Friday, October 1, 2010
Research Reps: History on Alabama's side
7 FLORIDA (4-0, 2-0) at 1 ALABAMA (4-0, 1-0), 8 ET
The Gators are an underdog for the first time in their last 40 games. The last time the Gators weren’t favored on the Vegas line was nearly three years ago – Oct. 6, 2007, at No. 1 LSU. In the last 16 seasons, the No. 1 team in the AP poll is 27-0 at home against ranked opponents, with an average victory margin of nearly 22 points. The last AP No. 1 team to lose at home to a ranked opponent was Florida, which dropped a 36-33 decision to 6th-ranked Auburn in 1994. Since the start of the 2009 season, Alabama has outscored its opponents 152-35 in the fourth quarter, including a 31-3 this season.
2 OHIO STATE (4-0, 0-0) at ILLINOIS (2-1, 0-0), Noon ET
The Buckeyes are opening Big Ten play on the road for the first time since 2004. That year, Ohio State lost at Northwestern in overtime, and that remains the only Big Ten opener that head coach Jim Tressel has lost (8-1).
3 BOISE STATE (3-0, 0-0) at NEW MEXICO STATE (0-3, 0-0), 8 ET on ESPN3
The Broncos have won 17 straight games, the second longest active streak behind Alabama (18). The Broncos have also won 14 straight road games, which is the longest active streak in the nation.
9 STANFORD (4-0, 1-0) at 4 OREGON (4-0, 1-0), 8 ET on ABC/ESPN2
Will the Cardinal be intimidated facing a top-five team? If recent history is any indication, the answer is no. Since 2000, Stanford is 4-3 when facing teams ranked in the top five. That includes an upset at No. 2 USC in 2007. Last season, Stanford was 3-0 when facing a ranked opponent.
5 TCU (4-0, 0-0) at COLORADO STATE (1-3, 0-0), 2 ET
This is the only time in TCU’s first eight games that the Horned Frogs will leave the state of Texas. The Horned Frogs have won 17 straight regular-season games and nine straight conference games.
21 TEXAS (3-1, 1-0) vs 8 OKLAHOMA (4-0, 0-0), 3:30 ET on ABC/ESPN
Mack Brown and the Longhorns have won the last two meetings. David McWilliams (1989-91) is the last UT coach to beat the Sooners three consecutive years. OU better have a comfortable lead entering the fourth quarter because the Sooners have been outscored 41-10 in the final 15 minutes of the game.
UL MONROE (1-2) at 10 AUBURN (4-0), Noon ET on ESPNU
Auburn is 15-0 against current Sun Belt teams, including 7-0 against the Warhawks. The Tigers are one of three teams with three players averaging 70.0 rushing yards per game, joining Nebraska and Air Force.
11 WISCONSIN (4-0, 0-0) at 24 MICHIGAN STATE (4-0, 0-0), 3:30 ET on ABC
This is the first meeting between these two teams since 1999 when both are ranked and just the third time overall. Michigan State hasn’t started 5-0 since that 1999, while Wisconsin enters Big Ten play undefeated for the seventh straight season.
TENNESSEE (2-2, 0-1) at 12 LSU (4-0, 2-0), 3:30 ET
The Tigers have led for 14 straight quarters and have trailed for just 18 seconds this season (10-7 to North Carolina in season-opener). They also haven’t allowed a first-quarter touchdown in their last 12 regular-season games. This is Tennessee’s first road game of the season and its third against a top-12 opponent. The Vols hosted No. 7 Oregon and No. 10 Florida.
16 MIAMI (FL) (2-1, 0-0) at CLEMSON (2-1, 0-0), Noon ET on ESPN2
The last three meetings (2004, 2005, 2009) have gone into overtime, with the road team winning each time.
22 PENN STATE (3-1, 0-0) at 17 IOWA (3-1, 0-0), 8 ET on ESPN
The Nittany Lions haven’t won in Iowa City since 1999 -- Kirk Ferentz’s first year at Iowa when the Hawkeyes went 1-10. Since that win, Penn State is 0-3 at Iowa and 1-7 overall against the Hawkeyes.
WASHINGTON (1-2, 0-0) at 18 USC (4-0, 1-0), 8 ET on ESPN2 (Regional)
Lane Kiffin will attempt to become the third USC coach to start 5-0. Harvey Holmes (started 5-0 in 1904) and Jess Hill (started 7-0 in 1951) are the only two to do it.
19 MICHIGAN (4-0, 0-0) at INDIANA (3-0, 0-0), 3:30 ET ON ESPNU
Quarterback Denard Robinson leads the nation in rushing yards per game (172.0) and is second in total offense (354.8 yards per game). Michigan has won 31 of its last 32 meetings against Indiana, including 16 straight.
VIRGINIA TECH (2-2, 1-0) at 23 NC STATE (4-0, 1-0), 3:30 ET on ABC
NC State’s 4-0 start is the school’s 12th such start since the inception of the ACC. But extending it to 5-0 could be new for Tom O’Brien. At Boston College from 1997-2006, O'Brien's teams started 4-0 once (1999), but never started 5-0. Also, he didn’t have much success against Virginia Tech while at BC, losing seven of nine meetings.
25 NEVADA (4-0) at UNLV (1-3), 10 ET
The Wolf Pack are looking for their first 5-0 start since 1991 when they played in the FCS (then Division I-AA) and won their first 12 games before losing in the second round of the playoffs. UNLV is 5-33 all-time vs ranked teams (AP or USA Today/Coaches).