SEC schedule has some non-conference highlights

Florida's Tim Tebow stiff-arms Florida State cornerback Korey Mangum during the third quarter in Gainesville on Nov. 28, 2009.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 12:09 p.m.

It's your Daily Football Fix! Gainesville Sun staff writers are here to help get you through the long, hot summer with a daily dose of college football. The series runs every day until the start of fall practice.

The SEC has taken a lot of heat in the past for its patsy non-conference schedule. Once again this season, there are some lame games on the docket, but there also are some pretty dynamic matchups with teams outside the conference.

Today, we're going to take a brief look at the SEC's best non-conference games for the 2010 season:

1. Florida at Florida State — The Seminoles are definitely getting closer to being the team they once were. This is FSU's chance to show it is all the way back after losing five in a row to Urban Meyer's guys.

2. LSU vs. North Carolina (Atlanta) — This is a very intriguing matchup. LSU has tons of talent, but a major question mark at quarterback still. North Carolina could have one of the nation's strongest defenses.

3. Penn State at Alabama — This matchup between two schools with such great traditions will draw a huge national audience. Penn State has enough talent to hang with the Tide, but the Nittany Lions are going to have a hard time scoring.

4. Georgia Tech at Georgia — This rivalry has become really intense with the recent emergence of the Yellow Jackets under Paul Johnson.

5. Clemson at Auburn — In terms of talent and tradition (and nicknames), these two schools are very similar. There will be a lot of defense in this one.

6. West Virginia at LSU — If Noel Devine can shake loose, this could be one of the most entertaining games of the season in the SEC.

7. Oregon at Tennessee — The Vols may be a little down, but they'll have a chance to hang with a top 10 team that brings great expectations to Knoxville.

8. Mississippi State at Houston — It probably will be a shock if anyone punts in this game. Houston may have the most entertaining offense in the nation.

9. Arkansas at Texas A&M — This is a rivalry that goes way back to when the Razorbacks were part of the Southwest Conference (man, that seems like a long time ago). The Aggies should be improved, while Arkansas has one of the nation's premier quarterbacks in Ryan Mallett.

10. Georgia at Colorado — The Buffaloes aren't all that imposing, but they are a pretty good team at home. Remember that upset of undefeated and No. 3 Oklahoma a few years ago? Hey, this could be tougher that it looks for the 'Dogs.

11. Kentucky at Louisville — It's a big rivalry, and there's the added interest now that Charlie Strong is the head coach of the Cardinals.

12. South Carolina at Clemson — Again, a huge rivalry game, one that Steve Spurrier wants to win badly.

13. Northwestern at Vanderbilt — The Wildcats can really rock on offense.

So, there you go, a baker's dozen of strong non-conference games in the SEC. In a few days, we'll take a look at the lame side of the league's non-conference schedule.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top