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Local Sports

Rankings are silly

Rankings are on my mind this week.

From college football to high school football to individual high school cross country rankings, the voters seem to have varying opinions.

From a local angle in college football, Iowa State had 16 points and is currently 28th in the Associated Press rankings. Iowa received two points and is 33rd.

I understand that Iowa State won at Oklahoma. That was an impressive win. But Iowa defeated Iowa State on the Cyclones’ homefield, too.

Some Hawkeye fans are hoping Iowa State’s football team improves so if Iowa is able to defeat the Cyclones in the head-to-head matchup, the win would mean more nationally.

This season, Iowa received less votes in the AP poll the day after it defeated Iowa State than it did the week before after a win over Wyoming. Now, the Cyclones are ranked above the Hawkeyes, and it doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.

Iowa State has the most impressive win, but both teams are 4-2 and Iowa won on the field. And the Hawkeyes came within one play of defeating No. 2 Penn State and lost a close game at Michigan State, which appears to be much better than anyone thought at the start of the year.

The Cyclones are much improved. No doubt. They may even get to six wins. But we can’t forget about that game in Ames in September.

There’s a long ways to go. And both teams will get chances to crack the top 25. An Iowa State win at Texas Tech on Saturday would almost guarantee it. Iowa winning at Northwestern probably won’t get much credit though, but the Hawks still play at Wisconsin and at home against Ohio State.

I am a voter in the weekly AP high school poll that comes out. This one is usually all over the board as writers from all over the state are expected to know which teams are the best when most of them don’t play each other.

Lynnville-Sully is undefeated and ranked eighth in Class A. The Hawks are fifth in my poll. I think they are severely underrated. It doesn’t mean all that much as they have already won the district and will get at least one home playoff game later this year.

I expect Lynnville-Sully and Prairie City-Monroe to make legitimate runs at the UNI-Dome. My No. 1 team in 2A right now is PCM. I like the Mustangs a lot, too.

The high school cross country rankings have me fired up, too.

For the most part, those rankings don’t mean anything for postseason implications. If you are in the top 15 of today’s state qualifying meets, you advance to the state meet, ranked or not.

But there is nothing wrong with a little recognition.

For instance, I am not sure how Colfax-Mingo’s Abbey McConeghey is not yet ranked. She just won the South Iowa Cedar League championship, and was 37 seconds faster than 15th ranked Cheyenne Shaw of North Mahaska.

Shaw is talented. And she ran at the state meet last year. But there is no way you can convince me that if McConeghey wins a head-to-head race on the same course by 37 seconds, that she should not be ranked.

I don’t know where to put each runner. But the gap between both of them needs to be smaller.

They are 2-2 against each other this season. They’ll get to run against each other again Thursday at the state qualifier in Ottumwa. I think both end up finishing the season in Fort Dodge. But both also should be ranked.

Contact Troy Hyde


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