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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Five SEC upsets to watch out for

By Edward Aschoff

It wouldn't be college football without upsets. They make the sport that much more fun.

Upsets make a season for one team and can crush the hopes of another. It sounds evil, but it is oh so beautiful.

In the SEC, upsets are far from a rarity. Last year, South Carolina dethroned No. 1 Alabama and then fell a week later to unranked Kentucky. Mississippi State also walked into Gainesville, Fla., on homecoming and stole a victory in the Swamp.

Here are five potential upsets in the SEC for this fall:

1. Alabama at Mississippi State, Nov. 12: Alabama is the favorite to win the SEC and is a surefire contender for the national championship, but the Bulldogs are a scrappy group that has become the sexy dark-horse pick in the league. This game comes right at the end of the season and at a bad time for the Tide. Alabama must travel to Starkville after playing what should be the most physically exhausting game of the year against LSU, while Mississippi State hosts Tennessee-Martin a week earlier.

2. South Carolina at Tennessee, Oct. 29: Usually this wouldn't be considered an upset, but Tennessee is a team that is still a year away from really competing in the SEC East and South Carolina is the favorite in the East. However, the Volunteers could be finding some end-of-year momentum by the time they host the Gamecocks. All the pressure is on South Carolina in the East this fall, not Tennessee.

3. LSU at Mississippi State, Sept. 15: Those pesky Bulldogs return to the list. This time LSU has to travel to Starkville for a Thursday night affair. Those cowbells will be rattling like crazy -- at the appropriate times of course. LSU is hoping quarterback Jordan Jefferson starts off fast because the Bulldogs will be looking to make a statement early this fall.

4. Alabama at Florida, Oct. 1: Remember when this wouldn't dare be on the upset list? Florida and Alabama were the cream of the SEC two years ago. Now, Florida is in transition and Alabama is the league favorite. Many won't be picking the Gators, but a Florida win would add some life to the Will Muschamp era. The Tide will be coming off a slugfest with Arkansas and could be a little weary on the way to Gainesville.

5. Arkansas at Ole Miss, Oct. 22: Arkansas will be coming off a bye and Ole Miss will be healing from a fight with Alabama. Doesn't sound like it has the makings for an upset, but that would be incorrect. The Razorbacks have no business losing this game with the rest they'll have, but there is always a game out there that a top team shouldn't lose, but does. This one screams safe for the Razorbacks, which obviously means it's the opposite.