If you're only focusing on 2021, your eyes aren't on the prize. We now have another full slate of SEC football revealed and I already can't wait to get to September 3 of next year.
The SEC does its schedule release perfectly: a Tuesday night in late September when everybody's mind is already on football and people are begging for any football-related content whatsoever to hold them over to Saturday. So the league gets way more attention than it should for a schedule that won't commence for a year. And I would like to give it some more, so let's rank the 10 best games in the SEC next season, shall we?
10. LSU at Florida
These two programs appear to be heading in opposite directions right now, but LSU is never more than a few tweaks away from being right back in the national conversation. The real question is, will this be Ed Orgeron's fourth trip to The Swamp as the Tigers' head coach or will there be a new man in charge?
9. Texas A&M at Alabama
This is going to be a Top 10 showdown in a few weeks and there's no reason to expect anything different in 2022. We'll see if A&M's close call with Colorado was a warning sign or a fluke, but Jimbo Fisher seems to have the Aggies headed in the right direction.
8. Florida vs. Georgia (Jacksonville)
There is no reason to believe this game will not decide the winner of the SEC East, as it seemingly has for the last decade-plus. These teams should still have to play true road games in this series, though.
7. Arkansas at BYU
I don't think you could find many more matchups featuring two schools more radically different than Arkansas and BYU, but it should make for a hell of a football game in Provo. Arkansas looks like it got the right guy in Sam Pittman and the Cougars are already getting some potential Playoff buzz this season. Should be an awesome game.
6. Ole Miss at Texas A&M
It's not reasonable to expect Ole Miss to compete with Alabama every season, but if Lane Kiffin wants to get the Rebels to the level it looks like he's capable of, these are the games he'll have to win more times than not. But going into Kyle Field and coming out with a win is never easy.
5. Alabama at LSU
Alabama in Death Valley at 8:00 on CBS is just one of those football games you look forward to every year. Hopefully the Tigers are back to the level they should be at next year to make this one as fun as it's been in years past.
4. Penn State at Auburn
Man, I can't wait for this rematch down on The Plains. These two just played arguably the most fun game of the season so far and there's no reason to believe it won't be the same next year. We need more non-conference matchups like this played on campus instead of at neutral sites.
3. Auburn at Alabama
You just can't make this list without including the Iron Bowl. It's as iconic as college football gets. And after seeing the Tigers nearly pull out a win in as hostile an environment as you could conjure up in Happy Valley, this could be a great game if Auburn makes any sort of leap in Bryan Harsin's second season.
2. Alabama at Texas
I think I knew this series was scheduled a while ago, but I was shocked when I looked at the schedule and saw Alabama agreed to a home-and-home with Texas rather than a one-off neutral site game. This will be an intra-conference game before too long, but credit to Nick Saban and the Tide for playing this series. Like I said, college football needs more games like this on campus.
1. Georgia vs. Oregon (Atlanta)
UGA opened the 2021 season against Clemson and will face just as big of a challenge in 2022 when it takes on Oregon. I don't think it's crazy to say this could be a Playoff or even a national championship rematch when it's played. Both of these teams look like the real deal this season and it may not be the only time we see them square off in the next 12 months.