- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
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The SEC was turned upside down again last week with a pair of top-10 teams going down and Missouri taking control in the East. What will Week 9 bring us? Here's a look at some notes from ESPN Stats & Info:
There are 10 remaining FBS unbeatens, the second-most this late into the year (11 in 2012) over the last 10 seasons. From 2004-11, there was an average of seven remaining unbeatens entering Week 9. Despite the high number in 2008 and 2012, the eventual BCS champions in those seasons each ended up having a loss (Florida in 2008; Alabama in 2012).
The Third Saturday in October hasn't been much of a rivalry lately. Alabama and Tennessee have met every year since 1944 (didn't meet in 1943 due to WWII). The Crimson Tide have won the last six meetings, and they haven't been close. The average margin in those six games is 23.2 points, and only one (in 2009) was decided by single digits.
Alabama is No. 1 again, nothing new. In fact, since the start of the 2011 season, Alabama has been ranked No. 1 in the AP poll 21 times. That's more than all other teams combined.
Tennessee has lost 10 straight road games overall and nine straight within the SEC. Its last two road wins came in 2010 and weren't even out of the state -- beating Vanderbilt and Memphis. Tennessee's 10-game road losing streak is the longest such streak in school history.
Only two FBS teams have won each game by at least 15 points this season. Oregon is the one most people would guess. Missouri is the other.
The Tigers are turnover-forcing machines, leading the SEC in turnover margin (+10) and tying for the FBS lead (Oregon State) in interceptions with 14. And they have a streak of 37 straight games with a takeaway, the longest active streak in FBS.
South Carolina humbled Missouri last year in Missouri's first SEC road game -- a 31-10 loss in Columbia, S.C. Connor Shaw completed his last 20 consecutive passes in a game that was never close in the second half. Last year, as SEC opponents, was the first time the schools had met outside of a bowl game.
Don't sleep on Missouri as a producer of NFL talent. In the last five NFL Drafts (2009-13), Missouri has produced an impressive six first-round selections. Only two schools in the country have produced more, NFL factories Alabama and Florida.
This will be the first meeting between Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, who are now conference mates after the Aggies joined the SEC last season. After this game, the only remaining SEC team that Texas A&M hasn't faced will be South Carolina.
Texas A&M needs to figure out a way to solve what might be its biggest problem: a very porous defense. The Aggies are at the bottom of the SEC and near the bottom of the country in total defense at 494.4 YPG and in yards per play at 6.7. The rush defense is especially poor, allowing 5.9 yards per rush.
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews could be just the player to take advantage of Texas A&M's defense. Matthews already has racked up 798 receiving yards this season (114 per game), ranking seventh in FBS and third in the SEC. Matthews can set a huge record this week, passing Georgia's Terrance Edwards (3,093 yards) on the career SEC receiving yardage list. He needs only 14 yards to do so.
Winning on the road at Auburn is something teams outside the SEC just haven't been able to do in recent years. The Tigers have won 22 straight and 29 of their last 30 non-conference home games, with all but four of those wins coming by double figures. Auburn hasn't lost a non-conference home game since Sept. 8, 2007, against South Florida.
LSU is looking to bounce back after last week's loss at Ole Miss, and under Les Miles, the Tigers have a track record of bouncing back. LSU is 21-1 following a loss under Miles and hasn't lost consecutive games since the final two regular season games of 2008 (Nov. 22 vs Ole Miss, Nov. 28 at Arkansas).
This is the first meeting all-time between Ole Miss and Idaho. The only other team from the Gem State the Rebels have faced was Idaho State in 1996 (W, 38-14), but Boise State is on next year's schedule.
10hSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf
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3dDavid M. Hale