Well, SEC fans, this is it. Football season has come and gone for another year, so it’s time for a final SEC summary. The conference is again home to the BCS national champion (for the seventh year in a row) and can also claim this year’s Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel. The SEC sent nine teams to bowls and came away with a record of 6-3. Five teams didn’t make it to the postseason: Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Auburn. Of those five, Missouri is the only one who won’t have a new coach next season. None of them finished with more than two wins in the conference or more than five wins overall, and both Auburn and Kentucky went winless in SEC play.
Vanderbilt 38, North Carolina State 24
The Commodores capped off a fantastic season by topping the Wolfpack in the 2012 Music City Bowl. Vandy got the scoring started in the first quarter, as QB Jordan Rodgers hit Chris Boyd with a 5-yard TD pass just over five minutes into the game. The ‘Dores took a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, when Zac Stacy ran six yards to the end zone, but NC State got on the board with a touchdown of their own with just over six minutes remaining in the quarter. Vanderbilt went back up by two scores on their next possession, but then the Wolfpack’s Tobais Palmer took a kickoff 94 yards to cut the lead. Rodgers found Jordan Matthews for an 18-yard TD with less than a minute remaining in the half, though, to put the Commodores up 28-14 heading into the locker rooms. The Commodores tacked on a field goal in the third quarter before NC State added one of their own to open the fourth quarter. Each team scored once more, both touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough for the Wolfpack to overcome the deficit.
Rodgers went 16-of-25 for 108 yards and two touchdowns. NC State QB Mike Glennon was 35-of-53 for 383 yards, a TD, and three interceptions. Stacy had 25 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown and Matthews had seven catches for 61 yards and a TD to lead the Commodores. Creecy had nine carries for 43 yards and a touchdown and Palmer had eight receptions for 111 yards to lead the Wolfpack. NCSU racked up 24 first downs compared to Vandy’s 17 and outgained the ‘Dores 424-225 in total yardage, but managed only 41 yards on the ground and turned the ball over five times.
Vanderbilt finishes the season 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. North Carolina State finishes 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the ACC.