Some surprising statistics
For good reason, we have spent a considerable amount of time talking about turnover margin the past few weeks.
Oklahoma State and LSU are two of the top three teams in the country when it comes to turnover margin (no surprise there), but taking a closer look we discovered a few more things worth noting. For one, Wyoming (6-3, 3-1) is now the #2 team in turnover margin sitting at +1.56.
Southern Miss is the only ranked team with a negative turnover margin at - .1. Southern Methodist is 6-4, yet somehow ranks 115th in the country with a -11 margin in the turnover battle.
SMU will have a huge test this weekend as they head to undefeated Houston before ending the season with Rice. Southern Miss will wrap up the season at UAB and home against Memphis.
Sumlin's guys are 10-0
Houston is 10-0 and ranked #11 in the current BCS standings.
We hear that the College Gameday crew will be in town this weekend as the Cougars host SMU which should be an entertaining game (this is the first time in school history that Gameday is coming to UH). Kevin Sumlin and his staff have put together quite a season and if they can beat SMU and win at Tulsa, they will be 12-0 and would host the Conference USA championship game...and then hopefully play in a BCS bowl.
The challenge they are going to have on that front is with their schedule. Of the 10 teams they have beaten this season, only Louisiana Tech at 6-4 has a winning record. 1 out of 10 opponents with a winning record. How is that even possible? Thankfully, SMU and Tulsa will add to the "strength of schedule" component.
So, how good is this team? Statistically speaking, they're pretty darn good. #1 in scoring offense, #1 in total offense, #1 in passing offense...#41 in scoring defense, #3 in tackles for loss, #25 in sacks...#13 in turnover margin, #5 in net punting, #8 in punt returns....and on and on.
As we all know, it's incredibly difficult to go undefeated through an entire season. Sumlin has his guys playing at a very high level. It will be interesting to see if they can win them all.
Monday Night Football featuring the Green Bay Packers.
All times are eastern.
Minnesota at Green Bay - 8:30 - ESPN
DII - DIII playoff pairings announced
The DII and DIII playoff pairings were announced earlier this afternoon.
The DII championship game will be featured on ESPN2 December 17th at 11AM. Last season Minnesota - Duluth defeated Delta State for the DII national title. For complete DII pairings see this link.
The DIII bracket features a few familiar faces in Mount Union (OH) and Wisconsin - Whitewater. Mount Union is making their 23rd consecutive playoff appearance, and Whitewater hopes to extend the nations longest winning streak (40 games) of any division, and build on their back to back national titles. The Stagg Bowl will take place on ESPNU on at 7 eastern on December 16th.
Sean Payton is back on the sideline
In a surprise, unannounced move Sean Payton showed up on the sideline today (weeks ahead of his announced timeline). Local media report this was part of Payton's plan to motivate his team for today's game against rival Atlanta.
Jay Glazer reports that Payton plans to stay well behind the line of scrimmage in order to take away as much of the possibility as possible of being re-injured.
A local media guy just tweeted wondering whether Payton is the first NFL coach to be on the sideline in a regular season game wearing shorts?
In case you went to bed early last night...
Washington State scored 14 in the 4th quarter to come from behind and beat Arizona State 37-27.
The loss for Arizona State is another puzzling piece of their season.
ASU started off 5-1 with big victories over USC, Oregon State and Utah. Their one loss was 14-17 at Illinois when Illinois was undefeated.
They then lost at Oregon 41-27 and then throttled Colorado 48-14 (thus they were 6-2 at that point).
However something has happened the last two weeks. First, they lost 28-29 at UCLA and now last night's 37-27 loss at Wazzou. 6-4 with two home games to go (Arizona and Cal). 8-4 sure sounds a lot better than 6-6 or even 7-5.
Just for perspective, in 2010 ASU went 6-6, in 2009 4-8, in 2008 5-7, in 2007 10-3, in 2006 7-6 and in 2005 7-5.
"When we started the drive, get their 2 point play ready, because we weren't going to go into overtime and beat these guys here." - Gary Patterson
TCU scored, converted the two point play and Boise missed their subsequent field goal attempt. Brass.
For what it's worth, Boise State and TCU have played 4 times since 2003. Both teams have won 2 of those games, none decided by more than 7 points.
As for Boise, how about this stat, in the last 4 seasons, Boise State is 46-3...those three losses were by 1, 3 and 1 point.
Pelini: This game shouldn't have been played
Very powerful words from Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini after his team defeated Penn State yesterday.
Pelini feels that as educators, they missed a teaching moment yesterday. His words are strong. This should be a must watch.