SECond HELPING OF SEC FOOTBALL (Sept. 27, 2012)
* - The SEC is the first conference to have four of the top six teams in a weekly Associated Press Top 25 college football poll. Alabama is ranked first in this week’s AP poll, followed by LSU ranked 3rd, Georgia 5th and South Carolina 6th. Florida at 11th and Mississippi State 21st are also ranked, giving the SEC six squads ranked in the AP Top 25. In the USA Today poll, Alabama is first, LSU 3rd, Georgia 5th, South Carolina 6th, Florida 12th and Mississippi State is ranked 19th.
* - More than 2.7 million fans have attended SEC home games so far this season. In 37 home dates, a total of 2,767,605 fans have attended SEC games, an average of 74,800 fans per game and 96.37 percent capacity. There have been 17 games were attendance has been at 100%-or-more capacity.
* - The SEC is 28-7 (.800) against non-conference foes this season. The winning percentage is second this season to the Big 12, which is 24-3 (.889) against non-conference competition. Since 1997, the SEC has a winning record against all-FBS conferences with the exception of the Big East, which is 25-18 against the SEC since 1997.
* - It pays to score first: SEC teams are 29-5 (.853) when scoring first this season. Alabama and Texas A&M are the only SEC teams to score first in all of its games this season.
* - Scoring Odds & Ends: Tennessee leads the SEC with 12 passing TDs this season while Georgia leads SEC with 14 rushing TDs … South Carolina has not allowed a rushing TD this season while Texas A&M has allowed just one passing TD … Every SEC team with the exception of Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee has scored at least one non-offensive TD this season … Opponents have not converted turnovers into points against Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Texas A&M this season.
* - Drive Chart Odds & Ends: Alabama leads the SEC scoring (TD + FG) on 56.3 percent of its offensive drives (27 of 48) while Texas A&M leads the league in touchdown scoring (42.5 percent, 17 of 40) … On defense, Alabama leads the SEC in allowing scores on just 6.4 percent of opponents offensive drives (3 of 47) while South Carolina leads SEC in least touchdowns allowed per opponents offensive drive (5.5 percent, 3 of 54) … Texas A&M and LSU average a league high 5.63 plays per offensive drive while is averaging a league-high 37.19 plays per offensive drive.
* - The change in kickoff yard lines has made a big difference in the SEC. With the move from the 30 to the 35-yard line, touchbacks have more than doubled in percentage. So far this season, there have been 167 touchbacks on 346 kickoffs (48.3 percent) among the 14 SEC teams. Last season, the 12 SEC teams were at a 22.6 percentage clip for the season, with 190 touchbacks on 841 kickoffs. SEC kickoff units have allowed an average of just 9.73 yards per kickoff return (3367 yards on 346 kickoffs). Last year, SEC kickoff units allowed an average of 15.8 yards per kickoff return (13,284 yards on 841 kickoffs).
* - Georgia’s Aaron Murray is tied for 14th in SEC history with 69 career touchdown passes. He needs five TD passes to move into the SEC career top 10. He is also 11th in SEC history with responsibility for 78 TDs (rush + pass) and needs three more to move into SEC career to 10.
* - South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore is tied for 20th in SEC history with 33 career rushing touchdowns. He is also tied for 21st with 36 career touchdowns scored (rush + receiving). Only one of the top 10 in the SEC career touchdowns scored list have averaged more TDs per game than Lattimore (36 TDs in 24 games/1.5 per game). Georgia’s Herschel Walker averaged 1.57 TDs per game (52 in 33 games) during his career (1980-82).
* - SEC players listed as active career leaders in the NCAA FBS Division:
Rushing Yards per Carry – Onterio McCalebb, Auburn (6.37 yards per carry)
Yards per Catch – Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas (18.6 yards per catch)
Interception Return Yards – Johnthan Banks, Miss. State (274 yards)
Punt Return yards – Dustin Harris, Texas A&M (880 yards)
Punt Return yards per Game – Dustin Harris, Texas A&M (21.5 yards per game)
Punt Return yards per Return – Dustin Harris, Texas A&M (15.17 yards per return)
Sacks per Game – Jarvis Jones, Georgia (1.1 sacks per game)
Missouri at Central Florida (11 a.m. CT / FSN)
This is the first meeting between the two schools … This will mark MU’s first game in the state of Florida since 1988 at Miami (Fla.) … Missouri is second in the nation in fumbles recovered (8), behind only Louisiana Tech (9) … Tiger Jr. LB Andrew Wilson is tied for first in the nation, averaging 1.00 forced fumbles per game … In USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s latest computer ratings, Missouri has the nation’s toughest schedule.
Arkansas at Texas A&M (11:21 a.m. CT / SEC Network)
Two teams have played 68 previous times with Arkansas holding a 41-24-3 series advantage … The teams have played three years straight prior to this year, with Razorbacks winning all three meetings … Arkansas and Navy are the only two schools in the NCAA to have a 1.000 winning percentage in Texas since the start of the 2009 season with a minimum of four games played in the state … Aggies Jr. DE Damontre Moore leads the nation in sacks per game and tied for national lead in tackles for loss per game … Texas A&M and Arkansas, along with the Dallas Cowboys’ organization, agreed to a new long-term series earlier this fall to play the annual football game between the two schools at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington beginning in 2014 and continuing through the 2024 season.
Tennessee at Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET / CBS Sports)
Tennessee holds a 21-18-2 series lead against Georgia … In games in Athens, UT holds a 10-9-1 advantage … Georgia has won the last two games in the series … Six of the last seven meetings in the series have been decided by at least 12 points, with the exception being Georgia’s 20-12 win in 2011 … This season, the Bulldogs have 40-plus points in four consecutive games for the first time in school history … The Vols have accumulated 2,055 total offensive yards after four games, the highest total through the first four games in UT history … Vols lead SEC and are 7th in nation in least sacks allowed per total pass attempts (2 / 156 = 78.00 attempts per sack) … Georgia has won 14 consecutive regular season games dating back to last season (sans SEC Champ Game / Bowl), the second longest such streak in the nation (LSU – 17).
Towson at LSU (6 p.m. CT / ESPNU)
Second straight week of Tiger battles Towson visits LSU … This is the first meeting between the two teams … LSU is 4-0 for the sixth straight year, longest streak in school history … LSU is 30-0 under Les Miles in non-conference regular season games … LSU has won 36 straight non-conference games in Tiger Stadium, a streak that dates back to 2001 … 16 players on LSU’s defense have recorded either a sack or a tackle for loss with another three being responsible for a turnover.
South Carolina at Kentucky (7 p.m. ET / ESPN2)
Carolina leads series with Kentucky, 15-7-1, also leading in games at Lexington, 8-4 … The Gamecocks have won eight straight games dating back to last season, the second longest winning streak in school history, topped on by their nine-game winning streak that started the 1984 season … The #6 national ranking is the best at Carolina since 2007 … UK head coach Joker Phillips was wide receiver coach at South Carolina in 2002 ... South Carolina won 54-3 last season in Columbia, while Kentucky won 31-28 in Lexington in 2010 … UK quarterback Maxwell Smith is third in the SEC and 17th nationally in total offense at 316.3 yards per game … USC quarterback Connor Shaw enters UK game, completing 20 straight passes (SEC record: 24, Tee Martin, 1998; NCAA record: 26, Dominique Davis, East Carolina, 2011).
Ole Miss at Alabama (8:15 p.m. CT / ESPN)
Alabama leads series with Ole Miss, 45-9-2 … Tide has won eight straight against the Rebels with last Ole Miss win coming in 2003 … Ole Miss opens SEC play on the road for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons and kicks off SEC play against Alabama for first time since 2004 … Rebels are 3-1 for the first time since 2009 … The Crimson Tide has not trailed after the first quarter in its last 18 games, starting with the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State … Alabama has been ranked in the last 70 AP polls, the longest streak in the nation … Ole Miss Jr. RB Jeff Scott is fifth in the SEC in rushing yards per game (89.3) and Soph. WR Donte Moncrief is 5th in the league in receiving yards per game (85.8) … Tide QB A.J. McCarron leads the SEC in passing efficiency (188.6) while PK Cade Foster is third in the SEC in touchback percentage (14 of 18 / 77.78%) and leads league in most 40+ yard field goals (4).