Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Schuylkill 16 Week 5: Countdown to the Holy War

Villanova continues to be the unanimous No. 1 as they head to the Palestra to face St. Joe's tonight. At the other end, winless Penn falls into last place.

The Schuylkill 16 Week 5: Countdown to the Holy War


Well, Penn has finally fallen all the way into last place in the Schuylkill 16. And these ballots were cast before last night's desultory 78-60 loss to Albany at the Palestra, which sank the Quakers' record to 0-6.

But if there's a glimmer of light to be found on 33rd Street, it comes from Franklin Field. Ray Priore, the defensive coordinator for Penn's football team, is up for's Division I-AA National Coordinator of the Year award.

(Yes, the website actually uses the phrase "Division I-AA," which is great to see.)

Priore is competing against Villanova offensive coordinator Sam Venuto, William & Mary defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and Old Dominion offensive coordinator Brian Scott.

If Shoop's name looks familiar, it's because he used to be Columbia's head coach. He was in charge on Morningside Heights from 2003-05, having taken over after Ray Tellier's 2002 team finished a perfect 0-7 in conference play.

Alas, Shoop's Lions didn't do much better. They finished 3-4 in his first year, 1-6 in his second and 0-7 in his third. Upon rediscovering Tellier's goose egg, Shoop was dismissed and replaced by current coach Norries Wilson.

So credit to Shoop for restoring his reputation at least this far. But I figure most of you will be casting ballots for Priore and/or Venuto.

Click here to vote, and I'm told you're encouraged to do so often.

Now for this week's rankings. And be sure to join me back here for live blogging of Villanova-St. Joe's starting at around 7:30. Yes, that's a full hour and a half before tipoff. You all know how early the St. Joe's students arrive at Palestra games.

1. Villanova, 16 points (16 first-place votes)
- "Scottie's showing flashes of being a true point. Jay's probably wishing he had Redding back to guard Brooks on Sunday, though." (Nick Catrambone)

2. Temple, 34 points (14 second-place votes)
- "To quote an INXS song, "It ain't pretty after the show". But they're winning." (Nick Catrambone)

3. La Salle, 54 points
- "Dr. John scheduled tough to test his team. Time to prove they're a contender with games at Rider and Kentucky this week." (Nick Catrambone)
- "Rodney Green might be the best player in the city, but I'd like to see some better wins on their resume to gauge just how good they are." (Rob Falcone)

4. Penn State, 70 points
- "The last thing the Big 10 needs in another team shooting 34%. At least Illinois only does it against equally awful conference foes." (Nick Catrambone)

5. Rider, 85 points
- "I don't know which was uglier...Rider's win over Marist on Sunday...or Temple's win over Penn State last least Rider and Marist each broke 50 points." (Steve Rudenstein, Rider basketball broadcaster)

6. Saint Joseph's, 96 points
- " 'You Only Live Twice' was a Bond movie, so I guess that means Nova can kill a Hawk that's already dead." (Nick Catrambone)
- "With the way the Hawks looked against Rider and Cornell, I think the Holy War may turn into a blowout of 40-9 proportions. (That should be enough for a reverse jinx, right?)" (Brian O'Neill)

It'll take all the spirits St. Joe's can muster, I'd say.

7. Drexel, 113 points

8. Rutgers, 114 points
- "I can't wait until conference play starts so I have a good reason to drop these guys down." (Nick Catrambone)

9. Princeton, 154 points

10. Lehigh, 168 points

11. Bucknell, 177 points
- "A loss to Binghamton's intramural squad is not a good sign." (Nick Catrambone)

12. Lafayette, 196 points
- "Not sure which is tougher...ranking the 2-6 teams or the 12-16." (Rob Falcone)

13. Delaware State, 214 points
- "Finally a team UCLA can beat! Seriously, who else in America can have a schedule that includes Holy Family, Wilmington, Ohio State and UCLA?" (Jeff Shafer)

14. Monmouth, 218 points

15. Delaware, 226 points

16. Penn, 241 points
- "Until Penn wins they're still last in my book." (Zach Klitzman)

You could be waiting for a while. Or will the Quakers finally get off the schneid at Monmouth on Saturday?

- "I know you're better than Delaware State. Really. But at least the Hornets beat Delaware. Just get a win, and reclaim your rightful spot in my ballot." (Brian O'Neill)


Kutztown State
"Once again, I'm writing in Kutztown. I'm ranking them 15th, Delaware State 16th and Delaware 17th." (Nick Catrambone)

"Tied with Villanova for most wins against this field (3-0)." (Jeff Shafer)
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Soft Pretzel Logic is'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
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