A little bit of this and a little bit of that as we gear up for Week 2 in the SEC:
In the past 15 years, the No. 1 team in the AP poll is 26-0 at home against nationally ranked opponents, with an average victory margin of nearly 22 points. The last AP No. 1-ranked team to lose at home to a ranked opponent was Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators, who dropped a 36-33 decision to No. 6 Auburn in 1994.
Alabama is 8-4 against Penn State under Joe Paterno, including a 14-7 win in the 1979 Sugar Bowl, which decided the 1978 national championship. Penn State entered the game ranked No. 1 and Alabama No. 2. This is the first meeting since 1990.
Penn State is 7-2 in its past nine games against SEC teams, dating back to a 9-0 victory against Alabama in 1990 in Tuscaloosa. Seven of the nine SEC teams were ranked in the Top 20.
Even though this will be the first time Florida’s Urban Meyer and South Florida’s Skip Holtz have been on opposing sidelines as coaches, they were scheduled to meet in 2001. Meyer was then the head coach at Bowling Green, and Holtz was the offensive coordinator at South Carolina. The game was canceled because of the 911 terrorist attacks.
Alabama won the national championship last season, but it was a struggle for the Crimson Tide when they reached the red zone. Alabama scored a touchdown on just 47.5 percent of its red-zone trips, ranking 108th out of 120 FBS teams. Quarterback Greg McElroy finished last season with a 35 percent red zone completion rate, the third worst completion percentage among FBS quarterbacks with at least 30 attempts.
Since the start of the 2008 season, Alabama and Florida lead the nation with 27 wins each. Boise State and Texas are tied for third with 26.
Alabama has gone 42 quarters (10-and-a-half games) without being penalized for offensive holding.
Under first-year coordinator Todd Grantham, Georgia's defense forced three turnovers in the opener (three interceptions). That’s after the Bulldogs forced a total of 12 turnovers in 13 games all last season.
Of the past nine meetings between Georgia and South Carolina, seven have been decided by a touchdown or less. And in five of those games, the winning team didn’t score more than 17 points.
Georgia coach Mark Richt is 33-6 (.846) in true road games and actually has a better record on the road than he does at home or at neutral sites. He’s 47-11 (.810) at home and 10-11 (.476) at neutral sites.
Knocking off nationally ranked teams has been a struggle for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina. He was 2-1 against ranked foes during his first season in Columbia in 2005, but has gone just 5-14 since.
Oregon’s trip to Knoxville marks the fifth straight year that Tennessee has a played a Pac-10 team in September. The Vols, though, are just 1-3 in those games and have lost the past three – one to California and two to UCLA. Prior to that, Tennessee hadn’t played a Pac-10 team since 1997.
Tennessee is just 1-7 against nationally ranked teams the past two seasons. The lone win came last season against No. 21 South Carolina. In four games against nationally ranked teams a year ago, the Vols gave up an average of 233 yards per game on the ground to go along with 12 touchdowns.
Arkansas linebacker Anthony Leon had a team-leading eight tackles, including four for loss, in the Hogs’ opener. Included were two sacks. Not bad for a guy who was playing safety a month ago and spent all of last season at safety.
Vanderbilt has scored a total of 28 points in its past five games against LSU. The Commodores didn’t score more than 16 points in any of their eight SEC games last season.