Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Willingham, Notre Dame are unfazed by being unranked


College football notebook

The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Tyrone Willingham isn't concerned that Notre Dame is 3-1 and unranked - something that has happened only once before in school history.

"If we win the games with the schedule we have at Notre Dame, we'll be exactly where we should be," he said.

Notre Dame has the toughest remaining schedule, according to the NCAA, starting Saturday against No. 15 Purdue (3-0). The Irish also play at No. 10 Tennessee and at No. 1 Southern California in November.

The Irish were one spot from being ranked last week and stayed there this week despite a convincing 38-3 victory over Washington. The last time the Irish were 3-1 and unranked was in 1936 - the first year the Associated Press conducted the poll.

The Irish got off to a 3-0 start that season and were ranked No. 7 but fell out of the poll following a 26-0 loss to No. 9 Pittsburgh. They returned to the poll a week later at No. 13 after a 7-2 victory over Ohio State.

Since 1936, ND has gone three of its first four games 11 times and has been ranked every time. The highest the Irish have been ranked at 3-1 is at No. 6 (in 1954, 1968 and 1974). The lowest they have been ranked was 22nd in 1998.

This week, three teams with 3-1 records were ranked: No. 13 LSU, No. 19 Michigan, which lost to the Irish, and No. 24 Maryland.

Despite the slight, Notre Dame players aren't worried.

"That isn't a big focus for us," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "It crossed our mind, but we still have a lot to prove. Top 25 doesn't mean anything right now. At the end of the year if we're not in the Top 25 that will be a different story."

WISCONSIN: Running back Anthony Davis, who missed No. 20 Wisconsin's last three games with an eye injury, has been cleared to play this weekend against Illinois.

Davis, who was injured in the season opener, was given the OK to play after meeting with University of Wisconsin ophthalmologists. Coach Barry Alvarez has been vague about the nature of Davis' eye injury since he went down in the second quarter of the win over Central Florida.

AUBURN: For both Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown, the first choice was to play for Tennessee. Instead, the two star tailbacks ended up at Auburn and will be playing at Neyland Stadium for the first time Saturday, when the eighth-ranked Tigers visit the No. 11 Volunteers.

"Man, I can't really explain the feeling I've got right now, just going back there and playing ball," Williams said. "I've sat in those stands.

"At one time, that's where I thought I was going."

Then, coach Tommy Tuberville and six assistants visited his house in Attalla, Ala., and persuaded Williams not to cancel his visit to Auburn.

Brown, from Cartersville, Ga., also verbally committed to Tennessee, but changed his plans partly because of a recruiting scandal at the time that he thought might land the Vols on NCAA probation.

"I just changed my mind a couple of days before signing day," he said.

VIRGINIA: Senior defensive end Chris Canty will undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season.

"Chris is one of the guys who has built the heart of the team," coach Al Groh said Monday. "He has a great passion for football and his teammates. That will be missed even more than his playmaking ability."

The 6-foot-7, 290-pound Canty was injured late in 12th-ranked Virginia's 31-10 victory over Syracuse on Saturday. The exact nature of the injury was not disclosed.

The three-year letterman is one of four team captains. He was a second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection each of the past two years. He led ACC defensive linemen with 86 tackles in 2002 and 104 tackles in 2003.

Canty will be replaced in the starting lineup by Kwakou Robinson, a 6-4, 327-pound junior. As a freshman, Robinson started the first five games while Canty recovered from an injury.

EXTRA POINT: The South Bend Common Council has voted to cut the College Football Hall of Fame's operational funding by $200,000, a 25 percent reduction in what Hall officials had requested.

Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 29

SOUTH

Miami (2-2) at Marshall (0-3), 7 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 30

EAST

Pittsburgh (2-1) at Connecticut (3-1), 7 p.m.

FAR WEST

Navy (4-0) at Air Force (2-2), 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 1

FAR WEST

Utah (4-0) at New Mexico (2-2), 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 2

EAST

Maine (2-1) at Delaware (3-1), Noon

Brown (1-1) at Rhode Island (2-1), Noon

Rutgers (2-1) at Syracuse (2-2), Noon

Dartmouth (0-2) at Penn (1-1), Noon

TCU (2-2) at Army (0-3), 1 p.m.

Massachusetts (2-2) at Boston College (3-1), 1

Bucknell (2-1) at Georgetown, D.C. (1-3), 1 p.m.

Fordham (3-1) at Holy Cross (0-3), 1 p.m.

Monmouth, N.J. (3-1) at Iona (0-3), 1 p.m.

Harvard (2-0) at Lafayette (3-1), 1 p.m.

Albany, N.Y. (1-3) at Lehigh (2-1), 1 p.m.

Wagner (3-1) at Sacred Heart (1-3), 1 p.m.

La Salle (1-3) at St. Francis, Pa. (2-2), 1 p.m.

Cornell (1-1) at Towson (1-2), 1 p.m.

Colgate (2-1) at Yale (1-1), 1 p.m.

Princeton (2-0) at Columbia (0-2), 1:30 p.m.

Robert Morris (3-1) at Stony Brook (1-2), 2 p.m.

Bowling Green (1-2) at Temple (1-3), 2 p.m.

UCF (0-3) at Buffalo (0-4), 6 p.m.

Marist (1-2) at Cent. Connecticut St. (3-1), 6 p.m.

New Hampshire (3-1) at Villanova (3-1), 6 p.m.

SOUTH

Arkansas (3-1) at Florida (2-1), Noon

North Carolina (2-2) at Florida St. (2-1), Noon

Wake Forest (3-1) at N.C. State (2-1), Noon

West Virginia (4-0) at Virginia Tech (2-2), Noon

Drake (2-2) at Jacksonville (0-3), 12:30 p.m.

Hampton (4-0) at Delaware St. (0-4), 1 p.m.

Elon (1-2) at Georgia Southern (3-1), 1 p.m.

Valparaiso (3-2) at Morehead St. (1-3), 1 p.m.

Northeastern (2-1) at William & Mary (2-1), 1

VMI (0-4) at Charleston Southern (2-1), 1:30

Texas State (2-1) at Appalachian St. (2-2), 2

The Citadel (0-2) at Duke (0-4), 2 p.m.

W. Carolina (2-2) at Furman (3-1), 2 p.m.

Houston (1-3) at Memphis (3-1), 2 p.m.

Arkansas St. (1-3) at Mississippi (1-3), 2 p.m.

Tenn.-Martin (1-3) at Tenn. Tech (2-2), 2 p.m.

Murray St. (2-2) at Jacksonville St. (3-0), 3 p.m.

East Carolina (0-3) at Louisville (3-0), 3 p.m.

LSU (3-1) at Georgia (3-0), 3:30 p.m.

Miami (3-0) at Georgia Tech (2-1), 3:30 p.m.

Utah St. (2-2) at Troy (2-2), 3:30 p.m.

N. Carolina A&T (2-2) at Norfolk St. (0-3), 4 p.m.

Southern U. (2-2) at Alabama St. (3-0), 5 p.m.

N. Dakota St. (3-1) at Nicholls St. (2-1), 5 p.m.

Panhandle St. (3-2) at Northwestern St. (3-1), 5

South Carolina (3-1) at Alabama (3-1), 6 p.m.

Louisiana-Lafayette (2-2) at Fla. Int. (1-0), 6 p.m.

Hofstra (2-1) at James Madison (2-1), 6 p.m.

Bethune-Cookman (2-1) at Morgan St. (1-3), 6

Virginia Union (1-4) at Florida A&M (1-3), 7 p.m.

Ohio (2-2) at Kentucky (1-2), 7 p.m.

Gardner-Webb (2-2) at Liberty (1-3), 7 p.m.

Fresno St. (3-0) at Louisiana Tech (2-2), 7 p.m.

MVSU (0-4) at SE Louisiana (2-2), 7 p.m.

E. Kentucky (0-3) at Samford (1-3), 7 p.m.

Southern Miss. (2-0) at South Florida (2-1), 7

Mississippi St. (1-3) at Vanderbilt (0-3), 7 p.m.

Chattanooga (0-3) at Wofford (2-1), 7 p.m.

Youngstown St. (2-2) at W. Kentucky (2-1), 7:30

Auburn (4-0) at Tennessee (3-0), 7:45 p.m.

S. Utah (1-2) at McNeese St. (2-2), 8 p.m.

MIDWEST

Michigan St. (2-2) at Iowa (2-2), Noon

Kent St. (1-3) at Cent. Michigan (1-2), 1 p.m.

Davidson (1-2) at Dayton (3-1), 1 p.m.

Austin Peay (0-3) at Butler (0-4), 2 p.m.

Idaho (0-4) at E. Michigan (1-3), 2 p.m.

Illinois St. (2-1) at Indiana St. (3-1), 2 p.m.

Illinois (2-2) at Wisconsin (4-0), 2 p.m.

SE Missouri (1-3) at E. Illinois (1-2), 2:30 p.m.

Purdue (3-0) at Notre Dame (3-1), 2:30 p.m. N. Iowa (1-2) at S. Illinois (3-1), 2:30 p.m.

W. Illinois (2-2) at SW Missouri St. (2-1), 3 p.m.

Michigan (3-1) at Indiana (2-2), 3:30 p.m.

Colorado (3-0) at Missouri (2-1), 3:30 p.m.

Akron (1-3) at N. Illinois (2-2), 4 p.m.

S. Carolina St. (2-1) vs. Tennessee St. (3-1) at Indianapolis, 5 p.m.

UAB (2-1) at Cincinnati (2-2), 7 p.m.

Kansas (2-2) at Nebraska (2-1), 7 p.m.

Ball St. (1-3) at Toledo (2-2), 7 p.m.

Penn St. (2-2) at Minnesota (4-0), 8 p.m.

Ohio St. (3-0) at Northwestern (1-3), 9 p.m.

SOUTHWEST

Texas Tech (3-1) at Oklahoma (3-0), 12:30 p.m.

Baylor (2-1) at Texas (3-0), 12:30 p.m.

Iowa St. (2-1) at Oklahoma St. (3-0), 2 p.m.

Middle Tennessee (1-2) at North Texas (0-4), 7

Kansas St. (2-1) at Texas A&M (2-1), 7 p.m.

Paul Quinn (1-3) at Ark.-Pine Bluff (2-1), 8 p.m.

Grambling St. (1-2) vs. Prairie View (2-1) at Dallas, 8 p.m.

Alabama A&M (2-2) at Texas Southern (0-4), 8

New Mexico St. (1-3) at UTEP (1-2), 9 p.m.

FAR WEST

UC Davis (3-0) at N. Colorado (1-3), 2 p.m.

Louisiana-Monroe (0-3) at Wyoming (2-1), 3

Arizona St. (4-0) at Oregon (1-2), 3:30 p.m.

California (2-0) at Oregon St. (1-3), 4 p.m.

S. Oregon (2-2) at San Diego (1-3), 4:30 p.m.

Washington (0-3) at Stanford (2-1), 5 p.m.

Sacramento St. (1-2) at N. Arizona (1-2), 6:30

San Diego St. (2-1) at UCLA (2-1), 7 p.m.

SMU (1-3) at Boise St. (4-0), 8 p.m.

Montana St. (1-2) at Idaho St. (1-3), 8 p.m.

Montana (3-1) at Weber St. (0-4), 8 p.m.

S. Dakota St. (3-1) at Cal Poly-SLO (3-0), 9 p.m.

E. Washington (2-2) at Portland St. (2-1), 9 p.m.

Rice (2-1) at San Jose St. (1-2), 9 p.m.

BYU (1-3) at Colorado St. (1-3), 10 p.m.

Nevada (2-2) at UNLV (0-4), 10 p.m.

Tulsa (1-3) at Hawaii (0-2), 12:05 a.m.




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Willingham, Notre Dame are unfazed by being unranked

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