In & around SEC football


Alabama Week 12 Review

The Crimson Tide knocked off top-ranked Mississippi State, 25-20, last Saturday (Nov. 15) in Tuscaloosa. As a result, Alabama replaced the Bulldogs as the No. 1 team in the country. Alabama led 19-0 in the first half but the Bulldogs battled back to make the game 19-13 in the second half. Following the MSU touchdown that closed the gap to six points, Alabama put together a 15-play, six-minute drive that gave the Crimson Tide a 25-13 lead. Mississippi State scored again, but it was too late for Dan Mullen’s team to have a chance to win the game. Blake Sims played an efficient and turnover-free game that included 211 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Amari Cooper. Cooper had eight catches for 88 yards to go along with the touchdown. The Crimson Tide improved to 9-1 overall, and 6-1 in SEC play. Alabama faces Western Carolina this Saturday (Nov. 22) at home. 

Auburn Week 12 Review

Auburn’s 2014 season was once filled with aspirations for another SEC championship and a bid to the inaugural College Football Playoff. After back-to-back losses, those dreams officially are over. Even after the loss to Texas A&M, Auburn still had a slight chance of winning the SEC West. The Tigers followed up that defeat with an embarrassing 34-7 road loss to rival Georgia. Auburn couldn’t stop the Bulldogs from running the ball, with Georgia running back’s Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb each rushing for over 100 yards. The Tigers scored on their opening possession but the offense sputtered throughout the rest of the game. Auburn dropped to 7-3 overall and 4-3 in league play. The Tigers return home to play Samford this Saturday. 

SEC Rankings

1. Alabama (9-1, 6-1)

2. Mississippi State (9-1, 5-1)

3. Georgia (8-2, 6-2)

4. Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2)

5. Auburn (7-3, 4-3)

6. Missouri (8-2, 5-1) 

7. Texas A&M (7-4, 3-4)

8. Arkansas (5-5, 1-5)

9. LSU (7-4, 3-4)

10. Tennessee (5-5, 2-4)

11. South Carolina (5-5, 2-4)

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

13. Kentucky (5-6, 2-6)

14. Vanderbilt (3-7, 0-6) 

Week 13 Previews and Predictions 

Week 12: 4-2; Season: 77-16

Eastern Kentucky at Florida. The Gators fired head coach Will Muschamp after the loss to South Carolina last week. Muschamp will coach the two remaining games this season but AD Jeremy Foley said the search for a new head coach would begin immediately. Prediction: Florida 34, Eastern Kentucky 3. 

South Alabama at South Carolina. Before the win at Florida, Steve Spurrier was in jeopardy of not reaching a bowl game for the first time since he started coaching in the SEC. The Gamecocks now have the opportunity to finish the season on a strong note. Prediction: South Carolina 52, South Alabama 24. 

Charleston Southern at Georgia. After the win against Auburn, the Bulldogs now have an outside chance of making the playoffs. Prediction: Georgia 56, Charleston Southern 10. 

Western Carolina at Alabama. If the Crimson Tide wins out and win the SEC title, they should be the top overall seed in the playoffs. Prediction: Alabama 52, Western Carolina 0. 

Samford at Auburn. It’s been a relatively disappointing season for Auburn, but the Tigers can make amends with an upset over Alabama next Saturday. Prediction: Auburn 59, Samford 16. 

Missouri at Tennessee (-3.5). The Volunteers have seemingly turned the corner under Butch Jones. After struggling with consistency for over half of the season, Tennessee has won two consecutive SEC games. Meanwhile, Missouri is in position to win the SEC East yet again. Gary Pinkel has done a tremendous job with the Tigers for the second consecutive season, and if Missouri wins out it will represent the East Division in Atlanta. Prediction: Missouri 34, Tennessee 31. 

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (-30.5). Despite the loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs aren’t out of the playoff picture just yet. MSU currently is fourth in the rankings, and if the Bulldogs win out, they would have a decent chance at making the field. Prediction: Mississippi State 48, Vanderbilt 17.

Game of the Week

Ole Miss at Arkansas (+3.5). Bret Bielema finally picked up his first SEC conference win as a head coach when his Razorbacks defeated LSU, 17-0, in Fayetteville. The Hogs are now only one win away from bowl eligibility. Ole Miss still has a chance to win the SEC West, although the Rebels need some help from Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Expect a defensive struggle in Arkansas this weekend. Prediction: Arkansas 16, Ole Miss 13.

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