Thursday, November 18, 2010
Nickel Package: OSU rooting for Michigan
1. Virginia Tech, 6-0 in the ACC, plays at Miami on Saturday. If the Hokies can beat the Hurricanes, then knock off Virginia on Nov. 27, they'll be the first team to go undefeated through ACC play since Florida State in 2000. That's by far the longest drought for any conference in the FBS. The second-longest belongs to Conference USA, which hasn't had a team go unbeaten through league play since Louisville in 2004.
2. Oklahoma State wideout Justin Blackmon is having one of the greatest receiving seasons in FBS history and is currently streaking toward a record. Blackmon has had at least 100 receiving yards and a TD in all nine of his games this year (he sat out the Kansas State game due to suspension), which is the second-longest such streak all time. Starting in November of 1990 and continuing through November of 1991, Aaron Turner of Pacific (which has since dropped football) had 11 consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. Blackmon can make it 10 in a row this week against Kansas, the nation's 101st-ranked pass efficiency defense.
3. Currently, the Sun Belt Conference has only one team with a winning overall record. Troy is 5-4 with three games remaining, one of which is against SEC East champ South Carolina. All other Sun Belt teams have at least five losses, making it possible that the conference might not have a team finish the regular season with a winning record. No conference has gone an entire regular season without a team boasting an overall winning record since the ACC in 1964. That year, five ACC teams finished with 5-5 records and none went to bowl games. NC State won the title at 5-2 (5-5 overall).
4. Ohio State fans will be placed in the uncomfortable position of rooting for Michigan on Saturday against Wisconsin. A Badgers' loss greatly helps the Buckeyes' chances of capturing the Big Ten crown and returning to the Rose Bowl. But that's asking Michigan to do something it has never done under Rich Rodriguez -- beat a Big Ten opponent that will finish the year with a winning conference record. Under Rodriguez, Michigan is 0-10 against Big Ten teams that finished with a winning conference record (including Michigan State and Iowa this season). In fact, Michigan’s six conference wins in the last three seasons have come against teams that are a combined 12-31 in Big Ten play (including 2010 current records).
5. Much has been made of Wisconsin “running up the score” this past week against Indiana. It’s also a common accusation against non-AQ teams such as Boise State, which has won its games by an average of 34.8 points this season. But a look at Boise State’s scoring shows that the Broncos don't run up the score. In fact, they do their best not to. BSU has scored a total of 41 points this year in the 4th quarter, which accounts for just 9.6 percent of the team's scoring. That's by far the lowest 4th-quarter scoring percentage among the unbeaten teams.