Johnny Manziel and TexasA&M stand in the way of Alabamas title hopes.
The SEC ChampionshipGame could be set this weekend if things go as planned. With just three weeksremaining in the season Georgia and Alabama control their own destiny. Whileboth teams deserve to go, however it does bring to question the future schedulingof the league and whether it should go to a nine game conference schedule. Theleague has expanded to 14 teams, yet you only have to play roughly 62 of theconference teams. It just seems low to have a potential of 13 differentopponents and every year you dont play five of them. You could make thecase that Alabama and Georgia will go to Atlanta not having played one of thetop three teams from the other division in the regular season.SEC Title ScenariosEastGeorgia beats Auburnthey are the championsAuburn beats Georgiathen Florida is the championWestAlabama beat TexasA&M they are the championsAlabama loses to TexasA&M but beats Auburn they are the championsTexas A&M wins outand Alabama loses out then the Aggies are the championsDee Millinar seentackling Spencer Ware can do it all for Alabama.Texas A&M at Alabama: This will be a fun game to watch. The Aggiesran 94 plays against LSU which had them imposition to win, but they had 5turnovers which resulted in 21 Tiger points. The formula is simple play keepaway from Alabamas offense, dont commit turnovers (pretty much what LSU didlast week) and play better prevent defense. This is easier said than done butAlabama needs to get their emotion back up. The Aggies led Florida and LSU at thehalf and could have beaten both of them. Manziel is number two in the countrywith 383 yards of total offense in the country. He leads the SEC in rushing andin scoring and is fifth in the country with around 20 points per game accountedfor. Bamas secondary will be the key and Robert Lester and Dee Milliner musthave great games in coverage and tackling the scrambling Manziel. TheAggies also lead the SEC in converting 3rddowns at a 54 ratethis season which also ranks them 3rdin the country.Texas A&M leads the SEC in rushing yards gained on third down with 653because of Manziels scrambling ability. The 653 yards is over 400 yards morethan any other SEC team.Alabama gives up just229 yards per game but they are coming off their worst performance in twoyears.Much of the credit goes to LSU but the front seven will bechallenged again this week by a solid TexasA&M offensive line.The Crimson Tide defense has allowed only 15 runs of over 10 yards all season whileJohnny Manziel has 44 by himself. AJ McCarron engineered two drives in the twominute drill including the one that began with 3:27 before the end of the firsthalf. His numbers in those two drives were 7-8 for 109 yards and one rushingtouchdown and one passing touchdown. Alabama is 36 for 38 inside the red zonethis season which is 95 and ranked 2ndnationally. Last weekwas the second game this season the Alabama defense did not force a turnover,Florida Atlantic was the other on September 22nd. Alabama leads thenation in scoring defense, while ranking second in rushing defense and total defense.The Crimson Tide also is tied for first in the country with fewest first downsallowed.The rest of the SECGeorgia at Auburn: This is the Souths oldest rivalry and for the21st time since 1933 a conference or division title is at stake for one or bothteams. Georgia has played great defense as of late and are 3rdinthe nation at forcing three and outs with 50. Damian Swann is stepping up thelast two weeks with a fumble recovery for 53 yards vs. Ole Miss and aninterception vs. Florida. Aaron Murray has completed 27 passes for over 25yards this season. The Dogs are a big play offense has hit 101 plays for morethan ten yards a pop. Auburn ran the ball well a week ago with Tre mason andOnterrio McCalebb. The team is coming off a season high 311 yards rushingvs. New Mexico State.Vanderbilt at Ole Miss: These two teams need a win to get bowleligible; the Commodore defense 2ndversus the pass in the SECwhich bodes well against Bo Wallace and the Rebels. Wallace is tied with TylerBray for the most interceptions (10) thrown in the SEC this season. TheCommodores have never been to back to back bowl games in their history and JordanRodgers has been a hot quarterback the last two weeks.Jordan Rodgers has theDores thinking big for the post season.Arkansas at SouthCarolina: The Gamecocks arecoming off a bye week and has struggled with the Hogs the last two years.Connor Shaw will be called upon to carry the load with the loss of MarcusLattimore. The match up to watch is the Arkansas offense versus the SouthCarolina defense. The Razorbacks have the 4thbest offense andthe Gamecocks have the 4thbest defense in the SEC.Mississippi State at LSU: The Bulldogs have to force turnovers to have ashot to win in Death Valley. They are 22-1 under Dan Mullen when they win theturnover margin. LSU must get itself back up for the Bulldogs and continue toshow the offensive development from last week. LSUs defense is ranked 3rdinthe country in total defense and has forced 23 turnovers which is 10thbest.The Bulldogs are -3 in the turnover margin the last two games which have bothresulted in losses.Missouri at Tennessee: This is a game both teams need to get to thebowl season. Missouri has played good defense but their offense isturnover prone. Tennessee has played good offense but the defense cannot stopanyone. If James Franklin was ever going to get right its this week, theVolunteers have given up 99 pass plays of ten yards or more. The Volunteersneed to force some turnovers and 8 of their 10 interceptions have come in theirfour wins.Louisiana at Florida: The Rajun Cajuns come in averaging 35 points pergame and 435 yards of total offense. The Gators have two home games remainingand with wins in both they will go undefeated at home for the first time since2009. Matt Elam the junior defensive back is having a terrific season. He istied for the team lead with three interceptions, 3rdin tacklesand 2ndon team in tackles for loss.