HOLD THE POLLS
The first BCS rankings of the season were released on Monday with a newly added emphasis on the two polls, a positive change that would be even better with a little tweaking of the voting system. First, there should be no preseason version of the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll and the Associated Press writers' poll because they unfairly skew the rankings for the rest of the season. For instance, No. 4 Miami (5--0) is two spots ahead of 7--0 Wisconsin largely because the Hurricanes began with a higher preseason ranking, not because of what the teams have accomplished on the field. The two polls shouldn't be released until after the first two weeks of the season. Second, the coaches' ballots should be made public to avoid any suspicion of biased voting. Arkansas's Houston Nutt, Auburn's Tommy Tuberville and Georgia's Mark Richt (above) are among the coaches who have said they would be willing to go public with their votes. The changes wouldn't make the polls or the BCS formula foolproof, but they would be two more steps in the right direction.
AT HOME IN THE END ZONE
With the possible exception of a home-cooked meal from his mother, there was no better treatment for USC wideout Dwayne Jarrett's homesickness than his sensational first half against Arizona State last Saturday. Jarrett (left), a 6'5" freshman reminiscent of former Trojans star Mike Williams, caught four passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of top-ranked USC's 45--7 win. Before his big day, Jarrett had been making no secret of how much he missed his home in New Brunswick, N.J., despite getting some friendly counseling from Williams himself. Jarrett flew home during the Trojans' bye week and reportedly has been investigating a possible transfer to Rutgers. He avoided that topic after the rout of the Sun Devils, and if he has a few more games like Saturday's, he might be ready to forget about it entirely.
October 24, 2004
IT'S GOOD--FROM 60 YARDS
Apparently Colorado's Mason Crosby (right) hasn't heard that it's supposed to be a tough year for placekickers. Crosby continued his outstanding season in the Buffaloes' 19--14 win over Iowa State on Saturday with the finest single-game performance by a kicker this year. He booted a school-record 60-yard field goal in the second quarter, a kick that must have made the 54-yarder he put through the uprights just before halftime feel like a chip shot. Crosby was 4 for 4 on field goal attempts and booted all five of his kickoffs for touchbacks, including three that went out of the end zone. Crosby, a sophomore, has made 10 of his 13 field goal tries this season and 15 of 16 PATs.