In & around the SEC

By Cole FrederickBy Cole Frederick

Alabama Week 13 recap  

Alabama pitched its third shutout of the season last Saturday defeating Chattanooga by a score of 49-0 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. In their final home game, senior quarterback A.J. McCarron threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns and senior wide receiver Kevin Norwood caught four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. The Crimson Tide improved to 11-0 on the season. Alabama travels to Jordan-Hare Stadium this Saturday (Nov. 30) to take on Auburn in the 78th edition of the Iron Bowl. 

SEC rankings

1. Alabama (11-0, 7-0)

2. Auburn (10-1, 6-1)

3. Missouri (10-1, 6-1)

4. LSU (8-3, 4-3)

5. South Carolina (9-2, 6-2)

6. Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3)

7. Ole Miss (7-4, 3-4)

8. Vanderbilt (7-4, 4-4)

9. Georgia (7-4, 5-3)

10. Mississippi State (5-6, 2-5)

11. Tennessee (4-7, 1-6)

12. Florida (4-7, 3-5)

13. Arkansas (3-8, 0-7)

14. Kentucky (2-9, 0-7)

Week 14 Previews and Predictions (Week 13: 5-3; Season: 87-16)

Game of the Week

Alabama at Auburn (+11). For the first time since the Southeastern Conference went to the divisional format, the Iron Bowl will decide the winner of the SEC West. Nick Saban has Alabama poised to win its third straight national championship, while Gus Malzahn has Auburn in position to complete the biggest turnaround in SEC history. Alabama has one of the nation’s best rushing defenses. Auburn’s running game is among the best in the country. The Tigers haven’t lost at home this season, and the Crimson Tide haven’t lost anywhere. Alabama leads the series 42-34-1, and this game is one of the biggest in the rivalry’s rich history. The Tigers have overachieved this season, and they are facing the best team in the country. Auburn’s prolific offense will provide a challenge for Alabama, but Nick Saban will have the top-ranked Crimson Tide well prepared. Prediction: Alabama 38, Auburn 23. 

Ole Miss at Mississippi State (+3). The Rebels suffered a disappointing home loss to Missouri last weekend but still have a chance to reach eight regular season wins. The Bulldogs must defeat Ole Miss to become bowl eligible, much like the Rebels had to defeat Mississippi State last year to become bowl eligible. Prediction: Ole Miss 30, Mississippi State 24. 

Arkansas at LSU (-25.5). The Tigers finally put together a complete performance last week against Texas A&M. LSU’s defense held Johnny Manziel and the Aggie offense to a season-low 10 points. The Razorbacks fell to Mississippi State in overtime and are still winless in conference play under first-year head coach Bret Bielema. Prediction: LSU 41, Arkansas 13. 

Florida State at Florida (+27). The Gators lost to Georgia Southern last week in one of the most embarrassing losses in school history. According to UF athletic director Jeremy Foley, head coach Will Muschamp’s job is safe. If Florida plays poorly and loses badly to rival Florida State, however, Muschamp’s job indeed might be in jeopardy. Prediction: Florida State 48, Florida 10. 

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt (-14). James Franklin and the Vanderbilt Commodores are on the brink of another eight-win regular season. Vandy defeated rival Tennessee last Saturday with a late fourth quarter touchdown. The Commodores might have a difficult time keeping Franklin around this offseason if a bigger school offers him a job. Prediction: Vanderbilt 33, Wake Forest 17. 

Georgia at Georgia Tech (+3). The injuries keep piling on for Georgia. The Bulldogs lost quarterback Aaron Murray in last week’s win over Kentucky due to a torn ACL. At the beginning of the season, Georgia was a national title contender. Now, the Bulldogs aren’t even ranked. Mark Richt has defeated the Yellow Jackets in four consecutive seasons, but that streak might end this year. Prediction: Georgia Tech 34, Georgia 24. 

Tennessee at Kentucky (+4). Neither team will be eligible for a bowl game this year, but both schools have a big opportunity to gain some momentum entering the offseason. The Vols nearly knocked off Vandy last week and they have shown signs of progress throughout the year. Kentucky is winless in league play but the Wildcats have the potential to pull off the upset at home this weekend. Prediction: Tennessee 27, Kentucky 22. 

Clemson at South Carolina (-4.5). The Gamecocks still can win the SEC East but must rely on Missouri to lose to Texas A&M. Steve Spurrier’s team has won four straight games against Clemson, but this year’s contest features two evenly matched teams. Clemson’s only loss came to Florida State earlier in the season. The Gamecocks have won the last four games by double digits. Prediction: South Carolina 38, Clemson 34. 

Texas A&M at Missouri (-4.5). It’s simple for Missouri: beat Texas A&M and they’re playing next week in Atlanta for the SEC Championship. The Tigers were impressive in last Saturday’s 24-10 over Ole Miss, while the Aggies submitted their worst performance of the year against LSU. Johnny Manziel has one more opportunity to impress voters on his quest to win back-to-back Heisman Trophy’s, although last week’s game severely hurt his chances. Prediction: Missouri 41, Texas A&M 37. 

 
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