Surviving the bye: TV guide

Florida fans will have their first weekend without the Gators on television this weekend. However, there are still plenty of entertaining games that justify spending your Saturday on the couch. The rematch between Alabama and Texas A&M stole the headlines, but other Southeastern Conference teams have intriguing games this weekend.

Louisville at Kentucky (ESPN, 12 p.m.): The day starts with a rivalry game on national television. Mark Stoops has reenergized the Kentucky football program with his recruiting, but it hasn't translated to the field yet. The Wildcats are 1-1, suffering a loss to Western Kentucky in the first week of the season.

The Cardinals have an easy schedule, and there's an argument to be made that the Kentucky game is one of the toughest games on their schedule. Teddy Bridgewater should have his way with the Kentucky defense. It could be close to start as the Wildcats will be playing on emotion, but once that is gone, expect the Cardinals to blow it open.

Alabama at Texas A&M (CBS, 3:30 p.m.): This game was the talk of the offseason, and the Florida bye week works out perfectly so that everyone can watch it. Nick Saban doesn't handle losing well. After Florida beat the Crimson Tide in the 2008 SEC title game, Saban spent the offseason game planning for Tim Tebow and the Gators.

A player like Johnny Manziel demands similar treatment. After running through the Alabama defense on his way to earning the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman, Manziel now faces an Alabama that heard all offseason about its struggles with him. The Crimson Tide should be able to move the ball, but the matchup to watch is Manziel vs. the Alabam defense.

Tennessee at Oregon (ABC, 3:30 p.m.): It's unfortunate that this game is at the same time as Alabama-Texas A&M. This weekend will provide answers about the Volunteers, who head to the west coast with a 2-0 record. The Gators will be resting and recovering while Tennessee faces one of the toughest offenses in the country. The Florida offense isn't close to capable of doing what Oregon can, but Saturday will provide answers about the Volunteers on defense.

The stretch of Tennessee is at the line of scrimmage, specifically on the offensive line. It's a veteran group that should be able to open holes in the run game. The experienced Oregon defense will show whether that's a fluke or if the Volunteers are as tough as expected on the line.

Vanderbilt at South Carolina (ESPN, 7 p.m.): The Gamecocks look to get back on track after losing at Georgia last weekend. Vanderbilt presents a stiff challenge for the week after an emotional rivalry. Head coach James Franklin has changed things in Nashville, and they're still looking for a marquee win under him. Don't be surprised to see Vanderbilt keep this game close and potentially even have a chance to win it in the fourth quarter.

The expectations in Columbia were at an all-time high a week ago. With a win over Georgia, South Carolina would've been in position to run the table with ease until the Florida game in November. The Gamecocks have to regroup and continue their strong season with a deep roster and easy schedule.

Ole Miss at Texas (LHN, 8 p.m.): The Rebels have a chance to deliver another big blow to the Longhorns. Ole Miss showcased its strong freshman class on the opening Thursday night of the college football season in a road win over Vanderbilt, and they'll lean on those young players again as they hit the road to Austin.

Mack Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz after the unit was torched by BYU on the ground. Greg Robinson takes over as the new defensive coordinator, with some Longhorns players saying over the week of practice that they had to teach Robinson some parts of the defense. It's not exactly the most encouraging news from Austin -- not that it's anything new around the Texas program.

Showing this on the Longhorn Network keeps a large number of the country from viewing it, and that could make Texas fans happy by the time the game ends.

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