On the last day of October, kids of all ages will dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for goodies.
Trick or Treat!
You know the Halloween drill. Give me some candy … or I’ll egg your front door!
Before that big night gets here, marking the end of the month, many SEC teams will already have their season determined during a uniquely significant stretch of October games.
Some teams will wind up with candy apples and homemade cookies. For others, it will be a horror.
One October weekend is already in the record book. But when we look back on the month after three more Saturdays, which teams will end up with treats and which ones will have a bag of tricks?
Alabama – The talented Tide faces Missouri and Tennessee, who have a combined zero SEC wins, then surprising Mississippi State, but that one is in Tuscaloosa. – Treats.
Arkansas – The Hogs will miss out on a postseason bowl, ending the year with three consecutive losses, making this season a horror show. But, since they already have one October win, they could end the month with two more. – Treats.
Auburn – Fittingly, the Tigers offense started the month like zombies against Arkansas. After scary trips to Oxford and Nashville, Texas A&M comes to town. They could have a winless October. – Tricks
Florida – The Gators season has already been so sweet with three come-from-behind SEC wins. Following a game at Vanderbilt, South Carolina comes to Gainesville. Then, there’s perennial whipping boy Georgia in Jacksonville. A winning month of October, which has already seen a victory over LSU, will prove that Florida is back among the league’s elite. – Treats.
Georgia – The Dawgs’ first October performance looked like “The Night of the Living Dead,” and the month’s last game in Jacksonville could be the sequel. Thank the full moon that Kentucky comes in between. – Tricks
Kentucky – There is a big pumpkin sitting outside Commonwealth Stadium and those aren’t Keeneland thoroughbreds pulling the carriage. The Wildcats play at Arkansas and Missouri, and entertain Georgia. Does it really matter who they play? The clock has struck midnight already. – Tricks.
LSU – The Tigers’ offense played the part of “The Invisible Man” in Gainesville to start the month. South Carolina’s dominating defense is like the Frankenstein monster coming to town. Then, there’s the first ever trip to College Station to face the Aggies as an SEC member. – Tricks.
Mississippi – The month started with a heartbreaking loss to Texas A&M. Auburn and Arkansas remain on the October schedule, and the Rebels have to win both to have a realistic postseason bowl shot. That won’t happen … and then they lose three in November. – Tricks.
Mississippi State – The closer it gets to Halloween, the spookier the schedule looks for the Bulldogs. First, Starkville entertains two Volunteer State teams – Tennessee and Middle Tennessee. Neither are sure things, but they are likely wins. State gets the poison apple that last week — it plays in Tuscaloosa — but there are enough sweet apples early. – Treats.
Missouri – It’s the Show-Me State. In their first SEC year, the league’s new Tigers have only been shown ghosts and goblins. They couldn’t beat Vandy at home, and now Count Dracula comes to town. How badly should Alabama win that one? Kentucky should provide Missouri’s first ever SEC win to end the month, but that won’t offset the other weeks, or what will likely happen in November. – Tricks.
South Carolina –Before it started, the month seemed likely to be a horror for the Gamecocks. Instead, the demolition of Georgia looked more like one of those Grade-B horror classics than a competitive game. Now comes the Road Trip from Hell, as South Carolina plays at LSU and at Florida on back-to-back Saturdays, followed by Tennessee. Here’s thinking that they’ll win two of the three and be a legit conference title contender. Wear a Steve Spurrier mask if you can find one. – Treats.
Tennessee – What started as a dream is turning into a nightmare. Don’t go to sleep, Vols. Here comes Freddy Krueger. Oops, that’s just Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina in a row to complete October. A win over State is possible … but barely. Those other two could look like “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” Tennessee traditionally wins most of its November games. Good thing, since they won’t win any in October. – Tricks.
Texas A&M – The Aggies play back-to-back games against Bayou State teams, and LSU may not be the best one of the pair. Undefeated Louisiana Tech entertains A&M before LSU visits College Station. Both could be losses. And, don’t forget, the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” happens the second week in November in Tuscaloosa. The Aggies close October at Auburn, which could be the home team’s last shot at an SEC win. – Tricks.
Vanderbilt – High expectations made the season’s start look like the “Nightmare on Elm Street,” as the Commodores went 1-3 and faced a trip to Columbia, MO. But, the win there put a postseason bowl bid back in play. After a home loss to Florida, the ‘Dores will have Auburn and Massachusetts in Nashville. Three wins in October will set the stage for at least two more in November and a 13th game in December of January. – Treats.