It's Wednesday, which means there's another great selection of stories for you to read in today's papers.
In the Inquirer, Joe Juliano wonders whether Penn's Big 5 losing streak will end this season; Kevin Tatum reflects on Fran Dunphy's growth as a coach since moving from Penn to Temple; and Ray Parrillo counsels St. Joe's fans to be patient as Phil Martelli's young Hawks grow.
In the Daily News, Dick Jerardi tries to project where each of the City Six teams will finish this season. That's always a fun exercise, especially when you come to the table with the kinds of data DJ cites in his column.
And in our little corner of the universe here on Philly.com, we have the latest edition of the Schuylkill 16 rankings. We'll also have a live blog of the Penn-Temple game tonight, and I hope you'll join me as I chat from courtside at the Liacouras Center.
By the way, if you're interested in voting in the Schuylkill 16, send me an email. We can always use more voters.
1. Villanova, 11 points (11 first-place votes)
- "Oops, the best team within 100 miles of the City lost again. Yes, our Wildcats dropped a brutal one to #8 ranked UConn. I could hear the cheers from North Philly and City Line Avenue. Jealous wannabees that you are. Lest we forget that the Cats dropped Louisville with a Mouph Mania game, then dumped Maryland. Incredibly tough schedule, Nova Nation will rebound against (oh God) Syracuse this week!" (Ralph Manoppello)
I get the sense that the author isn't quite so confident.
2. Temple, 26 points
- "Temple loses to Duquesne ... Just like Eddie Murphy in Trading Places: "It was the Dukes, it was the Dukes." (Dan Loney)
3. Penn State, 32 points
- "Penn State a basketball power? They get a No. 3 from me. Does JoePa coach that team?"
Not quite, but I wonder if they would actually be able to recruit in Philadelphia if he did.
4. Drexel, 60 points
- "Lose by double digits to a William & Mary team that was on a 7-game losing streak and you're an absolute lock for 4th overall in the Schuylkill 16." (Todd Falkenberg)
Amazing how the comments actually matched the teams' rankings this week.
5. Princeton, 70 points
- "Through 15 games, Princeton has two players averaging more than 14 points per game. This is the first time that's happened since Bill Clinton was president." (Jeff Shafer)
Michelle Obama's brother would approve of that comment.
t-6. Bucknell, 84 points
- "Bucknell is 3-0 to open Patriot League play, which can only mean one thing: Lafayette will win the conference title." (Brian Ewart)
Mark that down.
t-6. La Salle, 84 points
- "I was totaly wrong about LaSalle. Nothing more than middle of the pack, mediocre!" (Ralph Manoppello)
8. Rutgers, 96 points
- "Rutgers has a good chance to get three or four Big East wins this year, if we played this game with handicaps like golf, they might have a chance." (Brian Ewart)
9. Rider, 99 points
10. Delaware, 102 points
11. Penn, 117 points
- "Very poor manners shown by Penn last week. They should know it is very impolite to turn your nose at a gift from a very generous host." (Jeff Shafer)
12. Lehigh, 124 points
13. Lafayette, 129 points
14. Saint Joseph's, 147 points
- "Add coming out of a TIMEOUT with 6 players on the court while the game is on the line for a technical foul, to the very short list of things that SJU has accomplished this year." (Josh Rice)
15. Delaware State, 152 points
- "I know scheduling can be tough, but Delaware State's wins over Washington Adventist and Philadelphia Bible will always keep you in last place." (Dan Loney)
Well, not all the rankings and comments matched up.
16. Monmouth, 163 points
Pittsburgh, no rank given
- "For squeezing the Orange." (Pat Flannery)
There were five players in that game from the Philly area, and all played major roles: Bradley Wanamaker and Nasir Robinson for Pittsburgh, and Rick Jackson, Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters for Syracuse.
England's cricket team, no rank given
- "Let's all just be glad Tannenwald hasn't asked us to rank the top 16 cricket teams yet."
Hey, England just beat Australia in Australia for the first time in 24 years. Their fans have suffered almost as much as Philadelphia fans in recent years. That's worth something, isn't it? Oh, never mind.
Comment of the week from Todd Falkenberg
Can we make this the Schuylkill 7? Why am I looking at Monmouth or Delaware State scores? And is the cutoff 82 miles? Monmouth is 77 miles from Philadelphia and Delaware State is 82 miles from Philadelphia. NJIT is 86 miles but they don't make the cut. St. Pete's is 88 miles and Fairleigh Dickinson is 99 miles. The 82 mile cutoff is hilarious.
But while we're at it, let's kick St. Joe's out because they don't have any players on their current roster from Philadelphia. They also don't have any players on their current roster who can shoot, pass, dribble, or rebound.