What are the five biggest games you’ll care about on the SEC 2018 football schedule – even if you don’t care about the SEC?
Daily Five: SEC’s Most Important Games of 2018
5. LSU vs. Miami (in Arlington), Sept. 1
It’s one of those games and one of those moments that both programs really, really need. A loss for either side almost certainly means elimination from an real College Football Playoff talk.
Miami closed last year on a three-game losing streak. Lose, and it’ll make the rise under Mark Richt look like a bit of a mirage – at least so far.
LSU has to go to Auburn two weeks later, and has a whole lot of tough games left to deal with.
4. Clemson at Texas A&M, Sept. 8
Hey, Jimbo. Welcome to life at Texas A&M.
The contract will be brought up over and over and over agin, and the pressure will be there from the start to make the Aggies a big player in the SEC West right away. However, on a national scale, they have to deal with one of the top three teams in the country.
On the plus side, beat Clemson, and all of a sudden the season becomes something fun, and the SEC opener at Alabama a few games later will take on a whole other level of hype.
3. LSU at Auburn, Sept. 15
Yeah, the Auburn-Georgia game on November 10th should probably be here, or a little lower, and Georgia-LSU and Florida-Georgia are big deals, but let’s just assume that the Dawgs are going to dominate the East. The West games are going to be a bit bigger.
LSU was able to rally back to beat Auburn last season in one of the best games of 2017, but this time around, it’s the SEC opener for both with the pressure on to start hot.
LSU still has to deal with Georgia and Florida – along with the the showdowns against Alabama and the rest of the West. Auburn has it a whole lot easier for a while, but it goes to Georgia late in the year before traveling over to Tuscaloosa. AU had better take advantage of the home game, or else.
2. Alabama at LSU, Nov. 3
Will LSU ever beat Alabama again? The Tigers will have already have played Auburn, gone to Florida, and dealt with Georgia before getting a week off to face the defending national champs. With road games at Arkansas and Texas A&M still to go, this could be one of those watershed moments in the Ed Orgeron era.
And one of the more dangerous games for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama gets a week off, too, and the rest of the schedule is relatively light and breezy – there isn’t another true road game against a team that went bowling last season. This is by far the toughest game for the Tide to this point of the season until …
1. Auburn at Alabama, Nov. 24
In most years, this is simply an established great rivalry moment that everyone knows is good, but there’s probably a more important game on the SEC slate.
But not this year.
If Alabama beats LSU, barring some insane upset, the Crimson Tide will be 11-0 at this point and might have the West all wrapped up. At worst, they’re going to be 10-1.
Auburn has to start out against Washington, gets LSU at home early on, and has to go to Georgia. It should be good enough to get here at 10-1, but it might just be good enough to still be alive for the SEC West title in late November.