Professor’s Picks and Around the SEC Week 13

Is there one more bowl eligible team out there?

The SEC has nine bowl affiliations. A team has to have at least a .500 won-loss record to qualify for the post-season. With Vanderbilt’s victory over Kentucky lifting the Commodores to the magic six-win mark, the league can now fill eight of the bowl slots. Will one more team complete the dance card?

That seems unlikely.

Auburn and Arkansas are the two teams yet to win six games that can still qualify for a bowl. It will be a tall order for either.

Auburn has a week off to prepare for the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa against undefeated and top-ranked Alabama. The Tigers have won six straight in the series (just in case anybody hadn’t heard), but will be a decided underdog against the 11-0 Tide.

Arkansas does not play the nation’s top team, but for Bobby Petrino to take the Razorbacks bowling in his first year, his squad would need to beat Mississippi State on the road this week, then best LSU at home the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Neither of those is an impossible scenario, but it’s tough to see either playing out.

As we wind toward the season’s end, the main topics of conversation in the league are the national title, coaching changes, and bowl scenarios.

Here is a tidbit of info on each.

Assume Alabama and Florida win their remaining regular-season games (Alabama has Auburn at home; Florida has the Citadel at home and Florida State on the road). The SEC championship in Atlanta then becomes a play-in game for the BCS title game in Miami. Loser would go to the Sugar.

The coaching carousel is cranking up once more around college football with a new twist.

This season teams are getting rid of coaches early so they’ll be able to snatch up the next hot coaching prospect. Clemson and Tennessee are prime examples. With Phillip Fulmer out on Rocky Top, the new hottest seat belongs to Tommy Tuberville at Auburn. Things may get warm for Sylvester Croom at Miss State too.

Finally, here are the latest bowl projections.

BCS Title: Alabama-Florida Winner vs. Big 12 Team

Sugar: Alabama-Florida Loser vs. Big 12 Team, Big Ten Team, or USC

Capital: Georgia vs. Big Ten

Cotton: LSU-Ole Miss winner vs. Big 12

Outback: South Carolina vs. Big Ten

Chick-fil-A: Vanderbilt vs. ACC

Music City: LSU-Ole Miss loser vs. ACC

Liberty: Kentucky vs. C-USA

Enjoy the games!

Game Day Weekly Ratings

1. Florida: Gators dominated a decent South Carolina team

2. Alabama: Do not underestimate Tide against Florida in SEC title game.

3. Georgia … Dogs never make it look easy, but beat Auburn for a third straight year.

4. Ole Miss … Rebels peaking at the right time.

5. LSU … Bengal Tigers should never trail Troy by 28, but what a comeback.

6. Vanderbilt … Congratulations to the Commodores. Let’s go bowling.

7. Kentucky … If Wildcats could wake up before halftime each week, they’d win more.

8. South Carolina … Gamecocks got crushed by Florida … but who hasn’t lately?

9. Auburn … Tigers looked more confident running traditional offense against Georgia.

10. Arkansas … Rested Hogs must win next two to earn post-season bid.

11. Miss State … nothing to be embarrassed about in loss to Tide … well, the offense is pretty bad.

12. Tennessee … will the Volunteers show up against Vandy and Kentucky or simply mail it in?

Professor’s Picks
Last Week’s Record 5-1
2008 Record 62-22

* All times Eastern

Arkansas at Mississippi State (2:30)
The Bulldogs played well defensively in a physical and emotional loss to Alabama. Arkansas sat home and munched popcorn and watched. Statistically, these teams are about even with the exception of scoring defense where Arkansas ranks dead last in the league. State just struggles so much to score that I believe the rested Hogs can pull the mild upset.
Game Ball: Arkansas

The Citadel at Florida (1:30)

The only issue for the Gators is whether they are peaking too early. No team in the FBS is playing better right now. That’s not good news for the FCS Bulldogs from The Citadel. This one may not be a fifty-point blowout simply because the Gators will be resting up and looking ahead.
Game Ball: Florida

Ole Miss at LSU (3:30 CBS)
See SEC Game of the Week.
Game Ball: LSU

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (12:30 Raycom)
The Commodores finally won that elusive sixth victory to become bowl eligible by beating Kentucky. The Volunteers played pathetically two weeks ago against Wyoming then had an off week to listen to rumors about who the next UT coach might be. A bad season gets worse for the Vols and a good season gets better for the Dores.
Game Ball: Vanderbilt

Open: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina

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