THE SOUL'S franchise-record outburst last weekend caught the eyes of coaches around the Arena Football League who voted Philadelphia into the top spot in their weekly poll.
Doug Plank was flattered by the honor, but he quickly pointed to the calendar. His team has played only two games.
"I'm humbled by the other coaches' respect for our team," Plank said. "But I'd feel a lot better if we were No. 1 after the last game of the season."
Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh Friday, 84-59, to improve to 2-0. The home opener is Sunday against Cleveland at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Soul, ranked fifth last week, hasn't been the league's top-ranked team since 2008, when it won the AFL championship. The Soul slogged through a 6-12 season last year before a housecleaning that included the departure of Mike Hohensee as coach. Plank, a former AFL coach who spent last season as an assistant at Ohio State, was hired in August.
"It's a nice honor going into our first home game," said Plank, warming up to being ranked No. 1. "Soul fans suffered a lot last year. It'll be fun for the players as we try to recapture the magic of 2008. But it is a long season."
- Ed Barkowitz
AFL COACHES POLL
First-place votes in parentheses
W-L Pts Week
1. Soul (11) . . . 2-0 146 5
2. Chicago (2) . . . 2-0 127 3
3. San Jose (1) . . . 1-1 120 1
4. Arizona (3) . . . 1-1 116 2
5. Utah . . . 2-1 104 8
6. Georgia . . . 2-1 74 7
7. Milwaukee . . . 1-1 45 -
8. Spokane . . . 1-1 45 -
9. San Antonio . . . 1-1 37 4
10. Jacksonville . . . 1-1 32 6