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Six SEC upsets to keep an eye on in 2016

No one has a perfect NCAA bracket. None of us are even close to a clean sheet and anyone claiming otherwise is fibbing like no other.

It's been a terrifically wacky NCAA Tournament, with 16 lower ranked seeds winning through the first two rounds.

In honor of this year's wild, upset-filled NCAA Tournament, we thought we'd take a look at six upsets to keep an eye on this fall in the SEC. As a whole, the SEC has more questions than usual, making it a bit more exciting trying to pick bona fide favorites for the fall. So just like the NCAA tournament, expect some craziness this fall, as teams try to find their bearings in what could be one of the most topsy-turvy seasons we've seen in the SEC in a while.

1. Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech, Sept. 10 (in Bristol, Tenn.): The Vols are the early SEC East favorite, while Virginia Tech is under new management. But don't sleep on Justin Fuente and a Hokies team with nothing to lose early in the season. That Virginia Tech defense will pull out all of the stops to make Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs as uncomfortable as possible. All the pressure is on Tennessee, and who knows how this team will react to what could be an overwhelming environment inside Bristol Motor Speedway with a mighty large target on its back.

2. LSU at Auburn, Sept. 24: The last time the Bayou Bengals headed to the Plains, they limped out with an embarrassing 41-7 loss. LSU will be one of the favorites to dethrone Alabama this year, and while we aren't exactly sure what to make of an Auburn team with a new defense and probably a new quarterback, there's pressure on Auburn to succeed in 2016. Gus Malzahn's seat is heating up and a win over LSU early would cool some of those flames. And don't forget that after all that late-season drama with Les Miles, he's kind of in must-win territory, too.

3. Alabama at Tennessee, Oct. 15: This rivalry finally got a little more bite to it last season when Tennessee took the Tide to the wire. Now, you have the early SEC favorites facing off in Knoxville, where the Vols could get the jump on an Alabama team with a lot that's new, including quarterback and running back. Tennessee has the mobile quarterback Alabama can't stand and are arguably the SEC's most experienced team returning. This will be the best chance Butch Jones has had to end Tennessee's nine-game losing streak to Alabama.

4. LSU at Florida, Oct. 8: We have no clue what Florida's offense will look like in 2016, but that defense should still be fierce. If Brandon Harris figures things out at quarterback, LSU will be a threat to make the College Football Playoff. And if Florida can put together a serviceable passing game, the Tigers will have their hands full in what will no doubt be a raucous atmosphere in the Swamp.

5. Alabama at Arkansas, Oct. 8: Alabama hasn't lost to Arkansas since 2006, but the last time the Tide was in Fayetteville, it squeaked out a 14-13 win. Both of these teams are having to rebuild at some important positions, especially on offense, but Arkansas could start to grow and hit its stride by October if it can find the right offensive pieces. Plus, Arkansas' defensive line could give Alabama's offensive line fits in front of that Fayetteville crowd.

6. Georgia at Ole Miss, Sept. 24: The Rebels are officially SEC contenders. There's just no getting around what Hugh Freeze has done. Ole Miss will likely be favored for this early home matchup, but new Georgia coach Kirby Smart can't be overlooked. The Rebels are looking for a running game and a go-to receiver. Smart is looking for a lot more, but he's a defensive mastermind and will play to his strengths by trying to unnerve the Rebels' offense.

Five more that could be sneaky good:

  • Texas A&M at South Carolina, Oct. 1

  • Georgia at South Carolina, Oct. 8

  • Texas A&M at Alabama, Oct. 22

  • Arkansas at Missouri, Nov. 26

  • Florida at Florida State, Nov. 26