Tuesday, September 18, 2012
3-point stance: Pac-12's road win streaks
By Ivan Maisel
1. With Virginia Tech’s loss at Pittsburgh, the longest road winning streaks belong to No. 3 Oregon (11 games) and No. 9 Stanford (eight). Neither streak will end this week -- the Ducks are home for No. 22 Arizona; the Cardinal is off. And all praise to both programs. But two Pac-12 teams atop this list speaks as much to the top-heavy nature of the league over the last two seasons as anything. If the fast start by the Wildcats, No. 19 UCLA, Arizona State and Oregon State are for real, those road winning streaks are in danger.
2. Willie Taggart left behind a job coaching Stanford running backs after the 2009 season (when his back, Toby Gerhart, finished as Heisman runner-up) to take over as head coach of his winless alma mater, Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers went 7-5 last season, played respectably in a 39-0 loss to Alabama and upset Kentucky, 32-31, in overtime Saturday. When Mama called, Taggart answered. But now that he has put himself on the national coaching radar, I’m guessing it won’t be long before he leaves Mama behind.
3. Speaking of which, Sun Belt conference teams are 2-1 in overtime games against the SEC this season (WKU 1-0, Louisiana-Monroe 1-1) and 2-5 against the SEC overall. That may not seem like much, but Sun Belt teams had gone 0-35 against the SEC by an average score of 42-11 before Sept. 8, when ULM beat Arkansas, 34-31. This season, the Sun Belt teams have lost by an average of 36-22. The league may be the SEC’s little brother, but it’s as strong as it has ever been.