2020 SEC Championship Preview:Alabama Looks to Continue West’s Dominance

2020 SEC Championship Preview:Alabama Looks to Continue West’s Dominance

The College Football world experienced shock on Saturday night when Heisman hopeful Kyle Trask and Florida fell to LSU, 37-34. The devastation of losing at home as a 24-point favorite was compounded by thrown foot attire.

Whatever possessed Marco Wilson to heave Kole Taylor’s Clete 20 yards downfield, erasing a third-down stop, thus leading to the game-winning 57-yard FG, will haunt Florida fans forever. Wilson’s unsportsmanlike penalty prevented the Gators from gaining possession and setting up a potential game-winning drive. In one of the most bone-headed decisions ever to invade conscious thought, the Gators National Championship dreams went up in smoke.

In Defense of Marco Wilson

Florida’s inability to convert red zone opportunities, something they thrived at all season, cost them dearly against LSU.

In their first nine games, the Gators converted 96 percent (43-45, FG or TD) of their visits in the red zone. Against LSU, they equaled their season total with two failed possessions (6-8), including Trask’s only red-zone turnover of the season, a tip drill landing in the hands of a kneeling Jay Ward, balancing on the sideline.

Speaking of turnovers, we find the second reason the Tigers pulled the upset. Trask committed only four turnovers (3 INT, 1 Fumble) in his first nine games. His three turnovers against LSU, including his third pick-six of the season (Eli Ricks joined Eric Stokes and Jarvis Ware) led to 10 points for the Tigers.

While such an outcome eliminates some drama concerning College Football Playoff implications, Saturday’s matchup still presents excitement.

Marco Wilson’s brainfart, eliminated Florida from any realistic chance to qualify for the College Football Playoffs.

SEC Championship – #11Florida (8-2) vs #1Alabama (10-0), 8 PM EST

Matchup By the Numbers

SEC Championship Game
2020 Season Stats
AlabamaFlorida
W-L10-08-2
PPG49.541.2
PPG All.16.826.3
PPG Diff.32.625.4
Yards PG537.8513.5
Yards PG All.340.1384.9
Yards PG Diff.197.7128.6

Familiar Foes

Alabama and Florida have dominated this game. Both will be making their 13th appearance and meeting for the 10th time to decide the Conference champion. The Gators seem to be magnetic toward Alabama when winning the East. This marks the fifth straight championship game appearance Florida’s opponent is Alabama.

Most Meetings
SEC Championship History
MeetingsResults
Alabama-Florida10Alabama, 5-4
LSU-Georgia4LSU, 3-1
Alabama-Georgia2Alabama, 2-0
Arkansas-Florida2Florida, 2-0
Auburn-Tennessee2Tennessee, 2-0
LSU-Tennessee2LSU, 2-0

Alabama owns a current six-game win streak against Florida, with three of those victories coming in the SEC Championship Game. Florida’s last win against the Tide was in the 2008 SEC Championship.

Nick Saban is making his tenth appearance in the SEC Championship (his eighth with Alabama). He is 8-1 in his previous nine appearances (2-0 w/LSU, 6-1 w/Bama). This is the fifth time Saban will coach against the Gators in the SEC Championship Game. Overall, Saban is 8-4 against Florida, including 3-1 in the Championship Game. Dan Mullen is the third different coach in Florida’s SEC Championship Game history to oppose Saban. He is winless in nine games against Alabama.

Most Division Titles Won
Head Coaches, SEC
Nick Saban>>10
Steve Spurrier8
Philip Fulmer5
Mark Richt5
>>LSU (2), Alabama (8)

Saban is looking to win his ninth SEC Championship. He is the only coach to win titles at two different programs (LSU in 2001, 03)

Each program has represented their respective division well, ranking 1-2 in SEC Championships. Overall, Alabama is 8-4 in SEC Championship Games while Florida is 7-5. Among their previous nine meetings includes the inaugural SEC Championship in 1992 at Legion Field.

Most Division Titles, Best W-L
SEC Championship Game
Division TitlesW-L
Alabama138-4
Florida137-5
Georgia83-5
LSU65-1
Auburn63-3

NUMBER 1

2020 marks the third consecutive season and ninth time since 2008 to feature the number 1 ranked team. From 1992-2007 only the 1998 Tennessee Volunteers entered first in the nation (#1 ranked team is 7-2 overall, winning six straight).

#1 Ranked Team
SEC Championship Results
2019#1 LSU 37#4 Georgia 10
2018#1 Alabama 35#4 Georgia 28
2016#1 Alabama 54#15 Florida 16
2014#1 Alabama 42#14 Missouri 13
2011#1 LSU 42#12 Georgia 10
2010#1 Auburn 56#19 South Carolina 17
2009#2 Alabama 32#1 Florida 13
2008#2 Florida 31#1 Alabama 20
1998#1 Tennessee 24#23 Mississippi State 14
>>2020 Alabama ranked #1

.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the SEC played a 10-game conference only schedule in 2020. The Gators and Tide played eight common opponents this season. Florida’s two losses against Texas A&M and LSU were by six total points, both decided on last-second FGs. Despite those two losses, they managed a 14.3 PPG differential in those eight games. Perhaps it’s not fair to compare anyone to Alabama, but the Tide went undefeated against those same eight opponents, with a winning margin of 25.7.

Stats vs 8 Common Opp.
2020 Season
FloridaAlabama
W-L6-2>>8-0>>
PPG Diff.14.3>>25.7>>
>>Alabama beat LSU (38 pts) & Texas A&M (28 Pts)

For the first time since adding Texas A&M and Missouri in 2012, both teams played more than two opponents from the opposite division. The East against West matchups stayed one-sided concerning results this season, keeping with the trend since 2012 (Texas A&M at Tennessee and Missouri at Mississippi State also play Saturday, completing the 28-game schedule between divisions).

SEC, East vs West
Head to Head, Since 2012
Regular SeasonWinsLossesWin Pct.
East5187.381
West8751.625
Conference ChampionshipWinsLossesWin Pct.
East17.125
West71.875
>>West won 17 of 26 matchups in 2020

Common Opponents Affect Success

Alabama and Florida are polar opposites comparing team success against the other division. Despite the drastic difference (undefeated Alabama, 9-11 Florida), success is determined by the “common opponent” when understanding why a team’s won-loss record isn’t better.

Best W-L, East vs West
SEC, Since 2012
Regular SeasonPostseason
Alabama20-06-0
LSU16-42-0
Texas A&M15-4
Georgia14-61-5
Mississippi St.11-80-0
Missouri11-80-2
Ole Miss11-9
Auburn10-101-1
Florida9-110-2
South Carolina6-140-1
Vanderbilt5-15
Arkansas5-15
Kentucky5-15
Tennessee2-17

Each team schedules two games against the other division. Only one of those games rotates, as each team faces their common opponent every season to complete the two games. Alabama’s common opponent is Tennessee, while Florida’s is LSU. That helps explain – a little bit – why Florida hasn’t faired better against the West.

Kyle Trask set numerous team records with his fantastic 2020 season.

Breaking Down the Florida Gators

Kyle Trask set Florida Gators single-season records for TD Passes (40), Passing Yards PG (371.1), Completion Percentage (70.2), and Passing Efficiency (187.9). His 40 TD passes through 10 games ranks first in SEC history, two more than 2019 Heisman Trophy Winner Joe Burrow, and fifth in FBS history.

Most Passing TD, First 10 Games
SEC History
TDSeason
Kyle Trask, Florida402020
Joe Burrow, LSU382019
Drew Lock, Missouri352017
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama332019

Florida’s potent passing attack ranked first in the nation, averaging 386.4 yards per game. Trask does an excellent job spreading the ball. His favorite receiver is another Kyle, Pitts, who’s 11 TD receptions ranks fourth in FBS and first among TE.

WR Jacob Copeland (22 touches, 443 Yards From Scrimmage) is the Gators big-play threat. Copeland’s 20.3 YPT ties him with Jaylen Waddle for the highest in the SEC. Kadarius Toney leads Florida in receptions (62) and receiving yards (831). Toney (9 TD) and Pitts are the only FBS teammates with 9 TD receptions. Florida is also the only FBS team with six players totaling 20 catches, 3 TD, and 225 receiving yards.

Most Passing YPG, Single-Season
Florida Gators History
Pass YPGYear
Kyle Trask371.12020
Rex Grossman354.12001
Danny Wuerffel301.81996
Danny Wuerffel296.91995
Shane Matthews284.51991

Kyle Pitts 11 receiving TD is the fourth-most in FBS in 2020.

The 2020 season ranks among the best in team history for the Gators offense. Their 41.6 PPG places 7th highest. Their 513.5 Total Yards PG sits third, behind 1995 (534.4) and 2001 (527.5), while their 386.4 Passing YPG trails only 2001 (405.2). Their offense wasted few red zone opportunities, scoring a TD on just under 70 percent of their 53 red zone attempts.

Highest Percentage of Red Zone TD
2020 Season
Pct.TD-Att.
UAB.71923-32
Wake Forest.71127-38
Florida.69837-53
Georgia State.69723-33
Oklahoma.68635-51

Florida’s defense struggled early, but the return of Kyree Campbell saw the group improve in every category. Campbell missed the first three games before returning against Missouri. The Gators defense allowed ten fewer PPG, 158 YPG, and 31 Rush YPG in their final seven games.

The return of Kyree Campbell paid huge dividends for the Gators defense.

Florida Gators
2020 Defensive Stats
1st 3 GamesLast 7 Games>>
PPG33.323.2
Yards PG495337
Rush YPG164133
Rush YPC4.13.7
TO PG11.5
Sacks PG2.63.3
Rush TD56
>>Kyree Campbell Returned

How Dominant is Alabama?

Explaining how the Crimson Tide have dominated the best conference in College Football since the arrival of Nick Saban defies logic. The numbers are incredible. Alabama is 99-15 in conference play under Saban, giving them 19 more wins than their closest opponent (Georgia, 80).

Conference Play, Since 2007
Nick Saban at Alabama
DivisionW-LPctDivision TitlesSEC ChampionshipsNational Championships
1. AlabamaWest99-150.868865
2. GeorgiaEast80-330.708510
3. LSUWest76-370.673332
4. FloridaEast76-380.667511
5. Texas A&M>>West41-310.569000
>>Joined Conference in 2012

Saban’s teams dominate the East division, winning 30 consecutive games and 40 of 43 overall by an average of 21 PPG since joining Alabama. The last time Alabama lost to an East opponent was October 9, 2010, which will equal 3,724 days on Saturday. Former Gators Head Coach Steve Spurrier led his South Carolina Gamecocks to a 35-21 victory over #1 Alabama.

Alabama vs SEC East
Under Nick Saban (Since 2007)
Current Win Streak30 games
W-L40-3>>
PPG Diff.21.2
>>6-1 in SEC Championship Games, 1-0 in National Championship

Record-Setting Offense

Starting with Tua’s sophomore season in 2018, Alabama’s offense kicked into another gear. Alabama’s PPG, YPG, and ability to score from anywhere on the field at any time, has tortured defenses.

Their offense averaged over 46 PPG, 515 Yards PG scored an unthinkable 62 TD from scrimmage 30 yards or longer while posting a point differential of 27.3 – and this is against the best conference in FBS.

Alabama Offense
SEC Play, Since 2018
PPG46.6
PPG Diff.27.3
Yards PG514.9
TD from scrimmage, 30+ Yds62

QB Mac Jones leads this explosive offense, setting school records for PPG (49.5), Yards PG (537.8), Yards Per Play (7.9), and Passing Yards PG (347.8). Jones figures to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, setting an SEC record for completion percentage (.764), while leading the nation in passer efficiency (203.9) – 2nd best in SEC history trailing only Tua last season (206.9).

Mac Jones
2020 Season
SEC RankFBS Rank
Pass YPG345.92nd3rd
TD/INT27-32nd5th
Completion Pct..7641st1st
Yards Per Att.11.71st1st
Passer Efficiency203.61st1st

Mac Jones performance in 2020 could see become the first QB in team history to win the Heisman Trophy.

Jones often is overlooked compared to his predecessors Tua and Jalen Hurts, both current starters in the NFL, and winners of a National Championship (both played in 2). Through their first 14 games, Jones outperforms both, throwing for more yards, TD, and a higher completion percentage.

Alabama QB
First 14 Games of Career
Mac JonesTua TagovailoaJalen Hurts
W-L13-114-014-0
Passing Yds4,4933,6712,662
Passing Yds PG320.1262.2190.1
TD-INT40-541-421-8
Comp. Pct.75.169.563.1

Najee Harris and DeVonta Smith are also Heisman contenders. Harris shares the FBS lead for most TD with 22. DeVonta Smith leads the nation in receiving yards (1,327) while making 2-3 plays a game that leave you mesmerized.

Smith and Metchie III are explosive players that torment defences with their speed.

Defense Back on Track

After a down year in 2019 and a slow start in 2020, Alabama’s defense is back enforcing their will. Through four games, opponents averaged just under 29 PPG while running 150 YPG and totaling 460 YPG.

Over their last six games, Alabama allowed under 90 rushing yards PG, less than 265 total yards per game, and held opponents to only 4 TD and 8.3 PPG.

Alabama Defense
2020 Season
1st 4 GamesLast 6 Games
PPG28.88.3
TD All.144
Total YPG458.3261.3
Rush YPG149.388.3
Rush YPC42.7

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Everett Kelly is a former two-time Emmy Award winning writer/researchere from ESPN. Mark retired in 2008 due to the onset of long-term side effects from cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplant). This led to Mark’s current health problems (Crohn’s Disease. Lymphedema and Hemochromotosis). To help support Mark in his battle, click on these links (Paypal, and Patreon).

A Different Look at CFB Playoff Standings

A Different Look at CFB Playoff Standings

Another week passes by, and College Football fans draw closer to the end of a strange season. One hopes we never again face the issues that plagued the nation in 2020.

Here are my latest College Football Standings. Since the NCAA puts out their standings on Tuesday, I try to put mine out earlier. I use my own formula, which I think is more accurate in placing the teams.

SEC Postpones Ole Miss at #5 Texas A&M

COVID-19 cancelations continue to affect every conference. While the SEC announced their insistence on each team completing a 10-game schedule last week, positive tests surrounding the Ole Miss program forced the cancelation of their game against Texas A&M Saturday at College Station. The cancelation signficantly affects the Aggies argument based on games played (their nine regular season games played would be the fewest among the teams with one loss).

2020 CFB Playoff Standings
CKMagicSports/WorldWideSportsRadio
W-LPoints
1. Alabama9-0248.4
2. Notre Dame10-0209.7
3. Clemson9-1206.2
4. Florida8-1161.9
5. Texas A&M7-1148.9
6. Ohio State5-0144.2
7. Cincinnati8-0128.9

Why isn’t Ohio State in the Top Four?

The main difference I have with the CFB Committee is with Ohio State. Due to canceled games and the Big Ten Conference decision to initially not play, then recant, left them vulnerable. The Buckeyes schedule has them playing at least four fewer regular-season games than the teams they are competing with for those spots.


One can’t change the criteria for each team due to canceled games. Teams in the ACC, SEC, Big 12, AAC, etc., faced the same issues and risks as the Big Ten. Winning six games without a loss means nothing to Florida, Texas A&M, and Clemson.

Ohio State and Justin Fields’ talent is unquestionable, but the Big Ten put them in an awkward position by starting their season so late.

Since one can’t assume wins for games not played, that eliminates Ohio State, in my opinion. Without rules that regulate each team, providing similar criteria to judge them, you can’t have a valid system.

If the committee wants to include Ohio State, they need to expand the playoff to eight, which would help their case. While talent isn’t the question, suggesting other Power Five conference teams step aside after playing full schedules, creates significant issues.

The NCAA thinks differently. On November 22nd, they announced “no minimum” is neccessary for programs to reach in order to be eligible for the College Football Playoffs. Regardless, my opinion is nothing more than that, and judging by their previous standings, creates a challenging scenario to explain.

2020 College Football Standings
Playoff Resumes
W-LSOSW-L vs Top-25PPG Diff.YPG Diff.
Alabama9-023-030.9191.3
Notre Dame10-0232-020.6159.8
Clemson9-141-125.3*197.5*
Florida8-1111-116.9121.9
Texas A&M7-131-19.3100.3
Ohio State5-0132-023.4169.5
Cincinnati8-0652-024.5*165.4*
*Adjusted to eliminate totals vs subdivision opponent

More Issues for Ohio State?

Another issue plaguing Ohio State is the uncertainty of hosting Michigan this Saturday. The Wolverines battles with COVID forced the cancelation of last week’s game against Maryland. Jim Harbaugh’s team has been for limited workouts and light practice on Monday, but doubt still surrounds their visit to Columbus.

According to their rule book, the Big Ten states teams must play six regular-season games to qualify for the Conference Championship Game. 

So what happens if COVID forces the cancelation of this weekend’s game? The conference put the following plan in place (Special thanks to ESPN’s Heather Dinich for asking the same question). 

 “If the average number of Big Ten games falls below six, then teams must play no less than two fewer conference games than the average number of Big Ten games played by all teams to be considered for the league championship,”

“The champion will be determined in each division by its winning percentage unless there is an unbalanced schedule because of the cancellation of games.”

By giving special treatment to their Conference Championship Game representatives, the ACC encourages favoritism.

Since Rules Cease to Exist…

Perhaps the Big Ten should forego tradition and place the teams finishing with the two best records, regardless of division (the ACC adopted this format to accommodate Notre Dame).

What About the ACC Schedule Changes?

The ACC canceled December 12th games between Notre Dame at Wake Forest and Clemson at Florida State. The conference listened to the recommendation of its Athletic Director football subcommittee who stated this is “part of an effort to preserve the integrity of the conference’s football season.” Yeah, right.

We witness daily examples of corruption concerning “elite” bureaucracies in government and the mainstream media, so why shouldn’t the conferences and NCAA follow suit?

I disagree with any conference (or state for that matter) changing rules to benefit the “elite” teams. The ACC taking such measures weakens their argument against Ohio State and the Big Ten. Antics such as these, intended to create exceptions, are a slap in the face to the middle class/minority programs. While the Irish and Clemson receive an escort to the Conference Championship Game, ten “other” ACC programs will take the field.

I know I’m Biased, But..

Notice the one conference who could easily claim special treatment, hasn’t. The one representing 10 of the last 14 Champions (while playing in all but one of the College Football Championship Games) did not create circumstances concerning their Conference Championship teams to sit out Saturday. Just saying…

What are your thoughts?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Everett Kelly is a former two-time Emmy Award winning writer/researchere from ESPN. Mark retired in 2008 due to the onset of long-term side effects from cancer treatment (chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplant). This led to Mark’s current health problems (Crohn’s Disease. Lymphedema and Hemochromotosis). To help support Mark in his battle, click on these links (Paypal, and Patreon).

SEC Week 11 Wrap Up: Gators, Tide Clinch; Aggies Add to Resume

SEC Week 11 Wrap Up: Gators, Tide Clinch; Aggies Add to Resume

An exciting Saturday of college football secured the anticipated matchup for the SEC Championship Game on December 19th.

Florida (SEC East) and Alabama (SEC West) clinched their 13th division titles each, clearing the way for their 10th meeting in the SEC Championship Game.

Most Division Titles Won
SEC Since 1992
Division TitlesSEC Championships
Alabama138
Florida137
Georgia83
Auburn72
LSU65

The Gators defeated Tennessee 31-19, as Kyle Trask threw for 433 yards and 4 TD. He leads the NCAA with 38 passing TD. Only Colt Brennan in 2006 (NCAA officially started sorting records in 2000) threw for more in his teams first nine games (39).

Most TD Passes, First 9 Games
CFB Since 2000
YearTDYds
Colt Brennan, Hawaii2006393,347
Kyle Trask, Florida2020383,243
B.J. Symons, Texas Tech2003374,313
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech2007353,979

Trevon Grimes two TD catches helped Kyle Trask reach 38 TD passes for the season. Florida clinched the SEC East with a 31-19 win over Tennessee, their 15th win in last 16 games vs the Vols.

The Crimson Tide defeated LSU 55-17. Mac Jones completed 20-28 attempts for 385 yards and 4 TD, helping keep pace with Kyle Trask for the Heisman Trophy. DeVonta Smith registered another magnificent game, recording eight catches for 231 yards and 3 TD.

Most TD Receptions
Single Season, Team History
TD Season
Amari Cooper162014
DeVonta Smith 152020
DeVonta Smith 142019
Jerry Jeudy 142018

Alabama finished with 650 total yards, the seventh most recorded in team history (second-highest this season – 723 at Ole Miss). Their offense totaled at least 500 yards for the 32nd time in 49 games (the seventh time recording 600 yards over that span). Alabama’s offense scored 35 points or more in their 22nd straight game, adding to their NCAA record. Smith’s TD receptions of 66 and 61 yards marked the 60th and 61st TD of 30 yards or more from scrimmage since 2018.

Najee Harris ran for 145 yards and three TD against LSU

Alabama QB Through 9 Games
Since 2018
Mac JonesTua TagovailoaTua Tagovailoa
202020192018
W-L9-08-19-0
Passing Yds3,1132,8402,361
Passing Yds PG345.9315.6262.3
TD-INT27-333-325-1
Comp. Pct.75.771.467

Nick Saban won his 10th division title in the SEC, including his eighth at Alabama. Saban’s teams are 8-1 in his previous nine SEC Championship Game appearances and currently owns a six-game win streak.

Most Division Titles Won
Head Coaches, SEC
Nick Saban>>10
Steve Spurrier8
Philip Fulmer5
Mark Richt5
>>LSU (2), Alabama (8)

Texas A&M won their sixth consecutive game, improving to 7-1 on the season. The SEC rescheduled the Aggies matchups hosting Ole Miss (December 12th) and at Tennessee (December 19th), helping complete a full 10-game schedule.

Kellen Mond ran and threw for a TD for the 17th time in his career at Texas A&M, helping the Aggies defeat Auburn. 31-20.

Here are the rest of the teams remaining schedules.

SEC Remaining Schedule
2020 Season
EastW-L12/12/2012/19/20
Florida8-1vs LSU (3-5)vs Alabama>>
Georgia6-2at Missouri (5-3)vs Vanderbilt (0-8)
Missouri5-3vs Georgia (6-2)at Mississippi St. (2-6)
Tennessee2-6at Vanderbilt (0-8)vs Texas A&M (7-1)
Kentucky2-8
South Carolina2-8
Vanderbilt0-8vs Tennessee (2-6)at Georgia (6-2)
>>SEC Championship Game

WestW-L12/12/2012/19/20
Alabama9-0at Arkansasvs Florida>>
Texas A&M7-1vs Ole Miss (4-4)at Tennessee (2-6)
Auburn5-4at Mississippi St. (2-6)
Ole Miss4-4at Texas A&M (7-1)at LSU (3-5)
LSU3-5at Florida (8-1)vs Ole Miss (4-4)
Arkansas3-6vs Alabama (9-0)
Mississippi St.2-6vs Auburn (5-4)vs Missouri (5-3)
>>SEC Championship Game

SEC Week 11: Alabama, Florida Look To Clinch on Road

SEC Week 11: Alabama, Florida Look To Clinch on Road

As we enter December, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to all who read and support us at World Wide Sports Radio Network.

While sports currently brings us together, I’d like to offer everyone my prayers and positive thoughts during this holiday season. With apologies to South Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky, this preview will feature only the games of national significance.

#5 Texas A&M, #6 Florida and #1 Alabama are all on the road this weekend. Alabama and Florida can each clinch their spot in the 2020 SEC Championship Game with wins.

SEC Week 11 Games of Significance
AwayHomeTIME (ET)
#5 Texas A&M (6-1)at Auburn (5-3)12:00 PM
#6 Florida (7-1)at Tennessee (2-5)3:30 PM
#1 Alabama (8-0)at LSU (3-4)8:00 PM

#5 Texas A&M (6-1) at Auburn (5-3), 12 PM EST

*For the second straight week, the CFB Playoff Committee failed to submit legitimate standings. The Aggies performance against LSU last week dropped them out of the top four. Kellen Mond & A&M’s offense registered a season-low 267 yards. Their 21-day layoff didn’t help, as 13 of their 17 offensive drives resulted in a punt or turnover.

Auburn hopes to play spoiler. The Tigers are a different team at home this season, going 4-0 and averaging 15 more PPG, 50 more YPG, and 40 more rushing YPG.

History – Auburn won the last three games overall in this series. Road teams are 7-1 in this matchup, with Auburn winning the only home game back in 2018. Seth Williams caught the GW TD from Jarrett Stidham with 1:41 remaining to give Auburn a 28-24 win.

Ranked Texas A&M teams are 1-4 in last five against Auburn.

The Last Time: Top-10 Aggies team played Auburn, #7 Texas A&M was upset by #22 Tigers, 45-41 against Johnny Manziel at College Station.

Auburn Tigers
2020 Offense Stats
HomeRoad
W-L4-01-3
PPG34.319
Total Yards PG415.3376.5
Rush Yards PG180.3148

Seth Williams GW TD with 1:41 remaining in 2018 at Jordan-Hare Stadium, was the only victory for a home team in this series.

#6 Florida (7-1) at Tennessee (2-5), 3:30 PM EST

Heisman hopeful Kyle Trask and the Florida Gators travel to Leyland Stadium to take on Tennessee. Trask leads the nation with 34 TD passes. Only B.J. Symons of Texas Tech threw more TD (36) in his team’s first eight games than Trask has this season (2003). Florida can clinch their 13th SEC East Division title and first since 2016. The Gators & Alabama tied for the most division titles since the SEC expanded in 1992 (assuming Alabama wins the West on Saturday).

Most TD Passes, First 8 Games
CFB Since 2000
YearTDYds
B.J. Symons, Texas Tech2003363,914
Kyle Trask, Florida2020342,810
Colt Brennan, Hawaii2006332,934
Anthony Gordon, Washington St.2019323,387

Kyle Trask made his first start replacing injured Felipe Franks in 2019 against Tennessee.

Since extending the nation’s longest win streak to eight games (2-0 in 2020) entering Georgia on October 10, nothing has gone right for Tennessee. Opponents have outscored Tennessee by 109 points (163-54) in their last nine halves. The Vols hope to avoid their longest losing streak since 1988 when they lost six straight to start the season.

Florida remained in the top four last week with their 34-10 win over Kentucky. The Gators control their destiny concerning the College Football Playoff. If they win out, they will receive one of the four spots.

Series: Gators are 14-1 in the last 15 games against Volunteers. 

#1 Alabama (8-0) at LSU (3-4), 8 PM EST

Alabama can win their 13th division title on Saturday when they complete their rescheduled matchup against the defending National Champions. The Tide waited 392 days and 9,420 hours by the time game-time starts to repay LSU for defeating them in Tuscaloosa.

Mac Jones threw a career-high five TD last week as the Tide completed stage one of their 2019 revenge tour, 42-13 against Auburn. Jones can strengthen his case for the Heisman Trophy, making his first career start against LSU.

Alabama QB Through 8 Games
Since 2018
Mac JonesTua TagovailoaTua Tagovailoa
202020192018
W-L8-07-18-0
Passing Yds2,7282,5842,066
Passing Yds PG341323258.3
TD-INT23-331-323-0
Comp. Pct.76.270.969.7

Mac Jones 2020 statistics rival that of fan favorite Tua Tagovailoa’s staggering 2018 &19 numbers through eight games.

Series – Alabama: won eight of last nine against LSU, including four straight at Baton Rouge. Since losing his first game against the Tigers at Alabama, Head Coach Nick Saban has won 10 of 12.

Saban’s defense has held LSU scoreless in their last eight quarters (shut out LSU in each of their previous two visits to Tiger Stadium). They have not allowed a TD in their last 11 full quarters (doesn’t count holding them scoreless in an OT period in 2014).

Playoff Before Playoff? Standings, Heisman Updates

Playoff Before Playoff? Standings, Heisman Updates

December is upon us! As we imagine a world without
COVID (vaccines coming this week), the College Football world continues to entertain us.

Updated CFB Standings
Since the NCAA puts out their standings on Tuesday, I will put mine out on Sunday. I use my own formula, which I think is more accurate in placing the teams.

2020 CFB Playoff Standings
CKMagicSports/WorldWideSportsRadio
W-LPoints
1. Alabama8-0228
2. Notre Dame9-0199.7
3. Clemson8-1196.2
4. Florida7-1141.9
5. Texas A&M6-1134.9
6. Ohio State4-0134.2
7. Cincinnati8-0128.9

Despite their loss to Notre Dame, Clemson’s overall numbers are outstanding. Florida moves down from three to four, and like Clemson, holds destiny in their own hands. As a result of their lackluster performance against LSU, along with playing fewer games than each of the top four teams, Texas A&M’s numbers saw them drop out of the top four.

2020 College Football Standings
Playoff Resumes
W-LSOSW-L vs Top-25PPG Diff.YPG Diff.
Alabama8-033-030178
Notre Dame9-0141-016.2160.5
Clemson8-141-124.2*210*
Florida7-181-117.5122.4
Texas A&M6-151-1990.4
Ohio State4-0162-019.3146.5
Cincinnati8-0642-024.5*165.4*
*Adjusted to eliminate totals vs subdivision opponent

Kyren Williams’ three TD runs helped Notre Dame fend off Clemson, 47-40 in 2 OT at South Bend on November 7th.

The “Unofficial” Playoff Round?

Assuming each team finishes their regular seasons without a blemish, these four teams will participate in a pre-playoff playoff. Alabama (1) meets Florida (4), and Notre Dame (2) takes on Clemson (3) on December 19 in the SEC and ACC Championship Games. While the SEC stayed with division winners earning a spot in the conference championship, the ACC instead features the conference’s top two teams.

ACC Championship Preview
2020 Offensive Statistics
ClemsonNotre Dame
PPG45.837.9
Yards PG525.6463.8
Plays Per Game81.772.4
Yards Per Play6.46.4
TD Passes2312
TD Rushes2227
Total TD4539

Barring a massive upset (all four teams are huge favorites in each of their remaining two games), the top four teams in the nation will square off on December 19.

College Football Playoff Standings Committee Nightmare Scenario

Figuring in likely undefeated programs Ohio State and Cincinnati, would increase that choice. Ohio State, assuming they defeat Michigan State, Michigan and their opponent in the December 19th Big Ten Championship Game, would give them seven wins. How could one justify the Buckeyes inclusion into the College Football Playoff when they played at least three fewer games than all the other qualified programs?

Cincinnati’s undefeated resume appears more complete, as they would finish with ten wins (includes assumed victories over Tusla and their opponent in the AAC Conference Championship Game on December 19th).

One substantial reason for the argument suggesting the College Football Playoffs expand to eight teams in 2020 holds weight looking at the scenario if Clemson and Florida win their conference championship games. Such an outcome (assuming Texas A&M, Ohio State, and Cincinnati do not lose) produces impossible choices for the committee. Texas A&M, Florida and Alabama each would have one loss and hold advantages over the other (Florida over Alabama, Alabama over Texas A&M, Texas A&M over Florida). Clemson and Notre Dame would cancel each other out, making a choice between the two difficult.

Trevor Lawrence missed the Tigers meeting with Notre Dame on November 7.

Lawrence Returns

The certain number 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, Trevor Lawrence, returned to action Saturday after not playing since October 24 due to COVID. Lawrence showed no signs of rust, completing 26-37 for 403 yards and 2 TD in the Tigers’ 52-17 victory over Pittsburgh. In seven games this season, Lawrence registered 319 Pass YPG, 19 TD and 2 INT, 11.1 Pass Yds Per Attempt, while completing 70.6 percent of his pass attempts. 

Clemson completes their regular season schedule this Saturday, traveling to Virginia Tech (4-5). The ACC has yet to confirm the December 12th rescheduling of the Tigers postponed matchup against Florida State. The postponement of their originally scheduled meeting saw harsh words thrown between Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney and Florida State Head Coach Dan Norvell.

Mac Jones has a clear path leading Alabama to the 2020 College Football Playoffs.

Heisman Takes Shape
Mac Jones set a career-high with five TD, while posting his fifth 300-yard passing game this season, in the Crimson Tide’s 42-10 victory over Auburn. Jones connected with DeVonta Smith on a 66-yd TD pass in the first quarter, along with a 58-yard TD pass which put the game away early in the second half. Smith has 16 TD receptions of 30-yards or longer, in addition to breaking Amari Cooper’s school record for TD receptions earlier this season (31 – Smith now has 35).

Heisman Watch
Through Eight Games
Joe Burrow>>Mac JonesKyle Trask
W-L8-08-07-1
TD-INT30-423-334-3
Pass Yards2,8052,7282,810
Pass YPG350.6341351.3
Comp. Pct.78.876.271.4
Yds Per Att.10.81210.3
>>2019 Heisman Trophy Winner

Alabama’s explosive offensive attack has registered 71 TD from scrimmage 30-yards or longer since DeVonta Smith’s Freshman season in 2017.

DeVonta Smith and Kyle Pitts represent the key targets for the 2020 Heisman hopefuls

Alabama’s Quick Strike Offense
TD from Scrimmage, 30-yards or longer
TotalDeVonta Smith
2020134
2019238
2018233
2017121
Total7116

Meanwhile, Kyle Trask registered his second-highest career completion percentage (77.8 – min 25 att.), going 21-27, 256 yds, 3 TD, as the Gators moved closer to clinching the SEC East. Both Alabama (at LSU) and Florida (at Tennessee) will make their SEC Championship Game matchup official with a win this weekend.

Most Division Titles Won
SEC Since 1992
Division TitlesSEC Championships
Alabama128
Florida127
Georgia83
Auburn72
LSU65

Two Most Successful Programs Since 1992

The Tide and Gators anticipated matchup in the 2020 SEC Championship Game will mark the 13th division title for each program. This would mark the tenth time these programs would battle each other for the SEC Championship (Alabama leads, 5-4).

SEC Championship Preview
2020 Offensive Statistics
AlabamaFlorida
PPG48.543.4
Yards PG535.6509.3
Plays Per Game48.543.4
Yards Per Play7.97.4
TD Passes2436
TD Rushes246
Total TD4842

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