Considering the Southeastern Conference has had a representative in the College Football Playoff championship game in four of the five years of its existence, it stands to reason the conference will have some very good games yet again in 2019.
Alabama came up short in the national title game, but the Crimson Tide are considered one of the favorites to play in the contest again this season, though Georgia, LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, and Auburn are all possibilities to make some noise on a national level as well.
With that in mind, we take a look at the top five contests in the SEC in the upcoming 2019 campaign.
Alabama at Texas A&M, Oct. 12
The Crimson Tide handled the Aggies pretty easily last season, winning 45-23 in Jimbo Fisher’s first matchup as the A&M coach against Alabama. Quarterback Kellen Mond will need to have a good game against what will certainly be another top Alabama defense, but he has Quartney Davis back to throw to, and if they can hold off the pressure from the Tide defensive line, they could make this a shootout. Not that that will be easy to do, nor will stopping the Alabama offense led by Tua Tagovailoa.
Georgia vs. Florida, Nov. 2
The World’s Biggest Cocktail Party could be for the SEC East title this year. The Bulldogs rolled over the Gators in last year’s matchup, with Jake Fromm throwing for 240 yards and three scores. Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks will need to continue to develop, but he has plenty of receivers to throw to and the Gators’ easy wins over Florida State and Michigan to end the season gives the Gainesville faithful hope this season. Georgia is Fromm’s team now, with no rotating with the backup anymore. That’s trouble for the rest of the SEC.
LSU at Alabama, Nov. 9
This is usually a hyped game that pits two nationally-ranked teams. The problem is, Alabama has dominated in recent years, including a 29-0 rout of then-No. 3 LSU a year ago. Coach Ed Orgeron has 15 starters back from last year’s squad, including junior quarterback Joe Burrow, but playing in Tuscaloosa is no easy task. Alabama’s defense took some hits from early departures to the NFL, and last year’s squad wasn’t as strong as previous seasons, allowing 4.9 yards per play, the highest by a Nick Saban squad since 2007. Still, it’s hard to believe the Tide won’t be in the national title picture, which should only make this game that much more important.
Texas A&M at Georgia, Nov. 23
The Bulldogs have a four-game stretch of facing Florida, Missouri, Auburn and Texas A&M that should make or break their national title hopes. Playing the Aggies in their next-to-last regular-season game, Georgia can make a big impression on voters on a week that most of the rest of the conference is playing non-conference games. Texas A&M has never faced Georgia as a conference foe despite being in the SEC since 2012. This is the first of two straight road games (LSU) to end the regular season for A&M.
Alabama at Auburn, Nov. 30
Alabama has dominated the rivalry over the last decade, winning eight of the last 11 meetings, but two of the wins by the Tigers were when the Crimson Tide were ranked No. 1, and the game was played at Auburn. Gus Malzahn may be coaching for his job in this one, or he could have the Tigers in the hunt for the SEC West title. Tagovailoa set a school record with six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) in last year’s 52-21 Crimson Tide victory, something that will certainly be on the Auburn defense’s minds coming into this showdown.