Florida-UT Not the Best Game this Weekend

Can you remember the last time the Tennessee-Florida game early in the college football season wasn't the biggest game of the week for Southeastern Conference football fans? That might be the case this weekend.



There will be plenty of good SEC games to choose among Saturday before, during and after you watch Alabama easily take care of Duke.

Consider the stakes in Athens, Ga. this weekend when Arkansas travels to Sanford Stadium to face the Bulldogs. After losing to South Carolina last week, Georgia desperately needs to beat Arkansas to avoid an 0-2 start and keep its hopes of winning the SEC Eastern Division realistic. They face Arkansas, which has its first opportunity to show people whether it is a real contender or just a pretender.

Arkansas has allowed only 10 points this season and has an average 32.5-point margin of victory in its first two games. The Razorbacks are second only to Alabama in both categories. However, the impressive numbers have come against less-than-impressive competition. The Hogs opened with Tennessee Tech and last week's win came against Louisiana-Monroe. An Arkansas win over Georgia would put the Hogs at 3-0 and make the Bama-Arkansas game in Fayetteville the following week the talk of the nation.

Georgia and Arkansas play at 11 a.m. Central time Saturday on ESPN.

Meanwhile, Florida and Tennessee have each looked pretty pathetic in the first two weeks both on and off the field. Florida had trouble exchanging the snap from center to quarterback against Miami (Ohio) and let USF take a 7-7 tie into halftime before winning 38-14. To add to the Gator troubles, Florida running-back-turned-receiver Chris Rainey was arrested Monday night for allegedly threatening a girlfriend via text message.

Tennessee has fared even worse than Florida. Yes, the Vols looked impressive in their 50-0 win over Tennessee-Martin in week one, but last week the Vols' record was soiled with a 48-13 whippin' put on them by Oregon. Tennessee actually led early, but got run out of its own stadium by the nation's second-best scoring offense. Away from the field (but not too far away from it), Tennessee apparently lacked the shower discipline to wash those hard-to-reach parts, and presumably to get dates as well.

The loser of the Florida-Tennessee game Saturday will be on the trailing end of what could shape up to be a four team race to win the SEC East among South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia. It would not be a surprise to see the SEC East race go down to the wire.

The Vols and Gators play at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville at 2:30 Central time Saturday on CBS.

There are more than two interesting looking games on the schedule in the SEC this weekend, however. Mississippi State playing at LSU could be entertaining in a "Bloopers and Practical Jokes" sort of way. LSU coach Les Miles flirted with the idea of going back to Jarrett Lee at quarterback after Jordan Jefferson had a poor first half against Vanderbilt, and Mississippi State has already tried two quarterbacks and neither came close to getting the job done against Auburn last week.

That game is at 6 Central on ESPNU while Clemson at Auburn, another potentially entertaining out-of-conference contest, is on ESPN at the same time.


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