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SEC Week 12 Previews and Predictions

J. NewcastleContributor IDecember 23, 2016

SEC Week Twelve Previews & Predictions

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    With the SEC Championship Game now set with South Carolina and Auburn, the rest of the SEC teams in action either jockey for bowl spots or try to get a big win before the season ends.

    Last week: 4-3 Overall: 58-24
    (Home team listed first.)

    J. Newcastle can be heard on "College Football Saturday" each football season on 1300 WTLS & 106.5 FM and Tallassee Times TV.  Follow J. Newcastle on Twitter - twitter.com/j_newcastle.

    Article first published as SEC Week Twelve: Fighting for Bowl Game Spots on Blogcritics.

LSU (9-1, 5-1) Vs. Ole Miss (4-6, 1-5)

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    LSU's offense is still nothing special, but that defense plays with a real mean streak. Ole Miss has some players on offense, but they turn the ball over entirely too often to feel comfortable about their chances in Baton Rouge. That, along with the LSU playmakers with speed, will wear down the Ole Miss defense.

    LSU continues its march towards a possible BCS at-large berth as they take care of the Rebel Black Bears this week.

    LSU 26, Ole Miss 14

Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3) Vs. Arkansas (8-2, 4-2)

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Mississippi State is the surprise team of the SEC this year, but they still have major flaws. One of those (exposed by Alabama last week) is in pass defense. If there is a team you do not want to face when you struggle defending the pass it is Arkansas. The Razorbacks have added a strong running game to the attack late in the season, making them even harder to defend.

    Expect Ryan Mallett and Co.to carve up the Bulldogs and improve their bowl seeding opportunities.

    Arkansas 28, Mississippi State 21

Vanderbilt (2-8, 1-6) Vs. Tennessee (4-6, 1-5)

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Tyler Bray has given Tennessee a real shot in the arm since taking over starting duties. It also helps that the schedule has let up considerably.

    Vanderbilt is a team that completely fades as the game goes on, probably due to a lack of quality depth, while the Volunteers can see a bowl bid within reach.

    The Vols take a step closer to it with this win on the road.

    Tennessee 35, Vanderbilt 21

Alabama (8-2) Vs. Georgia State (6-4)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    This Thursday night special might as well be a bake sale and raffle to raise funds for the Georgia State program in its first year of existence. It would certainly be more competitive and interesting than this game will be.

    The question isn't even how long Alabama's starters will play, but how long the second-teamers will see the field in this total warm-up a week before a showdown with Auburn.

    Alabama 55, Georgia State 6

South Carolina (7-3) Vs. Troy (5-4)

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Troy has no run defense, evidenced by giving up 100 yards to not one, not two, but three players on Florida International's squad last week. South Carolina could overlook them and still win but they won't. Troy has a couple of exciting players on offense who should be good for some points late but they won't be able to stop South Carolina on offense.

    Steve Spurrier has his Gamecocks locked and loaded for the SEC Championship game and rematch with Auburn in a few weeks. They play a lot of people and win big here.

    South Carolina 44, Troy 19

Florida (6-4) Vs. Appalachian State (9-1)

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Florida's offense may be horrible, but they still have a solid defense. They will need it because Appalachian State is a quality opponent, even as a team from the FCS. The Mountaineers (a team many know for the 2007 win in Michigan's Big House) are no strangers to hostile environments. That experience for the coaches, coupled with the disarray of the Gators offense will make this a close game. However, Florida isn't bad enough to lose this one at home. The Gators will find a way to pull it out in the end.

    Florida 22, Appalachian State 13

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