10 can’t-miss games in the SEC for 2019


There will be a game. You know it’s coming. There will be a game you are ready to dismiss now that you will look back on when we get to the SEC Championship Game and say, “You know, that was the game that really changed the conference race.”

But that will be in hindsight, while this is looking ahead. This is trying to figure out the 10 can’t-miss games that will decide which teams reach the SEC Championship Game.

Once they get there, well, who knows what might happen?

But if you were to pick out 10 games to go to, 10 games that will decide the SEC, you wouldn’t go wrong with these 10.

Sept. 14 — Alabama at South Carolina.

It’s early and it could be special. We remember the last trip the Tide made to Columbia, S.C., when the Gamecocks ended Alabama’s 18-game winning streak in 2010. Alabama hasn’t lost a game against an SEC East team since.

Tickets are already going for close to a thousand dollars. That’s how big this game is. If the Gamecocks want to contend in the East, they could send a message with a stunner.

Oct. 5 — Auburn at Florida.

The last time these two teams played in Gainesville, Tim Tebow was a fresh-faced sophomore and Dan Mullen was Florida’s offensive coordinator trying to coach after an emergency appendectomy.

Auburn won then and hasn’t lost to Florida since 2002. Of course, they have played only three times since then. If Auburn is serious about contending in the West, this is a game the Tigers have to win.

Oct. 12 — Alabama at Texas A&M.

The word on the Aggies is that Jimbo Fisher’s second team is good enough to win a championship, but the schedule is brutal. They will already have faced one of the national finalists before getting to this game.

The Tide is already listed as a two-touchdown favorite, but A&M has the talent to make this an interesting day.

Oct. 12 — Florida at LSU.

We know all about the hard feelings between these two teams that have turned this into a true rivalry. This will be Florida’s first trip to Baton Rouge since the Gators’ stunning win in 2016.

If Florida is going to end Georgia’s short run, they probably will have to do what Georgia could not last year — win at LSU.

Nov. 2 — Georgia-Florida.

So now that the SEC is allowing beer sales can we go back to calling it the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party?

The two teams have won the East 19 of the 27 years of divisional play and most of those times the winner of this game has taken Atlanta, including the last four.

Nov. 9 — LSU at Alabama.

The odds are against LSU on the road against a team it can’t beat (eight losses in a row). But LSU thinks it has solved its offensive problems and has a team that can compete anywhere.

The most impressive thing about Bama is that the Tide has to deal with that target every game and handles it.

Nov. 16 — Georgia at Auburn.

Georgia has dominated the South’s oldest rivalry game by winning five of the last six and avenging its only loss during that stretch in the SEC title game. But the last three games in Auburn were two wins and a close loss.

Fans hope this game — this late in the season — will be as big as it looks right now.

Nov. 23 — Texas A&M at Georgia.

OK, so the Aggies get the Bulldogs after a trip to Auburn. But with A&M’s ridiculous schedule, will it have anything left in the tank?

That probably will depend on where they are in the standings. But this game could be even bigger for Georgia as far as the East goes.

Nov. 30 — Texas A&M at LSU.

And then the Aggies turn around and play at LSU. Who made this schedule?

We’ll never forget last year’s seven-OT thriller. Neither will LSU fans.

Can you imagine if things go right for both teams and this game is for a trip to Atlanta? It’s not far-fetched.

Nov. 30 — Alabama at Auburn.

It’s almost a cliche to put this one on here. The West could already be decided by the time these two hated rivals play.

But if it matters, it will be electric at Jordan-Hare. In a perfect world for fans, it will decide the division.


      • Just trying to keep it real, Jaws — living in the great state of Texas gives me a certain knowledge of A&M, who I do happen to root for, as well as Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, and Baylor (the latter being my favorite Big-12 team). Now, if I’m wrong about TAMU then I’ll certainly admit to being a suck egg mule — but I do think they’ve got another year or two before they properly ascend. Same as the Gators. AustinGator may disagree with me on that, but he’s TDY up in Dallas right now and probably not opining until the weekend.

        • Well 6, you’re right about one thing…I am back. Actually I generally agree with your assessment. In the past couple of years, I have built (actually remodels, but still construction) three Layne’s Chicken Fingers restaurants in the DFW area. They were founded in College Station, and I can tell you the guys that own it are not particularly confident with Fisher. (Side note: the dining areas have interwoven gray, maroon (or whatever that color is), and black LVT flooring. I offered them a no-cost upgrade to orange, blue, and white, but they declined). I do think the cocktail party result COULD be pivotal depending on the results of Oct. 5 and Oct. 12. But here is where I disagree…UT will win the Big 12 and be in the big picture.

  1. Some good games for sure. But, I have to disagree on Alabama at South Carolina. I don’t see that one as even being close. I would put any of these ahead of that game:

    Auburn at Texas A&M
    Auburn at LSU
    Florida at Missouri (if Florida is on a roll, a cold November game at Missouri could be huge)

  2. any preseason preview that opens with south carolina, well, all credibility is lost about the article. maybe pat cares about some miracle that will keep champ in coaching or something, champ is a family friend or something irrelevant to the rest of us. the theory that you can pick champ 50 times, he loses 49 without changing, wins one, and you can say i told you so doesn’t work in football, or with most anything in the known universe. other than the gator games, i am curious to see if texas a&m will beat bama, everything else is about the gators. i would put the miami game as special mention, even though it isnt SEC, miami is a true rival that foley tried to erase from memory, for reasons that about as much sense as anything else involving south carolina or champ, and hopefully this series can be restored for the good of college football, a good game would help.

  3. Alabama at South Carolina is on your list? And all because of a game nearly a decade ago, Dooley? Then you do need a break, sir! Well then, using those metrics I have a great ”match up”? Dude, that 1 handed James Jones’ catch from a Peace pass, with Jones falling unto the N.E. end zone pylon to help the Gators beat the ‘Canes makes the Miami/FLA game in ‘O’ town a must see! See, I can do it too! Thanks anyway!
    Go Gators!

  4. Well I guess it is easier to say top ten instead of top 7 or 8. Alabama will face a tough test from LSU and maybe Auburn. T A&M has a pretty tough schedule and Fisher needs time to get everything in place as does Mullen. In the east, Georgia is the team to beat, but SC has some strength as does Florida. The rest is up in the air. The best cross division match ups are UF at LSU (because of the hatred), Georgia and Auburn (same reason), and MAYBE T A&M and Georgia. We will all view the Auburn at Florida match up as a big one because we are Gator fans and Auburn was Florida’s oldest SEC rivalry until the league split. No matter what the match ups are, I will of course always root for my Gators and will root against any team whose win against another opponent could hurt the Gators chances. Go Gators!

    • I for one don’t hate LSU anymore, not since Aleva departed. Honestly, I wouldn’t p*** in that guy’s mouth even if his teeth were on fire. I am glad that Ogeron is doing well tho — except against the Gators. But good analysis, Ocala.

      • LOL I don’t hate Orgeron either but I definitely didn’t like him when he was on Kiffin’s staff. LSU fans are another story but then again I don’t tend to like many teams’ fans as everybody has a sprinkling of crazies in their camp. Thanks -6.

      • Hey 6, sorry my friend but while I reserve my “hate” for sin, (especially my own!) I really can’t stand LSU. I am reasonably confident that God is not a Tiger fan either. Of course, that could include those other Tigers, Auburn. Missouri is OK. Go Gators!!

      • Oh my, this string is good…can’t resist. Ocala, I agree with G-6…good analysis. And to be honest we can all take pride in the fact that fans from opposing schools tend not to love we Gator fans! G-6, I think Ogeron would make a great cartoon character (ok I admit, he is tough to dislike, much less hate). Dan, I totally concur with your first comment. As for the rest, well…I am going to choose to believe that God is a Gator fan!

  5. The only reason to watch Bama eat the chickens is to see Tua shred the invincible Wall of Mush defense and sound the beginning of the end for Mushbrain’s pitiful head coaching career. I predict we will hear the home crowd heartily booing by the end of this game, and the AD offering Mushy Mush a “vote of confidence” as he starts working on buying out the Headless Chicken.

    • …….but for now, the SC AD is “in touch with his inner mush”! 😝

      I do like the guy tho — just wish he were someplace else besides the East. But when all the dust settles in a couple of years, it’s gonna revert to the natural order of things anyway……Florida-Georgia-Tenn in the East, and Alabama in the West.