Tuesday, May 21, 2013
SEC numbers to know in countdown
By Chris Low
In conjunction with the 100-day countdown to the start of the 2013 college football season, ESPN's Stats & Info group has put together 100 numbers to know.
Not surprisingly, there are more than a few that might be of interest to SEC fans:
1. (Preseason No. 1): Who will be this year's AP Preseason No. 1? Whoever it is must overcome recent history. Only two teams in the BCS era have won the national title after being ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, 1999 Florida State and 2004 USC.
6. (Bear Bryant's national titles): No coach in the poll era (since 1936) has won more national championships than Alabama's Bear Bryant's six. In fact, no other coach has more than four. Nick Saban will go for his fifth this season.
7. (Jadeveon Clowney): Jersey number of South Carolina's freakish defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, the top NFL prospect in college football and a serious threat to become the first defensive player to win the Heisman since Charles Woodson in 1997.
8. (SEC dominance continues?): Conference goes for its eighth straight BCS title.
9. (Nine-game SEC schedule?): Much has been made of the Big Ten announcing a nine-game conference schedule as part of its expansion. Though the SEC remains steadfast in its adherence to an eight-game conference slate, many people (including Nick Saban) have shown preference for adding a game as well.
20. (Aaron Murray touchdown passes needed): Aaron Murray needs 20 more touchdown passes to surpass Danny Wuerffel's SEC career record.
21. (Johnny Manziel rushing touchdowns): Heisman winner Johnny Manziel rushed for 21 touchdowns last season, second most by a quarterback in the FBS. Collin Klein had 23.
28. (Ole Miss recruits): Players signed by Ole Miss in its 2013 class. The Rebels landed two of the top five players in the ESPN 150 rankings, including the No. 1 overall recruit, DE Robert Nkemdiche.
38. (George Rogers' jersey number): South Carolina RB George Rogers wore No. 38 while amassing 1,894 yards and 14 scores en route to winning the 1980 Heisman Trophy.
55. (Alabama ESPN 150 recruits): The Tide have signed 55 players ranked in the ESPN 150 over the past five seasons, most of any school.
59. (Billy Cannon wins Heisman): LSU HB Billy Cannon won the Heisman Trophy in 1959 and led the Bayou Bengals to the Sugar Bowl. He remains the only Heisman winner in LSU history.
60. (Bowl appearances for Alabama): The Crimson Tide have appeared in 60 bowl games, the most in FBS history. Bama is 34-22-3 with one vacated victory in those games and has won four straight.
63. (SEC players drafted): The SEC has big holes to fill after a record 63 players were drafted in the 2013 NFL draft. No other conference had more than 31 players drafted.
66. (The Head Ball Coach as player): Steve Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy in 1966. He'70. (Percentage of Texas A&M's offense accounted by Johnny Manziel): Johnny Football accounted for more than 70 percent of Texas A&M's total offense en route to shattering the SEC record for total offense offense in a season.ll try to coach Jadeveon Clowney to the award and become the 12th head man to coach multiple Heisman winners.
82. (Bear's finale): Bear Bryant's legendary career came to a close in 1982 when he announced his retirement. His final game was a 21-15 win over Illinois in the Liberty Bowl, his 323rd career win. A month later, Bryant died of a massive heart attack.
85. (Bo knows): In 1985, Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and was named the SEC Player of the Year. In that year, he also batted .401 with 17 home runs and 43 RBIs.
89. (Scary punt return): On Halloween night in 1959, with top-ranked LSU trailing third-ranked Ole Miss 3-0, LSU's Billy Cannon returned a punt 89 yards to give the Tigers a 7-3 win. It was perhaps the most famous punt return in NCAA history. Cannon would go on to win the Heisman Trophy that season.
92. (SEC changes college football landscape): In 1992, the SEC became the first conference to showcase a championship game. The first game was Dec. 5, 1992, when Alabama used a late Antonio Langham interception return to seal a 28-21 win over Florida and go on to win the national championship a few weeks later.
98. (The BCS is born): 1998 was the first season for the BCS, which will conclude in 2013. Tennessee won the first BCS national title in 1998.