Major Turning Points in the 2015 SEC’s NCAA Football Odds Race
Projecting the SEC Conference race is one of the most divisive and opinion-striking exercises you can ever have to endure. Having looked at general competition in the conference and the top contenders in our recent articles, let’s spice up things a little bit more, examining some of the conference’s toughest match ups that could shape the College Football betting lines to win the 2015 SEC conference championship race.
Which are the Major Turning Points in the 2015 SEC’s NCAA Football Odds Race
Auburn at LSU (Sept. 13)
The 2013 SEC champions, the Auburn Tigers, will hit the road for a matchup against LSU whom they defeated last season at Jordan-Hare, their first triumph since their national championship-winning 2010 season. Meanwhile, LSU (who last won their conference title in 2011 under head coach Les Miles) will be looking to take the advantage in this year’s matchup, as they host Auburn after a rather easy road game against Mississippi State. For that reason, LSU will be favorites to deny the visitors a road at the feared Death Valley, though I wouldn’t be surprised if Auburn’s solid offense carries the day with a close win.
Arkansas at Tennessee (Oct. 3)
This is a matchup between two preseason darlings that expected to be much better this season than they were previous season, based on depth of both squads. Again, this will be the third time that the two opposing coaches will be competing for a divisional title alongside the SEC championship title. Whoever looses this game is likely to all but end the team’s chance to win the divisional title, if they won’t have already eliminated themselves out of it already by October. For the Razorbacks, this year’s SEC conference race will be extra vital, as the program will be looking to end its two-decade drought since winning their last conference title in 1989, unlike the Vols who won a conference title in 1998. Notably, Arkansas has won seven of its last eight games in this series, something it could bank on against the Vols. Will the Vols stop the Razorbacks, or will Arkansas go for the kill once again?
Missouri at Georgia (Oct. 17)
It is time to stop focusing at the South Carolina-Georgia rivalry in the East as Mizzou-Georgia is the new honeypot of sweet divisional rivalries. The Tigers have dominated the East division in the recent seasons, including two divisional titles in the last two years in a row. The Dawgs, on the other hand, only have themselves to blame, as they have been loaded with ferocious talents but have failed to have a lasting bite in the division and conference. Explicably, the Bulldogs last won their Conference title in 1969 when they still belonged to the Big Eight Conference under head coach Dan Devine. Back to the Missouri-Georgia rivalry, Mizzou won the 2013 game against the Bulldogs at Athens, but Georgia overturned things when they met last fall. Having finished second behind the Tigers in the SEC East division last season, the Bulldogs will be looking to amends by recording another win this year, something that will be encouraged by them playing at home.
Tennessee at Alabama (Oct. 24)
The 2014 SEC Championship winners Crimson Tide will hit the road on the third Saturday in October to face off Tennessee. Tennessee will, of course, be the underdog, seeking its first win over Alabama in over a decade since Mike Shula’s final season as Alabama head coach in 2006. Sadly, and expectedly, it won’t be easy-coming, as Nick Saban has dominated the Volunteers and is currently 8-0 against them a record he will be keen to extend. A lot has changed in the offseason, with Bama looking a little lighter on talent and Tennessee looking stronger, so this year’s contest will be close. Still, with the home advantage and all, beating the Tide doesn’t look that likely for the Vols.
Alabama at Auburn (Nov. 28)
Arguably the biggest game in the SEC every year, the Alabama-Auburn game in 2015 should be fiercely contested. The two West rivals have combined to win five of the last six SEC West and SEC Conference championships over the last six years, with Alabama scooping three against the Auburn’s two, making them the hottest teams in the conference. Notably, both teams have some offensive challenges ahead of the new season, with Auburn yet to know their new quarterback (Jeremy Johnson) and the new lead running back (Kerryon Johnson), while Alabama seeks to solve its quarterback puzzle and find a formidable replacement for WR Amari Cooper. At the moment, all we can do it wait to see what becomes of those questions. Nonetheless, this rivalry should be a key one, probably becoming the deciding factor about who the team that will win the West and the conference title.