Here are some notes and numbers from ESPN Stats & Info and the SEC:
An SEC team has been ranked first in 13 straight BCS Standings, dating back to Nov. 21, 2010 (Oregon). This week broke a streak of five straight rankings in which the SEC was 1-2 in the BCS Rankings (Nov. 13, 2011).
An SEC team has been in the top two of 38 of the past 40 BCS Standings releases. In the first release of the BCS Standings in 2010, Auburn was the highest ranked SEC team at fourth. In the Nov. 25, 2007 release of the BCS Standings, Georgia was fourth. The first week of the 40 starts with the Nov. 4, 2007 release of the standings.
Since 2006, the average percent of capacity for SEC home games has been 97.40 percent.
Since 2004, the average margin of SEC intra-conference games has been 14.86 points, which is fourth closest of all FBS conferences. (ACC 13.46; Sun Belt 13.79; Big East 14.32). Since 2004, the SEC has had 197 of 430 intra-conference games decided by 10-points-or-less (45.8 percent). The percentage is fifth highest of FBS conferences (ACC 53.4 percent; Sun Belt 49.8 percent; Big East 48 percent; MAC 46.2 percent).
This season, SEC intra-conference games have a 18.86 margin, which is the highest the league has had since the stat has been kept in 2004. However, 11 of the 37 SEC intra-conference games have been decided by 5-points-or-less (29.7 percent), which is the second highest of FBS conferences this season (Big East 35.7 percent).
The SEC has the nation’s top three teams in NCAA statistics for pass efficiency-defense (Alabama -- 1st; LSU -- 2nd; Florida -- 3rd). In pass defense, the SEC has three of the top 5 (Alabama -- 1st; LSU -- 4th; Vanderbilt -- 5th). In total defense, the SEC has seven of the top 30 (Alabama -- 1st; LSU -- 3rd; Florida -- 6th; South Carolina -- 13th; Vanderbilt -- 21st; Missouri -- 25th; Mississippi State -- 28th).
SEC offenses are averaging 30.1 points per game this season, which is the third-highest average for the league since 1992 and the most since 2010 (31.0). SEC offenses also averaged 30.3 points per game in 2007.
SEC offenses have averaged 168.6 rushing yards and 225.0 passing yards this season. Passing yards have accounted for 57.2 percent of SEC offenses this season, which is the most for the league since 2006 (60.1 percent).
SEC teams have allowed just 14 non-offensive touchdowns this season. Florida, LSU, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt have yet to allow a non-offensive touchdown this season.
Alabama has scored 126 points when starting drives after opponent’s turnovers. The 126 point total is more than any two other SEC teams combined (Highest: Florida, 65, & Ole Miss, 58). Alabama opponents have only scored 3 points when receiving ball after Crimson Tide turnovers.
Only three of the 10 longest drives (by time on clock) have resulted in touchdowns. Four have been decided by field goals, one was a missed field goal, one was ended by turnover and one by a failed fourth-down conversion. The longest drive in the SEC this season was 9:28 by South Carolina against Georgia and resulted in a touchdown. A 9:03 drive by Florida vs. Kentucky and a 8:25 drive by Vanderbilt against Auburn also resulted in touchdowns.
Records to keep an eye on:
Arkansas’ running back Dennis Johnson needs 136 all-purpose yards to move into 10th on the SEC career list. Johnson has 4,948 yards. Auburn’s Carnell Williams (2001-04) is 10th at 5,084 yards. Johnson is also the SEC career leader in kickoff return yards with 2,755.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is ninth in SEC history with 76 career touchdown passes. Florida’s Rex Grossman (2000-02) is 8th at 77; Kentucky’s Jared Lorenzen (2000-03) is 7th at 78; and, Kentucky’s Andre Woodson (2004-07) is 6th at 79.
Florida’s Caleb Sturgis is tied for 9th in the SEC record books for career field goals made (61). Alabama’s Michael Proctor (1992-95) is 8th at 65.
Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks is tied for seventh in SEC history with 16 career interceptions. Auburn’s Buddy McClinton (1967-69) and Tennessee’s Tim Priest (1968-70) are tied for 5th with 18.
Since Week 2 of the 1993 season, LSU has been shut out three times in 244 games. All three of those blankings came at the hands of Alabama, took place in the state of Louisiana, and occurred at night. The Tide shut out the Tigers 26-0 in 1996 and 31-0 in 2002, both in Baton Rouge. The third shutout came in the 2012 BCS Championship Game, 21-0 in New Orleans. Dating back to 1975, LSU has been shut out nine times. Seven of those have been in the state of Louisiana (six in Baton Rouge) and four have come at the hands of Alabama.
History says that Alabama, coming off a home win against a top-20 opponent in Mississippi State, has a tough test this weekend. Nine previous times the AP No. 1 team has faced a top-20 opponent on the road the week after a home win against another top-20 opponent. The AP No. 1 team is just 2-7 in those nine previous road games, including the Crimson Tide themselves losing in that situation at South Carolina just two years ago.
The last FBS team to reach 100 yards rushing against ‘Bama was LSU in last year’s regular-season meeting, when the Tigers ran for 148 yards. However, they managed just 39 yards in the BCS Championship Game.
According to the NCAA’s strength of schedule rankings, Alabama has the 10th toughest schedule among the 14 SEC teams based on opponents cumulative record and the 34th toughest in FBS. Keep in mind, the Tide avoid Georgia, Florida and South Carolina this season. Those teams are a combined 21-4 and one of them will win the SEC East.
An interesting pattern developed in the two meetings of these teams last year. Alabama passed on 20 of its 32 first-down plays against LSU in the BCS Championship Game. The Tide averaged 6.9 yards per play on first down in that game, which was almost twice what they averaged (3.8) in their loss on Nov. 5.
Since 2000, AJ McCarron is the only player in FBS with at least 20 career touchdown passes and as few as five interceptions. What’s more amazing is that he’s at 37 touchdowns and only five interceptions! Next in line is Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly (19/5) and Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch (19/3).
LSU is giving up 2.9 yards per rush in conference games this season, the second-lowest average in the SEC. Conference opponents have not had much room to run, as the Tigers allow less than one yard before contact per rush. To put that in perspective, SEC teams average 2.4 yards before contact per rush.
Opponents have completed one of their 18 passes thrown 25 yards or longer against LSU with two interceptions and no touchdowns. The only completion was by Johnny Manziel in the fourth quarter with his team trailing by 12 points with less than two minutes remaining.
Ole Miss hasn’t defeated Georgia since 1996 when the Rebels won 31-27 in Athens. Georgia has won nine straight meetings and is 5-0 against Ole Miss under Mark Richt. The longest win streak in the history of this series is 12 straight by Georgia from 1977 to 1988.
Ole Miss has already surpassed last year’s total number of wins, points, touchdowns, passing yards and total yards. The Rebels have scored in 26 of its 28 red zone trips (92.9 percent), sixth best in the nation and second in the SEC.
Georgia already has more plays that have gained 30 yards or more (25) this season than they had all of last season (23). The only game that the Bulldogs did not have at least one 30-yard play was in their only loss of the season at South Carolina.
Jarvis Jones has been a dominant force on the Georgia defense. Jones leads the country in tackles for loss with 2.3 per game and is second in the country in sacks with 1.4 per game.
In three SEC home games, Florida has allowed a combined total of 17 points and haven’t allowed a touchdown.
Missouri’s defense leads the nation in forced fumbles with 17. The Tigers have 26 straight games with at least one takeaway
Missouri has had a lot of trouble scoring points against SEC teams this season. They did score 33 points last week against the Wildcats. However, the Tigers have combined to score 55 points in their four SEC losses.
Tennessee has scored 33 touchdowns in 2012, eclipsing the 2011 full-season total of 31 … The Vols have scored 276 points in eight games this season, the fourth-highest point total in school history through eight games and the most since 1995.
Playing on the road shouldn’t bother Texas A&M or its head coach Kevin Sumlin. His teams have won 10 straight road games, including a 4-0 mark on the road this season. His Houston team went 6-0 on the road last season.
Mississippi State's first seven opponents this season (all MSU wins) have a current combined record of 20-37 (including a 4-4 record by FCS member Jackson State). The combined record of the three ranked teams A&M is now facing is 21-3.
Manziel is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes on first down this season. He completes less than 60 percent on all other downs combined. Manziel will face a Mississippi State defense Saturday that leads FBS with eight interceptions on first down.
Four times this season the Bulldogs have surpassed the 600-yard mark and last week rushed for a season-high 352 yards against Auburn. The Aggies lead the SEC in rushing offense (237.6 YPG) and have scored first in every game this season.
Third down has been big for the Aggies this season, both on offense and defense. They rank third nationally in third-down efficiency, converting over 54 percent. On defense, the Aggies are holding opponents to just 27.7 percent, good for eighth in FBS.
Mississippi State will counter with an opportunistic defense that ranks sixth nationally in turnover margin.
Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb is just the second player in SEC history to tally more than 2,000 yards rushing (2,356), 1,000 kick return yards (1,186) and 500 receiving yards (528).