NCAA

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.

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.