SEC poll power overruns everybody

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The the last 11 times any conference has had the top two teams in the AP Poll, they’ve come from the SEC. LSU and Alabama are 1-2 in the AP Poll this week.

This week’s Nickel Package:

1. The SEC’s dominance has been well documented in recent years, and for the second straight week the SEC has the AP’s top two teams in the nation in LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide. This is nothing new for the conference. In fact, the last 11 times any conference has had the top two teams in the AP Poll, they’ve come from the SEC. This becomes even more impressive when compared to other conferences. In the BCS era, only the Big Ten and Big 12 can claim this distinction, and it’s been a while for both. The last time the Big Ten had the top two teams was Nov. 19, 2006 (Ohio State and Michigan), and the Big 12 hasn’t done it since Oct. 8, 2000 (Nebraska and Kansas State). Of the other three current BCS-AQ conferences, the Pac-10 last accomplished this way back in 1967 (known as AAWU at the time) and the Big East and ACC have never accomplished the feat.

2. The South Carolina Gamecocks begin a rough road stretch this week by traveling to Mississippi State, then going to Tennessee and Arkansas after a bye week, not returning home until Nov. 12 against Florida. Since the SEC last expanded in 1992, this is the 10th time a team has played three consecutive true road games, all against intra-conference foes. If the Gamecocks can somehow win all three games, they would put themselves in pretty good company. Of the previous nine teams to make such a road trek, only Florida in 1995 and Georgia in 2005 went 3-0. Both those teams went on to win the SEC championship.

3. After beating No. 23 Florida State last week, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons have a chance to beat AP-ranked teams in back-to-back games. Not only have the Demon Deacons never done that before in school history, they've never been close. They've had 13 chances to do so, and in 12 of those chances they were swept! How does that compare to their ACC brethren? Clemson has accomplished the feat already this season. Virginia Tech did it just two seasons ago. Even Duke has done it, albeit back in 1944. It’s Boston College that joins Wake Forest as the only schools to never have accomplished the feat.

4. The Stanford Cardinal have won each of their last eight games by at least 25 points. Not only is that the longest such streak in school history, but it’s the longest in the history of the Pac-12 Conference, which goes back to 1916 when it was known as the PCC (Pacific Coast Conference). The last FBS team to have a similar eight-game stretch was Florida in 2008, and that team went on to win the national championship.

5. There’s been a pattern in recent weeks of games played between head coaches from the same alma mater. In fact, on Oct. 1 there were two such matchups when Washington beat Utah (Steve Sarkisian and Kyle Whittingham went to BYU) and Auburn knocked off South Carolina (Gene Chizik and Steve Spurrier went to Florida). Last week, Ohio State met Nebraska (Luke Fickell and Bo Pelini were Ohio State grads). This week, USC travels to California where Fresno State grads Lane Kiffin and Jeff Tedford lead their respective teams into battle. And there are two more such matchups later this season when Penn State grads Frank Spaziani (Boston College) and Al Golden (Miami) meet. The annual Army-Navy clash will feature a matchup of Hawaii grads Rich Ellerson (Army) and Ken Niumatalolo (Navy).