Saturday Morning Tailgate: SEC History & Talking Points

Mississippi State at Alabama: These neighboring institutions, separated by only 87 miles, have played 97 times since their first meeting in 1896. Despite the number of contest, Alabama has dominated this rivalry since the arrival of Bear Bryant in 1958. Overall, Alabama leads the series over the Bulldogs; 78 victories, 17 losses and three ties.

First Meeting - November 14, 1896 - Alabama 20, Mississippi State 0
Longest Streak - Alabama, 22 Straight Season (1958–79) – Bear Bryant Era.
Current Win Streak - Alabama, Six Seasons (2008–present)

The Mississippi State Defense is the X-Factor: Moving on to this weekend’s contest look for the Bulldogs defensive unit to win or lose the game for the Fighting Cowbells. Mississippi State’s defense has been very suspect this season, allowing 548 total yards to Alabama-Birmingham, 526 total yards to Texas A&M and 504 total yards to Kentucky. With this statistical note taken into account, it is foreseeable that the Alabama offense will have a huge day. It will be Amari Cooper time, over and over, in Tuscaloosa this weekend.

 

LSU at Arkansas: Louisiana State University, without any question, is a run first team. And despite its success pounding the ball over the previous three games, the youthful Bayou Bengals are still shaky on the offensive side of the ball. Last week against Alabama, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings completed 8 of 26 passes for 76 yards, and he has not completed more than 10 passes in a game since the contest against Mississippi State in early September. Arkansas has an above average SEC defensive line, led by defensive end Trey Flower and defensive tackle Darius Philon, that will cause problems for the LSU offensive trench-men. Adding insult to injury, LSU will be without running back Kenny Hillard and will be with only two scholarship tailbacks (Terrence Magee and Leonard Fournette). Moreover, it is believed that the Arkansas coaching staff plan to stack the box forcing the LSU passing game to defeat the Razorbacks. The outcome of this game will be determined by the ability of the LSU passing game to generate big plays through the air.

Series Record - LSU Leads the Series with Arkansas, 37–20 (with two ties)
First Meeting - December 5, 1901 - LSU 15, Arkansas 0
Current Win Streak - LSU, Three Straight Victories (2011–present)

Well…the Razorbacks Will Run the Ball: For Arkansas, the Razorbacks are going to win or lose this contest by running the pigskin. With running back weapons of Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, whom have combined for 1,717 rushing yards and twenty touchdowns this season, the Razorbacks are going to force LSU to stop the run to have any hopes of winning this critical SEC West game. Overall Arkansas averages nearly 250 yards on the ground per game and have made a living on chewing up the clock along the way.

 

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Saturday Morning Tailgate: Week 12 – SEC Predictions & Scores

 

Saturday, November 15th, 2014 –  SEC Week 12 – SMT Score Predictor

South Carolina at Florida – 12:00 p.m. – Gators 24, Gamecocks 21
Mississippi State at Alabama – 3:30 p.m. – Crimson Tide 27, Bulldogs 21
Kentucky at Tennessee – 4:00 p.m. – Volunteers 21, Wildcats 17
Auburn at Georgia – 7:15 p.m. – Tigers 31, Bulldogs 28
Missouri at Texas A&M – 7:30 p.m. – Aggies 42, Tigers 35
LSU at Arkansas – 8:00 p.m. – Bayou Bengals 21, Razorbacks 20

 

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SMT: Southeastern Conference News, Views and Notes

The Road Map to the SEC West into the Four Team Playoff…

Mississippi State – Record: 9-0 (5-0 SEC) – Next Game: at Alabama

Road to the Final Four: The Bulldogs are very close to a birth in the four team playoff. Defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend (no matter the Egg Bowl outcome) and win the conference title game and the Bulldogs will be in the playoff. Having won the SEC Western Division just once since the inception of the conference title game in 1992 (the 1998 SEC Title Game), Mississippi State can lock up the division title by defeating the Crimson Tide on Saturday. As you might venture, this is much easier task said than done, as the Bulldogs have won just two of it’s past nine visits to Tuscaloosa. With a loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs will have to defeat Vanderbilt and Ole Miss, while also having Auburn defeat the Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl to win the SEC West Title.

Alabama – Record: 8-1 (5-1 SEC) – Next Game: vs. Mississippi State

Road to the Final Four: The word of November for the Crimson Tide is survive. With the strength of Alabama’s remaining regular season schedule and a birth/victory in the conference title game, the Tide will be placed in the four team playoff if they win out. Lose to Mississippi State this weekend and there will be no birth into the SEC Title game but still an outside chance at an automatic birth into the four team playoff with a win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Even with a victory in the Iron Bowl, if the fighting Dan Mullens’ defeat the Crimson Tide this weekend, Alabama will need the Ole Miss Rebels to take down the Bulldogs in the Egg Bowl to secure a birth in the 2014 SEC Title Game.

  

Auburn – Record: 7-2 (4-2 SEC) – Next Game: at Georgia

Road to the Final Four: Despite Saturday’s untimely loss to Texas A&M, Auburn’s chances of reaching the four team playoff are still not dead. Still ranked as the top team with two losses in the nation, the Tigers have a strong enough schedule to move back into the playoff picture with strong wins over Georgia and Alabama. Considering Mississippi State will not lose the remainder of their conference schedule; Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Alabama, the probability of making the conference title game is slim to none for the Plainsmen, so their help making the playoff will be needed outside the SEC. Auburn will need upsets from opposing teams playing TCU, Baylor, Ohio State, Oregon and Florida State. Last, Auburn’s out of conference victory over Kansas State has impressed the playoff committee. If all teams in playoff considering have two losses after conference title weekend, the win over Kansas State will certainly push Auburn to the top of the pile.

Ole Miss – Record: 8-2 (4-2 SEC) – Next Game: at Arkansas (Nov. 22nd)

Road to the Final Four: The Rebels probably have zero chance to get into the four team playoff if they don’t win the SEC. For that to happen and earn a birth to Atlanta, the Rebels will have to defeat both Arkansas and Mississippi State, while hope for the Georgia Bulldogs to beat the Auburn Tigers, Alabama to defeat Mississippi State and Auburn to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Having the tie breaker over the Alabama Crimson Tide will allow the Ole Miss Rebels to get the birth into the SEC Title game.

Auburn’s Options at Wide Receiver Against UGA: Last weekend Auburn fans thought the Plainsmen lost their best wide receiver for the season, due to a horrifying injury that could possibly cause an early end to his career. Thankfully the news got better as the week played out, as the injury to D’haquille “Duke” Williams was not as serious as first reported. Moreover, it is foreseeable that Duke Williams might even be back for the Iron Bowl. With a critical game against Georgia approaching in the 2014 edition of “South’s Oldest Rivalry,” below are the wide receivers that must elevate their game in this huge cross-divisional conference contest:

Sammie Coates - 20 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns
Reasoning: Coates was the top statistical wide receiver last year (without Duke Williams), and can revert back to this role in Williams absence. The upperclassmen is known for his speed and freakish athleticism but he also makes really difficult catches across the middle in key situations. Nick Marshall and Coates have chemistry, that element alone should be the key to the Auburn passing game against Georgia on Saturday.

Quan Bray – 25 receptions for 287 yards and three touchdowns
Reasoning: Bray played his best game of his 2014 season last weekend against Texas A&M, catching six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Bray has shown the ability to get huge yards after catch and is beyond dangerous when he gets the ball in the open field.

Ricardo Louis – 17 receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns
Reasoning: Louis hasn’t broken through like many thought he would at this point in his career, but Georgia fans remember his name. He famously caught the 73-yard touchdown pass to beat the Bulldogs last year in what became known as the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare.” He’s also effective as a runner in speed sweeps, gaining 175 yards on 14 carries this season.

 

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SMT: The History of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry

The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry: The Georgia Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers began playing in 1892 and have met 117 times, with the series standing 55-54 (with eight ties) in favor of Auburn. The first match-up between Auburn University and the University of Georgia was played on February 20, 1892, as the brainchild of Charles Herty of Georgia and George Petrie of Auburn (both athletic trainers for their respective universities). The Tigers won this contest ten to zero, and as the story goes this is when Auburn’s legendary team cheer, “War Eagle,” was created. There have only been two exceptions, whereas the Tigers and Bulldogs have not played annually since 1898, as World War I and II interrupted the football series, as both institutions suspended athletics. Somehow, more than a century after Auburn and Georgia’s first meeting, both institutions have maintained a near even record against one another and created a rivalry that has withstood the test of time.

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Saturday Morning Tailgate: SEC Week 12 – TV Times

Saturday, November 15th, 2014 –  SEC Week 12 – TV Times

South Carolina at Florida – 12:00 p.m. EST – SEC Network
Mississippi State at Alabama – 3:30 p.m. EST – CBS
Kentucky at Tennessee – 4:00 p.m. EST – SEC Network
Auburn at Georgia – 7:15 p.m. EST – ESPN
Missouri at Texas A&M – 7:30 p.m. EST – SEC Network
LSU at Arkansas – 8:00 p.m. EST – ESPN2

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SMT: SEC Team Total Yards Per Game Leaders – Week 11

School – TYPG – Passing Yards Per Game – Rushing Yards Per Game

  1. Mississippi State – 522.1 total yards – 267.2 passing yards – 254.9 rushing yards
  2. Auburn – 506.8 total yards – 220.4 passing yards – 286.4 rushing yards
  3. Alabama – 487.3 total yards – 281.2 passing yards – 206.1 rushing yards
  4. Texas A&M – 482.2 total yards – 329.6 passing yards – 152.6 rushing yards
  5. South Carolina – 479.7 total yards – 294.6 passing yards – 185.1 rushing yards

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SMT: SEC Individual Leaders Through Week 11

Southeastern Conference Passing Yards Leaders of Week 11:

  1. Kenny Hill (TAMU) – 2,649 yards –  214/321 (comp/atts) –  23 TDs, 8 Ints
  2. Dylan Thompson (USC) – 2,588 yards – 195/320 (comp/atts) – 22 TDs, 10 Ints
  3. Bo Wallace (OM) – 2,556 yards – 190/297 (comp/atts) – 22 TDs, 8 Ints
  4. Patrick Towles (UK) – 2,374 yards – 198/338 (comp/atts) –  14 TDs, 6 Ints
  5. Blake Sims (UA) – 2,243 yards – 151/245 (comp/atts) – 17 TDs, 3 Ints

Southeastern Conference Rushing Yards Leaders of Week 11:

  1. Cameron Artis-Payne (AU) – 1190 yards – 208 atts (5.7 ypc) – 9 TDs
  2. Josh Robinson (MSU) – 984 yards – 146 atts (6.7 ypc) – 11 TDs
  3. Nick Chubb (UGA) – 895 yards – 133 atts (6.7 ypc) – 7 TDs
  4. Jonathan Williams (Ark.) – 877 yards – 137 atts (6.4 ypc) – 10 TDs
  5. Mike Davis (USC) – 840 yards – 134 atts (6.3 ypc) – 10 TDs

Southeastern Conference Receiving Yards Leaders of Week 11:

  1. Amari Cooper (UA) – 1,215 yards – 79 rec – 15.4 ypc – 10 TDs
  2. Pharoh Cooper (USC) – 786 yards – 51 rec – 15.4 ypc – 8 TDs
  3. Travin Dural (LSU) – 701 yards – 30 rec – 23.4 ypc – 7 TDs
  4. Vince Sanders (OM) – 646 yards – 37 rec – 17.5 ypc – 6 TDs
  5. Laquon Treadwell (OM) – 632 yards – 48 rec – 13.2 ypc – 5 TDs

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Saturday Morning Tailgate: 2014 SEC Bowl Projections

  • College Football Playoff (Rose): Mississippi State vs. Florida State
  • College Football Playoff (Sugar): Auburn vs. Oregon
  • Peach: Auburn vs Duke
  • Orange: Ole Miss vs Clemson
  • Citrus: LSU vs Michigan State
  • Outback: Georgia vs Iowa
  • Music City: Tennessee vs Minnesota
  • TaxSlayer: Missouri vs Georgia Tech
  • Belk: South Carolina vs Louisville
  • Texas: Texas A&M vs Texas
  • Liberty: Florida vs. West Virginia

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