Great Weekend in SEC Football Set

There are lots of good games around the Southeastern Conference this week, but this time ours is the one that matters most.



The college football nation will be watching this week to see if Arkansas can do anything to knock Bama off its stride in Fayetteville Saturday at 2:30 CT. Alabama will be on CBS's national broadcast for the first of what will surely be many times this year, and color commentator Gary Danielson and the rest of the national college football punditry will be looking, even if Arkansas doesn't win, to see if they can expose some potential weakness in the Tide for future opponents to try to exploit.

Particularly, opinion-makers across the country will be interested in seeing if a prolific passer like Ryan Mallet in a sophisticated Bobby Petrino passing system can give the Alabama defense trouble. The Tide secondary is young and the front seven of Bama's defense hasn't yet kept quarterbacks on the run as much as it did last year. So, the big question will likely not be whether Alabama is a better team than Arkansas, but whether the Alabama defense of 2010 is as good as the Alabama defense of 2009.

There will be a handful of other outstanding match-ups in the SEC, too. Unless you give Florida an abundance of reputational credit for past years' success, you have to say South Carolina is the front runner to win the SEC East. They can run the ball and play a little defense. With these two assets, Steve Spurrier begins to look like a wizard quarterbacks coach and play caller as well. They go to Auburn, which had to rely on Devine intervention to beat Clemson last week. Which team will God be pulling strings for when the Gamecocks and Tigers play on ESPN Saturday night at 6:45 p.m. CT?

Georgia and head coach Mark Richt faces a do-or-die game at Starkville, Miss. against Mississippi State. If Richt loses, the call for major, MAJOR changes at UGA will be louder than the cowbells inside Davis Wade Stadium Saturday night. That game is on Fox Sports Net and ESPN3.com at 6 p.m. CT.

Kentucky versus Florida kicks off at the same time as the UGA-MSU game. Some are proclaiming that Kentucky is a real contender in the SEC East this year, and they have put up better numbers than Florida in getting out to a 3-0 start. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium will be on Upset Alert when this one gets underway. ESPNU will televise the game.

There are also a couple of potentially great out-of-conference games. LSU hosts West Virginia at 8 p.m. CT. The Tigers are still trying to find an identity and might be tested by 3-0 West Virginia. That game will be televised by ESPN2. Ole Miss has already demonstrated it is (probably) the worst team in the SEC, and now they host Fresno State. Will Ole Miss pick itself up off the mat after losing to Vanderbilt, or will Fresno kick the Rebs while they're down? Tune into CSS at 6:30 CT Saturday night to find out.

Last, and certainly of least interest on Saturday, is UAB at Tennessee. UAB pulled a HUGE upset against, wait for it… Troy, last week, and dreams of knocking off the Vols in Neyland Stadium Saturday morning starting at 11:21 Central time. Even if they do it won't be saying much. The Vols are 1-2 and couldn't really hang in against a less-than-great Florida last week. That game is on SEC Network TV and ESPN3.com.

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