SEC Football news and notes, weekend game previews

From the Southeastern Conference

The SEC has six teams ranked in the top 9 of the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings, the first time it has happened in BCS history.  The league has teams ranked 4th through 9th – 4) Alabama; 5) Georgia; 6) Florida; 7) LSU; 8) Texas A&M; 9) South Carolina.

* - The SEC has six teams ranked in the top 12 of the AP poll and six of the top 11 in the USA Today and Harris Interactive polls.  SEC teams ranked include Alabama (4th – AP & Harris; 5th – USA Today), Georgia (4th – USA Today; 5th – AP & Harris), Florida (7th - AP, Harris & USA Today); LSU (8th - AP, Harris & USA Today); Texas A&M (9th – AP; 10th – USA Today and Harris); South Carolina (11th – Harris & USA Today; 12th – AP).

* - The Southeastern Conference has had at least five teams ranked in at least one AP Top 25 poll every year since expansion.  This season, as in last season, the SEC had at least five teams ranked in every AP poll.  Since 1992, the SEC has had at least 5 teams ranked in the AP Top 25 a total of 251 times, an average of 11.95 times per year.  Since 1992 (counting 2012), the SEC has had at least 5 teams ranked for at least 10 weeks in 17 of the last 21 years.

* - SEC football players are up for individual honors this season.  Since 2006, SEC football players and coaches have won 51 major individual awards, an average of more than eight per year.  Here is a look at the latest updates from this year:

Lott IMPACT Trophy Semi-Finalists (3 of 8)

Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia

Eric Reid, S, LSU

Nagurski Award Finalists (3 of 5)

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Jarvis Jones, Georgia

Dee Milliner, Alabama

Thorpe Award Semifinalists (4 of 15)

Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State

Matt Elam, Florida

Dee Millinier, Alabama

Eric Reid, LSU

Butkus Award Semifinalists (3 of 12)

Jarvis Jones, Georgia

Kevin Minter, LSU

C.J. Mosley, Alabama

Maxwell Award Semifinalists (4 of 16)

Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida

Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

Davey O'Brien Semifinalists (3 of 16)

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

AJ McCarron,Alabama

Aaron Murray, Georgia

Bednarik Award Semifinalists (8 of 16)

Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Matt Elam, DB, Florida

Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia

Dee Milliner, DB, Alabama

Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU

Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M

C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

Lou Groza Semifinalists (2 of 20)

Jeremy Shelley, Alabama

Caleb Sturgis, Florida

Ray Guy Award Semifinalists (3 of 10)

Steven Clark, Auburn

Kyle Christy, Florida

Brad Wing, LSU

Biletnikoff Award Semifinalists (1 of 10)

Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas

Walter Camp Award "Players to Watch" (3 of 15)

Jarvis Jones, Georgia

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

AJ McCarron, Alabama

Wuerffel Trophy Finalists (2 of 8)

Aaron Murray, Georgia

Matt Smith, Kentucky

Capital One Academic All-America All-District Team

Aaron Murray, Georgia

Demiere Byrd, South Carolina

Ty Frix, Georgia

Barrett Jones, Alabama

Ashton Richardson, Auburn

Steven Clark, Auburn

Dylan Breeding, Arkansas

Matt Hoch, Missouri


Arkansas at Mississippi State (11:21 a.m. CT/ SEC Network / Sirius 117 / XM 202)

Arkansas leads the series with Mississippi State, 15-6-1 … In games played in Starkville, the Razorbacks hold a 6-4 advantage … Last year, Arkansas defeated State, 44-17, in Little Rock … MSU QB Tyler Russell, with 14 career starts, has already tossed 30 TD passes, good for fifth on the school's all-time list … Last weekend, Russell broke the MSU single-season record with his 17th TD pass of the season … Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton holds the Arkansas single-season records for receptions (73) and receiving yards (1,149) … Arkansas has 18 players who have made their first collegiate start this season, the most in the SEC and tied for the 5th-highest total in the country … MSU WR Chad Bumphis, with 144 career catches, needs 18 receptions to tie the school record of 162 set by David Smith in 1970 … His 2,024 career receiving yards are ninth in school history … Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson, with 7,181 career passing yards, needs 241 yards to move into second on the school's career list and 312 yards to become the school's career leader (7,493 yards by Ryan Mallett, 2009-10).

Western Carolina at Alabama (11:21 a.m. CT / SEC Network / Sirius 106 / XM 200)

Alabama has won both meetings in the series, 52-6, on Sept. 1, 2007, and 52-6, on Sept. 18, 2004 … The 2007 win was later vacated due to NCAA ruling … Alabama enters the WCU game 39-for-42 in its red zone trips, tied for fifth in the nation (93 percent) … Over the last four years, Alabama's starting QBs have thrown 16 interceptions in 1,205 pass attempts (one interception every 75.3 pass attempts), while the defense has recorded 73 interceptions in 50 games … Sr. Jeremy Shelley is the only kicker in the nation yet to miss an extra point (46-46) or field goal (10-10) this season … Alabama is third in the nation in 3-and-outs on defense per game at 5.2 (52 in 10 games) … Alabama has allowed just 11 100+ yard rushers since 2005, least in NCAA FBS.

Jacksonville State at Florida (1 p.m. ET / Florida PPV / Sirius 104 / XM 201)

The two schools will meet for the first time … The Gators are trying to become just the third team in school history to go 7-0 at home in a season … In school history, 14 Florida teams have started a season 9-1 or better through 10 games … Before this season, the most recent year was 2009, going 10-0 … According to the NCAA, Florida currently has the No. 1 strength of schedule (only FBS games count) … The opponents' record tally is 60-30 (.667) … Florida finished 7-1 in the SEC, a season after going 3-5 in the SEC in 2011 … The four-win improvement in conference play matches the best in program history (1954:  Gators went 5-2 in SEC after going 1-3-2 the previous season; 1980: Gators went 4-2 in SEC after going 0-6 in the 1979 season).

Wofford at South Carolina (1 p.m. ET / South Carolina PPV / Sirius 92 / XM 199)

South Carolina leads series with Wofford, 18-4 … In games played in Columbia, the Gamecocks lead 16-2 … South Carolina won the last meeting with the Terriers, 23-13 in 2008 … The two teams have played three times since 2001 … Prior to that, the latest meeting was in 1957 … South Carolina is 6-0 at home this season and has a 10-game home winning streak … With a win over Wofford, Steve Spurrier would tie Rex Enright for the Carolina school record with 64 coaching wins … South Carolina is 8th in the nation in sacks (33) and 13th in total defense (308.90 yards per game allowed) … The 33 sacks this season for Carolina is second in school history (41, 2010).

Alabama A&M at Auburn (1 p.m. CT / Auburn PPV / Sirius 112 / XM 198)

This is the first meeting between the two intra-state schools … This will be the last home game for Auburn's 13 seniors, who have a 32-18 career recorded entering the contest … LB Ashton Richardson has been chosen as a Rhodes Scholar finalists, one of 12 finalists to interview for two scholarship positions Nov. 16-17 in Birmingham … Auburn's field goal defense unit has blocked three kicks this season, two by Angelo Blackson and one by Corey Lemonier … The Tigers have 12 blocked kicks (4 FGs, 3 Punts, 5 PATs) in the Chizik era at Auburn … Auburn WR Emory Blake is fifth in school history with 123 receptions and tied for seventh in reception yardage with 1,946.

Georgia Southern at Georgia (1:30 p.m. ET / WBS-TV (Atlanta) / Sirius 137 / XM 197)

Georgia leads the all-time series with Georgia Southern, 4-0, with every meeting in Athens … The Eagles first visit to Sanford Stadium came in 1992 (34-7, UGA) … Other trips came in 2000 (29-7, UGA), 2004 (48-28, UGA) and 2008 (45-21, UGA) … Georgia will be aiming for its 10th win on Saturday … It would mark the 20th time in school history that the Bulldogs have reached 10 wins in a season … Last season, Georgia went 10-4 … The Bulldogs last had back-to-back 10 win seasons in 2007-08 … UGA freshman RB Todd Gurley is third in school history for rushing yards by a freshman with 973 … Gurley has had seven 100+ rushing yardage games this season.

Ole Miss at LSU (2:30 p.m. CT / CBS Sports / Sirius 92 / XM 199)

LSU leads the series with Ole Miss, 57-39-4 … In games played in Baton Rouge, the Tigers lead, 37-25-1 … LSU won the last two games in the series with Ole Miss claiming a 25-23 win in 2009 in Oxford … The last Rebel win in Baton Rouge was in 2008 (31-13) … Six of the last 12 meetings in the series have been decided by single digits … This will be the 101st meeting between the two teams, which is the seventh most played ever in the SEC and sixth among current SEC vs. SEC schools … Ole Miss has scored in 33 of its 35 red zone trips (94.3 percent) this season, second-best in the nation and tops in the SEC … Ole Miss is the only SEC team without a turnover in the red zone this year and has gone a perfect 22-for-22 in the red zone against league opponents … With an 8-2 mark, LSU has now won at least eight games for a school-record 13 straight seasons … The 13 years of at least eight wins ties Boise State for the longest current streak in college football … LSU has gone 46 straight offensive possessions without a turnover (284 total plays).

Sam Houston State at Texas A&M (2:30 p.m. CT / Texas A&M PPV / Sirius 93 / XM 203)

Texas A&M leads the series history with Sam Houston State, 10-0 … The first nine meetings were between 1919 and 1941 … The most recent meeting was a 59-6 TAMU win at Kyle Field in 1997 … Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel is ranked in the top three of all NCAA FBS freshmen in eight major statistical categories (1st – Passing Yards per game/Total Passing Yards/Completions/Total Offense per game/Points Responsibility per game; 2nd – Rushing Yards per game/Scoring per game; 3rd – Passing Efficiency) … A&M's 545.4 total offensive yards per game is ahead of SEC record pace, set by Florida in 1995 (534.4 ypg) … The A&M defense has had 29 sacks this season from 13 different players.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (6 p.m. CT / ESPN2 / Sirius 112 / XM 198)

There is a disagreement on series record … Tennessee records indicate a 73-27-5 Vol series advantage while Vanderbilt records indicate a 73-28-5 Vol series lead … The game in question is 1918 … In games played in Nashville, the Vols hold a 36-17-4 advantage … Tennessee has won six consecutive games over Vanderbilt, including a 27-21 overtime win last season in Neyland Stadium … The last Vandy win in the series was in 2005 (28-24 in Knoxville) … Tennessee has scored at least 40 points five times in 2012, the most in a season since the 196 team also recorded five 40-plus games … Vanderbilt is searching for its fifth straight win this season, which would be the first time since 1982 … Vandy WR Jordan Matthews is seventh in school history with 1,967 career receiving yards and his 1,003 reception yards this season is fifth in school history … UT QB Tyler Bray has 64 career passing TDs, which is fourth in school history … Bray also has 509 career completions, which is 5th in UT history (with five more completions, would move to 4th).

Syracuse at Missouri (6 p.m. CT / ESPNU / Sirius 123 / XM 194)

Syracuse leads the series with Missouri, 2-0, claiming a home-and-home series in 1986 (41-9 in Syracuse) and 1987 (24-13 in Columbia) … The Tigers are looking for its 6th win of the season and hopes of achieving bowl eligibility for a school-record 8th straight season … Missouri has won a school-record 18 straight games against non-conference foes at home … Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel is 25-2 (.926) in his Tiger career at home against non-conference teams … The Missouri defense has had a takeaway in 28 straight games (last game was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska) … QB James Franklin is 8th in Missouri history with 4,254 passing yards and 8th in total offensive yards (5,498).

Samford at Kentucky (7:30 p.m. ET / CSS / Sirius 92 / XM 207)

This is the first meeting between the two schools … Nineteen Wildcat seniors will be honored prior to the game … The group will be looking for their third consecutive win in a home finale … UK is sixth in the nation in most true freshman played with 14, only two behind the national leader … Of Kentucky's 80 recruiting scholarship players, 55 are freshmen or sophomores … UK is fourth in the nation for most total freshman (true and redshirt frosh) played with 26, only two behind the national leader … Jr. LB Avery Williamson leads Kentucky and the SEC in total tackles with 115 and tackles per game with 11.5.  Williamson ranked third nationally in tackles per game and has double-figure tackles in seven of 10 games this season, including three in a row.