Thursday, October 18, 2012
Alabama, Auburn going opposite directions
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Alabama Crimson Tide have a chance to do something this week that's never happened in their tradition-rich program. The Crimson Tide have scored at least 33 points in all six games this season, but they have never reached the 33-point mark in seven consecutive games.
Last season was the only other time Alabama had a streak of six such games, which was broken with the 9-6 loss to LSU. More good news for Alabama? This season is the sixth time that Alabama has scored at least 33 points in at least five consecutive games in a single season (1920, 1945, 1973, 2009, 2011). Of those previous five seasons, the Tide's combined record is 57-3 with three national championships (1973, 2009, 2011).
As for the other SEC team in the state of Alabama, the Auburn Tigers are 1-5 (0-4 in the SEC) just two seasons after claiming the national championship.
The Tigers are the fourth team in the AP Poll era (since 1936) to start a season 1-5 or worse within two years of winning the national title -- and no team has done it since Michigan State in 1954 (won title in 1952). The others are Ohio State in 1943 (won title in 1942) and TCU in 1939 (won title in 1938). All three of those teams started 1-5 in those seasons. The last team to finish a season with a losing record within two years of winning the national championship? Georgia Tech went 5-6 in 1992.
One more from the SEC. Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel leads the SEC with 676 yards rushing this season, and has gained 70.3 percent of those yards on scrambles. That’s 90 more yards scrambling than Denard Robinson, Braxton Miller and Collin Klein have combined.
Manziel is averaging 10.3 yards per scramble, including an FBS-best nine scrambles that gained at least 20 yards. On third down and at least five yards to go, Manziel leads FBS with 12 rushing first downs, including at least one in every game. He now faces an LSU defense that allows 2.6 yards per rush, the sixth lowest in FBS this season.
In the previous 14 years of the BCS, only twice have teams ranked first and second in the initial standings advanced to the national championship game. It happened in 2005 (USC-Texas), and 2011 (LSU-Alabama), and in both instances the No. 2 team won the title. But there's also hope for those who don't start off with a high ranking in the initial standings. Two teams have been 10th or worse in the initial standings and advanced to the title game, and both won. In 2003, LSU was 12th in the initial standings, while Florida was 10th in 2008.
Finally, no FBS team has more all-time wins than the Michigan Wolverines, who go for the program's 900th win on Saturday against the Michigan State Spartans.
It's interesting to note that despite holding the record for wins, Michigan has never finished in the top three in wins in any decade. In fact, of the 13 full decades that Michigan has played football, it finished outside the top 20 in wins six times. The best the Maize and Blue have ever done in wins in a decade is fourth (1940s and 1970s).