NCAA Football

CFB Matchup Tips: Handicapping 2015 SEC Football Games

2015-16 Early-Season College Football Matchups – (SEC)

The Alabama Crimson Tide have been anointed the No. 3 team in the country to start the 2015-16 NCAA Football Season, via the coaches poll. They’re going to garner attention all year long, so it makes sense that they have one of the most-talked about early-season matchups to keep off the year.

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SEC Preview

Despite the usual talk that teams in the SEC — especially Alabama — enjoy their cupcakes before the conference competition begins, fans across the country will have to sit back, relax and eat crow as they watch the Crimson Tide take on the Wisconsin Badgers.

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That’s where we begin with this SEC early-season preview.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Date: Saturday, Sept. 5
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: AT&T Stadium
Odds: TBD

Alabama is set to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Week 1 of the season — a contest that will be previewed prominently in front of a national audience, as ESPN’s College Football Gameday has chosen this battle to focus on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 5.

Playing on a neutral field, the Crimson Tide must learn quickly what they have with both Melvin Gordon and Amari Cooper gone to the NFL. For that reason, you can expect Derrick Henry to get a boat load of touches in the first contest of the year.

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

Date: Saturday, Sept. 5
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium
Odds: TBD

Texas A&M opens up its season in Week 1 with a neutral-field matchup against the Arizona State Sun Devils. ASU put together a 10-3 record last season — a season that saw them go 8-1 before dropping two of their final three regular season-games (they won their Bowl game 36-31 over the Duke Blue Devils).

The Aggies opened their season last year with a dominant 52-28 win over then-ranked No. 9 South Carolina, and they did it with high energy and efficient play. They’ll look to use the same formula in this one, as Arizona State has become one of the most exciting teams to watch on both sides of the ball in its respective conference.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Date: Saturday, Sept. 12
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Neyland Stadium
Odds: TBD

The Tennessee Volunteers have faced off against the Oklahoma Sooners just three times during their program history. That said, they will face them during the 2015-16 season for the second time in as many years.

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Last season, Oklahoma took down Tennessee 34-10 on the road in Week 3. This year’s Week 2 matchup should be closer, and truth be told, last year’s contest was closer than the final 24-point margin seems to indicate.

Auburn Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals

Date: Saturday, Sept. 5
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Georgia Dome
Odds: TBD

Heading to a neutral location, the Auburn Tigers will take on the Louisville Cardinals in Week 1 of the college football season.

Although Bobby Petrino is undefeated with Louisville in season openers, that trend will likely come to an end here. Auburn will be heavily favored in this one, as the Tigers have been named the No. 7 team in the country, according to the first coaches poll of the season.

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

Date: Thursday, Sept. 3
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Bank of America Stadium
Odds: TBD

Ah, the Carolina Bowl. A matchup that has happened just twice since 1991. The two matchups took place in 2007 and 2013, respectively, and this year we’ll see what the two programs can do with their defenses — defenses that are in need of vast improvement.

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