The 10 Best SEC Games of the 2010 Season
Year in, year out, teams from the SEC consistently play the most grueling schedule of any other conference in the nation.
Any road game in the conference is very dangerous regardless of where it is played.
If your team has the misfortune of playing a night game on the road, you can almost kiss away your chances of going undefeated before the first ball is snapped in September.
This year will be no different inside the treacherous SEC.
The conference will feature a couple of outstanding matchups with out-of-conference opponents In addition, the inter-division schedule and traditional rivalries will continue to bolster the reputation of the best football conference in the country.
Here is my list of what should be the 10 best games involving SEC teams this upcoming season.
10. Florida at Tennessee, Sept. 18
John Brantley's first road game as the Gators' starting quarterback will be a difficult one.
Any trip to Tennessee is dangerous, no matter how good, or bad, the Volunteers are playing that season.
If the Volunteers can beat Oregon the week before this date with Florida, the Gators better play their best game if they want to leave with a victory.
9. Alabama at South Carolina, Oct. 9
This game could be seen as the defining game in the career of Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia.
Garcia has been heavily criticized at times by head coach Steve Spurrier, but he can erase any bad memories by having a strong 2010 campaign that includes a win against the Crimson Tide.
Alabama will be coming off a home game against Florida, so they will be guarding closely against a letdown versus the Gamecocks.
8. Arkansas at Georgia, Sept. 18
Georgia head coach Mark Richt is on the hot seat after winning only eight games last season.
A victory over a rising Arkansas team would certainly help erase those memories and give the Bulldogs great momentum into having a strong 2010 campaign.
However, experienced and talented quarterback Ryan Mallet should have a field day inside Sanford Stadium for the Razorbacks.
Mallet led the SEC in passing yards and efficiency last year. Georgia struggled last year on defense, and that will prove to be the difference in a crucial Razorback road win.
7. LSU at Arkansas, Nov. 27
The Battle for the Golden Boot has been incredible over the last three seasons.
The last three games between these two teams have been decided by a grand total of six points.
LSU probably won't be playing for a shot at the West Division title at this time of the year, but they could certainly spoil their rival's chances of getting to Atlanta.
6. Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 26
Although the Iron Bowl is always significant for both Alabama and Auburn, this year's game may also have a big impact on the SEC championship race.
Auburn will be looking to build on the momentum from last year's victory in the Outback Bowl, and they have a favorable schedule to do that.
Although Alabama leads the series, the Tigers have only lost one game in Tuscaloosa over the course of this historic rivalry, which dates back to 1893.
Alabama could potentially be playing for a second consecutive berth in the SEC Championship game, and a victory over their rivals on the day after Thanksgiving would make it a very happy holiday in Tuscaloosa.
5. West Virginia at LSU, Sept. 25
This game will be all about speed on both sides of the ball.
LSU needs a win here to springboard them into the SEC schedule with heavy momentum, but Mountaineer running back Noel Devine will be looking to showcase his skills on the national spotlight.
Fortunately for the Tigers, West Virginia will be starting sophomore quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith has very limited experience, and the atmosphere inside Tiger Stadium this night should rattle the young quarterback enough to give the Tigers a slight edge.
4. Penn St. at Alabama, Sept. 11
A classic rivalry will be renewed this year when the Nittany Lions travel to Alabama.
Both teams will be looking to climb past the other on the all-time victories list, as the Crimson Tide and Nittany Lions have 813 and 811 wins respectively.
Similar to LSU facing West Virginia, the Crimson Tide will be fortunate to be facing a sophomore quarterback with very little experience.
Penn State defeated LSU in the Capitol One Bowl last season, so they can hang with the best of the SEC, but I think the experience and speed of Alabama will be too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome on this night.
3. Florida vs. Georgia, Oct. 30
This year's game in Jacksonville should decide who will be representing the East Division in Atlanta one month later.
Although the Bulldogs will be returning eight starters on offense this year, their problems at the quarterback position will most likely derail any hopes of reaching a BCS bowl game this year.
Fortunately for whoever the Georgia quarterback will be, he will be throwing to one of the nation's best receivers in A.J. Green.
Florida will be in a similar situation with quarterback John Brantley, but in the end I think the Gators will be too talented for the Bulldogs.
2. Florida at Alabama, Oct. 2
In a rematch of last year's SEC title game, the Gators will have to travel to Tuscaloosa for a tremendous regular season game.
I don't believe the Gators will have reloaded enough by this point in the season to steal a win away from the Crimson Tide, but it would be foolish to count them out altogether.
Don't forget, the Gators will certainly be looking for revenge after what happened in Atlanta last season.
Despite whatever emotional edge the Gators will be playing with, the fact remains that they were manhandled by the Crimson Tide last season, and without Tim Tebow this year, they may struggle just as badly.
Look for Julio Jones to steal the spotlight from Mark Ingram on this night, as the Tide roll past Gators once again.
1. Alabama at Arkansas, Sept. 25
This game should by hyped as a pairing of last year's Heisman Trophy winner against this year's Heisman Trophy favorite, Ryan Mallett.
If Mallett can guide the Razorbacks past the Crimson Tide, not only will he be the favorite to win the Heisman, but his team will also be in a great position to possibly run the table en route to an SEC championship.
Standing in the Razorbacks' way will be the defending national champions.
The Crimson Tide will be loaded once again this year, and that kind of depth, experience, and talent should be just enough to overcome whatever the Razorbacks throw at them.