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SEC ties run deep, even in weekend full of nonconference snoozers

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Should Sumlin be worried about his job? (1:21)

The College Football Live crew debates if Kevin Sumlin should be worried that he could lose his job at Texas A&M. (1:21)

Many SEC fans dread weekends like this, when much of the league gears up for the final weekend by hammering a Group of Five or FCS opponent.

But even in those games, you usually don't have to look far to find a link to the SEC somewhere.

Here are some of the ties that connect SEC programs to the nonconference opponents on this Saturday's schedule:

Louisiana-Lafayette at Georgia (Noon ET, SEC): Two of the stars of ULL's win over Georgia Southern last week have SEC ties. Quarterback Anthony Jennings went 17-for-26 for 210 yards and also rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown in the 33-26 victory. Jennings went 9-4 as a starting quarterback at LSU before becoming a Ragin' Cajun as a graduate transfer. On defense, Arkansas transfer Otha Peters led the Cajuns with eight tackles against Georgia Southern. Peters is in his second season as a Cajun, ranking second on the team with 71 tackles. Other SEC connections include linebacker Trey Granier, who transferred from LSU, and veteran co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison, who has coached at Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State and LSU.

UTSA at Texas A&M (Noon ET, ESPNU): UTSA essentially became LSU West when head coach Frank Wilson left Baton Rouge to become the Roadrunners' coach early this year. Not only did Wilson bring assistant coaches Jeff Kastl and Ryan Pugh with him from LSU, he also brought along strength coach Ryan Filo and stocked his support staff with former Tigers. As far as players, UTSA's starting left tackle Jevonte Domond and reserve linebacker Ronnie Feist came from LSU, as did grad transfer safety Jordan Moore, who ran track for two years there. In addition to the LSU connections, Wilson also hired former South Carolina running backs coach Everette Sands to handle the same position in San Antonio.

Western Carolina at South Carolina (4 p.m. ET, SEC): Both defensive backs coaches on the Catamounts' staff have ties to Auburn. Cornerbacks coach Zac Etheridge was a key member of Auburn's defense as the Tigers pushed toward the 2010 BCS championship. Safeties coach Blake Gideon played under Will Muschamp at Texas and later worked under Muschamp as a defensive quality control coach at Florida, Auburn and South Carolina before joining the Western Carolina staff this year.

Austin Peay at Kentucky (4:30 p.m. ET, SEC): Austin Peay defensive lineman Lloyd Tubman was once a highly regarded prospect at Kentucky before his dismissal by the school. He has recorded 27 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks this season for the Governors.

Tennessee-Chattanooga at Alabama (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Ranked 11th in this week's FCS coaches poll, the Mocs have a couple of former SEC players on their roster and a couple on their coaching staff. Former Georgia Bulldog Josh Cardiello, now a right guard at UTC, has started every game and was a preseason All-Southern Conference pick. Former Tennessee defensive lineman Justin King has also started every game and has 26 tackles and 3.5 TFLs for the Mocs. On the coaching staff, running backs coach Shawn Bryson was a star running back and captain of Tennessee's 1998 national championship team, and defensive line coach Carey Bailey also played for the Volunteers.

Alabama A&M at Auburn (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC): It's not especially common to see Alabama's SEC teams play in-state opposition. Alabama hasn't played a nonconference game against an in-state team since 1944 and Auburn has only started doing it regularly in the last five years. But there will be plenty of connections between the players on the field Saturday since both rosters are loaded with native Alabamians. A direct link between the programs comes from the A&M coaching staff. Assistant head coach Andy Fuller, who handles the tight ends and offensive tackles, was an All-SEC tight end at Auburn in the early 1990s. Tigers fans will probably remember Fuller as one of the stars of Auburn's memorable upset win at Florida in 1994.