Want to look like a genius among your friends and strangers this weekend when you sit down on your couch or a barstool to watch Week 5 action in the SEC?
We’ve got you covered with 10 schedule facts pertaining to this week’s matchups throughout the conference.
Welcome back to the dawg house
Spending so much time on the road to start a season is foreign to Georgia. The Bulldogs return home to Sanford Stadium after playing three of their first four games away from the comforts of home. The last time the Bulldogs played just one home game in their first four contests was 1966. The saving grace is that Georgia started that season 4-0 to finish 10-1. This season is the first time in a decade that the Bulldogs played their first two SEC games on the road.
It was also in that 2006 campaign when Georgia and Tennessee — this week’s opponent between the hedges — last met when both squads were ranked in the AP Top 25. The No. 13-ranked Volunteers knocked off No. 10 Georgia that year.
A win for the No. 25 Bulldogs this year over No. 11 Tennessee will knot the all-time series between the two bitter rivals at 22-22-2.
No rest for the Rebs
Wondering how a 2-2 team is ranked No. 16 in the AP Top 25? Ole Miss is that anomaly, thanks to the dubious distinction of being the only squad in the country to face three teams ranked inside the top-15 during the season’s first four weeks. It doesn’t get much easier from here. Ole Miss will square off against 10 bowl teams from last year, the second-most of anyone in nation. If last week is any indication, however, Hugh Freeze’s squad might be able to endure the tough slate. The Rebels’ 45-14 decision over No. 11 Georgia was the program’s biggest margin of victory over a ranked team since the 1969 season.
Big Time in Little Rock
Arkansas leaves the confines of Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium for a “home” tilt in Little Rock in Week 5 as it plays host to Alcorn State. War Memorial Stadium has been kind to the Razorbacks, who own a 149-60-4 record at the venue. All told, Arkansas is 166-66-4 in Little Rock, but lost the last two to Georgia and Toledo (shudder) in 2014 and 2015, respectively. A total of 9,685,868 people have punched tickets to watch the Hogs in Little Rock, dating back to 1901 —when the Razorbacks’ schedule featured a mix of college and high school opponents.
Gamecocks versus the AP Top 25
South Carolina hasn’t beaten a ranked team since 2014 when the No. 24 Gamecocks upset No. 6 Georgia. It’s been even longer since an unranked South Carolina team beat a ranked opponent, dating back to a surely satisfying win over No. 15 Clemson during the 2009 season. The Gamecocks’ Week 5 home contest against Texas A&M is the first against a ranked team this year and first under new head coach Will Muschamp. The fiery Muschamp is 5-14 all-time against ranked teams. His last win over an AP Top 25 squad came as a head coach of Florida, who upset…wait for it…No. 9 Georgia, also during the 2014 campaign.
So long, Les
Missouri will never get a chance to face Les Miles. Correction, Mizzou will never face Les Miles — the freshly departed LSU head coach who was fired on Sunday — as a member of the SEC. Not this year, at least. Missouri and LSU meet for the first time since Mizzou joined the conference in 2012. Miles is 1-1 against Missouri in his career, but as head coach of Oklahoma State between 2001 and 2004. The Tigers and Tigers have met just once, back in the 1978 Liberty Bowl. Missouri and Kellen Winslow won that game by a 20-15 score.
Closing out the home opener
Alabama will play host to its first home SEC game in Week 5 when Kentucky arrives in Tuscaloosa. Since taking over in 2007, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is 9-1 in his first home conference game, the only loss coming last year to Ole Miss. The Wildcats — who haven’t beaten Alabama since the Tim Couch days of 1997 and have lost 36 of their 39 meetings (with one tie) — were one of those victims, losing in the Tide’s 2008 home SEC opener.
UK do it
Kentucky’s track record against ranked opponents on the road isn’t stellar, which makes the Wildcats’ Week 5 matchup against No. 1 Alabama all the more daunting. Mark Stoops’ squad hasn’t knocked off a ranked foe as the visiting team since upsetting No. 21 LSU in 1998.
The Wildcats are 3-11 all-time when facing the nation’s No. 1 team, including two losses to top-ranked Alabama (1980 and 2013). Kentucky used three overtimes to victimize No. 1 LSU, once again, during the 2007 campaign. Prior to that, the program upended No. 1 Oklahoma in the 1951 Sugar Bowl and toppled Ole Miss during the 1964 season.
It should come as no surprise that Louisiana-Monroe will go on the road to face Auburn in Week 5. The Warhawks were one of just six teams in 2015 to not play back-to-back home games during the year. They’ll travel to Auburn this week to face a Tigers squad they haven’t beaten in nine tries, with all games, naturally, taking place at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Despite its loss to Tennessee in Week 3, Florida remains ranked in the AP Top 25, sitting at No. 23 in the nation. This year marked the first time since 2013 that the Gators entered the season ranked in polls. Florida’s No. 25 designation marked the lowest an incumbent SEC East champion debuted in the preseason polls since 1992 when the SEC cleaved into two divisions. Jim McElwain’s program heads back to the Volunteer State in Week 5 to face a Vanderbilt squad that it defeated in 24 (2013) of their last 25 meetings.
Aggies again and again
A win for Texas A&M over permanent SEC East foe South Carolina will mark more than just the Aggies’ third-straight victory over the Gamecocks. Kevin Sumlin’s 5-0 record for a third-consecutive year will be the first for the program since Homer Norton accomplished the feat between 1939 and 1941. It will also be the first time since 2004 that the Aggies have opened conference play with a 3-0 record.