Three Games: A little chaos doesn't hurt - Tucson News Now

Three Games: A little chaos doesn't hurt

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Georgia football coach Aaron Murray mingles with fans after the Bulldogs clinched a berth in the SEC championship game. (Source: Georgia Athletics) Georgia football coach Aaron Murray mingles with fans after the Bulldogs clinched a berth in the SEC championship game. (Source: Georgia Athletics)

(RNN) – The first - and probably the only - major shake-up in the SEC happened last week, and it might end the conference's streak of six straight national championships. The fallout from Texas A&M's win over Alabama is yet to be realized, but if Alabama beats Auburn in a couple of weeks, the effects will be minimal.

Below is a look at three games from Week 11 and what they mean going forward followed by a look at three big games from next week and the impact they will have.

Week 11 recap:

Texas A&M 28, Alabama 24

There weren't many people who expected the Aggies to walk into Tuscaloosa and win, but that's exactly what happened. Alabama was uncharacteristic on both sides of the ball, allowing 140 yards more than its average and rushing for 122 yards – its second-worse rushing game of the season.

Alabama gained more yards than A&M, but turned the ball over three times compared to the Aggies' none and Johnny Manziel had a typical outing throwing for 253 yards and rushing for 92.

The loss does not eliminate Alabama from the SEC West crown. If the Tide beats Auburn in two weeks, it will clinch a berth in the SEC title game. Should that game be a loss as well, it could set up a three-way tie with Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU, if LSU beats Ole Miss and Arkansas and A&M tops Missouri.

While it's a long shot, a loss to Auburn would eliminate the Crimson Tide (9-1, 6-1) from the SEC championship if either A&M (8-2, 5-2) or LSU (8-2, 4-2) wins its remaining conference games. LSU would then earn the berth because it won the meeting between those teams.

For A&M to earn the berth, the Aggies need to beat Missouri and have Alabama and LSU both lose a conference game.

LSU 37, Mississippi State 17

Mississippi State faced its third consecutive ranked team and suffered its third consecutive loss. The Bulldogs were held to a paltry 47 rushing yards and were 3-of-10 on third downs. Getting a win was important for both teams to stay in the hunt for the SEC West crown.

The Bulldogs (7-3, 3-3) are now eliminated from the SEC championship game, but are in position for a Cotton Bowl bid.

Georgia 38, Auburn 0

Georgia wrapped up the SEC East with little fanfare in a dominating effort. Georgia (9-1, 7-1) pulled back on its offense in the second half and Auburn (2-8, 0-7) wasn't able to get anything going, even with Jonathan Wallace taking over at quarterback.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik sounded optimistic about the future at Auburn and that he would be around to help see it return to winning. But university administration had earlier said the football team would be evaluated at the end of the season in a cryptic statement that did nothing to end speculation that Chizik in his last days on the Plains.

Games to watch in Week 12 (all times eastern):

Arkansas at Mississippi State, SEC Network, 12:21 p.m.

It may be hard to believe, but Arkansas could still become bowl eligible. If the Razorbacks (4-6, 2-4) beat Mississippi State and LSU, they would overcome a 1-4 start to salvage a bowl bid. Mississippi State is hoping to end its three-game losing skid and get back on track with a win and position itself for a possible berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Arkansas is one of three teams in the SEC to average more than 300 passing yards a game and Mississippi State's passing defense is in the middle of the pack in the conference. But Arkansas has the SEC's worst passing defense, allowing 291 yards a game.

Mississippi State has fallen to the middle of the pack in nearly every statistical category after having one of the top defenses in the conference earlier in the season. The Bulldogs have also fallen to a tie for eighth in the country in turnover margin after having led the country in that category at one point.

Ole Miss at No. 7 LSU, CBS, 3:30 p.m.

The stakes involved for both teams are pretty straightforward. LSU is trying to hold on for an outside shot at the SEC West crown and Ole Miss wants to get bowl eligible.

The Rebels (5-5, 2-4) are one win away from being bowl eligible and have been for three weeks. Losses to Georgia and Vanderbilt have put the Rebels in a tough spot having to face LSU and bitter rival Mississippi State to earn a trip to the postseason. All of the numbers suggest LSU will be able to postpone the Rebels' hopes

Tennessee at Vanderbilt, ESPN2, 7 p.m.

Vanderbilt has won four straight games and has become bowl eligible for the second straight year. That's never happened in school history, and the Commodores (6-4, 4-3) likely won't have far to travel to their postseason game, which will likely be the Music City Bowl in their home town, regardless of their record.

Tennessee is on the verge of not making a bowl for the second time in as many years, and that could cost Derek Dooley his job. The Vols (4-6, 0-6) must beat Vanderbilt and Kentucky to become eligible and possibly steal the Music City Bowl away from Vandy.

Tennessee is ranked at or near the top of the conference in most offensive statistics and at or near the bottom in most defensive statistics, while Vanderbilt's defense is near the top, trailing only Alabama and LSU in passing defense – the Tennessee offense's strength.

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