Big Ten & SEC Week Fourteen Preview
During the season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are out on the road to meet with fans of our partner schools to spread the word about our brand-new home field opening for the 2014 bowl season.
This weekend, we’ll be at three notable games featuring teams from our partner conferences*:
Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 SEC) hosts Mississippi State (10-1, 6-1 SEC) in the 111th edition of the Egg Bowl. Mississippi State is tied with Alabama at the top of the SEC West and need a win and a Crimson Tide loss to get to the conference championship in Atlanta. After losing to Alabama 25-20 two weeks ago, the Bulldogs took care of Vanderbilt last weekend, winning 51-0. After getting off to a hot start, Ole Miss has struggled recently, dropping three of their past four games including three straight against conference opponents. The Bulldogs took last year’s meeting 17-10 in overtime but the Rebels lead the all-time series 61-43-6.
Minnesota (8-3, 5-2 Big Ten) heads to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison to take on Wisconsin (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) with a spot in the Big Ten Championship game on the line. The Badgers have already clinched a share for the division title with their 26-24 victory over Iowa last week, but need a win to advance to the conference championship where they would meet Ohio State. After going down by 14 points at the half, Minnesota fought back to defeat Nebraska 28-24. It was the Golden Gophers’ first win in Lincoln since 1960. Minnesota leads Wisconsin 59-56-8 but has lost the last 10 meetings.
Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC) welcomes Auburn (8-3, 4-3 SEC) to Tuscaloosa looking for revenge following a heartbreaking loss to the Tigers as time expired last season. The Crimson Tide closed out their non-conference schedule with a 48-14 win over Western Carolina last weekend. The Tigers enter the Iron Bowl off the heels of their 31-7 victory over Samford but have dropped their last two conference games to Texas A&M and Georgia. Alabama holds a 42-35-1 series lead but saw their undefeated season and national championship hopes dashed last year when Auburn’s Chris Davis returned Adam Griffith’s 57-yard field goal attempt 100 yards for a touchdown as the clock ran out to send Auburn to the SEC Championship Game.
Iowa (7-4, 4-3 Big Ten) and Nebraska (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) will meet for the Heroes Trophy in Iowa City on Friday. The Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers are both coming off of losses last week that knocked them out of contention for the Big Ten West Division title. The Hawkeyes fell just short against Wisconsin 26-24, while the Cornhuskers gave up the winning score late in the game to fall to Minnesota. Nebraska leads the all-time series 28-13-3 but Iowa won last year’s meeting 38-17 in Lincoln.
Georgia Tech (9-2, 6-2 ACC) visits Georgia (9-2, 6-2 SEC) having secured their bid in the ACC Championship Game last week with a win over Clemson and a Duke loss. The Bulldogs need Missouri to lose to Arkansas this weekend to earn a spot in the SEC Championship Game. Georgia leads the all-time series 64-39-5 and has won five consecutive games over Georgia Tech including a 41-34 overtime finish last season. The Yellow Jackets last win in the series came in 2008, when they topped the Bulldogs 45-42.
Michigan (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten) travels to Columbus needing a win over rival Ohio State (10-1, 7-0 Big Ten) to become bowl eligible. The Wolverines have struggled against Ohio State recently, winning just once in their last ten games against the Buckeyes. The Wolverines visit their neighboring Buckeyes coming off of a 23-16 loss to Maryland at home last weekend. The Buckeyes topped Indiana 42-27 in their last outing to remain unbeaten in the conference heading into their final regular season game. In last year’s game, Michigan scored with 35 seconds remaining, but a missed two-point conversion allowed the Buckeyes to escape with a 42-41 win in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines hold the advantage in the series, 58-45-6, but have not won on the road in Columbus since 2000.
* — In years when a Big Ten team is assigned to a non-semifinal Orange Bowl, we will replace our Big Ten selection with the first post-CFP selection from the ACC, inclusive of Notre Dame. We’re already on the road at ACC partner schools via our relationship for the Russell Athletic Bowl.