- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
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Week one in college football is finally here. It’s time to take a look at some notes from the SEC and ESPN Stats & Info:
Since 2006, the SEC has posted the highest nonconference winning percentage (regular season and bowls) of any conference. The league has a 333-74 record, an 81.8 winning percentage. The SEC has won no fewer than 43 nonconference games (regular season and bowls) during the last seven seasons (2006-2012). Last season, the SEC was 54-11 (.831), the highest percentage among FBS conferences.
Nine of the 14 SEC teams have at least one win against a nonconference top-25 team in the last six years with LSU (8), Georgia (8), Alabama (7), Florida (5), South Carolina (6) Auburn (3) and Texas A&M (1) leading the way.
Four different SEC schools have won the BCS National Championship since 2006 (Auburn, 2010; Alabama, 2009, 2011, 2012; Florida, 2006 and 2008; LSU, 2007). Tennessee (1998) and LSU (2004) have also won the BCS crown. The Big 12 (Texas and Oklahoma) and the ACC (Miami and Florida State) have each had two schools win titles since 1998.
No other conference has won a BCS National Championship Game since Texas defeated Southern California, 41-38, in the Rose Bowl following the 2005 regular season. The SEC has won the last seven in a row.
Since 2006, the SEC has posted a 10-4 record in BCS bowl games, more wins and a higher winning percentage (.750) than any other conference. The win total nearly equals that of the next two highest conferences.
Alabama is 14-5-1 (.725) in domed stadiums, including a 5-0 mark since 2009, and 6-2 in Nick Saban’s tenure. The Crimson Tide had two appearances in a dome last season with the opener against Michigan at Cowboys Stadium and the SEC championship game against Georgia in the Georgia Dome.
AJ McCarron completed 65 percent of his passes thrown 20 yards or more with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions last season. He completed 39 percent of such passes with six touchdowns as a sophomore.
Auburn is 92-26-2 all-time in season opening games. The Tigers have won six of their last seven openers. Auburn is 34-6 all-time in season openers at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
This is Gus Malzahn’s first game as Auburn head coach; he served as Auburn’s offensive coordinator from 2009-2011. Since WWII, Auburn head coaches are 8-1 in their first games as head coach.
Florida allowed 13 plays of 25 yards or longer last season, seven fewer than any other FBS team. The Gators did not allow one rush of at least 25 yards until the fourth quarter of the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Jeff Driskel averaged 10.3 yards per rush on 36 zone-read rushes last season. He gained more yards on the zone-read play (372) than Tim Tebow did in his final year in college (299) despite attempting 17 fewer rushes.
Georgia last opened a season at Clemson in 2003, a 30-0 Bulldog shutout. The Bulldogs have won their last five meetings with Clemson.
Georgia had 24 offensive touchdowns that were 25 yards or longer last season, tied with Baylor for the most in FBS. The Bulldogs and Alabama are the only FBS teams that had at least 15 such passing touchdowns and five such rushing TDs.
LSU will be making its 33rd appearance in a domed stadium against TCU. LSU is 24-8 all-time in domed stadiums, which includes a 13-5 mark at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a 9-2 record at the Georgia Dome, a 2-0 record at AT&T Stadium and an 0-1 mark at the Astrodome.
Zach Mettenberger had the second-worst Total QBR (13.8) in the red zone of any player with at least 40 action plays. Mettenberger had four turnovers in the red zone, tied for the fourth most in FBS.
Mississippi State’s Tyler Russell completed 34 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and seven interceptions when under duress last season. All seven of his those interceptions came in Mississippi State’s five losses despite being pressured at a similar rate as in the Bulldogs’ wins.
Texas A&M leads the all-time series against Rice with a 50-27-2 record. The Aggies have won the last 15 meetings with the Owls. The most recent Rice win in the series was a 10-6 victory over the Aggies in 1980 in College Station.
Johnny Manziel had the highest opponent-adjusted Total QBR (90.5) in FBS last season. In nine years of historical Total QBR data, only Andrew Luck in 2010 (94.5), Russell Wilson in 2011 (94.2), Sam Bradford in 2008 (92.4), Pat White in 2006 (90.9) and Kellen Moore in 2010 (90.6) had a higher single-season opponent-adjusted QBR than Manziel.
8dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough