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Pair of Showdowns Between Ranked Teams Highlights Week 4 SEC slate

The conference season can’t get here fast enough with SEC teams playing Kent State, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Charlotte and New Mexico this week.

The good news is there are some SEC games on the schedule, including a pair of showdowns between ranked teams with Florida heading to Tennessee and Arkansas playing Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium. Surprising Vanderbilt could get a reminder of the pecking order in the SEC when the Commodores face mighty Alabama while Missouri squares off with Auburn.

Max Johnson #14 of the Texas A&M Aggies looks to pass against the Miami Hurricanes
Jack Gorman - Getty Images - AFP

Alabama and Georgia are tied at -110 in the odds to win the Southeastern Conference title according to the sportsbook. Texas A&M (+3300) and Tennessee (+4000) are the other top contenders.

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are leading the way at +175 in the odds to win the national title per the college football playoff odds. Tennessee is next at +6000.

Game of the Week

Florida Gators vs Tennessee Volunteers

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Line: Tennessee -10½

One of two games in the SEC this week featuring a matchup of ranked teams. The teams will go as far as the quarterbacks take them.

It’s been a slow start for Florida’s Anthony Richardson who has no touchdown passes and four interceptions and is the lowest-rated starting quarterback in the SEC.

Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker has thrown for 844 yards and six touchdowns. Jalin Hyatt has 18 catches for 267 yards with three TDs already this season. He had 166 yards on five grabs in last week’s win over Akron.

Keep an eye on receiver Cedric Tillman, a potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, who is questionable for the game.

This is the third-ranked opponent for Florida as the Gators defeated reigning Pac-12 champion Utah before falling to Kentucky in their SEC opener.

Florida has won 16 of the last 17 matchups with the Gators going 9-6-2 against the college football betting lines in those contests.

Other Games to Watch

Kent State Golden Flashes vs Georgia Bulldogs

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 12 noon ET (SEC Network+, ESPN+)
  • Line: Georgia -45

This is another of the games that beg the question, “why?” It can’t be easy for Georgia to get non-conference games for as dominant as the Bulldogs are. However, facing a MAC team giving up 29 points per game could result in a short afternoon for Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett and the other offensive stars if this game gets out of hand quickly.

Missouri Tigers vs Auburn Tigers

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 12 noon ET (ESPN)
  • Line: Auburn -7

Tank Bigsby is once again the leading rusher for Auburn. His efforts are all the more impressive considering that the Tigers quarterbacks have six interceptions and two touchdown passes while completing less than 60% of their passes. Backup quarterback Robby Ashford is also Auburn’s second-leading rusher.

Brady Cook is the leading passer and rusher for Missouri, although the three interceptions are a concern.

Auburn has averaged 55 points in the two previous matchups with Missouri

Bowling Green Falcons vs Miss State Bulldogs

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 12 noon ET (SEC Network)
  • Line: Mississippi State -30½

Bowling Green is allowing 346 passing yards per game so one has to wonder how many yards Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers will throw for in this one.

Five Mississippi State pass catchers have at least 10 receptions so look for Rogers to spread the ball around.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs Ole Miss Rebels

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
  • Line: Ole Miss 20½

Tulsa has scored at least 37 points in each of the first three games. Ole Miss is allowing 193 passing yards per game in the first three games. However, Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin has already passed for 1,206 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Zach Evans has a career 7.1 yards per rushing attempt combining his first three games at Ole Miss and his two seasons at Texas Christian.

Northern Illinois Huskies vs Kentucky Wildcats

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Line: Kentucky -26½

Northern Illinois is giving up 433 yards and 34 points per game so this could be the game where Kentucky quarterback Will Levis shows that potential that could result in him being selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Levis is completing 67% of his passes but he has been sacked 11 times and has thrown four interceptions.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs Texas A&M Aggies

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Line: Texas A&M -2

Another of the huge games in the SEC this week. If not for Appalachian State’s stunning upset of Texas A&M, this would be a matchup of 3-0 teams meeting at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Quarterback KJ Jefferson has 770 passing yards while completing 70.5% of his passes with six TDs and one interception. He has also run for three scores. Toledo transfer Matt Landers leads the Razorbacks with 14 catches and 211 yards.

The running game is in great shape with sophomore Raheim Sanders rushing for 440 yards and averaging nearly 15 yards on eight receptions.

The Aggies are in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 8.7 points per game. A key has been the Aggies limiting opponents to two touchdowns in nine trips to the red zone.

The passing game has been mediocre at best with the bright spot being receiver Ainais Smith (14 catches, 259 yards and two of the Aggies’ four TD catches).

Texas A&M has covered against the college football picks in each of the last four games in this series.

K.J. Jefferson #1 of the Arkansas Razorbacks throws a pass during the second half of game against the Missouri State Bears
Wesley Hitt – Getty Images – AFP

Vanderbilt Commodores vs Alabama Crimson Tide

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
  • Line: Alabama -41

A 3-1 Vanderbilt team has been a great story. However, the Commodores lost their only game this season against a ranked opponent. Now comes a trip to Tuscaloosa to face mighty Alabama.

Vanderbilt is allowing 28.5 points per game and now must contend with quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young as well as versatile running back Jahmyr Gibbs.

Is this the game when Will Anderson goes off? He has two sacks in the first three games but has yet to really disrupt a game in 2022 as he did a season ago. With Vanderbilt led by freshman quarterback AJ Swann, look for Anderson and his cohorts to apply the pressure to the young passer.

New Mexico Lobos vs Louisiana State Tigers

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (SECN+, ESPN+)
  • Line: Louisiana State -31½

Jayden Daniels is the top passer and rusher for LSU. He is facing a New Mexico team that is allowing just 263 yards per game. However, those numbers came against Maine , Boise State and UTEP.

With LSU’s next five games against ranked opponents, the Tigers will look to put this one away early.

Charlotte 49ers vs South Carolina Gamecocks

  • Date, time, TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)
  • Line: South Carolina -22½

Antwane Wells has been a bright spot for South Carolina with 244 yards on 15 receptions. Former Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler already has five interceptions.

The Gamecocks could go to work against a Charlotte team allowing 320.5 passing yards per game and 564 yards of total offense.

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