The 2013 Southeastern Conference football season begins Aug. 31, and the league that has won the last seven Bowl Championship Series national titles will certainly contend for another one.
These five games in the opening weeks should have large bearings not only on the SEC title, but the eventual national title. Remember that one loss of any kind can have a huge impact on rankings, titles and eventual bowl selection.
So keep an eye on these matchups:
Georgia at Clemson, Aug. 31: The Tigers won 11 games in 2012, and will have the Bulldogs in Death Valley.
Alabama-Virginia Tech, Aug. 31, at Atlanta: The defending national champions get a tough opener in the Chick-fil-A game.
South Carolina at Georgia, Sept. 7: The Gamecocks and longtime Bulldog nemesis Steve Spurrier have won three straight in this rivalry.
Florida at Miami, Sept. 7: The Gators were in the BCS in 2012, and almost beat Georgia. The Hurricanes will be fired up for the intrastate matchup.
Alabama at Texas A&M, Sept. 14: Remember that the Aggies handed Bama its only loss in 2012.
The complete 2013 schedule for SEC teams is here.