Week 5 marks the fist Saturday of the 2023 college football season that every SEC team will face a conference opponent. This is where the rubber starts to meet the road. And because we have to rank everything these days, here is all of this weekend’s SEC games ranked in order of watchability (putting my fandom aside, obviously). Primarily to me, that means I think it will be a close game, but national relevance also plays a factor (and sometimes potential for schadenfreude does too). LET’S DO IT!
1. No. 11 Alabama (4-1) at Texas A&M (4-1)
2:30 p.m., CBS
Line: BBN -1.5
Yes, there are other ranked vs. ranked matchups, but I think this one is still the most intriguing. In addition to sole possession of first place in the SEC West being on the line, people just love to tune in to potentially see Bama go down. And both the advanced stats community and the betting community (the line continues to move in A&M’s favor, now at Bama -1.5) seem to think that’s a very real possibility. The winner of this game gets a MASSIVE boost of confidence heading into the second half of the season.
2. No. 20 Kentucky (5-0) at No. 1 Georgia (5-0)
6 p.m., ESPN
Line: Dawgs -14.5
Two of the three remaining undefeateds in the conference face off, with the winner looking to remain atop the SEC East standings. Though it certainly seems like the experts are less high on Kentucky pulling the upset than they are the Aggies. That said, this is still a prime opportunity for Kentucky to stake their claim against a Georgia team that has looked less than invincible so far in 2023.
3. No. 23 LSU (3-2) at No. 21 Missouri South (5-0)
11 a.m., ESPN
Line: Geaux -5.5
Personally I think this betting line is a slap in the face to Mizzou. LSU’s porous defense is gonna make it hard for them to pull away from just about anybody. Personally, I actually like the Tigers (the Missouri ones) to pull off the win at home. Missouri starting off 6-0 would be a great story, especially since we know one of the other undefeated teams is already guaranteed to go down in Athens.
4. Arkansas (2-3) at No. 16 Ole Miss (4-1)
6:30 p.m. SEC Network
Line: Rebs -11.5
Arkansas is in desperation mode this Saturday, looking to avoid going 0-3 in SEC play and honestly at this point probably just hoping for bowl eligibility. But as overmatched as they looked against A&M, I think this is a much more favorable matchup for them. While they may still have their defensive struggles, I think the Hogs are able to do a lot more offensively against Ole Miss. But winning in Oxford would be no easy task, as the Rebels will look to keep pace near the top of the SEC West.
5. Vanderbilt (2-4) at Florida (3-2)
3 p.m., SEC Network
Line: Gators -18.5
A get-right game for the Gators at home versus the perennial SEC doormat Commodores. As bad as Florida looked last week, this one still seems like it’s over before it starts. Surely this is the worst game in the SEC this week, right? Wrong.
6. Western Michigan (2-3) at Mississippi State (2-3)
11 a.m., SEC Network
Line: Cowbell -20.5
Look, we all have our cupcake games. No judgement. But if you aren’t a fan of one of these schools, it’s hard to imagine wanting to watch it. The Bulldogs are winless in the SEC and haven’t looked remotely competitive in the process. Will they win this game? Yes. Does it matter? No.