No. -10 Rice . . . The Owls continue making a great case to be this year’s “Washington.” Last week, they were hospitable hosts during a 63-17 loss to Navy. The Owls allowed the Midshipmen to rush for 471 yards on 80 carries. Gee, we’re wondering what the winning percentage is for teams that run the football 80 or more times in a single game.
No. -9 Pac-10 replay officials . . . Were they providing Washington with a make-up call a week after replay officials from the Big East seemed hellbent on preventing the Huskies from entering the end zone at Notre Dame? That’s just about the only thing we can come up with to explain why those Pac-10 replay officials didn’t overrule Washington’s interception and game-winning touchdown return. There’s no doubt that it’s a close call and certainly tough to make live on the field, but one of the replay angles does offer irrefutable evidence that the ball hit the ground.
No. -8 UNLV . . . The Rebels have surrendered 1,384 yards and 122 points over the course of the past two weeks in losses to Nevada and Brigham Young. Expect more of the same on Saturday as No. 24 Utah picks up an easy win at Sam Boyd Stadium, which is home to the only sure thing in Vegas.
No. -7 Michigan’s schedule . . . Seriously, what kind of joke is this Delaware State at Michigan game? Are the Wolverines really charging admission on Saturday? Delaware State is best known for the 105-0 loss it absorbed at the hands of Portland State in 1980. Remember Neil Lomax? More recently, the Hornets lost at home last week to Bethune-Cookman, 9-7.
No. -6 Western Kentucky . . . The Hilltoppers fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter, surrendered 20 unanswered points in the second half and barely bothered Florida International, which won the “Worst of the Weak” Super Bowl III in a breeze, 37-20. The Golden Panthers improved to 1-4, while the Hilltoppers extended their national “best” losing streak to 12 games. Louisiana-Lafayette will be more than pleased to tack on No. 13 on Saturday.
No. -5 New rules . . . No more 60-ounce footballs filled with beer? What is this world coming to?
No. -4 Vanderbilt . . . While Florida, LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss hogged all the SEC headlines before, during and after last Saturday’s games, did anyone notice or care that the Commodores scored 13 points in an overtime loss to Army?
No. -3 State of Indiana . . . Indiana was close to tapping out at Virginia last Saturday, trailing 37-0 midway through the third quarter, before regaining some of its senses and merely getting outscored 10-7 the rest of the way. Way to go Hoosiers! Meanwhile, Purdue was putting the finishing touches on its fifth consecutive loss, this time a 35-20 debacle at Minnesota. Ball State did the Boilermakers one better, dropping to 0-6 with a 24-19 loss at Temple. Notre Dame, which took the weekend off to prepare for USC, wasn’t available to lend the great state of Indiana a hand.
No. -2 California . . . Holding steady here in the second spot for the third week in a row! The Golden Bears also didn’t score a touchdown for the third week in a row, but this time that can be attributed to the fact that they didn’t play a game. Cal continued its stranglehold on this runner-up position due to its mode of transportation to Saturday’s game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Instead of the usual flight that’s barely long enough for a bit of beverage service, the Bears will spend six hours bussing to Los Angeles. “It kind of reminds you of the high school days with the long bus trips,” quarterback Kevin Riley told the Oakland Tribune. Yes it does, Kevin. Hopefully something in your near future will remind you that you’re playing for a top-notch college football program . . . or at least what we thought was one.
And finally, the absolute “Worst of the Weak” . . .
No. -1 Dave Shinskie’s pass-efficiency rating . . . Before the Boston College quarterback completed just one of his 12 pass attempts to a teammate for four yards and threw two passes to members of the Virginia Tech defense, who knew that a negative number (-22.20) was even possible in a pass-efficiency rating? Leave it to a 25-year-old freshman to help educate us. Thanks Dave.