Week 13 SEC football score predictions; Aggies have playoff stakes, looking for style points vs Vols

NASHVILLE, TN – DECEMBER 12, 2020 – Running back Eric Gray #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Tennessee Volunteers at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, TN. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Each week, I share my predictions and info on SEC football games.

Below is broadcast info and analysis for Week 13 in the SEC, which is the final week of the regular season and, obviously, the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

These are straight-up winners only. The point spread is just as a barometer for how big of a favorite or underdog each team is.

I’m 8-1 in predicting the Vols this season. My one miss was the shocking Kentucky home blowout loss for UT.

2020 SEC Week 12 Game Prediction Record: 4-1 (80%)
2020 SEC Season Prediction Record: 55-10 (85%)
2019 SEC Game Prediction Record: 103-20 (84%)

SATURDAY, December 19

#5 Texas A&M (7-1, 7-1 SEC) at Tennessee (3-6, 3-6 SEC)
Series: UT leads, 2-1
Noon ET • ESPN
Last: TAMU, 45-38 (2OT) (2016 in College Station)
Knoxville, Tenn. • Neyland Stadium (102,455)
Sirius: 136/134 • XM: 201/191
Point Spread: Texas A&M -14
Vince’s View: This is the first game in Knoxville for Texas A&M in school history. Aggies TE Jalen Wydermyer (40 rec 431 yds 6 TDs) is the 2nd best TE in the league. I think he’ll be a real problem for UT’s defense. Texas A&M averages rushed for about 200 yds per game while only allowing about 100 yds rushing per game. A&M has averages more than 7.0 yards per play on offense four times this season. On the flip side, UT has averaged 7.0 yards per play four times in the last 24 games. UT’s two new QBs have as many TD passes the last two gams and the old QB had in the first 7 games. UT’s redzone trips are way down as well. UT was 8-for-9 with 7 TDs in the first two games. The last 7 games, UT is only 9-for-14 with 8 TDs. That’s 4.5 trips into the redzone to now just 2 per game. Kellen Mond has had a great statistical year, overall, but he’s still been inconsistent. His offensive line (only 4 sacks allowed all season) is one of the best in the SEC and the country. RB Isaiah Spiller is also one of the league’s best. During A&M’s 6-game winning streak, Spiller is averaging 22 carries and 126 yards. The Aggies have too many ways to win and obviously have a chance to get in the college football playoff.
Score Prediction: Texas AM 42 Tennessee 21

Ole Miss (4-4, 4-4 SEC) at LSU (4-5, 4-5 SEC)
Series: UM leads, 63-40-4
3:30 p.m. ET • SEC Network
Last: LSU 58-37 (2019 in Oxford)
Baton Rouge, La. • Tiger Stadium (102,321)
Sirius: 134 • XM: 380/191
Point Spread: Ole Miss -1
Vince’s View: The Rebels having Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah opt-out this week is devastating. They are the two leading receivers for Ole Miss. LSU showed life last week with new starting QB Max Johnson, Tigers avoid the losing season and go out with some respect…on the field at least.
Score Prediction: LSU 35 Ole Miss 34

Missouri (5-4, 5-4 SEC) at Mississippi State (2-7, 2-7 SEC)
Series: MIZ leads, 2-1
3:30 p.m. ET • SEC Network Alternate Channel
Last: MSU, 31-13 (2019 in Columbia)
Starkville, Miss. • Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field (61,337)
Sirius: 136/135 • XM: 201/192
Point Spread: Missouri -1 ½
Vince’s View: Missouri was pushed around bad in the second half vs. Georgia last week. That won’t be the case this week against an undermanned MSU team. The Tigers can really score. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs haven’t scored more than 24 points in a game since…week one at LSU. Yikes.
Score Prediction: Missouri 38 Mississippi St. 17

2020 SEC Championship Game
#1 Alabama (V) vs. #7 Florida (H)
Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020
8 p.m. ET • CBS Sports
Atlanta, Ga. • Mercedes-Benz Stadium (16,500)

THE TEAMS: Alabama (10-0, 10-0 SEC) is the Western Division Champion and the visiting team. Florida (8-2, 8-2 SEC) is the Eastern Division Champion and the home team.

NATIONAL RANKINGS:  Alabama comes into the game as the No. 1-ranked team in the nation in the Associated Press, USA Today polls and College Football Playoff polls. Florida is the No. 8-ranked team in the nation by the CFP, while ranked 11th in AP and Coaches. This is the fourth consecutive season the SEC Championship Game has featured a Top-10 matchup.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Only once since 2006 (2014) has the winner of the SEC Championship Game failed to advance to the national championship game. The game, which started in 1992, is in its 29th year. It was a result of conference expansion, which saw Arkansas and South Carolina become the first members added in SEC history. Over 1.8 million fans have witnessed the pageantry of the game first-hand, with 26 sellouts in its history, including the last 25 consecutive contests. (Only 1993 and 1995 were not). The first two games were played at Legion Field in Birmingham and the game was played at the Georgia Dome from 1994-2016. This will mark the fourth SEC Championship Game played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

SEC CHAMPIONS: Alabama will be vying for its 28th SEC Championship and second in the last three seasons. Florida is aiming for its ninth SEC Championship and first since 2008.

TELEVISION: CBS Sports will televise the game nationally for the 19th straight year (BRAD NESSLER, Play-by-Play; GARY DANIELSON, Analyst; JAMIE ERDAHL, Sidelines; CRAIG SILVER, Producer). CBS has aired the game nationally since 2001. ABC Sports televised the game from 1992-2000.

TV RATINGS: Last season’s SEC Championship Game between LSU and Georgia averaged a 7.9 rating and 13.70 million viewers on CBS — trailing only the No. 1 LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama earlier in the season (9.7, 16.64M) as the highest rated and most-watched game of the college football season. The 2018 SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama was the most-watched and highest-rated regular-season college football game on any network in seven years with a 10.1/23 rating/share and 17.5 million viewers. It also marked the second most-watched SEC Championship ever in 26 years since the game debuted in 1992. The 2009 SEC Championship Game earned an 11.8 rating and a 24 share, marking the highest-rated SEC Championship Game in history. The game matched the No. 1 Florida Gators (12-0) vs. the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0).

RADIO: Managed by Learfield IMG College, the SEC Radio Network will broadcast the game to the 11-state SEC region and around the nation on SiriusXM. (SEC Radio Network: DAVE NEAL, Play-by-Play; DAVE ARCHER, Analyst; STEPHEN HARTZELL, Sidelines). The broadcast can be heard on Sirius 134, XM 191. The Alabama Radio Network is on Sirius 137, XM 190 and the Florida Radio Network is on Sirius 84, XM 84.

SERIES: Alabama and Florida will meet for the 10th time in the SEC Championship Game and the 42nd time overall when the two teams square off on Saturday. The Crimson Tide holds a 27-14 (26-14 NCAA) advantage in the series, including a 5-4 mark in the SEC title game. UA is currently riding a six-game winning streak overall with three straight victories over the Gators in the SEC Championship. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 8-4 in his career against UF, including a 6-1 record at UA and a 3-1 mark in Atlanta. Florida head coach Dan Mullen is 0-9 against UA with all nine losses coming during his time at Mississippi State.

IN THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Alabama and Florida are meeting in the SEC championship game for the tenth time, the most frequent matchup in SEC Championship Game history, with Alabama holding a 5-4 lead. For Alabama, it will be their 13th overall appearance, tied with Florida for most in SEC history. The Tide are a SEC-best 8-4 in those games, with their last loss coming in 2008 versus Florida. The Gators are 7-5 in their previous SEC Championship appearances, with their last SEC title coming in 2008. This will be UF’s first appearance since 2016. Alabama currently has a three-game winning streak in the SEC Championship Game versus Florida.

POINT SPREAD: Alabama -17

VINCE’S VIEW: Florida’s mess of a loss at home to LSU last week took the air of this game balloon now that no-one gives the Gators a chance. UF has a chance, just not much of one. The Gators have a puncher’s chance because of two elite players, some other team speed and talent and a great head coach that rubs opponents the wrong way. The biggest issue for Florida is that Alabama seems to get better and more dominant every week. Florida better play as a front runner with the lead if it wants to have a prayer.

SCORE PREDICTION: Alabama 49 Florida 24

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