Don’t let anyone tell you that the SEC is afraid to play tough non-conference games.
If they do, feel free to give them a peek at these rankings from Athlon Sports. Writer David Fox set out to rank all 86 of the Week 1 games in college football based on level of intrigue, and the SEC was featured early and often.
It may surprise some to see that the SEC dominates this list, which is comprised mostly of non-conference meetings. But it shouldn’t. The league is challenging itself early with games against strong opponents from all other Power 5 conferences, including Florida State, North Carolina and Clemson from the ACC, UCLA and Southern California from the Pac-12, Wisconsin from the Big Ten and West Virginia from the Big 12.
Here’s a look at where each game involving SEC teams ranked on the list:
2. UCLA at Texas A&M (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CBS)
3. Ole Miss vs. Florida State in Orlando (Monday, 8 p.m., ESPN)
4. USC vs. Alabama in Arlington, Texas (Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC)
6. Georgia vs. North Carolina in Atlanta (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., ESPN)
7. Clemson at Auburn (Saturday, 9 p.m., ESPN)
9. LSU vs. Wisconsin in Green Bay, Wis. (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC)
11. Appalachian State at Tennessee (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
16. Missouri at West Virginia (Saturday, noon, Fox Sports 1)
18. South Carolina at Vanderbilt (Thursday, 8 p.m., ESPN)
19. Southern Miss at Kentucky (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., ESPNU)
20. Louisiana Tech at Arkansas (Saturday, 4 p.m., SEC Network)
40. UMass at Florida (Saturday, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network)
42. South Alabama at Mississippi State (Saturday, noon, SEC Network)
The top game of the week according to Athlon Sports? Oklahoma vs. Houston.