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Steve Geller

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Steve's 'Inside the SEC,' Week 13

Its goes by so fast every single year and we now enter the final week of the college football regular season with 6 teams in the countries best conference ranked in the top 25 of the BCS.  5 are in the TOP TEN!   Time to go Inside the SEC…
LSU (9-2) at Arkansas (4-7) - Click HERE for my in-depth Tigers-Razorbacks preview...
Florida (10-1) at Florida State (10-1) - Florida is excited to have QB Jeff Driscoll back after sitting out a game and half with an ankle injury. The Gators will surely need him against Florida State. The match-up to watch is the Gators offensive line against the Seminoles defensive front. Florida State is probably the only team with the luxury of not having to load the box against the run with the way they play, but no doubt they will get a heavy dose from Florida’s power run set. There’s one other reason I like the Seminoles, and it’s their quarterback E.J. Manuel. He’s not flashy but he’s played in a lot of games and knows how to win games without forcing plays or making debilitating mistakes. This is the game for you if you like defense and smash mouth football.

Mississippi State (8-3) at Ole Miss (5-6) - This game will be intriguing for a few reasons. Ole Miss is going for bowl eligibility, Hugh Freeze is trying to both exceed first-year expectations and continue to build what might be an impressive recruiting class, and Mississippi State is having a bit of a second-half skid. This game will not be like those of recent years, when the Bulldogs had the more aggressive, physical philosophy and could dictate terms to the Rebels. There is a lot of the line for Ole Miss, while many Bulldog fans are still trying to come to terms with how a magical 7-0 season suddenly became just another 8-3 campaign that will end in a mediocre bowl.  I’ll give State the slightest of edges here.
South Carolina (9-2) at Clemson (10-1) - Don’t look now, but Clemson is trying to get an at-large BCS bid. The only way that happens is for the Tigers to knock off South Carolina. Fortunately for Clemson, South Carolina no longer has Marcus Lattimore, and the Gamecock pass defense has been erratic against better teams. South Carolina’s fortunes in this game largely depend on what kind of game Connor Shaw has at quarterback, an iffy proposition to begin with…but even more so given the potency of Clemson’s offense. While Steve Spurrier would dearly love to derail Clemson’s BCS hopes, the Gamecocks might not have the horses to get the job done this year.
Auburn (3-8) at Alabama (10-1) - About the only way Auburn wins this game would be a combination of Alabama not coming ready to play, and the Tigers suddenly finding a reserve of ability, energy and focus that it hasn’t displayed all season long. Oh yeah, I haven’t even addressed the coaching issue of whether Gene Chizik will be back for another round, or if this game will be his swan song to the plains.
Don’t look for a miracle upset in Tuscaloosa, but don’t be surprised by a closer-than-expected game, either.
Georgia Tech (6-5) at Georgia (10-1) - Both of these teams are slated to play in their respective conference championship games, but they are nowhere in the same league. Georgia’s offense should find plenty of room to run and throw against a porous Georgia Tech defense.  And, having played against a triple option team last week, the Bulldogs defense will be ready to tackle the gimmick.  Expect Georgia to roll big into the SEC Championship and send the Yellow Jackets fluttering into the ACC title game.

Missouri (5-6) at Texas A&M (9-2) - Thanks to an epic fourth-quarter collapse against Syracuse last week, Missouri must do the near-impossible and beat Texas A&M to get bowl-eligible. Defensively, the Tigers looks slow and undisciplined as of late, which is a poor recipe for stopping Texas A&M and its do-everything quarterback, Johnny Manziel. Were the game in Missouri, it might be possible to consider an upset given the fact that the Aggies looked sloppy and unfocused last week against Sam Houston State, a week after beating Alabama on the road. Alas, Mizzou is playing the A&M one week too late to take advantage of any potential letdown.
Kentucky (2-9) at Tennessee (4-7) - Stuck in the middle of a bunch of good games is this one, where the already-fired Joker Phillips will face a Tennessee team coached by Jim Chaney, thanks to Derek Dooley already being fired and already told to pack. There might be 30 people in attendance, counting families of players. Most fans will be at home, stuck on the internet, trying to figure out who the next coach of their respective teams will be. Meanwhile, neither of these teams has a defense, and the only thing a game like this does is enrage the officiating crew charged with having to work it.
Vanderbilt (7-4) at Wake Forest (5-6) - Vanderbilt dropped the hammer on Tennessee last week and will need to avoid the hangover to get by a pesky Wake Forest squad on the road fighting for bowl eligibility. The Commodores have played the last half of the season with incredible intensity. Expect Vandy to take the best of what the Demon Deacons have and find a way to get their eighth win of the year and ride a wave of momentum into their second straight bowl game.

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Locations : AlabamaArkansasFloridaGeorgiaKentuckyMississippiMissouriOleSouth CarolinaSyracuseTennessee
People : BulldogConnor ShawDerek DooleyE.J. ManuelGene ChizikHugh FreezeJeff DriscollJim ChaneyJohnny ManzielJoker PhillipsMarcus LattimoreSteve Spurrier

11/23/2012 1:00AM
Steve's 'Inside the SEC,' Week 13
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