Sunday, October 5, 2003

Enquirer Page Two power rankings



By Mike Ball
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. The Cubbies. Hey, maybe they won't advance to the NLCS or the World Series, but they've accomplished something. Yankees boss George Steinbrenner was infuriated when the networks chose the Little Bears over his club for the prime-time TV slot.

2. Ken Griffey Jr. It says something about his star power that on the heels of three difficult seasons, the Seattle press is writing about him coming back to his original team.

3. Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves star took - you guessed it - less money for his new five-year contract extension so - yep, you guessed it again - the team would be in better position to build a team and make a title run. By the way, the extension was for $100 million.

4. Tiger Woods. He's back after a month off and still, after his so-called off year, is in position to win the Player of the Year award.

5. Keeneland. The fall meet is one of the region's true gems.

Thumbs down

1. ESPN/Rush Limbaugh. Surprised? ESPN and its parent company got just what it wanted when he made controversial remarks about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. The NFL pregame show drew improved ratings, then after he resigned, it received a week full of more publicity. Remember, this is the company that put Dennis Miller in the Monday night booth and now fills halftimes with players singing and such.

2. ESPN2/the NHL. In an attempt to increase regular-season ratings - last season, ESPN drew 0.46 percent of cable households, ESPN2 0.23 percent - NHL fans will get to vote on what game they'd like to see on seven dates. Voting, of course, will go through espn.com.

3. The Portland Trail Blazers. They've brought the hammer down on Damon Stoudamire following his latest arrest on drug charges. The Trail Blazers lifted his three-month suspension - hmm, which he served in the offseason - and waived the $250,000 they fined him. At least he agreed to pay $100,000 to an early-childhood education program in Portland.

4. John Dowd. The man who directed the Pete Rose investigation has donated boxes of materials on Rose to the Hall of Fame. Man, give it up, dude.

5. Dwight Gooden Jr. The son of the great pitcher apparently hasn't learned from his father's off-field mistakes. The 17-year-old was arrested for selling crack cocaine. Sad.




BENGALS / NFL GAME DAY
Bleak Bengals days are left behind
Krumrie brings intensity, passion to Buffalo
Bledsoe, Bills obstacles to a Bengals win streak
Broncos' Plummer has been on a roll
Injured Holcomb can't haunt Steelers
NFL power rankings

REDS / BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
Less is plenty for A's, Twins
Daugherty: Let Junior move on
Five steps Reds should take
Five ways things went wrong
Savvy GM candidates will ask these questions
Reds Q&A with John Fay
Marlins vs. Giants: Florida wins series 3-1
Braves 6, Cubs 4
Yankees 3, Twins 1
Red Sox 3, Athletics 1 (11)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Southern Miss 22, UC 20
Miami 45, Akron 20
Career day at WR for ex-QB Busing
No. 13 Texas 24, No. 16 Kansas State 20
No. 23 Iowa 30, No. 9 Michigan 27
Navy 28, Air Force 25
No. 17 Northern Illinois 30, Ohio 23, OT
Top 25 roundup: A Manning finally wins in Florida
Scores, how the Top 25 fared
MSJ wins Heartland opener 17-13
Quarterback corner

PREP SPORTS
State, national polls include local flavor
Awards abound for stellar performances
Dayton Belmont topples Taft
Holy Cross 54, Dayton 0
Kings takes 'Father Rudy' title
Saturday's results

SUNDAY PAGE TWO
It ain't over till it's over
What do you think?
TMC women's soccer has come long way
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

WORLD CUP SOCCER
Semifinal finality: Germany is next

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Trusted UC trainer packs his bags for Marquette

BOXING
Toney too much for aging Holyfield

MOTOR SPORTS
For Gordon, there's no place like Kansas
NASCAR notebook: Rumors concerning retirement swirl

GOLF
Woods' lead dwindles to 2

HORSE RACING
Perfect Soul rallies at Keeneland

ON THE AIR
Sports on TV, radio