In & around the SEC: Week 12

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Auburn Week 11 recap

Auburn’s nightmare of a season only got worse last Saturday. Georgia dominated Auburn 38-0 in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and the score probably could have been much worse. The Bulldogs were led by freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, who both topped 100 yards on the ground. Aaron Murray threw for over 200 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bulldog defense easily shut down the Tigers’ struggling offense. Jonathan Wallace was one of the few bright spots in the game for Auburn. Making his first career SEC start, the freshman quarterback completed 15 of his 22 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers dropped to 2-8 overall, and 0-7 in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn plays Alabama A&M on Saturday in the Tigers’ final home game this season.

Alabama Week 11 recap

Alabama dropped its first game of the season to Texas A&M last Saturday. The Aggies jumped out to a 20-0 first quarter lead and held on to win 29-24 in front of a shell-shocked crowd in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Johnny Manziel submitted a Heisman-worthy performance for the Aggies. The freshman signal-caller recorded 345 total yards and two touchdowns. Alabama had an opportunity to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Aggie defensive back Deshazor Everett intercepted A.J. McCarron at the goal line. Alabama fell to 9-1 overall, and 6-1 in the Southeastern Conference. The Crimson Tide hosts Western Carolina on Saturday.

SEC Power Poll
    1. Georgia (9-1, 7-1)
    2. Alabama (9-1, 6-1)
    3. Florida (9-1, 7-1)
    4. LSU (8-2, 4-2)
    5. Texas A&M (8-2, 5-2)
    6. South Carolina (8-2, 6-2)
    7. Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3)
    8. Vanderbilt (6-4, 4-3)
    9. Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4)
    10. Missouri (5-5, 2-5)
    11. Arkansas (4-6, 2-4)
    12. Tennessee (4-6, 0-6)
    13. Auburn (2-8, 0-7)
    14. Kentucky (1-9, 0-7)

Predictions
(Week 11: 4-3;
season: 76-14)

Western Carolina at Alabama

After back-to-back games versus top ten opponents, the Crimson Tide finally gets a break this weekend. Just don’t mention that to Nick Saban. ALABAMA 52, Western Carolina 3

Arkansas at Mississippi State (-6.5)

After starting the season 7-0, Mississippi State has dropped three straight games. If Arkansas is going to make a bowl game this season, the Hogs must win out. Look for the Bulldogs to get back on track this weekend. MISSISSIPPI STATE 34, Arkansas 24

Jacksonville State at Florida.

The Gators needed a blocked punt in the final seconds of the game last week to defeat Louisiana-Lafayette. Florida also lost quarterback Jeff Driskel to an ankle injury, and he will not be playing on Saturday. Jacoby Brissett will get the start, and while it likely will not matter this week, the Gators will need Driskel to defeat Florida State next weekend. FLORIDA 45, Jacksonville State 10

Wofford at South Carolina

The Gamecocks have one final tune-up before taking on archrival Clemson next week. SOUTH CAROLINA 52, Wofford 9

Georgia Southern at Georgia

The Bulldogs clinched the SEC East for the second straight year after defeating Auburn last week. If Georgia can take care of business the next two games, they will be in position to possibly sneak into the national championship game.

Alabama A&M at Auburn

Auburn’s seniors experienced both some of the highest and lowest points in the program’s history this year. As they take the field Saturday for the final time in Jordan-Hare Stadium, they will be playing only for pride. At 2-8, the Tigers have no chance to reach a bowl game. Despite winning a national title less than two years ago, Gene Chizik is on the hot seat. The only way Chizik might keep his job is if he leads the Tigers to victories over Alabama A&M and Alabama, which seems highly unlikely given Auburn’s lack of progress this season. Saturday might be the last time Gene Chizik roams the sidelines as Auburn’s head coach. AUBURN 45, Alabama A&M 10

Sam Houston State at Texas A&M

Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies look to avoid a let down after Saturday’s upset over top-ranked Alabama. TEXAS A&M 59, Sam Houston State 20

Syracuse at Missouri (-4.5)

The Tigers went into Neyland Stadium and picked up a 51-48 win over Tennessee in triple overtime. Syracuse knocked off previously unbeaten Louisville, 45-26. Both teams currently have 5-5 records, and the winner of this game becomes bowl eligible. MISSOURI 27, Syracuse 23

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (-4)

After a disappointing home loss to Missouri, the Vols’ chances at going bowling this season suddenly became much slimmer. Tennessee needs victories over both Vanderbilt and Kentucky, and even if they win both games, Derek Dooley might not keep his job. Vanderbilt is going to consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history after the Commodores defeated Ole Miss, 27-26, in dramatic fashion in Oxford last weekend. Vanderbilt hasn’t beaten Tennessee since 2005. VANDERBILT 31, Tennessee 30

Samford at Kentucky

Given that the Wildcats had an extra week to prepare for Samford, they should be able to pick up the victory on Saturday. KENTUCKY 34, Samford 16

Game of the Week
Ole Miss at LSU (-19)

After a heartbreaking defeat to Alabama, LSU bounced back nicely and defeated Mississippi State, 37-17, in Baton Rouge. Ole Miss dropped to 5-5 after a disappointing 27-26 home loss to Vanderbilt. The Rebels’ offense might give LSU some trouble, but the Tigers should be able to control the line of scrimmage throughout the game. LSU 41, Ole Miss 20

Extra Points
* Vanderbilt has only beaten Tennessee twice in the last 35 years.

* The SEC has teams ranked 4-9 in the latest BCS standings: Alabama (4), Georgia (5), Florida (6), LSU (7), Texas A&M (8) and South Carolina (9).

* The Ole Miss-LSU game is known as the “Magnolia Bowl.” LSU leads the series 57-39-4.

* No coach in Texas A&M history has won double-digit games in his first season. Kevin Sumlin currently has eight wins, with Sam Houston State, Missouri and a bowl game left on the schedule.

* The SEC needs help if the conference is going to have a chance to win its seventh consecutive national championship. Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame are all undefeated, and two of those teams are going to have to be upset in order for the SEC to slide back into the national title picture. A quick look at the top three teams and their games this week:
    Kansas State at Baylor – Alabama fans wish Robert Griffin III was still on scho-larship for this one.
    Oregon vs. Stanford – The Ducks have been unstoppable but are entering the toughest stretch of their schedule.
    Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest  – The Fighting Irish should win easily but cannot afford to look ahead to rival USC next week.
 

 
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