Friday, September 07, 2007

NCAA Division I-A College Football Predictions 2007 Week 2

Note: For odds and rankings we use the College Football Prediction Tracker, Yahoo Live Odds and Sagarin Rankings at USA Today. There are some great games this second week of college football

Thursday: Louisville was favored by 40.5 over Middle Tennessee State. We had it 51-24 for Louisville, who won 58-42. In spite of a great offense, that poor defense will hurt the Cardinals this year if they do not get it straightened out pretty soon.

Oregon State was favored by 3 over Cincinnati, our selection as the "sleeper" team of the year because of their new coach, and they did not disappoint us, beating the Beavers, who committed 7 turnovers, 34-3. The game of course was closer than the score indicates and Oregon State had more yardage than the Bearcats did. We had it in favor of Cincinnati 27-21.

Friday: Rutgers is favored over Navy by 16.5. We have never done well in favoring high odds against the Midshipmen, so we call it for Rutgers in a squeaker 33-31.

Our won-loss prediction record for the first college football week was OK, but our performance against the spread was below .500, which is not unusual to start out the season, when the strength of teams is uncertain, but nevertheless it was a disappointment. We also think that the scoring has changed due to the new NCAA rule changes, which has affected the spread margins, giving stronger teams more opportunities to score. We hope to do better this week by taking that into account.

Saturday:

Arizona State is favored by 15 over Colorado. We are uncertain because no one knows at this stage how good the Buffaloes are. We call it 37-34 for the Sun Devils who clobbered San Jose State 45-3 in their opener.

Arkansas State is a 3-point underdog at home to Memphis even though Sagarin's data would favor Memphis. The Indians lost to Texas only by 21-13 and had more total offense and more first downs than the Longhorns. Memphis totally dominated Mississippi statistically but still lost 23-21, not being able to put the ball into the end zone and turning the ball over five times. This will be an interesting game and no matter what the outcome, it will not be a surprise. We give a small edge to Arkansas State 17-16 on the basis of what is obviously a very good defense.

Defensive opportunist Auburn is favored by 7 over South Florida though Sagarin's rankings would predict a much bigger winning margin. South Florida closed the 2006 season impressively, knocking off West Virgina in their next to last game. They beat Elon in their opener this year 28-13. The Phoenix lost last year to Appalachian State by 45-21 and by 44-7 to the Citadel, which shows that South Florida is no offensive power. Auburn was lucky to win its opener against Kansas State, 23-13. We look for a tenacious defensive battle and give the edge to the SEC Tigers, 17-16.

Baylor is favored over Rice by 6.5 points. Rice lost surprisingly 16-14 to Nicholls State in their opener while Baylor threw four interceptions against TCU to lose ineffectually 27-0. How a team can throw 55 passes in a game, complete 26 and not score is one of the great mysteries of football and points to what must be some poor playcalling by the Bear coaching staff. We call this game in favor of Rice 28-27.

Boston College is favored over North Carolina State by 14, although numerous predictors make the Eagles a much bigger favorite. Tom O'Brien, the new Wolfpack coach, was the head coach for the Eagles last year and we imagine that the Eagles will really be up to win this game. We are not quite sure what is wrong with Wolfpack football. They started out the year 2006 with big wins over Appalachian State, Boston College and Florida State in their first five games, but losing at the same time to also-rans Akron and Southern Miss. After that, it was all downhill as NC State lost 7 straight games to close out the year. They started out this season with an unexpected 25-23 loss to UCF. O'Brien plans to start Harrison Beck, a transfer QB from Nebraska, who came in late in the 2nd quarter and led the Wolfpack in the 2nd half with 17 of 28 completions and 207 yards in nearly overcoming a 25-3 halftime deficit. If Beck continues to play that well against the Eagles, it might be close. We call it for Boston College 31-30.

Central Michigan, which lost its opening game to Kansas 52-7, is favored over Toledo by three points, although some prognosticators favor them by more than 2 TDs, whereas the Sagarin rankings favor Toledo, which lost to Purdue in its first game 52-24. Last year the Chippewas beat the Rockets 42-20 on the road so that it is difficult to see them losing at home. We call it for Central Michigan 34-30.

Clemson is favored by 26 over Louisiana-Monroe. The tigers started the season out with an impressive 24-18 win over Florida State, holding the Seminoles to only 8 first downs. Louisiana-Monroe lost to Tulsa 35-17. The Tigers have a good defense but their offense should not warrant a 26-point edge here. We call it 36-21 for Clemson.

Colorado State is a 14-point underdog at home to California. Either Cal is good or the Volunteers last week were just bad. What kind of a measuring stick is Colorado this year, who beat the Rams 31-28 in overtime last week? The Buffaloes are surely improving. We call it 38-35 for Cal.

East Carolina is favored by 4.5 over North Carolina. The Pirates lost 28-17 to the Tar Heels in 2003, when they went 1-11. They are a much better team now, losing to Virginia Tech 17-7 last week, but we do not think they will beat Butch Davis and favor the Tar Heels 24-17.

Eastern Michigan (1-11 last year) is a 4.5 underdog to Ball State, who managed to lose their home opener to Miami of Ohio 14-13. Not a lot of offense there. We call it 21-14 for the Cardinals against the equally inept Eagles who lost to Pittsburgh 27-3 in their season opener.

Florida is favored by 26 over Troy. The Gators opened up their national title defense with a 49-3 victory over Western Kentucky, while Troy faltered at Arkansas 46-26. We figure Florida to be at least 1 TD better than the Razorbacks, so we call it 49-20.

Florida International is a 24-point underdog to Maryland. The Terrapins beat Villanova 31-14 in their home opener, while the Golden Panthers were crushed on the road 59-0 by Penn State. Maryland was 9-4 last year, closing out the season with a 24-7 win over Purdue, so they can't be much weaker than the Nittany Lions. We call it 42-14 for Maryland.

Florida State is favored by 33.5 over UAB. The Seminoles lost by 6 to highly-regarded Clemson whereas the Blazers were blown away by the Michigan State Spartans 55-18. We call it 52-17 for the Seminoles.

Georgia is favored by 4 over South Carolina. The Bulldogs seem to have decided on a starting QB this year and the rest of the team is strong. Georgia 41 South Carolina 27.

Iowa is favored by 23 over Syracuse. Iowa won their opener against Northern Illinois 16-3 whereas the Orange was crushed to juice by Washington 42-12. Can Iowa score more against this weak defense? We call it Iowa 21 Syracuse 17.

Kansas State is favored by 17 over San Jose State. The Wildcats were pretty equal to Auburn most of the game, before falling 23-13, whereas the Spartans were annihilated by Arizona State 45-3. We call it 35-13 for Kansas State.

Kentucky, 50-10 winners over Eastern Kentucky to open their season, is favored by 12.5 over Kent State, which beat Iowa State 23-14 in its first game. Kentucky was 8-5 last year and has most of its offense returning, including a fine QB in Andre Woodson. We call it 38-17 for Kentucky.

LSU is favored by 12.5 over Virginia Tech. This game will give us a good idea of how strong these two teams are. The Tigers will have trouble with the Hokie defense and it remains to be seen if the Hokie rushing is as bad against LSU as it was against East Carolina. We see an upset possibility here and call it 17-16 for Virginia Tech.

Louisiana Tech is a 27.5-point underdog to Hawaii. The Bulldogs won their first game 28-7 against Central Arkansas (8-3 last year), intercepting 5 passes, and play the Rainbow Warriors at home this year in trying to avenge last year's 61-17 loss. Louisiana Tech is surely improved this year but that will not help them much against Colt Brennan. We give the nod to Hawaii 49-21.

Louisiana-Lafayette is a 1.5-point underdog to Ohio. The first week, the Bobcats beat Gardner-Webb 36-14 whereas the Rajin' Cajuns lost to South Carolina 28-14. We see a strong home team advantage here and call it 24-23 for Louisiana-Lafayette.

Marshall, which lost at home 31-3 to Miami of Florida to open their season, is a 23.5-point underdog at home to West Virginia. We do not think that West Virginia is better than Miami and given the home field advantage see Marshall as a 21-point underdog, 35-14.

Michigan is favored in the Big House over Oregon by 8.5 points and is surely going to be the most motivated team in the nation this weekend, trying to shake off the disaster of last week's loss to Appalachian State. The Ducks are coming off a 48-27 home win over Houston, gained on a favorable turnover ratio of 0-4 and with less offensive yardage than the Cougars. We look for a Michigan win by 48-34.

Michigan State is favored by 18 points over Bowling Green. The Falcons knocked off one Big 10 foe to start of their season, beating hapless Minnesota 32-31, but it won't happen again, as they face a strong Spartan team that started well last year only to fizzle in the second half of the season. Michigan State started out this year with a 55-18 win over UAB. We call it 45-26 for the Spartans.

Minnesota is favored by 8.5 points over Miami of Ohio, probably for the sole reason of the home field advantage. The Golden Gophers will probably bounce back from their ignominious loss to Bowling Green and we call it 38-27 for Minnesota.

Mississippi is a 5.5-point underdog to Missouri. The Missouri Tigers were expected to have a stronger team this year, but this was not apparent in their opening win over Illinois 40-34, whose record in 2006 was 2-10. Mississippi, 4-8 last year with a 34-7 road loss to the Tigers, won their opening game against Memphis 23-21. The game looks like it will be close and we call it for the Tigers 28-27.

New Mexico is a 7-point favorite over New Mexico State. The Lobos were 6-7 last year and started out this season with a 10-6 loss at UTEP. The Aggies beat Southeastern Louisiana (2-9 last year) 35-14. We call it for New Mexico 31-21.

Northwestern is a 10-point favorite over Nevada . The Wildcats opened their season 27-0 against Northeastern whereas Nevada was bowled over by the Huskers 52-10. Nevada beat Northwestern at home 31-21 last year. With the change of home fields, this should be close, but we give the edge to the Wolf Pack 26-24.

Ohio State is a 28.5-point favorite over Akron. The Buckeyes beat Youngstown State 38-6 in the season opener while Akron topped Army 22-14. Akron lost 34-16 to Penn State last year. We give the nod to the Buckeyes by 4 TDs 42-14.

Oklahoma is a 10.5-point favorite over Miami of Florida. This could be a very good game. The Sooners looked good against weak opposition in their first game, beating North Texas 79-10, while Miami of Florida beat Marshall 31-3. We call it for the Okies 28-24.

Oklahoma State is a 24-point favorite over Florida Atlantic. The Cowboys really took it on the chin from Georgia 35-14 to open the season and will be hoping to have a better opportunity to get their offense into gear against an Owls team that beat Middle Tennessee State 27-14. The Owls seem to have a defense which may not allow that wide a margin. We call it Oklahoma State 31 Florida Atlantic 14.

SMU is 17.5 point favorite over North Texas. The Mustangs lost to Texas Tech 49-9 and the Mean Green lost to Oklahoma 79-10. We call it for SMU 35-21.

Temple is a 3.5 favorite over Buffalo. Rutgers cruised over Buffalo 38-3 whereas Temple gave Navy a good fight before going down 30-19. The Owl lost to the Bulls 9-3 last year on the road, so we give Temple the benefit of the home field advantage and call it 24-21 for the Owls.

Tennessee is an 11.5 point favorite over Southern Miss. After being clouted 45-31 by Cal on the road, the Volunteers have a home game against the Golden Eagles, who won 35-13 against Tennessee-Martin to open their season. Last year, Southern Miss lost by about 30 points to top teams on the road, so that we call it 47-17 for Tennessee.

Texas is a 10-point favorite over TCU. This is potentially one of the great games of the day. The Longhorns were not convincing in their season opener against Arkansas State, 21-13, while the Horned Frogs shackled Baylor 27-0. In 2005 TCU beat Oklahoma 17-10 to start out the year and Texas may be looking for real trouble here. We call it for the Longhorns 24-21.

Texas A&M is a 17-point favorite over Fresno State. The Aggies won impressively 38-7 over Montana State to start out the season. The Bulldogs beat Sacramento State 24-3. We like Texas A&M by two touchdowns, 38-24.

Texas Tech is a 24-point favorite over UTEP. The Red Raiders sailed over SMU 49-9 while UTEP beat New Mexico 10-6. We see Texas Tech as the winners 44-17.

Tulane is a 6-point underdog at home to Mississippi State. Last year the Green Wave beat the Bulldogs on the road 32-29. We call it for Tulane 26-24.

UCLA is a 7.5-point favorite over Brigham Young University. The Bruins struggled against Stanford in the first half before pulling away in the second 45-17. BYU beat Arizona at home 20-7. We call it for UCLA 31-21.

UNLV is a 26.5-point underdog to Wisconsin. The Badgers beat Washington State 42-21 to start their season while the Rebels beat Utah State 23-16. We call it for the Badgers by 38-20.

Utah is an 8-point favorite over Air Force. The Utes lost to Oregon State 24-7 and should be more than a match for the Falcons, who beat South Carolina State 34-3. We call it for Utah 31-16.

Vanderbilt is a 3.5-point underdog to Alabama. The Commodores beat Richmond 41-17 while 'Bama under new head coach Saban beat Western Carolina 52-6. We call it for the Crimson Tide, 38-14.

Virginia is a 17.5-point favorite over Duke, who disappointed greatly last week, losing to Connecticut 45-14 while Virginia lost to Wyoming 23-3. We don't expect a lot of scoring in this game and call it 27-21 for the Cavaliers.

Wake Forest is an 8.3-point underdog to Nebraska. The Demon Decons were waylaid by Boston College 38-28 whereas the Huskers tromped on Nevada 52-10 playing the kind of physical running football that marked past top Big Red teams. We call it 41-17 for the Cornhuskers.

Washington is a 3-point underdog to Boise State. The Broncos beat Weber State 56-7 while Washington mashed Syracuse 42-12. We call it 31-27 for the Broncos.

Washington State is a 14-point favorite over San Diego State. We call it 38-21 for the Cougars.

Western Michigan is a 1-point favorite over Indiana. The Hoosiers beat Indiana State 55-7 in their first game. Western Michigan was crushed by West Virginia 62-24. We call it 41-38 for Indiana.

Wyoming is a 24.5-point favorite over Utah State. The Broncos beat Virginia 23-3 while the Aggies lost to UNLV 23-16. We call it for Wyoming 35-21.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

NCAA College Football Top 40 Rankings 2007 based on Sagarin's USA Today Predictor

NCAA College Football Top 40 Rankings 2007
after the first week of play based solely on
Sagarin's USA Today Computer Predictor (Pure Points)
provenly the best predictor of the outcome of future games
(which gets more and more accurate as the season progresses)

1. Oklahoma
2. LSU
3. Georgia Tech
4. Florida
5. Ohio State
6. Nebraska
7. Texas Tech
8. West Virginia
9. Penn State
10. USC
11. California
12. Louisville
13. Wisconsin
14. Boise State
15. Georgia
16. UCLA
17. Arizona State
18. Miami of FLorida
19. Oregon State
20. Auburn
21. Purdue
22. Kansas
23. Washington
24. Clemson
25. TCu
26. Boston College
27. Oregon
28. Iowa
29. Florida State
30. Michigan State
31. Rutgers
32. Hawaii
33. Virginia Tech
34. Alabama
35. BYU
36. Tennessee
37. Texas A&M
38. Texas
39. Arkansas
40. Wyoming

Monday, September 03, 2007

NCAA Division I-A (FBS) College Football Preseason Rankings and 1st Week Performance of those Teams

Preseason 2007 USA Today Coaches NCAA Division I-A Football Rankings
compared to 1st Week Performance

1. USC looked sluggish against Idaho (4-8 in 2006), winning 38-10 - certainly not deserving of a No. 1 ranking based on this performance
2. LSU beat Mississippi State (3-9 in 2006 and a 48-17 loser to LSU) 45-0 with superb defense
3. Florida beat Western Kentucky (6-5 in 2006 and a 48-12 loser to Georgia) 49-3 in a game called because of lightning with 8:23 left to play in the 4th quarter
4. Texas had a lackluster effort against Arkansas Tech (6-6 in 2006) 21-13, piling up the lesser yardage and definitely ranked too high
5. Michigan was ambushed at home by I-AA (FCS) Appalachian State 34-32 and should drop out of the rankings until they prove how good the team is this year in I-A competition
6. West Virginia beat Western Michigan with a good offense 62-24 but showed weaknesses in pass defense and clock control (for a running team) and definitely ranked too high
7. Wisconsin won over Washington State 42-21 as Donovan threw for 3 TDs, in a good performance confirming the ranking
8. Oklahoma led North Texas (3-9 in 2006, losing to Texas 56-7) 49-0 at the half and rolled to win 79-10 behind freshman redshirt Sam Bradford (363 yards passing for 3 TDs, 18 straight completions) and freshman DeMarco Murray (5 rushing TDs), indicating that the Sooners may have a superior team this and should be ranked higher
9. Virginia Tech struggled to a 17-7 victory over East Carolina (7-6 in 2006, losing 27-10 to West Virginia) confirming their great defense and weak offense
10. Ohio State was solid but unimpresive over Youngstown State (I-AA, FCS, 11-3 in 2006 with a 37-3 loss to Penn State) 38-6
11. Louisville led 49-0 at the half and pounded Murray State (1-10 in 2006, loser to Missouri 47-7) 73-10. The return of top players mandates a higher rank for this team.
12. California, a loser on the road to Tennessee last year, turned the tables on the Volunteers at home, 45-31, the most points scored against Tennessee since a 62-37 loss to Florida in 1995. Cal's offense is strong, but their defense is suspect.
13. Georgia pulled away from Oklahoma State 35-14, shutting down the Cowboy offense in the second half. Georgia may have the best team in the SEC.
14. Auburn trailed Kansas State 13-9 after 3 quarters but then survived a tenacious 23-13 win as K-State was hampered by 16 penalties for 141 yards and 3 turnovers. Based on this game, Auburn has a long way to go and was lucky not to lose.
15. Tennessee - see No. 12 above
16. Rutgers beat Buffalo (2-10 in 2006) 38-3. Rutgers remains strong this year.
17. UCLA spoiled Harbaugh's debut as Stanford head coach, 45-17, showing the chief weaknesses in the Cardinal team to be in the defensive unit. The Bruins are strong this year.
18. Penn State blanked Florida International (0-12 last year) 59-0. The Nittany Lions are good again in 2007.
19. Nebraska dominated Nevada 52-10 (8-5 last year, losing 21-20 to Miami of Florida in the MPC Computers Bowl) on a strong performance by Marlon Lucky (233 yards on 30 carries) and the rest of the backfield, with the Cornhuskers putting up 413 yards rushing, the kind of performance that reminded of great Husker teams of the past. Sam Keller, transfer QB from Arizona State, was 14 of 25 for 193 yards and the NU Blackshirt defense was superb.
20. Arkansas and Darren McFadden topped Troy 46-26. We were surprised that the Razorbacks did this well, but their problems remain for the remainder of the season.
21. Florida State put on a dismal offensive showing, fell behind early and lost to Clemson 24-18.
22. TCU shut out Baylor 27-0 (4-8 last year) carrying on where the top-3 defense left off in 2006
23. Boise State led Weber State 49-0 at the half and coasted to a 56-7 victory behind QB Taylor Tharp and running back Ian Johnson.
24. Hawaii led 42-0 at the half and won 63-6 against Northern Colorado (I-AA, FCS), as Colt Brennan completed 34 of 40 passes for 416 yards and 6 TDs, all in the first half.
25. Texas A&M won over Montana State (8-5 last year, I-AA, FCS) 38-7 , a team that closed out its season in 2006 with a 38-17 loss to Appalachian State. The Bobcats outgained and out-firstdowned the Aggies, but could not get the ball into the end zone.

Other teams receiving votes in the press and coaches polls:

-Boston College beat Wake Forest 38-28 in a game dominated by passing on both sides.
-Georgia Tech beat Notre Dame 33-3 as the Yellow Jackets held the Irish to minus 9 yards rushing and 130 yards passing. Georgia Tech is clearly a top 10 team at the moment.
- Miami (FL) topped Marshall 31-3.
- Notre Dame lost to Georgia Tech 33-3 - see above.
- South Carolina struggled against Louisiana-Lafayette 28-14.
- Wake Forest lost to Boston College 38-28 in a game dominated by passing on both sides.
- Missouri beat Illinois 40-34 as the Illini turned the ball over five times.
- Oregon State, the team that broke USC's win streak last year, won over Utah 24-7, indicating that the Beavers should be ranked higher
- Brigham Young beat Arizona 20-7.
- Clemson beat Florida State - see above
- Oregon beat Houston 48-27, pulling away in the 2nd half. The Cougars had better stats but also 4 turnovers.
- South Florida (9-4 in 2006) beat Elon 28-13
- Texas Tech beat SMU 49-9 this year (35-3 in 2006)
- Alabama led 38-3 at the half and beat Western Carolina (2-9 in 2006, losing to Florida 62-0) 52-6
- Oklahoma State lost to Georgia, with the Bulldogs deserving a slot in the top 10
- Southern Miss beat Tennessee-Martin 35-13
- Iowa beat Northern Illinois 16-3 and were lucky to intercept 3 Huskies passes
- Kansas State lost to Auburn - see above
- Memphis lost to Mississippi 23-21
- Houston lost to Oregon - see above
- Arizona lost to BYU - see above
- Duke lost to Connecticut 45-14
- Kentucky beat Eastern Kentucky 50-10 with a balanced offense and has a much improved team this year that will give SEC opponents substantial problems
- Washington State lost to Wisconsin - see above
- Arizona State beat San Jose State impressively 45-3
- Virginia was dominated by Wyoming 23-3 (the Cowboys lost 13-12 on the road last year)
- Purdue won against Toledo 52-24 on some long plays, but their own defense is weak
- North Carolina State lost to UCF 25-23

Stanford Wins 13th Straight Directors Cup as Best Sports Program in NCAA Division I

SportPundit is a Stanford alum. For your college or university, see the full rankings here.

Stanford University -- for the 13th year in a row in 2006-2007 --
won the U.S. Sports Academy & USA Today
NACDA Directors' Cup (pictured below)

Director's Cup

as the best college sports program in NCAA Division I . The NACD annually ranks all US colleges and universities by their placement in selected major sports for both men and women. The NACDA wrote:

"Stanford captured its 13th straight U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup, scoring 1429.00 points. The Directors’ Cup is presented annually by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), United States Sports Academy and USA Today to the best overall collegiate athletics programs in the country.

The 2006-07 U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup winners were announced at NACDA’s 42nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, and the four winning institutions -- one in each of the NCAA divisions (I, II, and III), and the NAIA – were awarded with their U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cups.

In the fall, the Cardinal captured the women’s cross country national title, finished
runner-up in women’s soccer and women’s volleyball and were fourth in men’s cross
country.

During the winter NCAA Championships, Stanford recorded seven top-10 finishes: men’s swimming (2nd), men’s gymnastics (3rd), women’s swimming (4th), men’s indoor
track & field (4th), women’s gymnastics (5th), women’s indoor track and field (6th) and
fencing (9th). Stanford also scored in men’s basketball and wrestling.

In the spring, the Cardinal captured the men’s golf title, were runners-up in women’s water polo, third in women’s tennis, fifth in women’s golf and 10th in both men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.

Stanford scored in 21 total sports, but only 19 sports counted towards the final total, 10
women’s sports and nine men's sports."

In Division I, UCLA placed 2nd, North Carolina 3rd, Michigan 4th and USC 5th.

In NCAA Division II, the top five schools were Grand Valley State, UC San Diego, Abilene Christian, Minnesota State Mankato and North Dakota.

In NCAA Division III, the top five schools were Williams, Middlebury, SUNY Cortland State, Amherst and Washington (Mo.).

In the NAIA, the top five schools were Azusa Pacific, Lindenwood, Concordia (Calif.), Cedarville and Oklahoma Baptist.

The sports taken into consideration differ by NCAA Division,
with the sports included in Division I in 2006-2007 as follows:

Fall Sports
Men's and Women's Cross Country
Field Hockey
Football
Men's soccer
Women's soccer
Women's Volleyball

Winter Sports
Women's Basketball
Men's Basketball
Men's Ice Hockey
Women's Swimming and Diving
Men's Swimming and Diving
Men's & Women's Indoor Track & Field
Men's Wrestling

Spring Sports
Men's Baseball
Women's Golf
Men's Golf
Women's Lacrosse
Men's Lacrosse
Women's Rowing
Women's Softball
Women's Tennis
Men's Tennis
Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field

The Florida State Seminoles (15th) have the Top 25 Rankings in Division I at their website showing that Stanford still has a good margin to the 2nd place university, this year UCLA:

Directors Cup Division I Final Standings
by Ranking and Total Points


1. Stanford 1429.00
2. UCLA 1232.00
3. North Carolina 1161.33
4. Michigan 1135.25
5. USC 1103.50
6. Tennessee 1045.75
7. Florida 1042.25
8. Texas 1037.25
9. California 1030.00
10. Arizona State 1005.00

11. Duke 988.25
12. Georgia 971.00
13. Virginia 945.00
14. Ohio State 927.50
15. Florida State 924.25
16. Wisconsin 913.25
17. LSU. 888.00
18. Texas A&M 881.00
19. Auburn 866.25
20. Minnesota 862.75

21. Penn State 848.83
22. Notre Dame 789.50
23. Wake Forest 708.50
24. Arizona 703.33
25. Oklahoma 702.75

One can see here one of the main reasons for the great exasperation of Stanford alumni with the hopeless condition to which the Cardinal football program had been allowed to deteriorate, transmitting a totally false picture about Stanford athletics to the world at large.

Some people in Florida like Andy Staples think that Stanford won (and always wins) because of a massive scholarship endowment, but we have no way to check if that is true. Harvard and Yale have higher endowments than Stanford and annually finish as also-rans for the Directors' Cup.

However, the Gators also were simply beaten by the Cardinal in several major sports, for example, golf. Not even when Tiger Woods attended Stanford for two years before turning pro, did Stanford ever win the NCAA golf team championship. Here all teams have an equal chance. In 2007, Stanford won and Florida finished in a tie for 9th. Not enough good young golfers in Florida? Of course there are. Stanford certainly is not recruiting them with offers of more money, as no one at all on the Stanford golf roster is from Florida. As Hooked on Golf wrote, Stanford was ranked No. 1 all along during the year and, as it turned out, rightfully so.

In the men's swimming and diving competition, Stanford finished 2nd and Florida 4th. This has nothing to do with the relative school's endowment. The Stanford men's swimming roster does not have a single swimmer from Florida and predominates with Californians. The Florida swimming roster does not have anyone from California and predominates with Floridians.

Winning can of course be related to the question of money and endowment, but in the case of the Florida basketball and football teams, for example, it is also very much a matter of hiring the right coaches with the right philosophies of excellence. As written about Billy Donovan, the Florida basketball coach:

"... Donovan, who was officially hired as Florida’s 17th head coach on March 27, 1996, has certainly lived up to his national reputation as one of the nation’s top young coaches who preaches an up-tempo, full-court, pressing style of play built around a tremendous work ethic." [emphasis added]

When Urban Meyer was still coaching at Bowling Green, we suggested -- being a Nebraska alumnus -- to some people in Nebraska that they hire Meyer as head coach for Osborne's faltering successor. Unfortunately, those words fell on deaf ears. Meyer went to Utah and is now at Florida, where he won a national championship in his second year as head coach.

By contrast, the Cornhuskers are now in their fourth year with their new head coach and Husker fans are patiently waiting for Callahan to put them in the top 10.

Stanford University is definitely marked by a climate and culture of excellence and that climate fosters even more excellence. Money helps, recruiting is essential, etc., but a university culture of excellence is the key.

That is what, for example, marks the coaching of Larry Kehres, whose superb teams consist entirely of athletes without athletic scholarships of any kind. As we have written before:

"Jack Ewing, president of Mount Union College, is quoted by Simionich as saying about Kehres and the football team:

"This is a culture of excellence that I have never seen before." "

When Urban Meyer first went to Utah:

"The first day, he closed the doors, told us to take off our jewelry and headbands and told us it was time to get to work. He said there was no one to impress [in the weight room]. It was all work and business," all-MWC defensive end Jason Kaufusi said." [emphasis added]

Kehres too is all business:

"As Milan Simonich writes at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

He [Kehres] took a solid program and turned it into a spectacular one by emphasizing precision, mental preparation and weight training. "

Take a look at Jerry Moore, head coach of the Appalachian State team that just beat Michigan. That kind of a stunning upset does not just surface out of nowhere. Moore also is the product of a culture of excellence, having joined the Nebraska Cornhuskers as receivers coach in 1972, and becoming offensive coordinator under top NCAA coach Tom Osborne in 1978. In all of Moore's years in Lincoln, the Huskers were only once ranked out of the top 10 teams in the nation. Winning breeds winning. Excellence breeds excellence.

Stanford does not win the Director's Cup just because it has a larger endowment. There are many other factors, and excellence is one of them.

Top 25 Division III College Football Results Week 1 2007 : Mt. Union sets NCAA Scoring Record

Mount Union (ranked No. 1) wins over Averett 75-7 and Scores 52 in the 1st Quarter as more than 100 team players see game action

We suggested in an earlier posting that this might be the best team head coach Larry Kehres has ever had at Mount Union, and that would be quite a superlative, given the record of the Purple Raiders over the years. The Purple Raiders set an NCAA record of 52 points in the 1st quarter of this game against last year's 7-3 USA South Athletic Conference Champion and led 72-0 at halftime. Kehres is not one to run up scores needlessly. He used more than 100 players in the game, most of them already in the first half. Mount Union's leading rusher, Nate Kmic, ran for 151 yards in seven carries for 4 TDs, all in the first quarter, and then spent the rest of the game on the bench. Greg Micheli completed 9 of 9 passes for 123 yards in his first career start as the quarterback for Mount Union. Kehres thereafter used 4 more quarterbacks in the game. Appalachian State may have beaten Michigan, (YouTube video of last two minutes here) but they would have a tough time beating this Purple Raider team, which excels in football year after year in a college and an NCAA division which provides no football scholarships at all.

Wisc-Whitewater (2) 41 Lakeland 7
Wesley (3) 34 NC Wesleyan 31
Central (4) 35 St. Thomas 10
Occidental (5)
William Paterson 17 Wilkes (6) 16
Capital (7) 13 Wittenberg 0
Whitworth (8)
Wisc-La Crosse (9) 47 Hardin-Simmons (10) 21
Mary Hardin-Baylor (11)
St. Johns (12) 55 Marietta 14
Simpson 14 Concordia (WI) (13) §
Christ. Newport (26) 23 Rowan (14) 17
SUNY Cortland (15)
St. John Fisher (16) 49 Kings 7
Wheaton (17)
St. Norbert (18) 34 Olivet Nazarene 27
Buena Vista 21 Bethel (19) !&
Springfield (MA) (20)
Washington & Jefferson (21)
Carnegie Mellon (22) 33 Rochester 10
Mount St Joseph (23) 31 Wilmington 19
Hobart (24)
Curry College (25) 38 Worcester St. 26

Division III results via the Sports Network.

Top 25 Division II College Football Results Week 1 & 2

Division II College Football Results
of Top-Ranked Teams Week 1 and Week 2 2007

Grand Valley State (1) 42 St. Josephs (Indiana) 14
NW Missouri St. (2) 21 Arkansas Tech 0
North Dakota (3) 59 Humboldt State 0
North Alabama (4) has not played yet
Chadron State (5) 34 Washburn 24 (Woodhead 290 yards rushing
Chadron State (5) 55 Wayne St (NE) 14 (Woodhead 104 yards rushing)
Valdosta State (6) 41 Albany State (21) 3
Pittsburg State (7) 28 Texas A&M Commerce 14
Pittsburg State (7) 41 East Central 15
West Texas A&M (24) 55 South Dakota (8) 45
Shepherd (8) 26 Millersville 7
Shepherd (9) 19 Shippensburg 14
Delta State (10) 27 Jackson State 15
Central Oklahoma 27 Abilene Christian (11) 17
Bloomsburg (12) 42 CW Post 28
Carson-Newman (13) 52 Virginia State 21
Carson-Newman (13) 29 UT-Chattanooga (I-AA) 17
Nebraska-Omaha (14) 41 Nebraska-Kearney 24
Northwood (15) 28 Mercyhurst 10
Newberry (16) 67 Chowan 0
West Chester (17) 32 Edinboro 16
SE Oklahoma (18) 48 NW Oklahoma 26
Midwestern State (23) 41 Adams State 15
Minn-Duluth 31 Bemidji State (20) 14
Albany State (20) 16 N. Carol. Cent. (I-AA) 10
Albany State (21) 3 Valdosta State (6) 41
Catawba 34 Elizabeth City (22) 7
California (PA) (21) 26 East Stroudsburg 3
California (PA) (23) 34 Glenville St 13
West Texas A&M (24) 55 South Dakota (8) 45
Ashland 32 Saginaw Valley (25) 27

Stats via the Sports Network.

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