In the past, especially the recent past, the SEC Championship game has propelled an SEC team into the BCS Championship game but this year, the second in a row where it will eliminate a BCS Championship participant.
Realize this, if the SEC was using the old league format without the East meets West showdown, Alabama and Florida could meet in a national championship game instead of fighting for the conference championship. SEC co-champs settling it on the field for all the marbles. One team will watch the Pasadena matchup from the Sugar Bowl.
All-in-all the SEC Championship game has definitely provided more of a boost over the years for the SEC Champion, unfortunately this season just like last season it hurts more than it helps."
YRATINGS.COM POWER RATINGS
#1 (124.0) FLORIDA - the flip-flop at the top continues who'll remain on top after this week
#2 (121.8) ALABAMA - dropped one spot, but does it really matter
#3 (113.5) ARKANSAS - moved on up one more spot and 1.2 ratings points
#4 (110.9) OLE MISS - dropped one spot and 0.6 rating points
#5 (110.6) TENNESSEE - up one spot, but no change in rating
#6 (110.4) LSU - down one and 0.7 points after bad clock management
#7 (106.4) AUBURN - hardly a change after the bye-week
#8 (103.6) KENTUCKY - holding steady, up 0.4 points
#9 (100.3) GEORGIA - down 0.5 points after the loss to the Cats
#10 (100.2) SO. CAROLINA - no change
#11 ( 98.0) MISSISSIPPI STATE - down 1.0 points
#12 ( 90.0) VANDERBILT - up 0.2 points
Alabama and Florida are virtually equal, but ratings fluctuate between the two. This weekend will decide the pick for the championship game. Arkansas has made the biggest push toward the top over the last several weeks.
Last week was another perfect one for YRATINGS.COM. The predictions were 6-0 which makes the total 51-11 or 82% on the season. A special thanks to LSU for deciding to pass instead of run late in the game, and another special thanks to Auburn for not playing (the prediction losing streak is still a thorn in my side).
Rivalry week is always tough, but maybe last week's numbers can be duplicated. Don't forget to visit WWW.YRATINGS.COM and see how the SEC compares to rest of the NCAA.
#5 ALABAMA (11-0) AT #35 AUBURN (7-4)
Alabama will win because - #1 total defense (225.2 yds/game), #1 pass efficiency defense, #2 rush defense (70.6 yds/game), Heisman candidate Mark Ingram (127.2 yds/game) and Leigh Tiffin's kicks.
Auburn will win because - #15 scoring offense (34.0 pts/game), #11 rushing offense (219.6 yds/game), #16 total offense (441.5 yds/game) and Ben Tate's ground game (109.9 yds/game).
The only thing that makes this game interesting is the fact that it is played in Auburn. Auburn is 7-3 versus Alabama at home, 3-2 when it has the worst record heading into the game plus the home crowd never hurts. In the last 20 years only one undefeated team lost the Iron Bowl (which was the 1989 game in Auburn to a 9 and 1 team). The odds are against Auburn. Alabama has a season of dreams in front of it so it is a monumental upset, but not likely.
PREDICTION: ALABAMA BY 15 POINTS
#15 CLEMSON (8-3) AT #59 SOUTH CAROLINA (6-5)
Clemson will win because - #12 total defense (296.9 yds/game), #12 pass defense (169.8 yds/game), #7 punt returns (14.9 yds/return) and C.J. Spiller on offense plus DeAndre McDaniel on defense.
South Carolina will win because - #17 total defense (308.7 yds/game), #7 pass defense (163.6 yds/game), #28 scoring defense (20.7 pts/game) and Stephen Garcia #36 total offense (244.6 yds/game).
This game is always unpredictable, but this may be Clemson's year. If Clemson gets caught looking ahead to the ACC Championship game then an upset could loom. South Carolina had last week off to prepare so the score may be closer than predicted, but the better team will win.
PREDICTION: CLEMSON BY 13 POINTS
#54 FLORIDA STATE (6-5) AT #4 FLORIDA (11-0)
Florida State will win because - #14 passing offense (286.1 yds/game), #2 punt returns (16.8 yds/return), #21 total offense (434.7 yds/game) and the total offense of Christian Ponder (321.8 yds/game).
Florida will win because - #1 scoring defense (9.8 pts/game), #2 total defense (229.8 yds/game), #9 rushing offense (229.9 yds/game), and Tim Tebow's running and passing.
Florida State is on a mini-win streak, and anything to hang your hat on is better than nothing. Unfortunately, Florida has a hat tree of accomplishments and more to play for so look for the Gators to control the ball and the game.
PREDICITON: FLORIDA BY 22 POINTS
#17 ARKANSAS (7-4) AT #23 LSU (8-3)
Arkansas will win because - #8 scoring offense (38.0 pts/game), #8 passing offense (310.3 yds/game), #7 turnover margin (+1.09 to's/game) and Ryan Mallet's #3 pass efficiency.
LSU will win because - #8 scoring defense (14.7 pts/game), #3 punt returns (16.2 yds/return), #28 total defense (322.2 yds/game) and Trindon Holliday's returns.
LSU has lost two of their last three games while Arkansas has won their last four. These two teams are heading in different directions, and Arkansas has shown improvement as the season has progressed. Clock management may come into play again this game and we know how that worked out for the Tigers last week.
PREDICTION: ARKANSAS BY 3 POINTS
#20 OLE MISS (8-3) AT #68 MISSISSIPPI STATE (4-7)
Ole Miss will win because - #14 scoring defense (16.6 pts/game), #14 pass efficiency defense, #23 rushing offense (191.3 yds/game) and Dexter McCluster's all-purpose ability.
Miss. State will win because - #12 rushing offense (219.5 yds/game), #18 kickoff returns (24.8 yds/return) and Anthony Dixon's #6 rushing game (125.8 yds/game).
The Egg Bowl is a great traditional rivalry, and this year both teams feel they can win. Ole Miss survived some late game heroics last week while State faded against the Hogs. The Bulldogs have nothing to lose so expect a battle early, but the Rebels will have the horses in the end.
PREDICTION: OLE MISS BY 13 POINTS
#21 TENNESSEE (6-5) AT #46 KENTUCKY (7-4)
Tennessee will win because - #33 scoring offense (30.6 pts/game), #20 total defense (313.2 yds/game), #13 pass defense (171.9 yds/game) and Montario Hardesty's ground game (102.5 yds/game).
Kentucky will win because - #18 pass efficiency defense, #20 rushing offense (196.2 yds/game), punt returns of Randall Cobb and kickoff returns of Derrick Locke.
The Vols have suffered on the road, and the Wildcats have suffered at home. Kentucky has put together a nice season, and nothing would finish it off better than taking down the Vols. Meanwhile, Tennessee needs this win to finish above .500 and close the season with some momentum for next year. This one will go down to the wire.
PREDICTION: TENNESSEE BY 7 POINTS
#58 GEORGIA (6-5) AT #16 GEORGIA TECH (10-1)
Georgia will win because - #1 net punting (42.8 yds/punt), #34 rush defense (120.6 yds/game), #18 tackles for loss and A.J. Green's receiving (83.4 yds/game).
Georgia Tech will win because - #2 rushing offense (314.1 yds/game), #11 scoring offense (36.0 pts/game), #12 total offense (449.6 yds/game) and Josh Nesbitt plus Jonathan Dwyer.
Georgia will need to put on track shoes to stay in this game because it's projects as a high scoring affair. If Georgia can hang in there until the fourth the game could become interesting, but if the season of errors continues then Tech will pull away.
PREDICTION: GEORGIA TECH BY 13 POINTS