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Thursday, September 8, 2011
Nickel Package: OSU, LSU in winning states


1. The nation’s two longest intrastate winning streaks are on the line this week. Ohio State enters its game with Toledo riding a 37-game winning streak against teams from the state of Ohio, and a 43-game unbeaten streak (42-0-1). The Buckeyes haven’t lost to an Ohio team since dropping a 7-6 decision to Oberlin in 1921. Meanwhile, LSU hosts Northwestern State having won 27 straight against teams from the state of Louisiana. The Tigers haven’t lost to an intrastate team since 1982 against Tulane.

2. Auburn dropped out of the AP top 25 this week following a lackluster performance against Utah State in the opener. The Tigers are the first defending AP national champions to be unranked by the second poll of the season since Alabama in 1965. That year, Alabama entered the season ranked fifth, but dropped out after a loss to Georgia. The AP ranked only the top 10 schools back then.

3. Stephen Garcia will start for South Carolina against Georgia. He is now reunited with running back Marcus Lattimore and receiver Alshon Jeffery to form a very explosive trio. Last season, Garcia threw for 3,059 yards, while Lattimore ran for 1,197 yards and Jeffery had 1,517 receiving yards. The Gamecocks were one of seven teams (Boise State, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, San Diego State and SMU) last season to have a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher, and 1,000-yard receiver. Of those seven teams, South Carolina and SMU are the only teams with a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher, and 1,000-yard receiver returning from last season.

4. In this week’s only matchup of ranked opponents, Alabama travels to Happy Valley to face Penn State. This will be Joe Paterno’s 14th game against the Tide, sporting a 4-9 record. Alabama has the most wins against Paterno of any school outside of the Big Ten. In fact, among non-Big Ten schools that Paterno has faced at least 10 times, Alabama is the only one with a winning record. He has faced 11 such teams and has an incredible record of 191-32-2 (.853). Those teams? Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Syracuse, NC State, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers, Maryland, Temple.

5. Michigan goes for its third straight win over Notre Dame, and that hasn’t happened in a long time. Michigan won the first eight series meetings from 1887-1908, but hasn’t been able to win three straight against the Irish in the last 30 meetings. Since 1909, Michigan has played only two other opponents at least 10 times without posting a three-game win streak, Those schools are only 45 miles from each other: Cornell (10 meetings) and Syracuse (11 meetings).