Rivalry week: Iron Bowl, Egg Bowl have huge stakes in SEC West, national picture

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Some things to watch in the final weekend of the Southeastern Conference regular season:

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 15 Auburn at No. 2 Alabama. As usual, there is plenty on the line in the Iron Bowl when Alabama (No. 1 CFP) hosts Auburn (No. 15 CFP) on Saturday evening. The Tide can clinch the SEC Western Division and solidify its standing in the College Football Playoff field while Auburn would love nothing more than to stun Alabama for a second season in a row, though nothing may top the drama of the "Kick-Six" that pushed the Tigers to victory last season.

MATCHUP OF THE WEEK: Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace vs. Mississippi State's pass defense. There is a lot at stake during this year's Egg Bowl, especially for No. 4 Mississippi State (No. 4 CFP). The Bulldogs — who have allowed the most yards passing of any SEC team — must figure out a way to stop No. 18 Ole Miss (No. 19 CFP). Wallace sprained his ankle and had four turnovers against Arkansas in a 30-0 loss last week, but he has thrown 22 touchdown passes this season and was at his best in an upset win over Alabama earlier this year. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze expects Wallace to play against the Bulldogs.

NUMBERS GAME: Arkansas is the first unranked team ever to shut out two straight ranked foes. It also has posted consecutive SEC shutouts for the first time in school history. ... Georgia has 34 rushing touchdowns this season, which represents the second-highest total in school history. The school record is 39, set in 1971. ... Saturday marks the 400th game of Steve Spurrier's coaching career, including his stints in the USFL and NFL. He owns a career record of 272-125-2. ... The home team has won nine of the last 10 Egg Bowls. ... Vanderbilt has lost each of its seven conference games by double-digit margins.

UPSET WATCH: No. 8 Georgia (No. 9 CFP) has won 12 of its last 13 meetings with No. 16 Georgia Tech (No. 16 CFP) and is a 13-point favorite to continue its recent domination of this series. But it's worth noting that Georgia trailed by 20 points in last year's game before rallying for a 41-34 double-overtime victory, and this Georgia Tech team is much better than last year's version. If Georgia doesn't take care of the ball against a ball-hawking Georgia Tech defense, the Yellow Jackets can pull the surprise.

IMPACT PERFORMER: Auburn's chances of upsetting Alabama depend in part on whether SEC rushing leader Cameron Artis-Payne delivers a huge performance for the Tigers. Artis-Payne has rushed for 1,405 yards, or 253 more than anyone else in the SEC. The only other Auburn players to rush for over 1,400 yards in a season are Tre Mason, Bo Jackson, Rudi Johnson and Cam Newton.


AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, and David Brandt in Jackson, Mississippi, compiled this story.

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