The top game should be epic
The SEC did not produce the 2018 national champion, but the league is still the best in college football. And as usual, there is no shortage of compelling games on the schedule this fall.
Alabama remains the team to beat in the West Division, but the Crimson Tide will be challenged by LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. Georgia is the pick in the East, but watch out for Florida, which is gaining ground under Dan Mullen. The Florida-Georgia games in the upcoming years should be epic.
Here is our list of the top 15 games involving SEC Team on the 2019 college football schedule.
1. LSU at Alabama, Nov. 9
It’s still must-see TV, but LSU needs to break through against the Crimson Tide at some point. The Tigers have scored a total of 10 points in the last three meetings.
Fun fact: Both teams have been ranked in the AP top 25 at the time of the game in each of the past 13 meetings (including the 2011 BCS title game). In six of those games, both teams were ranked in the top 10.
2. Georgia vs. Florida, Nov. 2 (Jacksonville)
This could emerge as the game of the year in the SEC over the next decade. These two programs are poised to dominate the East Division.
Fun fact: Florida has not topped 200 yards passing against Georgia in any of the past seven games. The Gators have thrown for fewer than 100 yards twice in that span.
3. Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 30
This will always be one of the biggest games on the college football schedule, and its magnitude increases when both teams are in the national title hunt. We are confident Alabama will do its part. The ball is in your court, Gus.
Fun fact: Alabama has been ranked first or second nationally in 10 of the last 11 meetings in the series. In 2010, Alabama was ranked ninth and dropped a 28–27 decision to second-ranked Auburn — the eventual national champs.
4. Florida at LSU, Oct. 12
The intensity in this annual East vs. West clash has been ratcheted up since the two schools quarreled about relocating the 2016 game due to Hurricane Matthew.
Fun fact: Dan Mullen has now won two straight games against LSU for the first time in his career. Mullen’s 2017’s Mississippi State team pounded LSU 37–7 in Starkville, and his first Florida team beat the Tigers 27–19 in Gainesville last fall.
5. Georgia at Auburn, Nov. 16
This figures to be the toughest road trip for Georgia, which plays only three true road games in SEC play (Vanderbilt and Tennessee are the others) and also visits Georgia Tech.
Fun fact: Georgia has dominated this series since the mid-2000s — 11 wins in the last 14 games — but is only 2–3 in its last five trips to Auburn.
6. Texas A&M at Georgia, Nov. 23
The Aggies’ brutal 2019 schedule features four games against teams ranked in the top 10 in the Athlon Sports preseason rankings. A&M closes with road games at Georgia and LSU.
Fun fact: Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, yet this will be the first time the Aggies and Bulldogs have played while in the same league.
7. Alabama at Texas A&M, Oct. 12
Alabama handled Texas A&M with relative ease in Jimbo Fisher’s first season with the Aggies. This year’s game should be more competitive.
Fun fact: Texas A&M has been ranked higher than Alabama in only two of 11 games in the all-time series: In January 1942, 18th-ranked Alabama upset second-ranked Texas A&M 29–21 in the Cotton Bowl; and in 2015, the 10th-ranked Tide beat the ninth-ranked Aggies 41–23 in College Station.
8. Texas A&M at LSU, Nov. 30
This game should have significant ramifications in the SEC West race — or at least the battle for second place behind Alabama. A win by A&M would indicate that Jimbo Fisher’s program is ahead of schedule.
Fun fact: LSU had only 90 offensive plays in last year’s 74–72 seven-overtime loss at Texas A&M. Wake Forest (for a random example) had 90-plus snaps in four separate games in regulation last season.
9. LSU at Texas, Sept. 7
This might be the most important non-conference game on the 2019 college football schedule. The winner will be included — at least temporarily — in the discussion for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Fun fact: Both schools pursued Tom Herman following the 2017 season. Herman chose Texas — adding a little spice to this already intriguing showdown.
10. Notre Dame at Georgia, Sept. 21
It’s the return game from Georgia’s 2017 trip to Notre Dame, a 20–19 Bulldog win that served as the unofficial arrival of Kirby Smart’s program as a legitimate national power.
Fun fact: Georgia will be the sixth SEC venue Notre Dame has visited, joining Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
11. Tennessee at Florida, Sept. 21
Jeremy Pruitt needs to show progress in Year 2 in Knoxville. A win at Florida in Week 4 would be a sign things are headed in the right direction.
Fun fact: Both teams were ranked at the time of this game every season from 1990 through 2007. That has been the case only four times since, in 2007, 2012, 2016 and 2107 — and only once in those four games were both teams ranked in the top 20 (’16).
12. Texas A&M at Clemson, Sept. 7
SEC fans might never shut up if the Aggies can find a way to knock off Trevor Lawrence and the defending national champs in Death Valley.
Fun fact: The three SEC teams that Clemson played last season combined to average 7.0 yards per play; the Tigers’ other 15 opponents averaged 3.4 yards per play.
13. Auburn vs. Oregon, Aug. 31 (Arlington)
The big question for Auburn heading into the opener: Who will start at quarterback (and will that QB get all of the snaps)?
Fun fact: Auburn is 6–2 all-time against Pac-12 schools, with two wins over Washington State and one apiece over Oregon State, Oregon, USC and Washington. Both losses came against USC.
14. Florida at Missouri, Nov. 16
This could be a bigger-than-expected game in the SEC title chase, especially if Georgia stubs its toe along the way.
Fun fact: Missouri is 4–3 against Florida since joining the SEC and has won the last two in the series by a combined score of 83–33.
15. Ole Miss at Mississippi State, Nov. 28
It’s not the biggest rivalry in college football, but it might be the most heated. These two teams — and especially the fans — simply do not like each other.
Fun fact: The road team has won four straight in the series.