SEC has a chance to make some national noise with big non-conference matchups

The SEC unquestionably was down last season. It has a chance to regain some lost luster in the very first week of the 2017 season.

SEC teams arguably are involved in six of the biggest 10 games of the first weekend: BYU-LSU, Georgia Tech-Tennessee, NC State-South Carolina, Texas A&M-UCLA, Florida-Michigan and Alabama-Florida State. It’s inarguable that Alabama-FSU is the marquee matchup of the weekend — and the marquee non-conference game of the season.

SEC teams are favored in three of the six, including two of the three ACC-SEC matchups.

Arkansas thrashed FCS member Florida A&M on Thursday night, so let’s take a look at the remaining 13 games involving SEC teams this weekend, with a projected winner in each.

RELATED: Preseason SEC Power Rankings, by division and overall

DREW LOCK, by John Rieger/USA Today Sports

Missouri State at Missouri

Time/TV: Saturday, noon, SEC Network
The line: None (Missouri State is a FCS program)
The buzz: Missouri State, a FCS program, was 4-7 last season and hasn’t had a winning record this decade. Missouri State’s coach is Dave Steckel, a former Mizzou defensive coordinator. Indeed, he was current Mizzou coach Barry Odom’s boss for a few seasons when Odom was Mizzou’s linebacker coach. In addition, Odom came from Memphis to replace him as Missouri DC when Steckel left for Missouri State following the 2014 season. Missouri’s offense should be one of the most prolific in the SEC, thanks to the likes of QB Drew Lock, and should have a big day against the Bears.
The pick: Missouri 51-20

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