Thursday, November 21, 2013
3-point stance: A lopsided matchup
By Ivan Maisel
1. Southern Mississippi announced Wednesday that it will play Alabama in Week 3 of next season, the first meeting between the two teams in nine years. The Golden Eagles’ fall over the last two seasons might be unprecedented. Two years ago, Southern Miss upset Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game, beat Nevada in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl -- and hasn’t won a game since. That’s 22 straight losses. Eight of the 10 this season have been by at least 21 points. And they’re going to play Alabama?
2. It is easier to repeat failure than it is to repeat success which is what has made Arizona junior tailback Ka'Deem Carey’s season so remarkable. He led the FBS last season with 1,929 yards, and -- even as defenses are well aware of who he is -- Carey has improved his performance this season. Carey has rushed for 100 yards in 13 straight games and counting, and as the Wildcats prepare for a visit from No. 5 Oregon, it’s worth pointing out that the Ducks gave up 274 rushing yards at Stanford two weeks ago.
3. Arkansas has lost seven straight games, a first for coach Bret Bielema, who came to Fayetteville after taking Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowls. Bielema, who coaches power football, took over a team that had run a spread offense taught by former head coach Bobby Petrino. That’s a big leap. All of that makes what Bielema’s successor, Gary Andersen, has accomplished so impressive. Andersen didn’t coach power football at Utah State. But the No. 19 Badgers have rushed for 307.9 yards per game in going 8-2. That’s about 70 yards more per game than the last three Rose Bowl teams.