The SEC schedule is stacked full of big games and interesting matchups heading into an expanded conference in 2024. The league will see several fresh matchups including conference games with the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners.
New rivalries emerge and old rivalries resume as Texas and Oklahoma reunite with old opponents and start border rivalries with new teams.
The two blue blood football programs enter the SEC at its most competitive time in recent history. The retirement of Alabama head coach Nick Saban paired with the rise of teams like Ole Miss and Missouri make the conference perhaps as unpredictable as it has been over the last decade.
Let’s look at some of the conference games we’re most excited to see in 2024 including the SEC’s top traditional rivalries.
Georgia vs Alabama
Alabama does it again!
The champions of the SEC. pic.twitter.com/PMjbRjkfzC
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 3, 2023
We get an SEC title rematch in Tuscaloosa early in conference play. The atmosphere projects to be as electric as possible with the two rivals vying again for the top spot in the conference. New Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer will undoubtedly circle this game as the matchup of the season. He will will need a massive game from starting quarterback Jalen Milroe to win this game.
Oklahoma vs LSU
Blowout of the Day🪖
#1 LSU 63
#4 Oklahoma 28
— College Football Report (@CFBRep) July 9, 2023
LSU doesn’t get to welcome Texas to the SEC this season, but they will get to host Oklahoma in Baton Rouge. The game will take place the last week of the season as the potential rivalry could provide the conference another consistently good rivalry matchup.
Texas vs Texas A&M
A&M only has 4 wins vs Texas at Kyle Field in the last 30 yrs.
Henceforth, we will be calling it Mack Brown Field at College Station.
— University of Tampering (@Doc_Texas) June 15, 2023
Texas A&M’s biggest game in 2024 will be its final scheduled game of the year. The Aggies will look to send the Longhorns home with a loss. The last time the two teams met, Texas kicker Justin Tucker hit a walk off field goal to win the game.
Alabama vs LSU
Alabama QB Jalen Milroe vs. LSU:
219 passing yards
155 rushing yards
— Slim (@ayeslim_) November 7, 2023
If Alabama is down after losing the majority of its starters and several transfers, you can expect LSU will look to capitalize. The intense matchup is set to be played in Baton Rouge where the Tigers defeated the Tide in 2022.
Alabama vs Tennessee
Tennessee beats Alabama 52-49. pic.twitter.com/svp6oGM4eq
— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) October 16, 2022
Remember the above game? It snapped a 15-game Tennessee losing streak to Alabama and sent shock waves through college football. The Volunteers won’t produce the same effect with a home win this season, but a win would certainly leave a strong national impression. One of college football’s top rivalries should be a must-see TV in 2024.
Oklahoma vs Missouri
Missouri beats Ohio State 14-3 in a defensive battle at the Cotton Bowl. Cook and Schrader lead the Tigers offense, while Walker Jr. shines on defense. Brown injured for the Buckeyes. #NCAAF #CottonBowl #Mizzou #OhioState pic.twitter.com/0NlyfiEKqq
— Global Alert Sports (@galertsports) December 30, 2023
Missouri and Oklahoma go from recruiting rivals to on-field rivals next season. The Tigers could have as strong a team as they have had in past games against the Sooners. With a less difficult schedule, expect Missouri to prioritize this game in the offseason to give Oklahoma a good battle.
Auburn vs Alabama
Why I just got this weird feeling Eli Gold might announce his retirement 🥺🥺 …
— Coach Smook (@CoachSmook) January 27, 2024
The Iron Bowl will be as intense as ever this season with change at the head coaching position at Alabama. The Tide should bring a raucous crowd to welcome the Auburn Tigers to Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Tennessee vs Georgia
Still don't understand how Georgia let Tennessee catch that last second Hail Mary. 😒 pic.twitter.com/1RdxNmf8pT
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) October 2, 2016
Can anybody beat Georgia this year? If anyone, the Tennessee Volunteers might be the team. With Alabama down and Texas facing Oklahoma a week before facing Georgia, it might have to be Tennessee who secures the upset. The Volunteers haven’t had much success in the rivalry since beating Georgia head coach Kirby Smart in his first season in Athens. Even so, they will know what they are up against.
Oklahoma vs Ole Miss
Penn State has the #1 Total Defense in CFB.
Ole Miss’ Offense in just 3 QTs
481 Total Yards
27 First Downs
325 Passing Yards
3 Passing TDs
0 INTs pic.twitter.com/yyx6EiFCq6
— College Football Report (@CFBRep) December 30, 2023
Ole Miss hosts Oklahoma in what could be an instant classic. Two of college football’s most explosive offenses in 2024 will look to outscore their opponent in what could be a shootout. Winning this game launches Ole Miss into serious SEC title conversation.
Texas vs Arkansas
53yrs ago today James Street to Randy Peschel as #Texas beats #Arkansas 15-14 in the #GameOfTheCentury #RIPJamesStreet #HookEmInHeaven 🐂🤘🏻 RT @TexasFootball
• • • • • •#TBT – 1969: Texas defeats Arkansas 15-14.
#ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/k6EfulEk9W
— Chris Bennett (CB) (@chrisgb002000) December 6, 2022
Texas beat Arkansas in 1969 effectively sealing a national title that year. The once premier Southwest Conference rivalry resumes. For the Razorbacks, it could breathe life into a program that hasn’t had the same fervor it once had with the Longhorns as rivals. The once great football program will look to recapture the energy it brought in a 2021 home victory over Texas. The Longhorns will have other plans.
LSU vs Florida
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) July 2, 2016
Somehow these two teams produce some of the best games even in years where one team has a decided advantage. We could have another close matchup in store with the underdog Florida Gators afforded the opportunity to host as the home team.
Alabama vs Oklahoma
The only two SEC programs to win their most recent games at Bryant-Denny are… Texas and Oklahoma.
OU 20 Alabama 13 (Sept. 6, 2003)
Texas 34 Alabama 24 (Sept. 9, 2023) pic.twitter.com/YoaRG2gCv7
— Zach Barnett (@zach_barnett) September 10, 2023
Oklahoma gets to be the home team in its first SEC matchup with fellow blue blood Alabama. The Sooners should have a big advantage from their home crowd and could channel that energy into a major upset of the Crimson Tide in the team’s premier game of the season. It’s as big a game for Oklahoma as Texas’ game against Alabama was in 2023.
LSU vs Texas A&M
Texas A&M beats LSU 74-72 in 7 overtimes!
Highest scoring game in FBS history pic.twitter.com/CiucvCureV
— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) November 25, 2018
For whatever reason, LSU has the hardest time beating Texas A&M. If for nothing else, credit former A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher with building the game into a rivalry. The matchup in 2018 took the game from just another SEC matchup to a budding rivalry. LSU will look to stay in the win column this season, while new Aggies head coach Mike Elko will aim to earn a signature win in his first season.
Texas vs Oklahoma
THAT'S GAME! 😤
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 7, 2023
Both Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables and Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian have proven they can perform well in the rivalry game. Sarkisian will look to get revenge in 2024. The Sooners utilized the game last season to announce to the college football world they’re not going away.
Last season, Texas diverted its primary focus to beating Alabama while Oklahoma prioritized the Red River game. For reference, each squad’s star player smoked a celebratory cigar in post game celebration of both wins. This season, Oklahoma needs to beat Alabama and Texas needs to beat Oklahoma. We’ll see what effect that has on preparation for Red River for both teams.