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SEC on TV: Auburn's Chance to Play Spoiler

Looking at the final regular-season weekend of SEC action.

All eyes will be on Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday for the annual Auburn-Alabama rivalry.

This is always a fierce one, and this year it carries strong implications for the SEC title and BCS national championship picture. Alabama can clinch the SEC West title with a win. And no one is giving Auburn, winless in the SEC this year, much of a chance. (Game time: 3:30 p.m., CBS).

Shades of 1972. That year, Alabama was heavily favored over Auburn when the teams met. But in one of the most memorable upsets in college football history, Auburn blocked two punts, returning them both for touchdowns in a 17-16 victory.

The plays were strikingly similar: Auburn's Bill Newton broke through to block both punts, and Auburn DB David Langner picked them both up on the bounce and ran them in for touchdowns.

Thus the memorable one-liner: "Punt, Bama, Punt."

Will it be, as Yogi Berra said, deja vu all over again?

As in 1972, Auburn will have trouble winning in traditional fashion. Alabama (No. 2 in BCS rankings) has the nation's top scoring defense, allowing an average of 10.9 points a game. Auburn's defense is allowing an average of 26.4 points per game, and defense always is cited as a key factor in intense rivalry games.

However, Auburn has a strong track record of winning at Alabama's campus. According to al.com, Auburn has lost just once in eight visits to Tuscaloosa.

Other SEC games on November 24 (all times Eastern):

Georgia Tech at Georgia, noon, ESPN.

Kentucky at Tennessee, 12:21 p.m., SEC network.

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

Florida at Florida State, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Mississippi State at Ole Miss, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Information from the SEC office was used in this report.


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