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Nickel Package: Oregon will go undefeated

11/25/2010

1. Oregon enters the next-to-last weekend of the regular season as the top-ranked team in the BCS Standings. In BCS history (since 1998) No. 1 has fallen in the final two weeks only five times, but four of those have occurred in the last three seasons. Looking more closely, though, four of the five times No. 1 has lost late, it's been to another top-15 team on a neutral field in a conference championship game. Oregon doesn't have to worry about that scenario. The only other instance was when LSU lost at home to Arkansas in 2007. So, if Oregon can get past No. 21 Arizona this week in Eugene, it has the luxury of knowing that BCS No. 1 teams have never lost a true road game in the final two weeks of the season (5-0). The Ducks close the 2010 schedule next week at Oregon State.

BCS No. 1 Losing, Last 2 Weeks of Regular Season

2. Alabama's ability to knock off No. 2 Auburn will probably be determined by how well the Tide defense can slow down an Auburn rushing attack that has piled up more than 300 yards in six straight SEC games. But here’s why ‘Bama has a chance to do it. Alabama's defense has allowed only one 100-yard rusher in its last 45 games (Tauren Poole of Tennessee, 117 on Oct. 29), and during this stretch, only two teams (LSU in 2008 and 2010) have rushed for 200 yards against the Tide. And then there's this. During ‘Bama’s current 20-game home winning streak, the team has given up just one -- that’s right, ONE -- rushing touchdown.

Most 10-Win Seasons FBS History

3. In a season when Michigan State recorded just its third 10-win season in the last 100 years, and South Carolina has a chance to get its second 10-win season in program history, there are other schools that will reach double-digit victories without thinking much of it. Oklahoma, Alabama and Nebraska all enter this weekend with nine wins and can add to their nationally-elite stashes of 10-win seasons.

NOTE: Does not include seasons with forfeited or vacated wins (Oklahoma and Alabama each lost one 10-win season to this)

4. If Texas beats Texas A&M on Thursday, the Longhorns will become bowl eligible, which isn't much to get excited about for Texas fans. That would, however, make all six teams in the Big 12 South eligible for bowls this season. Since 1992, when the SEC became the first conference to split into divisions, only once has a conference/division had all teams eligible for bowls. In 2008, all six members of the ACC Atlantic Division participated in bowls.

Consecutive Seasons with Unbeaten Team In Conference Games (Since 1970)

5. If TCU wins Saturday against New Mexico, the Horned Frogs will finish their Mountain West schedule at 8-0. It will be the seventh straight season in which a Mountain West team has gone through the league schedule unbeaten.

That’s the longest such streak for any conference since the Big 8 also went seven straight seasons from 1985-91.

No conference has had a longer streak since the SEC went eight straight seasons from 1977-84.