The last time another conference took home the crown was Texas from the Big 12 in January 2006, and the Big 12 would love nothing more than to stop the SEC's streak next January at the Rose Bowl, the site of that Longhorns win over USC, in what will be the final BCS Championship.
Neighbors geographically, the rivalry between the Big 12 and SEC has been fueled the past couple of years with schools moving between the two conferences. And that rivalry will be renewed as the 2013 college football betting season gets underway when two of the contests on the Week 1 schedule pit SEC and Big 12 teams. In all, 23 of the 24 schools between the two conferences will take part on opening week action, the Kansas Jayhawks from the Big 12 being the lone exception.
The two conferences went head-to-head just twice all of last season, one of those Texas A&M's 41-13 win in the Cotton Bowl and the other a September 2012 contest in Oxford where the visiting Longhorns thrashed Ole Miss, 66-31. The Rebels have a return engagement at Texas in a few weeks while the Cotton Bowl once again is committed to a Big 12/SEC clash next January, so the conferences will collide at least four times counting the two opening week matchups.
Those Week 1 encounters, LSU facing TCU at Cowboys Stadium and Mississippi State in Stillwater to meet Oklahoma State, will be previewed in more detail later this week. Along with those two matchups, we'll have analysis and free sports picks for the Texas Tech-SMU battle plus the all-SEC clash between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, so don't forget to check back.
SEC Dominates Early Rankings & Odds
Preseason rankings can be a topic for debate more than anything else, but with four of the top 7 in the two preseason polls, and half of the top 10, it's easy to see that a lot is expected from SEC squads again in 2013.
The SEC also dominates the college football futures odds with six of the top 13 picked to win the BCS, led by Alabama at 5/2. That's an even chalkier number than when we previewed the conference back in July and the Crimson Tide was priced at 3/1. Following 'Bama from the SEC are Georgia (14/1), LSU and Texas A&M each at 18/1, South Carolina (20/1) and Florida (25/1).
Texas leads all Big 12 squads on the futures odds at 20/1, that number getting tighter than the 30/1 we found the Longhorns in our July preview. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are each 40/1 to upset the pollsters and take home the BCS title while TCU checks in at 66/1.
Georgia, Clemson Collide In Week 1's Only Top 10 Tussle
Amidst the excitement and pageantry of the 2013 campaign kicking off is one top 10 battle as the Georgia Bulldogs travel to Clemson to meet the Tigers. Fifth in both polls, the Bulldogs received a No. 1 vote from the AP while the Tigers are ranked eighth in both rankings.
The contest went out as a pick before the line shifted 1.5 points in Georgia's favor. It's expected to be a shootout with the 72 point total the highest on Saturday's college football odds.
This has been a series dominated by Georgia (41-17-4), but that margin is only 8-6-2 at Clemson's Memorial Stadium. The Bulldogs and Tigers last met in 2003, a 30-0 Georgia rout that was the last shutout suffered by Clemson. Led by Heisman candidate Tajh Boyd, the Tigers are searching for their first win over Georgia since 1990.
Two UT's Face Huge Spreads To Cover
There will be plenty of orange in Knoxville and Austin this Saturday where the Tennessee Volunteers and Texas Longhorns are faced with covering the biggest spreads among SEC and Big 12 schools. Tennessee is hosting little Austin Peay at Neyland Stadium as 51-point chalk while Texas welcomes New Mexico State to Memorial Stadium with the NCAA odds shouldering the 'Horns with a 42-point spread.
Head coach Butch Jones finally announced his starting QB for the Vols who are coming off a 5-7 campaign and covered just one of seven home games a year ago. Junior Justin Worley will get the start after seeing limited mop-up action for Tennessee last season. Worley also started three games for the Volunteers in 2011.
This is a huge year for Mack Brown at Texas, and the Longhorns could be very thin at wide receiver for their opener. All three projected starters might miss the contest as Jaxon Shipley (hip) and Mike Davis (hernia) are questionable and Kendall Sanders serves a suspension. Backups Bryant Jackson (ankle) and Marcus Johnson (knee) are also questionable.
Manziel & Clowney 'Probable' For Aggies & Gamecocks
A couple of SEC tilts we previewed recently have some injury and suspension updates to squeeze in to this report. Quarterback Johnny Manziel is officially probable for Texas A&M on Saturday when the Aggies host the Rice Owls. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner is being investigated by the school and NCAA for allegedly signing autographs for money.
A couple of starters on Texas A&M's defense will serve suspensions this week for their part in a brawl this summer at a College Station nightclub. Cornerback Deshazor Everett will sit the first half vs. the Owls while safety Floyd Raven misses the entire game.
South Carolina's All-World defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is probable for the Gamecocks matchup with the North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday. Clowney missed some practice time earlier this month due to a shoulder injury. Fellow starting DE Chaz Sutton (foot) is also listed as probable for South Carolina.
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