Okay, praise and worship the Lord? Check. Clean up last night's mess? Check. (AKA the second round of the beer tasting. Lesson: if you grew up with lager, amber beers aren't significantly different from dark beers.) Take walk? Rain shortened, but check. Good, now let me do my FCS and KHL stuff.
First off, let me begin by explaining why I do a FCS football ranking. (FCS is the second tier of College football.) This week, I had ranked 6 teams in my top 25 that the official coaches poll did not. These teams went 5-1 with an average victory margin of 10.3 Saturday. On the other hand there were 6 teams that the coaches ranked and I did not. One of them, Richmond, was off this weekend. The remaining 5 went 1-4 with an average loss margin of 24.8. Hooray for me!
I still have Georgia Southern at my #1 spot, as do the coaches. In fact, the one thing that the coaches and I differ on in the top 4 is in our choices of 2 and 3, with the coaches putting Northern Iowa at 2 and I put Wofford in the runner up. We agreed on Montana State 4th. All won by at least 17 this weekend, with the only real competition being faced was Northern's 31-14 win over a South Dakota State team that "also received votes" from the coaches.
My top seven remained the same, with Lehigh #5, followed by Jacksonville St., and North Dakota St. But I am at last giving up on Appalachian St. being as good as last year. After a 49-42 win over a Citadel team that all the good teams- even punchless William AND Mary- beat easily, I dropped them out of the top 10 to 11th. Also falling from the top ten was New Hampshire. A team that both I (9th) and the coaches (6th) apparently overrated, they got clubbed by that same "punchless" W&M team 24-10 and fall to 14th. Taking advantage were: James Madison, which moves up 2 to 8th after blowing out woebegone Villanova 34-10 (which, being a "punchless" W&M fan I enjoyed thoroughly); Sam Houston St., who beat a halfway decent Nichols St. team 47-7 to take 9th; and Montana, whom I hate to move up because everytime I do, bad things happen to them. Nevertheless, they came back to beat tough Portland St. 30-24 and slide into 10th.
Norfolk St. moves up into 12th, and with last week's #16 Towson topping last week's #14 Old Dominion 39-35, Towson moves up to 13, while ODU falls to 18. Liberty was 17th on mine and "also receiving votes" on the coaches last week; they played Coastal Carolina, who was ignored for good reason by me and ranked 20th on the coaches poll. Result? Liberty 63, CC 27. Liberty moves up to 15th on my list, while CC sinks into obscurity. Indiana St.'s mighty Sycamores roll over Western Illinois 46-24 and move up to 19th. Oh, and Delaware, much higher ranked by the coaches last week (8) than me (13) got drubbed 21-10 by UMass a team I had at 21 (and still do) and they had "also receiving votes." I suspect that this week the coaches might have the Blue Hens a little closer to the 17th I dropped them to than last time.
Maine, after a tough win over JMU last week, struggled to beat CAA doormat Rhode Island 27-21 and slip to 20th; #22 San Diego, #23 South Carolina State, and #24 North Dakota (which last week I rechristened North Bakota for whatever reason- probably the same reason that once every Saturday Northern Iowa becomes Northern Ireland) were victims of the numbers game and held their positions despite impressive wins. And finally, little Elon lost its brief grip on the last spot on my poll after getting schwacked by Samford 43-31. Taking their place is Jacksonville, who shellacked Morehead St. 50-14 to get back to 5-2.
Next week features two top 25 games- #13 Towson against hopefully resurgent #16 W&M, and #14 UNH looking for redemption against Hen-slaying #21 UMass. #6 J-ville St. has a big boy game against Kentucky; Sam Houston faces McNeese St., one of those teams that they ranked (17) and I didn't and got beat; Maine faces the well-rested Richmond Spiders; and Lehigh and JMU take the week off.
Moving on to the KHL update.Dinamo Moscow and SKA continue to dominate the west, despite Dinamo getting blanked Friday by Canadian goalie Michael Garnett and his Traktor team 2-0.Moscow started the week with a 6-5 win over Magnitogorsk in which they trailed most of the game and score twice in the last 5 1/2 minutes to win. That was enough for the Magnitogorsk team- favorites in the East but struggling at 5-7- and Coach Alexander Garkov got the axe. SKA kept pace with wins over Red Army 4-2 and Salavat Yulaev 4-2 (despite being outshot 39-24) to go to 7-1-2 and tied with Moscow (8-5-1) for the top with 26 points. Dinamo Minsk had the only other winning record in the west at 6-3-4 after a 5-2 win over Barys Astana. The third Dinamo, Riga, has started to recover from a horrible start with a 4-2 win over Poprad and a 2-0 blanking of my still-struggling team from Ekaterinburg. They still lead only Vityaz (who got a rare point with a shootout win over Severstal
In the East, the battle is between Traktor (who won twice this week, also topping Ak Bars 2-1) and Amur, who posted a 6-1 rout of Spartak and a 5-2 win at Vityaz. Not far back is Avangard, who had just a shootout win over Torpedo to their credit this week. Dropping back was Ak Bars, who also lost surprisingly to Poprad 4-1. More surprisingly is the continued schnide that Salavat is on. In addition to the previously mentioned loss to SKA, they also fell to Sibir ( on Vladmir Taraseko's hat trick) 6-3, and to Metallurg Novkutnesk 1-0. Sibir is working its way up, though, with Tarasenko striking for a goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over Severstal. The woes slightly abated for Salavat today, though; in one of the games already complete when I began this, they had at least gotten a point in a 3-2 OT loss to Red Army. Ekaterinburg split this week, with a 1-0 win over Neftekhimik behind Evgeny Lobanov's 28 saves which puts them at 3-9 for the season.
So the actual standings coming into this morning's games had Moscow and SKA both at the top of the West with 26, followed by Minsk at 24, Torpedo at 20, Spartak and Atlant at 19, Severstal and Red Army at 18, Poprad at 15, Riga at 14, and Vityaz thugging along at their usual clip with 8. In the East, it was Traktor at 28, Amur at 26, Avangard at23, Ak Bars at 22, Salavat 19, Sibir 18, Yugra and Novokutnesk at 17, Magnitogorsk and Neftekhimik at 15, Barys at 13, and Ekaterinburg at 9.
Looking over at the scoreboard one more time, there's still just the four games finished- Salavat's OT loss to Red Army; Amur won again, 4-3 against Severstal; Novokutensk took out Vityaz 6-3; and Sibir lost to Avangard in a shootout. And among the four games going on, Ekaterinburg is down 4-1 to SKA in the third. Whatcha gonna do?