By no means am I a noted historian about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, but I am fairly certain that when they established the first Thanksgiving it was for a time of quiet reflection on thankfulness and a peaceful setting.
Not wide open rivalry football with blowouts and close calls all over the Alliance Killer known as the SEC.
But here we are.
What a week for the conference. Great games and established dominance were the norms. I can’t wait to discuss all of it with you. So come on this emotional joyride with me. And, as always, it’ll be fun for the whole family.
Week 12 SEC Wrap-Up
Kentucky 52, Louisville 21
Why Should I Care- The Wildcats capped a 9-3 season with a whipping of the Cards in the Governor’s Cup. Quarterback Will Levis and the Kentucky offense eviscerated the UL defense to the tune of 511 yards and 52 points in a game that was never close. Exhibit 1 of “Why the ACC isn’t the same as the SEC.”
Georgia 45, Georgia Tech 0
Why Should I Care- This was a clean, old-fashioned Bulldog beatdown of the Yellow Jackets. Exhibit 2 of “Why the ACC isn’t the same as the SEC.”
Alabama 24, Auburn 22 (4 OT)
Why Should I Care- Bama was dead in the water until the fourth quarter
when Heisman candidate Bryce Young made the critical plays to salvage the Tide’s playoff hopes.
Why Should I Care- The Tigers reached bowl eligibility with a late Max Johnson TD pass to upset the Aggies in Ed Orgeron’s last home game in Baton Rouge.
Clemson 30, South Carolina 0
Why Should I Care- For all the hope and confidence that South Carolina has been playing with, reality showed up in the form of the Tigers in Columbia. The good news is the Gamecocks are bowl-eligible.
Florida 24, Florida State 21
Why Should I Care- In the first game of the post-Dan Mullen era, the Gators defeated FSU to achieve bowl eligibility. I would hazard a guess that the Gator faithful are ready for the season to be over.
Tennessee 45, Vanderbilt 21
Why Should I Care- The Vols wrapped up a seven-win season by beating (or mercy killing) the Commodores. The big question is this: could Vol coach Josh Heupel, a former Oklahoma quarterback, be on the list for the now open coaching position at OU?
Why Should I Care- The Rebs closed their first 10-win regular season by beating the Dawgs in Starkville. My question is when the SEC will realize cowbells are noisemakers?
Arkansas 34, Missouri 17
Why Should I Care- The Hogs closed their first eight-win season in a long time and solidified the candidacy of coach Sam Pittman as SEC Coach of the Year.
Championship Week Predictions
The season ends for the majority of college football. But wait, there’s championship weekend across these United States of America. Let’s talk about it.
- C- USA Western Kentucky v. UTSA
- Pac 12 Oregon v. Utah
- Big 12 Oklahoma State v. Baylor
- MAC Kent State v. Northern Illinois
- Mountain West Utah State v. San Diego State
- Sun Belt Appalachian State v. Louisiana
- American Houston v. Cincinnati
- SEC Georgia v. Alabama
- ACC Pittsburgh v. Wake Forest
- Big 10 Michigan v. Iowa
Instead of just making gameday predictions, let’s discuss possible bowl destinations for the SEC teams. To recap the year that was for the Backwoods Swami. Overall, I was pretty consistent, coming in at a respectable 124-30 (.801).
Of the 14 SEC member schools, 13 are bowl eligible (sorry Vanderbilt.) Let’s take a look at the bowl games with ties to the SEC.
(projections by CBS Sports)
BOWL LOCATION TEAMS
- Cure Orlando Florida v. Appalachian St.
- Quick Lane Detroit Missouri v. E. Michigan
- Birmingham Birmingham LSU v. Central Florida
- Liberty Memphis Auburn v. Texas Tech
- Duke’s Mayo Charlotte South Carolina v. Virginia
- Music City Nashville Tennessee v. Minnesota
- Gator Jacksonville Arkansas v. Wake Forest
- Outback Tampa Kentucky v. Wisconsin
- Citrus Orlando Texas A&M v. Iowa
- Texas Houston Miss. State v. Kansas St.
- Sugar New Orleans Alabama v. Baylor
- Peach Atlanta Ole Miss v. Pittsburgh
- Orange (BCS) Miami Georgia v. Oklahoma State
SEC Final Weekly Rankings
Let’s wrap up the final weekly rankings in the Alliance Killer. Fun, food, and fellowship for all.
- Georgia- The Bulldog War Machine rolls on.
- Alabama- The Tide looks vulnerable. Georgia could expose them.
- Ole Miss- Great season for the Fightin’ Lane Kiffins.
- Kentucky- Nine wins, sole possession of second place in the East.
- Arkansas- The Hogs are building a powerhouse.
- Texas A&M- When it’s good, it’s good. When it’s not…
- Mississippi State- Could easily have won nine or ten games this season.
- Tennessee- Great season on Rocky Top.
- LSU- The Tigers didn’t quit. Good for them.
- Auburn- Another team all over the place to predict.
- Missouri- The Tigers were a disappointment, except for Tyler Badie.
- South Carolina- Nice rebuild going on in Columbia.
- Florida- 2021 needs to be over in Gainesville.
- Vanderbilt- Hopefully the Dores can continue to build a program.
Shane Shackleford is a regional sportswriter from Speedwell, TN. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the United States Basketball Writers of America. Shane is also a football color analyst for WRIL-FM 106.3 Sports in Pineville, KY, and is a member of the 13th Region Sports Media Network. He has written and published his first book “Bounce: A Basketball Love Story” which can be found on Amazon currently. You can find Shane on KySportsStyle.com, A Sea of Blue, The London Sentinel-Echo, The Corbin Times-Tribune, The Mountain Advocate, Harlan County Sports, and The Mountain Eagle. Contact Shane by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.