Want to know how the SEC will turn out week-by-week before it happens? Don't we all. So we hooked up the closest thing college football fans have to a time machine and will simulate each week of the season using EA's NCAA Football '13. Please keep in mind that it's all in good fun and we're not saying this is how it actually will happen. Though that would be pretty cool and a little bit eery.
The SEC East race gets a major shake-up this week, as the Missouri variety of Tigers get their first conference victory at the expense of one of the perceived front-runners. Meanwhile, Georgia gets a No. 2 ranking in the newest batch of polls and Florida finally gets a win against an SEC team. Assuming Kentucky still counts
MISSOURI 38, SOUTH CAROLINA 19
The Tigers jump out to a 28-0 lead after about a quarter and a half and never look back. In fact, South Carolina is held to just seven points until the fourth quarter. (The game does not keep "broken headsets" as a statistic, in case you were wondering.) Missouri generates 413 yards of total offense to 324 for South Carolina, which makes matters worse by losing two fumbles on the day. The Gamecocks also fail to score a touchdown in three trips to the red zone and convert just twice in 11 third-down tries.
LSU 33, AUBURN 24
While the Tigers are busy playing the Gamecocks, the Tigers are playing the -- um -- Tigers. Got it? In a bizarre statistical fluke, the Tigers have 21 first downs and 395 yards of total offense while the Tigers have 21 first downs and 395 yards of total offense. Neither team can get the run game going, but both passing games put together performances that either fan base would probably take. LSU's winning margin comes from four field goals.
GEORGIA 42, VANDERBILT 14
The hopes of a breakthrough season for James Franklin (VU) and the Commodores are all but gone now, with this loss putting them at 0-2 in SEC play with losses to Georgia and South Carolina. Not Aaron Murray has a pretty good day (18-25, 236 yards, four touchdowns) and the running game adds on 202 yards and a pair of scores on 42 carries. Vanderbilt's 306 yards just aren't enough to make up the difference, especially with the two turnovers.
FLORIDA 30, KENTUCKY 0
The Gators finally get an SEC win. The Wildcats, meanwhile -- oy. Florida finds a way to put up 431 yards of total offense while limiting Kentucky, or helping Kentucky limit itself, to 216 yards. UK also turns the ball over twice. UF still leaves a few touchdowns on the field, with eight trips to the red zone yielding just a pair of touchdowns and a pair of field goals.
ARKANSAS 52, RUTGERS 30
The Scarlet Knights still officially count as an AQ team, I suppose. The game is actually pretty close at halftime, with the Razorbacks needing a score with 1:41 left in the second quarter to take a 21-20 lead into the locker room. Then Arkansas floors it and ends the day with 508 yards of total offense (to 454 for Rutgers). The effects of losing Bobby Petrino, to the extent that they existed, appear to have worn off: The Hogs pass for six touchdowns and 390 yards to win a shootout.
Alabama 37, Florida Atlantic 0
Tennessee 24, Akron 10
Mississippi State 45, FCS East (South Alabama) 3
Ole Miss 17, Tulane 10
Texas A&M 44, FCS Southeast (S.C. State) 3
4 Florida State
5 West Virginia
17 South Carolina
ORV: Texas A&M (would be 26)