Alabama at Texas A&M is top SEC game of Week 3

The meeting on Saturday between Alabama and Texas A&M is the can't-miss game of the season, but there are still a few other contests involving SEC teams that are worth a look this weekend. Here are each of the games involving Southeastern Conference teams, ranked from worst to best:

8. Kent State at LSU, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Rating: 0 stars

The skinny: Diminutive Kent State running back Dri Archer is the one to watch on the underdog side. At just 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, his future in the NFL would likely be as a return specialist only, or perhaps as a slot receiver. For Kent State, however, he'll be running for any daylight he can find against an LSU defensive line sure to dominate the point of attack. Standout LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow is known to overrun plays at times, opening cutback lanes. Watch for that against Archer. Others to watch: Tigers WR Odell Beckham Jr., who looks to maintain a two-game average of 301.5 all-purpose yards per game, left tackle La'El Collins, who looks to add some experience as a blind-side protector and quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who has had a hot hand through two games.

7. Southern Miss at Arkansas, Saturday, 12:21 p.m. ET, SEC Network

Rating: 0 stars

The skinny: Watch for defensive tackle Khyrie Thornton (6-3, 300) working head to head against draft-bound Arkansas center Travis Swanson. On the line of scrimmage, there won't be a better matchup. The new Razorbacks backfield duo of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams looks to surpass 100 yards each for the third consecutive week. Razorbacks cornerback Tevin Mitchell will be ball-hawking against a Southern Miss passing game that already has produced six interceptions.

6. Louisville at Kentucky, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Never hurts to get an eyeful of a Heisman Trophy candidate, and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater could put up some eye-popping numbers in this game against a hapless Kentucky secondary. The Wildcats will desperately need a lot of production from their pass rush, which means junior-college transfer DE Za'Darius Smith (four sacks in first two games) will need to deliver once again. Others to watch: Kentucky LB Avery Williamson, Kentucky DT Donte Rumph, Louisville safety Hakeem Smith and Louisville inside linebacker Preston Brown. Bridgewater will be the only top-shelf draft prospect on the field, but others aforementioned will draw NFL looks, as well.

5. Mississippi State at Auburn, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: A conference game that typically is a low-scoring affair, one matchup worthy of armchair evaluators is MSU defensive end Denico Autry working against promising Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson. Overall, most of the prospects in this game will be playing in the box, with Auburn's veteran offensive line battling promising MSU defenders like Deontay Skinner and Benardrick McKinney. MSU draft prospects Nickoe Whitley (safety), LaDarius Perkins (running back) and Tyler Russell (quarterback) all will play after missing last week with injuries. Standout AU defensive end Dee Ford could make his season debut.

4. Vanderbilt at South Carolina, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Star South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will work against his third pro prospect in as many weeks at left tackle, this time matched against versatile Vandy lineman Wesley Johnson. With cornerback Vic Hampton ailing in practice this week, Gamecocks corner Jimmy Legree may draw star Vandy receiver Jordan Matthews for much of the day. Two more to watch: Commodores defensive backs Andre Hal (cornerback) and Kenny Ladler (safety). The scrambling of Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw may force those two to cover receivers longer than normal.

3. Ole Miss at Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Can Ole Miss star receiver Donte Moncrief post his first 100-yard game of the season against Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs? Moncrief will have a size advantage over Diggs, but he has had that the last two weeks and nevertheless lacked production in wins over Vanderbilt and Southeast Missouri State. Heralded freshman Laremy Tunsil squares off against former five-star recruit Jackson Jeffcoat at defensive end. Safety Charles Sawyer, arrested on a DUI charge Sunday morning, is not expected to play for the Rebels. Texas RB Joe Bergeron vs. Ole Miss LB Mike Marry should be a strong matchup, as well.

2. Tennessee at Oregon, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Blazing fast running back De'Anthony Thomas could cause all sorts of problems for a Tennessee defensive front that isn't terribly fast. For linebacker A.J. Johnson, who must show NFL scouts he is effective from sideline to sideline, Thomas provides the ultimate challenge. Defensive tackle Daniel McCullers should anchor things in the middle for UT, but Thomas runs more on the perimeter, anyway. How will Oregon defensive lineman Taylor Hart fare against Tennessee's vaunted offensive line, which includes four NFL prospects, including a potential first-round pick in left tackle Tiny Richardson?

1. Alabama at Texas A&M, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel has plenty of future NFL talent around him on offense, from left tackle Jake Matthews to wide receiver Mike Evans to right tackle Ced Ogbuehi. The backfield is loaded, and junior college transfer TE Cameron Clear is playing better by the week. But all that may not be enough against an Alabama defense featuring one of the nation's elite seniors in linebacker C.J. Mosley, junior star safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, cornerback Deion Belue, defensive end Ed Stinson and linebacker Adrian Hubbard. Offensively, Alabama's sophomore duo of T.J. Yeldon (running back) and Amari Cooper (wide receiver) will get their touches. Look for a rebound effort from Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, who played poorly against Virginia Tech but is working to solidify projections that have him being a very high draft pick when he decides to come out.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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