GAME OF THE WEEK
Alabama at Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Sometimes the CBS game isn't really the true Game of the Week. This is not one of those times. Ole Miss has had one of the best defenses in the conference. The Rebels have allowed just two touchdowns so far, and both came with the team leading by more than 21 points. Alabama, meanwhile, has one of the best offenses while also toting another candidate for best defense. It's the biggest test for both of these teams, and it will help sort out the order in the West.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4
Texas A&M at Mississippi State, noon ET, ESPN
This was the other strong candidate for Game of the Week. A win here for the Bulldogs pushes them that much closer to true dream season territory, while the Aggies are looking to shake off a doubt-inducing close win against Arkansas last week. Because of how brutal the West is this season, any loss—particularly in the division, given how the tiebreaker works—is seriously bad news. This one is big.
Florida at Tennessee, noon ET, SEC Network
Tennessee is favored in this one at the moment, but it may not feel that way thanks to Florida's nine-game win streak over the Vols. UT doesn't have to make big adjustments to win this one, though. A victory for Butch Jones might be even bigger than last year's South Carolina win for symbolic reasons of defeating a rival and breaking that streak, while a loss might seal Will Muschamp's fate given how many tough games are left for the Gators.
Vanderbilt at Georgia, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network
I can only assume this one got the midday slot over UF-UT because of the idea of UGA by itself being more appealing than those other two combined. Either that, or the conference is trying to hide Vandy behind the Bama-Ole Miss game.
LSU at Auburn, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
John Chavis has been pretty good at stopping modern spread offenses like Kevin Sumlin's and Gus Malzahn's—except when he isn't. The Bayou Bengals struggled with Mississippi State's spread two weeks ago, and Chavis isn't guaranteed to put out an elite defense every single year (no one is). Will LSU spoil Auburn's clean slate like it did last year, or will the Plainsmen break through?
South Carolina at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Playing the Wildcats has been more of an adventure for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina than it ever was at Florida. Mark Stoops came ever so close to getting a signature win in Gainesville, and he might just get one here.