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Five games we DIDN'T expect to shape the SEC...No.5, Bama at Arkansas

100 days until Hawaii...

GAINESVILLE -- College football columnist Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution offered readers five games this fall he believes will shape the SEC championship. Here's the link CLICK ME.

It's a pretty predictable list. It shouldn't be, of course. Last season was one of the most UNPREDICTABLE college football seasons in history. Need I remind anyone that Mississippi State beat both Auburn and Alabama, Florida clobbered Tennessee but the Vols still played in Atlanta and -- most unusual of all -- LSU lost two games and still won a national championship.

The unpredictibility will surely carry over into this season. Georgia lost to South Carolina last season but is now expected by most everyone to win the SEC and play for a national title. With that in mind, Gator Clause presents FIVE GAMES YOU DIDN'T SEE COMING THAT WILL SHAPE THE SEC title game...We'll look at one match-up per day for the next five days...And remember, folks, 100 days until college football season!

5. Alabama at Arkansas
When: Sept. 20
Last season: Alabama 7-4, Independence Bowl win against Colorado (30-24); Arkansas 8-5, Cotton Bowl loss to Missouri 38-7
Why this game matters: The first SEC game for both teams, this match-up is all about momentum. Second-year Alabama coach Nick Saban won't just be looking to improve on his first season, he's looking to win the West. Alabama begins the season as the West's dark horse and a win against Arkansas in Fayetteville will send Crimson Tide fans into a frenzy. Arkansas lost a lot (Darren McFadden and Felix Jones) last season but don't expect a major down year from the Hogs. First-year coach Bobby Petrino would like nothing more than to beat Saban in his SEC debut. Arkansas will be ready.

-jo-

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