Ray's Top 25: Texas St. No. 16

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Ray's Top 25: Texas St. No. 16

Every week, our Senior Decider votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which of course makes all other opinions both superfluous and valueless (hey, dont say you never get your moneys worth here).So here, after a mostly desultory Week One, is the world of college football, whether you like it or not. And if you dont, theres a new one next week you might like better.Oh, and just so you know, we dont project what a team will do in the future. Everyone has played only the one game, and we go on what weve seen, not what we think well see later, or what would happen if the teams played each other. Thats why Michigan and Boise State arent here. You can project all you want, though. Just dont complain because we dont.Its Week 1. Calm the hell down.AP POLL: Rankings as of 942012
This matters because a few constituencies who care about non-binding polls after so little actual information get violently angry when their team isnt ranked . . . well, 0th, the only spot better than first. Which is fine. Fans do that, which is why you never buy them a drink.But three items leap out: West Virginians are cranky I voted the Mountaineers 24th, even though they are considered a top 10 team in both polls. Well, maybe I undervalue a five-touchdown win over Marshall, but I didnt hear a peep from them when I ranked them 23rd the week before, and beating Marshall just doesnt make me leap to my roof and scream.Added screwup: I had a brain spasm when responding to a few Eer loyalists on Twitter, saying they beat Elon. This was indeed a spasm, and my fault. I knew they beat Marshall, but didnt check when I blearily lashed out. Thatll teach me to interact with others.Result: Ill own the second one. The first one, Im fine with. West Virginia will have 11 other chances to change my mind. Michigan and Boise State dropped completely out of the poll after losing. Well, the AP overlords tell us not to factor in previous seasons or reputations, and its simply difficult for me to philosophically out a team with zero wins ahead of a team with one. Michigan is not going to get beaten by four touchdown by any team except Alabama, so theyll be back, and Boise is Boise, so theyll be back too.Result: Give it time. These things settle themselves. Texas State 16th after beating Houston at Houston. Simple first FBS game ever, on the road, against a team that has been successful for several years now, and quite possibly the biggest upset of the week. Are the Bobcats the 16th best team in the country? No. Will they be 16th after they play Texas Tech? Only if they win. Is this an outrage? Only to people who only want the same teams in every week. To me, Week 1 is the most volatile poll of the year, and some things in Week 1 look ridiculous in Week 4. They should, if youre paying attention at all.Result: Dont steal their moment. It doesnt hurt you any.1AlabamaThe biggest opponent, and therefore the biggest beatdown. Bama not only hammered Michigan, they injured them (though not, as near as anyone can tell, on purpose). Anyone who doesnt vote for them as the best team in the country after one game is an idiot.2Southern CaliforniaLane Kiffin ran up the score on Hawaii, or tried to, anyway; the Trojans didnt cover, if thats what he was after. But they showed more than enough to be Alabamas most likely challenger.3Florida StateObliterated Murray State. Big deal. Thats supposed to happen in Week One.4OregonMade their point against Arkansas State so quickly that they had more than enough time to take their feet off the pedal and let the Red Wolves come within four touchdowns. I cant decide if thats weakness of focus, or common sense.5Michigan StateBoise State is a big win, anywhere, any time. I dont have to explain this to you. If I do, you arent reading this anyway.6GeorgiaThe Dawgs are overvalued here, but a lot of teams are overvalued and undervalued this early because there is so little else to go on. Buffalo has improved, but not so much that this becomes a jaw-dropping win.7Louisiana StateNorth Texas is an FBS school. Not a good one, necessarily, even with Sean Paytons voice ringing in their ears. A solid performance gets a bump.8OklahomaThe Sooners always have one fine stinker in them, and this is one of them. UTEP has never been better in Mike Prices time there, but a brutal schedule will crush the Miners. They should have been crushed here.9TexasWyoming was a fair test for the Longhorns in Week One, and the Horns handled it with relative ease. Not a lot of ease, but enough.10NebraskaSmall sample sizes are a bitch, but beating Southern Mississippi by gaining 630 yards is never a bad days work.11Oklahoma StateThey covered a 67-point spread. Im sure they piled on Savannah State, and God only knows what the value was in scheduling them, since it cost them almost 400K. But they covered an 67 point-spread.12Ohio StateUrban Meyer had months to prepare for Miami of Ohio, which is a representative MAC team. The result was expected. But at least it beats what happened to some of their archrivals.13South CarolinaStruggling to beat Vanderbilt is not a great advertisement for an early poll, but it is a legitimate test that we will think more highly of later in the year.14ClemsonAuburn doesnt stink. The game was at Auburn, Clemson won, 26-19. The Swinneys still lose three games, but this wasnt one of them. That matters.15Notre DameNavy is typically a tough out, and the Irish made them an easy one. Of course, they dont play in Ireland that often, so theyll lose that home field advantage for the rest of the year.16Texas StateNobody else will do this. Nobody else will think to do this. But beating Houston in your first FBS game ever is a big deal, getting Houstons offensive coordinator fired as a result bigger still, and anyone who doesnt see that . . . well, drive them out of your neighborhood. Theyre probably running a meth lab.17ArkansasI want to think that John L. Smiths team did something big here, but it is Jacksonville State, and protecting the football was an issue.18WisconsinNorthern Iowa is not a bad team by any standard, but Wisconsin didnt do much with 39 minutes of possession time.19FloridaSame for beating Bowling Green. Nobody in either state ends up happy about that one, but the Kentuckians can handle it better.20Virginia TechAn overtime win over Georgia Tech because of an absurd interception thrown by Tevin Washington doesnt exactly fill one with confidence. An overtime loss to Georgia Tech despite an absurd interception thrown by Tevin Washington would have been way worse. Given the way Va. Tech usually starts, this was a national championship.21Texas ChristianDidnt play. Therefore, the Toads move down only one as part of the Texas State wave.22StanfordWhen the story of your game is how the other teams coach became a national hot commodity, you didnt do well. Mike McIntyre is a star. Case closed.23LouisvilleKentucky has typically (meaning more often than not) been the SEC program everyone else wants to schedule if Vanderbilt isnt available. Still, Louisville is ranked, and a bad showing would have betrayed them as just part of the great 110-team underbelly. Theyre not there yet.24West VirginiaThey beat Marshall by five touchdowns. Good for them.25Kansas StateThey beat Missouri State by six touchdown. Almost as good for them.

With Dykes out, ex-Cal OC returns to West Virginia

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USATSI

With Dykes out, ex-Cal OC returns to West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jake Spavital is returning to West Virginia as offensive coordinator.

Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen announced Spavital's hiring Saturday. He'll also coach the quarterbacks.

Spavital was interim coach at Cal after Sonny Dykes was fired last Sunday. Spavital had finished his first season as Cal's offensive coordinator. Under him, Davis Webb threw for 4,295 and 37 touchdowns.

Spavital was the quarterbacks coach in 2011 and 2012 under Holgorsen at West Virginia, where Geno Smith set numerous school records. Spavital spent three years after that at Texas A&M.

No. 21 Saint Mary's routed by undefeated Gonzaga

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No. 21 Saint Mary's routed by undefeated Gonzaga

BOX SCORE

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Zach Collins said No. 5 Gonzaga wanted to make a statement against No. 21 Saint Mary's on Saturday night.

"There was a lot of hype going into this game," Collins said, after the Zags beat Saint Mary's 79-56.

"We were hoping to come in and make a statement to the rest of the conference and the rest of the country. We know how to win."

Nigel Williams-Goss scored 19 points and added six assists to help Gonzaga win its 17th game in a row, the longest streak in the nation.

"We are as good as we think we are," Williams-Goss said. "We are a group with a lot of confidence."

Jordan Mathews added 16 points, Johnathan Williams had 14 and Collins 10 for Gonzaga (17-0, 5-0 West Coast).

Jock Landale was held to 10 points and was in foul trouble much of the game for Saint Mary's (15-2, 5-1), which saw a nine-game winning streak broken. Calvin Hermanson led the Gaels with 12 points.

This game was seen as one of the major barriers remaining for the Zags as they seek to go undefeated through the regular season. The teams play again at Saint Mary's on Feb. 11.

Saint Mary's has never beaten an opponent ranked higher than No. 9.

Gonzaga shot 64.7 percent in the game, while holding Saint Mary's to just 39.7 percent. Gonzaga coach Mark Few was asked which achievement was greater.

"They are an excellent defensive team," Few said. "To shoot 65 percent is an amazing night against anybody."

Landale picked up his second foul with 14:22 left in the first and sat out the rest of the half. The Gaels' stayed close for a while, as Hermanson converted a four-point play to tie the score at 18-18.

Saint Mary's sank three straight baskets for a 27-23 lead.

But Mathews' 3-pointer ignited a 12-2 Gonzaga run that gave the Zags a 43-34 lead at halftime.

Landale scored three unanswered baskets early in the second as Saint Mary's cut Gonzaga's lead to 46-40.

Shortly after, Williams-Goss erupted for five quick baskets as Gonzaga took a 63-52 lead, and the Gaels went into a prolonged drought.

Consecutive baskets by Williams lifted Gonzaga to a 67-52 lead with 4:50 left. Saint Mary's made just one of 12 field goal attempts at one point.

"We didn't close the last 10 minutes well at all, and then we lost our composure" Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "It should have been a good game but we didn't do our part to finish it."

POLL IMPLICATIONS:
Gonzaga is making a case to climb in the polls, while Saint Mary's is likely to drop as the game was not as close as anticipated.

STATS:
Gonzaga sank 33 of 51 shots, while the Gaels made just 23 of 58. Saint Mary's made just 6 of 16 from 3-point range.

BIG PICTURE:
Saint Mary's: The Gaels relinquished first place in the West Coast Conference. Saint Mary's is second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 56.6 points per game. Landale was held well below his averages of 17.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs took over first place in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga came in averaging 86 points, with five players averaging in double figures.

HOME COOKING:
Gonzaga is 170-13 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

UP NEXT:
Saint Mary's hosts Pacific on Thursday.

Gonzaga plays at Santa Clara on Thursday.