Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl among premium matchups in the SEC
Here are some things to watch during the final week of the regular season in the Southeastern Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 2 Alabama at Auburn. It looks like a mismatch on paper, but the last two Iron Bowls have shown that just about anything can happen when these rivals meet. Auburn won in 2013 on the `kick-six' play, as Auburn's Chris Davis scored the winning touchdown as time expired on a 100-yard return of Alabama's unsuccessful 57-yard field-goal attempt. Last season, the Tide recovered from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to win 55-44.
MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper vs. Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander. Although South Carolina's gone through multiple quarterbacks this season, Cooper remains a constant threat. He has 62 catches for 887 yards and seven touchdowns while ranking behind only Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell among SEC players in yards receiving per game. He's likely to be covered Saturday by Alexander, who hasn't allowed a touchdown pass the last two years. In Alexander's 10 games this season, opponents have completed just eight passes in 32 attempts to receivers he was covering. A knee injury prevented Alexander from playing last week against Wake Forest, but he's expected back for the South Carolina game.
NUMBERS GAME: Arkansas has scored at least 50 points in four of its last five games. Arkansas had never scored 50-plus points in as many as four games in a single season. ... Vanderbilt is averaging just 14 points per game, the lowest scoring average of any FBS program. ... Kentucky's 415 yards rushing in a 58-10 victory over Charlotte last week represented its highest single-game total since a 441-yard rushing performance against Virginia Tech in 1974. .... Tennessee (7-4) is seeking to win at least eight games in a season for the first time since 2007.
UPSET ALERT: LSU's favored by 5 1/2 at home against Texas A&M. While LSU's Leonard Fournette could put up big numbers against a Texas A&M defense that ranks 13th in the SEC against the run, the Tigers have lost three straight games and it's hard to predict just how they'll react to all the uncertainty surrounding coach Les Miles' future. Florida started as a 2-point favorite over Florida State, but the line has swung toward the Seminoles and now Florida State is a 2-point favorite even though the game will be played in Gainesville.
IMPACT PERFORMER: Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is coming off arguably the best game of his outstanding career. The senior threw for 508 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs' come-from-behind 51-50 win over Arkansas on Saturday. He'll likely need a similar performance if the Bulldogs want to beat Ole Miss - the Rebels come into Saturday's Egg Bowl scoring more than 40 points per game.
AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this story.