Over the course of the week, we at MrSEC.com are unveiling the 50 SEC games this writer is most interested in watching in 2012. For a description of how the games were chosen, scroll down the homepage and read Part One of our countdown.
For now, just know that we’re going through the schedule week-by-week with the least-interesting games listed sooner and the most-interesting games listed later. Now, on with the list:
Week Three (weekend of September 15th) — There are some real dud nonconference foes on the docket: Louisiana-Monroe, Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky, Idaho, Troy, UAB, and even tiny Presbyterian.
40. Florida at Tennessee — Two Nick Saban acolytes meet in Knoxville and the winner’s team could be a surprise contender in the East Division. The loser will hear increasing howls outside his office door.
39. Alabama at Arkansas — Battle #1 in the three-team round-robin fight for the West Division title. If John L. Smith can topple the Tide, he’ll have a few more people back him as the Razorbacks’ permanent head coach.
Week Four (weekend of September 22nd)
38. Rutgers at Arkansas — First, this is another one of those nonconference matchups you never see. Second, Greg Schiano has left New Jersey for the NFL, but his old team couldn’t catch the Hogs in a trap game could they?
37. LSU at Auburn — LSU’s first SEC contest of the year. Could Gene Chizik’s youthful team be ready to pull an upset?
36. Missouri at South Carolina — The inaugural Battle of the Columbias. The Cocks’ failure to protect their home turf against underdog Auburn cost them the East title last season.
35. Vanderbilt at Georgia — Think these teams will remember the cheap shots, taunts and postgame hullabaloo that made national headlines after their game last year? James Franklin versus Todd Granthem, Round Two.
Week Five (weekend of September 29th)
34. Tennessee at Georgia — Who knows what to expect from the Volunteers by this point of the season, but the East favorite Bulldogs can’t afford a slip-up. Either an important division clash or possibly Derek Dooley’s last visit to the stadium where his father became a legend.
33. South Carolina at Kentucky — Joker Phillips upset Carolina at Commonwealth Stadium back in 2010 and a win this year could help save his scalp. Like UGA against Tennessee, USC can’t afford to drop one to Kentucky if it wants to win the East.
32. Arkansas at Texas A&M — The old SWC conference foes will do battle in their first official meeting at SEC foes. A&M fought to move this game from Cowboys Stadium to College Station… will that pay off for them?
Week Six (weekend of October 6th)
31. Arkansas at Auburn — Depending on how things play out, this one could be a battle between surprise teams in the SEC West. Either way, if Smith wants to remove the word “interim” from his title he needs to beat the Tigers on the road.
We’ll pick up with Week Six tomorrow and count down from 30 through 21.
For a complete look at the SEC’s grid schedule, click right here.