Daily Archives: November 11, 2015

Five things we learn from College Football rankings

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The winner is still anyone’s guess from the Big 3.

The second installment of the College Football Playoff rankings is in, and there’s a newcomer in the top four. What do we make of the latest rankings? Here are five quick observations:

1. The Notre Dame-Stanford game looms large.

With Notre Dame moving into the top four this week and Stanford rising four spots from No. 11 to No. 7, the game between the Irish and Cardinal to end the regular season looks increasingly more like a play-in game. They play in Palo Alto, California, which means a road win of that stature could really boost Notre Dame’s chances.

Stanford, on the other hand, needs a marquee nonconference win to override the season-opening loss at Northwestern. You have to love committee chairman Jeff Long saying the fact that Stanford was essentially playing a 9 a.m. Pacific time game in its loss to Northwestern was a factor in that loss not hurting the Cardinal as much. Even so, no remaining game potentially shapes the playoff any more than the Notre Dame-Stanford game on Nov. 28.

2. Look out, here come the Hawkeyes.

The state of Iowa was in an uproar last week when the unbeaten Hawkeyes barely cracked the top 10 at No. 9 in the initial rankings. But look at what a win over Indiana — a hard-fought 35-27 win, no less — did for the Hawkeyes. They shot all the way up to No. 5 and are now sitting there on the doorstep of the all-important top four. Iowa’s next two games are at home, against Minnesota and Purdue, and then there’s the regular-season finale at Nebraska. The Hawkeyes will be favorites in all three games, and if they win all three, they could already be perched in the top four when they face the East Division champion in the Big Ten championship game. The Hawkeyes own two wins over top-25 teams, and it looks like the committee waited a week before rewarding them.

3. The Big 12 still isn’t getting any respect.

Granted, there’s a round robin tournament coming over the next three weeks for the Big 12, but through the first two weeks of the rankings, no Big 12 team has been able to crack the top four. Can you say, “No respect”? Baylor was the highest-ranked team this week and remained at No. 6. The Bears’ strength of schedule is ranked 94th in the country, so the committee obviously still wants to see them beat somebody of note despite how impressive they’ve been on the field.

Oklahoma State has the best win of anybody in the Big 12 after taking down TCU last week and moved from No. 14 to No. 8. The Cowboys still get Baylor and Oklahoma at home. Oklahoma is probably the only one-loss team in the Big 12 that has a chance, especially if the Sooners can run the table these last three weeks with wins over three straight top-15 teams. A lot can still happen, but are we looking at a second straight year of the Big 12 being left out of the playoff?

4. The big three control their own destiny.

It’s pretty simple for the top three teams. If No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State win out, they’re in. It doesn’t matter what anybody else does. Those three teams control their own destiny. The Crimson Tide moved up two spots this week, and their 30-16 beatdown of LSU was the most impressive win over a quality team that anybody in the country has to this point. It’s also noteworthy that Alabama is No. 2 and Ohio State is No. 3, meaning if that holds, we’ll get a rematch of their semifinal game last year, when the Buckeyes won 42-35 in New Orleans.

5. The American Athletic Conference is flexing its muscles.

Remember when the Pac-12 was supposed to be one of the strongest conferences in the country? Well, get this: The American Athletic Conference has four teams in the rankings this week and the Pac-12 only two. Don’t rub your eyes. It’s true. Other than Stanford, only UCLA at No. 19 made the cut. But Navy, based on its win over Memphis, jumped into the rankings at No. 20 and is joined by No. 21 Memphis, No. 22 Temple and No. 24 Houston. The winner of that league doesn’t have a chance to make the playoff but will grab the Group of 5 spot in the New Year’s Six bowl games.

Mike Brown reveals loss of faith in England squad

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Mike Brown said that he lost faith in English teammates since the Rugby World Cup.

England full-back Mike Brown says he has lost all trust in his team-mates after leaks from the dressing room.

“The trust has gone,” he said.

Some players had questioned Sam Burgess’ World Cup selection over Luther Burrell.

Meanwhile, the RFU confirmed a pre-tournament row occurred between Danny Cipriani and coach Mike Catt and is investigating claims kit man Dave Tennison urged players to buy particular shares.

Brown affirms that he don’t think anyone was good enough in an England shirt to be piping up saying: ‘This was wrong, that was wrong’ and that sort of thing.”

“If they are going to say something, I think they should put their name to it.

“It will come out who it was at the end of the day so it will be interesting. When it does I will be one of the first people to speak to them.”

England failed to make the tournament’s knock-out stages for the first time after Pool A defeats by Wales and Australia.

A five-man panel is reviewing England’s showing in the tournament, with head coach Stuart Lancaster under scrutiny.

England are due to reassemble in January before their Six Nations opener away to Scotland on 6 February.

Brown said that relationships within the squad would be rebuilt before the trip to Murrayfield.

“It is going to be hard for me to call anyone team-mates until we meet up,” he added.

“It is going to be tough. But it will all get sorted out with whoever is in charge or whoever is there. It always does in team environments.”

Rooney slaps Barrett at WWE event

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The Manchester United captain stood up and gave the WWE star a slap down.

When WWE star Wade Barrett spotted Manchester United strike Wayne Rooney in the front row with his son Kai at WWE Raw, he saw a chance for revenge.

It was around nine months ago that their feud began when the British wrestler Barrett accused Rooney on Twitter of diving to win a penalty in an FA Cup win against Preston North End.

After spotting the record Englishman in the front row, Manchester-wrestler Wade Barrett attempted to humiliate the 30-year-old striker on the microphone.

Behemoth Barrett, 35, goaded the England international, saying: ‘In this ring are two men who can be easily be described as championship material. Which is, of course, more than can be said of Wayne Rooney and Manchester United.’

Barrett then made his insult personal as he made reference to Rooney’s eldest son.

He sneered: ‘I’d hate for your little boy to sit there and watch his own father fail. Because let’s face it, he gets to experience that every single time you step on a football pitch.’

Rooney then began taunting Irish wrestler Sheamus during his fight with Antonio Cesaro, which prompted Barrett to confront his footballing nemesis face-to-face at ringside.

He told Rooney to mind his own business and prodded the England star in the chest.

The England captain responded by slapping Barrett.

The frenzied Manchester crowd chanted Rooney’s name as the striker’s blow left Barrett sprawling on the floor. The incident – true to professional wrestling – was of course scripted and England skipper Rooney ‘revelled‘ his role.

Wayne Rooney has faced some fearsome opponents in his career, but they don’t come much bigger than 6ft 7in, 246lb WWE wrestler Wade Barrett.

This would go down on history as one of the most bizarre crossovers in sport, and a feather to Rooney’s hat.