Friday, December 26, 2014

Back to football for a moment

This blog recorded its fourth-highest traffic day of the year yesterday, with a total of 2,486 pageviews. Thanks to all of you for making that happen.

Back to football for a moment

(Remember to vote in the Readership Survey and send in your photos from games you attend. The Readership Survey will close tomorrow night, even though the vote total isn't going to come anywhere close to last year's and I'm not all that happy about it.)

Today was the last local college football luncheon of the season. In addition to Penn and Villanova, West Chester coach Bill Zwaan got some extra time in the spotlight with the Golden Rams in the second round of the Division II playoffs.

There were also some individual honors to celebrate. West Chester wide receiver Mike Washington is among the eight finalists for the Harlon Hill trophy, Division II's equivalent of the Heisman, while Delaware Valley quarterback Mike Isgro is the 2008 Middle Atlantic Conference Player of the Year.

Delaware Valley will also play a postseason game, albeit not in the Division III playoffs. The Aggies will contest the ECAC South Atlantic Bowl against Kean, which is a kind of consolation game for teams from the MAC and the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Interestingly, it will be the first time the two schools have ever met in football.

Before we get to this week's numbers, the next-to-last of the season for the Division I schools, a few notes scribbled down while watching Villanova pull away late from Niagara on the office TV...

- ESPN came out of a first half commercial break with some b-roll of Independence Hall and the voiceover ads that tell you who the telecast is sponsored by. "Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed," play-by-play announcer Quint Kessenich said.

"That makes sense," color analyst (and 'Nova alum) John Celestand said.

Okay, so it sounded better on TV than it does in writing.

- Among the reasons the Purple Eagles kept the game close: 16 points from Levittown native Tyrone Lewis. If anyone reading this was there, it'd be great to know what kind of a reception Lewis and Bilal Benn got from the Pavilion crowd.

- Of course, this being Villanova, it was impossible to ignore Jay Wright's three-piece pinstripe suit. If he's that well-dressed this early in the season, who knows what we'll see for Big East games.

- This blog recorded its fourth-highest traffic day of the year yesterday, with a total of 2,486 pageviews. Thanks to all of you for making that happen. Hopefully we'll do many more times this season.

On to the numbers.

7. Penn State (7)
Last week: Home win vs. No. 100/105 Indiana, 34-7
This week: 11/15 vs. No. 17 Michigan State, 3:30 p.m., ABC

49. Rutgers (56)
Last week: Road win vs. No. 49/57 South Florida, 49-16
This week: 11/22 vs. No. 123 Army, 12;00 p.m., WPHL-17

64. Villanova (66)
Last week: Home win vs. No. 188/182 Towson, 34-31
This week: 11/22 at No. 127 Delaware, 2:30 p.m., CN8

97. Temple (89)
Last week: Road vs. No. 130/125 Kent State, 41-38
This week: 11/22 vs. No. 139 Eastern Michigan, 1:00 p.m.

127. Delaware (136)
Last week: Road loss vs. No. 62/58 Richmond, 31-14
This week: 11/22 vs. No. 64 Villanova, 2:30 p.m., CN8

(The Blue Hens recorded only 53 total yards of offense and three first downs in the game. Both touchdowns were scored by their defense.)

131. Lafayette (144)
Last week: Home loss vs. No. 152/129 Holy Cross, 27-26
This week: 11/15 vs. No. 169 Lehigh, 1:00 p.m., WBPH and WFMZ

(It's the 144th edition of the oldest rivalry in college football. On a weekend that's always full of big rivalry games, this one deserves special mention.)

156. Penn (162)
Last week: Home loss vs. No. 135/120 Harvard, 24-21
This week: 11/22 at No. Cornell, 1:00 p.m.

(Techinically, Penn is not out of the Ivy League title race. Practically, forget about it. The Quakers need next-to-last-place Columbia to upset first-place Brown in Providence, R.I., and Yale to beat Harvard in Boston in the 125th edition of that famous rivalry.)

169. Lehigh (180)
Last week: Home win vs. No. 206/207 Bucknell, 31-16
This week: 11/22 at No. 131 Lafayette, 1:00 p.m., WBPH and WFMZ

212. Delaware State (213)
Last week: Road win vs. No. 203/211 Norfolk State, 34-26
This week: 11/22 at No. 238 Howard, 1:00 p.m.

As for the Division II and Division III schools:

West Chester
Last week: Home win vs. Southern Connecticut State, 52-32
This week: 11/22 at Bloomsburg, 12:00 p.m., NCAA Division II Playoffs Second Round

(The game will be streamed live on NCAA.com.)

Delaware Valley
Last week: Home win vs. Albright, 34-9
This week: 11/22 vs. Kean, 12:00 p.m., ECAC Southeast Bowl

Widener
Last week: Home loss vs. Wilkes, 30-27
This week: Season over

Ursinus
Last week: Home loss vs. Dickinson, 30-12
This week: Season over

Rowan
Last week: Road win vs. The College of New Jersey, 42-3
This week: Season over

We close with this week's TV schedule and the Top 10 comparison. There are almost no changes from last week, but there's a lot more pressure to deliver wins this weekend as the season draws to a close.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Tony Barnart put together a fascinating list of possible results that would throw the BCS into utter chaos, including this finish in the Big 12:

Missouri (11-2) is the Big 12 champion but, under BCS rules, only two teams from any one conference can play in a BCS game. Texas Tech and Oklahoma are already in the BCS title game. What does the BCS do? There is nothing in the bylaws to account for this scenario. Do they invoke an emergency change? Will one of the Big 12 teams get left out? Does President elect Obama invoke an eight-team playoff by executive order? The next three weeks could really be fun.

I'm rooting for chaos. Are you?

Rank
AP
McLane
Coaches
Sagarin
Harris
BCS
1.
Alabama
Alabama
Alabama
Texas
Alabama
Alabama
2.
Texas Tech
Texas Tech
Texas Tech
Texas Tech
Texas Tech
Texas Tech
3.
Florida
Florida
Florida
Florida
Florida
Texas
4.
Texas
Texas
Texas
USC
Texas
Florida
5.
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Alabama
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
6.
USC
USC
USC
Oklahoma
USC
USC
7.
Penn State
Penn State
Utah
Penn State
Penn State
Utah
8.
Utah
Ohio State
Penn State
Oklahoma St.
Utah
Penn State
9.
Boise State
Boise State
Boise State
Missouri
Boise State
Boise State
10.
Ohio State
Oklahoma St.
Ohio State
Ohio State
Ohio State
Ohio State


Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
Andrew Albert Sports Producer
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