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09.30.05: Bowles in line to head 16-campus UNC system ... End of VPI-WVU series dampens fiery traditions
09.29.05: Schnellenberger faces program he helped build
09.28.05: Storm-weary USM starts tough stretch at ECU ... ECU Letterwinners/Hall of Fame Weekend schedule
09.27.05: Paper: Liberty Bowl seals deal with C-USA, SEC ... Busted legs deplete Memphis quarterback corps
09.26.05: College football headliners: stars & storylines ... Conference USA standings, schedule & scores
09.25.05: Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.24.05: Big names helping UNC-P restore grid program ... Conference USA schedule, standings & scores
09.23.05: NCAA okays instant replay in all 28 bowl games ... Conference USA schedule, standings & scores
09.22.05: C-USA, NFL teams thrown off stride by Rita ... Conference USA schedule, standings & scores
09.21.05: Hurricane Rita threatens disruption of schedule ... Indian mascot ban extended to bowl games
09.20.05: Vandy sheds doormat image in breakout start ... C-USA Standings, Schedule, Scoreboard
09.19.05: Injured Clemson player has spleen removed ... College football headliners: stars & storylines ... C-USA Standings, Schedule, Scoreboard
09.18.05: Scoreboard [C-USA teams & ECU opponents]
09.17.05: Fed judge labels NCAA monopolistic, okays trial ... UTEP wins double OT thriller in C-USA debut ... C-USA schedule, standings, scores
09.16.05: Slive's contract with SEC extended until 2009 ... Conference USA Standings and Schedule
09.15.05: ECU football ticket sales picking up momentum ... Tulane teams on a mission to make impression
09.14.05: Dye headlines ECU's Hall of Fame Class of 2005 ... Ophelia shutters ECU; dormitories remain open
09.13.05: Conference USA Standings and Schedule ... Auburn player learns family escaped Katrina
09.12.05: College football headliners: stars & storylines ... Conference USA Scoreboard and Schedule
09.11.05: SMU springs milestone upset of No. 22 TCU ... Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.10.05: Green Beret parachutist hurt in pre-game jump ... NCAA rebuffs appeal on Tulsa player's eligibility
09.09.05: Tulane-MSU game shifted out of harm's way ...
Ex-Marshall coach latest to pull out of BCS poll
09.08.05: CSTV, DISH satellite service finally strike deal
09.07.05: Pirates capture two of league's three awards ... Tulane teams to carry on at five host schools ... Two players jailed on murder charges
09.06.05: Conference USA Schedule and Scoreboard ... N.C. Central wins thriller in Aggie-Eagle Classic
09.05.05: College football headliners: stars & storylines ... Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.04.05: Dave Odom brings back lessons from Kuwait ... Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.03.05: ECU's "Total Access" expected to launch today ... Uprooted Green Wave to "carry the torch" ... Storm-trapped sister of UCF player found safe ... Sun Belt evacuates New Orleans headquarters
09.02.05: Green Wave football team in limbo about future ... Southern Miss sets up ad hoc camp in Memphis ... Thursday night's college football scoreboard
09.01.05: Pirate QB's second shoulder surgery a success ... East Carolina fans on the verge of Total Access

News Nuggets, 10.01.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

BCS poll's shaky start signals same ol', same ol'

The BCS never disappoints when it comes to comic relief.

The first Harris poll — that mishmash of people who have a big say in which teams get into college football's megabuck bowls — came out Sunday. While most of the top 25 was right on target, check out some of the teams that at least one voter thought worthy of being among the nation's best.

Illinois picked up 13 votes despite being 2-2 and fresh from a 61-14 pummeling by Michigan State. Arizona got 10 votes with a 1-2 record, though maybe the Wildcats were mistaken for that 3-1 team that's two hours up the road.

But how do you explain Bowling Green, which received five votes even after a 48-20 loss to Boise State dropped the Falcons to 1-2? Or worse, Idaho, which is 0-4 and scored six points in its last two games, yet still got five votes?

Granted, the votes are minuscule and won't affect the BCS standings, which begin next month. But the geniuses who thought Bowling Green and Idaho should be in the top 25 this week will be the same ones helping decide who's playing in the Rose Bowl for the national title.

``Votes like that hurt the credibility,'' BCS expert Jerry Palm said. ``Whether it's carelessness or ignorance, you can't have votes for Idaho. It only takes one guy voting for Idaho to ruin it for the rest of the 114.''

Credibility has never been the Bowl Championship Series' strong suit, though. The BCS has been trying since 1998 to find a foolproof way to pair the clear-cut No. 1 and No. 2 teams in a season-ending, winner-take-all matchup. So far, all they've perfected is the fool part.

Playoffs have worked quite nicely in college football's lower divisions and pretty much every other sport from the Pee Wee leagues to the pros, but BCS officials won't budge. They're convinced a ranking system will produce the 1-2 game everyone wants to see, along with solid matchups for the other three marquee bowls.

Only it hasn't worked. The BCS has tried polls, computers and statistical modules only an actuary could love, tinkered with one formula after another, and gotten it perfect twice.

``Part of their credibility problem goes all the way back to the beginning, where they just haven't settled on a formula two years in a row,'' Palm said. ``If you don't have enough faith in the formula to defend it in the face of controversy, then why should you have it?''

This latest incarnation came after The Associated Press told BCS officials last season to stop using its media poll as part of their formula. The AP poll had counted for one-third of a team's BCS grade, with the USA Today coaches' poll and a compilation of six computer rankings counting for the other two-thirds.

Without the AP, the BCS came up with the Harris Interactive College Football Poll. The panel of 114 former players, coaches, administrators and media was supposed to be knowledgeable and give equal representation to all 11 conferences and independents. But, in true BCS fashion, it was bungled from the start.

A handful of pollsters, including former Notre Dame and South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, had to bow out right away because they worked for ESPN. Hardly a surprise, considering ESPN had pulled its affiliation with the coaches poll over the summer to avoid conflicts of interest. Another pollster withdrew because his only connection to the game was his father-in-law, the coach at Troy.

Harris didn't release its first poll until last Sunday so voters wouldn't get caught up in the kind of preseason hype that doomed Auburn last year. Obviously some needed a longer reality check. Or a refresher course on the responsibilities that go with being a voter.

``Since it is an opinion poll and you're entitled to your opinion, there certainly is a possibility for an unusual vote,'' BCS spokesman Bob Burda said.

Well, that's reassuring. With millions of dollars at stake, it would be nice if the people supposedly in the know showed more sense than those who rank teams by uniform colors and mascots.

Some do. Dave Newhouse, the Cal beat writer for the Oakland Tribune, considers everything from game scores to strength of schedule to a coach's track record. He can give you a detailed explanation of why he ranked each team where he did.

``I'm trying to be conscientious,'' Newhouse said.

Others vote for Idaho.

The harebrained votes probably weren't accidents, either. Harris Interactive has safeguards in place so if you voted for Illinois, Bowling Green or Idaho, you know it. But don't worry, nobody else does because individual votes aren't published until the final season ballot. Until then, voters can do whatever they please, and we can only shake our heads at the nonsense.

Which, come to think of it, is pretty much what we've been doing since the BCS commandeered the postseason.

Katrina-forced transfer cleared to play at Cincy

CINCINNATI — The NCAA has approved Cincinnati's request to make Division I transfer Ronald Allen eligible to play this basketball season rather than sit out the academic year, the university said Friday.

Allen, a 6-foot-9 junior, had been attending Xavier University in New Orleans. He enrolled at Cincinnati at the beginning of the fall quarter after Hurricane Katrina forced the evacuation of New Orleans.

Allen was a backup center last season, averaging 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 19 games.

Xavier University granted Allen a release from his scholarship. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:28 PM


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