Thursday, October 26, 2006

WAD Rankings #2

Is it a bad sign when you maintain a predominately sports related blog and you ask your roommate a question like, “hey dude, who’s winning the World Series?” Yeah, don’t answer that. Don’t get me wrong, my lack of knowledge of the battle waging between the Tigers and Cards isn’t for lack of interest, it’s more of a product of the fact that I just can’t keep up with everything on t.v. right now. Not too long ago somebody asked me why I haven’t been writing a “Television Tuesday” column recently, and the short answer is that I just can’t keep up with everything on t.v. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a transcendent season for television. I mean, we’ve got the old standards like “The Office”, “Boston Legal”, “Prison Break”, “Lost”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, and, of course, 12 hours of football on Saturdays and Sunday. Then, you throw into the mix all the great new shows like “Studio 60”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Shark”, “Justice”, and “30 Rock”, just to name a few, and I feel like I’m running uphill to keep up. So, in case you were wondering, I think there is a lot of great television out there right now, and there is a lot of great material to write about, but I just can’t narrow the field enough to write anything worthwhile. Not to worry, however, once “The O.C.” debuts on November 2nd and “24” comes roaring back in January, I’ll have plenty to say.

Now that you can all rest easy equipped with the knowledge that I haven’t lost my love of television, let’s talk some sports. Specifically, it’s time to debut the second edition of The WAD Rankings. Remember, these are the only rankings you will find that are actually intended to reflect who the best ten teams in America are at this very moment. We don’t care where they started the season; we only care about how good they are right now:

1) Ohio State (#1 AP, #1 USA Today, Previously #1 WAD) - They just keep on keeping on. They were dominant against Indiana, a team that was coming off its biggest win since Lee Corso was the coach. And, in the process, Troy Smith was nothing short of phenomenal. Honestly, I just haven’t seen any weaknesses yet.

2) Michigan (#2 AP, #3 USA Today, Previously #2 WAD) - They were efficient and workmanlike in a relatively easy win over an extremely talented and desperate Iowa team. Plus, they are getting healthier.

3) West Virginia (#4 AP, # 4 USA Today, Previously #3 WAD) - Again, they were dominant last week on the road at UConn. I’m still not sure there is a team in America that can slow down their rushing attack.

4) Tennessee (#8 AP, #9 USA Today, Previously #5 WAD) - As I talked about last week, no team has more impressive wins than the Vols, and even though last week’s win wasn’t pretty, it was against a quality opponent in a huge rivalry game. After all, there is a reason that everybody knows that the Tennessee/Alabama game takes place on the third Saturday in October every year. The Vols are as complete a football team as there is in America.

5) Auburn (#7 AP, #7 USA Today, Previously #6 WAD) - They followed the huge win over Florida with a dominating win over Tulane. Sure, Tulane sucks, but the Tigers did what they were supposed to do, so I’m going to jump them over Florida for now.

6) Florida (#9 AP, #8 USA Today, Previously #4 WAD) - Yes, I am dropping them in the rankings solely because they didn’t play, but that’s the facts of life. Tennessee and Auburn both played and were impressive, so right now, I’ve got to rank them higher. That being said, the Gators have a chance to make a statement this weekend against the Dawgs, and if they do, they will move back up.

7) Clemson (#10 AP, #11 USA Today, Previously Unranked by the WAD) - John Tenuta doesn’t get embarrassed often, but what the Tigers rushing attack did to the Jackets and their defensive coordinator last Saturday night was nothing short of humiliating. Clemson’s destruction of the Jackets was as dominant a performance I’ve seen all season. Sure, a lot of that had to do with the ineptitude of Reggie Ball and Chan Gailey, but you’ve got to give Clemson a lot of credit too. Hell, they are a missed extra point at B.C. away from vying for a spot in the National Title game.

8) Texas (#5 AP, #5 USA Today, Previously #7 WAD) - The Horns win at Nebraska was a solid win considering the fact that Nebraska is a pretty good team, the weather conditions were horrible, and their kicking game is atrocious. But the fact remains that if that kid from Nebraska doesn’t fumble after picking up that last first down, the Horns would have lost. So, I’m punishing them by dropping them one spot, but I can’t punish them too much because they managed to win. Honestly, I think this is the perfect spot for them.

9) USC (#3 AP, #@ USA Today, Previously #9 WAD) - They didn’t play last week, but there are no teams behind them I can justify moving ahead of them. So, the long and the short is that I’ve got no reason to move them up or down, so they stay put. Is this the week that they finally explode? If so, you can expect them to soar up this list. I’m just giving you fair warning.

10) Arkansas (#13 AP, #14 USA Today, Previously unranked by the WAD) – This team is 6-1, went into Auburn and laid the wood to the Tigers, and last week they put an un-holy beat down on an Ole Miss team that nearly beat UGA and Bama in the previous two weeks. They’ve still got huge tests coming up against Tennessee and LSU, but for now, they are one of the best ten teams in America.

Teams dropping out of the WAD Rankings:

Cal - I still like the Bears, but when you have to go to overtime to beat a mediocre Washington team at home, you can’t be one of the best ten teams in America. You just can’t. The Bears, however, have plenty of opportunity to impress in their next two games against UCLA and at Arizona before the game that will define their season in the Coliseum on November 3rd.

Louisville - Sure, the Cards are undefeated, but they have looked like crap the past two weeks against sub-par teams (Cincinnati and Syracuse). They, however, have their chance over the next two weeks against West Virginia and the State University of New Jersey to make their impression. Two wins in the next two weeks, and the Cards could go from unranked to near the top of the WAD rankings.