SEC football notebook

Alabama won its 13th game in its last 15 outings dating back to last year's loss to eventual SEC champion LSU. The Tide's 31-0 victory over LSU guaranteed it the best record in the SEC's Western Division.

Additional Crimson Tide (9-2, 6-1 SEC) Notes

  • Sophomore Antwan Odom blocked a 44-yard LSU field-goal attempt on the Tigers' first possession, and LSU never got back in the red zone the rest of the game ...
  • Alabama won its fifth SEC road game in a row, and has outscored those opponents 156-41 ...
  • The Tide had a pair of 100-yard rushers in Shaud Williams (16 carries for 131 yards) and Santonio Beard (18-109) ...
  • WR Sam Collins had five receptions for 115 yards to notch his first career 100-yard receiving game.

Eastern Division Playoff Scenario

GEORGIA won the Eastern Division championship and will represent the division in the SEC Football Championship Game on Dec. 7 in Atlanta. This will be Georgia's first appearance in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia is the third school from the Eastern Division to be represented in the SEC Championship Game. Florida (7 times) and Tennessee (3 times) have also played in the SEC Championship Game. Western Division

Western Division Playoff Scenarios

ALABAMA has clinched the best record in the Western Division. Even if the Tide loses Saturday, Alabama owns all tie breakers against potential Division rivals. However, NCAA sanctions prohibit the Tide from participating in post-season play.

LSU and ARKANSAS are the only teams in the Western Division that control its own destiny in reaching the SEC Championship Game. If LSU wins the remainder of its games (vs. Ole Miss & Arkansas), it would represent the Western Division. If ARKANSAS wins the remainder of its games (vs. Miss. State & LSU), it would represent the Western Division.

AUBURN can get to the SEC Championship Game if it defeats Alabama and LSU falls to either Arkansas or Ole Miss and ARKANSAS loses to either LSU or Mississippi State.

The only way the Western Division representative can be clinched on Nov. 23 is if LSU defeats Ole Miss, Auburn loses to Alabama and Arkansas loses to Miss. State. In this scenario, the Tigers would have a 2-game advantage in the with one game to play. If one of those games falls differently, the Western Division representative would not be clinched until after the Nov. 29 LSU-Arkansas game.

If Auburn were to lose to Alabama and LSU (def. Ole Miss) and ARKANSAS (def. Miss. State) were to both win on Nov. 23, the winner of the Nov. 29 LSU-Arkansas game would represent the Western Division.

LSU, AUBURN and ARKANSAS are the only teams in the Western Division that are mathematically eligible to represent the Western Division in the SEC Championship Game.

Currently, Arkansas holds head-to-head tie-breaker advantages over Auburn (AR, 38-17) and Ole Miss (AR, 48-28). ARKANSAS hosts LSU on Nov. 29 in Little Rock.

Currently, AUBURN holds head-to-head tie-breaker advantages over LSU (AU, 31-7) and OLE MISS (AU, 31-24).

OLE MISS still can tie as Western Division representative but the Rebels lose potential tie-breakers that would put themselves in the SEC Championship Game.

LSU visits Arkansas on Nov. 29 in Little Rock and hosts OLE MISS on Nov. 23.

2002 SEC Team-by-Team Notes

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (7-3, 3-3 SEC)
UL-Lafayette's second quarter touchdown snapped UA's scoreless quarter streak at nine ... The Hogs had not given up points in a span of 149 minutes and 29 seconds of game time ... The Hogs are 16-0 in regular season non-conference games under Houston Nutt. ... Arkansas reached the seven-win plateau for the fourth time in the last five years under Nutt ... Prior to his arrival, Arkansas had earned just one seven win season in the last eight campaigns ... Arkansas has won eight of its last nine November games including three straight this season.

AUBURN TIGERS (7-4, 4-3 SEC)
Auburn has a rushing touchdown in 22 straight regular season games and has rushed for 100+ yards in 12 consecutive regular season games ... With two rushing TDs vs. Georgia, Auburn has scored 31 rushing TDs this season, which is the most since 1995 when the Tigers rushed for 35 scores ... Auburn RBs have run for more than 100 yards in six games this season: Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown each have run for 100 or more yards in three games this season ... Brown's 53-yard TD run was his longest scoring run of the season. It also marked his fifth touchdown run of 20 yards or more this season.

FLORIDA GATORS (8-3, 6-2 SEC)
Florida's four passing TDs against South Carolina were a season-best ... The Gators have now gone unbeaten against the Eastern Division for the seventh time since expansion (1992) ... O.J. Small set career-highs for receptions (5) and receiving yards (55) vs. Carolina ... Rex Grossman is now tied with Shane Matthews (Florida) and Tim Couch (Kentucky) for the third most career TD passes in the SEC with 74 ... After throwing 14 interceptions in his first seven games, Grossman has only thrown an interception in one of the last four games (two vs. Georgia) ... In his last four games, he has 8 TD passes.

GEORGIA BULLDOGS (10-1, 7-1 SEC)
The Bulldogs are 5-1 this season in games decided by seven points or less ... RS-Soph. FS Sean Jones notched his first two career interceptions against Auburn and also recovered a fumble that Burt Jones forced during a punt return ... Junior SE Michael Johnson had a career-high 13 catches for 141 yards and 1 TD. The TD covered 19 yards and came on a 4th-and 15. The 13 catches ranks 2nd in Georgia history for a single game. The record is 15 by Shannon Mitchell vs. Florida in 1993 (15-140) ... Georgia ran its record to 8-0 on opponent's home field during the Mark Richt era. The win snaps a three-game losing streak to Auburn.

KENTUCKY WILDCATS (7-4, 3-4 SEC)
Kentucky reached the seven-win plateau for the firs time since 1998 and just the fifth time since 1955 ... The win against Vanderbilt was Kentucky's 100th in Commonwealth Stadium, which opened in 1973 ... RS/WR Derek Abney returned a first-quarter Vandy kickoff 95 yards for a TD to set an NCAA record with six kick (punt and kickoff) returns for TDs in the same season ... RB Artose Pinner had 224 yards rushing on 31 carries and 4 TDs against Vandy, the first time a UK back had over 200 rushing yards in a game since Moe WIlliams did it against Cincinnati in 1995.

LSU TIGERS (7-3, 4-2 SEC)
RB LaBrandon Toefield played for the first time since being injured against UL-Lafayette on Oct. 5 ... Against Alabama, Toefield 22 yards rushing on six carries ... RS/RB Domanick Davis moved into second place in SEC history for career kickoff return yards with 2,022 ... LSU's school-record string of 72 consecutive games without being shutout was snapped against Alabama ... WR Michael Clayton has caught at least one pass in every game of his collegiate career - 23 games ... Reserve QB Rick Clausen threw his first collegiate pass vs. Alabama, completing 3-of-6 for 26 yards.

OLE MISS REBELS (5-5, 2-4 SEC)
The Rebels are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, its longest since 1994 ... Ole Miss' opening possession TD against Georgia marked the first time this season that an opponent had scored on the Bulldogs in a game's opening drive ... Tremaine Turner scored two rushing TDs against Georgia, rushing for a career-high 89 yards on 19 carries ... WR Chris Collins had four catches against Georgia to extend his streak to 19 straight games with at least one reception ... Georgia held QB Eli Manning without a touchdown pass for only the third time in 21 career starts.

MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (3-7, 0-6 SEC)
Brent Smith kicked a 53-yard field goal in the fourth quarter against Tennessee ... The kick was a career-best for Smith and the second longest in school history ... QB Kevin Fant moved into 7th place in MSU history with 3,025 career passing yards ... SE Terrell Grindle moved into 6th place in MSU history with 1,692 career receiving yards ... He is also tied for fourth in school history with 116 career receptions ... After missing the Alabama game with an ankle injury, Justin Griffith led all MSU rushers with 67 yards and a TD against Tennessee, including a game-best 56 yard carry.

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (5-6, 3-5 SEC)
Corey Jenkins played most of the Florida game at safety and also saw action at quarterback and on special teams ... He rushed for 15 yards, had six tackles and forced a fumble .. QB Dondrial Pinkins, in his first start, rushed for a game-high 84 yards and helped lead Carolina to its first turnover-free game of the season ... Deandre' Eiland saw his first start at cornerback against the Gators after moving over from free safety ... South Carolina needs to defeat Clemson on Saturday to become bowl eligible for the third straight season.

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (6-4, 3-4 SEC)
RB Cedric Houston rushed for a career-high 149 yards on a career-most 32 carries against Miss. State (previous: 111 yards vs. Miami, 2002 and 30 attempts vs. South Carolina) ... It marked the third consecutive week Houston has rushed for at least 100 yards and the fourth time this season ... Tennessee has now had 15 players miss a combined 50 games this season ... LB Robert Peace became the 15th starter to miss a game this season when he missed the MSU contest ... FS Rashad Baker will become the 16th starter to miss at least one complete game Saturday at Vanderbilt. Baker injured his knee and will miss at least the rest of the regular season.

VANDERBILT COMMODORES (2-9, 0-7 SEC)
WR Dan Stricker caught a season-high six passes for 96 yards and one TD vs. Kentucky ... The 96 yards moved Stricker into sixth place on the Southeastern Conference's list for career receiving yards ... His six receptions against the Wildcats moved him into ninth place on the league's career reception list with 180 ... TB Kwane Doster ran for 111 yards on 22 carries against the Wildcats ... It marked his fourth 100-yard game, matching a Vanderbilt record for freshman rushers previously set by Rodney Williams in 1998 ... Fr. QB Jay Cutler leads all SEC QBs with nine rushing TDs.

The Most Competitive Conference in the Nation

SEC vs. SEC games have traditionally been among the most competitive in the nation. After 12 weeks of this season, 41 SEC vs. SEC games have an average scoring margin of 15.61 points per contest. 39.0 percent of the SEC's 36 games (16-of-41) have been decided by ten-points-or-less.

Does Scoring First Mean Victory?

In the SEC, it almost 100 percent. SEC teams are 56-12 (.824) when scoring first. Arkansas, LSU and Vanderbilt are perfect when it scores first, while Alabama and Kentucky have scored first the most amount of times.

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