If you’re a fan of an SEC team, chances are you know where you’re going to be on fall Saturdays. But what if you were given the chance to go to any game involving an SEC team each week of the season? That’s the scenario we envisioned for the ultimate SEC road trip.
College football reporters Edward Aschoff and Sam Khan Jr. take their picks of which game they would attend, if given the choice of any involving an SEC team, each week this season. Today, we look at the October games:
Aschoff: Alabama at Texas A&M — The last time Alabama was in College Station, the Crimson Tide ran the Aggies out of their own stadium with a 41-23 win. Things look a little different for both teams, but Alabama should still be a heavy favorite. Still, this is an SEC West road game against an A&M team that is a total mystery in 2017.
Khan: LSU at Florida — You know there will still be some bad blood lingering between these teams after the 2016 drama involving their rescheduled game (Florida made sure to let LSU know it hasn’t forgotten). And these are two good teams that should be right in the thick of their division races at midseason.
Aschoff: Auburn at LSU — Last year, this game was for the jobs of Les Miles and Gus Malzahn. Malzahn escaped and now has a team receiving SEC West championship hype. If Auburn is going to win the West — or at least be there at the end with Alabama — it has to win this game. Death Valley won’t be kind to these Tigers.
Khan: Texas A&M at Florida — Not ideal to go to the same place two weeks straight, but this looks like one of the better cross-division games on the schedule this year. The last time these teams met, it was A&M’s first SEC game (and the introduction to Johnny Manziel) in 2012. Both should be good teams in 2017.
Aschoff: LSU at Ole Miss — Sure, a football game will be played, but this is all about the tailgating. You get two of the best tailgating fan bases together in the best tailgating spot in America, the Grove. You’ll mix chandeliers with gumbo when these two bitter rivals get together. Even better, the fans will compete to see who can out-cook the other.
Khan: Tennessee at Alabama — Yes, Alabama has dominated the Third Saturday in October in the last decade, but this is still a notable SEC rivalry game. It’s a game worth taking in, particularly on a week when not all the SEC teams are in action (only five games involving league teams in Week 8).
Aschoff: Florida vs. Georgia, EverBank Field (in Jacksonville, Florida) — One of the game’s best rivalries, this one could — and should — decide the SEC East. Georgia is the early favorite, but Florida has won the East in back-to-back years. Will Jacob Eason be at elite status come late October? And will Florida have a working offense?
Khan: Tennessee at Kentucky — You can’t beat Florida-Georgia in Week 9, and I’d definitely pick that, but in the spirit of avoiding redundancy, this one might be a good choice. Kentucky returns a ton of talent from a bowl team and might make some noise in the SEC East. While Tennessee lost a lot from its talented 2016 squad, the Vols still have a solid roster with the recruiting Butch Jones has done and should still be a factor in the division. This could be an interesting game.