Want to look like a genius among your friends and strangers this weekend when you sit down on your couch or barstool to watch Week 11 action in the SEC?
We have you covered with 10 (10-plus, really) schedule facts pertaining to the conference matchups this week.
ALABAMA — MISSISSIPPI STATE
Alabama’s rivalry with Mississippi State is the second-longest continuously played series in Crimson Tide history. The teams have met annually since 1948. The 100 games between Alabama and Mississippi State — as well as the 78 wins — are the most for the Tide versus any opponent, Auburn included.
The Week 11 tilt between Alabama and Mississippi State will be coach Dan Mullen’s 100th with the Bulldogs. Only Alabama’s Nick Saban, whom Mullen will face in Week 11, has a longer current tenure on the SEC sidelines. The Mississippi State coach is the program’s winningest (.596) since Allyn McKeen earned a .764 winning percentage from 1939 to ’48 en route to enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame.
ARKANSAS — LSU
Golden to boot
An Arkansas win will not only reward the Razorbacks with the rivalry’s Golden Boot trophy but it also will mark the first time since 1927-29 that the Hogs have defeated LSU in three consecutive games. The series dates to 1901, but the Week 11 matchup will be only the fourth time the Razorbacks and Tigers have played in Fayetteville. Most of the games have been played in Little Rock, Ark., and Shreveport, La.
Top 15 targets
LSU might be lucky that it fell out of the top 15 in the AP Top 25. Arkansas is tied with Alabama for the most wins nationally against teams ranked No. 15 or better. Bret Bielema has knocked off seven teams ranked in the AP Top 25 since taking over the Razorbacks in 2013, including their Week 11 opponent LSU twice (2014 and 2015).
AUBURN — GEORGIA
Deep South deadlock
Auburn can tie its all-time series with Georgia again after falling below .500 (55-56-8) against the Bulldogs last year for the first time since the 1986 season. Georgia closed the gap and retook the lead after winning 8 of the last 10 meetings. The two losses were in 2010 and ’13. The rivalry is the fourth-most played in the nation, tied with Oregon and Oregon State’s Civil War series.
FLORIDA — SOUTH CAROLINA
Move over, Tebow
With a win against South Carolina, Florida can clinch its first consecutive SEC East crowns since Tim Tebow was behind center for the Gators in the 2008 and ’09 seasons. On an even bigger scale, Jim McElwain can become the first head coach in SEC history to play in the SEC championship game in his first two years on the sidelines. McElwain shares the distinction with Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Les Miles, formerly of LSU, as the only coaches to reach the conference title game in their first season.
KENTUCKY — TENNESSEE
Kentucky lost to Georgia in Week 10, but the Wildcats already have set a school record with three wins against SEC East teams. It’s the first time they’ve accomplished that feat since the conference split in 1992. A victory against Tennessee — whom Kentucky hasn’t defeated in Knoxville since 1984 — would give the Wildcats their most conference victories since Fran Curci led them to five during the 1977 season.
OLE MISS — TEXAS A&M
Kevin Sumlin can join Saban as the only SEC coaches to win at least eight games in each of the last five seasons. The only other Texas A&M coach to win a minimum of eight games in each of his first five years was R.C. Slocum. Sumlin also would tie Emory Bellard (1974-78) for Texas A&M’s second-longest stretch of 8-victory seasons.
Chad, you will be Ole missed
The season-ending right ACL- and lateral meniscus-tear injury suffered by Chad Kelly means Ole Miss potentially could start its first freshman quarterback since David Morris lined up behind center for the Rebels during the 1998 season. The job of leading the Ole Miss offense now likely falls to Jason Pellerin, who has completed 5 of 13 passes for 13 yards and 2 touchdowns this season. He also has 3 interceptions.
MISCELLANEOUS BONUS FACTS
OK, so it’s more like 12 schedule facts
- LSU’s contest in Fayetteville against Arkansas will be the first road game for Tigers interim coach Ed Orgeron, who is 3-1 since taking over for Miles.
- Kentucky is the lone SEC East team to defeat an SEC West squad this season. The East is 1-9 against its West counterparts.
- If Texas A&M can take care of Ole Miss at Kyle Field, the Aggies will need a win against LSU in the season’s final week to sweep their home slate for the first time since 1999.