Let’s be honest- this college football season is going to be weird. But along with its weirdness comes an interesting challenge for teams around the SEC. For the first time in many of our lives, teams like Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia will only be playing SEC teams. That’s why I am ranking the top five games of the upcoming SEC conference-only schedule that I can’t wait to watch:

Honorable Mention: Mississippi State Bulldogs @ Ole Miss Rebels- How can you not want to watch this game?? Every year this game is one of the top rivalry games of the year. Then along with the actual game, you have hijinks like players pretending to pee on goal posts and a golden egg trophy?

Now you add two amazingly interesting first-year head coaches in Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss and Mike Leach with State. Already we’ve seen joking between the two over social media and in person at a summit in Mississippi earlier this summer. Regardless of the score, this year’s Egg Bowl will be one for the ages.

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5: #11 Auburn Tigers @ #4 Georgia Bulldogs- The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is consistently one of the best games of the year in the SEC. In recent years, Georgia has come out with a win, but now that the Bulldogs face an important quarterback battle, it might be the Tigers’ time to shine.

Along with a great defense full of returning starters, quarterback Bo Nix provides the Tigers with a young, but exciting opportunity to score. I expect this one to be a shootout despite two great defenses.

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4: #4 Georgia Bulldogs @ #3 Alabama Crimson Tide- These two teams are more alike than you might think. The biggest similarity is the quarterback decision- while ’Bama fans are split on the Mac Jones-Bryce Young debate, the Bulldogs face a huge decision between Jamie Newman and former Trojan J.T. Daniels.

In recent history, this rivalry between the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs has been intense, but entirely one-sided. Like the past few matchups, expect this game to be close.

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3: #8 Florida Gators @ #13 Texas A&M Aggies- Hear me out: Florida and Texas A&M are both great teams that will make waves in the SEC this year.

Senior Aggies’ quarterback Kellen Mond has had an interesting career, While Mond puts up good numbers (20 TDs, 9 INT in ‘19), he lacks the most important stat- wins. It seems like Texas A&M can’t get over the hump, but in a weird year like 2020, anything is possible.

The same can be said for Kyle Trask and the Florida Gators. In 2019, Trask threw for 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions, but the Gators have had to face the monster that has been the Georgia Bulldogs. Now that UGA might be having an off-year, Florida is ready to aim for their spot. This matchup, between two teams that have shots at big seasons, will be one you don’t want to miss.

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2: #11 Auburn Tigers @ #3 Alabama Crimson Tide- Isn’t this one obvious? If you are from Alabama, like most of you reading are, you know what this game means. This year, the Iron Bowl is in Tuscaloosa which gives a slight advantage to the Crimson Tide, but with rumors that no fans will be in the stands, how much will this help ‘Bama?

Last year, backup quarterback Mac Jones had a monstrous game, but two bad interceptions led to an Auburn home victory. This is why this year’s matchup is so interesting to me. After Jones and Tigers’ quarterback, Bo Nix has had significant playing time, both players will look more established and poised for the game. In addition, after seeing rivalry games like Ohio State-Michigan and USC-UCLA being moved to different weeks within the season, there is a chance that we could be seeing a September or October Iron Bowl.

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1: #5 LSU Tigers @ #8 Florida Gators- This is the top game that I’m looking forward to this season. After winning a national championship in January, which seems like ages ago, the Bayou Bengals are going to be facing a big test with four top-25 teams, with this game shining above the others. While the Alabama-LSU game is in Death Valley this year, the Tigers will have to travel to The Swamp for this game.

Florida is my pick to win the SEC East, and under the leadership of Kyle Trask, I think that they will be a force to be reckoned with. That being said, I do not think LSU will be as good as last year after the departure of offensive coordinator Joe Brady and Heisman winner Joe Burrow. This means that game that was already going to be close will add serious championship implications. Expect a low-scoring game- LSU will have a new QB1 in town, while the Gators’ offense will have to compete with a strong Tiger defense.

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While the official schedule and dates haven’t been released yet, these games have been announced as official matchups for the 2020 season. Cross-divisional games were announced last Friday, and since then the SEC has announced that schedules should be coming sometime in the next two weeks.

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