Is Missouri-South Carolina the weekend's biggest game? Well, it is getting ESPN's College GameDay. The show that travels to the best game of the week every Saturday is taking its broadcast to Columbia, S.C., where the 13th-ranked Gamecocks will take on the unranked Tigers.
Before the season, it was easy to see how this matchup could have gotten GameDay to come to town. Mizzou is the defending SEC East champion, while South Carolina was the division favorite heading into the year. However, the Tigers lost to Indiana last week in an underwhelming performance, while the Gamecocks were blown out at home in the season opener against Texas A&M.
To be fair, Missouri has looked good at times this year, and South Carolina still might be the division favorite after taking down Georgia in Columbia. But neither of these teams looks likely to make the College Football Playoff, and this may end up being a reminder of how far the SEC East is behind its counterpart to the west.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 7 p.m. ET
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Rankings and records: Missouri is 3-1 and unranked in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. The Tigers were ranked in both last week, but dropped out after losing to Indiana. South Carolina is 3-1, and the Gamecocks are ranked 13th in the AP Poll and 15th in the Coaches Poll.
Vegas: South Carolina opened as a 5.5-point favorite.
Weather forecast: 73 and partly cloudy.
Two things at stake
The SEC East is not very good, but if South Carolina wins this game, it will have likely beaten its two biggest challengers in the division (Missouri and Georgia). A loss blows the race wide open again.
Missouri needs to win this game to stay within striking distance to repeat as division champions.
One big matchup
It was very clear after South Carolina's opening loss to Texas A&M that the Gamecocks' defense was not going to be nearly as good in 2014 as it was in 2013. The wins against Georgia (38-35) and particularly Vanderbilt (48-34) confirmed that. For all of its inexplicable mediocrity against an abysmal Indiana defense, Missouri has proven itself on offense this year. The Tigers blew out two decent UCF and Toledo teams, and quarterback Maty Mauk has proven to be a solid player in his sophomore season. This won't be your classic SEC defensive matchup — it will be a shootout. And unless South Carolina's defense plays to a level we haven't seen this season, Missouri definitely has the firepower to pull the upset.