Auburn at Alabama
The last time these two teams met, Chris Davis had his 15 minutes of fame after returning a missed Alabama field goal for a game-winning touchdown and helping Auburn leapfrog into the national title game. A year later, the stakes aren’t exactly the same, but the drama should be similar. Auburn has dropped off a bit with losses to Mississippi State and Georgia and then literally fumbling the game away against Texas A&M. Alabama, on the other hand, will be looking for revenge against the team that knocked it out of the national title game last year. Despite a close loss at Ole Miss, the Crimson Tide have run through the SEC West gauntlet and have put themselves in a position to get into the playoffs. These teams are headed in different directions, but this is the Iron Bowl, which is always must-watch television.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss
The stakes aren’t nearly as high as we thought they might be in October, but this should still be a great game between two rivals. Mississippi State still has a shot to make the top four for the playoffs, and a win over Ole Miss would be a big résumé builder. Bulldog junior quarterback Dak Prescott remains a Heisman candidate after throwing for 2,714 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. Ole Miss, on the other hand, is heading in the wrong direction after a promising start to the season. The Rebels knocked off Alabama but then lost to LSU, Auburn and Arkansas. Senior quarterback Bo Wallace has been less than stellar the past four games, with only five touchdown passes and four picks. Still, this game is in the national spotlight for the first time in quite some time and is well worth a watch.
Florida at Florida State
On the surface, this doesn’t seem like much of a matchup. Florida has seemingly dropped off the face of the college football landscape along with former head coach Will Muschamp, and Florida State has won 27 games in a row. But there are a lot of unknowns in this rivalry game. Florida could be inspired by its coach’s last game and come out like world beaters, similar to what it did to Georgia a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, Florida State has made a habit of struggling against lesser teams in the first half and barely pulling out a win at the very end. No, this isn’t the Gator-Seminole rivalry of old, but it’s suddenly all the rage to see if this is the week Florida State finally falls.
Georgia Tech at Georgia
This could be the most underrated rivalry matchup this week, which says a lot considering both teams come into the game ranked pretty high. Georgia Tech has quietly worked its way through a tough schedule and put an exclamation point on it with a 28-6 win over then-No. 19 Clemson. Meanwhile, Georgia has at times looked like a national championship contender, with wins over Missouri and Auburn, but looked mediocre in the loss to Florida. Still, the Bulldogs need this win to stay alive in the race for the SEC East title. At any rate, this is a game that deserves to be watched.