What Is Happening in the SEC This Week?
UNDATED (AP) — College football Saturdays this season have mostly been over by around midnight Eastern. Maybe 12:30 a.m. West of Texas, the only FBS program that has been up and running is BYU in Provo, Utah. That comes to end this weekend with the kickoff of the Mountain West season, which has been overshadowed by the much-anticipated start of the Big Ten. The marquee matchups on opening weekend include Mountain West favorite and defending champion Boise State hosting Utah State. There is also a showdown in the Big 12 and another overlooked team that is playing its first game of the season.
UNDATED (AP) — Coronavirus outbreaks at Baylor, Memphis, Arkansas State, Notre Dame, Florida and elsewhere have forced programs to shut down for as much as two weeks. As of Thursday, more than 30 games involving Bowl Subdivision teams have been postponed or canceled. On the other side of an outbreak, there could be some benefits. Those who have been infected are no longer subjected to surveillance testing or contact tracing for at least 90 days, as long as they are asymptomatic. That makes it less likely to have another outbreak that could shut down an entire team.
UNDATED (AP) — By the numbers, Alabama-Tennessee isn’t much of a rivalry anymore with the Crimson Tide having won 13 straight. Don’t tell that to Alabama fans. Crimson Tide nose guard D.J. Dale says he knows this game is big for the state of Alabama though he looks at the Vols as just the next opponent. This is the rivalry best known as the Third Saturday in October for its usual date. Alabama coach Nick Saban has never lost to one of his former assistants. He says everyone knows this is a big rivalry game and for that reason expects Tennessee's best.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Ed Orgeron says he was grateful for an extra week to help the Tigers confront considerable challenges on both sides of the ball. He'll have to hope that's enough to prepare for a South Carolina team riding high after beating Auburn last weekend. LSU got last weekend off after its trip to Florida was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Gators. Orgeron says his team was beaten up after a 45-41 loss at Missouri on Oct. 10 in which quarterback Myles Brennan was injured. Orgeron says freshman TJ Finley will start at quarterback this week.
UNDATED (AP) — Matt Corral and Bo Nix are trying to rebound from games they’d rather forget. Same for their teams. Corral, Mississippi’s quarterback, is coming off a six-interception performance in a season that had been terrific up to that point. Nix enters Auburn’s game Saturday at Ole Miss having thrown three picks in an upset loss to South Carolina. Their hope-for-redemption tour begins in Oxford.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kentucky finally ended a 17-game losing streak at Tennessee. Missouri beat the reigning national champions for the first time since 1978 while giving coach Eli Drinkwitz his first SEC win with an upset of LSU. Now, two teams that have plenty of momentum are poised to tussle in Columbia. In a game produced as part of the Southeastern Conference’s massive schedule reshuffle, the Wildcats visit the Tigers on Saturday in sudden contention in the SEC East. Their victory over the Volunteers in Knoxville was no squeaker — it was a 34-7 romp — and showcased their bruising offense and opportunistic defense for the rest of the league to see.