Week 12 SEC Football Previews and Predictions
SEC Game of the Week: No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn
The Week 11 SEC schedule was dominated with coverage and hype surrounding the SEC west showdown between LSU and Alabama, but that game didn’t live up to the billing after halftime as the Crimson Tide literally ran over the Tigers.
Last week when I made my predictions, I thought this game would be much more competitive and decided late, but although I was wrong in that regard, I did correctly predict the two-time defending champions remaining undefeated.
Picking Alabama isn’t altogether difficult, but I did correctly pick five of the remaining six games that week. The lone incorrect pick was in the Florida and Vanderbilt game in Gainesville, where the Commodores beat the Gators for the first time since 1988 and the first time in the Swamp since 1945.
This week’s slate of games won’t be able to match the fanfare associated with LSU-Alabama while five teams are idle this week, but there are compelling storylines as always, including another big game in the state of Alabama.
No. 25 Georgia travels to No. 7 Auburn in a game that the road team needs to win to keep their slim SEC east title hopes alive, and it's a game that the home team needs to keep their SEC west title hopes alive. The Bulldogs need help to get their division crown while the Tigers can win out and get to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game. With Georgia getting healthy, could an upset be brewing in the game of the week?
Here are the previews and predictions for the five games involving SEC opponents and my outlook and prediction each one. For the season, I am 76-14.
Troy at Ole Miss
Ole Miss is a 28.5-point favorite and face Troy's No. 107-ranked scoring defense in Oxford, where the Rebels are averaging 40 points per game in their last three games. This should be a nice tune-up for Bo Wallace and company as they host Missouri next week. Ole Miss wins 52-23.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt is rising high after after its first win in Florida since 1945 and will face the bottom-feeder in the SEC in Kentucky. The Commodores have owned this series under James Franklin, having won the last two games by a combined score of 78-8, including a 40-0 win last year in Kentucky. Vanderbilt wins big again by a score of 31-16.
No. 25 Georgia at No. 7 Auburn
Auburn has been able to run on all of their opponents en route a 9-1 record, but haven't faced a rush defense like the one Georgia will roll out Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs own the No. 31 rush defense in the nation and is allowing 137.8 yards per game, but that number swells to 162.5 on the road. Auburn is averaging 320 yards per game with the No. 3 rushing attack in the nation led by Tre Mason, but he may not be the best back on the field with Todd Gurley getting healthy for Georgia over the past two games. However, I still like Auburn to escape with a narrow 30-27 win.
Florida at No. 10 South Carolina
South Carolina is refreshed after a bye week while Florida is reeling after a home loss to Vanderbilt, more injuries and ongoing talks about the job status of Will Muschamp. All signs point to an easy win for the Gamecocks, who will look to offer up some revenge on the Gators, who crushed them last year in a 41-11 win in Gainesville. South Carolina wins 34-17.
No. 1 Alabama at Mississippi State
Well, this certainly would qualify as a signature win for Dan Mullen, right? He has had success in his time at Mississippi State, but he has not been competitive in the least against the Crimson Tide. Mullen's Mississippi State teams have scored a total of 27 points in its last four meetings vs. Alabama while allowing 123. That trend will continue on Saturday night at Davis Wade Stadium as Alabama wins 42-17.