Here is a look at the biggest story line for each SEC team entering Week 12:


Story line: Get healthy if you’re not, stay healthy if you are, and honor the seniors

Charleston Southern is 9-1 and an FCS force to be reckoned with, but the Crimson Tide likely will be able to use this game to rest a bit before its final push to return to the SEC title game and ultimately the College Football Playoff. With RB Kenyan Drake out with a broken arm, it will be interesting to monitor the usage of RB Derrick Henry.


Story line: Just how far can the Razorbacks ride this hot streak?

Riding high on a four-game winning streak, Arkansas has gone from a 2-4 disaster to a 6-4 team playing as well as anyone in the league. So with two more conference games remaining, including a visit from Mississippi State this week, just how far can the resurgent Razorbacks go? A bowl game is locked.


Story line: Who, exactly, is going to be the long-term QB on this team?

The Gus Malzahn scheme revolves around sharp quarterback play, and the Tigers simply haven’t received that consistently this season. Sean White is banged up, which has given us a second look at Jeremy Johnson in recent weeks. Can either of these guys help the Tigers return to the upper tier of the SEC in 2016? Someone needs to show us something.


Story line: Are the Gators a College Football Playoff-caliber team?

The Gators have finished their SEC schedule, with a loss to LSU at Tiger Stadium as the lone blemish on the resume of first-year coach Jim McElwain. With in-state matchups with Florida Atlantic and Florida State to close out the season in advance of the SEC Championship Game, the evaluation process will begin for the College Football Playoff committee because the Gators are likely in a “win three and you’re in” scenario. Do they have what it takes?


Story line: Richt better not drop the ball in one of these in-state games.

Georgia finishes the regular season against Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, and both run a variation of the option offense. So the Bulldogs will need to play assignment football on defense, much like coach Mark Richt must take special care to ensure that a loss doesn’t trip him up as he navigates through a season that has had its rough spots.


Story line: Will the decision to start Drew Barker help save the season?

Five-game losing streaks take their toll on a fan base, and the outing Patrick Towles had against Vanderbilt was enough to make the switch to Drew Barker popular one. Barker will get a chance to play from the beginning of a game, and he’ll get to do it against Charlotte, one of the worst teams in FBS. But will it be enough to break the losing streak and propel a sputtering Kentucky offense to the two wins it needs to get to 6-6?


Story line: How do the Tigers salvage the season?

In the matter of eight days, LSU went from being the No. 2 team in the College Football Playoff poll to being a two-loss team that has fallen out of both the national and conference championship picture. Leonard Fournette has seen his Heisman stock plummet as well. With tough games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M still to come, how do the Tigers stop the bleeding?


Story line: How do the Bulldogs slow down the Razorbacks machine?

Arkansas is the league’s hottest team, and the fact that their offense has been playing as well as any in the country for the last four weeks should be of serious concern to a team that is reeling from a 31-6 home loss to Alabama. Rival QB Chad Kelly accounted for six touchdowns and almost 500 yards of offense and the Rebels still lost to Arkansas. What type of performance will Dak Prescott need to produce a win?


Story line: Can the Tigers send Gary Pinkel off with a win in his final game at Faurot Field?

The veteran coach shocked the nation when he revealed last Friday that he would be resigning from his post at the end of the season. The Tigers responded by defeating BYU in an emotional scene on Saturday in Kansas City. But after breaking a four-game losing streak, the task of sending Pinkel out a winner in front of a home crowd doesn’t get any easier with a Tennessee team on a three-game winning streak coming to town.


Story line: Will a rejuvenated Rebels squad emerge for the bye week?

The Rebels’ Week 10 overtime loss to Arkansas is the type of defeat that sometimes takes two weeks to get over, so in that regard it’s probably a good thing Ole Miss had the week off. The Rebels certainly won’t have any more time to dwell on any of its three losses with LSU and Mississippi State remaining on the schedule, so this team will need to be firing on all cylinders again quickly.


Story line: Are the Gamecocks prepping for one last hurrah?

At 3-7 and a game against The Citadel ahead, there aren’t too many things to get excited about around the South Carolina program when it comes to matters on the field. The search for the next coach has taken over the headlines surrounding the team. But what better way for the Spurrier regime, headed by Shawn Elliott, to leave Columbia than knocking unbeaten Clemson out of the College Football Playoff picture? That’s worth two weeks of preparation.


Story line: Will the Tennessee offense respond from an underwhelming performance against North Texas to beat a very good Missouri defense?

As Butch Jones eluded to following Saturday’s 24-0 win against North Texas, there is no special designation for an ugly win. It counts just the same as a pretty one. Still, for a team heading on the road to face a team that allows just 14.7 points per contest, it is cause for a little concern.


Story line: Is Kyler Murray the savior or not?

The Aggies’ freshman quarterback turned heads in his first career start against South Carolina a few weeks ago, but his performances against Auburn and Western Carolina have left some wondering if Kyle Allen might not be the long-term answer at the position after all. Murray’s talent is evident, but he’s raw, and he’s playing one of the league’s most underrated defenses on the road in Nashville this week.


Story line: Can this team actually beat Texas A&M?

It is a question that would’ve seemed crazy to ask a few weeks ago, but the Aggies have not been performing up to their lofty offensive standards as of late and the Commodores defense has been turning in extremely good performances on a weekly basis. That opens the window for the possibility of an upset, but the Vanderbilt offense still hasn’t shown enough to think that they can score with the Aggies.