Educated Guesses Week 12: SEC East judgment day
I got a late start doing this (I blame jet lag), so let’s keep it brief.
Saturday marks a judgment day, of sorts, in the SEC East. And nothing points Georgia’s way.
The depleted Bulldogs have to face a revived Auburn on the road to keep what slim hopes Georgia has of representing the SEC East in Atlanta alive. When those hopes are predicated on No. 9 Missouri losing its last two games (against Ole Miss and Texas A&M), it’s a tough sell.
The only thing Georgia actually holds in its hands is the fate of South Carolina. A Bulldogs loss could pave the way for the Gamecocks to win the division, returning the favor after two seasons of backdoor steals. A three-way tie with Missouri does nothing to help either Georgia or South Carolina because the Tigers will take the first tiebreaker with a better division record. That lost day in the Volunteer state (Georgia at Vandy and S.C. at Tennessee) is even more costly than it seemed at the time.
So South Carolina needs to hope for a simple two-way with Mizzou, where Connor Shaw’s heroics earned them the head-to-head nod. Beat the hapless Gators and this scenario seems entirely plausible – even likely.
As for Georgia Tech, it needs so many things to go its way to set up just the right breakdown for divisional success that it would just be easier to lose to Clemson and not have to worry about it. That should be no problem.
In addition to following these weekly guesses on ScottMichaux.com, anyone wishing to play along can join The Augusta Chronicle’s Football Fever Challenge. You can register to play at http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/footballfever#.UD9xLcFlSE8
Week 12 guesses are here:
Georgia @ Auburn: Getting beat by your former cornerback playing QB will be the final nail in season’s coffin. TIGERS 35, Bulldogs 27.
Florida @ South Carolina: The outcome of this game doesn’t even inspire doubt. GAMECOCKS 27, Gators 13.
Georgia Tech @ Clemson: Dabo Swinney is 2-4 vs. Ga. Tech, so there’s that to consider. TIGERS 42, Yellow Jackets 28.
Miami @ Duke: Are we seeing the unraveling of The U? HURRICANES 31, Blue Devils 24.
Oregon State @ Arizona State: Pretty good little Pac-12 matchup here not getting much attention. SUN DEVILS 38, Beavers 35.
Texas Tech @ Baylor: Bears are one of the great stories in college football ever. Keep it going. BEARS 42, Red Raiders 30.
Michigan State @ Nebraska: At least somebody in this country can play defense. SPARTANS 23, Cornhuskers 13.
Oklahoma State @ Texas: Sweeping the OK neighbors would complete season salvage. LONGHORNS 34, Cowboys 31.
Stanford @ Southern Cal: This has all the makings of an extreme letdown after the Oregon conquest. CARDINAL 28, Trojans 27.
Washington @ UCLA: Another good Pac-12 matchup. That conference is tough this year. BRUINS 38, Huskies 28.
Georgia Southern @ Elon: Our Statesboro friends are killing my percentages, but not this week. EAGLES 35, Phoenix 17.
Winners: Georgia, Baylor, Auburn, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Central Florida, Georgia Southern.
Losers: LSU, Miami, Oregon, Florida
Year-to-date record: 94-27 (.777)
2012 record: 117-48 (.709)
2011 record: 115-51 (.693)
2010 record: 97-49 (.664)