Monday, July 14, 2014
Ultimate SEC road trip 2014: Week 12
By Alex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
If you're just now jumping on board our little road trip, we at the SEC Blog have been getting you ready for the coming season by plotting out our top destinations for each week of the season.
So far we've been to some of the usual spots (Athens, Auburn, College Station, Tuscaloosa), and a few outside of the SEC footprint footprint in locals such as Houston and Oklahoma.
We've knocked out 11 weeks of trips in all, which means we've got only three more to go. The conference title game in Atlanta is right around the corner.
So without further pause, let's take a look at the best options for Week 12:
Mississippi State at Alabama
LSU at Arkansas
Auburn at Georgia
South Carolina at Florida
Kentucky at Tennessee
Missouri at Texas A&M
Alex Scarborough's pick: Auburn at Georgia
This pick shouldn't require much in the way of explanation. If you saw the so-called “Prayer at Jordan-Hare” last year, then you know why the sequel should be appointment viewing for any SEC fan.
Georgia, minus its two biggest transgressors on the Hail Mary (defensive backs Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons), will be out to prove the loss at Auburn was a fluke. Meanwhile, Auburn must go to Athens and show it's more than a one-hit wonder.
And then there's the small matter of Nick Marshall returning to his old stomping grounds. Something tells me Bulldog fans won't warmly embrace their former DB turned quarterback.
As far as the product on the field, it should be a good one. Marshall and the Auburn offense are poised to be even better this season, with the addition of wideout D'haquille Williams and a stable of running backs eager to step out of Tre Mason's shadow. Georgia, on the other hand, has a solid quarterback in Hutson Mason and arguably the best ball-carrier in the country in Todd Gurley.
I wouldn't expect much in the way of defense -- not with the way last season went for both teams, and the attrition that followed -- but the game should nonetheless be entertaining.
Greg Ostendorf's pick: South Carolina at Florida
The East will likely be decided in Week 12, and while Georgia's outcome should certainly play a role, I'm headed down to Gainesville for South Carolina-Florida, the final conference game for both teams. Steve Spurrier might very well have his most talented South Carolina team to date, and I expect the Gators to be much improved this year.
No, last year's game didn't produce an ending quite like the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare,” but there was still drama. After Florida jumped out to a 14-6 halftime lead behind freshman running back Kelvin Taylor, South Carolina had to rally, and kicked a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to win 19-14. Taylor finished with a season-high 96 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
I expect even more drama in this year's game, and there will be no lack of stars with Taylor, Mike Davis, Vernon Hargreaves III, Dante Fowler Jr. and others.
I also don't want to miss an opportunity to take in the Swamp this time of year. The weather should be ideal and given that last year doesn't repeat itself, the atmosphere will be second to none with Spurrier back in town. The Old Ball Coach has won three of the last four meetings against his old team, but he's won just once in Gainesville.