Sports, Thrill of Victory

Around the SEC: Week 12 Edition

Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason will try to help his team take down Ole Miss on Saturday. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

Here’s what’s happening in and around the SEC heading into football’s Week 12.

BIGGEST STORIES

Aggies, Tigers drop out of College Football Playoff contention

With Michigan, Washington and Clemson losing, the door was open for Auburn and Texas A&M to get back in the College Football Playoff picture. But injuries to quarterback Sean White and running back Kamryn Pettway wrecked the Auburn offense, as the Tigers fell 13-7 at Georgia.

In College Station, Ole Miss freshman Shea Patterson led a terrific comeback as the Rebels overtook A&M in the final minutes for a big upset.

Alabama is a virtual lock for the playoff, but no other SEC team will be crashing the party.

Gators banged up

It would have been great to see what Florida could have done against LSU at full strength. Unfortunately, we’ll never know. UF looks to be without three starting offensive lineman, quarterback Luke Del Rio, and defensive starters Jarrad Davis, Marcus Maye, Alex Anzalone and Bryan Cox Jr. on Saturday.

Antonio Callaway leads a wounded Gator team into LSU. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Antonio Callaway leads a wounded Gator team into LSU. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

If the Gators can come out of LSU as winners, it’ll be a minor miracle.

POWER RANKINGS

  1. Alabama (10-0, 7-0)
  2. LSU (6-3, 4-2)
  3. Auburn (7-3, 5-2)
  4. Texas A&M (7-3, 4-3)
  5. Tennessee (7-3, 3-3)
  6. Arkansas (6-4, 2-4)
  7. Ole Miss (5-5, 2-4)
  8. Florida (7-2, 5-2)
  9. Georgia (6-4, 4-4)
  10. Mississippi St. (4-6, 2-4)
  11. Kentucky (5-5, 4-4)
  12. South Carolina (5-5, 3-5)
  13. Missouri (3-7, 1-5)
  14. Vanderbilt (4-6, 1-5)

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama
Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn
Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Rawleigh Williams III, Arkansas

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Derek Barnett, DL, Tennessee
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

THIS WEEK’S PICKS

Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson gets a start against Alabama A&M. PHOTO COURTESY AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson gets a start against Alabama A&M. PHOTO COURTESY AUBURN UNIVERSITY

All times Central unless noted

Florida at LSU (-14.5), noon, SEC Network
If the Gators win the re-scheduled game against LSU, they’re SEC East champs. Problem is, Florida is banged-up, not good offensively, and LSU hasn’t given up 400 yards to a team all year. It would have been interesting to see how a fully-healthy UF team could have matched up against Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice. LSU 27, Florida 10.

Arkansas at Mississippi St. (-2), 6 Central, ESPNU
Quarterbacks can run against Arkansas. Trevor Knight ran for 157, Auburn’s Sean White and John Franklin III combined for 100, and Chad Kelly went for 89. Containing MSU’s Nick Fitzgerald should prove to be nightmare for the Razorbacks, though both of these teams have been so in consistent, you never know for sure. Mississippi State 38, Arkansas 31.

Missouri at Tennessee (-16), 2:30, CBS
Quarterbacks have not run well against Missouri, and if running Josh Dobbs hasn’t always been the centerpiece of the UT offense, well, it should have been. Expect a lot of points in this one, as Missouri freshman running back Damarea Crockett has been excellent lately. Vols 38, Tigers 28.

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt (+10), SEC Network
Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason has coached 22 SEC games, and just twice has one of his teams managed more than 17 points. Vandy just doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with what Shea Patterson and Ole Miss will bring to Nashville. Ole Miss 27, Vanderbilt 13.

Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia (-23), 11 a.m., SEC Alternate
ULL is giving up 3.0 per rush, and Georgia’s high water mark in scoring this year was 33 points in the opener. The Bulldog defense is too good for UGA to lose, but don’t expect too many points. Georgia 27, ULL 7.

Texas San-Antonio at Texas A&M (-27.5), 11 a.m., ESPNU
UTSA can move the ball, and I wonder how much motivation the Aggies have left. A&M 47, UTSA 27.

Western Carolina at South Carolina, 3 Central, SEC Alternate
Expect a bounce-back game for quarterback Jacob Bentley after tough sledding at Florida. Jeff Sagarin favors South Carolina by 32. Gamecocks 41, WCU 10.

Chattanooga at Alabama, 6:30 Central, SEC Network Alternate
UTC’s not a bad FCS team but this is Alabama. Alabama 52, UTC 0.

Austin Peay at Kentucky, 3:30, SEC Network Alternate
Austin Peay enters Saturday winless, and given that Sagarn favors UK by 49, probably leaves it that way. Kentucky 56, APSU 10.

Alabama A&M at Auburn, 6:30, SEC Network Alternate
A shot at redemption for QB Jeremy Johnson, who hasn’t played since Week 1, but will start on Saturday. That’s all that’s interesting; Sagarin favors Auburn by 72. Auburn 55, A&M 7.