Friday, December 19, 2014

Football Crunchy Numbers

Penn State's prize for beating Temple is a drop in the Sagarin ranking.

Football Crunchy Numbers

Just my luck.

Ever since Temple's schedule came out, I had the Western Michigan game circled as the one I knew I could get to this season. But then the Sports Network's I-AA Top 25 came out Monday afternoon, and Richmond was ranked No. 1.

As in, the team that's coming to Villanova on Saturday.

So I thought about it for a while, and decided to go to the Linc anyway. It's still the only Owls game I know I can cover this season, and if Temple gets its first win I'll look real smart in hindsight.

But Richmond-Villanova is definitely the biggest game of the weekend. On top of that, it will be the first of many chances the Colonial Athletic Association gets this season to prove that it is the best conference in I-AA.

There are six CAA teams in the Top 25 at the moment - including the top-ranked Spiders and No. 2 James Madison, which beat Applachian State this past Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the start of conference play is no time to have a quarterback controversy. I'm sure Andy Talley will address it at lunch tomorrow, but until then here's a reminder that I want to know who you think should be the starter.

Young was the early leader after the poll opened, but it's been real close all the way. As I'm writing this, Chris Whitney has a 23-20 lead.

Speaking of small margins, none of the region's teams moved all that much in the Sagarin index this week. The biggest move was Villanova rising eight spots after beating Penn. Rutgers fell eight spots after losing at Navy, while Penn State and Temple both fell two spots after their meeting in Happy Valley.

As for the rest of the numbers...

9. Penn State (7)
Last week: Home win vs. No. 122/124 Temple, 45-3
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 66 Illinois, 8:00 p.m., ABC

85. Rutgers (78)
Last week: Road loss vs. No. 82/76 Navy, 23-21
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 201 Morgan State, 3:30 p.m., ESPN+

103. Delaware (97)
Last week: Road loss vs. No. 102/99 Furman, 23-21
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 161 Albany, 6:00 p.m.

107. Villanova (115)
Last week: Road win vs. No. 148/153 Penn, 20-14 (OT)
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 90 Richmond, 3:30 p.m., CN8

124. Temple (122)
Last week: Road loss vs. No. 7/9 Penn State, 45-3
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 88 Western Michigan, 2:00 p.m.

151. Lehigh (151)
Last week: Off
This week: 9/27 at No. 168 Princeton, 6:00 p.m., WFMZ (Channel 59 on Comcast, 69 on DirecTV and Dish Network)

153. Penn (148)
Last week: Home loss vs. No. 115/107 Villanova, 20-14 (OT)
This week: 9/27 at No. 162 Lafayette, 6:00 p.m., WBPH (Channel 51 on Comcast in Philadelphia, 60 on DirecTV)

162. Lafayette (160)
Last week: Off
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 153 Penn, 6:00 p.m., WBPH

195. Delaware State (195)
Last week: Off
This week: 9/27 vs. No. 223 Central Connecticut State, 7:00 p.m.

Before we get to the Top 10 chart, I have to give a shoutout to Awful Announcing blogger Brian Powell. It's his birthday, but he put in a full day's work nonetheless. There aren't any good games on national television tonight, so hopefully he can get out for a while to celebrate.

I'm stuck at my desk, though. So I'll note that the top eight teams in the coaches' poll didn't change from last week, which I find pretty amazing. The top four in the AP poll didn't change, which isn't quite as jarring but is still a testament to how strong those teams are.



Rank
AP
McLane
Coaches
Sagarin
1.
USC
USC
USC
USC
2.
Oklahoma
Florida
Oklahoma
Florida
3.
Georgia
Oklahoma
Georgia
LSU
4.
Florida
Georgia
Florida
Oklahoma
5.
LSU
Missouri
Missouri
Georgia
6.
Missouri
LSU
LSU
Alabama
7.
Texas
Texas Tech
Texas
BYU
8.
Alabama
Texas
Wisconsin
Ohio State
9.
Wisconsin
Alabama
Texas Tech
Penn State
10.
Texas Tech
Auburn
Alabama
Texas

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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