Gators-Vols headlines The Athletic’s top Week 3 matchups

The Southeastern Conference opens up its league schedule this weekend with a full slate of matchups this Saturday. The 2023 campaign has been sluggish for the premier conference so far as member schools have won just one-third of their Power Five matchups.

The first round of games on the SEC slate is fairly underwhelming — in fact, Week 3 as a whole for the rest of the P5 is also not quite at midseason form. Despite the lack of overall competition, the Florida-Tennessee game appears to be the top pick in mid-September.

The Athletic’s Justin Williams published his top 10 college football matchups for Week 3, anointing Gators-Vols as the number one game this Saturday. Williams justified his pick with the following explanation.

“There’s probably some nostalgia kicking in after I watched the Florida ‘Swamp Kings’ documentary on Netflix, but something about the Third Saturday in September feels like the college football of my childhood in a deep, ineffable way. (Already missing the CBS theme music on this one.)”

He followed that up with a vote of no-confidence overall in the two teams, but nonetheless faith in the SEC brand.

“I’m not sure how good Tennessee is after letting Austin Peay hang around for a bit, though I’m pretty sure the Gators are a long, long way from those Swamp Kings days, so a runaway win for the Volunteers wouldn’t shock me. But on a weekend devoid of any certified bangers, I’ll gladly take a big-brands conference rivalry in the top spot.”

The Gators host the Volunteers in the Swamp on Saturday, Sept. 16, for the SEC schedule opener between two historic rivals. The opening kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. EDT and the game can be watched on ESPN.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire