Sallee Blog: Top Five Games Inside The SEC
Alabama QB Greg McElroy
Alabama QB Greg McElroy
Posted Aug 22, 2010

CFN SEC columnist Barrett Sallee ranks the top five conference games on the SEC schedule in 2010.

Reach me via e-mail at or on Twitter @BarrettSallee

Yesterday, we ranked the top five SEC out-of-conference games. Today, we take it in-house. Last year, it was Alabama, Florida and everybody else; with the rest of the league beating itself up. Will it be the same this year? Here's the top five SEC games of 2010:

1. Florida at Alabama – October 2
Despite being in separate divisions, these two teams have met 11 times since the conference expanded in 1992, seven of which were in the SEC Championship Game. This time, it's in Tuscaloosa. At this point in the season, Alabama should have figured out how to plug their holes on defense, and should be cranking on all cylinders. The problem for the defending national champions – so will Florida. This game is the biggest game of the year in all of college football for a reason, and it will not disappoint.
Prediction: Florida over Alabama (in an instant classic)

2. Alabama at Arkansas – September 25
Talk about a trial-by-fire for Alabama's defense. Arkansas may not be much on D, but they can roll up yards and points as good as any team in the country. The Hogs offense, led by quarterback Ryan Mallett and the best wide receiving corps in the SEC, will give the rest of the country a good barometer of the Alabama defense, which will be replacing nine starters from a year ago. Alabama hasn't lost a regular season game since 2007, but that streak will come to an end when they travel to Fayetteville in late September.
Prediction: Arkansas over Alabama (close)

3. South Carolina at Florida – November 13
This is the year for South Carolina. No seriously, it is. The Gamecocks return 16 starters, including stud defensive end Cliff Matthews, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. With Florida down by Florida standards, there's a chance that the SEC East could be decided by the outcome of this game, which is the last SEC game of the season for both teams. South Carolina will make some strides in 2010, but in the end, they will fall to John Brantley and Co., and miss out on Atlanta.
Prediction: Florida over South Carolina (big)

4. Auburn at Alabama – November 26
If games were 58 minutes long, Auburn would have won the 2009 Iron Bowl and Alabama probably wouldn't have hoisted the crystal football in Pasadena. In 2010, the Tigers will look to finish the drill. Since the divisional split in 1992, this game has never decided the SEC West championship. That changes in 2010. The Iron Bowl is always a must-see event, but this time, a trip to Atlanta will be on the line.
Prediction: Alabama over Auburn (very close)

5. Georgia at South Carolina – September 11
After opening at home with Louisiana-Lafayette, the Georgia Bulldogs will travel to Columbia the second week of the season to face the South Carolina Gamecocks, who will have had 10 days to prepare following their Thursday night opener vs. Southern Miss. Georgia's quarterback, freshman Aaron Murray, will be making his first career SEC start. Can he handle the pressure? We will find out. It happens to be on the road in a game that will dictate which team in the East will be the primary challenger to Florida's SEC East throne. No pressure, Aaron.
Prediction: South Carolina over Georgia (in an ugly game)

Barrett Sallee covers the SEC for He can be reached at, or on Twitter at @BarrettSallee

Note: Full SEC predictions and standings will be out tomorrow.

Click here for the 2010 Three & Out archive

2010 Column Archive:
Top Five Games Inside The SEC – August 22, 2010
Ranking The SEC Out-Of-Conference Games – August 21, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part IV – August 10, 2010
SEC Teams In The Coaches Poll – August 7, 2010
Ranking The SEC Head Coaches – August 2, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 3 Recap – July 23, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 2 Recap – July 22, 2010
SEC Media Days: Day 1 Recap – July 21, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part III – July 13, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part II – June 21, 2010
Auburn Gets The Last Laugh – June 10, 2010
Realignment – What Should The SEC Do? – June 9, 2010
SEC Roundtable Discussion Part I – June 7, 2010
Richt On The Hot Seat? – June 3, 2010
Auburn Dismisses Redshirt Freshman RB – May 21, 2010
SEC Hires of the Decade – The Bottom Five – May 14, 2010
Top 5 SEC Hires of the Decade – May 5, 2010
Georgia In A Gray Area – April 26, 2009
Taunting Rule Goes Too Far – April 16, 2009
Memorable SEC Press Conferences – February 20, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 2 – February 18, 2009
2010 Early SEC Picks, Part 1 – February 16, 2009
Florida Reaches For DC – February 12, 2009
Vols Go West For New DC – February 3, 2009
Early 2010 SEC Predictions – January 31, 2010
Chizik Doing It Right – January 21, 2010
Georgia's DC Debacle – January 12, 2010
SEC Bloggers: Do Over – January 8, 2010
Trouble In Baton Rouge – January 2, 2010
Meyer Calls A Reverse – December 27, 2009
Urban Meyer's SEC Legacy – December 26, 2009
End Of The Season Accountability – December 26, 2009
Ranking The SEC Bowl Games – December 18, 2009
2009 SEC Superlatives – December 13, 2009

Related Stories
The Ingredients For Winning Title
 -by  Aug 22, 2010
Video Interview of Janzen Jackson
 -by  Aug 22, 2010
Video Interview with Denarius Moore
 -by  Aug 22, 2010