The most anticipated SEC games of 2015

Our SEC college football roundtables continue today as TSS Associate Editors Bart Doan and Terry Johnson join staff writer Kevin Causey and special rotating guests in our weekly roundtable discussing all things college football.

Yesterday, we discussed which coaches have the toughest job this season. Today we continue our talk about SEC football as we are joined by Senator Blutarsky of Get The Picture.

Question: What game are you most looking forward to in the SEC this season?

Senator Blutarsky
On Twitter @MummePoll

Some years, there’s a conflict in my answer to that question from the perspective of a Georgia fan and as a college football fan.

2015 isn’t one of those years.

Alabama-Georgia ought to be a whale of a game.  In immediate terms, there should be plenty at stake, both nationally and in the division races, when they meet on October 3rd.  But the game should also be interesting as a measuring stick.  The last time these two played in the regular season (2008), it established Alabama’s re-emergence under Saban and the confirmation of Georgia’s defensive decline.  The two then played a closer game four years later in one of the best SECCGs ever.  It’s time to see where they both stand now.

Bart Doan:
On Twitter @TheCoachBart

I don’t know that anyone else will choose this one, but for some reason the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party stands out again. The SEC East is basically an open field waiting for someone to plant their flag. Without question, Jim McElwain wasn’t hired for a long-term rebuilding project. He’ll be expected to win quick, fast, and in a hurry.
Then you’ve got Georgia, who ostensibly is the favorite in the SEC East in so much as people love finding new ways to ignore Missouri because I still don’t think people have grasped that they’re an SEC power yet. Winning divisions and all apparently is the slow-play to respectability somehow.
Florida’s defense still should be very good, and it’ll need to be to deal with that UGA running game. We’ll have to see how the new non-Bobo offense looks, but they should just K.I.S.S. and turn around and hoe row with that running game. But more than anything, this as an outsider, this always has been one of the more enjoyable rivalries to watch. So much passion, partying, and fun, and if the football is good … what the hell … everyone wins.

Kevin Causey:
On Twitter @CFBZ

I agree with the good Senator on Alabama-Georgia. This is a big time game that doesn’t get played that much. The other thing that interests me is what happened the last two times these two teams met. In 2008, Alabama came into Athens and just slaughtered Georgia in the first half. Georgia made the score look close in the second half but Bama simply out-classed Georgia on that day. In 2012, Bama and Georgia played one of the best games of recent memory in the SEC Championship Game where Georgia came up just a few yards short. With Jeremy Pruitt now on Georgia’s sidelines, will that be enough to help Georgia get over the hump against Bama?

Since Bama/Georgia was already talked about, I’m going to give one more game that really intrigues me. On Sept 12th, Tennessee hosts Oklahoma. Last year, OU beat up the Vols fairly easily. But….this is supposed to be the year that the Vols break through. This game against OU is at home and OU isn’t as powerful as they once were. Everything lines up for this to be a landmark victory in the Butch Jones era. Or does it? This game is huge for Jones and the Vols. If they win, we could see big things out of the Vols. If they lose, does that mean they are still another year away?

Terry Johnson:
On Twitter @SectionTPJ

Aside from the SEC Championship Game, the contest I’m looking most forward to is Alabama – Auburn.

Make no mistake about it: the Iron Bowl has been one of the most important rivalry games in college football over the last few seasons. In fact, from 2009-13, the winner of this contest ended up playing in the National Championship Game.

I expect it to happen again this year (but won’t unveil the winner until tomorrow).

Even if – and it’s a big if – this contest doesn’t have College Football Playoff implications, I’d still tune in simply for the head-to-head coaching matchup. It’s not every day that the top defensive mind in the game (Saban) gets to match wits with an offensive wizard (Malzahn) whose system is so disruptive that other coaches actually tried to legislate it out of existence.