SEC First Glance: ‘Third Saturday In October’ Has Different Feel With Tennessee, Alabama. Bulldogs Looking For Blood At Kentucky

KNOXVILLE- The college football world will be glued in to see if Tennessee can finally get over the elephant hump that is Alabama, while Mississippi State is looking to cause further problems for Kentucky. After a few statement games this past weekend, the SEC is setup for another huge weekend on the national stage.

All of this is led by #3 Alabama traveling to Knoxville for a 3:30 ET showdown with #6 Tennessee, in what is already driving ticket prices through the roof. But, there are certainly a few other games on the schedule that have season implications.

Alabama (-7.5) @ Tennessee

It’s been a while since the ‘Third Saturday In October’ actually meant this much. For the first time since 1989, both teams enter this game undefeated. Tennessee is coming off a dominant performance against LSU, holding the Tigers to just 55 yards rushing, while the Vols offense ran circles around the defense, again. I would say Tennessee fans should take a minute and soak it in, but there isn’t enough time, with another big game on the docket.

As for Alabama, they certainly gave viewers a reason to tune into the Texas A&M game, which came down to the final play in regulation. But, with the most likely return of QB Bryce Young, this team will look much different than what we saw against the Aggies. Certainly the four turnovers didn’t help their cause, but I’d expect this team to be much better against Tennessee, if Bryce plays.

We will have five more days to discuss this game. But for the first time, in a long time, it feels like Tennessee has a great shot at ending the losing streak and beating Alabama. We’ll see how both teams look on the injury front, but this is shaping up to be another electric atmosphere in Knoxville. Pay attention to the spread this week for any movement.

Auburn @ Ole Miss (-15.5)

Could this be the final game for Bryan Harsin at Auburn? After losing to Georgia this past weekend, the upcoming game against Ole Miss will present a major challenge for the Tigers to get a win before the bye-week. After another horrible second half, these problems are most likely going to be the end for the Auburn head coach.

As for Ole Miss, beating Vanderbilt was expected, but the offense seems to be a in a good place right now, especially with Zach Evans looking healthy. Can Jaxson Dart continue putting up solid numbers in the passing department? Yes, while he’s helped out by a nice set of running backs. I think this betting line fits perfectly, with Auburn up against the ropes heading into the bye week after Saturday’s game.

Mississippi State (-7) @ Kentucky

Another impressive performance from Will Rogers against Arkansas this past weekend has the Bulldogs offense clicking. It can be difficult to stop this Mike Leach offense if you can’t pressure the quarterback enough, which the Razorbacks learned the hard way, even without KJ Jefferson. This football team has now beaten Texas A&M and Arkansas in consecutive weeks, so momentum is on Mississippi State’s side.

Kentucky on the other hand dropped a disappointing game against an upbeat South Carolina team. I know, the Wildcats were without QB Will Levis, but they still should’ve beaten the Gamecocks. Credit to Shane Beamer for having a plan and getting the win in Lexington, to the dismay of Kentucky fans hoping to challenge in the SEC East. This line has already jumped one point in the last 24 hours, so pay attention this week. The Cats’ are hoping to have Levis back, but we should know more by mid-week.

LSU @ Florida (-3)

This game has certainly lost its luster, but it’s still a rivalry game for these two fan bases. We’ve seen a number of these Florida-LSU games come down to the fourth quarter, but if the LSU defense doesn’t show up, it could get dicey. The Gators are coming off the 24-17 win over Missouri, where the passing game was absent, with Anthony Richardson and the offense doing the most damage on the ground.

Brian Kelly LSU Florida State Loss Reporter Media Press Conference Joke
LSU head coach Brian Kelly looks on during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Caesars Superdome on September 04, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

If LSU cannot figure out how to fix its offense with Jayden Daniels, this team will struggle for the remainder of the season. It certainly seems as if Daniels is scared to make some throws compared to others, which showed against Tennessee. The 55 yards rushing on 12 attempts won’t win you many ballgames either, so something has to give.

I don’t trust LSU right now, while I think Florida can muster enough offense in the passing game to expose the Tigers secondary, again. The betting line feels right on this one.

Vanderbilt @ Georgia (-38)

Georgia put a beating on Auburn this past weekend, with the offensive rushing attack getting the job done. Heck, even Stetson Bennett got in on the action with a 64-yard rushing touchdown, at the expense of Auburn’s defense. While Vanderbilt played decent early on against Ole Miss, the Rebels offense was too much in the second half. Expect the same in Athens on Saturday, with Georgia wearing down Vanderbilt on the ground and Bennett throwing a few touchdown passes.

I always hate these type of betting lines, so I’d stay away.

Arkansas @ BYU (-2.5)

Arkansas is currently riding a three-game losing streak and the schedule doesn’t get any easier. A trip to Provo will only make things worse if the Razorbacks offense is working with a banged-up KJ Jefferson. This feels like a game where Sam Pittman could get the train back on the tracks, but BYU will present multiple problems for the Arkansas secondary.

We’ve got a big week ahead of College Football, so stay locked into OutKick for the latest news around the country.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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  1. Alabama/Tennessee will only have a different feel if the Vols win. Yes, that sounds incredibly blunt and overly simplistic. But Tennessee has played Alabama close under Saban, then ended up losing. As Dominic Toretto says, winning is winning. And Tennessee hasn’t won against Alabama in the last 16 years

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