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Week 9 SEC Football Preview

By on November 2nd, 2013

We’re in the final month of college football’s regular season, and the Southeastern Conference races to Atlanta are becoming more defined.

Four different teams are in contention for the SEC East crown after South Carolina defeated Missouri last week. In the SEC West, Alabama continues to lead the pack. The Crimson Tide are off until November 9, when they face LSU (who is also off until then), but the rest of the conference looks to entertain.

Florida-Georgia is this week and though both teams are having down years, the rivalry’s history, the programs’ prestige and the fact that this in essence an elimination game in the East division still makes this game one of the most compelling match ups of the week.

Mississippi State travels to Columbia to take on No. 14 South Carolina, The Gamecocks are on a six-game win streak the Bulldogs dating back to 2000. The last meeting, in 2011, saw South Carolina eke out a 14-12 victory in Starkville. The running attacks are operating at almost the same level of efficiency: South Carolina is averaging 205.9 yards per game while Miss State is averaging 205.4.

The Auburn Tigers have a legitimate chance to triple their win total from last season. After winning only three games in 2012, the Tigers are 7-1 (3-1 in the SEC) with four games left, all against SEC foes. They’ll be in Fayetteville, Arkansas, this evening to play the Razorbacks (3-5, 0-4 in the SEC). Auburn is averaging more than 150 yards per game on offense than the Razorbacks.

No. 9 Missouri will attempt to rebound from their double-overtime loss to South Carolina last week against the Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols have run the gamut of results this year; they’ve won handily, lost in huge blowouts, won close games and lost heartbreakers.

Barring an incredible series of collapses by the four teams in front (one of whom is Mizzou), Tennessee is out of the SEC East race with a 1-3 conference record. They’ll be trying to spoil Missouri’s BCS and SEC championship aspirations, but the Tigers are outperforming the Volunteers in offensive yards per game, points per game, sacks and interceptions.

Kentucky hosts Alabama State of the Southwest Athletic Conference tonight. The Wildcats hope to earn their second win of the season. The Hornets are on a six-game winning streak, and the Wildcats have lost five in a row.

The final game of the night has No. 12 Texas A&M playing at home against UTEP. The Miners are ranked 115th out of 123 FBS teams with 38.7 points given up per game, and the Aggies rank fourth in the nation with 48 points per game. With Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston playing lights out in nationally televised games, Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel needs a big game to keep pace in the Heisman Trophy competition.

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