I'm a bit early tonight, but I'm going to have faith that Cal Poly, who leads UC-Davis 21-3 just starting the third in the Battle for the Golden Horseshoe, will hang on and win. If I'm wrong it will be no surprise today;my #'s 2,4,6,9,11,13,14,19,22,and 23 (the coaches' 4,11,2,21,25,8,9,13,and 22) went down to defeat today. What a mess!
I move Old Dominion (7-3) into my count at 25 after their 45-28 romp over VMI; they replace Richmond after a lackluster 15-6 win over URI. Sorry, Spiders! The aforementioned Cal Poly team, who are shooting for 7-3 (their lead is now 21-6. uh-oh...) come in at 24; they replace Grambling who lost Thursday night to conference rival Texas Southern 41-34. Also new is #23 Bryant (7-3), who beat last week's #11 Robert Morris (8-2) 27-21. The Colonials move down to 15th with the loss.
Montana (7-3) is allowed back in the house at #22 after topping North Dakota 27-17. The Grizzlies take the spot of Central Arkansas, who got beat by Sam Houston State 20-13. The first holdover is #21 New Hampshire (6-4), who upset former #13 Villanova (6-4) 31-24. This second straight loss by the Wildcats drop them to 18th in this week's poll. Taking the big dive from 9 to 20th is Western Illinois (6-4) after a 20-10 loss to state rival Southern Illinois.
Moving up 2 to 19th is Ivy League leader Penn(8-1), who tromped Harvard 34-14. 17th is Eastern Washington (8-2) who stopped Southern Utah 31-24. I move Northern Iowa (7-3) up to 16th with their 38-14 romp of Missouri State. Usually I drop teams that lose (duh) but how do you drop last week's #14 SE Missouri State (9-2) after a 29-27 loss to last week's #8 Jacksonville State (9-1)? I didn't; SE MO ST stays at 14, while J-ville St. climbs back to 4th after the rasher of top-rank losses. North Dakota State (7-3) beat media darling South Dakota State 31-24 ( a common score this week) to rise 3 to 13th.
South Carolina State (8-2) scoots up 5 to #12 after a 32-10 win against Morgan State. Dayton (10-1) sneaks up one notch to 11th despite a 2OT struggle to beat Marist 41-34. Stephen F. Austin (8-2) returns to the top ten , up 5 after routing SE Louisiana 51-14. Liberty (7-3) drops from 4 to 9 with a 45-31 embarrassment to Coastal Carolina. Things were so messed up in the top ten that I had to move Montana State (8-2) up two to #8 despite their being idle this week.
William and Mary (7-3) drop a notch to 7th with a 30-24 loss to former somnambulist James Madison. This week, #s 2 and three faced off; Appalachian State (9-1) didn't blink, whupping Wofford (8-2) 43-13. App State moves up one to runner-up, while the Terriers drop to 6th. Like Montana State, I reluctantly move Jacksonville (10-1) up to 5th after they barely survive Campbell by a score of (you guessed it) 31-24. The lone undefeated, Bethune-Cookman (10-0) goes to 3rd after a 35-20 win over Howard. And Finally, Delaware (9-1) slapped UMass (also known as last week's #19) 45-27 to retain the top spot this week.
The lead for Cal Poly is down to 21-15 with 12 minutes left... uh-oh...
Next week is about it; in fact, Jacksonville, Dayton, SE Missouri State, Robert Morris, and, once they finish blowing their lead tonight, Cal Poly are already done(In fact, J-ville and Dayton end up tied at 8-0 at the top of the Pioneer Conference.. Liberty faces a battle with Stony Brook in order to claim the Big South title, and thanks to their Coastal Carolina loss, even that may not do it. #8 Montana State and #22 Montana battle it out for the Great Divide Trophy; #1 Delaware faces #18 Villanova; #16 N. Iowa plays #20 Western Illinois. Bethune-Cookman faces a stiff challenge to end their hopefully undefeated season- 7-3 Florida A&M- in the Florida Classic. William and Mary faces rival Richmond for the Capital Cup; Penn plays Cornell for the Trustee Cup; and Appalachian State plays its big boy game after having clinched the Southern Conference title yet again- they get to play the Florida Gators in the Swamp, right after Florida lost in the swamp tonight against South Carolina and the ol' Ball Coach. This... might not be pretty.
Guess what? with 35 seconds left, UC-Davis leads Cal Poly 22-21. If they lose, I'm replacing them with Richmond.
The quick look at European hockey this time starts in the UK's EIHL, where Belfast continues to lead, but that 7 point cushion is down to 1 over Nottingham, and last season's regular schedule winner Coventry, along with Sheffield and Cardiff, are all within 9 points.
Ligue Magnus is a slow moving ordeal; Angers, Rouen, and Strassbourg are all at 13 points after just 6-7 games.
Kloten's big lead in Swiss National League A is down to 4 over surging HC Davos; Zug has dropped back, and last year's champ SC Bern is 4th, 11 out.
Valpusteria widened it's lead to 8 points in Italy's Serie A.
In Norway's GET-Ligaen, the Spartans of Sarpsborg have widened their lead to 6 over defending champ Valerenga, while Stavenger fades a bit to 9 behind.
SonderjyskE continues to roll the field in the Danish AL-Bank Ligaen, 14 points up on Herning.
In Germany's DEL, Hanover's Scorps maintain their lead, although Manheim has slid and the Tomas Sabo team has moved into second.
KAC Klagenfurt has blown out to an 8-point cushion over Red Bull Salzburg in Austria's Erste-Bank Liga. VSV, who was just 2 behind last month when we checked, has faded into the pack.
Sweden's Elitserien continues headed by HF Lulea, by 7 over new runner-up Skelleftea AIK.
JYP Jyvaskyla has widened its lead in the Finnish S-M Liga, from 4 over HIFK a month ago, to 5 over Assat and 9 over HIFK.
The Czech Extraliga shows that HC Mountfield has crumbled, its 1 point lead changed now to 5th place, 8 points behind HC Ocelari Trinec, with last year's winner Vitkovice Steel 3 behind Trinec in second.
In the Slovak Extraliga, Kosice pushed its lead to 6 over Banska Bystrica; KHL wannabe Poprad has moved in to third, albeit a distant 17 points out. I should point out that most of these leagues, unlike the Komets and the NHL, give three points for a win, with 2 for OT wins and 1 for OT losses.
In the Russian KHL, UHC Moscow Dynamo continues to lead the west, although Severstal Cherepovets has faded; Lokomotiv has moved into second, 6 behind, and SKA St. Pete has recovered from a slow start to trail by 8 in third. Likewise, Avangard Omsk has faded in its pursuit of leader (and league best) Metallurg Magnitogorsk, leaving former 7th place Sibir Novosibrsk to drive into second, 6 back and tied with perennial power Ak Bars Kazan.
In the Asia League, Oji's Eagles have passed Anyang Halla into first by 1; Tohoku joins the Korean squad in second. The horrible China Dragon seems not to have played in the interim; I was unable to find out if they folded or something, but with an 0-8-1 record and being outscored 13-67 in 9 games (roughly 7-1 per game), it would hardly be surprising. (Actually, with a seven team league spread out over most of East Asia, it's the result of just a horribly unbalanced schedule.)
And, as I figured would happen the moment I tried to rank Cal Poly, they lose to rival UC-Davis 22-21. Kinda they way it was a couple a years ago when I did an FBS top 25 and tried to rank Notre Dame. So put Richmond (6-4) into 24th and get'em ready to lose to the Tribe.