At this point of the season teams have played seven or eight games out of their twelve game schedule. The cream of the crop has either separated itself from the contenders or is in the process of separating itself. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the biggest remaining games on the SEC slate this year. First let's look at the standings and then let's take a look at the remaining games in the SEC that will have the biggest impact on who plays in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta:
SEC EastW-LSouth Carolina4-1 (6-1)Georgia4-1 (5-2)Florida2-3 (4-3)Vanderbilt1-3 (4-3)Kentucky0-3 (3-4)Tennessee0-4 (3-4) SEC WestW-LAlabama5-0 (8-0)LSU5-0 (8-0)Arkansas2-1 (6-1)Auburn3-2 (5-3)Mississippi State0-4 (3-4)Ole Miss0-4 (2-5)
Georgia vs Florida, Oct 29th, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
South Carolina is tied with Georgia for the SEC East lead but the Gamecocks control the tie-breaker so Georgia is really in a spot where it has to win every single one of their remaining games unless they hope the Gamecocks drop two SEC games before the end of the season. On paper this might look like a game Georgia should win but not when you look at the recent history between these two clubs. Florida has won 18 of the last 21 meetings between these clubs and Mark Richt has only beaten the Gators twice during his tenure at Georgia.
South Carolina at Tennessee, Oct 29th, 7:15 PM EST, ESPN2
South Carolina is 4-1 in the conference and Tennessee is 0-4. Doesn't sound like one of the "biggest" remaining games in the SEC, does it? Consider this...this is South Carolina's first full game without Marcus Lattimore. Also consider that South Carolina controls it's own destiny in the SEC. If it wins the remainder of it's SEC games then it goes to the SEC Championship for the second straight year. This game is a huge game in terms of South Carolina's mental stability. If they lose this one, it could start down a long dark road to the end of the season. If they win, they are still in the drivers seat in the East.
South Carolina at Arkansas, Nov 7th
This game will test the Gamecocks a lot more than the Vols will. The Razorbacks have a quick strike offense and I have my doubts that the Gamecocks can stop the Hogs or that they can score in bunches (which they may have to do to win this game) with the current state of their offense. If South Carolina loses to the Vols and the Hogs then they have to hope Georgia loses twice as well.
LSU at Alabama, Nov 7th, 8 PM EST, CBS
This one is the no-brainer, right? This is the biggest game of the season in any conference. Before the season started we pegged this as one of our "15 Games That Will Decide The National Championship" and that still stands today. In that write-up I said "If you only watch one game this year (which we know you will watch much, much more) make this that one game because it has the most riding on it". I think that statement says it all about this one.
Auburn at Georgia, Nov 12th
The only factor Auburn will be in the SEC race for the rest of the season will be as a spoiler. They have the opportunity to spoil both Georgia and Alabama's seasons. Georgia has been good lately against Auburn as they have won four of the last five but Auburn has won the most recent game. If Georgia gets past Florida, this might be the biggest game that will decide who takes home the SEC East.
Florida at South Carolina, Nov 12th
At 2-3, Florida would need a lot to go their way to get back in the race for the East. They would have to beat Georgia, hope South Carolina loses a game not against Florida, hope Georgia loses an additional game other than Florida and then Florida would have to win this game. That's a lot to happen but it's not out of the realm of reality. However, I'm circiling this game more for Georgia and South Carolina than Florida. South Carolina cannot afford a slip up and Florida can be dangerous depending on who is running the show at QB. The SEC East will be decided on Nov 12th between this game and the UGA/Auburn game.
Arkansas at LSU, Nov 25th
If LSU gets past Bama on Nov 5th this is the next "biggest" game in the SEC. As of right now Arkansas only has one loss so if LSU beats Bama and Arky beats LSU then you have a bizarro love triangle of teams with one conference loss. Not sure how you would figure out that tie-breaker but I know Arkansas fans would love to find out. This is another game that I featured earlier this year in the series "15 Games That Will Decide The National Champion". In that article I stated "The last six times these teams have taken the field the total point differential is only 21 total points". So look for this one to be a nail-biter with a lot riding on the outcome. Even if this is for second place in the SEC West it could still be for a birth in a BCS bowl game.
Alabama at Auburn, Nov 26th
The SEC has a ton of rivalry games every year and none has more hatred than this one. Anything can happen in a rivalry game. If Bama wins against LSU then this one is for all the marbles. If Bama loses to LSU then they could still have a shot at some bizare tie-breaker if the Hogs could unseat LSU the day before.