EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the sixth installment of our 24 Hours of Arizona Football Blogging — one post at the top of every hour. Keep checking back at TucsonCitizen.com through Friday at 11 a.m. or follow the entire series with the “24 hours of blogging” tag.
Oregon vs. LSU is the premier game of the glorious first week (aren’t they all?) of college football, picking up where last season left off.
The SEC vs. the Pac-10 … or, as we should say now, the Pac-12.
The conferences don’t often play against each other, magnifying the bragging rights for each such matchup. Last season’s BCS national championship game between Auburn and Oregon was the first time the leagues had played in the postseason since the 1989 Freedom Bowl.
Starting with the 2000 season — isn’t that a large enough sample size? — there have been a smattering of regular-season meetings, including five pitting ranked teams against each other (plus the BCS title game).
The biggest regular-season game, by the rankings: No. 8 USC at No. 6 Auburn to start the 2003 season. The Trojans won 23-0 and went on to win the AP national championship.
This week’s game is bigger: Oregon is ranked third, LSU is fourth.
Who has fared better in the head-to-head matchups between the leagues?
Probably to the surprise of those in the South, the correct answer is the Pac-12.
There has been a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to the two leagues. They have met 22 times since 2000, with the Pac-12 winning 12 of them.
Let’s look deeper.
The SEC was favored to win 13 of those 22 games … but won only nine times as the favorite.
Overall, the Pac-12 is 14-6-2 against the spread in its last 22 games against the SEC.
Head-to-head or against the spread, the Pac-10 comes out ahead.
Here is the breakdown of those 22 games:
|2000||No. 3 Alabama at UCLA||UCLA, 35-24||Alabama by 7|
|2001||No. 17 UCLA at No. 25 Alabama||UCLA, 20-17||Alabama by 2|
|2002||Auburn at No. 19 USC||USC, 24-17||USC by 7|
|2002||Mississippi State at No. 15 Oregon||Oregon, 36-13||Oregon by 13|
|2003||No. 13 LSU at Arizona||LSU, 59-13||LSU by 11|
|2003||No. 8 USC at No. 6 Auburn||USC, 23-0||Auburn by 3|
|2003||Oregon at Mississippi State||Oregon, 42-34||Oregon by 3|
|2004||Oregon State at No. 4 LSU||LSU, 22-21, OT||LSU by 18|
|2005||No. 5 LSU at No. 15 Arizona State||LSU, 35-31||ASU by 1|
|2005||Arkansas at No. 1 USC||USC 70-17||USC by 30|
|2006||Arizona at No. 8 LSU||LSU, 45-3||LSU by 15|
|2006||No. 9 Cal at No. 23 Tennessee||Tennessee, 35-18||Cal by 2|
|2006||No. 6 USC at Arkansas||USC, 50-14||USC by 7|
|2006||Washington State at No. 4 Auburn||Auburn, 40-14||Auburn by 14|
|2007||No. 15 Tennessee at No. 12 Cal||Cal, 45-31||Cal by 6|
|2008||No. 18 Tennessee at UCLA||UCLA, 27-24 (OT)||Tennessee by 7.5|
|2008||No. 3 Georgia at Arizona State||Georgia, 27-10||Georgia by 7|
|2009||No. 11 LSU at Washington||LSU, 31-23||LSU by 17.5|
|2009||UCLA at Tennessee||UCLA, 19-15||Tennessee by 8|
|2009||Arizona State at No. 21 Georgia||Georgia, 20-17||Georgia by 7|
|2010||No. 7 Oregon at Tennessee||Oregon, 48-13||Oregon by 10.5|
|2011||No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 1 Auburn||Auburn, 22-19||Auburn by 3|