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November 17, 2009

Inside the stats: Big 12 tops in scoring

Each week, we'll look at some statistics involving individuals and/or teams that we find intriguing.

1. Get to the point. The average Big 12 team scores 29.4 points per game, the highest mark in the nation. Tied for second are the ACC and SEC, at 28.1 points per game. Next comes the Big East and WAC (each at 27.9), Pac-10 (27.7), Big Ten (26.8), Mountain West (26.3), Conference USA (26.0), Sun Belt (25.8) and MAC (24.0).

2. So close. Tennessee junior SS Eric Berry went into the season needing just 15 yards to set a major-college record for career interception-return yards. He has two picks this season - but for just 7 yards. The record of 501 is held by former Florida State CB Terrell Buckley (1989-91). Tennessee should be bowl eligible, so that gives Berry three games to set the record.

3. Where is everybody? The Michigan and Eastern Michigan campuses are less than 10 miles from each other. But there's a vast, vast gulf between their fan bases. Michigan leads the nation in average attendance, at 108,649 per game. Eastern Michigan is last in the nation in average attendance, at 5,016 per game. The Eagles are the only team in the nation averaging fewer than 10,000 fans per game.

4. Many happy returns. Western Michigan senior RB Brandon West had two kickoff returns in the Broncos' victory over Eastern Michigan to set a major-college record for career kickoff returns. He has 125 career returns; the old mark was 123, by Tulane's Jeff Liggon (1993-96). Earlier this season, West had set the career mark for kickoff-return yardage; he's at 3,088 and counting. The former record was 2,945, by SMU's Jessie Henderson (2005-08). Central Michigan junior WR Antonio Brown has a great chance to break both marks, assuming he returns for his senior season; Brown has 102 career returns and 2,332 career return yards.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.

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