For the first three weeks of the 2020 season, let’s be honest; it has not felt like college football is actually here. Sure we are still watching plenty of games, because it’s college football and that’s what college football fans do. However, only two Power 5 conferences saw the field so far heading into Week 4.
Thank you to the ACC and the Big 12, but the SEC will take it from here. The conference’s 10-game schedule gets going on Saturday with plenty of ranked teams competing. Louisville squaring off against Miami was fun last weekend, but that’s just an appetizer for what we’ll see this Saturday.
The best game
For the best game of the weekend and possibly the best game of the season so far in 2020, let’s go with No. 23 Kentucky heading on the road to play No. 8 Auburn at noon ET on SEC Network. The Wildcats have established themselves as being a respectable football program and should be past the “wait till basketball season” joke. If they want to keep their seat at the big boy table, a road win over a top-10 Auburn team would do wonders especially coming into the year without last season’s one-man offense Lynn Bowden Jr.
For Auburn, Gus Malzahn’s teams are about as wildcard as they come. Bo Nix is heading into his second season, and the college football community still has mixed feelings about him. Can he win a big game for the Tigers, or is the ceiling a bit limited as far as his potential as an SEC quarterback? We will learn a lot about both teams in their season openers.
Auburn comes into this game favored by seven points according to DraftKings Sportsbook with the point total set at 49.5.
LSU and Mississippi State is too high-profile of a game to be labeled as a sleeper, but one under-the-radar game worth taking a look at on Saturday will also appear on SEC Network. The No. 16 Tennessee Volunteers are headed on the road to play the South Carolina Gamecocks as 3.5-point favorites.
This game features a pair of teams that appear to be headed in opposite directions. It sure looked like Tennessee turned a corner midway through the second season under Jeremy Pruitt. The Volunteers started 1-4 but won seven of their last eight games including six in a row. In addition, Tennessee made plenty of solid moves in recruiting this offseason, and the fan base should be excited for the future.
On the other side, there’s not a whole lot to be excited about right now if you’re a South Carolina fan. The Gamecocks’ win total dropped their last two seasons including a 4-8 year in 2019. It remains to be seen how the coaching carousel will operate in the middle of a pandemic with budget issues for athletic departments, but Will Muschamp’s seat would be scorching in a normal season.
Sure we could go with some of the smaller schools nobody has any interest in. There are a few games between low-level FBS against FCS opponents. Friday night’s game between Middle Tennessee and UTSA certainly should receive an honorable mention, but we’re sticking in the conference where it just means more. And Vanderbilt is heading on the road to play No. 10 Texas A&M is the worst game of the weekend.
The Aggies are 30.5-point favorites, which is the highest spread in a game among two FBS teams this weekend. Just how unimportant is this game? In the conference’s opening weekend welcoming back its proud football prowess, the SEC is tossing this game on its network’s alternate channel Saturday night. I understand quite a bit goes into the scheduling process, but UTEP and Louisiana-Monroe is appearing on ESPN2. Troy vs. BYU is on ESPN. UCF vs. East Carolina is on ABC.
Through all the matchups, Texas A&M against Vanderbilt can be seen by few on the SEC Alternate channel. The Aggies may have the spread covered by halftime. Find something else to watch on Saturday night.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.