AP Photo/Andy Manis
Wisconsin fans hope to "Jump Around" plenty of times Saturday night when the Badgers host Nebraska in the first Top 10 matchup in Madison since 1962.
This week’s Nickel Package:
1. When the seventh-ranked Wisconsin Badgers take on eighth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday it will be the first Top 10 matchup that the Badgers have played in since 2004. That year, 10th-ranked Wisconsin won at fifth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers 20-17. However, you have to go back to 1962 for the last time the Badgers played in a Top 10 matchup at home. On Nov. 24 of that season, third-ranked Wisconsin beat fifth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers 14-9. That was one of two Top 10 matchups in Madison that season. The first one came two weeks earlier as the eighth-ranked Badgers upset top-ranked Northwestern Wildcats 37-6.
2. Over the last three-plus years, the Florida Gators' Jeff Demps-Chris Rainey backfield combination has used its speed to wreak havoc on most SEC defenses, but it has yet to crack the code on this weekend's opponent. In three previous games against the Alabama Crimson Tide, this tandem has generated 39.0 yards per game and 4.0 yards per offensive play. In their other 25 games against SEC competition, they've accounted for 106.4 yards per game and 6.6 yards per touch, including 44 plays that gained 15 yards or more. They are still looking for their first gain of 15-plus yards against the Crimson Tide.
AP Photo/Rod Aydelotte
Robert Griffin III has thrown more TDs than incomplate passes this season.
3. Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III has thrown more touchdowns (13) than incomplete passes (12) through the first three games of the season. No qualifying quarterback (at least 15 pass attempts per team game played) since 1990 has finished with a similar ratio. The closest was Michigan’s Elvis Grbac, who threw 24 touchdowns with 76 incomplete passes while completing two-thirds of his passes in 1991. Since 2004, no other qualifying quarterback even made it to the end of September with more touchdowns than incompletions. Colt McCoy came the closest, with 14 touchdowns and 20 incomplete passes in the first four games for the Texas Longhorns in 2008.
4. The Clemson-Virginia Tech game features two coaches on opposite ends of the spectrum. While Frank Beamer is the oldest coach in his conference, Dabo Swinney is the youngest. When Beamer made his Virginia Tech Hokies debut in 1987 (by coincidence – at home, against the Clemson Tigers), Swinney was still in high school. The last time Clemson beat Virginia Tech, in 1989, Swinney was a freshman on the Alabama football team. Beamer will coach his 300th game with Virginia Tech on Saturday; using an average of 13 games per season, Swinney would coach his 300th game with Clemson in the 2031 season.
5. The Texas A&M Aggies are less than a year away from joining the SEC, and they play an SEC opponent this weekend in the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Aggies haven’t beaten an SEC team in 16 years and are 0-6 against the conference since 1995 when they beat the LSU Tigers in their season opener. Of course, Texas A&M was an SWC member then. The longest active winless streak by a current AQ-conference team against the SEC is 12 by the Oregon State Beavers. The Beavers are 0-11-1 all-time versus SEC teams and have lost four in a row since tying the Tennessee Volunteers in 1978. The longest active losing streak is technically by the Ohio State Buckeyes, because of the vacated Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas. Take away that win, which the NCAA does, and the Buckeyes have lost eight straight to SEC teams since beating LSU in 1988.