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SEC Football news and notes

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From the Southeastern Conference

* - The SEC has had the most (or tied with another conference) teams ranked in 13 straight weekly Associated Press or USA Today Top 25 polls.  The last time the SEC did not have the most teams ranked in either poll was Week 7 of the 2011 season (following games of Oct. 7).

 

* - During the SEC's BCS national championship run (since 2006), every league team (sans Missouri & Texas A&M, though both have been ranked during that time while in Big 12) has been ranked in either the AP or USA Today Top 25 polls.  In the 102 rankings since the beginning of 2006, seven SEC teams have been ranked in at least 48 percent of the weeks – LSU (98 of 102, 96.1%), Florida (85 of 102, 83.3%), Alabama (79 of 102, 77.5%), Georgia (70 of 102, 68.6%), Auburn (65 of 102, 63.7%), Arkansas (50 of 102, 49.0%) and South Carolina (49 of 102, 48.0%). 

 

* - So far this season, the SEC has had nine of its 14 teams ranked in either the AP or USA Today Top 25 polls.  In 2007 and 2008, the SEC also had nine of its teams ranked in at least one AP or USA Today Top 25 poll during the season.  In 2010 and 2011, the SEC had eight teams ranked in at least one week's AP or USA Today poll and in 2006 and 2009, the league had seven teams ranked.

 

* - The SEC leads the nation in number of former players on opening weekend NFL rosters.  The 14 SEC institutions have 288 former players in the NFL.  There are 257 former SEC players on opening weekend NFL rosters.  The ACC is second with 226 players followed by the Pac-12 with 216, the Big Ten with 214 and the Big 12 with 141.  LSU leads all SEC schools with 36, while Georgia is second with 35 and Florida third at 30.  Below is a breakdown by conference along with SEC school listing:

 

By Conference                                                     Total       Avg./School

   1.          Southeastern Conference                  288         20.6

   2.          ACC                                                         226         18.8

   3.          Pac-12                                                    216         18.0

   4.          Big Ten                                                   214         17.8

   5.          Big 12                                                     141         14.1

   6.          Big East                                                   94           11.8

   7.          Mountain West                                    84           8.4

 

By SEC School

   1.          LSU                                         36

   2.          Georgia                                  35

   3.          Florida                                    30

   4.          Alabama                                 26

   5.          Tennessee                             24

   6.          Auburn                                  22

   7.          Ole Miss                                 20

   8.          South Carolina                      19

   9.          Texas A&M                            16

10.          Arkansas                                15

11.          Missouri                                 15

12.          Mississippi State                   14

13.          Kentucky                               9

14.          Vanderbilt                             7

 

* - The SEC has three of 11 FBS student-athletes on the 2012 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.  On the squad from the SEC are Alabama senior offensive lineman Barrett Jones (Germantown, Tenn.), Auburn senior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen (Marietta, Ga.) and Georgia junior quarterback Aaron Murray (Tampa, Fla.).  The award spotlights the positive, off-the-field impact that student-athletes have on their communities.  Last season, Georgia senior tight end Aron White and Kentucky junior defensive lineman Jacob Lewellen made the squad.  The three represent the most the SEC has had on the squad since 2006, when four made the squad.  Since 2000, nine of the 14 SEC schools have had at least one representative on the squad led by Georgia, which has had eight listed on the squad.

 

* - The SEC has five of the 30 FBS candidates for the annual Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.  An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.  From the SEC, the five are Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State; Barrett Jones, Alabama; Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn; Caleb Sturgis, Florida; and, Tyler Wilson, Arkansas.

 

* - Misc. Statistics

 

                Ole Miss leads the SEC with 57 plays of more than 10 yards this season … Georgia leads the SEC with 25 plays of more than 20 yards … Only 12 teams in FBS have not allowed a play of longer than 40 yards this season including three from the SEC (Arkansas, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt) … LSU's Kenny Hilliard is tied for the national lead with 6 rushing TDs this season … Arkansas' Zach Hocker leads the nation in average kickoff distance (67.00 yards per kick) … Georgia's Todd Gurley leads all FBS freshmen, averaging 9.86 total offensive yards per play (also 4th in nation overall) … South Carolina is one of four teams nationally to not allow a TD in the redzone this year (6 attempts) (others:  Oklahoma, Florida State, TCU) … Mississippi State and LSU are two of 8 schools in the nation to hold opponents to negative cumulative yards in punt returns this season.

 

* - Game Notes

 

Ole Miss at Tulane (11 a.m. CT / FSN)

                71st meeting between the two schools, Rebels lead series, 42-28 overall and 26-25 in New Orleans … Ole Miss has won 10 straight meetings dating back to 1989, including the last five in New Orleans … Soph. WR Donte Moncrief leads the SEC and is 11th in the nation with 106.7 receiving yards per game … Ole Miss players will wear "DW" stickers on their helmets in honor of injured Tulane player Devon Walker.

 

Kentucky at Florida (12:21 p.m. ET/SEC Network)

                Gators lead the series with Kentucky, 45-17 … Florida has won last 25 games against the Wildcats, marking the longest active win streak in the nation in a current series against a major conference opponent … Florida leads series in Gainesville, 25-4 … Kentucky has had 10-or-more receivers with catches in each of its first three outings this season … The Gators have started the season 3-0 eight straight years, the longest such streak in the country.

 

Missouri at South Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET / CBS Sports)

                Mizzou leads the series 2-0 with previous meetings in bowl games – 1979 Hall of Fame (MU, 14-3) and 2005 Independence (MU, 38-31) … Gamecocks have won seven straight games dating back to last season; the longest win streak at Carolina since posting nine straight in 1984 … Carolina has won six straight at Williams-Brice Stadium … Mizzou Jr. DT Sheldon Richardson is second in the SEC among defensive linemen with 17 total tackles … Carolina coach Steve Spurrier won his 200th career collegiate game last week against UAB.

               

Florida Atlantic at Alabama (4 p.m. CT / PPV)

                First-ever meeting between the two schools … Alabama has scored 94 unanswered points in its last three games dating back to the 00:14 mark of the third quarter against Michigan on Sept. 1 … PK Cade Foster has two 51 yards field goals this season and is first Bama kicker to have two 50+ yard field goals in one season since Leigh Tiffin in 2008 … During its last 17 games (1,020 minutes of game action), the Tide has trailed for only 25 minutes and 12 seconds.

 

LSU at Auburn (6 p.m. CT / ESPN)

                LSU holds a 24-20-1 edge in the series against Auburn … The home team has won 12 of the last 13 matchups in the series … The winner of the LSU-Auburn game has gone on to represent the Western Division in the SEC Championship Game in eight of the last 12 years … LSU has opened the season scoring 40-or-more points in its first three games for just the second time in school history (other 2007) … Auburn's field goal defense has already blocked three kicks this season … Auburn RB Onterio McCalebb leads the SEC in kickoff return average (40.5) … LSU has scored 11 defensive TDs under defensive coordinator John Chavis (43 games).

 

Rutgers at Arkansas (6 p.m. CT / ESPNU)

                First-ever meeting between the two schools … Arkansas has won 14 consecutive non-conference games in Fayetteville, the third longest streak in school history (15 from 1977-91; 17 from 1925-30) … The Hogs are 2nd in the SEC in kickoff coverage, earning an average of 44.4 yards per kickoff … PK Zach Hocker is 9th in Razorback history with 236 points scored.

 

South Alabama at Mississippi State (6 p.m. CT / PPV)

                First-ever meeting between the two schools … Bulldogs have won 14 of 16 non-conference games under Dan Mullen, including 13 straight, dating back to 2009 … Through three games, Mississippi State leads the nation in turnover margin at +11 … DB Johnthan Banks is second among active FBS players in career interceptions (tied with 14) and interception return yards (227).  He is tied for 1st in career interception returns for TD (3).

 

South Carolina State at Texas A&M (6 p.m. CT / FSN)

                First meeting between the two schools … Texas A&M leads the nation in quarterback sacks per game (6.0) while Jr. DE Damontre Moore leads the nation in sacks per game (2.5) and is tied for second among active players in sacks per game (0.7 with Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; leader is UGA Jarvis Jones at 1.1) … WR Ryan Swope is second in A&M history with 190 career receptions (2,290 yards is third in school history).

 

Akron at Tennessee (7:30 p.m. ET / CSS)

                Meeting is the second ever between the two schools … Vols won 52-9 in 1989 at Neyland Stadium … UT is 4-0 all-time against Mid-American Conference teams … Akron head coach Terry Bowden was head coach at Auburn from 1993-98 and Vols were 2-0 against Bowden during that time … UT has scored 106 points this season, the third-highest total for the Vols in the first three games since the 2001 season (114 in 2004; 110 in 2011).

 

Vanderbilt at Georgia (7:45 p.m. ET / ESPN2)

                Georgia leads the series with Vanderbilt, 52-18-2 … The Bulldogs have won 16 of the last 17 meetings … Four of the last six meetings have been decided by 10-points-or-less … The Commodores took a 24-22 win in Athens in 2006 … In Vandy's last six SEC losses, dating back to last season, average margin of defeat was 4.6 points with the widest margin being 6 points in OT loss at Tennessee … RB Zac Stacy is now third in Vanderbilt rushing history with 2,260 yards … QB Aaron Murray is tied for second in career TD passes at Georgia with 67 and his 7,314 total offensive yards is fourth in Bulldog annals.

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