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SEC Preview and Predictions: Week 12

By Jess Nicholas
Nov. 14,

Last week’s record: 6-1 (85.7%)
Season record: 74-17 (81.3%)

Kentucky going back to being Kentucky cost the Predictions Dept. a perfect record in Week 11. This week, it’s mostly a bunch of freebies, with some B-level SEC games mixed in. Most of the big-dog games will wait for Week 13.

Teams don’t downgrade from often these days, but Idaho did it. The Vandals’ admission that they couldn’t hack it in college football’s top tier had to be painful. Not as painful as a whoopin’ at the hands of Florida is going to be, however.
Florida 45
Idaho 7

See our extended Thursday!

UMass has a prolific offense, but one of the worst defenses in all of college this season. The Minutemen have given up 50 or more points five times already in 2018. Make it six.
UMass 14

Of all the years you’d think Kentucky would take care of business against Tennessee, would have been it. But then a UT gear-wearing Lucy pulled Charlie Brown’s football out from in front of the Wildcats, and the result was an upset loss that probably took Kentucky out of major bowl consideration. Worse yet, Kentucky didn’t play with much passion at all. Enter MTSU, which is 7-3 and winners of four games in a row. Kentucky gets a despondent Louisville team next week in a rivalry game, so you know the Wildcats aren’t really thinking about this one with each waking moment. If the Blue Raiders show up to play, watch out.
Kentucky 37

This might qualify as the most interesting SEC matchup of the week, as Missouri can get to eight wins and a good bowl pairing, while the Vols need one more win either against the Tigers, or against the Commodores next week. We’re betting that win comes against Vanderbilt, if it comes at all, because Tennessee would seem ill-equipped to shut down Missouri QB Drew Lock or a rushing offense that has proven to be more than just decent. On the other hand, Missouri skated by Vandy last week to get to six wins. Just how good are these Tigers, anyway?
Missouri 34
Tennessee 28

The Gamecocks are bowl-eligible. Well, they’re not technically bowl-eligible yet, but they will be after this lopsided affair.
Chattanooga 10

This game used to come at the second or third week of the season and Vanderbilt would get the upset an inordinate percentage of the time. This year, it comes in Week 12, but Vanderbilt might still get the upset. Ole Miss’ offense should be one of the best in the league, but it hasn’t performed up to par when such a performance was most-needed. Vanderbilt has to win both its remaining games to make the postseason. It doesn’t make sense, but take the Commodores, who actually have something to play for.
Vanderbilt 34
Ole Miss 27

Here’s a matchup of an Arkansas team that played closer than expected last week, against a Mississippi State team that played closer than expected last week. The result is (or should be) a pair of teams that just finished getting beat to pieces by physical opponents who now have to play each other. There’s nothing on the line here; Mississippi State is going to a bowl and Arkansas isn’t. With two losses to end the regular season, State would finish an embarrassing 6-6, so playing to avoid that fate is a concern.
Mississippi St. 27
Arkansas 10

Don’t look now, but Liberty is capable of scoring a lot of points. The Flames just aren’t able to do much about their opponents also doing the same. Auburn’s loss to came in a rather humdrum performance that sort of defines the Tiger squad. Letting Liberty hang around longer than it should wouldn’t be a surprise. A loss? That would probably cause an immediate review of all those votes of confidence being cast Gus Malzahn’s way.
Auburn 38
Liberty 17

Rice is 1-10 and has scored fewer than 20 points in 5 of its last 6 games. As bad as the Owl offense is, the might be worse. Can you make gumbo out of Owls?
Rice 7

- at TEXAS
UAB is 9-1 on the season, but a quick glance of the schedule shows why. The two toughest teams the Blazers will play are Texas this week and next week. Still, it’s impressive that the Blazers have won eight in a row following a loss to Coastal Carolina. The Blazers have held six opponents to fewer than 10 points scored. Texas A&M, though, won’t be No. 7 on that list.
Texas 44
UAB 14

Follow Jess Nicholas on Twitter at @TideFansJessN

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