Missouri Football: SEC Opener vs. UGA Is More Intriguing Than A&M vs. Florida
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While July 1 may be a monumental day in the history of Texas A&M and Missouri, September 8 will be bigger.
The two SEC newcomers are official members of the nation's toughest football conference now, but it won't seem like it until they each hosts its first conference football game on September 8.
Which game is bigger?
The SEC ran a poll on its website over the weekend, and Florida at Texas A&M dominated Georgia at Missouri, according to fan vote.
Nothing against Florida and Texas A&M. There's still plenty of intrigue in that matchup. But both of those teams are still at least a year (and probably more in Texas A&M's case) away from contending for division titles.
That could change in the case of Florida, specifically because of the Georgia/Missouri game, and that's why it's the more intriguing of the SEC openers for the newcomers.
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The Georgia at Missouri game carries major implications for the SEC East, particularly now that Georgia will have several defensive starters suspended, and it recently dismissed co-starting running back Isaiah Crowell—last season's Associated Press SEC Freshman of the Year.
Georgia is likely the preseason favorite in the SEC East, but South Carolina could make an argument that it's more talented than the Bulldogs. The reason that Georgia is the preseason favorite is the fact that it won't play Alabama, LSU or Arkansas out of the SEC West. South Carolina, meanwhile, will play at LSU and host Arkansas.
If any SEC team can upset Georgia, it throws the entire SEC East up for grabs. Considering all of the question marks facing Georgia early in the season, Missouri is the most likely team on the schedule to do that.
Which game intrigues you more?
Well, it's simple.
Georgia will be without cornerback Sanders Commings in Week 2, and linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety Bacarri Rambo are also facing suspensions to start the season.
That's bad news considering that Georgia will be going up against dual-threat quarterback James Franklin, the wide receiver duo of T.J. Moe and Dorial Green-Beckham and a rushing attack that finished ninth in the country in rushing offense last season (244 yards per game).
Granted, Henry Josey had a lot to do with that rushing success, and he's likely out for the year. But Kendial Lawrence beat out Josey to open last season, though he lost the spot due to injury.
Both of the SEC openers for the newcomers will be interesting to watch. There will be a lot of hype on both campuses, and Florida and Georgia both provide tough tests. But the Missouri's game versus Georgia could have major conference implications, and that's why it's the more intriguing of the two.
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