10:55 AM, Oct 13, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Half of this college football regular season (7 of 14 weeks) is now in the books, and neither of the two standout teams to date has won a conference championship, let alone a national championship, in the past half-century. Each played in a bowl game in Tennessee last year (the Music City Bowl and Liberty Bowl, respectively), far away from the bright lights of Pasadena, New Orleans, or Dallas. What’s more, the two are separated from each other by only 100 miles geographically and by only .001 in this week’s Anderson & Hester Rankings. Despite their modest pedigrees and expectations, however, few college football fans would deny that #1 Mississippi (6-0, with wins over #7 Alabama and #17 Texas A&M) and #2 Mississippi State (6-0, with wins over #6 Auburn and #17 Texas A&M) have accomplished more so far this season than any other teams in the country.
Holding down the next two spots in the Anderson & Hester Rankings — and separated by even less (.00004) — are #3 Florida State and #4 Notre Dame, who happen to be squaring off this coming Saturday in Tallahassee. The last time both teams were undefeated when they played each other was 21 years ago. In two of the most memorable back-to-back games for one team in college football history, the Irish handed the favored Seminoles and Charlie Ward (that year’s Heisman Trophy winner) their only loss of the 1993-94 season, 31-24, in South Bend, only to be handed their sole loss of the season the following weekend, 41-39 in dramatic fashion, by Boston College on that same field.
Rounding out the top-5 this week is undefeated Baylor, which came from 21 points behind in the fourth quarter on Saturday to beat now-#14 TCU. The Bears are followed by two other teams that share a little bit of history together, #6 Auburn and #7 Alabama. The rest of the top-10 consists of #8 Oregon (which beat now-#15 UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Saturday), #9 Arizona (which lost to now-#13 USC late Saturday night when the Wildcats’ potential game-winning field goal went wide-right), and #10 Oklahoma (which beat struggling Texas in the Red River Shootout).
Ole Miss hosts #49 Tennessee this Saturday, while Mississippi State has the week off.
9:27 AM, Oct 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
After finishing the season ranked #29 last year, the Arizona Wildcats — hot off their upset win at Oregon — have claimed the top spot in the inaugural 2014 Anderson & Hester Rankings. The second and fourth spots are held by two schools from Mississippi — #2 Mississippi and #4 Mississippi State — that went a combined 15-11 last year. Sandwiched in between are the Auburn Tigers, who came within 14 seconds of winning last season’s national championship. TCU, which went 4-8 last year, rounds out the top-5.
11:10 AM, May 10, 2014 • By DAVID WOLFFORD
I experienced some rough emotions rooting for my alma mater, the University of Kentucky, during the NCAA tournament. Partly because of the close games and come-from-behind wins, and partly because of their one-and-done reputation under Coach John Calipari. The media contrasted UK’s likely NBA-bound freshmen and UConn senior Shabazz Napier, who remained a Huskie to earn his degree as a promise to his mother. It’s what made March maddening for me.
The golden age of college footballDec 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 15 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
College football wasn’t always like this. The eyes of the nation weren’t always riveted on a massive stadium in a tiny town in southeastern Alabama, wondering whether the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide could really—against all probability—be knocked off by archrival Auburn. They weren’t always glued a week later to a game in Big Ten country, wondering whether Michigan State could really hand Ohio State its first loss in two years and knock the Buckeyes out of the national title picture. No, the race for the national championship wasn’t always so exciting.
10:55 AM, Aug 19, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The NCAA might just as well become another department of the government and build a lavish headquarters building in Washington. Its bureaucratic culture would make it a perfect fit. The complexity of its rules would make for a seamless merger. And the high-handed, arrogant management style would make the transition almost frictionless.
10:15 PM, Mar 23, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
As the men of Harvard exit the NCAA tournament at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats, you'll surely want to wish them a fond and hearty farewell. So sing along with the final verse of "Fair Harvard," written by Reverend Samuel Gilman for the university's 200th anniversary in 1836.
11:26 AM, Mar 23, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Mighty Georgetown, a number two seed, fell to Florida Gulf Coast, a number fifteen seed, last night. Florida Gulf Coast has only been eligible to play in the tournament for two years.
9:15 AM, Mar 22, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On March 21, 2013, history was made. Ivy League champion and 14th seed Harvard men's basketball team busted brackets everywhere as it upset 3rd seed New Mexico, winning its first NCAA playoff game ever and notching its first victory over a top-ten team. Read all about it here and here.
9:01 AM, Jan 27, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with the New Republic, President Barack Obama is asked, "I'm wondering if you, as a fan, take less pleasure in watching football, knowing the impact that the game takes on its players."
5:16 PM, Feb 24, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
When Tim Tebow's pro-life ad ran during the Super Bowl, I wasn't a fan of it. It seemed so innocuous as to be a lost opportunity. Why did Focus on the Family pay so much money, create such a ruckus only to punt (forgive the pun) the issue when the Tebows finally came on-screen? It was a nice ad, which drove traffic to the Tebows' powerful story, on Focus' website, but I thought it should have done more.
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