SEC: Four Can’t Miss Games
The SEC’s streak of National Champions came to an end last year, and the conference is out to prove that it is still the elite league in college football. Auburn return their high powered option style offense, Alabama looks to avenge their Iron Bowl disaster, and Missouri, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia will once again lock horns for SEC East supremacy.
4. Missouri at South Carolina, September 27th
Missouri was the surprise team of 2013 and are expecting to regain their dominant form this season. They return QB Maty Mauk who stepped in for the injured James Franklin and won three out of four games. The one he and Mizzou failed to win was against the Gamecocks of South Carolina. The Old Ball Coach Steve Spurrier has to reload his defense, but his squad looks ready to head back to the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2010. Both teams have revenge on their minds in this matchup in Columbia, SC. Mizzou lost just one regular season game and it came at the hands of South Carolina on a short missed field goal in overtime, while the Gamecocks have Missouri to blame for keeping them out of last years conference title game. There are question marks for both teams, but the winner will take control of the East and be well on their way to a huge season.
3. LSU at Auburn, October 4th
One of the first monster games in the SEC West will take place at Jordan Hare Stadium on the campus of Auburn University. LSU’s Tigers were the only team to defeat the Auburn’s Tigers before Auburn eventually fell in the National Title game to Florida State. Auburn went crazy after the game against LSU beating everyone in their way including the back to back miracles against Georgia and Alabama. LSU has to replace Zach Mettenberger at QB, but Les Miles always seems to find a way to stockpile talent from the southern part of the U.S. It’ll be Auburn’s first stiff test of the 2014 campaign and the first real chance to see if SEC defenses will be able to adapt to the Auburn offense. If Auburn avenges their loss to LSU, they are going to be a force to reckon with again in 2014. If LSU wins, the Auburn jig might be up.
2. Mississippi St. at Ole Miss, November 29th
The Egg Bowl is always huge for the state of Mississippi but it hasn’t had quite the same impact on the landscape of college football as a whole. This could year could be the one that changes that. The final game of the regular season for both teams will be played in Oxford where Ole Miss are expected to have one of their biggest years in recent history. The Rebels got on a big of a roll after upsetting LSU, but ended their season on a down note after losing the Egg Bowl to Mississippi St. in OT. The Bulldogs have their hopes set high with Dak Prescott retuning to the helm of one of the more experienced teams in the conference. Odds are this game is ranked way too high on this list, but the prospects look good on both sides, and the Egg Bowl deserves a massive game, so here it is at number two.
1. Auburn at Alabama, November 29th
Oh the hype that will surround this one. From the moment the 2013 Iron Bowl ended on the ridiculous return by Chris Davis Jr., Nick Saban had November 29th curled on his calendar for 2014. Auburn returns a majority of their offense aside from RB Tre Mason, while Alabama is attempting to reload an offense missing its QB, multiple WR’s, and a chunk of the offensive line. However, counting out Saban and the Crimson Tide should almost be a criminal offense. Like last year there is a strong possibility the Iron Bowl will determine a spot in the SEC Championship game. But even if LSU or someone else gets in the way, all signs point to the rematch of a lifetime having a huge impact on at least one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff.