabama. The Iron Bowl remains in its familiar spot on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But it won’t be the last game of the regular season as it normally is for these two teams.
Best storyline: Mississippi State at Ole Miss. The Egg Bowl was moved off of Thanksgiving night and after what happened in last season’s game, this first meeting of Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach should be epic.
Second best story line: LSU at Texas A&M. It will be interesting to see where these two teams are at this point of the season. Something tells me a lot of points are going to be scored.
WEEK 11, Dec. 5
Best game: Florida at Tennessee. This game was originally scheduled for Sept. 26. If Florida beats Georgia on Nov. 7, the Gators might be playing for the SEC East championship in this one.
Best storyline: Ole Miss at LSU. Will the Tigers still be in the running for the SEC West title when this game rolls along? Will Ole Miss run the ball with John Rhys-Plumlee the way it did last season?
Second best storyline: Texas A&M at Auburn. Just trust me on this one folks. This game is going to be fun.
WEEK 12, Dec. 12
Open date for all teams unless makeup games are necessary.
WEEK 13, Dec. 19
SEC Championship game, TBD