Week four of college football is here, and this means we are inching ever closer to weekends filled with all SEC vs SEC matchups. Some teams are opening conference play this week, and others have a little more non-conference business to take care of. Here are the five best games this weekend and where to watch.
#5. Vanderbilt @ Alabama 2
6:30 CT, September 24, 2022, on SEC Network
After game one, it seemed like Vandy had a QB in Mike Wright. Then, against Wake Forest he was benched after The Dores gave up three turnovers. AJ Swann came in and held his own in relief, and then proceeded to throw four Touchdowns against Northern Illinois. It would seem, again, that Vandy has found a QB. Well, welcome to the SEC Freshman! Your next stop is Tuscaloosa, Alabama. To Vanderbilt and Clark Lea’s credit, they are 3-1 and off to their best start since 2017. They will look to retain some momentum coming out of this game against The Crimson Tide that are once again up with the elites of College Football, led by Heisman winner Bryce Young.
#4. Tulsa @ Ole Miss 16
3:00 CT, September 24, 2022, on SEC Network
This is a tune up game for Lane Kiffin and The Rebels before they get into conference play against Kentucky next week, in what should be a great matchup. However, when you look at this Tulsa team, it stands out how effective their offense is. They have scored 38 points or more in every game this season, and the Golden Hurricane QB already has over 1,000 yards passing through three games. We will see how The Rebels’ defense tries to stop this high powered offense Saturday afternoon.
#3. Missouri @ Auburn
11:00am CT, September 24, 2022, on ESPN
This Tiger vs Tiger matchup is the closest spread of the SEC weekend, with Auburn sitting at a seven-point favorite. Both teams are needing an extra SEC win to obtain bowl eligibility after both suffered a non-conference loss. This could be Auburn’s best shot to do so with this game being played at Jordan-Hare and the rest of the SEC West being so impressive. There’s a lot of chatter about Harsin being on the hot seat at Auburn. If Mizzou gets the win here, is that the final straw? Missouri on the other hand, has an easier remaining schedule. They had an easier start to the season as well and yet, still struggled. Head Coach, Eli Drinkwitz has done a lot of talking in the media, and as said so himself. The Tigers are searching for a win to back that up. A win on the plains could be just what they need.
#2. Arkansas 10 vs Texas A&M 23 (Southwest Classic)
6:00 CT, September 24, 2022, on ESPN
The 10th ranked Razorbacks, led by QB KJ Jefferson, come into this game looking to make a statement. They think they have a good enough team to challenge for the SEC West, and this is their final test against a preseason darling A&M team, before they get their shot at Alabama next week. They have been tested already this season and rose to the challenge each time. A conference loss here right before they get that opportunity would be brutal. This A&M team was all but left for dead after losing to App State in week two, but they battled back and beat the 13th ranked Miami hurricanes last week. Following that win with one over the 10th ranked Southwest Classic rival Hogs would be a surefire way to inject some energy right back into this season. It’s not over yet for The Aggies, but they have no breathing room in a division with Alabama, the Mississippi schools, and Arkansas.
This game will be played in Jerry’s World, home of the Cowboys, and only one team can leave Dallas with the Southwest Classic Trophy.
#1. Florida 20 @ Tennessee 11
2:30 CT, September 24, 2022, on CBS
It’s the CBS Game of The Week, College Gameday will be in attendance, Neyland Stadium is sold out and will be checkerboarded, and we have two top-20 ranked opponents that do not like each other. This game has all the makings for an SEC rivalry classic. To add gasoline to the fire, Florida Head Coach, Billy Napier, was asked, via Brent McMurphy, about the crowd and environment waiting for The Gators in Knoxville and how this might affect his sophomore QB making his first SEC road start. He replied, “It’s not like we’re going to Canada and they’re going to change the rules. It’s going to be the same game. It’s going to be a little louder and played at a different location.” This rivalry and the Tennessee fanbase need no extra fuel but it got some nonetheless with Napier’s comments. This game will be a big step in the process of seeing which SEC East team, if any, has the best shot to challenge Georgia at the top. Florida comes into this one concerned about QB Anthony Richardson’s ability to score points especially in this type of environment. His playmaking and athletic ability are obvious, and Richardson seemed confident in his press conference this week, but confidence has to remain once the ball is kicked, and Richardson has zero touchdowns so far this season. Tennessee, however, will be looking to stop Richardson and the Florida offense. They know their offense can score points in bunches, but can they stop the Gators? The Volunteers are also having some injury concerns coming off their matchup with Akron, as Star Wideout Cedric Tillman, and RBs Jabari Small and Dillon Sampson were shaken up in the game last Saturday.
If you are a Vols fan going to the game Saturday (or just curious as to how the checkerboard system works) you can check your section color here.