Hot? Cool? Tepid? Sunny but Breezy?
Publication Date: March 7, 2006
I began publication of the ISR's for this
season on Monday (and the RPI's as well,
but who cares about that?), so I thought I'd spend this week looking
at some general thoughts on how different teams have gotten out of the
gate. I'm doing something different this year by updating daily.
Overall, I think I like it, but there is a move away from being able
to talk about a team as #N for a week at a time, and I'm still
adjusting to that; bear with me. We'll just do this notes-style and
see what we get:
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- I'm thoroughly agnostic about Georgia Tech to date. It's hard
to go 14-0, and they haven't played any body really bad, with the possible
exception of one game against Northeastern, but they also haven't played
anyone who should have challenged them. They have one win against a
Tennessee team who's been fairly shaky to date, and everyone else is below
#75. They may be this good, but they could just as easily fall off the
pace rather badly. ACC play starts this weekend, so we'll start to get
something of a better feel.
- While we're in the neighborhood, how bad does your schedule have to
be to go 15-1 and still only get up to #16? Florida State has done
just that going into today. That's not entirely their fault -- they've
played a single game against Florida and a pair with Auburn, neither of
whom have been nearly as impressive as expected to date. It doesn't get
much better this weekend, as they lead off ACC play against Maryland.
- Arkansas has provided a little more evidence, but their
ranking -- #2 going into today -- may rely on a couple of teams staying up
where they are. The three best opponents to date have been #3 Washington
(a loss), #12 Hawaii (a win), and #20 Oklahoma State (another win). None
of those teams were expected to be that high.
- Washington has actually managed to lose a series to Hawaii and
still hang on to the #3 spot to date. One game against #108
Texas-Arlington is the only D1 game they've played against a team outside
the top 100, which is what's holding them up there so far. We'll see if
they can stay there; virtually every team on their schedule except
Northridge so far looks likely to me to drop as the season progresses.
- Georgia has had only four opponents to date and lost to one of
those, so I have no real idea how good they are. If San Diego turns out
to be for real, Georgia might as well.
- #7 Winthrop? I dunno. They began the season with series wins
over Miami and Alabama. Last weekend, they lost a series to Kent State.
I suspect that they'll fall to #25 or so before the end of the season, but
they'll probably get the usual Southern mid-major RPI boost, and Coastal
Carolina played that exact combination into a #1 seed last year, so it's
probably worth keeping an eye on them.
- It's early, and there's not that much difference between their current
#12 and #25 or so, but Hawaii has been impressive so far, playing
some top flight competition and at least holding their own. They're sort
of the most extreme case of early-season weather advantage, but they haven't
done this well in a long time.
- Wake Forest looks like they may be back on or near the top this
year, complicating an already crowded ACC field. We'll know more after the
series with North Carolina this weekend.
- Oregon State and Texas are struggling almost equally.
Both of them could still recover, but at this point they're playing for a
#1 regional seed rather than a #1 national seed.
- Florida has been surprisingly weak so far. The Matt LaPorta
injury is a partial cause, but there should be more to them than that.
- If there's ever been a team with reason to struggle, Tulane
is it. Unfortunately, they are indeed struggling.