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|Notre Dame joins the party. Marvin Dangerfield photo
There are not many changes in the rankings this week, despite some ranked teams losing. But who they lost to and how they did it are all taken into account.
The big change was forced by Notre Dame, who beat Arizona State on March 13 in Arizona. The Fighting Irish lost to Arizona 17-5 on March 10. So even though the Sun Devils beat Arizona earlier this season, recent results suggest the Wildcats have improved at a faster clip.
Davenport lost to Arkansas State Saturday, but did so on the road scoring a bonus point. The Panthers actually led with time winding down, before the Red Wolves scooped up an overthrown Davenport lineout and ran it in for the last-second win.
Army lost, but by a thin margin to NYAC, who has a win over BYU under its belt. The AC was without Eagles Mike Petri and Brian Doyle, who played against BYU, and Army sat a few starters, too. We’ll find out more about the Black Knights when they play Kutztown and Penn State in the coming weeks.
Penn State also lost on the weekend, but to Life. The Nittany Lions are still ranked highly after losing big to St. Mary’s, Cal and Life, because they beat Army by 23 in the fall. That result is getting old, but no one has played a tougher collegiate schedule this spring than Penn State, and no team east of the Mississippi (or probably outside of the Mid-South Conference) would have gone anything other than 0-3 against the Running Eagles, Golden Bears and Gaels.
San Diego State fell to St. Mary’s, so the Aztecs slip to below Dartmouth and Tennessee. The Vols are still undefeated in the SCRC, having won every game easily, and Dartmouth is on a tour of Ireland.
BYU fans might be frustrated to see the Cougars, undefeated against college competition, sitting at No. 4, especially after a close game with NYAC. But BYU has just three wins over ranked college competition – Texas A&M, San Diego State and UCLA.
Arkansas State’s and Life’s three best wins over college teams are better. The Red Wolves have beaten Texas A&M (by 63 in College Station, while BYU beat the Aggies by 39 on neutral ground in Las Vegas.), Life and Davenport. Life has beaten Utah, Davenport and Penn State. Scores against common opponents suggest Arkansas State is better than BYU, and Life is credited with better wins than the Cougars.
Because Notre Dame has jumped into the rankings, and we don’t believe any team deserves to drop from them this week, we have 26 teams in the list. Western Washington and Texas A&M are tied at 25.
||San Diego State