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NCAA Football SEC Football

Top 5 SEC Football Games in 2014

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5 SEC football games to watch in 2014

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Kevin Liles - USA TODAY Sports

Despite having their championship streak snapped by the Florida State Seminoles, the SEC remains the top conference in college football. No conference draws more fans, produces more NFL talent and provides marquee matchups like the boys below the Mason-Dixon line.

The 2014 season will be no different. The powerful teams will still be powerful, regardless of attrition. The Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers have made a habit of supplying the NFL with first round draft picks every year. One would think this would lead to a few rebuilding years, but that has not been so. Nick Saban and Les Miles simply reload and carry on. The defending SEC champion Auburn Tigers lost Tre Mason and a few key defenders, but Gus Malzahn's squad looks to repeat with the talent coming back.

Other strong teams will be looking to rebound from disappointment and will be hungrier than ever. Injuries wreaked havoc on the Georgia Bulldogs in 2013. The South Carolina Gamecocks and Ole Miss Rebels did not have bad seasons but failed to live up to their goals.

The new college football playoff will  be impacted by the SEC and how its season progresses.  If certain events fall into place, there could be two SEC teams playing for the national championship again. Here are the top 5 matchups coming up that could determine which teams could factor into the SEC and national championship picture in 2014.

Brad Stephens is an SEC Football writer for Rantsports.com. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @bradstephens320.

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Ole Miss vs. Alabama

Bo Wallace
Spruce Derden - USA TODAY Sports

The Rebels face their first big test when the Tide roll into Oxford on Oct. 4. This game will go a long way in determining whether Ole Miss will be a factor in the West. If Bo Wallace can handle the pressure and the talented defense can force turnovers, Alabama could find themselves on the losing end in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

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Auburn vs. Georgia

Marshall
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

These two teams duked it out in Auburn last year until a last-second miracle play gave Auburn the victory on the Plains, keeping their SEC and national title hopes alive. The Tigers travel to Athens on Nov. 15, where they have had little success as of late and the Bulldogs will be itching to repay the favor.

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Alabama vs. LSU

saban and miles
Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports

How can any top 5 list not include this game? This rivalry has been rife with national implications every year since 2007. The amount of NFL talent on the field is astounding and the entire country tunes in when these two heavyweights go toe-to-toe. Alabama travels to Baton Rouge for a Nov. 8 slugfest that could determine the SEC West champion. The last three games in Tiger Stadium have been decided by less than seven points, so the new quarterbacks on each team will certainly have their work cut out for them.

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Georgia vs. South Carolina

Gurley
Melina Vastola - USA Today Sports

The Bulldogs and Gamecocks appear to be the frontrunners for the SEC East and they meet on Sept. 13 in Williams-Brice Stadium to decide who is stepping up early. The Bulldogs have lost the last two in Columbia by a combined score of 52-13. However, with two new starting quarterbacks that early in the season, anything is possible. Look for a defensive struggle and special teams to make the difference.

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Alabama vs. Auburn

rivalry
John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

No rivalry in the country means more than this one. Throw out the traditional stuff, this is pure hatred and Alabama is still replaying the 109-yard miracle that destroyed their SEC hopes. The Tigers drive up to Tuscaloosa to square off against the Tide on Nov. 29 in a game that could change the entire national landscape, especially if both are undefeated. Auburn's Wing-T attack versus the aggressive Alabama defense will be a joy to watch for any football fan.