Thursday, September 16, 2010
Nickel Package: Florida's historic drop
1. After starting the season at No. 4 in the AP poll, the Florida Gators have won two games and dropped all the way to 10th. Since the preseason poll began in 1950, there have been 206 top-five teams to start 2-0, and only one other fell more than three spots from its original ranking. In 1958, Ohio State started at No. 1 and was down to fifth after its second win. Those Buckeyes won their first game by three and their second game by five. These Gators won both games by more than 21 points.
2. Much of the offseason talk about the Alabama Crimson Tide focused on a defense that lost eight or nine starters (depending how you define it) from the previous year. After two games, this defense leads the nation in points allowed - giving up three each to San Jose State and Penn State - and has accomplished something that most of Alabama's greatest defenses didn't. This is the first time since 1940 that the Crimson Tide has allowed fewer than six points to each of its first two opponents.
3. Recent history says the No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes have plenty of reason to be worried about their trip to the No. 24 Arizona Wildcats on Saturday. Since 1990, Pac-10 teams are 25-6-1 at home against Big Ten teams. Both teams were ranked in seven of those 32 games, and the Pac-10 team won all seven.
4. It's a big weekend for the ACC and Big East, as both are searching for their first win against a fellow AQ-conference team. The other AQ conferences all have a winning record against each other and Notre Dame, while the Mountain West has three wins against AQ-conference teams, and the WAC has two. The good news for the ACC and Big East: One of them is guaranteed to break into the win column, since they have two games against each other this weekend, starting with Thursday night's Cincinnati-NC State matchup. Maryland plays at West Virginia on Saturday.
5. The Temple Owls host UConn on Saturday, and they would improve to 3-0 with a win - a record Temple hasn't had since the 1979 season. Only four teams have a longer drought since their last 3-0 start, and all of them will be waiting at least until next season to break that streak.