SEC Preview: Rebels look to bounce back against the Hogs, a look at this weekend’s conference matchups
OXFORD, Miss. — After some disappointing losses last week, a few Southeastern Conference teams need a bounce-back week. Yet the teams who beat those needing a rebound are happy with the way the ball is bouncing for them.
Either way, it looks like an interesting schedule of SEC games this week. But one never knows…a football tends to bounce funny.
NO. 13 ARKANSAS at NO. 17 OLE MISS, 11 a.m., ESPN
Both of these teams need to bounce back. In a loss to Alabama, Ole Miss was held to its lowest-offensive production since Lane Kiffin came to Oxford. In a loss to Georgia, Arkansas looked like the Hogs from two years ago.
One team will bounce back, the other will bounce like a cheap basketball after being left outside in the winter for about six weeks.
VANDERBILT at NO. 20 FLORIDA, 11 a.m., SEC Network
Florida is looking to bounce back from a loss in Lexington last week to a surprising Kentucky team. Vanderbilt won last week, so from what do the Commodores need to bounce back? Oh yeah, possibly the last win of the Vandy season. And it came against UConn.
SOUTH CAROLINA at TENNESSEE, 11 a.m., ESPN2
South Carolina bounced back last week with a win over Troy. Tennessee bounced all over Missouri and no one saw that coming. This once comes down to which team keeps the dribble. The Gamecocks were supposed to beat Troy last week while the Vols were not supposed to do what they did last week in CoMo. One team will continue to bounce forward, the other will bounce out of the SEC East race.
NO. 2 GEORGIA at NO. 18 AUBURN, 2:30 p.m., CBS
Georgia bounced Arkansas convincingly last week. After going 0-for-the-century in Baton Rouge, the Tigers bounced back from a bad start to beat LSU. For Auburn to win this one, even at home, everything will have to bounce the Tigers’ way. But UGA does not look like it is in the mood to be bounced from the College Football Playoffs in October.
NORTH TEXAS at MISSOURI, 3 p.m., SEC Network
Mizzou really needs a big bounce forward after losses to Tennessee and Kentucky. But is this the team that the Tigers need to come to town to do it? Sure, Missouri has better players on its roster, but this would not be the only time a “less-talented team” could pull an upset. It was only three years ago that the Eagles rolled into Fayetteville and stomped Arkansas 44-17. Plus, UNT has Marshall and Liberty next on the schedule, so perhaps Mizzou is catching a 1-3 team at the wrong time.
LSU at NO. 16 KENTUCKY, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network
LSU is trying to rebound from blowing a lead against Auburn at home. Kentucky rebounded last week from not being ranked even though it is undefeated. Does anyone remember the Bluegrass Miracle from years ago? That is something the Bayou Bengals will need to conjure this week. One other rebound is for Ed Orgeron. He really needs a win.
NO. 1 ALABAMA at TEXAS A&M, 7 p.m., CBS
Texas A&M needs to rebound from a loss to Mississippi State. But wow, perhaps the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be an easier team to beat at the moment. Texas A&M does not have the offense Ole Miss has and the college football world saw what Bama did to the Rebels last week. The Aggies also don’t have the Landshark defense this year and everyone saw what the Tide did to that unit last Saturday. If the Ags pull this one off, Jimbo Fisher really does deserve that contract.
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.