Monday, November 19, 2012
Week 13 in the SEC
By Edward Aschoff
Here's a quick primer for the final week of the regular season in the SEC:
No. 7 LSU (9-2, 5-2 SEC) at Arkansas (4-7, 2-5 SEC), 2:30 p.m. ET, CBS: This game doesn't have the same excitement it had last year, but a win for the Tigers and they could be heading to a BCS bowl game. Arkansas is officially out of the bowl race, but putting a major dent in LSU's season would be a great way to end such a bad year for the Hogs. LSU's offense has been rolling lately, while Arkansas' defense continues to struggle, so that's not good news for the Hogs.
Georgia Tech (6-5) at No. 3 Georgia (10-1, 7-1 SEC), noon ET, ESPN: The Bulldogs are already heading to Atlanta, but if they want a real shot at a national championship berth, they have to get past rival Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have a serious triple-option attack, but Georgia passed that same test against Georgia Southern last week. That preview should have the Bulldogs fully prepared for the weekend, but they can't get caught looking ahead to Atlanta.
Kentucky (2-9, 0-7 SEC) at Tennessee (4-7, 0-7 SEC), 12:21 p.m. ET, SECNetwork: Neither team will have the same head coach when next season arrives, but the Wildcats will at least have Joker Phillips roaming its sideline in his final game. Derek Dooley is out and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will serve as the Vols' interim coach. It's been a very long season for both teams. The Wildcats were crushed by the injury bug, while Tennessee's defense was gashed all season and the offense was too inconsistent at times. The Wildcats won last year's meeting and you have to wonder if the Vols will be mentally fit for Saturday's game.
Auburn (3-8, 0-7SEC) at No. 2 Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC), 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS: Alabama is right back in the national championship spotlight, while the Tigers are limping into the final week of what has been a very rough season. Auburn coach Gene Chizik's future on the Plains is in question, but a historic upset will help some of those gloomy attitudes around Auburn's campus. But it's going to take every thing the Tigers have -- and much, much more -- to stop Alabama. The Crimson Tide have multiple championships on their mind and don't have time to stumble against an overmatched Auburn team.
Vanderbilt (7-4, 5-3 SEC) at Wake Forest (5-6), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU: James Franklin has the Commodores going for their sixth straight win and their first eight-win season since 1982. Wake Forest is scratching and clawing for that sixth win that will make this team bowl eligible. The Demon Deacons have lost two straight in blowout fashion, while the Commodores enter with a ton of momentum on their side, especially after throttling rival Tennessee over the weekend.
No. 4 Florida (10-1, 7-1 SEC) at No. 10 Florida State (10-1), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC: Florida's offense has struggled mightily lately and had some real issues against inferior opponents in the past two weeks. Now, the Gators take on the nation's No. 1 statistical defense. The Seminoles are giving up just 13 points and 236 yards per game, while Florida has stumbled along with the ball in its hands as of late. Quarterback Jeff Driskel remains a question mark for Saturday, which could limit the offense even more. A win for the Gators, and they are heading to a BCS bowl.
Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3 SEC)at Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5 SEC), 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU: The Egg Bowl actually has a lot on the line again. The Rebels need one more win to become bowl eligible, while the Bulldogs are looking to get closer to a 10-win season, something that hasn't happened for Mississippi State since 1999. The Bulldogs are coming off of their most complete game of the season, with their 45-14 drubbing of Arkansas, while Ole Miss has lost three straight games.
Missouri (5-6, 2-5 SEC) at No. 9 Texas A&M(9-2, 5-2 SEC), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2: The Aggies haven't slowed down this season, while the Tigers are yet again very, very banged up. Texas A&M is in the hunt for a BCS bowl game, while Missouri needs one more win to become bowl eligible. The Tigers have made seven straight bowl games, but after a stunning, last-minute loss to Syracuse, that streak is in danger. Mizzou has won three straight against A&M, but these are a very different bunch of Aggies.
No. 12 South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC) at No. 11 Clemson (10-1), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: This rivalry has really spiced up with the addition of Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney. Both should have some classic barbs to throw at each other in the coming days. Even with Marcus Lattimore out of the lineup, the Gamecocks have actually been pretty balanced on offense. The good news for South Carolina is that Clemson's defense is giving up more than 400 yards a game and surrendered 48 points to NC State over the weekend.