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SEC Football Round-Up; Bama, Georgia Face Tests Before Each Other

AJ McCarron

McCarron should have a big game against Auburn today.

There’s a very good chance the Alabama could blow rival Auburn out of the stadium tomorrow seeing as how the Tigers have struggled all season long and Head Coach Gene Chizik is more than likely on his way out. Georgia could also send rival Georgia Tech to the showers early seeing as the Yellow Jackets and Coach Paul Johnson have not played to their potential this season either.

The problem both teams face however, is that these are rivalry games and more often than not, they can be much tighter than expected. Should Alabama and Georgia get through their respective contests today, they will meet next week for the SEC title in Atlanta with a berth in the BCS title game on the line. Before I get to those games, let’s take a quick look at yesterday’s game.

#7 LSU 20 at Arkansas 13 – The Tigers still have slim hopes of capturing the SEC West if Auburn can upset Alabama today in Tuscaloosa. The Razorbacks fought valiantly but a Tyler Wilson pass from inside the LSU 20-yard line was incomplete in the end zone as time expired. While the prospects of getting the SEC and BCS title games are remote, the Tigers still have chances for for a BCS game should other games break their way.

Games for today

Mark Richt

Richt and the Bulldogs are primed for the Yellow Jackets today in Athens.

Georgia Tech (+14.5) at #3 Georgia – There are many rumors surrounding the fate of Paul Johnson at head coach of the Yellow Jackets but make no mistake, they aren’t going to lay down for the Bulldogs. Head Coach Mark Richt and his Bulldogs know what is at stake and will ride their defense to a victory today. I like UGA to pull away in the second half to cover.

Kentucky (+14) at Tennessee – Two teams who’ll have different coaches in 2013 face off in a game where Neyland Stadium will be far from full. I have no doubt the Volunteers behind Tyler Bray will win big here despite a less-than full crowd.

Auburn (+33.5) at #2 Alabama – That’s an extremely high number for any game let alone a rivalry, but that shows you just how far Auburn has fallen in two years. Much like Georgia, Alabama is well-aware of what is at stake. I really want to believe that Bama will cover this but I just can’t go for that number. The Tide will win big, but the Tigers will cover.

#4 Florida (+7) at #10 Florida State – With all the talk of Notre Dame, Georgia and Bama, the Gators are in prime position to pounce on a BCS title game opening should they win here and get an Irish loss to USC. The advantage they have over the Seminoles is simply in competition. FSU has, with one exception, scored their way through the ACC while the Gators have relied on timely plays and a powerful defense to get through a much tougher SEC schedule. With that said, I think the defenses are a wash and therefore I like the FSU offense just a little better than Florida’s. I like FSU to win, but only by three.

Missouri at #9 Texas A&M (-16.5) – The SEC’s newcomers have already made themselves quite noticeable and now meet each other in the regular season finale. The Tigers find themselves in a similar situation as Ole Miss but they are on the road and have to deal with the ’12th man’ in College Station. There’s a lot of buzz around the nation about Johnny Manziel being the Heisman front-runner and I have a feeling he will come up huge today in the home finale. Take the Aggies to cover.

#12 South Carolina (+3.5) at #11 Clemson – Another SEC team that is keeping a close watch on its’ brethren is South Carolina. The Gamecocks still have an outside shot at a BCS game should things fall right but I don’t think it is going to matter. Taj Boyd is hot and the Tigers are also fighting for a long-shot BCS bid so I expect them to do the necessary things to slow the Gamecocks’ defense. While the Gamecocks have played the tougher schedule, I like Clemson to win and cover.

Mississippi State (+1.5) at Ole Miss – The Bulldogs have won three in a row in The Egg Bowl. At 8-3, MSU is already going bowling but Ole Miss is 5-6 and looking for that all important sixth win. This is basically a pick’em game here and I like the Rebels playing at home to win a thriller.

Vanderbilt (-11) at Wake Forest – Wake was shutout last week at Notre Dame while Vandy throttled Tennessee. Take the Commodores who are having a really nice season.

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