10 biggest takeaways from the SEC’s Week 12


The SEC never fails to deliver, does it?

I’ll allow you a second to catch your breath and weep — there are only two more weeks of the SEC’s regular season, and the 2013 season is nearly over. We march on to week 13 next Saturday.

Here are the biggest takeaways from week 12:

Related: Watch Nick Marshall’s 73-yard crazy TD pass to beat Georgia

Miracle on The Plains: What can you say about Auburn’s miracle win? They should have kept their foot on the pedal in the second half, but they allowed Georgia to score three fourth-quarter touchdowns to march right back into it. At one point in the first half, Auburn had 24 first downs and Georgia had run 20 total plays. Then, the second half happened, and Auburn was already looking ahead to the Iron Bowl at halftime. Thankfully, they escaped with a 73-yard, 4th-and-18 prayer from Nick Marshall to Ricardo Louis, who never even saw the ball in the air, that will go down as one of the greatest plays in Auburn history. The Tigers’ first-half team looked like it can compete with anyone in college football, but they’ll have to play for four quarters to beat Alabama, not two and some change.

Related: Auburn-Georgia biggest takeaways

The biggest winner: Not only did South Carolina escape an upset bid by Florida, but Georgia also lost, making the Gamecocks the day’s biggest winner, aside from The Plains’ Miracle. USC is right where they want to be to get to Atlanta. South Carolina’s conference schedule is now over, and the Gamecocks wait on Missouri’s final two games. The Tigers have to win both games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M to get to Atlanta, and Carolina looks like they’re in perfect position. But Mizzou still controls their own destiny, and they are sitting right where they want to be, too. The SEC East is a two-team race, and it’s going to be a spectacular finish.

Related: Florida-South Carolina highlights

Playing down: Could last night’s Alabama team beat Auburn? Could it win an SEC Championship? A national championship? Alabama looked lethargic and unimpressive. Clearly after an emotional win against LSU, there was a hangover. I’m not all about style points nor do I really believe in them, and sometimes you have to grind out wins against teams that raise their level of play. But MSU didn’t exactly raise their level of play. The Tide played down to their competition, coughing it up four times and successfully completing just 4-12 on third down. That Alabama team looked like the one that opened the season against Virginia Tech. Thankfully for Alabama, MSU made just as many mistakes and didn’t take advantage of the mishaps.

Related: Alabama-Miss State highlights

The Iron Bowl: What a game it’s going to be! It’s great for the state of Alabama; it’s great for the SEC, and it’s great for the rivalry. Alabama and Auburn will decide who wins the SEC West and ultimately will help shape the national title picture. It’s just like everyone predicted during the preseason, right? The SEC’s greatest rivalry is turning into the biggest second-half game of the season, and neither team played their best Saturday.

Ready for Mizzou: The Rebels racked up a school-record 751 yards and threw up a 51-spot against Troy. The Rebels are looking to become one of the hottest finishers down the stretch, and they are primed for Mizzou next week. The offense has posted four games in a row of over 500 yards of total offense. If you liked the Vandy/Ole Miss shootout to open the season, you’ll love Missouri/Ole Miss next week. It’s setting up to be a high-scoring thriller, with two better-than-advertised and underrated defenses.

Related: Ole Miss-Troy highlights

Vandy continues rolling: The Commodores keep rewriting their record book, and they are now bowl eligible for the third straight season…another record. It wasn’t pretty against Kentucky, but the Dores are bowl eligible before both Florida and Tennessee. Think about it. And speaking of Tennessee, the state’s heated rivalry cranks back up Saturday in Knoxville with the Commodores traveling to Neyland. Franklin’s team is +8 in TO margin in the last two games against Florida and Kentucky.

Related: Vanderbilt-Kentucky highlights

A tough 6-4: This just hasn’t been Georgia’s season, from the key injuries and special teams struggles to losing on an inconceivable last-minute 73-yard TD prayer that tipped off two Georgia defenders. Is it surprising the Achilles Heel reared its ugly head again in the Georgia secondary? It’s been the defense’s problem all year, and it happened again. Nine times out of 10, teams don’t get burned for it, but this one time it happened. Josh Harvey-Clemons, Tray Matthews and Bulldog Nation will replay that over in their minds all season and all offseason. But, man, Aaron Murray was a warrior, totaling four touchdowns and one split open forehead. He didn’t deserve to lose that game; he was the only real reason they were in it.

Showed a pulse: Kentucky didn’t play well enough on offense to escape Nashville with a win, but the Cats’ defense, led by DE Bud Dupree and DT Donte Rumph, showed more of a pulse than they have in a while. The Wildcats need athletes to play on offense for the future, and they’ll look back on the Vanderbilt game, along with Western Kentucky, as the game(s) that got away. Still, there’s some fight left in the Wildcats, and the Tennessee game could be more entertaining than anyone in the Volunteer state would like. The most important thing for the Wildcats is keep fighting and make sure the recruiting class doesn’t unravel for any reason.

Leave you wanting more: Mississippi State isn’t that far away from being a good team, and the brutal schedule is punishing them down the stretch. Without QBs Dak Prescott and without Tyler Russell in the second half, the Bulldogs hung tough, thanks to four takeaways by the defense. But missed opportunities crushed MSU, and they couldn’t take advantage of the field position. They missed a field goal, threw an INT in the end zone and had two turnover on downs in Bama territory. Russell’s INT in the end zone will be on his mind for a long time. You get a sense that things are so close to clicking they leave you wanting more. The program isn’t headed in the wrong direction, and you have to give Dan Mullen another season no matter the outcome in the final two games.

Upset bid: Florida almost put an upset together against South Carolina, but again, the offense failed to deliver down the stretch. However, freshman Kelvin Taylor, who rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense came to play. Once again special teams didn’t show up and the Gators committed costly penalties down the stretch. Freshman QB Skyler Mornhinweg actually looked better than anticipated, and I thought Florida should have taken some calculated shots earlier in the game when they had the Gamecocks on the ropes. You just knew the Gators’ defense couldn’t play perfectly down the stretch and USC would eventually put a couple drives together and find a way to win it. Florida has to beat Georgia Southern and FSU to become bowl eligible.

Photo Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports



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  • good to know you’re not biased…”Thankfully, MSU made just as many mistakes and didn’t take advantage of the mishaps.”

    • You caught me. Had you caught the intended purpose of the sentence it would have been a specific paragraph on how Alabama played less than mediocre and thankfully (for Alabama), the Bulldogs didn’t take advantage of it.

    • He clearly said, “Thankfully for Alabama, MSU made just as many mistakes and didn’t take advantage of the mishaps.” Actually read the article before you make asinine assumptions.

  • Congrats, Auburn. You were handed, literally, a victory you should not have gotten. Don’t pump your ego up too much. It will come crashing down against Bama.

    • Handed……as in the 21 4th quarter points they handed georgia

      • Oh thank you all mighty and powerful Auburn for graciously allowing Georgia to score 21 points in the 4th quarter. The all-time leading passer in SEC (statistically) definitely had no chance of scoring any points without it being “handed” to him.
        Give me a F’ing break, man.

        • K. I will respond to you too. Murray is the best quarterback in the conference. He has pose, talent, and he is damn right great. I am a AU fan, and that was the game for the record books. it was insane and yes Ga had us by one, but in the end, almost doesn’t count. I did hate it for Murray. That kid has more heart in him than all of the players in the world. He is exciting to watch and I just cannot say enough about him. With that being said, they should not have tried to intercept that ball. Bad decisions lost the dawgs that win. Not Auburn.

        • Never said anything bad about him. I’ve always liked him. But he was also playing qb in the first half. Auburn shut down in the second half

      • Handed Georgia 21 points? Is that how you say it? Yeah, no. Big difference in a team cranking out 21 unanswered on you versus another team tipping a hail mary into a guy’s hands who never saw the pass coming. Spoken like a true AU fan. Never mind the lack of calls on things like the two targeting plays and the obvious holding on that lucky TD.

    • Let me just say this. it may not have been pretty, but, almost doesn’t count. Period. Anybody that knows anything about football, knows on a 4th down hail mary pass, you swat the ball downward, not upward. Georgia beat themselves. Period.

      • Murray the best QB in the SEC? Lol. You do know the reigning Heisman winner is a QB as well, right?

        • And? Tim Tebow won the Heisman too dude … so much for that theory of yours.

        • I believe Diamonddallas6 just gave you the text version of a teabagging.

        • And I believe that you, diamonddallas, or anyone else who thinks Murray is the best QB is delusional. Johnny Manziel is objectively better than Aaron Murray. NumbeHonestly, it’s not even worth debars speak louder than words.

  • I really needed Georgia and South Carolina to either both win or both lose for Missouri to have the best odds of winning the east. at this point South Carolina has the best odds. oh well we didn’t really want to back into it anyway. that was two really good games though! and how about that Missouri volleyball team 30-0!

    • It’s gonna be tough to do.If my Gamecocks were to play Miss and A&M back-to-back there is very little chance they’d win out. We got the favorable schedule in playing Ark and Miss St and hopefully we capitalize on it.

  • Bama fans keep counting your chickens before the eggs hatch. you may come up a few chicken short if you go to Auburn and get your eggs scrambled.

    • Ummm, you still have two SEC West games to win before you can cash your ticket to ATL there Zou .. gotta win those or you get to watch South Cackalacky play in the SECCG

  • besides, doesn’t everyone in the SEC want an all “Tiger” championship?!

  • Jon the arm chair English teachers are as bad as the arm chair Quarterbacks. The Alabama game was a let down , but they held it together long enough to pull out a win. I’m sure conditioning this week will be full of fun drills to teach that focus is the corner stone of execution . Hopefully they will drink tons of water to push that hangover out if their system or it’s going to be over in two weeks .

  • “If you liked the Vandy/Ole Miss shootout to open the season, you’ll love Missouri/Ole Miss next week. It’s setting up to be a high-scoring thriller, with two better-than-advertised and underrated defenses.”

    Really? Last I checked, Mizzou trounced Vandy 51-28 while Ole Miss snuck away with a four point win. Mizzou averages seven more points a game and allows five less points a game than do the Rebels, and half of Mizzou’s games have been without their starting quarterback. It’s the same story every week with y’all: “This will be the team that gives Mizzou a game!” So far, it’s only happened once.

    • Transitive property doesn’t hold true in football games…there are hundreds of examples of why it doesn’t. Anyone can beat anyone, just enjoy the games and the rest of the season. They should be good.

      • I know you’re going to be sitting back enjoying the games. looking for Missouri you lose this week and if not this week then next week. it was nice having the inside track for a while but now South Carolina’s on the inside track coming to the finish

        • I still think you have the inside track, you still control your destiny. Should be an interesting next couple weeks. One of us will get a shot at Bama, and the other may have a shot at an at-large BCS bowl. If you win out, you deserve the East.

    • Yea and Ole Miss has been playing real teams compared to the joke of a schedule Mizzou has. If Ole Miss had their schedule, the Rebels would probably be undefeated or only have 1 loss. Who beat who by how much doesn’t matter. Ole Miss lost to Auburn, who lost to LSU…so by your logic LSU would beat Ole Miss. But then they had this thing called a game and that didn’t happen. It’s all about the match ups…and next weekend should be a good one

      • Perhaps you are right, but I see some cupcakes on the Ole Miss schedule as well. Half the schedule in fact. It is interesting that Mizzou is lucky this year for playing teams that are diminished by injuries, but last year we took flack for not belonging in the SEC (as we had lost our starting offensive line, starting quarterback, and tailback to injuries). Fortunately, not everyone in the league thinks in terms of these kinds of double standards and I think that this year has been mutually beneficial for the new Tigers and the SEC. The bottom line is, like it or not, the SEC Title is ours to win or lose. It is all on our shoulders and a huge task ahead. Ole Miss and A&M are both excellent teams that offer a great challenge for anyone to beat (except for Bama… “Roll Tide” haha). I am just so thankful that Missouri has remained healthy and has played well. I look forward to whatever comes and will love them all the same. Missouri is the “show me” state. I look forward to see what our Tigers have to show us in the weeks to come! :)

    • TrueTexasTiger, you must not watch are know anything about football. When Ole Miss played Vandy it was the first game of the year and was at Vandy and Ole Miss was starting a ton of freshmen. Ole Miss didn’t the luxury of playing a weak schedule like Mizzou. Besides Bama, Ole Miss could have easily won the Auburn and A&m games. Who has Mizzou played besides South Carolina? Georgia, which was missing half it’s team due to injury. I would like to see Mizzou play Bama, LSU, Auburn, and A&M, then you can talk some shit. Mizzou has been extremely lucky to get to play a weak schedule and when Mizzou finally plays a good team the team is missing all of it’s good players. Plus when Mizzou finally played a good team, Mizzou lost at home. Plus, South Carolina isn’t better than Bama, Auburn, A&M, and may even LSU.

      • Well Army Guy as Sherman said we are the “Show me state ” we know the challenge before us against two excellent teams and take nothing for granted. As far as your scenario, why don’t we just wait until Saturday. If we beat you we can talk “some shit”. We won’t of course if we win you will be irrelevant and we will be talking about A&M .

  • I can’t wait to see who Jon and Kevin pick. Jon has always liked Bo Wallace and really thought Mississippi would make more noise in the West. but now he’s also firmly planted on the Missouri bandwagon. so that’ll be interesting. I bet we don’t get picked to finish sixth in the East next year. the worst we can do now is finished second in the east.

  • Will take a little bit of an exception that Auburn “allowed” Georgia to back in the game. Georgia fought there way back into the game and stopped Auburn cold in the 4th quarter. This wasn’t lack of focus on Auburn’s part. This was Georgia finally mixing in the blitz and attacking rather than beginning attacked. Not taking anything away from Auburn. They are dramatically improved. All the credit to their players and coaches. But felt the Dawgs took the 2nd half and deserved to win this football game. Your opinion of the Tigers is a little over-rated and of Georgia is greatly under-rated.

    • Agreed. When a team “allows” another team into the game, it’s because the allowing team makes big mistakes. I don’t recall any big mistakes by Auburn that allowed us back in. We stopped them, they punted to us, and we scored. If any team allowed another team anything, our HUGE mistake on the miracle play allowed Auburn to steal a victory. Whatever, though, it sucks and will suck for the several years thinking back on it

      • AU fan here. Agreed. To be honest, we had them. Period. I don’t know why that second half was played the way it was and I am sure that will be discussed this week. They didn’t allow them, lol. They fought back. This game with the exception of the last two years, has always been this way. I’m proud of both teams.

      • Yes, Georgia’s near comeback was very impressive. That was how I thought the whole game would be like before it started. Auburn didn’t turn the ball over and made little mistakes in the second half, Louis running over Mason in the backfield comes to mind. Georgia grabbed the momentum in the fourth quarter and played the best offensive football I have seen in a while. I was very surprised Georgia didn’t bat down the ball that turned into the “miracle” catch.

  • Again, can’t be more proud of Murray. Will be in the stadium Saturday to watch him play his last home game against Kentucky. We can stand and clap for hours on end, but it won’t be enough. As for the Auburn game, if there is a silver lining of any kind, it’s that our season was already down the shitter. Yeah, we weren’t out of the race, but Mizzou ain’t losing to both Ole Miss and A&M.

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