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October 2012

NFL Stats & Stuff for Week Eight

Mr. Smith is Mr. Efficiency ... Martin gets bang for the Bucs ... etc.

He may not light up the scoreboard, but you can't argue with the 18-of-19 for 3 TDs that Alex Smith of the 49ers put up in their 23-3 systematic crushing of the Arizona Cardinals.

Smith has maxed out at 35 attempts (in a loss to Detroit) this season, but in the Niners' wins he's been usually in the 20s in terms of passing attempts.

College Stats & Stuff for the SEC (Week Eight)

Gators get a huge boost ... LSU stays alive ... etc.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Florida got a major boost with at 44-11 smackdown of former Gator head man Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.  The Gators are now in command of the East Division.
  • LSU is on the edge after losing to Florida, but it stayed afloat with a narrow 24-19 win over surprising Texas A&M.
  • And it may have come against struggling Auburn, but Vanderbilt got its second SEC win of the year with a 17-13 win.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Ladarius Perkins of undefeated Mississippi State has moved to the top of the SEC rushing list after four 100-yard games in his last five.  He had 125 yards on 20 carries as the Bulldogs went to 7-0 with a non-conference win over Middle Tennessee.
  • Right behind Perkins is future Heisman candidate Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.  He has more than 700 yards rushing and is on the verge of getting 2,000 yards passing, after just seven games.  He'd be flying up the list if he weren't a freshman, and if Collin Klein of Kansas State weren't doing the same thing for the undefeated Wildcats.
  • Alabama remains No. 1 in the nation in total defense, allowing under 200 yards per game (195.7 to be exact).
  • And we've been noting every week that the Tide's A.J. McCarron keeps putting up mistake-free stats, keeps leading the conference (and now the nation) in passing efficiency, and keeps getting shut out of Heisman buzz.  Well, the last part is finally changing.

College Stats & Stuff for the Pac-12 (Week Eight)

Arizona breaks through ... Cardinal win The Big Game ... etc.

PAC-12 CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • After three straight conference losses, Arizona finally broke through for Rich Rodriguez' first Pac-12 win, a 52-17 pasting of Washington.
  • Thirty years after the famous run through the band, Stanford captured this year's edition of The Big Game, knocking off Cal, 21-3.
  • Oregon State just keeps plugging along, defeating Utah, 21-7.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Matt Barkley of USC has slid down the Heisman ladder, but he made some hay outside the spotlight against Colorado:  19-of-20, for 298 yards and 6 TDs.  Barkley is back up to No. 13 in the nation in passing efficiency.
  • Arizona State's Taylor Kelly is slightly ahead of him in that category, with a 67.0 completion percentage and averaging 9.3 yards per attempt.
  • The conference rushing race is a mad sprint, with UCLA's Jonathan Franklin holding on at 125.4 yards per game, Oregon's Kenjon Barner right behind at 124.3, Stanford's Stepfan Taylor just a step back at 120.9, and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey right there at 120.3.
  • "Rich-Rod" and the Wildcats may be 4-3, but they are actually gaining more yards than undefeated Oregon, 549 yards per game to 529 yards per game.

College Stats & Stuff for the Big XII (Week Eight)

Wildcats in the fast lane ... and Klein in the driver's seat ... etc.

BIG XII CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

What did we say in this space last week?  Oh yeah ... "if [Collin] Klein outplays [Geno] Smith on Smith's home field, then he's going to jump right onto that Heisman stage."  Well, look who's on the Heisman stage now.

Best Wins:

  • Klein and the Wildcats already had the big win over Oklahoma, but the win in Morgantown puts them right on the BCS championship track:  Kansas State 55, West Virginia 14.
  • Texas Tech kept themselves on track for their K-State showdown this week with a 56-53 overtime win over TCU.
  • Is Texas still around?  Yes, they are, and they beat Baylor, 56-50.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Last week we mentioned that Texas Tech was leading the conference in defense.  It still is, but after giving up 516 yards to TCU,  it's not by as much as it used to be.
  • This week the Red Raiders get to try to stop Klein, now the national darling.  He's No. 5 in the conference in rushing with 78.7 yards per game, which puts him at No. 63 in the nation.  Plus, he's leading the conference in passing efficiency, and is No. 2 in the nation there.
  • He has 10 TDs, just 2 INT, a 70.5 percent completion percentage and is averaging 10.0 yards per attempt.
  • Smith had his first two interceptions of the year against the Wildcats, with the world watching.  He slipped to third in the conference in passing efficiency, which, of course, is still good for No. 4 in the nation.
  • Joseph Randle of Oklahoma State continues to hold down the fort for actual running backs in the Big XII after gaining 151 yards in the Cowboys' win over Iowa State.  Randle is the only conference player averaging over 100 yards per game, at 127.5.
  • The Cowboys are No. 7 in the nation in rushing, No. 8 in passing and first in the nation in total offense.  And they are No. 54 in the nation in total defense.

College Stats & Stuff for the Big Ten (Week Eight)

Lions continue to march on ... Wolverines head to Lincoln for first time in a century ... etc.

BIG TEN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Penn State continues to surprise, as it put an end to Iowa's mini-surge with a 38-14 triumph.  The Nittany Lions are now 5-2 and 3-0 in the Big Ten.
  • Michigan also stayed unbeaten in the conference with a 12-10 survival contest over Michigan State.
  • Nebraska came from 12 down in the 4th quarter to eke out a 29-28 win over Northwestern.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Nebraska sophomore Ameer Abdullah has had to take on a bigger role with Rex Burkhead hobbled with a series of injuries, bu the smallish back has proven effective and durable, netting 101 yards on 19 carries against Northwestern.  Abdullah is now averaging 87.9 yards per game, putting him at No. 48 nationally, despite a pair of games in which he had only single-digit attempts.
  • The top of the rushing chart is still no surprise:  Denard Robinson of Michigan, Le'Veon Bell of Michigan State, Montee Ball of Wisconsin and Braxton Miller of Ohio State.  All four were considered strong Heisman candidates at various times in 2012.  Now only Miller is getting any meaningful Heisman buzz.
  • Miller's 11 TD passes (vs. 5 INT) and 10 rushing TDs ought to put him high on the "points responsible for" chart, but it turns out he's behind Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, who has 15 passing TDs and 6 on the ground.  And he's also behind Penn State's surprising Matt McGloin, who has 14 passing TDs and 5 rushing.  Both Martinez and McGloin have played one fewer game.
  • The Huskers' combo of Martinez, Abdullah and Burkhead (when healthy) has them at No. 12 in the nation in total offense, but they will need their defense (7th in the conference) to toughen up to win the Legends Division.

College Stats & Stuff for the ACC + Notre Dame (Week Eight)

'Noles back on track with win over '90s rival ... Duke keeps surprising ... etc.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Duke knocked off Tobacco Road rival North Carolina in football, 33-30.  Yes, the Blue Devils are 6-2 and 3-1 in the conference.  No, Coach K is not branching out into football.  It's David Cutliffe, former Old Miss coach and Peyton Manning guru.
  • Florida State buried Miami, 33-20, in their old-school Sunshine State match (if the '90s qualify as "old school").
  • Future ACC semi-member Notre Dame went to 7-0 with a 17-14 outlasting of Brigham Young.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • It's still the Seminoles on defense: 226.5 yards per game allowed, good for No. 2 in the nation.
  • And it's still the Seminoles on offense: 520.1 yards per game gained, good for No. 10 in the nation.
  • There's only one runner with more than 100 yards per game: Giovani Bernard of North Carolina with 132.5 per contest.
  • That put Bernard at No. 5 nationally.  How come no one's heard of him?  Well ... he missed two games, and the Tar Heels are 5-3.  But his last three games: 262, 177 and 143 yards.
  • One reason the Blue Devils are succeeding: three receivers averaging more than 5.0 catches per game, putting all three in the top 100 nationally: Jamison Crowder, Conner Vernon and Desmond Scott.

NFL Stats & Stuff for Week Seven

Running backs are back ... and so is the Pack? ... and even the Saints?

Lest we think running backs have gone out of style ... Week 7 presented a strong rebuttal.

Chris Johnson made a case for the running game for the Titans when they traveled to Buffalo.  Johnson had 195 yards on 18 carries, including TD runs of 16 and 83 yards.

Johnson then had a key 27-yard gain as the Titans drove to the winning touchdown in a 35-34 win.

Johnson has had an up-and-down year, but he's definitely a major factor when he's going strong.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the SEC (Week Seven)

LSU back in the hunt ... and don't forget about Mississippi State ... etc.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • LSU rebounded from its loss to Florida by upending South Carolina, 23-21.
  • Remember how Tennessee was going to get itself back in the conversation?  Uh, no.  It's Mississippi State who's in the conversation now after a 41-31 pasting of the Volunteers.  The Bulldogs are 3-0 in the conference and 6-0 overall, while the Vols dropped to 0-3 in the SEC.
  • But it's former Big XII school Missouri that's bombing the most, dropping to 0-4 after Alabama punched them 41-10 in Columbia.
  • On the other hand, fellow Big XII transferee Texas A&M is 5-1 overall after a wild nonconference win over Louisiana Tech, 59-57.
  • And, finally, after being given up for dead, Arkansas got its second win in a row by blasting Kentucky, 49-7.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Last week, we pointed to emerging star Mike Gillislee of Florida who had taken the conference lead in rushing.  No more.
  • The emerging star this week is Johnny Manziel of the Aggies.  The freshman had 181 yards rushing and 395 yards passing in that Louisiana Tech shootout, and, this week, he has taken the conference lead in rushing with 112.7 yards per game.
  • He's also second in the conference in passing efficiency with 14 TDs and 3 INT, a 67.4 completion percentage and 8.8 yards per attempt.
  • Alabama QB A.J. McCarron still has a big goose egg in the interceptions column and is No. 5 in the nation in passing efficiency.  Will he ever be the leading SEC Heisman candidate?  Not this week ... he was passed by Manziel.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the Pac-12 (Week Seven)

It's still all about the Oregon schools ... etc.

PAC-12 CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Oregon State kept its unlikely unbeaten season going with a 42-24 crushing of Brigham Young.
  • Cal continued to rise from its early-season coma, knocking off Washington State by 31-17.
  • Week 8 sneak peek: on Thursday night, Oregon roasted Arizona State, 43-21, despite not scoring in the second half.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Jonathan Franklin of UCLA was held under 100 yards for just the second time (by Utah) but he still leads the conference with 125.4 yards per game.
  • Just how is Oregon State doing it?  Leading rusher is Storm Woods at 80.8 yards per game.
  • QB Sean Mannion is No. 5 in the conference in passing efficiency: 7 TDs, 4 INT, 8.0 yards per attempt, 63.3% completion percentage.  Decent, but not mind-blowing for college football, that's for sure.
  • Total defense: No. 6 in the conference, allowing 361.8 yards per game.
  • Total offense: No. 5 in the conference with 457.6 yards per game.
  • Scoring offense: No. 8 in the conference with 27.2 points per game.
  • Scoring defense: No. 2 in the conference and No. 25 nationally with 18.4 points per game allowed.
  • So there's your answer: they are winning on the scoreboard, not the stat sheet.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the Big XII (Week Seven)

West Virginia falls to Earth ... but Smith holds on to Heisman lead? ... etc.

BIG XII CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • None bigger than Texas Tech stopping West Virginia cold: 49-14.  Just after the Mountaineers had made their "statement game" by beating Texas, the Red Raiders came up with a "statement game" of their own.
  • Oklahoma, sort of damaged goods after already having lost to Kansas State, made Texas somewhat more damaged with a 63-21 rout.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Texas Tech means defense!  It does?  Yes, it does!  The Red Raiders are No.4 nationally in total defense, and No. 17 nationally in scoring defense.  And they shut down West Virginia, which had threatened to dance unscathed through its first Big XII tour.  No one would have expected the dance to end in Lubbock.  But Coach Tommy Tuberville has a real defense going.
  • Geno Smith couldn't do it all himself for the first time this year, completing 29-of-55 for just 1 TD, but he did go without an interception.  Keeping the no-interception streak alive probably helps him keep his Heisman chances going as well.  Everyone has an off day.
  • But Smith was outdone by Tech's Seth Doege, who completed 32-of-42 for 499 yards and 6 TDs with 1 INT.  Doege is No. 7 in the nation in passing efficiency.  So, of course, that puts him at only fourth in the Big XII (behind Smith, Baylor's Nick Florence and Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh).
  • There is some rushing in the Big XII too: Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle is the guy there: 122.8 yards per game.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the Big Ten (Week Seven)

Here come the Hawkeyes ... Miller nears top of Heisman list ... etc.

BIG TEN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • After a weak start, including a loss at home to Central Michigan, Iowa suddenly asserted itself in the Legends Division with a 19-16 overtime defeat of Michigan State.
  • Meanwhile, in the Leaders Division, Wisconsin asserted itself as the (eligible) team to beat by knocking off Purdue, 38-14.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • All year, it's been a battle of the all-purpose quarterbacks in the Big Ten, and it is Ohio State's Braxton Miller who has taken the driver's seat.  Miller is third in the conference in rushing with 130.3 yards per game (good for No. 7 nationally), and is also third in passing efficiency with 11 TDs, just 4 INT and 8.0 yards per attempt (good for No. 34 nationally).
  • And MIller's team is also the only one unscathed on the scoreboard as well.
  • Denard Robinson of Michigan leads the conference in rushing with 134.0 yards per game, with Le'Veon Bell of Michigan State and Miller right behind.  Wisconsin's Montee Ball is no surprise in fourth place.
  • But fifth and sixth are the ones upending expectations.  Northwestern's Venric Mark has emerged as a key player with 113.9 yards per game.  Mark had only 15 carries all of last season as a rarely used reserve.
  • But Iowa's Mark Weisman didn't even enter a game last year, despite being on the roster, and was only expected to be a backup fullback this year.  Injuries gave him his chance, and now he's averaging 105.2 yards per game.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the ACC + Notre Dame (Week Seven)

Domers get big win ... Seminoles get back on track ... etc.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Given that Notre Dame will be joining the ACC in all sports other than football, we'll start including Notre Dame in our ACC recaps.

Best Wins:

  • Since we're including the Domers, we gotta go with Notre Dame 20, Stanford 13 in OT.  The Irish made a famous and controversial goal-line stand to keep the Cardinal from tying the game in overtime.
  • Among current ACC schools, North Carolina went to 5-2 with an 18-14 win over reeling Miami.
  • And, one week after getting bounced from the National Championship picture by N.C. State, Florida State rebounded with a 51-7 beatdown of Boston College.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • The Seminoles E.J. Manuel probably lost any faint Heisman hopes in that loss to the Wolfpack as well, but he also rallied with a huge game against the Eagles, throwing for 439 yards and 4 TDs on 27-of-34 completions.
  • Manuel is No. 4 in the nation in passing efficiency.
  • The Seminoles continue to lead the conference in total offense and total defense.
  • Everett Golson is the only member of the Irish to show up on major statistical charts, and he is only No. 82 in passing efficiency and No. 91 in total offense.  Notre Dame is succeeding with a team effort.

NFL Stats 'n' Stuff for Week Six

Rodgers & P. Manning reassert themselves ... suddenly Shonn ... etc.

Just when "The Matts" (Matt Ryan of Atlanta and Matt Schaub of the Texans) looked about ready to eclipse Aaron Rodgers of the struggling Packers among the "next generation" (as in, post-Manning/Brady/Brees), here comes Rodgers and the Pack with a 42-24 shredding of Houston.

Rodgers: 24-of-37 for 338 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT.  QB rating of 133.8 was the best of any NFL QB in Week 6.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the SEC (Week Six)

Good week for Florida and ex-Florida coaches ... Mizzou, Aggies taking different routes ... etc.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Florida got its first epic win of the Will Muschamp era with a 14-6 endurance test over LSU.
  • South Carolina cemented its place near the top with a 35-7 pasting of previously undefeated Georgia.
  • Texas A&M got its second SEC victory by overcoming Ole Miss, 30-27.
  • But Missouri is not so fortunate in SEC play, dropping to 0-3 by losing to Vanderbilt, 19-15.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • The emerging star for the Gators is Mike Gillislee, who had 146 yards against LSU and now is averaging 109.6 yards per game to lead the conference.
  • He's the only runner in the conference averaging more than 100 yards per game.
  • Another emerging star is South Carolina's Conor Shaw, who is averaging 9.9 yards per attempt and completing 76 percent of his passes.
  • But Shaw only has 74 atempts for the entire year.  Geno Smith does that in about a quarter.  But it's working for the Gamecocks.
  • Arkansas finally got some good news after months of despair, and receiver Cobi Hamilton has been at the forefront, averaging over 110 yards per game on receptions.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the Pac-12 (Week Six)

Cal finally gets its wake-up call ... Stanford survives ... etc.

PAC-12 CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Cal turned around an ugly season by whipping up on UCLA, 43-17.
  • Stanford avoided a second straight defeat with a frenzied 54-48 overtime win over Arizona.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Even as the Bruins slide down the standings (1-2 in the conference), Jonathan Franklin of UCLA continues to lead the conference in rushing with 133.3 yards per game.
  • Oregon's Kenjon Barner and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor continue right on his heels, however.
  • But don't count out Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey, who has been creeping up the chart wih four 100-yard games in six tries.
  • But it's another guy from the desert -- Arizona State's Taylor Kelly -- who has emerged as the passing leader.  Kelly has completed 68 percent of his attempts and is averaging 9.5 yards per attempt.
  • USC and Matt Barkley haven't quite had the glamour offensive season most anticipated, but Marqise Lee has a dazzling 10.4 receptions per game and 12.5 yards per catch.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the Big XII (Week Six)

Mountaineers take command behind Smith ... but Wildcats are lurking ... etc.

BIG XII CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Obviously, West Virginia's 48-45 win over previously undefeated Texas.  There's your "statement game" for the Big XII newcomers.
  • But Kansas State is not going to go lightly: the Wildcats smoked in-state rival Kansas, 56-16.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Led, of course, by the amzaing Geno Smith of West Virginia, Big XII passers are Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 in the nation in passing efficiency.  That's right, you can be No. 9 in the nation and still no better than sixth in your own conference (too bad for Kansas State's Collin Klein, though it hasn't kept him from getting Heisman notice.)
  • They do run the ball sometimes in the Big XII, especially Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle, who is No. 6 in the nation with 135.5 yards per game.
  • But, not surprisingly, the receivers are near the top as well, particularly Smith's favorite targes Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, who are No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in the nation in receptions per game.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the Big Ten (Week Six)

Big wins for ineligible Buckeyes, Lions ... etc.

BIG TEN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • Ohio State got a huge win at home by routing Nebraska, 63-38.
  • And Penn State, also ineligible for the conference title due to sanctions, won its fourth straight with a 39-28 victory over previously unbeaten Northwestern.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • The Buckeyes' Braxton Miller is clearly moving ahead of Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) in the all-purpose quarterback sweepstakes.
  • Miller is third in the conference in rushing and No. 11 in the nation with 127.2 yards per game.
  • He's also third in the conference and No. 38 in the nation in passing efficiency.  He has 9 TDs vs. 3 INT, and is averaging 7.9 yards per attempt.
  • Martinez still leads the conference in passing efficiency despite the Huskers' debacle in Columbus.  He only has four INT for the year, but three of them came against the Buckeyes.
  • And Robinson holds the rusing lead with 135.2 yards per game, but neither is proving to be the two-way threat that Miller has been.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the ACC (Week Six)

N.C. State crashes the party ... Duke looks (wait for it) good again ... etc.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins:

  • It was the Wolfpack on the prowl, with the biggest upset of the year: N.C. State 17, Florida State 16.
  • Nothing can top that, but Duke going to 5-1 with a convincing 42-17 win over Virginia certainly raises eyebrows.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Duke's Connor Vernon set the ACC record for career receptions in the Blue Devils' big win.  He now has 239 in his career.
  • Vernon is still chasing Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins and Boston College's Alex Amidon in receiving yards per game.
  • There is no 100-yard-per-game rusher in the ACC right now, but Clemson's Andre Ellington and Florida State's Chris Thompson are close.
  • Despite his team's misstep, E.J. Manuel of the Seminoles still handily leads the conference in passing efficiency.

NFL Stats 'n Stuff for Week Five

Brady, Manning and Brees oh my! ... and Luck wins out for the Colts ... etc.

For more than a decade now, Peyton Manning has been the best quarterback, Tom Brady the quarterback of the best team and Drew Brees the quarterback with the most spectacular stats. 

All three continue to go about their business every Sunday, and it was fitting that they got a collective day in the sun this week.

College Stats 'n' Stuff for the SEC (Week Five)

That's not Tom Petty who's free fallin' ... it's Arkansas.

SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE [Scores] [Standings]

Best Wins: 

  • Texas A&M got its first SEC victory as a member, and put a few more nails in the coffin of Arkansas' debacle of a season.  The Aggies rolled, 58-10.
  • Georgia kept its place in the pecking order by keeping Tennessee at bay, 51-44.

Stats Smorgasbord:

  • Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M got a healthy dose of statistical inflation after playing the Razorbacks.  Manziel went 29-of-38 for 453 yards and 3 TDs with 0 INTs.  Manziel moved up to fourth in the conference in passing efficiency and No. 11 in the nation.  The freshman probably won't get Heisman notice this year, but he'll certainly start making some lists in the near future if he keeps it up.
  • The two QBs at the top of the list -- Aaron Murray of Georgia and A.J. McCarron of Alabama -- get a bit of Heisman love, but ESPN gives most of it to Murray.   They both have 12 TDs, but McCarron has yet to throw a pick, while Murray has three.  Of course, neither one has much chance of catching the monster stats of West Virginia's Geno Smith.
  • Georgia freshman Todd Gurley leads the conference in rushing at 107.2 yards per game, with Florida's Mike Gillislee as the only other runner averaging more than 100 yards per game.  Gillslee is at 100.5.
  • Although LSU has struggled on offense and slipped a few notches in the polls, the Tigers remain at No. 4 in the nation in total defense at 217.8 yards per game.
  • But they still trail dominant Alabama which is yielding only 191.6 yards per contest.
  • And the Tide is No. 2 in the nation in turnover margin with 15 takeaways and only 3 lost fumbles (0 INT for McCarron, remember).  But they still trail idle Mississippi State in that category.

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