Interesting Labor Day Weekend Behind Us
by Mike Mitchell
The first full weekend of college football had more than its fair share of oddities. It began with College Football Poll.com being forced to evacuate its east central Florida digs by 2pm Thursday. Our employees and families had already spent a couple of days scouring the local home improvement stores for scarce plywood and prepping their homes. Hurricane Frances was approaching with winds in excess of 140 miles per hour.
By 12:30 Thursday, I joined the northbound journey to drier land in South Carolina. What is usually an easy 4-1/2 to 5-hour drive became a 12-hour nightmare of traffic back-ups and empty gas stations. Thursday night's games had all finished by the time we arrived at our hotel outside Hilton Head.
I thought Friday would deliver us some relief with the lone game between Washington State and New Mexico but it was difficult to keep myself from switching to the Weather Channel or Fox News Network for updates on what was happening back home. It would be that way for the entire weekend. Every attempt I made to watch football was interrupted by my need to know what was happening with that damn storm.
The slow-moving monster eventually made land-fall on Saturday night covering an area that was roughly 400 miles in diameter. It took over 36 hours for the storm to stop pounding the eastern Florida coastline and the continuous battering caused widespread damage. It was Tuesday before the weather had calmed enough for us to make the trek back home and Thursday before we had power.
Frances' devastation caused power outages by the thousands from Miami to Jacksonville to Tampa. It forced the cancellation of three football games (Florida State-Miami, Middle Tennessee-Florida and Pittsburgh-South Florida) and few Floridians really even noticed.
After losing hurricane strength, Frances moved northward and caused localized flooding in areas of virtually every eastern seaboard state and reached westward into West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. It also had spawned nearly 100 tornadoes by Wednesday night and left folks in Long Island, New York with unplanned pools in their basements.
Now, Ivan is lurking in the Caribbean waters and the mess from Frances has barely begun to get cleaned up. Exposed roofs are everywhere (including my house) with shingles and sheeting gone with the wind exposing bare plywood in several spots. Some fared much worse - I've seen an entire third floor of an apartment building missing its front wall and roof. Some fared better - my next door neighbor lost one shingle.
It was an interesting way to spend Labor Day weekend. I'm thankful to be alive and hopeful that college football will soon excite me again.
Streaking: Miami (Ohio) had its 14-game losing streak snapped by Michigan as the Wolverines clobbered the RedHawks in the Big House, 43-10.
Boise State won its 12th-straight game with a 65-7 destruction of state rival Idaho. It was a non-conference game but the Broncos have won 18 straight over WAC foes.
North Texas was blown out 65-0 by Texas but the Mean Green still has a streak intact of 18 straight wins against Sun Belt conference opponents.
Army has lost 15 straight and opens the season Saturday against Louisville.
SMU has lost 13 straight after falling to Texas Tech, 27-13, last weekend.
That Computes: The Congrove Computer Rankings and Weekly Picks got off to a phenomenal start. So far, it has correctly picked the winner of every ACC game and is 10-1 with Big 10 teams, 11-1 with Big 12 schools and 14-1 with MAC teams.