SEC Preview: Rebels host LSU, and a look at other games in a light week in the Southeastern Conference
OXFORD, Miss. — There is a light schedule in the Southeastern Conference schedule this week with only nine teams in action. Well, make that eight. When the Arkansas game is seen, it should be over before the echo of the first “Wooo Pig Sooie!”
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF at ARKANSAS, 11 a.m., SEC Network
The aforementioned cupcake starts the day’s games. After beginning the season 4-0, Sam Pittman’s Hogs have been butchered by Georgia, Ole Miss and Auburn. The Golden Lions started the year 1-0 and are in the midst of a five-game losing streak.
Make it six after Saturday.
LSU at No. 12 OLE MISS, 2:30 p.m., CBS
Ole Miss is celebrating the legacy of Eli Manning. LSU is happy the Ed Orgeron-era is coming to an end.
The Rebels’ Matt Corral rolled his ankle last week in the win at Tennessee, and hopefully for Ole Miss he will be available. Well, halfway available. With one good leg, he may not run quite as much as he normally does. Freshman Luke Altmyer could see his most significant action of the season and with Corral’s Ole Miss career likely to end after this season, Rebel fans could get a preview of what’s to come.
Ole Miss is still favored, but with either a banged up quarterback or an inexperienced quarterback going against a team that beat Florida last week, the Landsharks will have to help their offense.
MISSISSIPPI STATE at VANDERBILT, 3 p.m., SEC Network
This thing could easily go one of two ways. State’s air-raid offense could run up 50 points on a Vandy defense that is simply outmanned. But the Commodores are improving and MSU is the conference’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Even the Bulldogs are probably not sure what they are going to get from themselves each Saturday.
This is important for State. It gets three ranked teams down the stretch, and one of those games is at Auburn. Vanderbilt also gets three ranked teams the rest of the way and there are no more UConn’s nor Colorado States on the schedule.
TENNESSEE at No. 4 ALABAMA, 6 p.m., ESPN
Tennessee lost to a hobbled-Matt Corral Ole Miss team last week, and now the Vols get their second-straight Heisman candidate at quarterback. Unfortunately for UT, Alabama’s Bryce Young has a much better arm than anyone wearing orange in the Neyland Stadium grandstands last week.
The Crimson Tide is now rested, and it needs style points against the rest of its schedule to impress the playoff committee. This may get ugly.
SOUTH CAROLINA at NO. 17 TEXAS A&M, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network
South Carolina may have overlooked a scrappy Vandy team last week in the Gamecocks’ 21-20 win, but they are not the kind of team that can look ahead to a future opponent. SC gets to look ahead to a week off next Saturday, but Florida, Missouri, Auburn and Clemson still await them.
If the Aggies want to make a run to a prestigious bowl game, it starts Saturday. The next two games are against Auburn and Ole Miss.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.