Weekly ‘Weakly SEC Football Predictions’ | 2014, Week 12

By Eric Taylor -

Week 11 Results (5-1) | Overall Record (59-18) | Overall Winning Percentage .766

Overtime and time again: The rate at which the Alabama-LSU series is decreasing the life expectancy of each program’s fan base is alarming. The number of overtime games adds a staggering multiplier to this Weakly actuarial table, the likes of which there is no comparison. Saturday’s overtime battle in Baton Rouge was the series’ fourth overall (all since 2005). Alabama won the 2008 and 2014 overtime games (in Baton Rouge) and LSU won in 2005 and 2011 (in Tuscaloosa).

LSU is a three-loss team that could win the Big Ten, at least a Big 12 division (if they had them) and would own the ACC. If your life is on the line, are you taking Florida State versus LSU? If your tomato sammich is on the line, do you take FSU? I don’t. No. Not even with the tasty sammich on the line.

Now we have it figured out…: …well, until Saturday’s games are over and then we’ll have it figured out all over again. Each week we have the SEC by the tail, and then its gator tail whips us around until we’re a bloody mess. After we gather ourselves, we turn our head before grabbing another tail (a Human Resources no-no in most any place of employment), but the ball is snapped while we aren’t looking and Texas A&M recovers and we laugh and laugh and laugh and cheer and laugh and celebrate. Wait. Sorry. Do what? Oh yeah. Who saw that Auburn loss coming? Am I right?

Then there’s the tweet by an Auburn fan who told Texas A&M fans that there’s no way they should be able to sleep at night if they take credit for that win. So, basically, this Auburn fan believes the Tigers record in 2013 was 2-1. As one Tweeter replied, “All irony in the world has officially died.”

Then again, I’m not one to be biased and steer away from journalism integrity, so I just hope Georgia can beat Auburn Saturday because it helps us (Alabama), but only if we can beat Mississippi State I’ll just let the season play out as it may.

SEC Exclusive: I hope this is okay with those who don’t believe the SEC plays enough tough games every time a team plays a lower-tier team. If the SEC only played Big Five conference teams, these same annoying whiny yahoos would be complaining because they don’t schedule the smaller guy and pay them a ton of money so these smaller schools can have money for their athletics budget. But, yeah. Six SEC games Saturday. Soak it in, because next week’s games will be just a little worse than horrendous and the national jib-jabbers will talk about how the SEC doesn’t play anyone and does not belong in the College Football Playoff.

Week 12 College Football Playoff Breakdown : It’s becoming apparent that the purpose behind the committee’s weekly rankings is to create elimination games. This ensures that two teams from one conference will not get in. Then again, the CFP may be forced to allow two teams from the SEC under one circumstance.

How, you ask? Before trying to explain how two SEC teams get in, let’s first take a look at the rankings. Four conferences are represented in the top four. If one of the top four teams loses, it should come to a team within its own conference within three or four spots of the top four. No. 1 Mississippi State will play No. 5 Alabama this week. No. 2 Oregon will more than likely play No. 6 Arizona State in the PAC-12 Championship Game. No. 3 Florida State is the exception. Florida State’s position represents the wild card spot. If the Seminoles lose at any point (even in a conference championship game), a one-loss Ohio State would have a small shot to get in with help. No. 4 TCU appears set to be in the CFP if they win out, but by the time No. 7 Baylor (beat TCU on October 11) plays Kansas State while every other conference is playing a championship game, TCU will be playing Iowa State. Baylor would be ranked around No. 5 or 6. TCU’s late-season resume does not impress anyone and if Baylor wins out, they win the Big 12 based on the head-to-head tiebreaker. It then would not matter whether the committee thinks TCU is a better team at this point of the season, because that would go against the “conference champion deserves to be in over a team that did not win its conference” philosophy that’s sprinkled in to every conversation.

To add mud to the already murky water, let’s discuss two SEC teams getting in.  The only scenario right now would have to include No. 1 Mississippi State losing to No. 5 Alabama. How far will Mississippi State drop? My guess is No. 5, with a chance to sneak in if Alabama wins out and they win out. Honestly, a Mississippi State loss to Alabama Saturday would be an easier road to the CFP than Alabama’s so long as both teams win out. Alabama would have to win an SEC Championship Game and Mississippi State could cheer for Alabama to win, as they almost force the committee to allow them in at No. 4, because how can you allow a one-loss team whose only loss is to the No. 1- or No. 2-ranked SEC champion? All of this maybe talk becomes a sure thing if Florida State loses. It may be possible if they are as much as unimpressive in a very close/lucky win, but I’m here to predict some football games.

Week 11′s Weakly Comparison

Weakest Two
1. Texas A&M 41, Auburn 38 (Predicted Auburn 48, Texas A&M 20)
2. Georgia 63, Kentucky 31 (Predicted Georgia 27, Kentucky 17… Got the win right. Miscalculated Georgia’s dominance.)

Awesome Two
1. Alabama 20, LSU 13 OT (Predicted Alabama 21, LSU 13)
2. Florida 34, Vanderbilt 10 (Predicted Florida 34, Vanderbilt 0)

Week 11 Predictions

It would be a fun exercise to take the total score of some of these games and compare them to the same matchup in basketball. I feel certain there will be more than five games where football outscores basketball. Kind of like comparing the temperature on Halloween against Christmas Day temps in areas like Nashville. So, yeah. Take that with you this weekend and discuss with the person sitting next to you at the game you attend this weekend. You’ll soon have a little more elbow room when they politely excuse themselves.

Enough predicting your terrible social cue skills. It’s time to talk about some pretty big footbaw games down in the ESS E SEE! ESS E SEE!

All Times Eastern | Utilizing the College Football Playoff Selection Committee Rankings

Saturday, November 8, 2014

South Carolina (4-5, 2-5 SEC) at Florida (5-3, 4-3 SEC)
Noon ET | SEC Network

Offensive defense: South Carolina’s defense has been very offensive in 2014. The Gamecocks have allowed opponents to score 307 points this season. Compare that to Florida’s 183, and you can see why South Carolina is in danger of finishing the season at 2-6 in the conference. That would be the worst conference record in the Spurrier era in Columbia, and the worst since finishing 2-6 in 2003 under Dr. Lou Holtz.
FINAL SCORE: Florida 31, South Carolina 14

#1 Mississippi State (9-0, 5-0 SEC) at #5 Alabama (8-1, 5-1 SEC)
3:30pm ET | CBS

Computer game: If this game took place in the BCS era, it could have been No. 1 vs. No. 2 in Tuscaloosa, with Mississippi State still holding the top spot. Five of the prominent computer rankings that contributed to the BCS rankings have developed joined forces to create a composite ranking (College Football Computer Composite Ranking). State and Bama are head and shoulders above the next closest team at No. 3 (Florida State).

Top-ranked underdog: The line on this game has jumped to 8.5 points in favor of Alabama. Mississippi State is the No. 1 team in the country, but they are still playing for respect after quietly playing as the No. 1 team the past month. Alabama just played a very tough game on the road in Baton Rouge, where they got LSU’s best effort and somehow left with a win. The Tide will be at home the remainder of the regular season, and Alabama at home has been dominant, to say the least. The Crimson Tide have outscored opponents 194-33 inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Two of those wins were shutouts, and the lowest output in points for Alabama was 41. Two games saw Alabama score 52 or more.

Mississippi State will need Dak Prescott to be as magical and dominant as Johnny Manziel was in 2012 after Bama came off a huge come-from-behind win over LSU, only to get manhandled by Johnny Football. The issue for Prescott is that no one in Tuscaloosa is overlooking him like they did Johnny in ’12. I don’t think Prescott and Mississippi State can score enough to make up for the bad secondary play.
FINAL SCORE: Alabama 38, Mississippi State 24

Kentucky (5-5, 2-5 SEC) at Tennessee (4-5, 1-4 SEC)
4:00pm ET | SEC Network

The battle for Nashville?: This battle in Knoxville may decide which of these teams could find themselves in Nashville during the holidays. President and CEO of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, Scott Ramsey, would be great with both, since Kentucky and Tennessee hold the highest attendance records for the Music City Bowl. Nashville is just an extension of Kentucky, and fans will always find their way to the stadium if they get a chance to come to Nashville. The Vols have not been to a bowl since the 2010 season, so a  bowl game close to home and possibly (POSSIBLY) a matchup with a James Franklin-led Penn State could have LP Field full of football fans for the first time since 2008.

1984 and 2011: That’s what Kentucky can point to in the series and say, “Hey. Look at us.” Otherwise, this series has been as lopsided as any “rivalry” in all of sports. Tennessee has been way down the last five years, but Kentucky has only won one game in this low point for the Vols. Even in the 2011 win, the Wildcats had a wide receiver at quarterback, and I can almost see him wearing a belt of flags around his waist, because the play-calling was very similar to an intramural battle.

Tennessee is on the upswing. Kentucky is trying to just hang on for dear life after a fast start to the season.
FINAL SCORE: Tennessee 23, Kentucky 17

#9 Auburn (7-2, 4-2 SEC) at #15 Georgia (7-2, 5-2 SEC)
7:15pm ET | ESPN

Revenge: Not only does Auburn get to go on the road for their final two conference games, they get to play two teams with a lot to play for in 2014. Oh, and both teams are looking for revenge at the highest levels ever seen in this country. Auburn found luck in every corner of Jordan-Hare Stadium in the final two conference games of 2013. The Tigers will more than likely find payback at every corner of Sanford Stadium and Bryant-Denny Stadium.

You know what they say about payback… It’s a…. Which team will win bigger? Alabama or Georgia?
FINAL SCORE: Georgia 44, Auburn 31

Missouri (7-2, 4-1 SEC) at Texas A&M  (7-3, 3-3 SEC)
7:30pm ET | SEC Network

Missouri is still the best in the East: I’m not saying Georgia will be scoreboard-watching this weekend, but don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs wear a Texas A&M patch on their jersey and a GO AGGIES sticker on their helmet in their game versus Auburn Saturday.

Missouri has one loss and Georgia has two, but Georgia owns the tiebreaker with a 34-0 win at Missouri. The scary thing for Georgia is that Missouri seems to be playing inspired defense, allowing only 91 points in conference play. It’s important to notice, however, that Mizzou still has this A&M game, Tennessee and Arkansas left on the schedule. That may be a smoke-and-mirrors stat.

At the end of the day, Texas A&M is not that bad of a team. After defeating Auburn at Auburn last week, they come home versus a team they may be able to match up with and outscore. This is a disappointing season in College Station, but that’s because Kevin Sumlin has raised expectations. The Aggies are 7-3 and could very easily leave Kyle Field as winners, sending Athens into an absolute frenzy.
FINAL SCORE: Texas A&M 35, Missouri 31

#17 LSU (7-3, 3-3 SEC) at Arkansas (4-5, 0-5 SEC)
8:00pm ET | ESPN2

Who cares the most?: Arkansas has a lot to play for. Well, they still want that first SEC win. LSU has nothing to play for. They don’t want to lose to Arkansas, but I’m not sure that’s going to matter. I’ve picked Arkansas a few times already this season, and obviously it didn’t work. Today, I pick the Hogs and they make plays to become a champion… of Fayetteville.
FINAL SCORE: Arkansas 31, LSU 28 | 2 Overtimes

Open Date: Vanderbilt & Ole Miss

Eric Taylor is a contributor to FBSchedules.com. Follow him on Twitter @EricFromSpfld or contact him via email at Eric.Taylor –at– stadiumjourney –dot– com.

Comments (3)

Another reason why it’s good the BCS is gone. If the computers believe that MSU and Alabama are 1 and 2 as well as head and shoulders better than the 3rd ranked, then those computers are in some need of being reprogrammed.