Want to look like a genius among your friends and strangers this weekend when you sit down on your couch or barstool to watch Week 8 action in the SEC?
We’ve got you covered with 10 schedule facts related to this week’s matchups throughout the conference.
ALABAMA — TEXAS A&M
Not so No. 1
Texas A&M hasn’t fared all too well when facing the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25. The Aggies have gone 2-11 all-time against the nation’s top squad. They get another shot at it in Week 8 when they travel into Tuscaloosa to face Alabama. Kevin Sumlin’s program has done much better against No. 1 teams since joining the SEC beginning with the 2012 season when it split contests against the country’s best team — both being the Crimson Tide. Sumlin has defeated more top-10 ranked teams than any other head coach in Texas A&M history with three victories.
Kevin Sumlin’s wins over top-10 teams
- 2012 vs. No. 1 Alabama, 29-24
- 2014 vs. No. 9 South Carolina, 52-29
- 2014 vs. No. 3 Auburn, 41-38
A win for Alabama and Nick Saban against Texas A&M in Week 8 will give the head coach his 20th consecutive win — dating back to 2015. It would mark the longest winning streak for Saban at Alabama and rank as the third-longest string of wins in program history. During that time frame, the Tide have outscored opponents by a combined 473 points (735-262) for an average margin of victory of 24.9 (38.7-13.8) points-per-game.
Longest win streaks in Alabama history
- 28 games: 1991-1993, Gene Stallings
- 28 games: 1978-1980, Bear Bryant
- 19 games: 2015-2016, Nick Saban
- 19 games: 2009-2010, Nick Saban
ARKANSAS — AUBURN
Arkansas and Auburn will play the 26th installment of their rivalry in Week 7, with the latter holding a 13-11-1 edge. Last year the two teams needed four overtimes to declare a winner in a contest that aptly sums up the all-time series between the Razorbacks and Tigers. Through 25 games, Auburn has outscored Arkansas by a mere 633-629 margin, or an average differential of .16 points. Although, it’s not as close as it might appear. Of the last 15 games between them, 11 have been decided by 17 or more points — while the first 10 contests between 1984 and 2000 were settled by 6 or fewer points-per-game.
Another week, another ranked foe
Week 8 brings its first true SEC road game of the year for Arkansas. The Razorbacks only other conference game outside the Natural State came against Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This week’s game against No. 21 Auburn is the third straight against a ranked opponent and marks the first time in program history that the Razorbacks have played five teams inside the AP Top 25 in the first eight games of a season.
KENTUCKY — MISSISSIPPI STATE
For the common good
Kentucky can draw its all-time series against its permanent SEC West foe Mississippi State to a 21-all tie with a win over the Bulldogs in Week 8. A Wildcats’ victory would not only snap a 7-game losing skid to the Bulldogs, but also give Mark Stoops’ program its first victory over Mississippi State at Lexington’s Commonwealth Stadium since the 2005 campaign. A win for Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs will be the sixth-straight over SEC East opponents.
LSU — OLE MISS
Points over plays
LSU made the most of its time with the ball in Week 7 versus Southern Mississippi. The Tigers scored more points than they had plays (42) in the 45-10 win over the Golden Eagles, doing so for just the fourth time in program history.
Games LSU had more points than plays
- 2016 vs. Southern Mississippi: 45 points, 42 plays
- 2013 vs. Alabama-Birmingham: 56 points, 54 plays
- 2012 vs. Idaho: 63 points, 62 plays
- 1991 vs. Arkansas State: 70 points, 62 plays
Home away from home
Ole Miss travels into Death Valley in Week 8 for the 64th time to take on LSU, making Baton Rouge the most visited city in program history. By contrast, the Rebels have only played at rival Mississippi State 37 times in Starkville — with many of their early games against the Bulldogs taking place at neutral sites in Jackson, Miss., and Tupelo, Miss. The Rebels have faced LSU 105 times, the second-most behind Mississippi State (108 games). The Tigers have a 59-41-4 advantage, but the series is locked at four wins apiece since the two programs began playing for the Magnolia Bowl trophy in 2008 — the last time Ole Miss won in Baton Rouge.
SOUTH CAROLINA — MASSACHUSETTS
Points, we don’t need points
Expect a low-scoring affair when South Carolina and Massachusetts line up against one another in Week 8 for the first time. Will Muschamp’s squad is the only team in the entire FBS that has not had contest in which neither the Gamecocks nor their opponents have scored 30-plus points in a game. South Carolina’s highest points total this year is 15 against East Carolina, while Georgia’s 28 points in Week 6 are the most an opponent has hung on the Gamecocks.
Come on home
Middle Tennessee State strolls into Columbia in Week 8 to take part in Missouri’s 105th annual homecoming. While this will be the second meeting between the Blue Raiders and Tigers — who met in 2003 during a 41-40 Mizzou overtime win — homecoming is nothing new for Missouri. The school claims to be the first institution to center homecoming around a football game, when in 1911 Mizzou Athletic Director Chester L. Brewer allegedly implored alumni to “come home” for the inaugural non-neutral site contest against rival Kansas.
VANDERBILT — TENNESSEE STATE
Back to back?
Vanderbilt and Tennessee State play the first of a two-game series in Week 8 that will conclude in 2018. A win for the Commodores won’t just give them their second victory in as many games against the Tigers, it’ll mark a monumental achievement in Derek Mason’s tenure as head coach. A Vanderbilt triumph would be the program’s first back-to-back wins in a span of 31 games. The last time Vanderbilt won consecutive contests came in 2013 when the Commodores won their final five games during James Franklin’s final year in Nashville.