Nonconference slate hardly worth watching

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
Jacksonville State faces Florida this weekend in one of several nonconference games for SEC schools.
Photo by Michael Woods
Jacksonville State faces Florida this weekend in one of several nonconference games for SEC schools.

— This is the type of weekend in the SEC that makes ESPN want nine conference games. Everyone is playing, but there are eight nonconference games and only one of those might be interesting.

Missouri hosts Syracuse and the winner gets bowl eligible.

On the other hand, Arkansas State is in the middle of a heck of a fight for the Sun Belt championship and travels to Troy before hosting Middle Tennessee, which, like the Red Wolves, has only one conference loss.

Went 6-1 last week, bringing the season record to 71-20.

ARKANSAS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE The Bulldogs have lost three consecutive but are still favored by almost a touchdown at home. The losses were to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU, the three best teams in the Western Division. The Razorbacks have nothing more to lose in this game and should go for broke. Mississippi State 28, Arkansas 27

ARKANSAS STATE AT TROY The men of Troy are tough. Lost to Mississippi State 30-24 and Tennessee55-48 and it looked like the Trojans might win. The Red Wolves appear to be peaking at the right time. The defense is getting better and the offense has hit high gear. Arkansas State 42, Troy 31

WESTERN CAROLINA AT ALABAMA If you ever wanted to see an Alabama game, this might be your chance. Tickets will be plentiful and cheap after the Tide lost at home to Texas A&M. Western Carolina catches the Tide at the wrong time. Alabama 63, Western Carolina 0

ALABAMA A&M AT AUBURN Gene Chizik gets a chance to prove the Tigers could compete in the SWAC. And maybe they should if he remains the head coach. Auburn 24, Alabama A&M 21,

JACKSONVILLE STATE AT FLORIDA The Gators still hadn’t recovered from the loss to Georgia last weekend, but Will Muschamp will have them back on track this week and Jack Crowe’s team isn’t very good, so that helps. Florida 56, Jacksonville State 7

GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT GEORGIA Mark Richt has his Bulldogs playing their best of the season, maybe their best in a few years. Georgia has clinched the SEC East and needs to finish strong so it has momentum in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia 49, Georgia Southern 14

SAMFORD AT KENTUCKY Samford has a great president in Andy Westmoreland, formerly of Ouachita Baptist. Kentucky has a lame duck coach. There are no ties in college football. Kentucky 7, Samford 6

OLE MISS AT LSU The Rebels are scrambling for bowl eligibility but won’t get it this week, leaving the Egg Bowl as their last shot. The Tigers need to keep in mind they are playing to get in the Capital One Bowl. LSU 35, Ole Miss 24

SYRACUSE AT MISSOURI The Tigers have a lot to learn about nonconference scheduling as a member of the SEC. Missouri 28, Syracuse 24

WOFFORD AT SOUTH CAROLINA Wofford is actually a decent football team but out of its league Saturday. South Carolina 41, Wofford 10

TENNESSEE AT VANDERBILT Tennessee bragging rights are on the line as Derek Dooley tries to save his job. The Commodores, who once had a great singing group named after them, have won four in a row and are headed to a bowl, the first time in Vandy history they’ll go bowling two years in a row. This one is going to be a fight to the end, though. Vanderbilt 30, Tennessee 27

SAM HOUSTON STATE AT TEXAS A&M Texas A&M 55, Sam Houston State 0.

Sports, Pages 19 on 11/16/2012