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 12 action in the SEC?
We have you covered with 10 schedule facts pertaining to the matchups throughout the conference this week.
ALABAMA — CHATTANOOGA
Move over, Woody; you, too, Bobby
Nick Saban will tie Ohio State legend Woody Hayes for the most games coaching an AP Top 25 No. 1-ranked team at one school when Alabama plays host to Chattanooga in Week 12. The Tide coach is tied with Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, with 45 games as head of the nation’s top team. Bowden went 40-5 during 34 seasons in those games. Hayes was 40-6 in those 28 seasons with the Buckeyes. Saban also is 40-5, but he has done so in fewer than 10 full seasons.
ARKANSAS — MISSISSIPPI STATE
On the road … again?
Arkansas leaves the confines of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium to close the regular season, beginning with a trip to Starkville to face Mississippi State. The Razorbacks are 15-10-1 all time against the Bulldogs but have lost four straight (thank you, Dak Prescott). It marks the first time since 1982 that Arkansas has finished its season with back-to-back road contests.
FLORIDA — LSU
Let’s try this again
The matchup between Florida and LSU will be the first postponed game (Hurricane Matthew) for the Gators that was rescheduled since the 2001 season, when the tragic events of Sept. 11 forced them to push back their tilt against Tennessee. Florida lost that game to the Volunteers, ceding the SEC East crown in the process. Host LSU can deny the Gators, if for only a week, another chance at clinching the division. A Tigers win would be their third consecutive against Florida and the first time that’s happened since 1980.
The game is also the first time in the 63-year history of the rivalry in which back-to-back contests have been played in Death Valley. The Tigers return the favor by traveling to The Swamp in 2017 and ’18.
LSU’s defense might not get the credit it deserves. The Tigers are the lone team in the nation to not allow more than 21 points in a game. The most points posted against the LSU defense this season is 21 by Ole Miss (38-21).
GEORGIA — LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE
Georgia’s 13-7 win against then-No. 8 Auburn in Week 11 gave the Bulldogs their second SEC win in as many years in which the offense did not score a touchdown. The last occurrence was in a 9-6 decision against Missouri in 2015. Maurice Smith’s pick-6 touchdown against Auburn also marked the first time since 2002 that the defense posted Georgia’s only touchdown in a game. The last time the defense scored and the offense did not was in a 13-7 road win against South Carolina.
KENTUCKY — AUSTIN PEAY
Get your bowling shoes
A Kentucky win against Austin Peay — the first game against the Governors — would mark the Wildcats’ 12th consecutive year with a win against an FCS opponent. It would move Kentucky to 9-0 all time against the Ohio Valley Conference. More important, it would be the first time most of the team’s 14 seniors are bowl eligible. Kentucky lost last week against Tennessee, but it was the first time in program history that the Wildcats had five players rush for more than 70 yards in the same game.
OLE MISS — VANDERBILT
We’re (almost) back, baby
If Ole Miss can fend off Vanderbilt — its first SEC opponent this season not ranked in the AP Top 25 — it’ll send the Rebels to a bowl game for a fifth consecutive season. It would be the first time the program has qualified for the postseason in five consecutive years since Ole Miss went to a bowl game in 15 consecutive seasons between 1957 and 1971, which was a national best.
MISSOURI — TENNESSEE
Maybe this year
Missouri enters its Week 12 game against Tennessee with a 3-7 (1-5 SEC) record, but the Tigers have owned the Volunteers. Tennessee never has defeated Mizzou at Neyland Stadium (0-2). Missouri has won 3 of 4 games against Tennessee since joining the SEC in the 2012 season. Butch Jones’ squad owns the nation’s toughest schedule. The Vols’ first nine opponents this season boast a .663 combined winning percentage (55-28).
SOUTH CAROLINA — WESTERN CAROLINA
Despite sharing a surname, South Carolina has not played its westerly (and one state up) neighbor Western Carolina since the 1989 season — when current Gamecocks play-by-play voice Todd Ellis was behind center. South Carolina — which can become bowl eligible with a win in Will Muschamp’s first year — has defeated the Catamounts by a combined 138-33 margin.
TEXAS A&M — TEXAS SAN ANTONIO
Gunning for the Aggies
Texas San Antonio will gun for history when it faces No. 23 Texas A&M in the first meeting between the schools. The Roadrunners never have defeated a team ranked in the AP Top 25, losing four previous tries: to No. 22 Louisiana Tech in 2012, No. 13 Oklahoma State in 2013, and No. 22 Arizona and No. 25 Oklahoma State in 2015.