Want to dominate the barstool on Saturday with facts about Week 2 in the SEC? We’ve got you covered with 10 schedule facts from around the conference that will make you look like a genius and impress your friends.
Nick Saban hasn’t lost a home-opener since becoming the Alabama’s head coach in 2007. The Crimson Tide are an unblemished 9-0 in the first game of the year at Bryant-Denny Stadium since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. Alabama draws Western Kentucky in this year’s opener. The Tide are 2-0 all-time against the Hilltoppers, outscoring them by a combined 76-7.
Biggest Game Ever
Tennessee and Virginia Tech might want to give Guinness a call. The two programs are going for “College Football’s Biggest Game Ever” when the Volunteers and Hokies battle it out in Week 2 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Sure, they’ll need a NASCAR track to reach their intended goal of 150,000 fans, but it would set a new attendance record if they can hit their mark. The current attendance record was set on Sept. 7, 2013, when 115,109 people flooded Michigan Stadium to watch the Wolverines play host to Notre Dame.
Longest Gator Chomp
Florida owns winning streaks over several SEC East teams <cough, cough, Tennessee> but none trump the Gators’ run of success against Kentucky. Jim McElwain’s program has defeated the Wildcats in 29-straight games, dating back to 1986. It the longest such active streak in the country among schools who play each other annually. Only three schools in history have a longer winning streak in an uninterrupted series than Florida over Kentucky, including Notre Dame over Navy (43-consecutive years); Nebraska over Kansas (36 years); and Oklahoma over Kansas State (32 years). A Week 2 win in the Gators’ home tilt with the Wildcats would also mark the 12th straight year that Florida wins its SEC opener.
Gus Malzahn is quite familiar with Arkansas State, having coached the Red Wolves during the 2012 season. It was his last stop before taking over at Auburn. When Malzahn squares up against Arkansas State in Week 2, he’ll become the sixth Tigers head coach to take on his former program. Among the small fraternity of ex-Auburn head coaches is Tommy Tuberville, who went 7-3 against Ole Miss; Terry Bowden, 1-0 against Samford; Pat Dye, 2-0 versus East Carolina; Jack Meagher, 0-2 against Rice; and Mike Harvey, who beat Alabama in his lone contest against his former team.
Something to Crow About
A win over Mississippi State in Week 2 would give South Carolina more conference wins (2) this season than the Gamecocks won during all of 2015. Going into Starkville and knocking off the Bulldogs isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Will Muschamp’s new squad. The Gamecocks have beaten Mississippi State in seven straight games and are 4-3 all-time in front of the cowbells.
Kirby Smart joined Vince Dooley, Ray Goff, Jim Donnan and Mark Richt in Week 1 as Georgia head coaches to win their Bulldogs debut. The win over No. 22 North Carolina in the Kickoff Classic was the program’s first victory over a ranked opponent away from Sanford Stadium in the opening week of a season. Smart and the Bulldogs return to Athens in Week 2 for another first when they play host to Nicholls State, a team they’ve haven’t previously faced.
A&M Vs. A&M
Despite being separated by roughly 50 miles, Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M and never faced one another. In fact, the Week 2 contest at Kyle Field will be the Aggies’ first against a SWAC school. A victory will move head coach Kevin Sumlin’s record to 2-0 for the fourth-consecutive season. The last Aggies head coach to win multiple games at the start of four-straight seasons was Emory Bellard, who did so between 1974 and 1978.
Get some earplugs
Jacksonville State could be in for the biggest crowd the team has ever played in front of when it travels to Baton Rouge to face LSU in Week 2. The most people Jacksonville State has experienced playing in front of came last year when 87,000-plus poured into Auburn’s Jordan-Hare to witness the Gamecocks scare the Tigers. Tiger Stadium’s 102,321 capacity should easily surpass Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The SEC will feature six match-ups between out-of-conference foes that have faced one another in the past, boasting a combined all-time record of 67-29-2. The biggest disparity comes between Arkansas and its Week 2 opponent Texas-Christian, whom the Razorbacks own a 43-23-2 all-time advantage over. Four SEC teams will make their first appearance against their Week 2 opponent. They are: Georgia (Nicholls) and LSU (Jacksonville State) Ole Miss (Wofford) and Texas A&M (Prairie View A&M).
Remember me, also?
In the only meeting between Missouri and East Carolina, the Tigers were led by a sophomore linebacker named Barry Odom, who posted five tackles and deflected a pass in a 44-24 win over the Pirates in 1997. Odom is now the Tigers head coach and seeks his first win over an ECU program that enters Missouri’s home-opener with a 1-0 record. In fact, the win would be the first of Odom’s head coaching career.