Week 12 win probability for every SEC team based on ESPN's FPI
Call it a cupcake-palooza or simply a slew of non-conference tune-ups heading into Rivalry Week. But it’s difficult to find a marquee matchup outside of Florida-LSU, which wasn’t even originally schedule for Week 12.
But there’s still plenty to be decided, especially in the SEC East, and here is the ESPN FPI breakdown of chances for each SEC team.
Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia (94.9 percent): This game against the 4-5 Ragin’ Cajuns will give Georgia a chance to rest injured players like defensive lineman DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, receiver Jayson Stanley, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and inside linebacker Natrez Patrick. These teams last met in 2010, when Georgia won 55-7. Georgia has won its past five tune-up games before facing Georgia Tech.
Texas San Antonio at Texas A&M (98.2 percent): In just their fifth season, the Roadrunners are 5-5, but have wins over Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss, two teams that have SEC wins this season. This is a chance for the Aggies to regain their offensive rhythm after struggling against Ole Miss’ shoddy defense. It’s also a chance for A&M to improve its flagging run defense, and adjust without injured players Trevor Knight, Myles Garrett and Armani Watts.
Florida at LSU (82.2 percent): Because of Hurricane Matthew, this game will finally play 42 days later and roughly 600 miles west of where it was originally scheduled. Ironically, if Florida had played when it was originally scheduled, it would have avoided Leonard Fournette, but he’s expected to return despite a nagging ankle injury. The key matchup will be Fournette and Derrius Guice against the Gators’ No. 2 rush defense, though they’ll be missing their top three tacklers. LSU’s won five of the past six in the annual series.
Missouri at Tennessee (87.3 percent): The Tigers have surprisingly controlled this series since they joined the SEC, as last year was their only loss. One issue that could play a factor is Missouri used two kickers last week in the Vanderbilt win, but didn’t list one on this week’s depth chart. Looking to build momentum off the Vanderbilt win following a five-game losing streak, Missouri can play spoiler in the SEC East race. But Joshua Dobbs and Co. will still get the chance against the nation’s 110th ranked defense.
Western Carolina at South Carolina (97.9 percent): South Carolina is a prohibitive favorite to earn its sixth victory and secure bowl eligibility. The Catamounts are just 2-8 with wins over Gardner-Webb and VMI. The Gamecocks shouldn’t have a problem focusing on this kind of game after they lost to Citadel last year, and Muschamp’s Florida team fell to Georgia Southern in 2013. Coming off his first loss, and first game where things didn’t go as scripted, Jake Bentley will have a chance to rebound after last week’s Florida loss. South Carolina’s defense shouldn’t have much trouble as it’s fifth in the SEC in scoring defense at 21 points per game.
Austin Peay at Kentucky (99.3 percent): The Governors went 0-11 last year and are 0-10 this season. Overall, they’re on a 26-game losing streak. It’s Senior Day in Lexington for 14 seniors looking to secure the program’s first bowl berth since 2010.
Arkansas at Mississippi State (53.7 percent): Dan Mullen is hoping to duplicate the 2013 season when the Bulldogs needed two wins to become bowl eligible and delivered from 4-6 to a win at Arkansas and a win in the Egg Bowl. The last meeting in Starkville, the Bulldogs came from 10-0 down and held off the Razorbacks 17-10. The Bulldogs have won four straight in the series, none more exciting than last year’s 51-50 affair. Nick Fitzgerald could cause problems against a weak Arkansas run defense that struggled against Kenny Hill, Trevor Knight and Chad Kelly.
Alabama A&M at Auburn (99.9 percent): Injury-ravaged Auburn is not only trying to bounce back from the upset at Georgia, but also give a slew of players the week off to heal before the Iron Bowl. Among them, Kamryn Pittway, Stanton Truitt, Chandler Cox, Marcus Davis, Josh Shockley and possibly quarterback Sean White. The Alabama A&M Bulldogs are 4-6, but beat Jackson State last week 27-20 after trailing 17-0. But they also rank near the bottom of the SWAC in several defensive categories. The last meeting came in 2012, a 51-7 Auburn win.
Ole Miss (78.3 percent) at Vanderbilt: Shea Patterson will get a second start to try and build off his record-setting debut at Texas A&M, while Vanderbilt must win its final two games to secure a bowl berth. (Unless enough spots open up for a 5-7 team, in which case Vandy’s high APR gives it a good shot.)
The circumstances are somewhat similar to last year when the Rebels came off an upset win over Alabama. But the last meeting in Nashville was a 41-3 Ole Miss win. One interesting matchup will be the Ole Miss run defense, which is last in the SEC, against Ralph Webb, who has 935 rushing yards to prop up a Vanderbilt offense that ranks 84th in the country, or worse, in several offensive categories.