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Week 12 SEC Conference Rundown

There have been some amazing slate of games in the Southeastern Conference this season. This week’s schedule would certainly not qualify with three contests against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, two against Sun Belt Conference foes and another against a one-win FBS independent.

Two of the four SEC matchups feature college football spreads of more than 20 points. Things will get back to normal next week as the regular season wraps up and the focus turns to a likely Georgia-Alabama showdown in the Southeastern Conference Championship Came.

sec conference rundown arkansas razorbacks
Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images via AFP

Arkansas Razorbacks at Alabama Crimson Tide

Odds: Alabama -20½ (57½)

The Alabama Crimson Tide have scored 49, 41, 65, 48 and 52 points in their last five games against the Arkansas Razorbacks, the No. 21-ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The Arkansas defense is a much-improved unit going from a season ago and it will be interesting to see how the Razorbacks (7-3, 3-3 SEC) hold up against Alabama (9-1, 5-1). Linebacker Bumper Pool has more than just one of the better names in college football; he is one of two SEC players with at least 100 tackles.

Speaking of linebackers, the Razorbacks need to find a way to block Alabama’s Will Anderson, who is the national leader with 12.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss. Anderson has 12 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks during the Crimson Tide’s current four-game winning streak.

Second-ranked Alabama has averaged a 38-point margin of victory the last 11 times the Crimson Tide were listed by the college football odds as favorites by at least 20 points, but they failed to cover twice this season in that scenario.

Florida Gators at Missouri Tigers

Odds: Florida -8 (69½)

Could the Florida Gators defense have an easier time against a fellow SEC program than it did in allowing 52 points and 520 yards to Football Championship Subdivision Samford last week?

Missouri is in the middle of the pack in the SEC in most offensive categories, but if that performance against Samford didn’t get the attention of the Gators’ defense, nothing will.

In conference play, the Gators (5-5, 2-5) have given up the fourth-fewest yards so this unit is not as bad as it looked a week ago.

Speaking of struggling defenses, no SEC team has given up more points than Missouri (5-5, 2-4).

The last four games in the series have gone under the scores and odds total. The number of 69½ only trails the Kent State/Akron game, but with the way these teams have been giving up yards and points, it seems like an attainable number.

Auburn Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks

Odds: Auburn -7½ (44½)

Quarterback Bo Nix, who has led the Auburn Tigers to 22 wins over the last three seasons, is out for the season. T.J. Finley has thrown 173 passes over the last two seasons, but the offense will have a different look without Nix running the show.

The South Carolina Gamecocks (5-5, 2-5) lead the SEC with 14 interceptions but have struggled to put pressure on the quarterback with only 12 sacks in seven SEC games.

After running for more than 300 yards in each of its first two games, the Auburn (6-4, 3-3) running game has been a tad bit inconsistent but the Tigers could use some success running the ball this week.

Vanderbilt Commodores at Ole Miss Rebels

Odds: Ole Miss -36½ (64)

This is the third conference game this season that the Vanderbilt Commodores have been listed by the college football odds as underdogs by more than 30 points. Vanderbilt (2-8, 0-6) failed to score a point when listed by the sportsbook as underdogs of 36 points to Georgia and 39 points to Florida. The Commodores did score 45 points in the last two weeks, so another shutout loss doesn’t seem too likely.

Four Ole Miss players, including quarterback Matt Corral, have run for more than 500 yards so it is hard to focus on any one player when the Rebels run the ball. Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2) has four games with more than 200 rushing yards in conference play and had 257 yards in last week’s win over Texas A&M.

No. 10 Ole Miss has not had a game when with a negative turnover ratio, which has allowed the Rebels to lean on its physical running game and let Heisman Trophy candidate Corral make the necessary plays in the passing game.

Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Georgia Bulldogs

Odds: N/A

The good news is Charleston Southern is coming off a 32-24 win over Gardner-Webb. The bad news is that the Buccaneers play one of the most dominant defenses the Southeastern Conference has seen in recent years when they visit top-ranked Georgia (10-0).

Facing 340-pound defensive lineman Jordan Davis is a nightmare for SEC offensive linemen. We’re not sure what Big South linemen will be able to do against one of the top defensive players in the Heisman Trophy odds.

Prairie View Panthers at Texas A&M Aggies

Odds: N/A

How many teams get to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide and Prairie View Panthers in the same college football season?

Prairie View does average 30 points and nearly 450 yards of offense per game, but the defense figures to have a tough day slowing down Texas A&M’s talented running back duo of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane.

No. 16 Texas A&M (7-3) goes after its sixth home win.

New Mexico State Aggies at Kentucky Wildcats

Odds: Kentucky -36 (59½)

Give the New Mexico State Aggies credit for an ambitious schedule, following up last week’s game against Alabama by traveling back into SEC country to face the Kentucky Wildcats.

New Mexico State allowed a season-high 587 yards to the Crimson Tide. Kentucky (7-3) averages about 90 fewer yards per game than Alabama but it could be another challenging day for the Aggies.

Tennessee State at Mississippi State Bulldogs

Odds: N/A

The Tennessee State Tigers lost by 29 points to Austin Peay the last time out and now face a Mississippi State team that put up 71 points in the last two games against Arkansas and Auburn.

The Bulldogs (6-4) averaged 53 points and nearly 600 yards of total offense in their last seven games against non-Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Similar numbers seem likely on Saturday.

South Alabama Jaguars at Tennessee Volunteers

Odds: Tennessee -27½ (63)

The Tennessee Volunteers played South Alabama in 2013 and the result was a seven-point Tennessee win. It seems unlikely the rematch will be that close, although South Alabama is second in the Sun Belt Conference in total defense.

It is the third time this season that Tennessee (5-5) is favored by more than 25 points. The Volunteers won both games but had mixed results against the spread. Tennessee was a 37-point favorite against Bowling Green and just missed covering with a 38-6 win in the 2021 season opener. There were no such issues when the Volunteers were favored by 38½ against Tennessee Tech and won 56-0.

UL Monroe Warhawks at LSU Tigers

Odds: LSU -29 (57½)

The last time these teams met, victory was verymuch in question for Louisiana State, but the Tigers did barely cover with a 31-0 win as 30½-point favorites.

It could be a good game for LSU (4-6) to get its slumbering running game going. The Tigers have allowed just 2½ yards per rushing attempt in the last three games and one scoring run in losses to nationally ranked Ole Miss, Alabama and Arkansas.

Louisiana-Monroe has allowed more than 200 rushing yards in four of its last seven games.

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