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Local Sports

Annual rankings rant

Every year, I go on a rankings rant. And it’s basically for all levels of athletic competition.

I vote in the weekly Associated Press high school football poll. And one particular duo caught my eyes this week.

Our lone area ranked team is Prairie City-Monroe. The Mustangs are the top-ranked team in Class 2A. They are undefeated. And I think they are good enough to play in the UNI-Dome for a state championship.

That’s not my complaint.

My beef is in 3A. Oskaloosa beat Pella in overtime last week.

That didn’t stop voters from keeping Pella ahead of Oskaloosa in this week’s rankings. The Dutch are eighth, and the Indians are ninth.

Those who put Pella ahead of Oskaloosa just aren’t paying attention. Pella may end up being better. The Dutch may end up advancing further in the playoffs. But the Indians should be ranked higher based solely from the result on the field.

I also don’t understand the high school cross country rankings.

I understand that weather has destroyed a lot of the season. A lot of teams haven’t run many meets at all, but if anyone can explain to me how East Marshall is ranked ahead of the Baxter girls I’m all ears.

The Bolts’ most recent meet was a team win at South Hardin on Sept. 29. In that meet, the Baxter girls won with 72 points. East Marshall finished fourth and were 14 points back of the Bolts.

That’s not an incredible margin, but it is a margin. When the final rankings before the state qualifying assignments were released this week, East Marshall was listed 14th in Class 1A. Baxter isn’t even a “team to watch.”

That makes no sense to me. The only thing I can think of is Baxter was punished for simply not being able to find a way to run in the monsoon we have had the past week.

Baxter’s Logan Berg has been ranked individually on the boys’ side most of the season. He was ranked 18th two weeks ago but fell to 20th this week. Berg did not compete last week. So he basically dropped in the rankings for not being able to run because of weather.

Shame on Logan for not competing in meets that were canceled because of things no one can control.

I am sure Logan and the Baxter girls are not sitting around worrying about where they are ranked. But the Baxter girls and Berg deserve a little more respect, and they simply aren’t getting it.

My next beef is with college football.

I realize the AP rankings don’t mean much because of the College Football Playoff, but here we go anyway.

The Iowa football team should be ranked in the top 25. If you dispute this, you aren’t paying attention to the games.

Wisconsin was ranked 15th in the latest AP poll. Iowa is 26th.

If you watched the game at Kinnick Stadium, there is no way you can come to the conclusion that Iowa is 11 spots worse.

Iowa was the better team for most of the game. If it weren’t for silly turnovers, the Hawks would have won.

I don’t expect Iowa to be higher than Wisconsin, but the gap between the two schools is much closer than the rankings show.

Oklahoma State was ranked 25th last week. Then Iowa State knocked them off in Stillwater. The Cowboys then fell out of the rankings a day later as they should have. That should tell you right there that Iowa should be ranked.

Iowa beat Iowa State at home by 10. Iowa State beat Oklahoma State on the road by single digits. Based on results from the field, the Hawkeyes are better than Oklahoma State.

Contact Troy Hyde

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