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September 19, 1990 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-19

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The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, September 19, 1990 - Page 11
Univeristy of Michigan

ing views s he sporting views <the
r tin views " the sporting views" the
sporting views x the sporting views
by David Kraft
Doily Sports Contributor
' Take heart, Michigan fans. A bid for a national
clampionship is by no means over. While it is true that
the loss to Notre Dame did hurt the Wolverines' chances
to win their first national championship since 1949,
there is still the possibility of a title for the Maize and
If Michigan is to have any chance, then, as faithful
pporters, we must ignore the AP and UPI rankings
6mpletely. Until the last three or so weeks of the
season, the weekly rankings are meaningless. Even at
that point, the rankings are subject to considerable
: Charitably stated, the ranking system-primarily in
the first half of the season-is ~unfair and highly
As for the injustices that plague the rankings, it is
likely that a reporter from Los Angeles will follow
UCLA more closely than he follows Syracuse. When it
*pmes time to cast the weekly vote, it will be easier fo
the reporter to place the local team(s) he follows so
closely ahead of teams with comparable records that
play 3,000 miles away.
Another injustice lies in the fact that the greatest
number of AP and UPI reporters are located in big cities
spch as New York, Chicago or Miami. Simply viewing
the ranking system from a demographic perspective, it
is not difficult to see how the Miami Hurricanes wil
receive a more veritable ranking than a team like the
Clemson Tigers, whose home town of Clemson, South
*arolina is not known for its mass media attraction.
These two examples of unjust ranking procedures
will naturally be more likely to hamper the soundness
of the rankings in the early stages of the season when
the abilities of most teams are largely uncertain. A
least in the later weeks, reporters can use several game
to judge a team's level of performance.
The inaccuracies in the rankings are no exception
either. Take for example the 1990 season.
BYU in its second game defeated top-ranked Miam
rd only moved to number six. If Michigan had beater
otre Dame, the pre-season number two team, then the
Wolverines would have in all probability jumped to the
top spot. In other words, Michigan would be ahead o
BYU for defeating a Notre Dame team the writers chos

Just ignore the
early rankings
a distant second behind the Hurricanes.
Apparently, the top ranking in the beginning of the
season has more to do with when a team plays than
who they play.
A second inaccuracy: Notre Dame moved to the top
spot without even playing a game. Meanwhile, a strong
Tennessee club that was 2-0-1 and an impressive
Virginia squad that was 2-0 after upsetting perennially
powerful Clemson were not even considered near the
untested Fighting Irish.
Characteristically, Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz,
who has a tendency to downplay his team's ability more
than he should, admitted that Notre Dame's move to the
front without playing a single game was meaningless
since "they hadn't proved anything yet."
This time, Lou is not exaggerating. After all, how
can the polls have any meaningful significance if a team
that has not run a single play from scrimmage be voted
ahead of squads that already have two wins under their
t belts?
r Take note, Wolverine hopefuls. An early season loss
is minimally important no matter how much the
t overzealous reporters magnify it in the rankings.
Two years ago, Michigan lost two tight games to
t both Notre Dame and Miami in weeks one and two of
s the season. After dropping deep into the bottom half of
the top twenty, how many would have guessed that
1 Michigan would finish the year third.
Despite losing the opener last year to the Fighting
e Irish, Michigan could have made a small case for being
h number one had they won the Rose Bowl decisively.
Regardless of what the rankings foretell in the early
s stages, it is clear that a loss to one or even two decent
s teams does not entirely eliminate a team from the
t championship picture.
The best hint that early season rankings should be
s ignored lies in the fact that the schedules for all teams
are set several years in advance. If the first three weeks
n were as important as the voters make them out to be,
then coaches would not plan their schedules so far
1 ahead.
n Knowing that early-season rankings can change
e dramatically and that they are based on virtually no
e objectivity, but rather largely partisan speculation by
f overenthusiastic journalists, nobody should ever blame
e a season on the outcome of early season games.

ickOff '90

Price Update


Rodney gets no Griddes respect

It is just a fact of human nature
that draws all people to play Griddes.
Even the famous Rodney Dangerfield
can't wait to submit his picks at the
Student Publications Building on
420 Maynard. Don't forget to give
us yours or you'll miss an
opportunity to win dinner for two at
O'Sullivan's Eatery and Pub ($12
1. UCLA at Michigan
2. Notre Dame at MSU
3. Tennessee at Auburn
4. USC at Washington
5. San Diego St. at BYU
6.aColorado at Texas
7. Virginia at Duke
8.-Pittsburgh at Syracuse
9.-Mississippi at Arkansas
,0. Minnesota at Nebraska
1t. Oregon at Arizona
12. Missouri at Indiana
13. Iowa State at Iowa
14.Northwestern at Rice
15. Rutgers at Penn State
16. Indiana State at Purdue
17. Temple at Wisconsin
1. N. Texas St. at Texas A&M
19: Tulsa at Oklahoma
20. Florida St. at Tulane
,Tiebreaker: Pick the score of

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Macintosh SE includes tax
Macntosh SE/30 AlI $1,519
Macintosh IIci A2 $2,465
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Lini S(wh purchase of Apple system)
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Ckff'90 Sales K Ot50e763-1
Computer Showcase
+) Michigan Union Mall (Ground Level)

AP Photo

Rodney Dangerfield looks to gain an inkling of respect by winning
Griddes this week.


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