Boise State hurt by Big East
Appeal Sports Writer
Some thoughts about baseball, college football and college basketball for a winter weekend.
Don’t expect Louisville and West Virginia to be on the Christmas card list of any Boise State football fan.
Big East teams Louisville, West Virginia and Rutgers were all unbeaten at one time. West Virginia, then No. 3, was the first to go down in the polls after being blasted by No. 5 Louisville. Earlier this week, it was Louisville, who was ranked in the top five, that fell to Rutgers, 28-25.
In both instances, Boise State would have loved to see the lower-ranked team lose, and it didn’t happen in either case. I’m sure that had Rutgers lost to Louisville, Boise State would have moved up and the Scarlet Knights might have dropped out of the Top 25 altogether.
Now, I forsee Louisville dropping out of the top 10, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Rutgers. I’m not convinced it is a top 10 team despite the victory. I would put it ahead of Louisville just because of the head-to-head win. Where other pollsters put it will be interesting to see.
I do believe that Boise State does belong in the BCS if it gets past its next few games. It has a win over Oregon State and a win over Hawai’i. The OSU win looks especially good since the Beavers upset USC a few weeks ago.
I’m definitely surprised that Hawai’i hasn’t gotten a little more love in the polls. Just the time people think they are one-dimensional, the Warriors unleash their run/shovel pass game. Hawai’i is getting better defensively, and that will be the key down the stretch.
• I was excited to see that the Oakland A’s had purchased some land in Fremont for the purpose of building a 35,000-seat baseball-only facility.
It’s about time. I don’t know what took the A’s so long. Nice property has been gobbled up over the years in the Pleasanton area, which I always thought would have been great for a stadium. The land I’m talking about was pretty close to downtown and had great freeway access.
A baseball stadium gives the A’s what they need, and gives the Raiders their football-only facility. It’s a win-win situation.
I just hope that the Giants’ ownership doesn’t whine in an effort to get some money out of the A’s. The A’s are only moving about 10 miles away, and really aren’t infringing on Giants’ territory. The East Bay IS the A’s territory, and the Giants should be claiming the South Bay.
• Speaking of the Giants, I would love to see owner Peter Magowan open up his checkbook and go after some of the incredible talent out there. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sign Alfonso Soriano. He’s young and you could lock him up with a long-term deal. I wouldn’t mind seeing Barry Zito in a Giants’ uniform if the A’s aren’t going to re-sign him. I’m waffling on Jason Schmidt because of the injuries he’s come down with the last couple of years.
• Florida was an overwhelming choice as the No. 1 in both the AP and ESPN polls. That’s because the Gators return all five starters from last year’s title team.
I don’t have a pick for the NCAA yet, but I don’t think it will be the Gators. I think that UCLA, LSU, North Carolina and Ohio State all will be in the mix come March. I’m interested to see how freshman Greg Oden, who probably would have been the top pick in the NBA Draft last spring, performs for the Buckeyes. Oden likely will be around for just a season before declaring for this year’s draft. New NBA rules make high school kids play one year of college ball before declaring for the pros.
And, while we’re on the subject of college basketball, it was interesting to see that Nevada barely nudged out Gonzaga for the 25th spot in the ESPN poll. The Pack had 101 points and Gonzaga 88. The Zags are 27th in the AP poll.
• The Sporting News named Nevada’s JaVale McGee as one of the top five impact newcomers in the WAC this year. McGee had a rough first game, but you can tell he’s got some game.
Kyle Shiloh, who was robbed of first team defense all-WAC last year, was voted by Sporting News as a second-team selection and the best defender in the WAC. No doubt that will put a big bullseye on his back all year, because hot-shooting guards will want to take him down.
Shiloh picked up where he left off last year when he knocked down 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc in the exhibition win over Chico State.