SECond HELPING OF SEC FOOTBALL (Oct. 26, 2012)
• The SEC has seven teams ranked in the BCS Rankings, Harris Interactive, Associated Press and USA Today Top 25 polls this week. Alabama is the top-ranked team in all four rankings, followed by Florida, which is second in the BCS and third in AP, USA Today and Harris. LSU is sixth in all four rankings, Georgia is 10th in the BCS, 11th in Harris and USA Today and 12th in USA Today. Mississippi State is 11th in the BCS, 12th in USA Today and Harris and 13th in AP. South Carolina is 13th in the BCS, 16th in USA Today and Harris and 17th in AP and Texas A&M is 20th in the BCS, 21st in USA Today and Harris and 22nd in AP.
• In terms of wins and losses, Alabama is the highest ranked undefeated team in all four polls, LSU is the highest ranked one-loss team in the polls and South Carolina is the highest ranked two-loss team in all polls.
• This Saturday’s games feature games pitting the top two teams in each division’s standings. In the Eastern Division, Florida and Georgia play in Jacksonville in the CBS Sports contest at 3:30 p.m. ET. In the Western Division, Alabama hosts Mississippi State on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. CT.
• An SEC team has now been ranked first in 12 straight BCS rankings. The SEC has been 1-2 in 13 of the last 26 BCS rankings, dating back to the beginning of the 2009 season.
• There have been nine SEC vs. SEC games this season decided by 5-points-or-less. That is the most of any conference this season and the 29.0 of games decided by 5-points-or-less (9 of 31) is tied for third among all FBS conferences – Mountain West (35.3%, 6 of 17); Big Ten (33.3%, 7 of 21); Sun Belt (29.0%, 4 of 17).
• Georgia is fourth in the nation in yards per offensive play (7.17 ypp). In games against FBS winning teams, Mississippi State has the nation’s top yards per offensive play average (7.53).
• Georgia leads the SEC in touchdown efficiency in the red zone (77.8%, 21 of 27). Alabama is second (74.2%, 23 of 31) and Ole Miss is third (73.9%, 17 of 23).
• Every SEC team has scored more rushing touchdowns than passing touchdowns in the red zone with the exception of Mississippi State (10 rush, 10 pass), Kentucky (6 rush, 7 pass) and Tennessee (10 rush, 12 pass).
• A Florida victory against Georgia tomorrow (Saturday), would clinch the Eastern Division for the Gators and the berth in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 1.
• There have been 77 play stoppages for Instant Replay in 61 games using SEC replay this season. Of those 77 stoppages, 30 plays have been overturned. Since the advent of replay in 2005, there have been 856 stoppages and 254 overturns. The average length of replay is 1:29 this season and 1:34 since 2005.
• According to USA Today, the Southeastern Conference's football dominance might extend to the classroom, too, at least as measured by the NCAA Graduation Success Rate score (GSR), which was released yesterday (Thursday). Of teams currently in the USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll, the SEC had five of the top 13 when ordered by GSR. The link to the story is http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2012/10/25/ncaa-graduation-rates-notre-dame-sec-college-football/1656329/.
Kentucky at Missouri (11 a.m. CT / ESPNU / Sirius 113 / XM 200)
Kentucky leads, 2-0, winning a pair of games in the 1960s, by scores of 7-0 (1965 in Columbia) and 12-6 (1968 in Lexington) … Neither current head coach has faced the opponent before as a head coach … It’s Homecoming on the MU campus … According to Missouri, the tradition of “Homecoming” may have started on its campus in 1911 … This is the 101st Homecoming Game on the campus with the Tigers having a 58-37-5 record, including winning eight of its last 10 games … Through games of Oct. 20, Kentucky had played the toughest schedule in the nation, according to the Anderson and Hester ratings and the Colley Matrix, two components of the BCS rankings … The teams that have played Kentucky have a combined record of 47-10 this season (.825), a
record which improves to 45-8 (.849) when you subtract the games UK’s opponents have played
against each other.
Tennessee at South Carolina (12 p.m. ET / ESPN / Sirius 85 / XM 85)
The Tennessee-South Carolina rivalry is the most competitive (by average scoring margin) in the SEC since 2000, with an average margin of 9.17 points per game in 12 meetings … Seven of the 12 meetings have been decided by 9-points-or-less with only one game decided by more than 20 points … Tennessee leads the series between the two teams, 22-6-2, with the Vols holding a 8-4-2 advantage in Columbia … Carolina has won the last two meetings in the series … Steve Spurrier is 13-8 lifetime as a head coach against Tennessee, 4-3 while at South Carolina … Derek Dooley is 0-2 against Carolina as the Vols’ head coach … The Vols are averaging 168.4 yards rushing per game in 2012, an increase of 78.3 yards per game more than and almost double last year’s final total of 90.1 rushing yards per game … Carolina has won eight straight at Williams-Brice Stadium, going back to last season (last loss vs. Auburn).
Ole Miss at Arkansas (11:21 a.m. CT / SEC Network / Sirius 138 / XM 199)
This game marks the 59th meeting all-time between Ole Miss and Arkansas dating back to 1908. Ole Miss records show the Rebels trailing the series 26-31-1, while Arkansas’ records indicate a 32-25-1 advantage for the Razorbacks ... Arkansas claims a forfeit victory in a 1914 game that Ole Miss won 13-7 ... The two teams met almost yearly from 1937-1969 before the series took a hiatus until 1981 ... Arkansas holds a 12-8 edge since it joined the SEC in 1992 … Arkansas has 16 players who have made their first collegiate start this season, the most in the SEC and tied for the 5th-highest total in the country … Arkansas is the only SEC and one of 13 in the nation to pass for 400 yards or more in multiple games this season (419 vs. Rutgers; 400 vs. Jacksonville State) … In just seven games this season, Ole Miss has already surpassed last year’s total of points, touchdowns and wins.
Florida vs. Georgia (at Jacksonville) (3:30 p.m. ET / CBS Sports / Sirius 91 / XM 91)
According to Georgia, the Bulldogs has the series lead at 48-40-2 with the first meeting in 1904 … Florida records has the series at 47-40-2, claiming the first meeting with Georgia came in 1915 because the Gators didn’t compete at the varsity level until 1906 … In Jacksonville, the Bulldogs hold a 41-37-1 lead … The last time Georgia won two straight in the series came when it had a three-year stretch of success from 1987-89 … Since then, the Gators have won 18 of the past 22 meetings … Since 2001, Florida and Georgia are 2-3 in the SEC for best records … The Gators are 114-39 while the Bulldogs are 112-39 … Gator Head coach Will Muschamp played at UGA from 1991-94 and also faced Georgia numerous times as an assistant coach. While at Auburn (1995-96 as G.A.; 2006-07 as Def. Coordinator), Muschamp had a 1-3 record against the Bulldogs and as the def. coordinator at LSU he was 1-1 against UGA … Georgia coach Mark Richt is 3-8 against the Gators as a head coach … Florida has opened the season 7-0 for the sixth time in school history, the fourth time since 1995.
Texas A&M at Auburn (6 p.m. CT / ESPNU / Sirius 94 / XM 201)
Texas A&M and Auburn have played just twice previously, with the Aggies posting a pair of neutral site victories over the Tigers in Dallas, Texas … The Aggies won 16-0 in 1911 and 36-16 in the 1986 Cotton Bowl … It will be just the second trip to the state of Alabama for the Aggies, whose lone previous road trip to Alabama was a 1985 meeting with the Alabama Crimson Tide (L, 23-10) in Birmingham, Ala. … The Aggies are one of just three teams in the NCAA FBS that rank in the top 20 statistically in rushing, passing, total and scoring offense (others are Louisiana Tech and Oklahoma State) … The Aggies rank No. 9 in scoring offense (43.0 points per game), No. 9 in total offense (524.6 yards per game), No. 19 in rushing (221.3) and No. 17 in passing (303.3) … Auburn holds a 14-16-1 all-time record against schools from the state of Texas, including games against Baylor (1-2-1), Hardin Simmons (1-0), Houston (5-1), North Texas (1-0), Rice (0-2), SMU (0-3), Texas (3-5), Texas A&M (0-2), TCU (3-0) and Texas Tech (0-1). At home, Auburn is 8-4 all-time against Texas teams.
Massachusetts at Vanderbilt (6 p.m. CT / FSN / Sirius 132 / XM 190)
This is the first meeting between UMass and Vandy … The Commodores are 10-2 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) … Zac Stacy became the Commodores' all-time leading rusher last Saturday during a sensational 169-yard performance in Vanderbilt's 17-13 victory over Auburn. In 39 career appearances, Stacy now has 2,670 rushing yards; 38 yards more than former record holder Frank Mordica (1976-79) … Junior WR Jordan Matthews is tied for the SEC lead in receptions with Cobi Hamilton of Arkansas. Both have 46 catches on the season. Matthews' 94.7 average receiving yards also ranks second in the SEC behind Hamilton (107.7 ypg.). Matthews has 663 yards on the season.
Mississippi State at Alabama (7:30 p.m. CT / ESPN / Sirius 85 / XM 85)
Alabama leads the series 75-18-3 against Mississippi State … In games played in Tuscaloosa, the Tide hold a 40-9-1 advantage … Alabama has won eight of the last 10 meetings in the series … The teams are a combined 14-0 overall and 7-0 in league play coming into the contest … The Bulldogs’ 7-0 start is the second best in school history behind the 8-0 mark in 1999 … Alabama has the nation’s longest active win streak at 11 and Mississippi State is third at nine (Oregon is second at 10) … Through seven games, Alabama has trailed for just 15 seconds, best mark in nation while through six games, State has trailed just 16:11, which is fourth best … Alabama and Louisiana Tech are the only teams in the nation that have not thrown an interception this season … Tide quarterbacks have not thrown an interception in their last 10.5 games (last interception came in the 10th game of the 2011 season against Mississippi State at end of second quarter) … The Tide are in its second week ranked first in the BCS standings while the Bulldogs are 11th.