For the second straight week, Texas A&M is featured in the only ranked vs. ranked matchup in the SEC, this time traveling to Oxford to take on No. 15 Ole Miss with College Gameday in town. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other games of interest. Let’s rank these games seemingly arbitrarily (but mostly in order of how they might impact A&M as well as simple entertainment value).
All betting lines* courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
1. Mississippi State Bulldogs at No. 17 Auburn Tigers
11 a.m., ESPN
Line: Auburn -5.5
You could talk yourself into wanting either one of these teams to win, whether you want to maximize the appearance of the Auburn win or minimize the damage of the MSU loss. But ultimately, I think the A&M “narrative” needs to be that after early season struggles, they got things together and played their best football over the second half of the season. With that in mind, you want as many signature wins as possible, and keeping Auburn ranked goes a long way to doing just that.
2. No. 25 Arkansas Razorbacks at LSU Tigers
6:30 p.m., SEC Network
Line: Hogs -2.5
This goes against what I just said above, but I think Aggies should be rooting for Arkansas here. The Hogs are currently ranked, and we want to keep them there (and at only three losses) to make that loss look as good as possible. With LSU at 4-5, they have no shot at being ranked or appearing to be an elite win for A&M, so just let them drop to 4-6 and set up a terrifying scenario where A&M may be fighting for their 10th in (or potentially the West title) in Death Valley as the Tigers are looking to become bowl-eligible.
3. No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs at Tennessee Volunteers
2:30 p.m., CBS
Line: Dawgs -20.5
This gets into big time hypothetical territory here, but if A&M has any remote shot at the Playoff, it has to involve winning the West and beating Georgia. And a win over Georgia is vastly more impressive if they are still undefeated and ranked No. 1. So if you’re an A&M fan, it’s definitely time to start rooting for the Dawgs the rest of the regular season.
4. South Carolina Gamecocks at Missouri Tigers
3 p.m., SEC Network
Line: Tigers -1
Texas A&M dominated both these teams, so there’s no clear-cut advantage to one team winning over the other. But I’d make the case that South Carolina becoming bowl-eligible (which they could do with a win here) is a good thing for the Aggies (and perhaps the conference as a whole). Even if Mizzou got the win here, they’d still need to upset either Florida or Arkansas to get that sixth win.
5. Kentucky Wildcats at Vanderbilt Commodores
6 p.m., ESPN2
Line: Wildcats -21.5
Kentucky has had a rough go of it lately, losing their last three (to Georgia, Mississippi State and Tennessee) after starting the season 6-0. But nothing cure the losing streak woes like a trip to Nashville. No implications for the Aggies here, but you have to think Kentucky wins big, and keeps their hopes of a nine-win season alive (they play New Mexico State and Louisville to close out the season).
6. New Mexico State Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide
11 a.m., SEC Network
Line: Tide -51.5
Can Bama possibly go 0-2 against the Aggies this season?!?! No, the answer is no. But maybe NMSU can keep it close for a quarter just to give us all a cheap thrill. With this being an easy win for the Tide, A&M will rely on either Arkansas or Auburn to give Alabama that key second SEC loss and put the Aggies (the Texas A&M version) in the SEC West captain’s chair.
7. Samford Bulldogs at Florida Gators
11 a.m., ESPN+
This game is so meaningless that it isn’t on traditional broadcast television and Vegas didn’t even put a line on it. That tells you all you need to know. Florida, currently 4-5, still has a great shot at bowl eligibility considering they then close the season with Mizzou and FSU, but what a disappointment this season has to be for them just one year removed from winning the East.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.