Tag Archives: Crimson Tide

Penn State is No. 5, Iowa is No. 31

You can have your AP, USA Today and Harris college footbal rankings. The only one you can trust is the Las Vegas Sports Consultants poll.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants Inc., has no agendas. It simply looks at things honestly and objectively and tells you what’s what. It says Penn State isn’t as good as the other pollsters tell you it is, and it gives Iowa a little credit for being a competitive ballclub. The Hawkeyes got zero votes in any of the aforementioned polls, nor should they with a 5-4 record.

LVSC, however, goes strictly by a team’s strength, not its record. That’s why it says USC is No. 1, and didn’t leap Texas Tech ahead of Texas despite the Red Raiders’ great escape over the Longhorns Saturday in Lubbock.

Penn State is No. 5 in the LVSC rankings, which seems about right. Texas Tech is sixth, Alabama seventh. They are Nos. 3, 2 and 1, respectively, in the AP poll because they’re undefeated. But they aren’t the three best teams in America.

I agree with LVSC’s top three, though not with the order in which they’re listed. They say it’s USC, Florida, Texas. I say it’s Florida, Texas, USC. Penn State could not beat any of those three teams. If the Nittany Lions get past Iowa, Indiana and Michigan State to finish 12-0 and go to the national-title game, bet on Penn State’s opponent there to win it.

Iowa is 31st in the LVSC list. Illinois, 5-4 just like Iowa, is 27th. Minnesota and Northwestern, both 7-2 overall, aren’t in the LVSC Top 40. Here is the entire list with the power ranking and last week’s rank after the name of the teams:

1

Southern Cal

113.6

1

2

Florida

112.9

3

3

Texas

112.0

2

3

Oklahoma

112.0

3

5

Penn State

110.9

5

6

Texas Tech

109.3

9

7

Alabama

108.5

7

8

Missouri

107.0

8

9

Oklahoma State

106.6

10

10

Georgia

106.5

6

11

Ohio State

105.6

11

12

LSU

104.4

12

13

Texas Christian

104.0

13

14

California

103.8

14

15

West Virginia

102.9

18

16

Kansas

102.7

20

17

Arizona

102.6

17

18

Utah

102.4

19

18

Boise State

102.4

22

20

Oregon

101.9

15

21

Brigham Young

101.6

16

22

South Carolina

101.5

24

23

Florida State

101.4

21

24

Oregon State

101.2

25

25

North Carolina

100.5

26

26

Cincinnati

100.3

NR

27

Illinois

100.0

NR

28

Michigan State

100.0

30

29

Georgia Tech

99.9

NR

29

Pittsburgh

99.9

NR

The next 10: Iowa, Mississippi, Tulsa, Boston College, Nebraska

Maryland, South Florida, Clemson, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.

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The Hlist: A Look Back at Last Week in College Football

Opening kickoff

“Lloyd’s of London has just refused to insure Ringer’s legs. Forty-four carries in a single game means Ringer deserves a sedan chair to get around campus for the next week in between practices and workouts.” — Spencer Hall, Sportingnews.com. Michigan State running back Javon Ringer rushed 44 times for 198 yards in MSU’s 42-29 win at Indiana.

First downs

1. Victors Valiant: Michigan Stadium sits nearly three-fourths underground. The Wolverines dug out of quite a hole in their 27-25 win over Wisconsin.

In the first half they had 21 yards, one first down, and five turnovers. They trailed 19-0 at halftime and were booed off the field.

“If you were anywhere in the Ann Arbor vicinity,” Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez said, “you heard that.

“If there was a hole to crawl into, I’m sure a bunch of us, including myself, would have liked to crawl into it.”

Wolverines receiver Greg Mathews: “Their strength-and-conditioning coach was talking about how we were soft and out of shape, and ESPN was talking about how this was a warm-up for the Big Ten for Wisconsin. We take that personally. Michigan is nobody’s doormat, especially in the Big Ten.”

2. Biggest 12: The SEC faded into the sunset as superpowers Florida and Georgia lost at home. Looking westward, America finds its football power conference to be the Big 12.

Four of the top seven teams in the Associated Press rankings are Big 12 bullies. Oklahoma ascended to No. 1 after throttling previously unbeaten TCU, 35-10.

The Sooners rushed 36 times for a measly 25 yards — and still dominated. In the first half alone, OU had pass plays of 38, 24, 73 and 55 yards.

“Some teams are great stopping the run,” said receiver Manuel Johnson, who had an Oklahoma-record 206 receiving yards. “Other teams are great in the back end. If they’re going to give you an apple you’re going to eat it.”

3. Rebels With a Cause: The University of Mississippi hosted a rather important debate Friday night. The next day, its football team ended the debate over whether Florida was a strong contender for the national title with a shocking 31-30 triumph.

“I still can’t believe it,” a giddy Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden told a bunch of writers when talking about Florida’s shocking loss after FSU’s win over Colorado. “I’ll have to read your newspapers just to make sure.”

The game effectively ended when the Rebels stopped Florida quarterback Tim Tebow on a keeper on 4th-and-1 at the Ole Miss 32 with 41 seconds left.

“(Tebow) was saying, ‘I got it, I got it.’ I said, ‘No you don’t,'” said Ole Miss defensive end Kentrell Lockett.

4. High Tide: Before the season, Georgia was the chic pick to win the national championship. But national champs don’t trail 31-0 at home, at halftime, to anyone.

Alabama bulldozed the Bulldogs, 41-30.

“They had probably never been hit in the mouth like that,” said Crimson Tide offensive tackle Andre Smith.

“Forget Corso and Herbstreit,” wrote Mark Bradley of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Forget Holtz and May. Forget, for that matter, anything you might have read in this space about Georgia being really good this year. For guidance in matters concerning college football, you had only to read the financial magazine Forbes, which last month proclaimed Nick Saban ‘the most powerful coach in sports.’

“Here’s how mighty the Alabama man actually is: He came to Sanford Stadium and outflanked (Georgia Coach) Mark Richt in a way nobody has since … since ever.”

Fumbles

1. Choked Cheddar: Wisconsin blew a 19-0 lead at Michigan in the game’s final 18 minutes, allowing three scoring drives of 75 yards or more.

“It was embarrassing,” Badgers linebacker DeAndre Levy said. “I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t believe this was happening, how we basically gave the game away in the second half.”

“This isn’t something that ever goes away,” Wisconsin defensive tackle Mike Newkirk said. “No matter how much time passes, it’s going to haunt you.”

Thanks for participating in National Title Derby, Badgers. Off you go.

2. Fla-Fla Flooey: Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has a Heisman Trophy. He won’t get a second.

Tebow’s top speech of this year won’t be given at New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. Instead, it was delivered after the Gators’ stunning loss to Ole Miss.

“To the fans and everybody of Gator Nation, I’m sorry. Extremely sorry,” Tebow said. “We wanted an undefeated season. That was my goal, something Florida has never done here. I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this.

“You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see another player push his team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.

“God bless.”

3. Black Eye: Georgia went to black jerseys for its game against Alabama, and had its fans wear black as well. It was a blackout, all right.

Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran told Crimson Tide players in a practice last week “They’re wearing black because they’re going to a (expletive deleted) funeral.” Somebody caught Cochran’s comment on video, and it showed up on YouTube.

Georgia’s players were so upset by that insult to their competitive spirit that they rolled over and played dead.

4. Ooooh! Scary!: Nebraska running back Marlon Lucky issued a warning for unbeaten Missouri as the Tigers get ready for their game at Lincoln this week.

“Missouri … they need to watch out, because we’ve got a lot of anger right now,” Lucky said after the Cornhuskers’ 35-30 loss to Virginia Tech.

Lucky had eight carries for 17 yards in that game. The Hlist thinks it’s better to be good than Lucky.

Final gun

“There’s a certain emotional fragility about (Coach Joe) Tiller’s recent teams. They simply don’t bounce back, after a bad break, after a bad loss. After Notre Dame came out in the third quarter and scored a quick touchdown to go ahead 21-14, Purdue became deflated. Just like that.

“The Boilers routinely put up big numbers against lesser teams, but routinely fall short against better teams.” — the Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz on Purdue’s 38-21 loss at Notre Dame

Tom Arnold Fires Back: He’s 100 Percent Hawkeye

It turns out Tom Arnold had a good reason for attending a University of Alabama football practice last week. His girlfriend attended the school.

The Hlog had fun with Tom going “Benedict Arnold” on his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes by visiting the practice of another team, but Arnold wants no one assuming his loyalty has shifted. Here is his reply to the Hlog, verbatim:

Okay, slam my work BUT NEVER question my Hawk Loyalty..my G-Friend went to Bama..she’s got a place there, Nick Saban used to coach in the Big 10..so I took my godson, his mom and sisters to a closed practice with the AD to watch and say hello to Nick. (I did remind him of the Capital One Bowl a few years back and he’s a great guys so..:) My godson, who’s the best 8 year old quarterback in Brentwood California, is being forced to go to Alabama (unless he gets into Harvard) by is mother. Of course I’ve pitched Iowa City but as you all know, with women, you’ve got to pick your battles and since he’s only 8..well…and while I’m here, where’s the Hawk Loyalty for OUR COACH??? He could’ve dumped us years ago..could’ve been head coach of the NY Giants, World Champs, but no, he’s loyal, so let’s try to stay off the man’s butt…we’re better than that. Tom

Has Tom Arnold Gone Benedict Arnold on the Hawkeyes?

(Tom Arnold in his Hawkeye-loving days)

Is Tom Arnold the big Iowa Hawkeyes football fan he has always claimed to be?

Arnold used to be sighted at Hawkeye games in Iowa City. He attended at least one Alamo Bowl that featured the Hawks. He trumpted the Hawkeyes on national cable television, brought Fox Sports’ The Best Damn Sports Show Period to Iowa City one Friday before a home football game.

But now Arnold is attending football practice at … Alabama? He says his son will one day play football at … Alabama?

Yes, the “pride” of Ottumwa was at a Crimson Tide practice Thursday in Tuscaloosa. Here is the Birmingham News’ account of the sordid episode:

http://blog.al.com/rapsheet/2008/08/what_was_tom_arnold_doing_at_p.html

Let’s face it. This man has always been flaky. He’s a comedian and an actor. They’re neurotics and narcissists rolled into one. They exist for entertainment purposes only.

But this one has to hurt Hawkdom. Tom Arnold may not mean anything on Oscar Night, but he’s Iowa’s.

Or he used to be, anyway.

Oh, one more thing. Arnold doesn’t even have a son.