SEC First Glance: Heavyweight Fight Between Tennessee-Georgia, Saban vs. Kelly On The Bayou, Chaos In College Station

The top-two teams in the country will battle it out in Athens on Saturday, with the college football world looking on. But, this isn’t the only matchup to keep your eye on in the SEC.

Down on the Bayou, Brian Kelly will get his first taste of the LSU-Alabama rivalry, as the Tide heads to Death Valley for a game under the lights. Around the conference, Jimbo Fisher is trying to save the Titanic, while Florida is hoping to sink the Aggies ship in College Station.

Tennessee @ Georgia (-8.5): Heavyweight Title Fight In Athens

Here we go. For the first time since since 2019, the top-two teams in the country will battle in the regular season. This is only the second time in the past 10 seasons that this type of matchup has taken place. Georgia and Tennessee are both heading down the path of the College Football Playoffs, with Saturday’s game likely determining the SEC East champion.

Hendon Hooker #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

GAME OF THE CENTURY IS ON

The two styles of offense are opposites, which makes this game intriguing. The Vols high-pace package, led by Hendon Hooker, will collide with a more traditional offense led by Stetson Bennett. How Georgia decides to defend the Tennessee receiving group will be entertaining, as most teams have struggled. On the other hand, Georgia will look to Brock Bowers and a talented running back group to make life miserable for the Vols defense.

It should be noted that Kirby Smart said that Nolan Smith’s status for this week does not look good, as he’s dealing with a pec muscle injury.

Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The game should live up to the hype. Can either team slowdown the other or should we prepare for a shootout in Athens? Time will tell, but this one has the feel of a heavyweight title fight and I can’t wait to see the outcome. Watch the betting line through the week.

Alabama (-13.5) @ LSU: SEC Saturday Night In Death Valley

Nick Saban and Brian Kelly will meet on the bayou Saturday night in Death Valley. Getting Alabama at night should make things interesting for LSU, who have played much better on offense lately. As for the Tide, after the week off, I’d expect a healthy group in Baton Rouge.

Can the Tigers prevent quarterback Bryce Young from picking them apart in the pocket? I would think LSU brings a lot of blitz packages, making the Alabama quarterback uncomfortable.

LSU’s Brian Kelly Will Get His First Taste Of The Alabama Rivalry.

What happens with the Alabama defense? After giving up a chunk of yards to Hendon Hooker, we know that LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels will try and make the Tide’ defense uncomfortable outside the pocket. This game is setting up to be a Western division eliminator, with both teams controlling their own destiny. It will be a rowdy Saturday night in Death Valley under the lights. I like this spread at the moment.

Florida @ Texas A&M (3.5): Gators Looking To Add To Misery

There isn’t much to say here besides the Jimbo Fisher train has fallen off the tracks and Florida is looking to keep it that way. In no way should the Aggies be in this spot, but Ole Miss made life miserable for them this past weekend. Can the Gators Anthony Richardson expose the Texas A&M defense with his play outside the pocket? Billy Napier is sure going to try.

LANE KIFFIN MAKES JOKE ABOUT JIMBO FISHER

Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This feels like a game where the Gators go into College Station and continue warming the seat up for Jimbo. Yes, Florida is coming off the loss to Georgia, but the Aggies are taking on water, with no signs of a rescue boat. Connor Weigman will get the start at quarterback, hoping to build off his first start for Texas A&M, but I don’t know if this is enough. Everything about this Aggie team feels off and the Gators need a win. I like the betting odds for Florida right now, but ask me later in the week.

Liberty @ Arkansas (-14): Razorbacks Can Put Out The Flame

Hugh Freeze returns to the SEC again, this time facing Arkansas. I don’t know if his Liberty Flames can hang with the Razorbacks, but we’ve seen crazier things happen. I do think KJ Jefferson and Rock Sanders have another nice game with the one-two punch out of the backfield. This will cause Liberty to flame out in the second half.

Other Games Of Note In SEC

Kentucky heads to Missouri, coming off the clubbing by Tennessee. As for Missouri, going to South Carolina and grabbing a win was huge for Eli Drinkwitz. Can the Tigers take advantage of the wounded Wildcats? I am starting to think they can.

Auburn hiring Mississippi State’s athletic director John Cohen on Monday certainly makes this game intriguing. The on-field product will be a different story. The Tigers are in shambles after firing coach Bryan Harsin, so now we’ll see how these players respond.

South Carolina heads to Vanderbilt after dropping a game to Missouri. Can this Gamecock team rebound or is Shane Beamer walking into a trap? After winning four straight, South Carolina’s offense looked terrible against Missouri. Can Vandy take advantage?

A critical Saturday awaits in the East and West division as the race towards a SEC Championship heats up.

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. Ags taking on water with no sign of a rescue boat? Did you not see the new QB lighting it up for over 300 yards 3 TD’s and no pics? True freshman of the week and the highest graded true freshman QB performance of the year in his first start.

    Seriously I think you hacks write bullcrap without even watching the games. You are too busy glorifying stupid comments from Kiffin to do any analysis.

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