Wally Hall is the managing sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock after an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, he is a past president and member of the Football Writers Association of America, member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, past president and current executive committee and board member of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
LIKE IT IS:
There is still plenty at stake for SEC teams
Johnny Manziel accounted for 557 yards of total offense in a 58-10 win over Arkansas on Sept. 29, 2012 at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.
LITTLE ROCK This is rival week in the SEC and across the country, and there are some great games scheduled.
Last week I picked nine right and one wrong (thanks, Missouri, for blowing a 17-3 lead), and that brings the season totals to 80-21. If I could do that against the line, I’d be living in Vegas.
LSU AT ARKANSAS (today) Senior Day for the Razorbacks, which is about all they have to play for while the Tigers are trying to stay in the hunt for a major bowl. Oh, there is The Boot, which stays in Baton Rouge. LSU 31, Arkansas 28.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE AT ARKANSAS STATE (Dec. 1) This game next week is for the Sun Belt championship and a berth in at least the New Orleans Bowl. If Ole Miss and Missouri lose (tomorrow) Saturday, the Red Wolves could be going to the Liberty Bowl. Arkansas State 38, Middle Tennessee 28.
AUBURN AT ALABAMA The Iron Bowl should be the final game for Tigers Coach Gene Chizik. He hasn’t done much without Cam Newton. Alabama finds itself on target for the BCS Championship Game with a victory Saturday and another next week against Georgia. All seemed lost a week ago for the Tide, but fate dealt them a wild card. Alabama 41, Auburn 6.
FLORIDA AT FLORIDA STATE The Gators need to snap out of a three-game stupor. Since losing to Georgia, they have been a shell of the team that looked like it might run the table. The only blemish on the Seminoles’ record is an upset loss to North Carolina State, 17-16, or they would be No. 2 in the nation. Florida 27, Florida State 24.
GEORGIA TECH AT GEORGIA The Ramblin’ Wreck is trying to avoid a .500 season while their arch rival seems to be one of the hottest teams in the nation. The Bulldogs have won five consecutive and will represent the SEC West in the SEC Championship Game, and a victory there would put them in the BCS Championship Game. They cannot afford to be looking ahead, though. Georgia 35, Georgia Tech 21.
KENTUCKY AT TENNESSEE The lame-duck coach game of the week. This is Joker Phillips’ final game as head coach of the Wildcats, and Tennessee’s Derek Dooley opted to take his $5 million and go home, which means his seniors don’t get a chance to send him out on a winning note. It also could mean even more chaos for the fragile Vols. Kentucky 9, Tennessee 7.
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT OLE MISS The Bulldogs are trying to position themselves for the Cotton Bowl while the Rebels are trying to get bowl eligible, and they don’t care where the bowl is or when they play. Hugh Freeze could have been the SEC’s coach of the year and might have if the Rebels had found a way to beat LSU last Saturday. His team is really playing hard, and they are at home. Mississippi State started slow against the Razorbacks last week, but once they got going they were running downhill in a hurry. Mississippi State 24, Ole Miss 17.
MISSOURI AT TEXAS A&M The Aggies are looking to secure a spot in the Cotton Bowl and a showdown with arch rival Texas. The Tigers are looking forward to basketball season. Johnny Manziel could help himself in the Heisman race in this game. Texas A&M 35, Missouri 17.
SOUTH CAROLINA AT CLEMSON A huge game for the 9-2 Gamecocks against the 10-1 Tigers. Both are trying to improve their bowl stock, and both want bragging rights and that in-state recruiting edge. South Carolina 31, Clemson 28.
VANDERBILT AT WAKE FOREST The Commodores are talking about a new contract with Coach James Franklin after leading them to their second consecutive bowl. Vanderbilt 24, Wake Forest 14.
Sports, Pages 20 on 11/23/2012