Here's the latest results from the various college hoops teams that I follow.
Boston College Men - The Eagles improved to 3-3 on the season with a 79-61 victory over Marist. The team was led by Aaron Brown (19 points) and Dimitri Batten (17 points). The team got 9 points and a career high 9 assists from Olivier Hanlan. Patrick Heckmann added 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Photos from the game photo gallery of all four players are below (in order of mention above).
You can see game highlights below.
Catholic University - My former player Amber didn't see any action in her team's last two games, both losses. They lost 84-59 to the #1 ranked FDU-Florham and then dropped to 3-3 with a 67-59 loss to Susquehanna.
Hartford - The Hawks troubles continued as they closed out their road trip with a 49-43 loss to Dartmouth. The team shot just 14% from the floor in the first half of the game and that helped set off coach Jennifer Rizzotti. She got ejected with 7 seconds left in the first half. While Hartford outscored Dartmouth 24-17 in the second half, the rally fell short. They shot just 25.5% for the game.
Cherelle Moore had 12 points and 11 boards to lead the team while Amber Bepko added 11 points.
The Hawks are now 3-5.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee suffered their first two game losing streak since December 2012 when they lost to Texas 72-59 to start off their week. The team shot just 35% for the game.
Bashaara Graves had a double double to lead UT with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Andraya Carter added 13 points and 7 boards. Jasmine Jones and Jordan Reynolds finished with 10 points apiece.
The Lady Vols got back on the winning side of things last night when they whalloped St. Francis (Pa.) 111-44. One stat that demonstrated just how dominant Tennessee was in the game was the rebounding. The Lady Vols held a 71-28 edge in that category..
Jaime Nared (pictured below 1st) scored 20 points to lead the offense. Jasmin Jones added 16 points and 8 boards while Cierra Burdick had 15 points and 10 boards. Bashaara Graves (pictured below 2nd)†scored 11 points and tallied 11 rebounds. Andraya Carter hit for 12 points and Alexa Middleton (pictured below 3rd) finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
(PHOTOS FROM TENNESSEE GAME PHOTO GALLERY)
Boston College Women - Thanks to the wonders of Internet technology, I watched the BC women play in the final of the Maine Black Bear Thanksgiving Tournament on Sunday. Sadly, what I saw was not a team that looks ready to compete in their conference schedule.
Despite outrebounding Maine 45-38 and leading by as many as 7 points during the course of the game, the Eagles ended up losing 69-64 in overtime. A big part of the loss was BC's seeming inability to defend Maine's three point shooting. The Black Bears went 10-30 from beyond the arc and each time they hit a shot, it looked to me as if the Eagles defenders were late getting to the shooter or didn't even bother.
The team's 22 turnovers led to 25 points for Maine.
BC shot just 28.6% in the second half of the game, and they were just 5-12 from the foul line. Sloppy defense overall and terrible passing made it painful to watch the game.
Kelly Hughes scored 16 points to lead the Eagles. She and Emilee Daley (10 points) were named to the All-Tournament team. Karima Gabriel looked good in the early going and she finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Nicole Boudreau finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Ashley Kelsick grabbed 7 boards but led the team with 5 turnovers as well.
A brief recap on the game with coach Erik Johnson afterwards can be seen below.
On Monday, coach†Johnson had his weekly press conference and you can see that below.
Then came last night's game against Indiana in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge series. The Eagles trailed most of the game, rallied to make things close but ended up falling short 76-67. Kelly Hughes again led the team as she scored 10 points to go with 8 rebounds. Karima Gabriel also scored 10 points. Kat Cooper (pictured below 1st) had 9 points and a season high 8 rebounds while Nicole Boudreau (pictured below 2nd) scored 9 points and had 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
(Photos from BC Game Photo Gallery)
The Eagles are now 4-3 on the season.
Postgame pressers from the coach and Nicole Boudreau are below.
There are a total of 39* teams that got some level of points in the Mock BCS standings linked to above. (I list 40 teams since Texas A&M was in the top 25 of one of the computer rankings, but they got no points since the highest rating is dropped)
I didnít do a post-game blog about LSU/A&M, but I updated the Rivalry Series entry, and I will write a bit about the Tigers in my second blog this week. I also plan to write about relative conference strength and lower bowl possibilities. I think the new committee rankings will be relevant to that discussion.
What Iíll discuss below is the current state of my rankings and how I think that SHOULD translate into what the committee does with the major bowls at the end. I canít speculate with any accuracy what they will do, especially being that I donít know how the rankings for this week will look.
Because Florida St. has been accumulating a reasonable amount of points whileAlabama has recently had a bye and played Western Carolina, the Seminoles are still on top, although I would agree with probably most people in the conclusion that Alabama looks like the better team at the moment.
Georgia has also thrown a wrench into things by beating Auburn, losing to Georgia Tech, and failing to win the East. If Alabama were playing a two-loss Georgia team next week and Florida St. were playing a three-loss team, Alabama would have a good chance to move back into #1, but unless the Yellowjackets beat Florida St., I donít see that happening now.
By the way, Iíve never experienced such a disappointing day of college football in my life. I watched about 10 games that went down the final couple of minutes, and every last one of them went the way I didnít want them to. Georgia choking was just the beginning of a long day. Also, I donít know why on Earth Auburn thought they could win with field goals.
Alabama should have at least three losses, but then how would they torture me? One thing they did was allow LSU to move into first place in the SEC in total defense, so I guess we can say we got first place in something.
Despite the SEC Eastís troubles with the ACC (although letís not forget Georgia beatClemson earlier this year), I think itís justified to have three SEC WEST teams in the top 10 and all seven in the top 40. By the way, the Mock BCS agrees with the latter assessment. Texas A&M got no points, but they were ranked in one of the formerly BCS computers, so I think that makes them #40. It merely has three SEC West teams in the top 11 instead of the top 10 though.
Anyway, there are two more slots to fill out in the semifinals, so Iíll now talk about that.
I have no hesitation in supporting Oregon if they beat Arizona. They will have vindicated their one loss of the year. Even though they play in the weaker Pac-12 division, they still beat UCLA, who tied for second in the Pac-12 South. Of course, Michigan St.counts as a decent win as well. So thatís two of the top 3 teams in the Pac-12 South. (Technically, USC tied with ASU and UCLA in the South, but theyíre clearly #4 in my view.)
That last spot is going to be tricky. I do have Ohio St. there right now (actually ahead of Oregon at the moment), and I canít imagine that if the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin, that either the formula or my mind will change. However, I do understand the argument that maybe losing to Virginia Tech at home could be a disqualifying factor.
As I discussed last week, I firmly believe the best alternative to Ohio St. in that instance isTCU, whose only blemish is a 3-point loss to Baylor about 6 weeks ago.
West Virginia is better than Virginia Tech, but they donít belong anywhere near the top 25. The Mountaineers beat Baylor by a couple of touchdowns.
Even if Oregon loses, I still donít see Baylor being #4. The committee might pick them ahead of Arizona in that instance, but I donít think I would.
That might not seem to make sense being that I have Boise St. ahead of Arizona right now, but the Broncos have the better schedule at the moment. I know thatís hard to believe, but Boise St.ís opponents have a winning record overall, and Arizonaís opponents have a losing record overall. The Mountain West simply is not leaps and bounds behind the power conferences, and Boise played a very competitive schedule out of conference (while Arizona didnít).
However, Fresno St. isnít going to help the Broncos very much. So with a win, Arizona should easily pass them up as well as TCU and Oregon (whom they would have to beat).
Using my formulaís current rankings, these are the potential resumes of relevant teams for the last spot or two (two if Oregon, Florida St., or Alabama lose):
Team 1: beat #6, 17, 24, 56; lost to #46
Team 2: beat #17, 24, 29, 46, 56; lost to #14
Team 3: beat #12, 13, 29, 32, 44, 45, 55; lost to #76
Team 4: beat #4, 4, 23, 36, 50, 53; lost to #11, 27
Iím going to assume Alabama would be out of the running with a loss despite whatever strength of resume they might have. It might be possible for a team to be #1 going into championship week and hang on with a loss at some point, but this is not the year.
I do want to acknowledge that Baylor may be much better than #14. They would close the gap considerably by beating Kansas St., but obviously Oregon would be a better win than Kansas St. Also, the Bears would not pass up TCU.
So the only teams that should be in the running from my perspective are Nos. 1 to 5 and #7 Arizona.
Arizona/Boise St. has prompted me to consider a slight modification to my system though. I have preliminary ratings of teams between 0 and about 7 (which would be if the team with the best schedule went undefeated, which is nearly impossible). Boise St. has only beaten one team (Colorado St.) with a preliminary rating higher than 4.0, while Arizona has beaten three (Oregon, Arizona St., and Utah). So my idea is to have those higher-rated opponents count for a bit more than they do already.
There are a total of 12 teams that will be in CFP bowls. I donít see any of the 6 mentioned above falling out, so here are 6 other teams I think should be make up the rest of the spots:
Boise St. (top ďgroup of fiveĒ team) Ole Miss
This would be assuming that Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Kansas St. all lost. I believe a win by any of those (although Kansas St. might be debatable) should get them in. I have the teams above so they would be eliminated from the bottom right now. If Baylor beats Kansas St., I would want them to be given a safe spot though.
Boise St. should be assured the ďgroup of fiveĒ spot with a win, but if they lose and Marshall wins, I would want them replaced with Marshall. If both lose, I guess Colorado St. would take that slot.
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Florida St. moved into #1, although I think another reminder that I donít factor in margin of victory is in order. Alabama could move back into #1 by beating better opponents in the coming weeks, but something else to keep in mind is Florida St. isnít the only ACC team playing an SEC team this weekend. If the ACC does significantly better, thatís an even stronger argument in Florida St.ís favor, which my system is designed to recognize.
I thought some of the commentariat brought up some interesting points about the committeeís #4-7 teams.
I want to mention something Jeff Long, a member of the committee, said first though. He said they look at where a team was ranked when you played them. I hope thatís not true, but it would explain why LSU was seemingly penalized so much as compared to other two-loss teams before the Alabama game.
I just donít think itís right if they donít consider that a loss to a top-five team. Itís not LSUís fault people didnít yet know they were going to be one of the top teams this season. If anything, the team who is the first to go down should get a break since theyíve had more time to recover from the loss. Also, later teams have more ability to anticipate problem areas and can possibly benefit from injuries. Of course, what they should do is consider how good the opponent is without the loss. For instance, had LSU won the last two games, it may be worth noting in the Bulldogsí favor that taking out their win over LSU, the Tigers would be in the conversation for the top 4.
I do think there are some unique challenges to beating a previously unbeaten team several weeks in, but I also hope Florida St. isnít being given credit for a top-five win when Notre Dame isnít even in the top 25 now. A top-25 win maybe, if you consider the Irish could well be in the top 25 had they simply not played the Seminoles. It is very important to consider those teams just outside of the top 25. Iíll talk more about them at the end.
There was some grumbling about Mississippi St., but I think if they beat Ole Miss, they have a good argument. I do think a one-loss Ohio St. team winning the Big Ten championship game (especially if itís over Wisconsin) should go ahead of an idle Mississippi St. team, assuming Alabama wins the SEC West anyway, though.
I penalize for bad losses and yet I still have Ohio St. in the top 4, so that tells me that Ohio St.ís 8-game conference schedule + Wisconsin (if the Badgers win) is going to be better than either TCUís or Baylorís, assuming weíre going to be comparing one-loss teams. Ohio St. also has respectable wins over Navy and Cincinnati.
Baylor didnít beat anyone worth mentioning out of conference, and TCU only beat one team, albeit a good one (Minnesota).
Obviously, if Minnesota beats Wisconsin, thatís going to be even better for the Horned Frogs and you could have an argument theyíre more deserving in that scenario.
I donít see any scenario, however, where one-loss Baylor should go ahead of one-loss TCU or one-loss Ohio St.
ďB-but head to headĒ isnít an argument.
Beating TCU is just a high-quality win.
I know the way tie-breakers work, they donít care how bad the loss is. For instance, if Alabama had lost to Arkansas or Texas A&M instead of Ole Miss, they still would win the tie-breaker over Mississippi St. if the two finish with the same SEC record.
I do care how bad the loss is. In fact, I think that should be the most important game to compare when you compare two one-loss teams.
So before we even get to Minnesota, I think TCU goes ahead of Baylor. Playing well enough to lose to Baylor by three (my system doesnít look at the margin, but that doesnít mean my arguments canít) is playing well enough to beat all but maybe 10 teams in college football. Playing at that level could be good enough to win a semifinal playoff game.
Itís hard to be complimentary about a 14-point loss to WVU though. It is tougher to play them on the road, but TCU did that and managed to win.
I know not everyone will credit Ohio St. for having a couple of mid-level non-conference wins instead of one good one like TCU, and thatís fine. I can accept that. I could not accept Baylor going ahead of either team though, assuming one loss apiece.
I think the Big Ten is slightly better than the Big XII, but even if theyíre equal, consider that when youíre in a 10-team conference you play the worst teams as well as the best. Ohio St. did not play Purdue, and thatís one of the two worst teams in the Big Ten. TCU played Kansas (barely beating them) and will play Iowa St. during championship week.
My hope is Ohio St. is given significant credit for beating a tougher opponent on that weekend. If they are and they come up short, thatís fine. I like TCU better anyway.
A lot of these conversations could become even more muddled if you add in a possible two-loss SEC team. I think Mississippi St. is out with two losses, but a two-loss SEC champion Georgia team, Iím not so sure. They would have wins over Auburn, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, and Missouri, not to mention whoever the SEC West champions will be (most likely Alabama but possibly Mississippi St.)
Also, unlike last year, a loss to Auburn doesnít necessarily knock Alabama out of the divisional race. Most people predicted Alabama to come out of Oxford with a win, and that didnít happen. The same thing could happen to Mississippi St.
Alabama beat that West Virginia team mentioned above. They also beat Mississippi St., LSU, and Florida and could possibly beat Georgia in the SEC Championship.
Georgia isnít guaranteed to win the East though. In fact, they need Arkansas to beat Missouri for that to happen. That may be the key to any two-loss SEC team being included.
Nothing down the list was too interesting. Minnesota actually jumped up 10 spots, so even though they beat Nebraska, they still got pretty significant credit for that even though it wasnít quite enough to most past the Huskers. When two teams are separated by 16 spots going into a game, itís not always enough for the lower team to get ahead in the ratings.
Also, it was nice to see Boise St. and Marshall finally get included in the committeeís top 25. Iím generally against ďmid-majorĒ teams being in the top 10, but the committee went too far in excluding them for so long.
I donít know what theyíre thinking keeping Utah in there though. Losing to Washington St. is pretty bad. If you want to pick a team with four losses, here are some better suggestions: LSU, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, and USC. Apart from Notre Dame againstNorthwestern, none of the rest lost an embarrassing game like that. Since Notre Dame is playing USC and LSU is playing Texas A&M, hopefully the winners will get some strong consideration for that last spot. I would even take Arkansas as a five-loss team given their schedule (In addition to the SEC West, they will have played Georgia and Missouri, the best two teams in the East, as well as Northern Illinois and Texas Techout of conference).
The LSU defense did about as well as could be expected against Johnny ManzielÖ
But as a more traditional passer, Kyle Allen presents a very different test.
LSU was the only team that went 2-0 against ďJohnny FootballĒ, but as the captions above indicate, thatís not necessarily a reason for confidence going into this game. If you missed it, I wrote about LSUís quarterback situation last week.
For the last few weeks, Iíve been waiting until I can compute the Mock BCS standings before writing a blog about my rankings. Unfortunately, (when I first wrote this) one of the formerly BCS computer rankings still ha[d] not been released for this week, so this could not be done on time.
You can still access my ratings for all 128 teams here, but youíll have to wait until tomorrow or the next day for the blog that I write to accompany them.
From 1989 to 1995, LSU lost 4 consecutive games at Texas A&M. The Tigers did not travel to the state of Texas again until 2002, when they lost to the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl. The last five trips to the state have gone fairly well, however:
2014 Ė Wisconsin (Houston), 28-24
2013 Ė TCU (Arlington), 37-27
2012 Ė @Texas A&M, 24-19
2011 Ė Oregon (Arlington), 40-27
2010 Ė Texas A&M (Arlington), 41-24
In trips West of the Mississippi River since that 2002 Texas game I mentioned, LSU is 11-3, with all three losses coming against Arkansas (just in case of confusion, when I put ďLittle Rock,Ē that means thatís where the game was played, not that LSU played the University of Arkansas-Little Rock):
2014 LOSS Ė @Arkansas, 0-17
2012 Ė @Arkansas, 20-13
2010 LOSS Ė Arkansas (Little Rock), 23-31
2009 Ė @Washington, 31-23
2008 LOSS Ė Arkansas (Little Rock), 30-31
2006 Ė Arkansas (Little Rock), 31-26
2005 Ė @Arizona St., 35-31
2004 Ė Arkansas (Little Rock), 43-14
2003 Ė @Arizona, 59-13
Since joining the conference, Texas A&M is only 4-6 in SEC play at home. By comparison, when the Aggies beat South Carolina in late August, they ran their SEC road record to 7-2 but have since fallen to 8-4. (If that doesnít quite seem to add up, they beat Arkansas at a neutral site in 2012.)
In addition to the blog and website linked above, you can also find me on Facebook (link) and on Twitter @TheBayouBlogger
Because there will always be a huge amount of college basketball recaps and news to talk about in any given week, I'm going to try to post a mid-week blog entry to keep things a bit lighter in my Sunday Musings column.
Before I get into talking about the specific teams I follow, here's an in-depth look†at Michigan men's basketball coach John Beilein.
Also, Mount Saint Joseph University's Lauren Hill has now raised $324,000 for cancer research.
Catholic University - The Division 3 school in Washington, DC has one of my former players on the team this season. Her name is Amber and this is her freshman year. Here's her pic from her player profile page on the team's web page:
The team has played three games so far this year. They beat Messiah 57-46 and St. Mary's (Md.) 66-47 in games that Amber didn't play. She played in the third game, their first loss of the season (63-36 to Salisbury). She saw 3 minutes of playing time but didn't make an impact on the stat line.
Boston College Men - The Eagles led by 8 points at halftime in their game against UMass but gave up 47 2nd half points to the Minutemen and lost 71-62. The loss evened their record at 1-1.
UMass had a field day at the foul line. They hit 31 out of 46 attempts. Boston College was 17-27. Strangely enough, UMass failed to hit any of the 3 shots from three point range. BC was 5-21 from long range. The Eagles also committed 18 turnovers (Olivier Hanlan and Patrick Heckmann had 6 TOs apiece).
Hanlan (pictured below)†led the Eagles with 18 points. Aaron Brown added 12 points. Heckmann scored 7 points and led BC with 8 rebounds.
Tennessee LADY VOLS - Tennessee rolled to 2-0 with a 91-39 blowout victory over Oral Roberts.
The Lady Vols got 21 points from Ariel Massengale (pictured below)†and 20 points from Nia Moore. Moore, who added 9 rebounds, has gotten a little early season buzz thanks to her strong offensive performances in the team's first two games.
Bashaara Graves had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Kortney Dunbar scored 10 points and grabbed 6 points. Jordan Reynolds (pictured below)†finished with 5 points, 7 assists and 7 steals.
(Photos from UT Game Photo Gallery)
Hartford - The Hawks improved to 2-0 with their 75-63 defeat of Central Connecticut. Amber Bepko scored 20 points (the fifth 20 point performance of her career) to lead Hartford. Deanna Mayza had 10 points and Cherelle Moore finished with 8 points and a team high 8 rebounds.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears dropped their second consecutive game to start the season. They lost to Arkansas-Little Rock 61-48 despite a 19 point performance from Kenzie Williams.
The team shot just 3-11 from the foul line and saw their 27 turnovers turned into 28 points for Arkansas-Little Rock.
Freshman Liza Fruendt had 14 points and Hillary Chvatal (2 points) grabbed a career high 11 rebounds.
Boston College Women - †Before their second game of the season, the BC women had a walkthrough session.
The women's team found themselves down by 13 points during the game but they ended up rallying back and captured their first victory of the season 82-72 over St. Mary's (Ca.). The Eagles 11-38 three point shooting was a big factor in their win.
The team's offensive attack was keyed by Kelly Hughes (see photo below of her on defense). She scored a career high 24 points and added 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Nicole Boudreau added 15 points and 9 boards.
(Photo from St. Mary's Game Photo Gallery)
Kat Cooper (pictured below) added 13 points and 6 rebounds.
Ashley Kelsick†(pic below 1st)†added 8 points and Karima Gabriel (pic below 2nd)†chipped in with 7 points and 6 boards.
(All other photos from BC Facebook Photo Gallery)
Here's a brief video of coach Erik Johnson talking about the win.
By the way, Kelly Hughes joined men's basketball player Olivier Hanlan being honored as Eagles of the Week.