Thursday, November 11, 2010
Nickel Package: TCU defense, JoePa, Irish
1. TCU has allowed fewer than 10 points in six consecutive games. That’s the longest such streak since Alabama had seven in a row in 1990.
During the last 20 seasons, only five other teams have allowed fewer than 10 points in at least five straight games, and two of them went on to win the national title. The Horned Frogs have outscored their last six opponents 236-23 with a pair of shutouts.
2. When Joe Paterno won his 400th game last Saturday, most analysts agreed that it's a milestone that will never be reached again. A close look reveals that the best active candidates to get there would have to maintain their current pace of wins per season for at least 16 more years and wouldn't reach 400 until their mid 70s.
Yes, Paterno is in his mid 80s, but he also didn’t spend most of his career under the microscope that exists for today’s coaches, and he wasn’t making $3-4 million per season well before his 60th birthday. It’s hard to imagine these guys having the motivation to coach into their 70s.
3. In the history of the AP Poll, there have been only six teams finish a season ranked first or second in the final poll, and then have a losing record the following season. It hasn’t happened in 34 years -- since Arizona State did it in 1975-76 -- and Texas (4-5) is hoping that streak doesn’t end in 2010.
4. The SEC has seven teams ranked in the BCS Top 25 this week: 2 Auburn, 5 LSU, 12 Alabama, 15 Arkansas, 19 Miss St, 22 Florida and 23 South Carolina. This marks the fourth time a conference has placed seven teams in the BCS Standings in a single week. The three previous instances were also by the SEC, all coming in a four-week span in 2007.
5. Notre Dame is trying to avoid its second three-game losing streak of the season on Saturday against Utah, while also trying to avoid a dubious historical distinction. In their last two games, the Irish have lost to Navy (Independent) and Tulsa (Conference USA). Notre Dame has NEVER (going back to the 1800s) lost three games in a season to schools that aren’t part of the current BCS-AQ conferences, much less three in a row. And another non-AQ team, Army, waits on deck for the Irish next week.