Commentary

Iowa must overcome Columbus history

Originally Published: October 29, 2009
By ESPN Stats & Information | Special to ESPN.com
1. In addition to the need to overcome significant injuries in its offensive backfield, Iowa must also overcome history if it's going to clinch the Big Ten title this weekend. The Hawkeyes are 0-16 in Columbus when Ohio State is ranked in the top-10 of the AP poll, and several of those losses were by good Iowa teams. In six of the 16 games, Iowa was ranked in the top-15, including 1985, when Ohio State upset the top-ranked Hawks. Kirk Ferentz, by the way, has won in every Big Ten stadium except The Horseshoe. He is 0-3 there, and his team has been held to fewer than 12 points in all three games.

2. Alabama has a chance to add to a couple of its own NCAA records on Saturday. With a win at Mississippi State, the Crimson Tide will start a season 10-0 for the 17th time and also record the program's 22nd winning streak of 10 or more games. The next-most 10-0 starts is 12, shared by Michigan, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The next-most winning streaks of 10-plus games is 16, shared by Michigan and Nebraska.

3. On the surface, you might think No. 2 Alabama should have an easy time defeating Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are 4-5 overall and just 1-4 at home this season. But there's a good reason MSU has only one home win. The previous four teams to travel to Starkville are all currently ranked in the top-15 of the BCS standings, but the Dogs played every one of them tough, despite losing those games.