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SEC did you know? Week 2

9/9/2011

A little bit of this and a little bit of that as we look ahead to Week 2 in the SEC:

  • Two SEC schools rank among the top four in FBS in most wins since 2008. Boise State is first with 39 followed by Alabama with 37, TCU at 36 and Florida at 35.

  • How important is winning on the road if you're going to make it to the SEC championship game? Consider this: Only seven times in the previous 19 SEC championship games has a team going into the game lost multiple league games away from home that season. Those teams are (all records are 2-2): South Carolina (2010), Tennessee (2007), Georgia (2003, includes Jacksonville), Arkansas (2000), Mississippi State (1998), Alabama (1996) and Florida (1992).

  • Auburn dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 this week following a narrow 42-38 escape against Utah State in the opener. Auburn is the first defending AP national champion to be unranked by the second poll of the season since Alabama in 1965.

  • Alabama travels to Penn State on Saturday and has the most wins against Joe Paterno outside of any Big Ten school. Paterno is just 4-9 against the Crimson Tide. Among the non-Big Ten schools that Paterno has faced at least 10 times, Alabama is the only one with a winning record. Paterno has faced 11 such teams and has an incredible record of 191-32-2 (.853). Those teams include Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers, Maryland and Temple.

  • Since Paterno began as Penn State's head coach in 1966, there have been 899 head coaching changes in major college football, including seven at Alabama.

  • One of the things Alabama did as well as anyone the past two seasons was not turn the ball over. In the 2009 and 2010 seasons combined, they lost just 26 turnovers and ranked in the top 12 nationally each season in turnover ratio. In one game this season, the Crimson Tide has already turned it over five times -- four interceptions and a fumble. They put the ball on the ground four times in the opener against Kent State, but lost only one.

  • Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson, who was held to 37 rushing yards on 13 carries last week against Kent State, rushed for a career-high 144 yards last season against Penn State.

  • LSU, which faces Northwestern State at home on Saturday, is 29-1 in nonconference games under Les Miles. The Tigers’ only nonconference loss was to Penn State in the Capital One Bowl following the 2009 season.

  • Of the past 10 meetings in the Georgia-South Carolina series, seven have been decided by a touchdown or less. It's also typically been a defensive struggle. Six of the previous seven winners in the game have failed to score more than 20 points.

  • Georgia, coming off a 35-21 loss to No. 4-ranked Boise State, is just 14-13 overall since the start of the 2009 season and has lost seven of it past eight games against nationally ranked opponents.

  • Auburn owns the nation's longest active winning streak among FBS teams. The Tigers, who face Mississippi State at home on Saturday, have won 16 in a row. During that streak, nine of their wins have been by one possession or less (8 points).

  • Don't sleep on the Tigers if they fall behind, either. Coach Gene Chizik is 6-2 when Auburn has trailed by at least 10 points in a game. Before Chizik’s arrival, the Tigers had lost 44 of their previous 48 games when trailing by at least 10 points.

  • Texas played the most true freshmen during the opening weekend with 18. Auburn was second with 13 and Tennessee was tied for third with 12 (along with Virginia, Ohio State and Clemson). Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe started the most true freshmen in the opening weekend with three (outside linebacker Curt Maggitt, outside linebacker A.J. Johnson, cornerback Justin Coleman).

  • Arkansas is undefeated in Little Rock under Bobby Petrino. The Hogs are 6-0 inside War Memorial Stadium with wins against Louisiana-Monroe (9/6/08), LSU (11/28/08), Missouri State (9/5/09), Mississippi State (11/21/09), Louisiana Monroe (9/11/10) and LSU (11/27/10).

  • In his 26 games as head coach at Mississippi State, Dan Mullen’s teams have eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in all but one contest. The Bulldogs had 309 yards rushing on 38 attempts and five touchdowns against Memphis last week.

  • Cincinnati, which travels to Tennessee on Saturday, hasn’t won a road game against a current SEC team since 1911 when the Bearcats won at Kentucky. The SEC didn’t begin as a conference until 1933. Cincinnati is 0-30-1 in road games against current SEC opponents since then.

  • Florida, which faces UAB at home on Saturday, is 93-4 at the Swamp against unranked opponents since 1990.

  • Kentucky enters the Central Michigan game having won a school-record 20 consecutive regular-season nonconference games dating to 2006.

  • Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop wants to see his defense play better on second down this week against Connecticut. In the opener, the Commodores held Elon to 2 yards or less on 18 of 26 first-down plays. Vanderbilt also fared well on third down, winning 11 of 16 times, according to Shoop.