Like most seasons, the SEC has majority of the marquee matchups that college football fans are interested in. With more teams in the polls, the more relevance, which in the end creates for a better overall game and juicer contest.
The bigger the game is, the more likelihood of ESPN College GameDay showing up and making a scene outside of the stadium before kickoff. Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and the rest of the gang have become iconic with the sport. They also have made every fanbase in the country eager to be one of the places that are lucky enough to host the show on Saturday mornings.
There are plenty of stops the crew will make in the upcoming season, but the SEC will be a conference that has its hand in the cookie jar far too often.
With the schedules broken down and the matchups glanced over, here are the SEC teams that have the best chance of seeing the GameDay crew this year.
Games That Should Be Considered: Oct. 12 vs. Texas A&M; Oct. 19 vs. LSU
Some are going to remain skeptical on whether Ole Miss is a true SEC contender or not.
The 3-5 conference record from last year would quickly tell you that the Rebels are still a year or two away. However, this program can't be that far off with losses to Texas A&M and LSU both by one possession. When you add the fact that the 18 starters returning are the most in the SEC, you have yourself a highly competitive team to work with.
With momentum to build on and one of the best 2013 recruiting classes in the county, Ole Miss clearly has become that trendy team in college football that everybody wants to talk about. Similar to Texas A&M last season, the Rebels could easily catch fire and convince a few more of the naysayers out there.
If this team could jump out to a fast start and head into the home game against Texas A&M without a scratch (a tough win against Alabama would be included), ESPN may have no choice but to jump on the bandwagon and show the Rebels some love.
Games That Should Be Considered: Nov. 16 vs. Florida; Nov. 30 vs. Clemson
South Carolina has two games towards the end of the season that could not only have SEC Championship implications on the line, but national championship hopes.
If Florida continues to make strides under head coach Will Muschamp, the game against the Gators could determine the winner of the SEC. (Of course, we are throwing Georgia in the mix, as well) Not to mention the annual matchup between the SEC rivals always draws attention due to the ties head coach Steve Spurrier has with both universities.
Then you have the rivalry matchup against the Clemson Tigers. What is going to be great about this year’s contest is that both programs are peaking at the right moment. Either could legitimately win its conference, and whether you want to admit it or not, both are dark horses for a shot at a national title.
Williams-Brice Stadium will be rocking for both of these games, and if there is a lot on the line, you can bet there will be an ESPN bus outside.
Games That Should Be Considered: Sept. 28 vs. Ole Miss; Nov. 9 vs. LSU
The home schedule for Alabama really isn't that attractive, but it is Alabama, and there is no way ESPN will turn down the defending champions if presented with the opportunity.
Once again, we are going to give Ole Miss the benefit of the doubt and assume this is an interesting season for the Rebels. If Hugh Freeze and his troops can find a way to knock off Vanderbilt and Texas early on, you have yourself a juicy matchup between two potential undefeated SEC contenders. This may sound like a long shot at the moment, but don't be that guy to rule it out just yet.
Bryant-Denny Stadium is also the place that will host the matchup against Les Miles and the Tigers. A game that has taken on a life of its own, this is a meeting that is watched by the entire country due to what is usually on the line. It may be a while before we label it the “Game of the Century” again, but six of the last seven meetings have been decided by single digits.
It is a good possibility that one of these matchups will earn a GameDay spot.
Games That Should Be Considered: Oct. 12 vs. Florida; Nov. 23 vs. Texas A&M
By the time LSU and Florida meet in the middle of the season, we will have a good idea of where both teams sit as far as championship contenders are concerned. If both have respectable records, or are even undefeated, ESPN is taking a trip to Baton Rouge without question.
Along with what would be on the line, these two powerhouses usually play each other tight, with eight of the last 10 games being decided by less than 14 points.
The game against the Texas A&M Aggies could end up being absolutely huge for the conference and overall picture of college football. Last year’s meeting came down to the wire, and both teams enter the preseason as early predictions to appear in a BCS bowl game.
With this game taking place at the end of the year, both are going to have that matchup with Alabama out of the way. In other words, this could be the deciding factor of who comes out of the SEC West.
If you are a betting man, the odds are in your favor to expect one of these games to be considered a prime-time matchup.
Games That Should Be Considered: Sept. 14 vs. Alabama
Texas A&M doesn't need many games to be considered because the matchup against Alabama will be the one everybody and their sister is talking about. ESPN will be hosting this contest, and that's as guaranteed as Kenny dying in an episode of South Park.
The only team to beat Alabama last year was Texas A&M. Many have the Aggies as the front-runner to win the national championship behind only the Crimson Tide. The team in College Station has earned the respect of college football and happens to have a Heisman quarterback in Johnny Manziel. It is an early matchup that will help set the tone for the rest of the season.
There are endless reasons to watch this game, and the storylines and drama will be overwhelming. This may be the college football matchup of the year, and there is nothing anybody can do to stop ESPN GameDay from showing up.
It is going to be a madhouse down at Kyle Field.