SEC Week One: East vs. West Matchups Key First Saturday

by Mark Everett Kelly | Sep 26, 2020 | College Football | 0 comments

The SEC College Football season finally is among us. Due to COVID-19, the conference added two additional cross-divisional matchups to reach their 10-game SEC only schedule.

Since Nick Saban’s return to the SEC in 2007, no conference’s resume is as impressive as the SEC, producing nine National Championships. While the West owns eight of those nine, which division holds the advantage in regular season play?

SEC Best Records
Conference Play, Since 2007
DivisionW-LWin Pct.Division TitlesSEC ChampsNational Championships
Texas A&MWest34-300.531000
South CarolinaEast52-520.5100
Mississippi St.West46-580.442000
Ole MissWest35-690.337000

When Texas A&M and Missouri joined the conference in 2012, the SEC reduced cross-divisional matchups from three to two. Each division member faces their “common rival” every year, while the remaining opponent rotates. The only changes to that formula were Texas A&M, and Missouri switched from playing each other to South Carolina and Arkansas in 2014.

SEC Common Rival
Ole MissVanderbilt
Mississippi StKentucky
Texas A&MSouth Carolina

Since 2012 the West owns the upper hand, winning 72 of the 110 (.625) regular-season matchups. The West dominance also applies to the SEC Championship, winning seven of eight over that same period. Georgia’s victory over Auburn in 2017 represents the only SEC Championship for the East.

SEC, East vs West
Head to Head, Since 2012
Regular SeasonWinsLossesWin Pct.
Conference ChampionshipWinsLossesWin Pct.
>>Georgia beat Auburn in 2017

Here are some cross-divisional matchups to watch on Saturday (all times are EST).

#2 Alabama at Missouri, 7:00 PM EST

Alabama: won 26 straight against SEC East opponents – postseason included (last loss 10/9/2010 at South Carolina)

Alabama : at SEC Opponents Since 2011: at Auburn (2-3) at Remainder of SEC (31-1)

Missouri: Missing five players due to COVID-19

Missouri: 4-1 in last five against SEC East (only loss at Alabama in 2018)

All-time series: Alabama 4-2 (won four straight, including 2014 SEC Championship).

WR Jaylen Waddle is ready for a breakout season for the Tide.

#4 Georgia at Arkansas, 4 PM EST 

Georgia: USC transfer JT Daniels and redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis both scheduled to play at QB

Georgia: 11-5 vs. SEC West in regular-season play since 2012 (1-5 in postseason).

Arkansas: lost 19 straight SEC games (last win 10/28/17 at Ole Miss)

Arkansas: lost ten consecutive SEC home games (previous win 11/5/2016 vs. Florida).

All-time Series: Georgia leads 10-4

Highest Win Pct., Since 2012
SEC, Cross Divisional Matchups
Regular SeasonPostseasonOverallWin Pct.
Texas A&M12-40-012-40.75
Mississippi St.10-60-010-60.625
Ole Miss8-80-08-80.5
South Caroliina5-110.3135-110.313
>>Won 26 straight

#5 Florida at Ole Miss, Noon EST

Florida: Senior QB Kyle Trask: 3,103 passing yards in 2019 (second to Joe Burrow in SEC).

Florida: Scored 400+ points in consecutive seasons (first time since posting four straight 2006-09)

Ole Miss: Lane Kiffin’s return to SEC as head coach in his first year with Rebels (Kiffin was 7-6 with Tennessee in 2009).

Ole Miss: 251.3 Rushing YPG last season (2nd in SEC).

All-time Series: Florida leads 12-11-1

QB Kyle Trask hopes to lead Florida to the SEC East title.

 #23 Kentucky at #8 Auburn, Noon EST

Kentucky: QB Terry Wilson returns after missing the entire SEC schedule in 2019 (11 TD, 8 INT, 1,889 pass yds in 2018)

Kentucky: lost 11 straight at SEC West opponents (last win 2009 at Auburn)

Auburn: QB Bo Nix has not thrown an interception in 191 consecutive passes (team record)

Auburn: lost five straight vs. SEC East opponents (includes 2017 SEC Championship)

All-time Series: Auburn leads 26-6-1

Sophomore Bo Nix leads Auburn’s offense.

Vanderbilt at #10 Texas A&M, 7:30 PM EST

Vanderbilt: allowed 30+ points in eight of last 12 SEC road games.

Vanderbilt: 3-11 vs. SEC West opponents since 2012.

Texas A&M: Kellen Mond: 6.2 yards per play, 28 total TD in 2019 (second to Joe Burrow)

Texas A&M: 12-4 vs. East opponents since joining the SEC in 2012 (9-1 in last 10).

All-Time Series: Texas A&M leads 2-0

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