Pivotal games for SEC football teams and spinning a successful season with no Playoff

How many SEC football teams can miss the Playoffs and still spin a successful season story? Check out pivotal games for several SEC teams.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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  • Kentucky Wildcats - The Cats are another team that could struggle to reach seven wins. To achieve eight wins, Kentucky will likely need to win four of South Carolina, Auburn, and Louisville at home; and Florida and Tennessee on the road. The Wildcats roster has some impressive talent, but knocking off the Vols, Gators, and Cardinals feels improbable.
  • LSU Bengal Tigers - In most cases early losses can be overcome, but the Bengal Tigers need to build a Playoff resume with an opening-game win over USC. Among SEC teams, only Missouri has an easier schedule. LSU has not lost at home to Ole Miss since 2008, but the Rebels have won two of the three most recent games. Brian Kelly cannot afford to lose Lane Kiffin in Baton Rouge. Losses to USC, Ole Miss, and Alabama could knock the Bengal Tigers out of the Playoffs.
  • Oklahoma Sooners - Making the Playoffs is a stretch for the Sooners. Their ESPN FPI win projection is 8.2. Getting to nine wins will likely require winning three of five big games. The five games are the Red River Shootout against Texas, away to Ole Miss, Missouri, and LSU; plus a home game against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Nov. 23. An eight-win season, with an upset of either Texas, Alabama, or LSU would give the Sooners momentum for the 2025 season.
  • Ole Miss - The Rebels should be 6-0 before the LSU game on Oct. 12. Playoff hopes will not die with a loss to LSU, but Ole Miss will have to beat Oklahoma at home on Oct. 26 and Florida in Gainesville on Nov. 23. The Rebels have lost three of their last four games against the Gators.